(Please note – this is a real-time review, meaning I am typing down my exact thoughts while listening to each song.)
Reaction to Title Track/MV:
The visuals for this music video are pretty + I love the splash of very bright colours.
The choreography is so slick and precise.
I noticed that the first scene from the MV is a prison visiting session. Quite interesting because his previous title track was called “Criminal”
WHAT??? I seriously was not expected such a hard chorus drop.
Wow, the beat + the choreography during the chorus is insane. I love this vibe.
Also, the dancers are amazing. I can’t only focus on TAEMIN because everyone is calling for my attention.
This set, though. It is so bougie and captivating.
Once again, they surprised me with the chorus. I was expecting the same drop, but TAEMIN took it to another level.
The progression + the different sections on this song are interesting.
Nah!! The choreography is crazy. Do you all see the glitching and smooth movements during the second chorus?
TAEMIN’s vocals on the bridge are quite haunting but very beautiful.
I am enjoying the visuals for “IDEA”. I love the white to black contrasting backgrounds that they are using. The cloud/thunder + fire backdrops added in the extra touch.
Visual-wise, this music video gets a 10/10.
Music-wise, I prefer “Criminal” over “IDEA”. This song is certainly not my favourite from TAEMIN, but I still enjoyed listening to it.
Here is a preview of the album –
IDEA (理想) – The chorus always takes me off guard, but I love it all the same. All I need now is a dance video for this song.
Heaven – The intro for this track is soothing. TAEMIN’s voice + the soft beat makes such a beautiful melody. I love how he sings the word – ‘heaven.’ Definitely wasn’t expecting the background choir, but I am here for this haunting vibe. “Heaven” is my first favourite on this album. I honestly adore TAEMIN’s versatility.
Impressionable – Quite an intriguing entry with the synthesized keys. I’ve noticed that the haunting touch from Act 1 continued into this act. However, it is more prominent in this one. Overall, I am enjoying the vocal technique, backing vocals, + instruments used to relay this somewhat frightful feeling. “Impressionable” is my second favourite.
Be Your Enemy (Feat. Wendy of Red Velvet) – The intros on all these songs are captivating. “Be Your Enemy” seems to have a less intricate instrumental than the previous tracks. Splendid continuous soft guitar strumming. I love the melody on this one + TAEMIN sounds so beautiful. Wendy also came in nicely, and their harmonies are sweet.
Think Of You – Ooo, I love this song. I’m just a few seconds in, but the rhythm is calling to me. Yessss, this is another favourite for me + I love the voice of the female vocalist backing TAEMIN. “Think Of You” is a vibe, and I can’t help but dance throughout the entire song. I feel it was too short😞. No worries, though, I got my replay button.
Exclusive (Korean Version) – I don’t think I have listened to this song before. I like how TAEMIN came in. The retro-pop sound slightly threw me off at first, but I love it. The instrumental and production for this track are incredible.
Pansy – Am I getting a guitar accompanied ballad? Awww! His voice makes me feel light, like a feather floating in the sky. I seriously needed this track. I searched up the definition of “Pansy”, and it so sweet. It’s derived from the French word – pensée (meaning: thought) that became an alternative Late Middle English name for the garden plant – Viola in the mid-15th century. Pansy is a flower that signifies remembrance. I love this song.
I Think It’s Love – Another soft song? I’m here for all this last-minute angsty/soothing energy + they used a piano as the front instrument for this track😍. TAEMIN is serving wholesome, blissful vocals. I love how softly the drumbeats came into the mix. Okay, this is starting to give me some R&B vibe, and I AM OFFICIALLY IN LOVE. Yes, TAEMIN, bless me!!!
Identity – The last song, let’s see what it has to offer. We’re still on the angsty train, but this brought back the haunting vibe from the earlier tracks. THE VOCALS!!!! SING TAEMIN. What is this chorus??? I so was not expecting an electronic infusion for this song, but I am impressed. The progression/production, vocal and instrumental-wise, is lovely. “Identity” is the perfect closing track; I love it.
I genuinely enjoyed listening to all nine songs. Of course, I have my favourites, but every track was equally substantial. I love how we got upbeat/horror fleek-styled jams in the first half, and then the second half served beautiful/angsty slow songs. I also adore the production. It was top-notch, and TAEMIN sounded terrific all through. Hence why Never Gonna Dance Again: Act 2 gets a solid 10/10 from me.
