Music Reviews

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Labels and artists interested in being featured here may contact Michael McCarthy at cinema365@gmail.com. Follow Michael on Twitter https://twitter.com/paris365.

D.HOLIC: MINI-ALBUM VOL. 1: CHEWY CHEWY

D.Holic is a South Korean girl group formed in 2014 by H.Mate Entertainment. They debuted on October 23, 2014 with the single "I Don't Know." The group consists of five girls, Hami, Nine, Duri, Danbee and Rena. I wish I could tell you why they're called D.Holic, specifically what the D stands for, but I've just given you all of the information I could find about them when I googled them.


July 28, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >
MINX: LOVE SHAKE

Minx is a K-Pop girl group produced by Happy Face Entertainment, the agency behind Dalshabet. The rookie group's five members are Ji Yoo, Soo Ah, Yo Hyun, Da Mi and Si Yeon. They made their debut last year with the single "Why Did You Come To My Home," which is best described as a fine slice of EDM pie. To that end, I found the track to be rather delicious and was really looking forward to hearing more from them.


July 23, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >
9MUSES: 9MUSES S/S EDITION [SPECIAL SUMMER ALBUM]

9Muses, also written as Nine Muses, is a K-Pop girl group that initially began with nine members but after the last bunch of line-up changes, they decided to stick with eight: Euaerin, Pyo Hyemi, Park Minha, Moon Hyuna, Park Kyungri, Son Sungah, Jo Sojin and Lee Keumjo. But I suppose the name still works because they were named after the nine muses of Greek mythology and there's no law that states that they must have one member to represent each of the muses. But perhaps they will add a ninth member at some point in the future.


July 22, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >
Shin Yong Jae: 숨 쉴때 마다

Google translates the title of this new single by 4MEN's Shin Yong Jae as "Every breath swilttae."* And, no, I have no idea what that last word is supposed to mean. Clearly, it's something that gets lost in translation. Unless it's a name. But I doubt it. In any case, yes, Shin hails from a boy band called 4MEN. I'd never heard of them before, to be entirely honest, but Generasia indicates that they've been around since 1998, though they were initially called Four Men. Currently, it seems there are only two members, Shin and Kim Won Joo.


July 20, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >
MICRODOT: 마이크로테입 (Microtape Mixtape EP)

Microdot -- real name David Shin -- hails from New Zealand but was one half of the popular Korean rap duo All Black, along with Lee Joon-Kyung (aka Dok-2). By the time he was 13, he was already quite famous, especially in Seoul. But in 2006 he decided to go back to New Zealand. Now he's 21 and an Auckland University marketing graduate. But he's trying to make it as a Korean rap star once again. Sort of. You see, he's largely rapping in English, but he's back in Seoul and recently competed on Show Me The Money, the Korean reality television/rap competition.


July 15, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >
SISTAR: SHAKE IT

Another summer, another fine mini-album from Sistar, otherwise known as Hyolyn, Bora, Soyou and Dasom...

Shake It opens with the title track, a red hot dance stomper produced by Duble Sidekick. It's a '90's throwback in terms of the bouncy beats and twinkly synth, but it's the vibrant horns and the girls' perfect harmonizing that make it so addictive. The chorus slips inside of your head like caramel or hot fudge in your mouth and boy is it tasty.


July 14, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >
GIRLS' GENERATION: PARTY

"Hey girls. Do you know what time it is?" "It must be party time." "Here we go!"

You know summer has officially arrived when Girls' Generation release a hot new song about it being party time. Summer is even mentioned in the song multiple times. Can you beat that?


July 07, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >
THE SOLUTIONS: NO PROBLEM!

The Solutions are a fantastic new Korean pop/electro/rock band consisting of Park Sol (vocals), naru (guitars), Park HanSol (drums), Kwon OhKyung (bass). And they are very exciting! I was only halfway through listening to the EP's intro track "No Problem!" when I knew I was going to love them. It was *that* delicious. Something about the way they blend heavy doses of synthesizers and loops along with your traditional bass, guitar and drums is downright invigorating.


July 06, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >
AOA: HEART ATTACK

AOA, otherwise known as Ace of Angels, is back with their exquisite third mini-album, Heart Attack. And, wow, is it yummy. Delicious K-Pop bliss from start to finish.


