BTS’ Love Yourself 承 Her Album Review

BTS Love Yourself Her album coverThe Love Yourself  ‘Her’ album was first released on the 18th of September 2017 and is the first of three albums in the Love Yourself trilogy.

The album features eight songs and one skit, including a solo intro from member Jimin, a vocal line song and an outro from the rap line.

The album’s concept largely focuses on the positive, happy and somewhat clichéd parts of love, but also tackles some more serious social issues and includes two diss tracks.


note: all music videos and live performances in this video come with English subtitles, so please click the caption button if you wish to view these.

If you want to know what my ratings mean please refer to this. NOTE: I rate out of 5, however there are 7 levels (5,4,3,2,1,0, N/A).


TRACK 1- Intro: Serendipity


Intro: Serendipity was first released on the 4th of September 2017 as a trailer for the ‘Her’ album and features member Jimin.

  • sweet, ballad-like chill-pop song
  • clear and pure vocals with a minimal instrumentation
  • beautiful tone of voice which helps express the meaning of the song

The universe has moved for us, without missing a single thing, because our happiness has been planned”

The song perfectly introduces the theme of this album and talks about a love which has saved the narrator’s life and brought him joy and which he believes to be ordained by the universe.

4 microphones out of 5
Overall, the song has a gorgeous song which I would happily listen to forever, but the lyrics are quite clichéd. Hence, I give it a 4/5 rating.

Did you like this song? Check out this clip of Jimin singing the song a cappella!


TRACK 2- DNA


DNA is the title track off of this album and was also the song they performed at the AMAs in 2017.

  • bright, poppy sound with some EDM influence
  • not my preferred style of music

However, I do want to commend both V’s opening verse (0:44) for his gorgeous low voice, and Suga’s rap sections (e.g. at 2:00), which I absolutely loved.

“Our encounter is a mathematical formula, the law of religion, the ways of the universe”

DNA talks about a universe-ordained love. Despite exploring the same theme as Intro: Serendipity I found the lyrics of DNA more cringe-worthy and cheesy, perhaps because the song lacks the simplicity and sincerity of Intro: Serendipity.

1.5 microphones
Overall, I didn’t like this song a lot simply because it’s not a style of music I enjoy listening to. However, if you are a fan of upbeat and cheesy pop with an EDM influence, then this may well be the song for you.
The lyrics don’t do anything for me, but the parts which I pointed out earlier that I did really enjoy raised the rating of this song from a 1/5 to a 1.5/5.

Want to listen to the full song? Check out this live performance!


TRACK 3- Best of Me


Best of Me is a b-side track off of this album for which The Chainsmokers helped produce the beat.

  • features The Chainsmokers, and the beat sounds like a Chainsmokers beat
  • too repetitive, cliched and predictable
  • really not for me

“It was raining, it was snowing, but all unhappiness stopped, you brought heaven to me”.

Best of Me is a cheesy love song.

Unfortunately, some of the lyrics in this song just irk me. For example the line “because without you there’s no me” . I hate the romanticising of love that is just so overwhelming that you forget who you are as your own person.

It is important to retain a sense of self and individuality in a relationship and, like many love songs, Best of Me seems to have fallen in to the trap of taking love and passion too far. Apart from this, it’s also a massive cliché and not at all original or interesting.

0 microphones
Overall, even though EDM is not my type of music, I don’t think this is a particularly good EDM song either. Additionally, after looking at the lyrics I began to dislike this song anymore, resulting in me rating it 0/5. 

Did you like this song? Check out this lyric video. 


TRACK 4- dimple


dimple (also known as Illegal) features all four vocalists of the group: Jungkook, Jimin, V, and Jin.

  • future bass sound (EDM/pop sub-genre)
  • not a massive fan of the instrumentation
  • actual melody not pleasing, don’t enjoy the interjections (e.g. at 1:55) as they break the flow of the song

“That dimple is illegal”

The lyrics are quite boring and typical of a cheesy love song. It’s also repetitive with not much variation except for two small sections, which often puts me off a song.

I don’t know whether puns like “I call you illegirl” made this song better or worse, although they are funny in a dad-joke type of way.

1 microphone out of 5
Overall, the song was just whatever and quite easy for me to overlook. I expect it could appeal to some people’s personal preferences as it isn’t a bad song, the sound just wasn’t for me and I’m generally not a fan of cheesy or repetitive lyrics. Hence, I give it a 1/5. 

Did you like this song? Check out this 8D version!


TRACK 5- Pied Piper


Pied Piper is a diss tack with a twist: rather than dissing the haters, this song disses the fans!

  • nu-disco sound
  • catchy and repetitive instrumentation
  • high-pitched vocals (e.g. at 2:44)
  • annoying if over-played, otherwise quite fun

“…start studying for the exams, your parents and boss* hate me”

Although BTS has written many diss tracks in the past, this is the first time they’ve written one towards their fans. This song displays the kind of down-to-earth sense of humour which makes everyone fall in love with the members.

3 microphones out of 5 (rating)
Despite my great love for the lyrics, I am only going to give it 3/5 simply because the song itself is not the most listenable. The song is great in small quantities, but if you listen to it too often you could end up with a headache!

Did you like this song? Listen to it on Spotify!


*note: the Korean word 부장님 can mean boss, director (e.g. of a school), manager etc.