What do you all think of this album, and what are your favourite tracks?
On September 7th, TAEMIN released his 3rd album – Never Gonna Dance Again: Act 1. This record has nine songs, including the title track “Criminal”
Lee Tae-min, known by the stage name, Taemin, is a South Korean singer-songwriter born on July 18th, 1993. He is a member of the boy group – SHINee, which debuted in 2008 and is managed by SM Entertainment. He is also a member of SM’s joint project group – SuperM. Taemin made his solo debut in 2014 with the single – “Danger” and became one of Korea’s best-selling artists with his following solo releases.
(Please note – this is a real-time review, meaning I am typing down my exact thoughts while listening to each song.)
Reaction to Official MV/Title Track:
The visuals!!! Already I am interested to hear this song.
Of course, the choreography is on point. It looks like a theatre performance.
Taemin’s soft voice and this beat are doing something incredible for my ears. The rhythm is quite catchy.
The chorus is perfect. It makes me want to bring out my few Michael Jackson moves.
Taemin and the dancers are slick but also sharp with every movement.
Wow, this is perfection. I am genuinely enjoying myself here.
I need to go back and take in the chorus drop one more time.
The visuals for the MV make it seem like an apocalypse just occurred, and Taemin appears to be the one who orchestrated everything.
The chorus is too beautiful. I don’t have more words to describe how unique Taemin’s voice sounds in that section. I’m in awe.
The instrumental progression is also on point. Every beat fits perfectly.
The inclusion of news reports was a great way to intensify the bridge.
Excellent use of silence. I almost thought the song had finished but nope, one more chorus drops.
I LOVE THIS SONG.
I was expecting a solid track because come on, it’s Taemin, but this has completely blown me away.
I am overly impressed with “Criminal”, and it’s going on my playlist right away.
Here is the album preview –
Criminal – This is a certified BOP and no one can change my mind. I’m just going to play it a few times before moving on to the next track.
Black Rose – I love the beat, and the rapper’s flow is good. Taemin’s voice on this track is enchanting. I don’t know who Kid Milli is, but I will check him out after this review because he brought the right sauce to this song. “Black Rose” is beautiful. The high notes and background vocals are top-notch. I love this song.
Strangers – The three songs so far seem to have a similar siren-like vocal, and I am enjoying it. The intro for this one is very soothing and beautiful. “Strangers” is another song with a fantastic instrumental. I love that the intro siren notes stayed throughout the track as backing vocals. Nice song.
Waiting For – The melody for this song is catchy right off the bat. The dense keyboard notes and heavy bass drums are such a perfect combination. “Waiting For” is another favourite for me. I love the rhythm, and the way the chorus drops is pure 🔥. I don’t even need to talk about vocals because Taemin kills that department regardless. This track is a BOP and a half. I had to replay it before moving on.
Famous – Korean Version – The composers for this track are geniuses. Didrik Thott and Daniel Kim, you both served because the beat for “Famous” is incredible. I am listening to this song with headphones, and the way every sound bounces on my ear is pure bliss. I might have heard the initial Japanese version, but I probably wasn’t paying enough attention then. Anyways I love it mainly because of the instrumental.
Clockwork – This seems a bit slower compared to the rest, and the instrumental is intriguing. I hear a periodic synthetized section, and there are continuous clock ticks that make this song unique. Taemin sounds lovely on this one. This album stays giving me hit to hit, I am impressed. The vocal layering on “Clockwork” sounds quite eerie but enchanting at the same time. I love the production on this song.
Just Me And You – Now, we’re back to an upbeat track, and I love the melody. It’s so beautiful💓. I have been quite repetitive about this album’s remarkable instrumentals, but the composers are just that good. This song is getting me in my feels. I think “Just Me And You” is another favourite for me. I might as well favourite the entire album at this point because I am enjoying myself.
Nemo – The entry on this is quite haunting. Also, is the title a reference to the fish in Finding Nemo?😂 Anyways, “Nemo” is more on the sultry and groovy side. Songs with this type of vibes are right up my alley. Taemin’s voice on this one is like butter. It’s just melting into my ears, and listening to this with headphones makes things even better. The vocal runs on this track is taking me to heaven.
