Upcoming Releases

This is where I give my predictions and first impressions on a release based on the teaser or highlight medley that has been released.

[Upcoming Release] f(x) – Red Light

After “Pink Tape”, f(x) is finally coming back a year later with “Red Light”. I see what’s happening here. To make an f(x) album, you just gotta name it something like “Blue Elevator”. Or “Silver Printer”. Or “Orange Washing Machine”. SM Ent, you best not be stealing my brilliant album titles.

The album highlight medley was just released and, just as I expected, SM realized that K-pop listeners do, in fact, enjoy listening to interesting music and they have decided to continue on building upon the standards set by “Pink Tape”. It’s too early to tell if “Red Light” will exceed or meet expectations but this album preview seems promising.

Brilliance does not seem to be equally distributed among the entire album, which is a slight letdown (but let’s be real, it’s K-pop and there is bound to be two or three filler tracks per album), but the promising tracks have much potential to surpass their predecessors on “Pink Tape”. I think the title track was appropriately chosen because it sounds the most intense and exciting out of all of the tracks on the album. Definitely crossing my fingers that all of those previews for Red Light are not lying to me and definitely hoping that f(x) will earn a larger degree of commercial success with this release; they sure deserve it.

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[Upcoming Release] Seo In Young – Love Me

Seo In Young - Love Me

 

Seo In Young’s newest single release “Love Me” is set for release on October 4th and I am going to be honest, I am kinda excited for this release. Seo In Young’s “Anymore” was an explosive pop anthem that I just absolutely fell in love with. Young doesn’t have the greatest vocals out there; let’s be real, the girl cannot hit her high notes with much power. However, she compensates for her shortcomings as a vocalist through the composition of her releases.

I think “Love Me” might be Seo In Young’s next “Anymore”. The signs for a strong release are all there. Seo In Young’s vocals lack oomph. How about some speak-singing with a featured rapper to compensate? Seo In Young lacks visibility in the k-pop realm. How about some vibrant, hipster-esque fashion to stand out? I hear some retro sounds with some vocal distortions and other neat effects in the teasers released thus far so this is shaping to be a rather interesting single.

Teaser 1

I am really enjoying the straightforward beats mingling with the piano in the background as Seo In Young speak-sings, leading to a rap à la Dynamic Duo’s Gaeko. This teaser sounds slick and classy and very RnB and Seo In Young actually has a nice tone to her voice in her vocalization in this teaser. The rap counterbalances the more demure sounding speak-singing, making for an overall balanced and smooth tone and I am thoroughly excited for this release already.

Teaser 2

If this is the chorus of the song we are listening to, I am really liking the contrast between the speak-singing and rap section touted in the first teaser and the repetitive, dance pop chorus. This teaser was definitely more to showcase the visual aspect of the release as we get to see more of Seo In Young being quirky, (a little awkwardly) sassy, and looking fly as hell in her multitude of hipster and urban outfits.

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Conclusion:

This dance single seems like it is looking to be a very solid release from Seo In Young, who is striving to get her moment under the sun after her departure from Jewelry. I think the continuation of her hipster image from “Anymore” was the right decision because it bestows Seo In Young with a colorful, different image. She isn’t the cookie-cutter pop princess that many solo female artists get marketed to be. Seo In Young is a rebel and her hipster vibe is definitely helping her rebellion. Why must solo female artists only market themselves as sexy vixens who sing only about getting revenge on their ex-lovers? Seo In Young shows that you can be a female going solo in the k-pop industry and still release some colorful pop.

[Upcoming Release] IU – Between the Lips

IU - Between the Lips

IU’s upcoming album, “Modern Times”, is dropping on October 7th but she has already released a neat little teaser to quell some of the anticipation. From the overall look of the teaser photos and the snippet of this track that we have been offered thus far, it seems that IU is abandoning her whimsical, innocent sound from her previous releases for a more mature, refined sound.

I am anticipating heavy influences from jazz and RnB as her teaser boasts a very jazzy sound and the music video was very classy and certainly sensual. During IU’s previous release, I was hoping for her to commit to a more mature concept as it was supposed to be a sort of coming of age album. However, I was somewhat disappointed by the recurrence of a whimsical, more childish tone that a handful of the songs on the album had.

This release seems to be striving for something more serious and grown up because the Nation’s Little Sister has finally matured to the point that it would seem extremely odd for her to sing another orchestral pop song. Yes, I understand that it is her niche but IU needs to progress as an artist and I think this release might be her ticket to adulthood. From the seductive staring while on the bed to the jazzy little sample of a track on the album, “Modern Times” seems very promising and I am excited to listen to it.

[Upcoming Release] 2NE1 – Do You Love Me

2NE1 - Do You Love Me

 

2NE1 just released their first teaser for their upcoming single, Do You Love Me, and, I don’t know about y’all, but I am hella excited.

From the tiny snippet we get to hear in the teaser, it sounds like 2NE1 is returning to their electro roots and coming back to their I Am The Best days. I predict that it will be a party-worthy track replete with bold synths and reckless abandon (at least, that’s what I hope the track will be like).

The home-video concept for the music video is very interesting notion. While I know it’s mostly due to time and financial constraints, I think it’s a rather interesting change of pace for 2NE1. An MV composed of vlogs isn’t revolutionary but it indeed conjures up a visually more organic and natural image. If the teaser is an indication of anything, I think the MV is going to be a fun, crazy snapshot of the ladies of 2NE1 partying up and that’s honestly all I kinda want. A lot of fans are disappointed because they’re demanding a flashier spectacle but I think a more honest and raw home-video style MV is the way to go with their second single. Like how restrained everything felt with Falling In Love, I think these girls and YG are saving the best for last when they go full throttle for their full album release later this fall.

Can I just say how adorable everyone is in the teaser though? Dara is hella adorably psycho and CL is like the big sis. Minzy is playing with a towel and Bom is wearing a balloon and dancing in a bathtub. If the MV is as crazy as this teaser, I will be thoroughly entertained for a long while.

Patience, Blackjacks. Let’s just be grateful for the fact that YG and 2NE1 are brave and bold enough to go for a single release per month until their album release. I think that in itself is a commendable and spectacular thing.

[Upcoming Release] EXO – Growl

EXO - Growl

From the 29-second snippet, it sounds like a catchy and slick RnB track that I would listen to. I was impressed with EXO’s first album (though I did not write a review for it, shamefully; but definitely check it out if you haven’t!) and this newest addition to the album doesn’t sound like it will disappoint.

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[Upcoming Release] f(x) – Pink Tape

f(x) Pink Tape

So I would like to add in a new segment to AKR called “Upcoming Releases”,  in which I give my preliminary opinions on the tracks in an album or single based on what I hear from a highlight medley or teaser. A highlight medley, for those who don’t know, is just a video that is a collection of small samples of every song in a soon-to-be-released album. In this case, I will be giving my preliminary thoughts on the songs in f(x) upcoming album, “Pink Tape”, which is due for release on July 29th. Click here to listen to the full album!

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