TRACK 6- MIC Drop


This is another diss track, this time targeting the haters and doubters. A remixed version of this song featuring Steve Aoki was released in November 2017.


note: in this post, I will be reviewing the original version.


  • trap beat
  • hip-hop diss track along the line of the Cyphers
  • highlights the excellent rapping skills of the group

I particularly love Suga’s verse at 1:07.

“Sorry mom, your son’s too hot”

In terms of lyrics, Suga’s verse at 1:07 is once again my favourite, with lines that are at once scathing, boastful and vulnerable. For example, the reference to Suga’s parent’s lack of support for his chosen career path, makes this song particularly special for those who are familiar with the rapper’s story.

However, generally speaking, this song lacks some of the clever word play which I so enjoyed in Cypher pt. 3 and the lyrics could have been better.

3 microphones out of 5 (rating)
In conclusion, whilst the song itself is very good, some of the lyrics do leave something to be desired and there was little that was particularly outstandinghence I am giving it 3/5. 

Did you like this song? Check out the music video for the Steve Aoki remix!


TRACK 7- Go Go


Go Go is a song which criticises society, something which has become a trademark of BTS albums and sets them apart from many other artists.

  • hip-hop song
  • boasts catchy tune and overall feel-good sound
  • rap verses mix smoothly with the vocals
  • no sections stand out as particularly impressive or interesting
  • annoying if listen to often

One of the group’s most goofy tracks to date, this song seems playful and fun, but actually addresses the struggles of today’s youth.

This dissonance between sound and meaning is entirely intentional and is reflected in the lyrics, helping to communicate that beyond materialism and shallow phrases like “YOLO”, is a much darker and more painful truth about the hardships of being a young person in society.

RM has said: “In Korea, YOLO has become a big key word for young people because we don’t have money and it’s really hard to get a chance to earn a lot of money.” Read more on this here.

2.5 microphones
Overall, this song has an important and complex meaning, and an egaging sound, although I find it can be a little bit annoying if you listen to it often. I also think that without knowing the meaning, I would not appreciate the song as much as I do due to the repetitive chorus. This repetitiveness is intentional and helps deliver the message of the song, but in terms of listening experience it isn’t the best. Hence, I give the song 2.5/5.

Did you like this song? Check out this special Halloween-edition dance practice! (Dance starts at 1:38.)


TRACK 8- Outro: Her


Outro: Her features BTS’ three rappers: RM, J-Hope and Suga.

The rap line’s unit songs are usually a hit or miss for me. Not because I don’t like the rap line, because I love them, but simply because I’m not the biggest fan of rap. I like rap in songs, but I struggle to listen to a whole song of just rapping. Hence, the instrumentation becomes really important.

  • rap is okay
  • dislike the instrumentation, which made me dislike the entire song

“All of my wonder, the answer to that,  I call you her, her, ’cause you’re my tear, tear”

The lyrics, however, are very clever. Not so much in terms of the meaning in relation to society or anything else, but in their subtle hints towards the rest of the Love Yourself era.

1 microphone out of 5
Overall, whilst this single line impressed me a lot, the song simply wasn’t for me. I didn’t like the beat and found the song too repetitive. Hence, I give the song a 1/5.

Did you like this song? Listen to it on Spotify!


I found this album disappointing. There were a few good songs,  but there were too many songs with sappy, cheesy lyrics and annoying or displeasing instrumentation.

Although the whole point of the album was to explore the happy, loving and exciting parts of young love, the album often felt stale and clichéd.

I would have loved to see BTS take a fresh and insightful view on happy love like they do with all of their other concepts, but the route they went feels insincere and unsatisfactory to me. The kind of love explored also felt a little bit unhealthy in some of the songs, as I mentioned previously.

In the context of the entire trilogy, it could be argued that the reason they went this route was to show how this kind of all-consuming love eventually develops into something negative (see my review for Love Yourself  ‘Tear’ tomorrow), and if this is the case then it makes me like the album a bit more and has caused me to increase my rating a little bit,

Overall, this album was not the best album from BTS and I’m giving it a 1.5/5.

1.5 microphones

If you want to know what my ratings mean please refer to this. A 1.5 star album rating means I liked some of the songs, but not all, and that either the cohesiveness or variety or music quality was good. NOTE: I rate out of 5, however there are 7 levels (5,4,3,2,1,0, N/A).


Who are BTS?


add me on Spotify to see playlists!


BTS are a South Korean boy group who debuted in June 2013. There are seven members: RM (formerly known as Rap Monster), Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook. V is also an actor and RM, Suga and J-Hope all have solo careers as well. 

Also check out my introduction to BTS and stay tuned for more BTS posts to come!


So that’s it for this review! I hope you enjoyed. This is the beginning of a series for the next couple of days, so watch out for my breakdown of my favourite BTS songs as well as reviews of the rest of the Love Yourself trilogy!

What did you think about this album? Let me know in the comments below!

Thank you for reading this post today! I hope you enjoyed and found some new music to listen to! Happy listening, Keira x.

If you have a blog, pop a link down below along with a comment and I’ll be sure to take a look!


If you have any requests for other reviews (be that books or music, old or new), leave me a comment below, pop me an email or go here for more information.

Have your own music or book to submit? Take a look at my review policy.

