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Girls’ Generation – I Got a Boy – Music Bank 4th January 2013 Review

13 Jan

The Girls are back! Girls’ Generation have returned with their infectious new song, I Got a Boy. Taken from their hit new album of the same name, I Got a Boy hit the top spot across all the music charts and became an All Kill instantly.

It’s been a while since the band had released a new Korean song so there was much anticipation for their new track and they didn’t fail to impress! Girls’ Generation have always been one of my favourite bands. They are flawless! They always bring their A game for every performance and I can never fault them.

Style & Staging

SNSD - I Got a Boy - Music Bank

I’m really enjoying SNSD’s style for their I Got a Boy promotions. I love the bubblegum pop colours that they’re using. It’s also really nice to see them bring a bit more edginess to their fashion. They’ve been rocking some fierce chic outfits recently – especially for their Japanese releases – but I’m really enjoying this more urban look.

But, as always, the girls give a little bit more for any S♥NE! Flaunting their toned stomachs was sizzling! SNSD hwaiting!

SNSD - I Got a Boy Music Bank

Overall rating for Style & Staging – 5 / 5 stars.

Choreography

Whoa, where to start! The choreography for I Got a Boy is fierce! I think they’ve really stepped up their dancing skills for this song. I love their routines – Gee, Oh!, Genie are some of my favourite songs. I even learnt some of the Gee dance routine.

But I Got a Boy is taking it to the next level. It’s not just the dance routine, but also the whole staging and story that they tell. I Got a Boy has been criticised by some because the song has so many different elements. Just like the song, the dance routine is also made up of different dance elements – some cute moves (<3 Seohyun's aegyo) but also fierce dance moves.

SNSD - I Got a Boy Music Bank

SNSD - I Got a Boy Music Bank

Overall rating for Choreography – 5 / 5 stars.

Vocals

Girls’ Generation are popular for their many charms – they can dance, perform, are charismatic and with some members have some of the most powerful vocals in K-pop. Taeyeon, Seohyun and Tiffany are all widely praised for their strong vocals.

Whilst I Got a Boy is more of a dance song, we still get to hear some pretty impressive vocals from Taeyeon, she has such a strong voice!

SNSD - I Got a Boy Music Bank

SNSD - I Got a Boy

Overall rating for Vocals – 5 / 5 stars.

Overall Score

The Overall Score for Girls’ Generation’s I Got a Boy on Music Bank is… 5 / 5 stars!

Review Conclusion

Girls’ Generation – I Got a Boy Comeback on Music Bank 4th January 2013 – reviewed by K-pop Peach on January 14th 2013.
Another flawless comeback from Girls’ Generation! Killer dance moves, powerful vocald and enough charisma to stop a bullet train – the girls cement their place as K-pop’s most likeable girl idol group.
Score – 5
/ 5 stars.

T-ara – Sexy Love – Inkigayo 16th September 2012 Review

16 Sep

Our fourth live stage review features T-ara once more (I’m sorry, they’re my favourite group!). This time we will review their performance from today’s Inkigayo. SBS’ Inkigayo is my favourite music show – I’ve always really enjoyed the set designs and I always thought the artists tried extra hard on their performances.

Without further ado, let’s start the review!

Style & Staging

T-ara - Sexy Love Inkigayo

Sometimes I really wonder who thinks of the concepts for T-ara’s outfits. We’ve had the Native American look for YaYaYa, the kitty look for Bo Peep Bo Peep and not to forget the zombies… One of the highlights that springs to mind is one of the New Year special performances of Bo Peep Bo Peep where T-ara wore traditional inspired dresses. I thought they were cute but whoa that was crazy!

So for the previous two stages we had some cute outfits! The girls looked ultra sleek on Music Bank and really cute on Music Core. But where do we begin with today’s outfit!?

I think the designers are taking the puppet dolls concept a little too literally with these outfits. I don’t really like the use of primary colours. I can understand the thinking but really I would have preferred a more interesting design.