Never Gonna Dance Again: Act 1 served hit to hit. Although I have my picks, no song was a letdown. I could play the entire album on repeat and never get bored. In my opinion, this record is on an A+ level. From the vocal quality to music composition and production, everything was well fitted. My favourites on this album in no chronological order are – “Criminal” – “Black Rose” – “Waiting For” – “Clockwork” – “Just Me And You” – “Nemo” and “2 KIDS” – Seven out of the nine songs. Is there more to say?
TAEMIN’s 3rd album – Never Gonna Dance Again: Act 1 gets a solid 10/10 from me. I am impressed.
SuperM just released a new digital single titled “100”, so let’s check it out. SuperM is a South Korean boy group managed by SM Entertainment and Capitol Records. The group consists of seven members – Taemin from SHINee, Baekhyun & Kai from EXO, Taeyong & Mark from NCT 127 and finally Ten & Lucas from WayV. They officially debuted on October 4th, 2019, with a self-titled EP.
(Please note – this is a real-time review, meaning I am typing down my exact thoughts while listening to this song.)
Reaction to Official MV:
Oh, sweet whispering harmony.
I love Lucas’ intro. They might not give him many parts, so its good to see him first.
Very energetic start, and all the boys look good.
I am enjoying the colourful and techno edits on this music video.
Another EDM track, but let’s see how it goes.
Ten, Ten, TEN!!! My boy always looks beautiful.😍
Okay, Mark, come in with the flow, and Baekyun slid in perfectly with his soft voice. His vocals are top-notch.
I can see the budget on this music video was limitless.
SuperM’s music videos are always iconic.
The futuristic visuals for this song are stunning.
Their makeup artist really went in with black and red eyeliners.😂
Taemin is always looking like a snack that I can only admire from afar. I love him.
Okay, whoever put those grayish-blue contacts on Ten deserves a raise.
Choreography wise, the boys are killing things.
I really love the energy of this song.
I think my favourite section is the bridge with Taemin breakdown and Baekyun’s iconic high note.
Alright. I’m going to listen to this song again before giving my final thoughts.
“100” by SuperM is a great song. I like it, but I’m not in love.
I might come to really enjoy it after a few more plays, but as of now, it gets a 9/10 from me.
It has officially been summer for a while now and just like I did during winter with My Winter Playlist, I have created a summer playlist. On a regular, my favourite genres of music are RnB, soul, neo-soul, hip-hop, but occasionally I do dabble into trap, country and rock. During summer, I practically listen to anything, so far as it is groovy and upbeat.
So here is my summer playlist created for you all to enjoy, and as always I added short previews for each song.
#. Mamamoo – gogobebe
I absolutely adore Mamamoo, not just for their music but also for their quirky personalities. They are a fantastic group, and I always look forward to their comebacks. If you do not listen to Mamamoo already, you should because they are a vocal powerhouse that never disappoints on both upbeat and ballad tracks.
#. LAY – Bad
I already mentioned the EP – Honey by Lay in a previous post. If you have not read that post already, go check it out – Song Of The Week: LAY – HONEY. ‘Bad’ is my second favourite song from the EP, and I have been listening to it on repeat. So hopefully, you all enjoy it like I do.
#. WayV – Take Off
WayV was the group I wrote about in my most recent star showcase. If you have not read that post already, here is the link – Star Showcase: WayV. They are currently my favourite male pop group. “TakeOff” is a great upbeat song, and so I had to have it on this playlist.
#. I.O.I – Whatta Man
I discovered I.O.I’s version of “Whatta Man” while searching for the original by Salt ‘N’ Pepa. Usually, I am very skeptical about remakes, but this was done so well, and I like that they brought their own originality to the piece. I hope you all enjoy listening to this song and also check the original version by Salt ‘N’ Pepa if you have not heard to it before.
#. MOMOLAND – BAAM
So far, this is the only song from MOMOLAND that I have listened to. This is because I do not really enjoy overly cute concepts. But once in a while, I make an exception for amazing songs like “BAAM”. My favourite part of the song is definitely the rap section.
