Music Moves Me: Because I’m a Girl

Happy Monday, readers!

I am on countdown mode. I have about five more days until my 10-day vacation starts. I am so excited! This is a vacation I dreamed of because I want a stay-cation. Well, I also do other things too. I have to clean because my sister is going to stay at my apartment for the next two months to study abroad here.

Last week’s Music Movies Me Monday was about a “song where a particular instrument has moved you – whether it’s a favorite vocal sound, bass line, drumming/beats, piano, guitar solo, …’. This week is free choice, but I want to feature a song or a music video that really has moved me and brought me to tears.

click here to find out

Results for the First Battle of the Songs: SHINee or Mohamed Ali?

Just a friendly reminder that I am still looking for writers for my December series, “25 Days of Holiday Songs” Challenge. I only have six blog posts currently and I need 19 more. I really want them by December 1! Please send me an email if you are interested ASAP!


Last week, I started the first ever Battle of the Songs competition on my blog! I am very thankful for the number of responses I got for the match.

Without further ado, who won the first Battle of the Songs: SHINee from South Korea or Mohamed Ali from Denmark?

Click to found out the winner!

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Battle of the Songs: SHINee vs Mohamed Ali

I always wanted to talk about the covers of various songs. However, I want to try to do in a competition style: one version vs. another version. I don’t know if I am going to do this weekly or monthly yet. I have so much content that I have yet to publish. But, here is the first one!

So here is the very first “Battles of the Songs”: SHINee vs. Mohamed Ali

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Sunshine Blogger Award

I mentioned last week in the Versatile Blogger Award post that I received another award. It’s the Sunshine Blogger Award this time from the lovely Amanda, the author of Walk a Myelin* My Shoes. I was so honored to be given this award by Amanda and I want to thank her for it.

If you haven’t had a chance to visit Walk a Myelin* My Shoes, you most definitely check it out as it is inspirational for maintaining a healthy lifestyle in today’s busy world. The content is also relatable as we have experienced various events in our life that Amanda writes about each week.

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Do You Remember the Early 90s? This Song Will Help You to Remember!

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Last week, I had no work! Nine days of freedom and do whatever my heart desired. Well, my heart got what it wanted: sleep, watching dramas, reading, writing, and listening to music nonstop. It was glorious to be able to freely listen to music at any time of the day. There was even a different genre expressing the mood of each hour: dancing at noon with Eurobeat, experiencing the bareness and beauty of the sunrise with Toshinobu Kubota, and feeling the crisp late summer air with smooth jazz. Music makes life wonderful.

During this week-long vacation, I found a new earworm that was so addictive. I listened to this piece nonstop every day during my time-off. I also tried to perfect the dance moves and sing the lyrics.

For this blog post, we have to go back twenty years when this song was hip and cool. That decade was…

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The Long Awaited Return of S.E.S, the Goddesses of Kpop

s-e-s-remember

It’s 2017 with another set of anniversaries. And, what better reason for the legendary girl group S.E.S to reunite!

S.E.S was formed in 1997 with three girls: Sea/Bada, Eugene, and Shoo. The three girls came from diverse backgrounds and with different personalities. They came together to form a “dream team” that competed against the boyband H.O.T.

The girls released their first album, “I’m Your Girl”, in November of that year. The album wasn’t a smash hit as people wasn’t instantly flocking to the music stores to buy it. Instead, it was a steady seller that eventually sold 650,000 copies by the end of 1998. The video for the lead-in self-titled single was a popular choice among listeners as it was #1 for thirteen weeks on the video channel m.net.

The group continued to release albums with their biggest selling in 1999 with the album, Love, which has my favorite S.E.S song of all time, “Twilight Zone”. However, the group disbanded after the release of  “Friend” (in South Korea, 2002) and “Beautiful Songs” (in Japan, 2003). The girls decided to pursue solo careers after the disbandment.

Fast forward to the end of 2016 when Sea, Eugene, and Shoo held a press conference to announce that they were getting back together for a limited time to celebrate their 20th anniversary. They documented the road towards their reunion with a reality TV Show “Remember, I’m Your Girl”.