Also make sure to follow me on Twitter to see what the new theme is each week, follow this blog so you’re notified when I next post, and add me on Spotify (I’ll add you back and we can see what sort of songs each other listen to)!


an introduction to BTS

Hello everyone! If you don’t follow me on Twitter you wouldn’t know but this week’s them is “rags to riches”. As a special surprise, I will be posting every single day this week except for Sunday and Monday through Friday will be dedicated to BTS, a band that went from being nobodies to one of the biggest boy groups in the world.

Today isn’t for sharing the best BTS has to offer, but rather giving you a general overview of who they are, who the members are and a little bit about their discography! Stay tuned until the end of the post because I’ve recommend a couple of videos that you definitely don’t want to miss! So without further ado, this is BTS!

disclaimer: I’m not an expert so if I got something wrong, please let me know! 


Who are BTS?


BTS are a 7 member boy group from South Korea. They are known for complex concepts and storylines linking much of their discography and for addressing important social issues in their music.

In recent years, BTS have taken these positive messages to another level, such as collaborating with UNICEF for the LOVE MYSELF campaign which is intended to help end violence. The group is also known for producing their own music.

BTS was originally intended to be a hip hop group, but their company (Big Hit Entertainment) then decided to debut them as a K-Pop group. Their company was very small and they struggled a lot at the beginning of  their career, making their current success even sweeter. Their fans are called ARMY.


Meet the members of BTS


namjoon.jpgRM (formerly: Rap Monster)

RM (born: Kim Namjoon) is the leader of the group. He is also the main rapper and participated in the Korean underground rap scene before becoming an idol. He helps write and produce most of BTS’ music.

RM was born on the 12th of September 1994 and is known for his clumsiness and his kind, well-spoken and wise nature. RM is the only member with fluent English and taught himself by watching the popular sitcom “Friends”.

Check out the music video for the song “Do You” off of RM’s 2015 mixtape RM!


jin.jpegJin

Jin (born: Kim Seokjin) is the oldest member of the group and also the visual. Apart from this, he is also one of the vocalist‘s of the group and is learning to play the guitar.

Jin was born on the 4th of December 1992 and is known for his love of flying kisses and dad jokes, as well as his impressive cooking ability. He has a bachelor’s degree in acting and is currently pursuing his master’s. He also has two sugar gliders.

Check out the music video for Jin’s song “Intro: Epiphany” off of BTS’ 2018 album LY ‘Answer’!


sugaSuga

Suga (born: Min Yoongi) was an underground rapper before becoming the lead rapper of the BTS. He plays the piano and was one of 25 songwriters and producers to be made a full member of the Korea Music Copyright Association in January 2018.

Suga was born on the 9th of March 1993 and is known for his tsundere personality, his savageness and his love for sleep. He has suffered from mental health problems in the past, and often tries to support others through difficult times through his music.

Check out the music video for the song “Agust D” off Suga’s 2016 mixtape Agust D!


j-hopeJ-Hope

J-Hope (born: Jung Hoseok) is a main dancer, rapper and sub-vocalist. He was a locally famous street performer before joining BTS and also helps contribute to some of BTS’ choreography.

J-Hope was born on the 18th of February 1994 and is known for his sunshine personality and extravagant sense of humour. He has declared that he aspires to be a beacon of hope and positivity for those who are stressed and worried.

Check out the music video for the song “Daydream” off of J-Hope’s 2018 mixtape Hope World!


jimin.jpgJimin

Jimin (born: Park Jimin) is the other main dancer of BTS, as well as the lead vocalist. Jimin was a top contemporary dance studio at his art’s high school and can often be found singing the highest notes in BTS songs.

Jimin was born on the 13th of October 1995 and is known for his sweet nature and eye-smile, his dual personality (adorable off stage, with a deadly charisma on stage) and for being a hard-working perfectionist. Luckily, Jimin isn’t quite so hard on himself now as he was when he was younger!

Check out the music video for Jimin’s song “Intro: Serendipity” off of BTS’ 2017 album LY ‘Her’!


aea0c7f1c9de95e2e0f7596af6ed043b.jpgV

V (born: Kim Taehyung) is a vocalist with a deep, soulful voice and, as of 2018, a member of the dance line. V was named the most handsome man of 2018 by T C Candler and also had a supporting role in the 2016 TV series “Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth”.

V was born on the 30th of December 1995 and is known for his creativity and unique ways of thinking, as well as his love for photography, fine arts and Gucci clothes. He is a sweet man who loves kids and his puppy Yeontan.

Check out the music video for V’s song “Intro: Singularity” off of BTS’ 2018 album LY ‘Tear’!


jkJungkook

Jungkook (born: Jeon Jeongguk) is the main vocalist of the group as well as lead dancer. He has recently become interested in song production and also enjoys video editing.

Jungkook was born on the 1st of September 1997 and is the youngest member of the group. He is nicknamed the Golden Maknae* because he is good at everything. He loves (and excels at) not only performing arts, but also sports and gaming.

Check out Jungkook performing his song “Begin” off of BTS’ 2016 album Wings!


*note: maknae= youngest


BTS’ Discography


BTS has an extensive discography, including 10 albums, 4 repackaged albums, 2 Japanese albums and 3 solo mixtapes (one for each rapper). Their discography can be split into four distinct sections: their hip-hop era, the HYYH era, the Wings era and the Love Yourself era.


note: please click the caption button for English subtitles on the videos below.


