Month in Review: March 2016 K-Pop releases

A look at of some of the K-pop releases in March.

And just like that, March has come and gone. It feels like it went by in the blink of an eye. That, of course, isn’t totally true, but it’s what this past month felt like. Whether it went by quickly or not, K-pop hasn’t been standing still in March. Let’s take a look at some of the releases!

1〉 Fiestar

First up is Fiestar with the delicate “Mirror.” I really like this song and the choices they made here. The MV suits the overall feeling of the song very well. It’s simple but beautiful. I’m loving the outfit choices as well, each member gets their own individual outfit. Yet somehow they managed to make Yezi’s shorts and bomber jacket match with the dresses some of the other member were wearing. Well done! And the song itself… Love it! It’s a more delicate song, but it still has some power and doesn’t feel weak. Yezi’s rap suits the rest of the song well and  she shows she can do more than one style of rapping. And the vocals of the rest of the members are impressive. You can feel the emotion in what they are singing. This may not be a big breakthrough song, but its wonderfully well-crafted. Keep it up Fiestar!

2〉 Lee Hi

Then we had the long-awaited return of Lee Hi! She’s been gone for a few years, but she is back and better than ever. The whole half-album is great! “Fxxk with us” is my personal favorite. Anyway, I decided to focus on “Hold my hand” and its MV for this article. This MV is just glorious. The old fashioned 8-bit animation really adds something to the music video. It’s a cute and refreshing way to add detail to a video. Very clever and well executed. The rest of the video looks great too, I’m loving the colors in it. You can tell they put a lot of time and effort into making it look great. As for the song itself, it’s good, but I feel like Lee Hi can do more with her voice. No need to despair though, she also released “Breathe” as her other title track. That song focuses more on her singing. And the lyrics for that song…. Those really are amazing! Definitely worth checking out, as is the rest of the half-album. It’s been a long wait… but maybe it’s been worth it!

3〉 Red Velvet

Red Velvet is showing off their “Velvet” side with this release. Their previous release was the “The Red” album and now we have the “The Velvet” album. Both sides are very different from each other, but they can pull off both. With this album they focus more on ballads and slower songs. There is a lot of symbolism hidden in this MV. I’m not going to go into that, others are better at explaining that, but I do suggest you read an explanation. It makes the video better. “One of these nights” allows you to really focus on the singing of the girls. Their voices take the center stage and the backing track is only there to support them. While I personally prefer their “Red” side, I have to admit that this a good song.

4〉 Amber

The last song I want to look is “Borders” by Amber. It’s an SM song with English subtitles! That’s not why I wanted to take a look at this song though. If you look at the lyrics, you can tell it’s a very personal song for Amber. I think the message of this song is amazing; it acknowledges that times can be tough and that you might want to keep your eyes down, just looking at the floor. But it also encourages you to fight despite feeling weak or cornered. Strength isn’t always about being loud and powerful, sometimes it’s just about continuing on even when you want to give up. I’m a bit torn about the execution of the song though. I really enjoy the parts where Amber is singing, but the rap parts don’t fit with the rest of the song for me. I’m not talking about the lyrics of those rap parts, they fit in very well, I’m talking about the choice to rap those parts. It just doesn’t work for me, but maybe that’s something personal. Either way, its great to see a song with lyrics like this get released.

March verdict

Even though March flew by, there were some worthwhile releases this past month. As a bonus, here’s Lee Hi performing “1.2.3.4.” on Sketchbook. You can tell how much she’s grown as a performer since her debut!

(Sources: Hyperlinked YouTube accounts)
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Dutch, K-pop lover, bookworm and secretly a poet.
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