November Comeback Reviews #2 // hotshot, highlight, mamamoo, the boyz, red velvet, dreamcatcher, mino, taemin & key

I have some fun comebacks to review today. Three groups I haven’t really listened to, two japanese debuts, and two solo debuts. I’m so very excited to listen to all of these so let’s get started!

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Hotshot – Early Flowering

About: Consists of 6 members. They debuted on October 31, 2014 under Star Crew Entertainment. Fandom is called HOTPLE.

Members: Junhyuk, Timoteo, Taehyun, Sungwoon, Yoonsan, and Hojung.

Fun Fact(s): Timoteo was going to debut with EXO but he was tired of waiting on them to debut. Sungwoon participated in Produce 101 and placed 11 so he started promoting with Wanna One. Yoonsan can speak French and Japanese. 

Print – This group has been around since 2014 but I think I’ve only heard like… one of their songs? I love how you can tell they’ve been around for a while by their well-developed voices. The song itself is fresh and has a summer-y vibe. 4/5

I Hate You* – While the other song was more happy like they’re in love and they “won’t let you go” this seems more angst and… well, laced with a sort of resentment or hate. However, it also starts to sound more bittersweet towards the middle. I like this group’s sound so far. I’m not quite sure who I would compare them too. But I like it. 4/5

Paradise – This is something I could definitely listen to over and over again. The last two songs as well. What’s really important in a song for me is that I can enjoy it when I actually focus on listening to it and that it melds into the background easily too. This is one of those songs. 4/5

Better – I feel like this could EASILY be played on American radio. You know how there are some K-Pop songs that sound way too K-Pop-y that the Western audience would just not accept? Well this would fit right into the American music scene but it’s still unique and interesting. It’s not something I’d choose to listen to because I’d have to be in a certain mood to listen to this but it’s still great. 3.5/5

Body Talks – This starts off nicely. Each of these songs grab your attention from the beginning and don’t let you go until it’s over. This is also more Western. I like it, but it’s not really the music I lean towards. 3/5

Overall – I enjoyed this album a lot. There was nice variety but the songs still stuck to a particular theme throughout. 3.7 Stars

Highlight – Outro

About: Consists of 5 members, formerly known as BEAST (or B2ST). They originally debuted as a 6 member group under Cube Entertainment in 2009. In 2016, one of the original members left the group. Later that year, the remaining members moved to Around Us Entertainment and became Highlight.

Members: Doojoon, Junhyung, Yoseob, Gikwang, and Dongwoon.

Fun Fact(s): Doonjoon was formerly with JYP and was going to debut with 2AM or 2PM. Junhyung is a former member of the boy group “XING”. Dongwoon can speak English, Chinese, and Korean.

Loved* – I think I’ve heard a few of their songs before. I can’t remember, honestly, but I’ll consider this my first time listening to them. This is similar to Hotshot‘s last two songs where it’s not really what I would lean towards listening to but it’s also not a bad song. There are definitely some interesting instrumentals. 3/5

Wind – I really like this one. I either lean towards the hype songs or the really slow ones. For Highlight I think the slow songs like this suit them the best. 3.5/5

Leave Me Alone – Oh my god this reminds me of Big Bang. I wasn’t expecting that AT ALL. Wow. I miss them. It’s the structure of the song, which is similar to how G-Dragon lays out his songs. That’s basically all I have to say about this one haha. 3.5/5

Nightmare – This is a catchy song. It’s not poppy but more mellow like… Chris Brown? Yeah that’s what it kind of reminds me of. 3.5/5

Loved (Instrumental) – The instrumental is nice. This sounds like something that would be the background music for some kind of instructional/tutorial video or something. 3/5

Overall – This was a good first experience listening to Highlight. I can’t see them becoming one of my favorite groups but I would like to check out more of their stuff in the future. 3.3 Stars

Mamamoo – Blue;s

About: Consists of 4 members and debuted under Rainbow Bridge World in 2014. Fandom name is Moomoo.

Members: Solar, Moonbyul, Wheein, and Hwasa.

Fun Fact(s): Solar is currently taking a language course in Japanese. Moonbyul and Solar are close to members of Red Velvet.