July 02, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >
KAGEYAMA RISA: JELLYFISH

Kageyama Risa hails from Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan and has been releasing music since 2007. Interestingly, she's released 24 singles, Jellyfish being the latest, but only two albums so far. That said, she's released quite a few singles during recent months, so one assumes that her third album can't be very far off.


June 29, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >
JAY PARK: 몸매 (MOMMAE)

Korean music superstar Jay Park's new single "몸매" comes with the English title "Mommae," which had me wondering if that's Korean for mommy. But I translated the Korean title with Google translate and it spit out "Shape." So, who knows what it's about? He does use the word "girl" and calls himself "sexy" a second or so after, so it probably is another guy-rapping-about-sex song. But, hey, he's rich and famous so he gets to rap about whatever he wants, right? Actually, he gets to rap about whatever he wants because of this cool thing called freedom of speech.


June 27, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >
STYLIPS: GIVE ME A SECRET

Japanese girl group StylipS' "Give Me A Secret" [Japanese: ギブミー・シークレット] is a high energy, exhilarating burst of J-Pop best listened to in the morning when you're in the mood for some audible caffeine. With beats that speed by as fast as your typical AKB48 tune, it'll literally kick your ass out of bed. Seriously, just you try to lie there and listen to this one. There's no way you're falling back to sleep. They should install this in alarm clocks instead of that annoying chiming. The world would be a better place.


June 23, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >
CNBLUE: WHITE EP

Following band leader Yong Hwa's solo debut, CNBLUE returns to Japan with their new WHITE EP. And it's fantastic, further evidence that CNBLUE is one of the most exciting bands on the planet right now.


June 18, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >
NAMIE AMURO: _genic

It's been almost two years since we last heard from Namie Amuro, during which time fans have wondered why she hasn't even released a single here and there. Well, the answer has arrived in the form of her 11th album, the just released _genic. You see, Namie was tired of releasing several singles and then putting out an album that compiled them with a handful of new tracks. This time around, she decided that she wanted to wait and put out an album where every song was brand new, not a single track being released prior to the album. And, you know what? It was a very wise move.


June 16, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >
KARA: IN LOVE

The girls of K-Pop's highly successful KARA are In Love and if you've never fallen in love with them before then chances are you finally will with what Yesasia calls "a more mature Kara." But, to my ears, without knowing the language, the music sounds just as fun and light-hearted as ever. Take opener "Starlight," for example, it's a potent shot of euphoria-inducing, disco fever that races from your speakers to your head and heart as soon as you click play, at which point you can't help but get up and dance your ass off.


June 11, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >
J-POP SINGLE SPOTLIGHT: miko, Mayu Watanabe, SKB☆69, MINMI

miko: ライオンのうた


June 08, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >
HEIZE: "품 스윗 품 [PUME SWEET PUME]" FEAT: MONOKIM

Heize is a relatively new Korean female rapper/singer. She released a mini-album last year and did a couple of guest appearances on tracks by Whiteez and Crucial Star more recently. Her latest single, "Pume Sweet Pume" is her first new solo track in roughly a year and it features a guest appearance by MONOKIM.


June 05, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >
℃-ute: The Middle Management~女性中間管理職~/我武者LIFE/次の角を曲がれ

℃-ute are a Japanese girl group. They are part of the Hello! Project, produced by Tsunku, who also writes most of the group's songs. Following some indie singles, they made their major label debut in 2007 and won the Japan Record Award for Best New Artist that year. And they've been kicking ass ever since. Well, at least to the extent that pop stars can kick ass.


June 01, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >
VICTIM MENTALITY: HEAVY METAL IS BACK

As you could guess from the title above, Victim Mentality is a heavy metal band. And I'm talking about '80's hair metal. It's interesting because I've seen a photo of these guys and they don't look very old. Certainly not old enough to have been around when hair metal was all the rage. So, they're experiencing heavy metal, the music I grew up with, in the same way that I experienced Led Zeppelin and The Doors and whatever other music I heard that was released before I was old enough to pay attention (or before I was even born).


May 27, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >
BOA: KISS MY LIPS (FULL ALBUM REVIEW)

Following the release of the luscious title track recently, the Queen of Pop that is BoA has now released the full length Kiss My Lips album, which is her eighth Korean album for those of you who are counting. Not bad for someone who's celebrating the 15th anniversary of her career this year. Especially when you consider how many Japanese releases she's done on top of that.


May 21, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >
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