Several months ago, my roommate introduced me to the world of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. For those of you who are like me, you might be thinking what is Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood? Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is an Anime that uses a magic called “alchemy” which is the ancient metaphysical science/mystical art of manipulating and altering matter by using natural energy. This act is known as "Transmutation" (錬成 Rensei) and its sequence is usually described as:
It’s basically an ancient science where one can change an object by reshaping the matter that makes it up.
My roommate and I watched several episodes, but I never really truly got into the series until just a little bit ago. I’ve always been jealous of the people that can watch Animes and truly get into them. I’ve never been that type of person. Rather than TV shows or movies, I found myself intrigued by music. I decided to give this show another try and decided to start from the beginning.
If you don’t know the premise of the show, Edward and Alphonse Elric use this art of alchemy to try to bring their dead mother back from the grave, but in doing this, they committed the “taboo”. Edward lost his right arm and left leg and Alphonse lost his entire body, which Edward bound to a suit of armor using alchemy. The show follows their adventures as these two try to find a Philosopher’s Stone, which can help give them back their original bodies.
The uniqueness of this series is unmatched. It features a lot of tropes of Animes, and even though at times it may seem silly, the tone of the series is dark and serious. I hate to make this comparison, but it sort of reminds me of Avatar: The Last Airbender with the idea that there are certain people that can manipulate materials around them which creates this divide between those who possess the power and those who do not. Also with that series, there is a lot of light-heartedness, but it has a very serious tone to it as well.
Now, I haven’t completed the series yet, but I finished Part 1 which contains episode 1 through 13. I won’t write a review on every part when I finish it, but considering this is one of my first Animes, I felt the need to express my joy and excitement for it. Like I mentioned, I’m not at all an expert in Anime, but little by little, I’m delving into it. After I finish this series, my plan is to move on to Tokyo Ghoul because that one has been suggested to me countless times.
If you haven’t watched this Anime or are nervous about dipping your toe into the world of Anime, I would highly suggest you watch Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood because, yes it is an Anime, but it feels less like an Anime and more like just a brilliant story. I know Anime can have its negative connotations such as nerdy, Weebo, and other such things, but honestly it’s such a great world of things that I’m excited to explore.
The only thing that sucks about this is the fact that I literally just started like 5 shows today. However, I’m set on finishing this series, unlike my attempt with Deathnote which I still need to return to.
Let me know if you want an episode by episode review of Part 1. I will gladly do it, but know that I’m very short on time, so if you do suggest I do such, it may not come out as soon as expected. Thanks for reading this first post about Anime. I’m excited to do more reviews and posts.
Nottingham, UK delivers a powerful, four-piece Punk Rock band that debuted with their self-titled album As December Falls on February 8th of this year. As December Falls is fronted by female lead singer Bethany Curtis, who brings her own new-formed take on the genre originally led by Paramore, Tonight Alive, and other female fronted bands of the 2000s.
As December Falls is an exploration into this young band and the uprising they’ve taken. Songs like “Ride”, “On the Edge” and “No Money” create a beautifully instrumental that coincides well with Bethany’s harmonic vocals. Ande Hunter, Timmy Francis, and Lukas James add as much to each song as Bethany’s voice with addictive crunchy chords, popping leads, deep, funky bass lines, and rightly timed drum fills.
The dynamics in the song are fairly leveled off but it just makes each of the lower energy moments more profound than ever. The album as a whole is loud, aggressive, and in your face, done in a fun and almost playful way. This album showcases the uniqueness this group has to offer. The stylistic influences of Paramore, Tonight Alive, Blink-182, and other Punk Rock bands becomes hyper-focused in songs like “From the Start” which carries a Blink-182-ish riff and chord progression, but includes some of the softer edges of Paramore’s songs like “My Heart” and Tonight Alive’s “Amelia”.