Intro – I absolutely love this EP already. Mamamoo knows how to draw you into a song. This song is extremely simple with vocals and a guitar but it’s still intriguing. 3.5/5

No more drama – This uses a guitar like the first song so this has a similar feel as the ‘Intro’ but it’s much more powerful and colorful in the instrumentals and vocals. 4/5

Wind flower* – I’m surprised this is the title track and not ‘No more drama’ but it’s still a great song. There’s a lot of interesting things they do with the instrumentals and the vocals are great as always. 4/5

HELLO (Solo Solar) – I absolutely loved this. THE VOCALS. 4/5

Better than I thought – This song is a lot slower than the past few songs. It’s a beautiful song and I’d definitely listen to it if I were studying or reading. 3.5/5

Morning – As a song titled ‘Morning’ it does sound like morning. If that makes any sense. 3.5/5

Overall – I enjoyed this album. Music-wise I don’t think Mamamoo can do any wrong. They have such beautiful vocals and their signature sound is amazing. 3.8 Stars

The Boyz – The Only

About: A 12 member group under Cre.Ker Entertainment. They debuted on December 17, 2017 and the fans are called The B (pronounced as Deo B in Korean).

Members: Sangyeon, Jacob, Younghoon, Hyunjae, Juyeon, Kevin, New, Q, Juhaknyeon, Hwall, Sunwoo, and Eric.

Fun Fact(s): Jacob was born in Toronto, Canada. Kevin is from Vancouver, Canada and is fluent in English. Juyeon is the member of the group in charge of Japanese. He also speaks English. Juhaknyeon is half Chinese and half Korean. He can speak English, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Korean. Hwall can speak English. Eric grew up in Los Angeles, USA so he’s fluent in English.

Breath to Breath – I can’t remember if I’ve heard anything from them before but I have been wanting to get into this group. Anyways I was highly anticipating this comeback for that reason and the teaser images looked amazing. This is just an intro so there’s literally nothing interest I can say but it’s cool I guess. It sets the mood for the EP nicely. 3/5

No Air* – This doesn’t really sound like a title song. I don’t know why. It’s good, don’t get me wrong, it’s a good song. Just doesn’t sound like a title song. 3.5/5

Only ONE – Even from this beginning I like it more than the other one haha. I got no hype from ‘No Air’ but from the start of this song I was already anticipating the rest of the song. This feels more like title track material to me. 4/5

Lucid Dream – This is slower but it’s interesting. The instrumentals, I mean. There’s one main beat that’s constant throughout the song but then it gets mixed up throughout with snapping or clapping and some other stuff so it feels like the song is constantly moving forward. I like this. I like it a lot. 4/5

36.5° (Melting Heart) – I think I might be in love with whoever sang the opening lines for this song. That’s basically me throughout the song. I loved it. 4/5

4EVER – I really liked this song too. I think it was a good song to end on as well. It wasn’t crazy loud or fast or anything. It was mellow, kept your attention, but also wrapped up the EP perfectly. 4/5

Overall – I need to get into this group more! I enjoyed these songs a lot and I think I’ve heard great things about the members themselves so I’d probably like them as people too. 3.8 Stars

Red Velvet – RBB

About: A group consisting of 5 members. They debuted on August 1, 2014 under SM Entertainment. Fandom name is ReVeluv.

Members: Joy, Seulgi, Wendy, Irene, and Yeri.

Fun Fact(s): Seulgi can play the guitar and speak Japanese. Wendy can play the piano, guitar, flute, saxaphone and can speak English. Joy has acted in the dramas “The Liar and His Lover” and “The Great Seducer”. Yeri joined the group in 2015.

RBB (Really Bad Boy)* – For the comeback before their last comeback they had the title track ‘Bad Boy’ and now there’s ‘Really Bad Boy’. SM is kind of recycling their old stuff aren’t they? Thankfully, this doesn’t sound anything like ‘Bad Boy’. As for the actual song, their vocals are great but… idk… it’s not that great? 2.5/5

Butterflies – I like this a lot more than the other song. Though I think Red Velvet should stop trying to rap haha. Sometimes it works out but so far in these two songs it’s been a bit cringe to listen to. 3.5/5

So Good – I honestly didn’t think I’d like this song that much. But then I got further into it and liked it a lot more as I delved further. 3.5/5

Sassy Me – This is a good song. They do something like Taeyong did in that one part of ‘Limitless’. I don’t know what I’d call it but when you listen to the song you’ll know what I mean. 4/5

Taste – This was good too. I’m happy these last few songs were better. I think the title song is just not for me. 3.5/5

RBB (Really Bad Boy) [English Ver.] – Their English versions are SO GOOD. I might not love this song but Ariana Grande better watch out because these vocals are KILLER. 2.5/5

Overall – I think SM should have given Red Velvet more time before this comeback. For one, this comeback’s concept is Halloween… and it’s one month before December. We all know that SM has been messy lately but gosh. I think a Christmas concept would have been good and if they had given them a mid-December comeback with a different title track this would have been better. 3.3 Stars

Dreamcatcher – What

About: Consists of 7 members and debuted on January 13, 2017 under Happy Face Entertainment. Fandom name is InSomnia.