I also miss the cute hairstyles from yesterday’s performance! Especially Boram’s! In my opinion, I think Boram should wear her hair in ox horn buns forever more. Jiyeon looked gorgeous though.

T-ara - Sexy Love Inkigayo

Overall rating for Style & Staging – 3 / 5 stars.

Choreography

For today’s performance, I thought T-ara really performed strongly! Perhaps this might even be their best stage yet. All the girls seem to be relaxing more with each performance – especially Eunjung. I think Eunjung has suffered a lot recently personally so for her to perform on stage obviously took a lot of heart and courage. I think she’s gradually feeling more comfortable on stage again – it must be so difficult to get yourself psyched up to perform if you really don’t want to.

T-ara - Sexy Love Inkigayo

The girls really performed the choreography flawlessly! You can tell that they’ve worked really hard for their comeback, I don’t think I’ve enjoyed a dance routine from them as much as this one for a long time! I really enjoyed YaYaYa because it was cute! You can always count on T-ara to have a unique dance routine! That is one of the reasons why I love T-ara so much – they work so hard to deliver. T-ara hwaiting!

Overall rating for Choreography – 5 / 5 stars.

Vocals

T-ara - Sexy Love Inkigayo

I thought T-ara performed this really song very well today. Maybe it wasn’t as strong as Music Bank but I still think they all sang well – especially Hyomin, I thought she sang the best today. And also, of course kudos to Boram who is stealing some limelight from the main vocalists of T-ara at the moment!

Overall rating for Vocals – 4 / 5 stars.

Overall Score

The Overall Score for T-ara’s Sexy Love performance on Inkigayo is… 3.5 / 5 stars!

Review Conclusion

T-ara – Sexy Love on Inkigayo 16th September 2012 – reviewed by K-pop Peach on September 16th 2012.
I was disappointed by the style and staging for today’s episode but I still thought T-ara performed strongly with lots of heart. A big
Score – 3.5
/ 5 stars.

T-ara - Sexy Love Inkigayo

T-ara – Sexy Love – Music Core 15th September 2012 Review

16 Sep

For our third Live Stage Review post, we’ll review T-ara’s Music Core stage of Sexy Love from 15th September 2012.

I’m really excited to see T-ara performing again. Granted, I’m disappointed they didn’t manage to get an all-kill like they did with Lovey Dovey (which was such a huge hit!) but for a while I thought T-ara might never perform again so to see them make a comeback has been fantastic! I am so proud of the girls and hope they continue with success. I really hope that by the next time they release a song, the scandal will have been forgotten about and they will get another all-kill or award.

Reviews of stages cover three  areas: Style & Staging, Choreography and Vocals. I’d love to hear your feedback !

Style & Staging

T-ara - Sexy Love Music Core

I really liked this concept. It’s very different from their stage yesterday but the girls again showed fantastic versatility and I loved the cute outfits. I mean come on, even I want a dress with cupcakes on it! 。◕ ‿ ◕。

Chun Li or Boram?

Chun Li or Boram?

I think I prefer these outfits to the ones from Music Bank, especially the fact that they wore boots with the cute pink dresses! I think this gave the outfit a bit of an edge without being overly cutesy. Props also for the hairstyling in this performance – I think it’s fantastic! Especially Boram’s super cute ox horn buns! Boram… or… Chun Li…? I’m too confused!

I thought each of the girls’ close up at the start of the stage were really pretty and they all looked flawless! I need to find out which BB cream they are using ¬_¬;;

In terms of the staging itself, I liked it. I’m not entirely sure where they filmed the performance. It looks like some kind of wonderland or theme park? It reminds me of Lego land and whilst I do like the setting (especially the scenes featuring Qri and Ahreum sitting down), it also felt a bit weird – especially the weird models of people.