My personal favorite songs would be “From the Start”, “I Don’t Mind”, and “Don’t Say a Word” which take on a higher level of dynamics, but also features a more complex instrumental and song structure. Honestly, this album was suggested to me by my good friend, Seaun Phillip Atchison, and I’m glad that I liked it because I wouldn’t know how to write an album review on an album I didn’t like. While some of the songs blur together, the album is a great demonstration of what potential As December Falls has and the band should not be taken lightly. They use emotion and captivating instrumentals throughout every song. It’s not Kpop, but it’s music and music is what brings us all together.
Red Velvet actually decided to release a music video for “#Cookie Jar” which I kind of expected, but with these Japanese releases you never know. I mean the Japanese album they are releasing doesn’t even come out for another week and a half. Maybe I’m just so adjusted to the way Kpop releases are handled. Anyway, this isn’t going to be a full review since I’ve already reviewed the song. It will just be a review snippet. If you want to check out my song review, I’ll post it right here:
The premise of this video is pretty interesting. It follows Red Velvet as they discover a “drug inducing” jar of cookies in the woods. They eat and then they are on a sugar rush the rest of the day, taking whatever they can to create more sweets. Towards the end of the video, they realize all the disgusting things that are in sweets (buttons, shoe laces, ants, etc.) and begin destroying and ruining all the desserts they made. The end of the video shows Irene realizing there are ants on the cookies in the woods, as she drops the jar.
This video filming style follows that of previous Red Velvet releases in that it is extremely colorful and bright (the exception videos being “Rebirth”, “Peek-a-Boo” and “Bad Boy”). There were a couple things that appeared in this video that are reminiscent of older Red Velvet videos such as Wendy throwing clothes around (“Rookie”), Jell-O on the table (“Peek-a-Boo”), and them sitting at a table/preparing a table (almost every RV music video).
What did you think of the music video for “#Cookie Jar”? I thought it was quirky enough to be a Red Velvet music video and listening to the song more and more, it is really in the style of Red Velvet. Like I had mentioned in my song review, it sounds like “Rookie” but it has developed its own sound for me, but it still has that tinge of “Rookie” in it. Let me know what you thought of the music video in the comments below. Thank you so much for your support. I’ll see you in the next one.
Twice is one of those girl groups that is taking over the music industry especially in Asia. For Korea, it makes sense. They are Korea’s girl group but lately, they’ve been going after Japan and from the looks of it, succeeding as well over there. Twice has a cutesy appeal that grabs every guy by the collar and hooks every girl by the ear. The musical style is so good and I’m hoping this Japanese release is no different.
“I Want You Back” is the either second or third Japanese comeback from Korea’s girl group, Twice. What’s really sad is how much Twice is being overworked, but at the same time, Onces get new music from Twice several two or three times a year. Which looking at it, is never a bad thing. I mean, this is their job and it’s not like they themselves are in the studio pumping out songs.
Before I jump into the song, I’d like to discuss the vividness of this video. The colors were extremely saturated as expected in a Kpop/Jpop music video, but seriously, the brilliance of the colors were popping almost too much. Also, what happened to Jeongyeon’s hair? I liked it better as blonde.
The premise of this music video was the members of Twice see an audition form and go to try out. Throughout the music video, we as the viewers a set to believe that they passed the audition and moved on to having their own TV show and gaining popularity. The ending scene reveals that all of that is just a dream because Dahyun wakes up as the members go into their audition.
Now, to discuss what everyone is talking about. The song is in fact a cover of the legendary Jackson 5’s song with the same title. It’s amazing to see a Korean girl group cover an American classic in English for a Japanese release. What an interesting concept. As for their English, most of it I was able to understand. Dahyun’s part, for instance was a bit difficult for me to make out, but it’s because she has such a cute accent.