THE HIP HOP ERA

BTS debuted in 2013 with a hip-hop based sound which they kept throughout their 2013 and 2014 albums. Some tracks tackled social issues, whilst others were songs about love, some happier than others.

  • debut song, the title track of 2 Cool 4 Skool
  • hip-hop
  • talks about pursuing your dream and doing your best for yourself without judging others

THE HYYH ERA

“HYYH” stands for 花樣年華 (Hwa Yong Yeon Hwa), meaning “The Most Beautiful Moment in Life”, which is the name of BTS’ 2015 albums and their 2016 repackaged album The Most Beautiful Moment in Life: Young Forever. With this era, BTS started branching out from their signature hip hop style.

  • the title track of The Most Beautiful Moment of Life pt.1 
  • hip hop, dance pop and R&B fusion
  • talks about needing the support of those you love (be that friends, family or a lover) and the anxiety of trying to hold onto a love and youth that cannot last.

THE WINGS ERA

The Wings era spans the end of 2016 and the first half of 2017. This era is the shortest of them all, consisting of only one album, Wings, and a repackaged edition, You Never Walk Alone. The group continued to explore different genres in this era and the albums featured a solo song for each member.

  • the title track of Wings
  • moombahton* trap with a reggae base
  • about temptation and a willingness to sacrifice everything for something, inspired by the book Demian by Hermann Hesse

*moombahton is a fusion of reggae and tropical house

THE LOVE YOURSELF ERA

This era spans the end of 2017 to the middle of 2018 and contained the largest variety of music styles of any era to this point. This era consisted of two albums and a repackaged album, talking about the positives of love, the negatives, and finally calling us to love ourselves.

  • the title track of Love Yourself ‘Her’
  • future bass*
  • DNA talks about a destined, overwhelming, world-changing romance

*future bass is a type of EDM with some influences from dubstep

MIXTAPES

Each of the rappers have released a mixtape and earlier this year Jungkook teased that he might be next^.


HERE ARE SOME VIDEOS THAT I RECOMMEND YOU WATCH!


note: these are not music videos.

THE BEST INTRODUCTION VIDEO I’VE FOUND:
THEIR LIVE PERFORMANCES ARE AMAZING:
AND RM HAS A KNACK FOR SPEECHES THAT MAKE YOU WANT TO CRY:
BECAUSE PUPPIES:

And that’s it for today! I hope you enjoyed this post and maybe learned something!

Are you excited to listen to some of BTS’ music now? Or are you already a fan? Please let me know what you thought and leave me a comment if you have any questions… I’ll do my best to answer them!

Thank you for reading this post today!  Watch out for tomorrow’s post on my favourite BTS songs of all time! Happy listening, Keira x.

If you have a blog, pop a link down below along with a comment and I’ll be sure to take a look!


If you have any requests for other reviews (be that books or music, old or new), leave me a comment below, pop me an email or go here for more information. You’re also welcome to request other posts as well!

Have your own music or book to submit? Take a look at my review policy.

Also make sure to follow me on Twitter to see what the new theme is each week, follow this blog so you’re notified when I next post, and add me on Spotify (I’ll add you back and we can see what sort of songs each other listen to)!

If you have a blog, pop a link down below along with a comment and I’ll be sure to take a look!

5 Socially Critical Songs You Should Listen To

Hi everyone! Welcome to a new week and a new theme! Check out my twitter for the announcement of the theme each week. Today I’m going to be talking about songs which have something to say about the state of the world when they were released.


Neck Deep- Happy Judgement Day


Starting off the list, we have a very recent and very political song from 2017. The song connects to me on a personal level and, I think, may well resonate with you as well, talking about how the world feels like it’s going downhill. So much progress has been made in terms of equality and peace, but recent events such as Donald Trump being elected president and BREXIT seem to be taking us a step back. This song addresses those issues and feelings.


BTS- Go Go


BTS is known for writing songs which are both socially conscious and socially critical. Go Go criticises society for creating a situation in which the current generation can only spend their money, thinking “YOLO” because life is difficult and few people can get stable jobs which they enjoy doing. This is, according to the group, a particularly hot topic in South Korea at the moment. The group has also mentioned that people throw around terms like “no regrets” or “YOLO” all the time, and get criticised for it, but no one really stops to think about why those sayings and behaviours have become so popular.


The Black Eyed Peas- Where is The Love?


Going back a little bit older, this song criticises society for focusing on major problems elsewhere in the world but turning a blind eye to the issues the people closer to home are facing. The Black Eyed Peas call the government and society hypocritical for preaching love and peace when they themselves are hateful and violent.


VROMANCE- The Jobless


Even without English subtitles, the first few english words of this song already make it incredibly relatable. This is song about the difficulty of finding a job after university and feeling like everyone around you is getting on with their careers and being successful, whilst you are being left behind.


Emeli Sandé- Read All About It, pt. III


Possibly the most emotionally raw song on this list and perhaps one of the most positive in a way, Read All About It is a powerful and inspiring song about the power of knowledge and speaking your mind about what you believe and how that can change the world.


And that’s it! Do you know any other songs that critique our society?

What did you think of these songs? Let me know in the comments below!

Thank you for reading this post today! I hope you enjoyed and found some new music to listen to! Happy listening, Keira x.


If you have any requests for other reviews (be that books or music, old or new), leave me a comment below, pop me an email or go here for more information.

Have your own music or book to submit? Take a look at my review policy.