Also, I didn’t enjoy the visual effects they used. I liked the petals or confetti that floated on the screen but didn’t like the balloons of Sexy Love or the ‘cartoon’ effect they randomly applied. The less said about the balloons the better! But, all in all I really liked this stage!

T-ara - Sexy Love Music Core

No more balloons!

Overall rating for Style & Staging – 5 / 5 stars.

Choreography

T-ara - Sexy Love Music Core

I thought T-ara performed the Sexy Love dance flawlessly today. You can tell that their hard work and training has been paying off. I also think that the dresses and boots allowed them to move better so the more flexible dance moves were more fluid and flowed better. I also think that the girls performed with a lot of heart – especially Eunjung. I noted that Eunjung was a little down in the last performance but today she seemed a lot more upbeat (is it just me or has she also had her hair dyed lighter?).

Jiyeon also impressed today as did Boram! Honestly, I don’t think Boram has ever looked cuter! She’s so small and cute! I think Hyomin looked gorgeous and I was really impressed by the power of Ahreum’s rap and dancing skills. I think Ahreum makes a nice addition to the group but still wish Hwayoung was in T-ara! Hwayoung hwaiting ∩( ・ω・)∩!

T-ara - Sexy Love Music Core

Overall rating for Choreography – 5 / 5 stars.

Vocals

T-ara - Sexy Love Music Core

Unfortunately T-ara performed to the backing track on today’s Music Core so I can’t review their vocals!

Overall rating for Vocals – 0 / 5 stars.

Overall Score

The Overall Score for T-ara’s Sexy Love performance on Music Core is… 4 / 5 stars!

Review Conclusion

T-ara – Sexy Love on Music Core 15th September 2012 – reviewed by K-pop Peach on September 15th 2012.
I loved T-ara’s style and staging for Sexy Love on today’s Music Core; I also loved their performance and choreography. They all looked so cute! Special highlights were Boram and Ahreum but unfortunately they didn’t sing live. Still, a great concept and charismatic performance!
Score – 4
/ 5 stars.

T-ara - Sexy Love Music Core Hyomin

As a special treat today for reading my review, continue to see the gorgeous close ups of T-ara at the start of today’s performance.

Click to see T-ara’s stunning close up shots from Music Core

KARA – Pandora – Music Core 15th September 2012 Review

15 Sep

For the second Live Stage Review post, let’s focus on KARA’s Music Core performance from today with Pandora.

I really like KARA, they are one of my favourite groups in Korea and for the longest time Mister was my most listened to song ever. It’s still at position four for most plays! The thing that I always love about KARA songs is they have a driving beat that doesn’t stop. It really gets me in a dancing mood!

As ever, we review the live stage on three different areas: Style & Staging, Choreography and Vocals. Without further ado, the review below!

Style & Staging

KARA - Pandora Music Core

I thought this was a strong concept but a little bland. Because KARA are one of the smaller girl groups, I think they need to deliver a little more with their stages to catch the audience’s attention. If you remember back to the STEP promotions then you can see they really tried hard with those. However, I was a little underwhelmed by the simple staging and colour choices.

Everything is very purple…

I liked the outfits and thought the accessories were a nice individualistic touch but I wasn’t so keen on the jackets. I mean, when one of the highlights of the stage is the girls dropping their jackets slightly to reveal their shoulders – that isn’t too exciting in my book!

Overall rating for Style & Staging – 3 / 5 stars.

Choreography

KARA - Pandora Music Core

I thought the girls shined in this performance! You can tell they are giving their all and the choreography is on point. Although the Pandora dance routine doesn’t really feature a signature move like their other dances (or other groups’ dances), I still thought it was fresh and was energetic in keeping with the song’s melody and sound.

Overall rating for Choreography – 3.5 / 5 stars.

Vocals

KARA - Pandora Music Core

KARA sang live on this performance and I was really impressed! Although some bits, like the ‘up and up’ bit were the backing track, at least they made this clear and didn’t mime to it. I thought all of the girls sang really well especially Seungyeon!