Members: JiU, SuA, Siyeon, Handong, Yoohyeon, Dami, and Gahyeon.

Fun Fact(s): JiU, SuA, Siyeon, Yoohyeon, and Dami are former MINX members. Handong is Chinese.

What (Japanese Ver.) – I’ve heard the Korean version of this. Dreamcatcher has loud music that reminds me of anime intros. Now that this is in Japanese it reminds me even more of an anime intro haha. I like this more than when I first heard it in Korean. 4/5

Chase Me (Japanese Ver.) – I really like this one. There’s more variety in this song than the last one. I didn’t like ‘What’ that much because all I heard was noise but ‘Chase Me’ is loud and quiet and there’s a lot of build up and there just seems to be more balance. 4.5/5

I Miss You* – I think this is a new song all-together and not just a Korean version of one of their other songs. I really like this song. Not as much as ‘Chase Me’ but it’s probably on the same level as ‘What’. 4/5

Overall – This was Dreamcatcher‘s Japanese debut. They’re gonna do AMAZING in Japan, I can just feel it. I think it’s finally time to listen to more of their music. I’ve heard great things about them and now it’s time for me to just jump in. 4.2 Stars

Mino – XX

About: Main rapper and vocalist of the 4 member group Winner under YG Entertainment.

Fun Fact(s): Started as an underground rapper by the name “Hugeboy Mino” and worked with people like Block B’s Zico and P.O and M.I.B’s SIMS. He composes and writes music. He’s part of the duo MOBB with ikon‘s Bobby.

TRIGGER – It’ll be hard to write reviews for these songs since this is rap and rap is a lot about the lyrics. Mino is a creative, brilliant songwriter. I think I knew one or two words in this one (i’m so proud). Anyways, I like it. I’m not *that* big on heavy rap-focused tracks but this one was cool. 3.5/5

FIANCE* – THIS SONG OMG. It’s SO GOOD. The lyrics apparently have a very deep and complex meaning (there’s an entire youtube video explaining it) but I haven’t checked it out yet. The music video is cool as well. He’s dressed like a king, wearing a hanbok and headpiece; it’s great. The instrumentals are great too. 4.5/5

HOPE (feat. YOO BYUNG) – I was scared that there wouldn’t be much variety in this album since it’s rap. I know rap can have a lot of variety but with Mino’s rapping style I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. This song is soft and chill. 3.5/5

O2 – This one was good. I didn’t *love* or *hate* it. 3/5

ROCKET – I don’t want to compare… but for some parts of this song I swear GD could have made this song haha. BUT. It’s still got the Mino touch. I think I just miss Big Bang. There’s a few moments where I wish there was less EDM but I’d definitely listen to this again. 4/5

UM… (feat. Blue.D) – I like this. It’s not really what I expected. I’m happy there’s a girl’s singing to break up all of the rapping a bit. 3.5/5

LONELY – This wasn’t sad like I thought it’d be. I wish I knew the lyrics haha I hope someone translated it. Anyways I liked it. There was a good rhythm and I enjoyed listening to it. 3.5/5

AURORA – This was a fun song to listen to, much like ‘Fiance’. 4/5

her – Is he… singing? Oh wow he is singing. I don’t know why this surprises me cause I know a lot of K-rappers can sing too but wow. He’s good too. 4/5

AGREE – He’s mixing a lot of different types of rapping in this song. Whereas in the previous songs he’s mostly stuck to more of the short-breath (idk the term lol) rap he does that and really fast. He’s expressive in this one too, I can hear his expressions. 4/5

BOW-WOW (feat. YDG) – This is one of the more ‘hype’ or ‘swag’ songs. I’d compare it to ‘Good Boy’ by GD and Taeyang solely for the genre I’d categorize it in. They’re still very different from each other, though. 4/5

ALARM – This was a good closing to the album cause he says stuff like “good night”. I liked this one. Probably one of my favorites from the album. 4/5

Overall – Mino’s rapping is interesting. It’s not the type I’d usually lean towards but I’m a fan of his and he has a way with lyrics. This was a wonderful 1st album for him. 3.8 Stars

Taemin – Taemin

About: He’s the main dancer and vocalist of the group SHINee, which debuted on May 25, 2008 under SM Entertainment.