The original version of this song was quite busy, but the cover Twice did felt even more busy. There was so much going on and I kind of lost track of who was singing at what part because of how busy it was. I love when groups do covers but I wish this version of the classic Jackson 5 hit wasn’t so involved. It felt like I had to be relistening to the song several times to hear who sang what part which should never be the case. Overall, a good cover, but Twice could’ve done better.
What did you think of Twice’s cover of the legendary and classic hit “I Want You Back”? Did it live up to the legends? What would you have changed if anything at all? Thank you so much for your support. I appreciate it. Be sure to like this review if you enjoyed it. Thank you again and I’ll see you in the next one.
A while ago, I asked a bunch of you what music videos I should review that are non Kpop. You all gave very good suggestions. I have loved almost everything you have thrown at me and I always accept more requests. However, one request in particular, I found out doesn’t have a music video attached to the song so instead, I’ll review another music video by the same artist to get a feel and understanding for this artist. Then at a later date, I will do a song review for the song requested.
This is my first short review of a song. Typically my Quick Reviews cover multiple artists or songs in one post. This, however, will be focusing on one artist’s song, but without me knowing too much about the artist or feeling like the artist has released several songs within a short period of time. These reviews will be called Review Snippets. Today’s Review Snippet will be for Sumire, a Japanese Pop artist that I know literally nothing about.
I really hate Japanese music videos sometimes. They are simply promos for the album. This video in particular had a large promo covering half of the screen. The video ended before the end of the song. She is really beautiful, but the scenes didn’t change much. It was her singing into a mirror, walking along a beach, and lying in a wedding dress. The color grading was really flat and completely lackluster.
As for the song, it moved really well. The piano in the song was definitely synthesized and the song only really had three chords but it was still a good song. She sings a couple lines in English in the chorus which give away the motive of the song. She’s a girl that desperately wants to get married. I would have really loved to listen to the rest of the song with the video but I’ll have to check it out on my own.
Thank you for your support. Please support Sumire because she’s beautiful, has a good voice, and is extremely talented from what I saw from this video. What did you think of the song, if this is your first time with Sumire? Who does she remind you of? I have a couple of singers in mind, but I’ll let you give me your ideas. Thank you again and I’ll see you in my next review.
I’m back to reviewing some non Kpop but I feel like this group has grown so much on me and I don’t understand why. Perfume is one of those groups I don’t understand. They are weird and odd but so addicting. While I love “Tokyo Girl”, there are so many other wonderful songs by these girls. To start off, I’ll be reviewing “Mugenmirai”.
Perfume is a group I love but I know very little about so I can’t even identify any of the girls by their name because I don’t know their names. I still need to look into this a bit more. If I were to classify their genre, it would be Video Game Pop or Bit Crush Pop/Bit Pop.
The landscape shots in the video are spectacular. They are very familiar especially the sandstone shot because it looks like specific scenes in a Faky video. I think it was “Suga Sweet”. There was a girl on the sandstone, a girl in a swamp land, and a girl on a mountain side. Each girl was sort of in their element.
The video seemed really natural. There was nothing about it that was futuristic for the most part until that cloud shape appeared. I’m not sure exactly what it was but in the video, it transported the girls to a specific location where they all met. To me, the shape looked like a cloud in Minecraft, but maybe that’s just me.
Another thing was the girls were all wearing black. I don’t know if that could symbolize something but I just assume at this point. Maybe they were all mourning something or someone and returned together to the same point. If I have learned one thing from Kpop, it’s to not overlook any detail. Everything has a purpose in a music video.
I love this song. This wasn’t my first time listening to it and it definitely won’t be my last. The reason I chose this song to review was, first of all, because it had a music video, giving me more to talk about than just the song. Secondly, I thought the song was unique. After having listened to the majority of Perfume’s music, I would say this Single album and “Tokyo Girl” Single album are the most unique. I don’t mean to say the rest of their discography is bland, but a lot of their songs sounds similar. “Mugenmirai” and “Tokyo Girl” and the songs that accompany those tracks are different in that they are calmer, more progressive songs rather than just a bunch of static and bit sounds being thrown around. These songs choose where the overage of bit sounds comes in.