#. BTOB – Blowin’ Up
I LOVE BTOB. They are currently on the top of my list for Korean boy bands. Every single member brings something unique to the group. Their rappers are amazing, but my main man is Ilhoon. Also, this is another vocal powerhouse because all of the vocalists could be mains. Their voices are so beautiful. I groove a lot to “Blowin’ Up”, so it has to be on this playlist.
#. VaVa, Ty., Nina Wang – My New Swag
I am so glad that this song was featured as a soundtrack for Crazy Rich Asians. I would have been missing out on a rare gem if I did not watch that movie. It is a perfect case of the old and new coming together to form a fantastic blend. The entire song scream genius. Of course, I love VaVa and Ty.’s rap, but Nina Wang blessed my ears with the Chinese opera section, that for me is the best part of this song. Also, it has a great beat, so what else do I need in a song? Pure Perfection.
#. Ailee – Room Shaker
Ailee did not come to play with anyone on her recent album: butterFLY. “Room Shaker” is such a great party song. She is such a vocal queen, and I am always here for her. Currently, she is having issues promoting her album, but I sincerely hope that everything works out well for her because she deserves the best.
#. G.Soul – You
Honestly, Korean agencies need to manage and promote their solo artists better because people keep on missing out on such gems. I am okay with the fact that he left JYP Entertainment to join H1GHR MUSIC. Other similar artists like Crush, Dean, Sam Kim, Zion.T are out there, but he seemed so hidden (sorry I just had to rant a little). I am glad that I discovered him because he is a beautiful vocalist.
#. BANG YONGGUK – YAMAZAKI
No words can describe the epicness of this song. I am so sad that I cannot find it on Spotify but no worries, I will just continue listening to it on YouTube. Fair warning: the music video for this song is quite graphic, you will also get a notice before the video starts. With that said, let me just state the fact that BANG YONGGUK is AMAZING. The beat on this goes hard🔥🔥. Guys, please listen to this song in 8d, I promise that you will love it even more.
#. NCT 127 – Simon Says
Most people tend to feel that NCT 127’s music is too trippy, but I personally think that their sound is very futuristic. Once I hear a song from any NCT group, I can tell that it is them because of how distinct their music style is. Sometimes it takes me a few listens to really get into the groove of the song, but after then, it becomes a steady bop. I love “Simon Says”. This song never fails to energize me, and I find myself playing it on repeat for a long time.
#. Triple H – Feel
I was really into this group, and I am so sad about the messed-up situation that went down. But that will not stop me from enjoying their music. I love every single song that Triple H released, but for this playlist, I decided to stick with “Feel” becauseit never fails to hype me up.
#. SUNMI – Heroine
The first song I ever heard from Sunmi was “Full Moon”, and I have been in love with her music since then. I decided to add “Heroine”to this playlist because of how perfect it is for a summer road trip. It is such a perfect sing-along song.
#. ITZY – DALLA DALLA
For me,”DALLA DALLA” is the perfect balance between the cute Vs. the hardcore concept. I really love it and plus it promotes an essential message, which is to love yourself and that it is okay to be different. All the members of the group really shined throughout the song, and I am looking forward to checking out their comeback song “ICY”.
#. EXO – Ko Ko Bop
Summer is not officially summer without EXO’s “Ko Ko Bop”. I really love when Kpop songs add in some trap or EDM elements because it guarantees a sick beat. Anyways, EXO never disappoints, and this is just one of their long list of songs that are perfect for summer.
#. CHUNG HA – Gotta Go
Chung Ha was born to be a star. She just has something about her that draws in the viewer’s attention. “Gotta Go” is my favourite song from her. The chorus for this song is very addictive, so I always attempt to sing along.
#. KARD – RUMOR
K.A.R.D is the best group to play during summer. Almost all their songs have that standard summer groove vibe to it, and even their latest release “BOMB BOMB” is lit. I showcased it recently as a song of the week, check out that post here – Song Of The Week: K.A.R.D – BOMB BOMB.”RUMOUR”made this playlist because I wanted to go with a more laid back tune from them.
#. Gen Hoshino – Family Song
This is another great road trip song or a perfect tune to end a gathering with friends. I discovered this song from the Japanese drama: Overprotected Kohoko. The song speaks about wishing happiness and smiles to everyone and praying that such feelings last for a long time in their lives. Even though they might be feeling sad now, it is only a bridge to their coming joy. I hope you all enjoy listening to this song, and I wish that everyone reading this post will have a reason to smile for a long time.
