Unflinching Reviews

[Review] SISTAR’s “Touch My Body” brings fantastic simmering summer heat


With their latest comeback “Touch My Body”, SISTAR proves that even their more easygoing singles can bring enough heat to power the long summer months. If “Touch My Body” surprises, it’s with its relatively laid-back hip-pop beat. SISTAR singles usually vacillate between sensual disco numbers and energetic pop songs, so a more subdued, warm backing track is a pleasant shift. ... Read More »

Indie Focus: leeSA thrives with breezy pop hooks on ‘Where is leeSA?’


I will be the first to admit that I did not care for leeSA‘s ‘Wiv Hcube‘, which I thought did not blend the r&b and singer-songwriter elements very well. I enjoyed her original songs, but her covers didn’t quite hit home with me. Her latest album, however, puts all of my worries to rest. —– Leaning more on her singer-songwriter ... Read More »

[Review] Girl’s Day’s “Darling” is an average summer release wrapped in glorious packaging


It’s near impossible to discuss Girl’s Day without examining the dichotomy in the group’s image. What started off as a group largely defined by its insanely (and somewhat aggravating) cute image evolved into a group dedicated to all the sexiness this side of SISTAR. “Darling” splits the difference between Girl’s Day’s past and present, and while the group appropriates both ... Read More »

[Review] f(x) produces another winner with rejuvenating album, ‘Red Light’


First of all, let me begin this review by stating that I absolutely loathe the term ‘hipster’ being applied to music. The word has been tossed around more than Attila The Hun‘s dick to describe this album, and it actually makes me angry — mainly because the concept of a hipster makes me angry. But also, trying to equate K-pop ... Read More »

Indie Focus: Humming Urban Stereo remakes his hits with the help of idols on ‘Reform’


For all his adventures in electronic music, Lee Jeereen, or Humming Urban Stereo, loves dance music. Throughout his career as a producer, Humming Urban Stereo firmly placed his music in upbeat dance that’s seemingly energetic and quiet at the same time. So it’s appropriate that for his tenth anniversary in the business, Humming Urban Stereo released ‘Reform‘, in which the ... Read More »

Indie Focus: Phonebooth brings melodic rock realness with ‘Wonder’


When Phonebooth released ‘Wonder‘, I knew that I had heard of the band before somewhere. And when I went to my library, sure enough, I found a couple of their previous albums. But while I had heard of Phonebooth, I hadn’t recalled a whole lot about them, so ‘Wonder’ became a new first impression for me. —– Overall, the album ... Read More »

[Review] FIESTAR’s “One More” is so incredibly close to perfection


The best and worst thing that one can say about FIESTAR’s “One More” is that it’s pretty flawless as a promotion for midriff-high pants and sleeveless tops. “One More” is a triumph of a song for a couple of key reasons. First, the production is spot on; a sexy disco number which borrows from the best elements of the genre. ... Read More »

[Review] f(x)’s “Red Light” is a treat for both the eyes and ears


If there was a problem for f(x) heading into its “Red Light” comeback, it was that the group was increasingly becoming one note. And while that sort of branding may have helped the group establish itself when it was debuting, over time the same-sounding electro-pop anthems blasted over a stream of neon-colored dance-in-a-box sets started to become predictable. Last year’s ... Read More »

[Review] Younha’s “Umbrella” understandably popular but a bland effort

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After releasing a CF song for “Dunkin’ Donuts” and featuring in a string of singles, including Jung Joon Young‘s “Just The Way You Are“, Younha is finally back with her latest single, entitled “Umbrella“. —– I’m a huge fan of Younha, and she’s one of the few people in K-pop that I actually pay attention to all-year-round, so naturally I ... Read More »

[Review] Hyomin’s “Nice Body” should’ve just stopped at the teasers


Hyomin’s first solo effort, “Nice Body”, is so bland that it somehow does its rather dull title a disservice. “Nice Body” could be described as a laid-back Brave Brothers summer jam and it would be about halfway accurate. Brave Brothers does indeed produce “Nice Body”, and it is, in fact, summer time. Unfortunately, “Nice Body” isn’t so much a laid-back ... Read More »

[Review] AOA’s “Short Hair” is a reminder that the group is insanely attractive


“Short Hair”, the latest single from AOA, represents a slight adjustment for the group. AOA, like a ton of other groups, had been focused on providing as many sexy concepts as one could shake a proverbial stick at. And while some groups have seemingly doubled-down time and time again in their efforts to turn sexiness into popularity, AOA has somewhat ... Read More »

Indie Focus: Pavlov’s garage rock sound in ’26′ is one of the best of the year


I’ve been seeing a lot of posts about Pavlov through Love Rock Company’s Facebook and Twitter recently, and while I had heard of the band from the label a while ago in passing, I’ve been waiting for a release to really dig in with the music. So when ‘26‘ finally dropped on iTunes, I bought it and started listening. I ... Read More »

Music Video Lessons: TAHITI’s “Oppa Is Mine” says to kidnap & torture guys you like


TAHITI are back with “Oppa Is Mine“, a bubbly, cutesy, sexy song all rolled into one along with themes of stalking, kidnapping, and torture … wait, what? Yes indeed, valuable life lessons are provided for delulu fangirls in this gem. So the girls of TAHITI are basically a gang that have a boy on their mind, and they dance around ... Read More »

Indie Focus: MasterClass & Darley bring their best for ‘Darley’s MasterClass’


While I don’t listen to MasterClass as much as I’d like to, his instrumentals are some of the best to listen to in the background while still being productive. I stumbled upon ‘Darley’s MasterClass‘ after MasterClass had shared the info on Facebook, and I ended up buying the album almost immediately. The album was a collaboration with Darley, who I ... Read More »

[Review] Wassup’s “FIRE” is an unapologetic trashy treasure


Wa$$up walks the fine line between fully conceived brand and gimmick. If Ke$ha were to split into seven Korean idols and then trained in the art of twerking, it would come as close to capturing Wa$$up as anything else on this planet. And with “FIRE”, a song ostensibly meant to promote the World Cup but one that ends up being ... Read More »