With that being said, this song is not too far from Perfume’s style. It still holds true to the Bit Pop sound and the Electronic Video Game elements. In fact, the chorus portion sounds like a glitchy Dubstep drop. I love that about their music. It was difficult at first for me to watch this video because the way their over autotune their voices didn’t match the way the video was being played out. But after watching and visualizing a bit more, the song fits the video very well; especially for the dance.
What did you think of “Mugenmirai” or “無限未来” by Perfume? What did you think of those pixelated cloud transport devices? What is your favorite Perfume song? Who is your bias of the group? Let me know in the comment section. Thank you for supporting me. I appreciate it very much. Don’t forget to support Perfume as well. They are a strange group that has stolen my heart. Thank you, Perfume. Thank you again and I’ll see you in my next review.
Perfume is a girl group from Japan that I’ve been interested in for a while. I’ve already seen and listened to their song “Tokyo Girl” but it is one of my favorite songs for a while. It has such a unique sound while still remaining true to Jpop and everything that makes Jpop its own thing.
The video follows several people in Tokyo even though it appears to be Paris from the start. In the beginning scenes of the video, you can see the Eiffel tower. The people in the video are running with glowing triangular prisms. We see the three members of Perfume being lifted in a sort of elevator shaft up to the top of a triangular building. Once the girls get to the roof of the building, all the people set their prisms in place and they light up the sky.
The song is so simple. It’s simple yet the way the synths move and the chords progress creates a hauntingly beautiful melody. I usually talk down autotune unless it’s used in a good way. Autotune to fix a note you can’t hit or because you feel like adding an interesting part in a song is not the right way to use autotune. However, Perfume is so good at matching the vocal style with autotune that it doesn’t sound like autotune but actually more of a digitized vocals. Overall, this song is such a masterpiece. In fact, when it comes to Jpop, this song almost trumps all I know of Jpop.
What did you think? Did you enjoy Perfume? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section. Thank you so much for supporting me. Please support Perfume and other Jpop artists. Thank you and I’ll see you in my next review.
I feel sometimes that I don’t give enough representation to the genre of OPM (Original Pilipino Music). I know a lot of the people who look at my website are Filipino and I know a lot of people involved in Kpop are Filipino. I used to live in the Philippines. I know some things. With that being said, I want to represent the Filipino music industry a bit better. Today I will start with one of my favorite songs in the Filipino industry, “Indak” by Up Dharma Down.
In the series the video comes from, a music studio brings in musicians from all over the country and has them perform as a live studio performance. For those of you who don’t know what that means. It means they play their music live and all the tweaks done are usually done in post production. The series is called Tower of Doom and they’ve had all sorts of musicians in their studio, but they tend to stick more towards actual musicians playing actual instruments rather than just vocalists. As I mentioned, the video is just them performing their song as if it were a band practice in the studio.
The reason this is one of my favorite songs is under multiple reasons actually. The first being that the girl can sing. This may not be the best example of what her voice is capable of but trust me when I say she can sing. That’s the first reason. The second is the instrumentation. There’s something soothing about a soft steady beat, some glitchy synthesizer tones, a lulling bass, and powerful vocals. It is just so beautiful and relaxing and unlike anything else OPM has to offer. The last reason I sort of mentioned at the end of my last reason and that is that it is honestly unlike anything in OPM. The Filipino music industry strives on following popular fads, musically, that are current in the States. They are not a very creative bunch when it comes to innovating ideas musically. That’s why when you get groups like Up Dharma Down, it’s something so beautiful. The Filipino people are very talented, don’t get me wrong, but I would like to see them pull off something like Kpop does, shaping new genres around stylistic forms in the U.S, but also developing it to be their own.
