Unflinching Reviews

Indie Focus: Humming Urban Stereo’s ‘Delicacy’ continues down the right path

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Humming Urban Stereo is back with his newest album, ‘Delicacy‘. ‘Delicacy’ starts off right off with an instrumental song called “Ozon (Remake).” This song was a track off Humming Urban Stereo’s 2007 album ‘Baby Love‘, and there are three other remakes like it on this album. “Hello Stranger” was featured in Mint Paper Project‘s ‘고양이 이야기‘. It’s an adorable song ... Read More »

Indie Focus: Hanumpa rocks intensely and elegantly on ‘Tinnitus’

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Talk about an end of the year treat. Hanumpa‘s third album, ‘Tinnitus‘, is yet another addition to the list of remarkable rock releases this year. Not that I’m surprised; Hanumpa has been one of the more exciting acts in the Korean rock scene these past few years. While their second album failed to leave much of an impression on me, ... Read More »

Indie Focus: Sweden Laundry sends you to coffee shop dreamland in ‘순간’

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Sweden Laundry is back with their infamous “coffee shop music” sound, something that’ll undoubtedly send you to a magical dreamland. Their second mini-album is called ‘순간‘ and it has a range of songs that will either make you want to curl up by a fire and relax or make your head bob. Sweden Laundry’s album is perfect if you want ... Read More »

Indie Focus: Yellow Monsters show their evolution in ‘The Van’

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At the start of Yellow Monsters‘ ‘The Van‘, we jump right in with “빨갱이” and get an aggressively fast presentation. The music video for the song is only half the length of the official song, which clocks in at 9:58, and for a Yellow Monsters song, that’s almost operatic. Near the 2:45 mark, the song adds a ballad-style cut before ... Read More »

[Review] WASSUP’s ‘Shut Up U’ is a fantastic hot mess

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“Shut Up U“, the latest music video from twerk queens WASSUP, is an utter mess of EDM, colors, lights, and processed vocals that never lets up and never stops. It makes little sense and seems to revel in that fact. And, because of all that, it actually (marvelously) works. Like their past efforts, “Shut Up U” has a tiring effect ... Read More »

[Review] SPICA’s “Ghost” is predictably and unfortunately flawless

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If there is a fear to be had when it comes to SPICA, it’s that the group may have already maximized what it does best. There is comfort in finding one’s comfort zone in pop music and SPICA has seemingly known theirs from the start. Strong ballads and R&B tunes worked together perfectly when paired with SPICA’s five great vocalists. ... Read More »

Indie Focus: Startline continue down the same great path with ‘Across The Night’

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When it comes to melodic pop punk, Startline have established themselves firmly as a band to watch. With their previous EP, ‘Light My Fire‘, and single, “Time Goes By,” they’ve shown that the three members know how to craft really great songs. ‘Across The Night‘ isn’t anything different from past releases, and that’s perfectly fine. —– “Great Escape” is the ... Read More »

Indie Focus: J. Rabbit’s music has continually progressed, and ‘Stop & Go’ is no exception

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I have been a big fan of J. Rabbit since they released ‘Looking Around‘ two years ago. “Happy Things” is still one of my go-to feel-good songs, and I am always excited when they release a new video. So, I was really surprised when I had not heard about their new album ‘Stop & Go‘ until now. With every album, ... Read More »

Indie Focus: Unchained’s ‘Thorn’ is a bold and convincing debut album

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Unchained is a Busan-based rock band that has been around for quite a while, releasing EPs and singles here and there, yet I had never heard of them before. Their last EP was in 2005, and they’ve been relatively quiet ever since. So their recently released full-length album, ‘Thorn‘, really came out of the blue — but at full force. ... Read More »

Indie Focus: Urban Zakapa’s collab with Soyu on ‘Space Between’ improves on ‘Some’

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Urban Zakapa released a lovely single, ‘Space Between’, featuring SISTAR‘s Soyu, and it’s supposedly the part two of hit song, “Some“, sung by JungGiGo and Soyu. Although some may argue differently, I think that “Space Between” is much more interesting piece than the highly sensationalized “Some”, and there are a few reasons why. —– Despite “Space Between” being it targeted ... Read More »

[Review] Jieun’s ’25’ is the risk of ‘trying something different’

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With “25”, TS Entertainment and Jieun attempt to branch out and give their resident lead vocalist something a little more “pop-py” than they have in the past. And while “25” is a departure from Jieun’s other solo efforts, it’s sadly not nearly as memorable. For better or worse, the best aspect of “25” is a delightful little Duble Sidekick horn ... Read More »

[Review] Ailee’s “Magazine” mini-album represents creative & dynamic growth

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Ailee is, hands-down, one of the most effortlessly talented acts in K-pop today — she’s proof that pure talent can and will take you places. I admit that this usually makes me slightly more lenient towards her releases because her vocals take precedence over whatever repertoire-related issues her EPs have, but it’s not as if her material has been especially ... Read More »

[Review] Ailee’s ‘Don’t Touch Me’ is some good ol’ fashion ear candy

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The best thing about Ailee is that she understands exactly what she’s good at and how to best utilize her talents. While her taste in R&B music can run the risk of sounding derivative, Ailee’s latest single “Don’t Touch Me” manages to put together a music video which is so competently made that concerns over its relative lack of creativity ... Read More »

[Review] TaeTiSeo’s ‘Holler’ mini-album hits all the right notes

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If there’s one thing I’m thankful for with regards to how SM Entertainment has been handling TaeTiSeo, it’s that they don’t just put out boring ballads on the grounds that they’re “the voices” of SNSD. While “Twinkle” wasn’t exactly a masterpiece — it lacked the spunk light-heartedness that material like that demands — I’d like to think that “Holler” is ... Read More »