I thought Seungyeon stole the show with her powerful vocals at the end of the performance and today’s Music Core. Although Music Core doesn’t have awards, I think if you close the show it’s the greatest accolade and KARA did that today so congratulations to them! Seungyeon’s vocals are enough to earn them 5 stars!

Overall rating for Vocals – 5 / 5 stars.

Overall Score

KARA - Pandora Music Core 3

The Overall Score for KARA’s Pandora performance on Music Core is… 4 / 5 stars!

Review Conclusion

KARA – Pandora on Music Core 15th September 2012 – reviewed by K-pop Peach on September 15th 2012.
I liked KARA’s performance on Music Core and thought Seungyeon’s vocals were awesome! However, I think the overall stage and style were quite bland.
Score – 4
/ 5 stars.

T-ara – Sexy Love – Music Bank Comeback Special 14th September 2012 Review

15 Sep

So I am going to post a new section to the blog – reviewing the live stages of acts on the biggest music programs. Today’s review will focus on T-ara’s comeback special on KBS’ Music Bank with Sexy Love!

Each review going forward will cover three topics: Style & Staging is the first, then Choreography and finally Vocals. Style & Staging will cover everything from outfits, makeup, lighting, backing dancers, set design and so on. Choreography will of course cover the hot dances routines of any performance but also the performance itself.  Not all songs have a dance routine so it will also cover the enthusiasm and finesse  of the performance. Finally, vocals will cover the singing! Each section will receive a score out (1 – 5 stars) and then final tally is added up to give a final score! Note, if the performers are miming then they will receive no stars for the Vocal section.

Still with me? Any questions? Let’s get to it!

Although the girls have been promoting Sexy Love for a week already, this is their comeback on Music Bank as last week’s performance was cancelled due to KBS’ concerns over the bullying scandal. However, I don’t want to dwell on that issue on this post.

Style & Staging

T-ara - Sexy Love Music Bank

I loved this performance of Sexy Love! The girls start off above the stage on a bridge and are dressed in sexy black dresses and some even have cute hair accessories. This style is used exclusively for the famous robot dance that goes with the song. I think the girls look fantastic! I also love the different hair styles and accessories with some girls wearing cute bows in their hair whilst Boram gets a little white hat! I think this outfit looks very sophisticated and Hyomin looks hot!

T-ara - Sexy Love Music Bank

The girls then change to chic pink suit inspired by Michael Jackson’s 70s style. I like this outfit less but I think it goes well with the style of dancing. It reminds me a little of After School’s Because of You MV – fierce tailoring that highlights the strong dance moves and shapes. A shout out for Boram again though as I think she looks exceptionally gorgeous with her current hairstyle. I also thought Soyeon looked cute and Hyomin looked very sophisticated with her sleek look. However, I’m not a huge fan of Eunjung’s wavey bob (especially her bangs) and Qri’s hairstyle could use more shape to fit with some of the moves better but overall I think T-ara look chic!

T-ara - Sexy Love Music Bank

I have to also say that I loved their stage! I thought the bridge at the top for the robot dance was really cool! To separate the stage into two different performance areas gave the comeback special an extra height that you don’t normally see in performances. Some might say this is just a gimmick but I thought it looked cool!

Overall rating for Style & Staging – 4 / 5 stars.

Choreography

T-ara - Sexy Love Music Bank

I love the choreography of Sexy Love! I genuinely think it’s one of their best routines yet – not too simplistic like Bo Peep Bo Peep but also not too fierce and dramatic like I Go Crazy Because of You. I think that’s one of the many reasons why I like T-ara so much; they are really versatile.

I thought in this performance the girls tried really hard to give a charismatic performance and entertain their fans. Music Bank is obviously a big deal so they tried their hardest and I think it shows. Jiyeon was definitely charismatic, as was Hyomin. I think Eunjung was still holding back a little – she still seems very fragile when performing but I think she gave it her all.