Also make sure to follow me on Twitter to see what the new theme is each week, follow this blog so you’re notified when I next post, and add me on Spotify (I’ll add you back and we can see what sort of songs each other listen to)!

If you have a blog, pop a link down below along with a comment and I’ll be sure to take a look!

9 of the Best Songs for Summer

Hello everyone! I don’t know about you, but when summer comes around I feel the need to drink lots of lemonade, go on a lot of picnics and make a playlist. Summer has a feeling like no other time of years, so why not have the perfect soundtrack to go with it?

Today I’m going to be talking about 9 of my favourite summery songs. So without further ado, here (in no particular order) they are!


1. B.A.P- HONEYMOON


HONEYMOON is the title track off of B.A.P’s 2017 mini album BLUE. It features honey-sweet vocals, a summery beat drop and soothing rap verses. The song has characteristics of many genres, as most of K-Pop does, but most notably has a light-EDM influence, which the group has manipulated excellently.

The song is about finally reaching the end of a hard time, lyrics telling the listener that good times will come after bad times, with lines such as:

“the darkness will end. I feel good, it is true, life is colourful”

and

“you do just as you thought, whole new day”

With a summery feel and such a positive message, this is a song that you should definitely add to your summer playlist.

Liked this song? Listen to it on Spotify.


2. Katrina & The Waves- Walking On Sunshine


Walking on Sunshine was first released in this edition for the band’s 1985 self-titled album. It has a fun, upbeat pop-rock sound and is a classic happy song.

The song is about someone who is happy and secure in the love, telling the story of an overwhelming and exciting romance which makes the narrator feel like they’re “walking on sunshine” with lyrics such as:

“I just can’t wait till the day when you knock on the door” 

With such a happy meaning and a catchy chorus, you will be singing along to this song even when it’s not playing!

Liked this song? Listen to it on Spotify.


3. A.C.E- Take Me Higher


Take Me Higher is the title track of A.C.E’s 2018 repackage mini album A.C.E Adventures in Wonderland. The song pairs sweet vocals and soft rapping with a playful  instrumentation to create a catchy, happy and unique summer song. It has a fun pop sound with some R&B influences.

The song is directed to the group’s fans with lines like “choice is my life” referring directly to their fandom. It asks for the continued support of the group’s fans and their loved ones and expresses how completely in love with and dedicated to their job the members are. It also has a more simple meaning, describing the world of a man who has fallen in love.

The simple yet sweet goodness of this track and the innocent and sincere lyrics make this a must-have song for your summer playlist.

Liked this song? Listen to it on Spotify and check out my album review.


4. Shawn Mendes- Lost In Japan


Lost In Japan was first released in March 2018 as the second lead single from Shawn Mendes’ 2018 self-titled album. It combines funk, pop and R&B genres in a skilful and pleasing way.

In the song, Shawn Mendes talks about his desire to visit a could-be lover in Japan, lyrics showing just how much the narrator wants to see this person with whom they have “more than just a friendship” with lines such as:

“I’m a couple hundred miles from Japan, and I, I was thinking I could fly to your hotel tonight” .

Mendes has successfully created a slightly sultry but tasteful song, perfect for those warm summer nights, either by yourself or (if you have a more active love life than me) with your partner.

Liked this song? Listen to it on Spotify.


5. DAY6- Feeling Good


Feeling Good is a b-track off of DAY6’s 2018 mini album Shoot Me: Youth Part 1 and features the group’s preferred soft pop-rock sound with bright vocals and a fun instrumentation which creates a happy and fast-paced, yet relaxed song.

The song can be essentially taken at face value, simply a proclamation of how the members are “feeling good” and are having the time of their lives.

Embodying what everyone desires their summer to be: cool, effortless and full of excitement, Feeling Good is the perfect song for taking a drive, having a party with friends or even sitting on your bed and doing nothing.

Liked this song? Listen to it on Spotify.


6. Owl City- Not All Heroes Wear Capes


There’s no acoustic version needed for Owl City’s 2017 single Not All Heroes Wear Capes. In this ode to the narrator’s amazing dad, a simple instrumentation accompanied by a sweet and sincere voice create a calm and soft summer song.

Listening to this song made me hope that my future children can love their dad this much (and indeed all children) and that all dads could be worthy of this much love.

The lyrics make us all want to go and tell our dad’s how much we love them and, this song makes a little emotional every time I hear it with lines like

“He doesn’t fight crime or wear a cape, he doesn’t read minds or levitate, but every time my world needs saving, he’s my Superman”.

So listen to this song with your dad, with you dad’s dad, with your friend’s dad or even your neighbour’s dad and take Adam Young’s initiative°: tell your dad, or someone important in your life, how much you respect and appreciate them.

Liked this song? Listen to it on Spotify.


7. SEVENTEEN- Don’t Wanna Cry


Don’t Wanna Cry is the title track off of SEVENTEEN’s 2017 mini album Al1 and features a soft EDM-pop sound and is probably the saddest of the songs on this list.

The song shows the members expressing their longing and sad emotions at the end of a relationship, asking questions like “Did you leave because you got sick of me?”

However, the song seems almost uplifting despite its sad nature and the skills of the group really shine.

With a sad, bittersweet song, this chill EDM song is perfect for comforting you when you feel a little bit down this summer.

Liked this song? Listen to it on Spotify.