#. Millic, Fanxy Child – Paradise
This is one of the grooviest songs I have heard in the longest time. I just cannot help but to sing along to the chorus and also attempt to mouth some of Penomeco’s part because his verse is straight FIRE. Millic did his thing with the production of this song. Also, the other members of Fanxy Child (Crush, Dean and Zico) brought their A-game. In conclusion, the entire song is TOO GOOD.
#. Jackson Wang – Papillon
Aite Aite Aite Aite Aite, You got me feeling like a, Feeling like a Papillon. Only one word can be used to describe this song – LIT🔥🔥. Jackson just has this deep voice that does wonders for my ears, and he blessed me with this song. So that is all I have to say, NEXT.
#. Bii – Be Your Light
AWWW BII. I already spoke about my love for Bii in my first ever star showcase on this blog. Here is the link to that if you want to check it out – Star Showcase: BII. I just love the progression of this song. It starts off very soft with just Bii singing, but then you get a full choir for the chorus. That perfect build-up creates a hopeful feeling. Bii’s vocals on “Be Your Light” is beautiful, he always gives me the best music. I might be doing a short review of his latest album, so keep an eye out for that post.
#. Jay Park, Cha Cha Malone – Feature
Every playlist to me must have at least one or two impressive RnB tracks for it be complete. And who else could provide that perfect song? “Feature”by Jay Park & Cha Cha Malone is such a smooth song, and both singers served vocals on this track. So I hope you guys enjoy it.
#. HA SUNG WOON – BLUE
While reviewing the drama Her Private Life, I mentioned that “Think of You” by Ha Sung Woon is one of my favourite OSTs. I also stated that although I did not know much about him, he is a great singer. So recently, while doing a little research on him, I discovered “BLUE.” It is a great song, so I just had to have it on this playlist.
#. DEAN – Bonnie & Clyde
This song is such a masterpiece. Dean always releases excellent music, and that is why the music video for “Bonnie & Clyde” deserves way more views than it has currently. He is a vocal king, so people need to stop taking naps on his music and fully get on the Dean train.
Now I know I listed hip-hop as one of my favourite genres, but honestly, I was not always into rap music. I just could never get into the grove of Western hip-hop. I only started listening to rap music after I discovered the Korean hip-hop scene. And then from there, I was able to find one or two American rap artists that actually suits my taste. This song “EUNG FREESTYLE” is on the top of my list for Korean hip-hop songs.
#. SOMI – BIRTHDAY
SOMI really did great on this song. For a debut song, it actually slays. I really love whenever she says “oops, you’re not invited, yea you’re not invited”. I also think the bridge towards the end of the song is lovely. Even though I do not really follow her, I am happy that she was finally able to debut. I hope you all enjoy listening to “BIRTHDAY” as much as I do.
#. DAY6 – I Wait
Day6 is definitely one of my top Korean bands, and “I Wait” is a very addictive song. I love how the song starts out with a very soft tone and then keeps building up towards the powerful chorus. That just made the entire track more appealing to hear. Also, Day6 has an impressive set of vocalists. I really feel that they are an underrated group and totally deserve more exposure. I hope that with time, more people will discover them because they make fantastic music.
#. HEIZE, Dean – Shut Up & Groove
Here is another addictive song. After hearing it for the first time, the chorus was stuck in my head for days. I found myself singing “shut up & groove” EVERYWHERE I WENT TO😂. For real, the song goes hard. Heize is a fantastic artist, and of course, Dean always slays me with his vocals. So yes, it has to be on my summer playlist.
#. BAEKHYUN – UN Village
Okay BAEKHYUN, I see you. This song just makes me do that grovy sway from left to right while nodding and snapping my fingers. Like for real, this song is legitly too good. The music video should have more views by now but who knows what drug YouTube is on again😒. Anyways I really love “UN Village”, it is a beautiful song, and the album: CITY LIGHTSgets an A+ from me. Excellent solo debut.
#. Taemin – Want
Are words even needed to describe the awesomeness that is LEE TAEMIN? He is a full, packaged artist. From his dancing to his voice and even his looks. He gets a solid 100% in all departments, JUST SAYING. “WANT” is another one of his great releases. Also, the video for this song is pure art, plus the choreography💕. Like DAMN, HE DID THAT.