Fun Fact(s): He can speak Japanese. His solo albums: “ACE”, “Press It”, “Sayonara Hitori”, “Flame of Love”, and “Move”.

Eclipse – I’m a big fan of Taemin so I’m excited for this album. This was a great song. It was hype but also not at the same time. 4/5

Into the Rhythm* – I’ve already listened to this and I absolutely love it. This song has everything I love about Taemin’s songs in it. 4.5/5

Drip Drop (Japanese Ver.) – This song works great in Japanese. Some songs originally in Korean might sound a bit weird in Japanese but this doesn’t. Maybe it’s just cause Taemin’s fluent in Japanese I don’t know but it works well. 4/5

Flame of Love – This is one of my favorite Taemin songs. It’s still perfect in Japanese. 5/5

Under My Skin* – This is really soothing and seductive-sounding (like most of Taemin’s songs tbh). It’s great. 4/5

Danger (Japanese Ver.) – I’ve only heard the original Korean version of this song a few times. I don’t know why?? It’s a great song. It also sounds more epic in Japanese somehow? 4/5

Better Man – I liked this one a lot. It was more about becoming a, you guessed it, better man. It was a nice change of pace from the other songs. 4/5

Press Your Number (Japanese Ver.) – I don’t have much to say since it’s another song of his I know of and love so. 4/5

Mars – This song is so very Taemin. He’s basically singing about dancing on Mars and he’s one of the best dancers in K-Pop. This is a fun song, I like it. 4/5

What’s This Feeling – Of course this one is good too. It’s probably one of my lesser favorites from the album just because I wouldn’t choose to listen to it but it’s still good. 3.5/5

Holy Water – A chorus effect was implemented into the background of this song which gives you the vibe of being at church which goes with the entire ‘Holy Water’ thing. It’s like he’s purifying you after listening to the other songs from the album haha. 3.5/5

Sayonara Hitori – This is good but it’s not a 100% from me. His voice is great in this but there’s also a heavy electronic influence too. This song is a great close to the album. 3/5

Overall – I might be *slightly* biased when rating these songs but I can’t help it, Taemin’s solo stuff is always awesome. Since he’s fluent in Japanese his voice sounds more natural singing than if he wasn’t fluent. There weren’t any songs that I didn’t enjoy listening to. 4 Stars

Key – Face

About: Dancer, Rapper, and Vocalist of the group SHINee, which debuted on May 25, 2008 under SM Entertainment.

Fun Fact(s): He speaks English and Japanese. He’s in a duo band called Toheart with Woohyun of Infinite. He acted in the dramas “Drinking Solo” and “Lookout”. “Face” is his solo debut.

One of Those Nights (feat. Crush) – I absolutely love this song along with ‘Forever Yours’ they’re the only two I’ve heard from this album. They’re just SO good. 4/5

Good Good* – I’m loving Key’s sound. I love how SHINee has their own sound as a group and then when they branch off onto their own solo stuff they still have their own sound but it’s not far from the SHINee sound. 3.5/5

Honest – I don’t know why but I always like the side tracks more than the title tracks? 4/5

Forever Yours (feat. Soyou) – This is a full bop. This is a song I could never skip even if I wanted to. It’s too good. 4.5/5

Imagine – This is a great song too. I don’t think anyone from SHINee can make a bad song. 4/5

Chemicals – This is still a great song. It’s really interesting and unique. It’s not really my personal style but it’s definitely not a bad song. 3/5

I Will Fight (feat. VINXEN) – This is an interesting song as well. I’m always surprised by what the members of SHINee come up with. The rapper in this fits the song style really well too. I’ve never heard of him before but his rapping style is interesting. 3.5/5

Easy To Love – I don’t have much to say. Another bop. 3.5/5

The Duty of Love – These last few songs are more chill and groovy. Most of the album is like this but ‘Chemicals’ for example was a bit different. 4/5

This Life – I like how this ended on such a high note. It’s also a motivational song. I really like that. 3.5/5

Overall – I really enjoyed this album. I liked some songs more than others but overall I thought this was a solid album and I’m so happy Key finally got his own solo. 3.8 Stars

I reviewed a lot of comebacks this month. I think I almost outdid myself. Because of this and the fact that there aren’t a lot of comebacks I won’t be reviewing any of the December comebacks. However, GOT7 just had one and it was AMAZING, Day6 is about to have one, and Jun from Seventeen is getting his own solo album! EXO and Twice are both getting repackaged albums too, I think.

Are there any recent comebacks you loved? Find any new favorite songs this month? Let me know!

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