8. WALK THE MOON- SHUT UP + DANCE


SHUT UP + DANCE is WALK THE MOON’s biggest single to date off of their 2014 album Talking Is Hard. It has a dance-rock sound and is a general feel-good party song.

The song is full of confidence and fun, saying “Oh don’t you dare look book, just keep your eyes on me”, making it a perfect song to dance to, regardless of whether you dance worse than a dad or not.

Fun, carefree and very catchy, it’s the perfect summer party song!

Liked this song? Listen to it on Spotify.


9. ONF- Complete


Complete is the title track off of ONF’s 2018 mini album You Complete Me and features a catchy chorus, a chill yet upbeat sound and a fun beat drop.

The song is a typical, fun love song, singing “you complete me, each piece of my dream is you, you complete me, I’m dizzy please hold me” and capturing an infectious, youthful romantic spirit.

A sweet, youthful and fun song, it’s perfect for the summer and I guarantee it will get stuck in your head… the twist is that you actually want it there and won’t find yourself doing everything you can to get it out!

Liked this song? Listen to it on Spotify.


Summer 2018 playlist cover (toy yellow bus on beach)
Did you like my selections? Be sure to check out the whole playlist for more great summer songs. 

Had you heard of these songs before? Were some of your favourites there or did you discover some new gems?

What summery songs would you recommend? Let me know in the comments!

I hope you liked this post!


If you have any requests for other reviews (be that books or music, old or new), leave me a comment below, pop me an email or go here for more information.

Have your own music or book to submit? Take a look at my review policy.

Also make sure to follow me on Twitter to see what the new theme is each week, follow this blog so you’re notified when I next post, and add me on Spotify (I’ll add you back and we can see what sort of songs each other listen to)!

If you have a blog, pop a link down below along with a comment and I’ll be sure to take a look!

A.C.E’s Adventures in Wonderland Album Review

A.C.E Adventures in WonderlandA.C.E Adventures in Wonderland is a repackage album including all of the group’s prior releases as well as three new tracks. The album was released on the 8th of June 2018. 

CACTUS and Callin’ feature all five members of the group, but due to temporary promotions with the group UNB, the maknae Chan was not able to participate in any of the other tracks. Take Me Higher features all members except Chan, whilst DESSERT and Black and Blue were unit duets. 

A.C.E Adventures in Wonderland track list

The concept of this album wasn’t ever clearly explained and there were numerous theories flying around on Twitter. Obviously, the title is a nod to Alice in Wonderland and fairytale books can be found in some of the teaser images. 

Prior to the release of this album the members had mentioned wanting to explore a variety of music styles, which they clearly accomplished in this repackaged mini album.


TRACK 1- CACTUS


CACTUS was originally released in May 2017, it the group’s debut single and incorporates a variety of genres, including the EDM sub-genre hardstyle.

The instrumentation of this song is probably the most prominent feature of the song and is also very unique in the k-pop genre as hardstyle is a mostly unexplored genre in the industry.  

Highlights of the song include the piano intro (0:03-0:15) and the beautiful clear vocals from main vocals Donghun and Chan (e.g. at 0:33).

Chan dancing to CACTUS gif
Chan dancing to CACTUS

Jun also shows off his beautiful voice, and rappers Byeongkwan and Wow show their versatility, with both rap verses and singing parts.

The lyrics tell the story of the how A.C.E has come through their hardships to end up where they are now, with lines like:

it doesn’t matter who bothers me, I’ll be okay, I won’t be scared.

Overall, the meaning of the song is good and what we hear of their vocals and rapping is excellent.

However, I do wish they had more opportunities to show off their voices, as the instrumentation dominated the song. 

Additionally, whilst I enjoyed the instrumentation and flow of the song overall, I would have liked to see some more variation. Hence, I give the song a rating of 3/5.

3 microphones out of 5 (rating)

Did you like this song? If you did, check out this remix version with SPECTRUM BEAT as well as this English version in which they changed some of the lyrics and dedicated it to fans, whom they call Choice!

If you want to know what my ratings mean please refer to this. NOTE: I rate out of 5, however there are 7 levels (5,4,3,2,1,0, N/A).


TRACK 2- Callin’


Callin’ was originally released on the 18th of October 2017 and was the group’s first comeback, just one week before the members joined both The Unit and MIXNINE (survival shows). 

Following their debut song, the group decided to keep a somewhat similar sound for their first comeback. Callin’ however, is a more complex and musically mature song than CACTUS.

Despite having a very similar beat drop, there is much more complexity and variety of the instrumentation in this song. I particularly love Donghun’s softer verse at 1:32.

Not only is the instrumentation more varied, but the members have more lines in this song, allowing them to display more of their talents. Main vocal Chan shows off his unique vocal tone at 2:15 and the ad-libs from 2:55 add a complexity to the song which I very much enjoy. 

A.C.E
A.C.E

The lyrics of Callin’ follow on from the story told by CACTUS, talking about how the members now feel ready to answer whenever the world calls on them, with lines like

now open your eyes don’t hide anymore

and

anytime anywhere callin’.

It seems a fitting continuation from CACTUSwhich talked about their feelings up to their debut and how they overcame hardship, to now declare their confidence and readiness before the world.

Overall, I like how this song was connected to their previous track: it can be annoying when two songs from an artist seem very similar to each other, but in this case it works as Callin’ clearly builds on and develops the story and emotions from CACTUS.