Overall rating for Choreography – 4 / 5 stars.

Vocals

T-ara - Sexy Love Music Bank

T-ara are often criticised for not having the strongest vocals in K-pop compared to other girl groups, however I think this is unfair. Soyeon has a beautiful voice and she sings with lots of emotion and heart. I thought each member sang well today – including Boram who often doesn’t get more than a single line! Eunjun, Hyomin and Soyeon were my stand outs this performance. What were yours?

Overall rating for Vocals – 4 / 5 stars.

Overall Score

T-ara - Sexy Love Music Bank

The Overall Score for T-ara’s Sexy Love comeback on Music Bank is… 4 / 5 stars!

Review Conclusion

T-ara – Sexy Love on Music Bank 14th September 2012 – reviewed by K-pop Peach on September 14th 2012.
I think this has been a solid performance and a strong comeback stage on Music Bank. I especially liked the styling and staging, and all of the girls gave such strong performances – lots of charisma!
Score – 4
/ 5 stars.

Nakashima Mika – Nagareboshi Review

17 Nov

Today, I’m starting something new on this blog by actively reviewing songs, albums, singles and releases. Hopefully I’ll also have time to review other things, such as movies, television shows, books and videogames. I hope to strike a nice little balance between news, personal musings and reviews. Wish me luck! Please also feel free to leave me feedback about my reviews; it’d be greatly appreciated.

For the first review, I’m going to review Nakashima Mika’s Nagareboshi (translated as Shooting Star).

中島美嘉 – 流れ星
2009.11.04

1. 流れ星
2. Memory feat. DAISHI DANCE
3. 流れ星 (Instrumental)
4. Memory feat. DAISHI DANCE (Instrumental)

Mika’s new song continues to to show her love of soul music. The song has a great soulful vibe, helped by her mellow vocals. Mika seems most comfortable singing songs with an r and b or jazz touch to them. When I first became interested in Mika’s music, I loved her distinctive soulful voice combined with pop melodies. But nowadays as her music as progressed and I’ve come to appreciate so much in the music I hear, it is her more jazz orientated releases that I find coming back to time and time again. The best quality about Mika’s work is that her voice soothes you like the sweet smell of spiced apples in Winter time. This song is no exception. In fact, the production values, complete with bells and shimmering noises make this a great Winter song. Listen to it as you walk down the dark street and you’ll definitely feel warmer.

The b-side is another DAISHI DANCE production, Memory, following on from 2008’s SAKURA ~Hanasugami~. Memory is actually taken from DAISHI DANCE’s latest album, Spectacle. It’s quite a nice little electro-pop song, although it’s not electro-pop like Lady Gaga or Black Eyed Peas. It’s more kind of… late 90s Ibiza trance music. Lots of piano. I actually quite like it though, the melody is very simple yet really endearing. Something about the simplicity I guess. Mika sings in English for the entirety of the song which is a pleasant surprise. She’s by no means perfect at it, but kudos for trying. The song reminds me a little of Lumines era Nobuchika Eri.

The PV for Nagareboshi is very emotive. Scenes of Mika are cut with scenes of a woman travelling on a train. Mika looks beautiful in a gorgeous dress whilst she swings at night-time. I’m not sure why, but she looks pretty all the same. The actress on the train is very good and you really get quite emotional as you watch her. It’s all rather voyeuristic, but interesting nonetheless. The single sleeve is also pretty; I think Mika looks amazing in her dress. I don’t know who the designer is, but it’s very cool.

Overall, this is a pretty nice little release, it’s not going to set the charts on fire (it hasn’t, it debuted on the weekly Oricon charts at number 10; which is still a pretty good success). I think Mika might have lost something along the way… I’m not sure what, I can’t explain it. Actually, perhaps it’s the fact that she’s making music that she wants to in the way that she wants to, but this just might not be commercial enough.

Rating – 6/10 peaches.