#. BOBBY – HOLUP!
Another song that goes hard. Bobby is an amazing rapper, and he really did great on this song. “HOLUP!” is such a party song. I love that included the other IKON members in this track. You can hear their voices towards the end of the song.
#. Red Velvet – RBB (Really Bad Boy)
I might not be the biggest fangirl of Red Velvet, but I still love them. And I also know that a good number of people feel that their songs are not always the best, but I am not of their opinion. I really really love all the songs they have released so far including their lastest comeback song “Zimzalabim”. It is definitely not my favourite song from them, but it is still good. Anyways I chose “Really Bad Boy” for this playlist because I have been listening to it on repeat.
#. BLACKPINK – Don’t Know What To Do
This is the ultimate summer song. “Don’t Know What To Do” is actually my favourite song from their latest album: Kill This Love. I have to render some well-deserved praise to Rose and Jisoo because they both sound beautiful on this track. I also enjoy listening to “Kick It” and funny enough the title track “Kill This Love” is not my go-to on the album.
#. Simon Dominic, ONE, G2, BewhY – Who You?
I need ONE to release more music. I am glad that he decided to leave YG Entertainment and has plans to set up his own one-person agency. At least now, he can focus more on his music. I still love Jung Jae Won the actor, but I have been missing One the rapper for way too long. Anyways, Simon Dominic, G2 and BewhY also went in on this track, everyone brought their A-game. Try listening to this song with a speaker because the beat on the chorus section is legit🔥🔥. Also if you guys have not watched Show Me The Money, then go check it out because it is actually a cool show.
#. Eric Nam – Honestly
As always, Eric Nam brought his perfect vocals and blessed me with a great summer song. My best part of “Honestly”is the section right before the chorus, he just sounds beautiful. No words can describe what his voice does for me. I hope you all enjoy listening to this song.
#. Gallant, Tablo, Eric Nam – Cave Me In
Yesss, another song with Eric Nam. His voice on this is so smooth. In fact, the entire song is too groovy. Gallant did well when choosing artists to feature on this track. Also the genius rapper Tablo. His verse is so real on this song. The choice of words in all his songs are always so brilliant. It makes me feel like he is reciting a poem.
#. Lu Han – On Fire
Okay, we are heading over to China again. Random thought – I feel Luhan and Bii look alike in a way. Back to the main topic – Luhan brought the heat on this song, it is a complete BOP. I am glad that all the Chinese members that left EXO have been doing well for themselves. Luhan has been killing both the music and the acting game, and I wish him more success.
#. TVXQ – The Chance of Love
The OGs, TVXQ. They are just two, but they sound better and even dance better than most groups with a vast number of members. “The Chance of Love” is an excellent song from them. That “oooh oooh oooh” is so soothing to my ears and the rest of the song also showcases impressive vocals. So I just had to have it on my summer playlist.
#. Jun. K – THINK ABOUT YOU
Like I mentioned already, every playlist to me must have at least one or two impressive RnB tracks for it be complete. And here is my second top on the list after ‘Feature’ by Jay Park & Cha Cha Malone. Jun. K snatched my wig and threw it all the way to Mars with this song. Vocals, dance and visuals, everything was 100%. My favourite section of this song is the bridge, he really took it up to another level there. The music video for “THINK ABOUT YOU” definitely deserves more than 4.2 million views. People need to stop sleeping on such incredible artists.
#. Song Bingyang – U Make Me Strong
This is such a beautiful song from Song Bingyang. I discovered it while watching the Chinese Drama: Moonshine and Valentine, which I listed as one of my top 10 dramas for 2018. If you will like to see that post, here is the link – MY TOP 10 DRAMAS FOR 2018. “U Make Me Strong” is a great song with an excellent beat as well and it always gives me an uplifting feeling whenever I listen to it. So I decided to end my summer playlist with this song.
Of course, there are many other summer songs, but these listed songs were chosen according to my personal preference. Also, I am sorry about the length of this post. I had way too many songs in mind, and I just could not shorten it be less than this listed 40.
Feel free to leave me your own summer song suggestions in the comment section. Also If you were intrigued by the previews and would like to hear the full versions, here is a link to the YouTube playlist I created – YouTube Summer Playlist