The greater complexity and variety in this song finds me enjoying the song much more than their debut, which I already liked, so I’m giving it a 3.5/5.

3.5 microphones (3.5/5)

Did you like this song? If you did, check out this live performance!

If you want to know what my ratings mean please refer to this. NOTE: I rate out of 5, however there are 7 levels (5,4,3,2,1,0, N/A).


TRACK 3- BLACK AND BLUE


Now we’ve come to the first of the new tracks on the album! Black and Blue is a song by members Jun and Wow and is rumoured to have been inspired by Beauty and the Beast, which is one of my favourite fairy tales of all time.

Black and Blue has a grittier, hip-hop sound and shows how the group has begun to explore a wider variety of music genres. The song has a very unique and unusual flair as well. 

One aspect of this song which I have absolutely fallen in love with is how they use their two different voices to create a sense of dialogue, for example at 0:11 through the use of interjections and then at 0:25 where the song switches back between rap and singing.

Wow and Jun selfie
Wow and Jun

The narrator of the song talks about how their life has only “black and dark” and invites whoever they are talking to not to give up on them, saying:

“please come into my darkness, use your warmth to envelop me”.

Despite the generally strong and powerful beat and somewhat possessive lyrics, there is a somewhat unexpected emotional vulnerability, especially in the later part of the song around 2:25 where the beat mellows out and Wow says:

“I’m saying I love you please take a listen, please understand my pureness, the solace in my bleak melancholy”.

At first I must admit I wasn’t sure whether or not I liked Black and Blue. Over time I have come to enjoy how it is simple yet complicated at the same time and the mixture of melodies and chanting whispers seems to work really well

Overall, whilst the concept isn’t particularly original, the lyrics are well-crafted and the song is engaging to listen to, so I give it a rating of 4/5.

4 microphones

Did you like this song? If you did, check out this fan-cam of the two performing it at a fan signing!

If you want to know what my ratings mean please refer to this. NOTE: I rate out of 5, however there are 7 levels (5,4,3,2,1,0, N/A).


TRACK 4- Take Me Higher


Take Me Higher is the title track of this repackaged album and the group’s third music video and promotional song. It features Donghun, Wow, Jun and Kim Byeongkwan.

Take Me Higher is completely different from the group’s previous title tracks and takes a chill-pop approach to summery music, marking the group’s first attempt at seasonal music and also their first non-EDM title track. 

The instrumentals and the vocals compliment each other and work on the same level in this song. This doesn’t necessarily make the song any better, but it is interesting and a nice change of pace.

The instrumentation of the song is quite stripped back and includes a snapping sound and occasionally chords, later mixing in some more light percussion as well. 

Casual picture of A.C.E (without Chan) after performing Take Me Higher
A.C.E after performing Take Me Higher

What the instrumental lacks in melody and tune, the vocals deliver in full. The vocals are smooth and melodic, contrasting and completing the instrumental perfectly and their high pitch helps to create a fun and sunny feeling. 

The song also features a rap verse (2:31) written by group member Wow, which has a much more chill, almost R&B sound and provides a nice break in the general upbeat poppy sound of the song. This also leads into this beautiful slower section at 2:48 where Donghun and Jun really get to show off their gorgeous vocals.

For the most part, the flow of the song works really well and the rap verse and break down perfectly balance out the rest of the song so that it never feels boring or overly repetitive.

The chorus might actually be my least favourite part of the song… whilst I mostly like it a lot, there is one line (for example at 1:19) where they sing “everyday, everywhere, everything about you” and I find that the repetition of “every” breaks the flow of the song slightly. Apart from that, this song is wonderful.

This song is really a love song to the groups fans and lines such as “my choice is my life” make this perfectly clear, as their fandom name is choice. The lyrics thank the group’s fans for their love and support with lines like

“my unending gratitude, you’re the reason for my existence”.

Take Me Higher also seems to be a continuation of the group’s previous title tracks (CACTUS and Callin’), continuing to tell the story of A.C.E’s journey.

Beyond this, it is also a simple love song.

Overall, I how Take Me Higher is a summer song without being predictable! They lyrics aren’t particularly unique, but are sweet, and the song itself is catchy and pleasing to the ears so I give it a 3.5/5.

3.5 microphones (3.5/5)

Did you like this song? If you did check out this live performance.

If you want to know what my ratings mean please refer to this. NOTE: I rate out of 5, however there are 7 levels (5,4,3,2,1,0, N/A).


TRACK 5- DESSERT


DESSERT is the third and final new track on this album and features members Donghun and Kim Byeongkwan.

DESSERT  has a  more typical summer sound with a lot of tropical house influence. I’m a bit tired of this genre, which I didn’t love to begin with, so I’m less inclined to like this song than others on the album. 

The song starts off with quite a bare instrumental and slowly builds up, which helps to propel the song forwards quite successfully.

When the vocals start at 0:10 they’re quite high-pitched and have an airy quality, making them seem almost other-worldly in the best way possible.

Selfie of Donghun and Kim Byeongkwan
Byeongkwan and Donghun

The song features a clear beat drop, the only of the three new tracks to do so, which isn’t too repetitive and is broken up nicely by the occasional lyric.

However, the chorus is quite repetitive, which I do not enjoy, although it does sound nice. Unfortunately, the chorus and the beat drop make up most of the song.