But, their epiphany came on January 1st when S.E.S released their anniversary album “Remember”. The album features a remake of their famous 1999 song “Love” and throwbacks to 90s’ pop. One of these songs is “Paradise”, a lighthearted number about being easy-going and confident about love.

When I first listened to the song, I seriously thought I was listening to a 90’s style S.E.S song that I never knew before. “Wait, why is this video in HD? They didn’t have this kind of high definition when I was a kid”. That is when I looked down in the description and saw that this was a new song.

Nevertheless, “Paradise” is my favorite track off the album. The girls haven’t lost their golden touches as they sound wonderful vocally. I also love how Shoo throws down the rhymes during the rap, it’s very slick. And finally, I am so happy that the choice genre for this song is New Jack Swing. As maybe a few would know, I looooooooooooooooooove New Jack Swing a lot. L.A. Reid, Babyface, Janet Jackson, and others were my favorite artists who were big in the NJS world back in the late 80s and 90s. The once-dead genre is making a comeback in Kpop music as SHINee’s 2016 song “1 of 1” features NJS. Both “1 of 1” and “Paradise” have been popular with listeners so far, thus revitalizing NJS once more. I am hoping that 2017 might be the year where a lot of Kpop artist will utilize the NJS sound in their music. I’m just praying.

What do you think “Paradise”? Check the song’s video below. Also, what is your favorite track off Remember? If you haven’t listened to it yet, I strongly recommend that you do soon.

“You Are My Destiny, Lovelyz”

 

To tell you the truth, I have never heard of Lovelyz until last week when they released their new mini-album “A New Trilogy”. The Kpop scene is very confusing as there are many groups debuting and some groups pull the whole “Hey, we are an old group but we are having a comeback, I mean, we are releasing new stuff”. Did you know that 100 new groups made their debut in Korea last year alone? That is madness! Too many to keep up with. 😦

I discovered “Destiny” while looking at a group on reddit called “Kpop”. Someone played this song along with the opening for the new Sailor Moon series. Although the lyrics might not fit the premise of the magical girls’ show really well, the song is pretty catchy and reflects a clear picture of a girl’s anxiety for wanting a boy to be with her because it’s destiny.

The key for this song is how the strings are executed. The combination of an augmented electric calpyso keyboard and violins that used a mixture of martele and staccato techniques to help build drama surrounding the song. You can heard this during moments like the beginning before the first verse. With the key changing through the middle of the transitional melody, the violin and the keyboard brings out the key change`s mysterious atmosphere that pulls the listener In.

I think the instrumentation for “Destiny” is more satisfying than the vocals. Lovelyz isn’t a bad singing group, unlike some Jpop idol groups I have heard. However, their vocals as a whole are the typical Kpop idol group vocals. There isn’t anyone who really brings flavor to the song with a hidden punch or extraordinary techniques. Again, all the credits go to the instrumentation. They should release a karaoke version of this song to show how awesome the instrumentation is.

The other charm point of this song is the music video. There a lot of beautiful camera angles and shots throughout the video. Also, the use of the warm filter really highlights this beauty. You are probably wondering what is with the circles and marbles. In my opinion, they are physically symbolizing the lyrics. The basis of the lyrics is about a person whom the song`s character refers to is his or her soul mate. They are the center of their universe, the earth whom the character revolves around, and the gravity that pulls the character close. Circles always move in an endless circular motion, just like this character does with her soul mate. It sounds a bit cruelly but hey, I find it a bit romantic. The marbles, circle drawings, and the circular camera motions are a perfect allegory to the song’s theme.

The song and its music video are most definitely exquisite and pretty. I don’t know how catchy the song is to other Lovelyz songs because I haven’t heard any other song by this group. If you have any recommendations, please feel free to let me know in the comments section below. However, “Destiny” is a most definite recommendation for those who like melodramatic sythnopop songs with gripping instrumentation and/or anyone who likes a pop song with a good instrumentation.