The highlight of the song is definitely the section around 1:30 as it provides a nice contrast from the otherwise high-pitched and upbeat song.

Although DESSERT is definitely my least favourite of the new tracks, and although it is perhaps the most simple of all songs in terms of meaning (it’s a very sweet, summery confession song), I absolutely love the lyrics.

The lyrics of this song are not only sweet in terms of emotions, but literally sweet. My mouth is watering whilst reading lines like

“you look as if you were shaking around like cotton candy”

and

“even sand fluttering through the desert is sugar powder”

Overall, I really like how they expressed the meaning through the lyrics, and I very much like the verse in the middle of the song, but the genre and the repetitiveness of the chorus was not for me.

However, if you are a fan of tropical house music you would probably very much enjoy this song and it is all a matter or personal preference. Based on my own music tastes, this song gets a rating of 1.5/5, but someone who likes tropical house could have easily rated it at 4/5.

1.5 microphones

Did you like this song? If you did, check out this fan-cam of Donghun and Kim Byeongkwan performing it!

If you want to know what my ratings mean please refer to this. NOTE: I rate out of 5, however there are 7 levels (5,4,3,2,1,0, N/A).


TRACK 6- 5TAR (Incompletion)


 5TAR (Incompletion) was previously released as a digital single by the group on the 15th of March 2018 and features all of the members except for Chan. An alternate version of the song including Chan exists, but was not included in this album due to his contract with UNB

5TAR (Incompletion) was the group’s first official exploration of other genres as a group and is the groups first ballad. In my opinion, it really showcases the amazing vocal talents in this group.

The vocals start soft and in a comfortable register, creating an intimate and comforting atmosphere. The vocals gently coax the song along, for example this beautiful part at 0:44. The group also experimented with harmonies, which worked really well for them as well. Later in the song, for example at 3:06, the vocals sound much more emotional, creating progression and variety.

Jun and Byeongkwan kissing Chan on the cheek whilst Wow and Donghun watch gif
A.C.E kissing Chan

The only part of the song which I do not like is the end part from about 3:47 to 4:11 where they simply repeat “woah”. It sounds beautiful, but it’s far too repetitive for my tastes and this is something which I don’t like in any song.

The rap section around 2:03 is probably second least favourite part of the song and whilst I don’t not like it, I feel like the intensity and flow doesn’t completely match with the overall atmosphere of the song. It has grown on me overtime, but it’s still not my favourite section of the song.

The instrumentation in this song is quite stripped back and it gives a very raw and sincere feeling to the song, for example at 0:12. The instrumental changes throughout the song to fit the singing or rapping, blending really nicely together.

By looking at the lyrics, it is clear to see that the message of this song is so important and beautiful.

The group dedicated the song to their fans and have said they hope it helps Choice through difficult times in their life. It’s about not being alone anymore, about being proud of yourself and how “happiness is slowly coming your way”.

The lyrics do not urge one to stop crying and feel better, but rather to let it all out. Lines like “please don’t stop your tears” tell the listener how it’s okay to be sad, how you should let it all out and they will be there for you.

These lyrics were written by group members Jun and Donghun, making it even more special.

Overall, I love the meaning behind this song and the majority of the song is excellent, but the repetitive “woah” at the end ruins it a little bit for me, so I will give it a rating of 2/5.

2 microphones out of 5

If you do want to listen to the complete version of the song, you can’t currently purchase it or stream it but there is an official version on YouTube which you can watch here. (Spoiler alert: the song gets a 3 or 4 in this version.)

If you want to know what my ratings mean please refer to this. NOTE: I rate out of 5, however there are 7 levels (5,4,3,2,1,0, N/A).


Overall, I’m quite pleased with this album. Whilst there were no songs that I gave a 5, most of the songs were very good and there was a decent amount of variety of genre and sound. Although not all of the songs suited my personal preference, they were on the most part good for the genre they were.

The concept of the album wasn’t very clearly expressed, but the songs were good individually and there was some continuation through the title tracks, from CACTUS to Callin’ and finally to Take Me Higher. However, there were a few songs which I gave lower ratings and some things that I didn’t like as much. Hence, I give this album a 3/5.

3 microphones out of 5 (rating)

If you want to know what my ratings mean please refer to this. A 3 star album rating means I liked all of the songs to some extent (1 microphone or higher) and the cohesiveness, variety and music quality is decent. NOTE: I rate out of 5, however there are 7 levels (5,4,3,2,1,0, N/A).


Who are A.C.E?


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A.C.E are a South Korean boy group who debuted in May 2017. There are five members: Jun, Donghun, Wow, Kim Byeongkwan (formerly known as Jason) and Chan. Chan is also a member of the boy group UNB.

Check out this introductory post or this introductory video.


So that was my review for A.C.E’s newest album! I love this group with all my heart and I hope you will too.

What did you think about this album? Let me know in the comments below!

Thank you for reading this post today! I hope you enjoyed and found some new music to listen to! Happy listening, Keira x.


If you have any requests for other reviews (be that books or music, old or new), leave me a comment below, pop me an email or go here for more information.

Have your own music or book to submit? Take a look at my review policy.

Also make sure to follow me on Twitter to see what the new theme is each week, follow this blog so you’re notified when I next post, and add me on Spotify (I’ll add you back and we can see what sort of songs each other listen to)!

If you have a blog, pop a link down below along with a comment and I’ll be sure to take a look!