Anyway, do you like OPM? Have you heard of it before? What about my Filipino readers? What are your thoughts on Up Dharma Down? Thank you for your support. Thank you for taking time out to read this. Please support Up Dharma Down. They haven’t had a full comeback in a while so I’m hoping they do soon. Thank you again and I’ll see you in my next review.
It’s been a minute since I’ve done one of these but don’t think I forgot about all of your requests. I’m still here doing non Kpop review requests. They aren’t first on my list but they are still very important to me. Today, as you can see from the title, I will be reviewing Thank You, the Thai singer with a cute voice and addictive style. I still sometimes get “Thank You For the Love” stuck in my head. Anyway, I’ll be reviewing her song called “Following”. I’m very excited because I loved her last song I reviewed. I’m hoping this song is similar while still remaining fresh.
The music video for “Following” is a couple of things. First, it looks like the video was going to be pranking back and forth similar to Heize and Dean’s “And July” but part way through the video, things change up as a nearby person is chomped by a zombie. The rest of the video follows Thank You and Third Kamikaze as they run from zombies and at one point, try to fight them off. (Side note: you don’t punch zombies, you stab them through the fucking head) At the end of the video, these two seemingly enemies end up being friends.
The song was sugary and might have given me diabetes but I think it was worth it. Her voice is cute and extremely autotuned. I may have said something about this in the last review. Third Kamikaze is someone new and while he appeared to be a 10-year old, he had the voice of a 30-year old with a lot of autotune as well. The main driving beat of the song utilized a lot of that dirty synth sound. The high pitched synth with some detune dial effects creates a very dirty sounding beat but it has been a bit outplayed. Nonetheless, it still was good and for a song from 2014, it still seems somewhat relevant.
What did you think of the video? Have you heard of Thank You before? What did you think of her style? Let me know in the comment section. Thank you for your support. Again, if any of you have any suggestions for music video reviews that are non Kpop, please let me know. I say this in every review, but a gentle reminder to support the artists I review. I know you all are already doing that but for those who may forget, they need love as well. Thank you again and I’ll see you in my next review.
Today I'm venturing far from the roots of this website. This website was created to discuss Korean entertainment, but today, I'm reviewing some British Pop and one of my favorite British Pop songs of all time. I know British music still sings in English, but they have a unique style to their music that Americans don't necessarily have. One of my favorite British Pop artists is Birdy. I personally like her more than Ed Sheeran. Birdy released a song quite some time ago called “Wings” which is a phenomenal song. I wanted to share this song with those of you who have never heard it because it is that good. Also, I realized, I've never watched the music video, or maybe I don't remember it. So this will be a new experience even though I've heard the song a million times.
As the video begins, we are introduced into another time period, or maybe it's a costume party, but we see people dressed in old clothing, passed out in an elegant house. Throughout the video, the people are seen enjoying themselves, partying and having fun. Birdy is singing throughout the video, sitting on a grand staircase. In the final moments, we see everything that happened do sort of a flashback scene where Birdy is lying nearly passed out on one of the sofas. The cinematography was really unique and had a vintage flare to it. I really liked the way the video made us feel like we were in this time period.
I love this song. If I haven't made myself clear yet, this song is incredible. I don't know what it is. Maybe it's the instruments or the band aspect behind a pop singer. Maybe it's the vocal melodies or the uniqueness of Birdy's voice, but all these things definitely add up to create a hauntingly beautiful song. I don't know what else to say, but you definitely need to listen to it.
Obviously I love the song. The video was unique because it felt like it had a story but there wasn't really anything to it. I love the concept of the lyrics, that hopefulness of trying to achieve something but being unable. “If these wings could fly” sums up the message of the song really well. Please support Birdy. I haven't checked if she has a lot of new music but I definitely love her and hope you love the song as much as I did. Like and share this review even though it's unrelated to Kpop. Let me know if you enjoyed the song. I love to hear from you all and try to respond as soon as I can. Thank you so much for your support and I'll see you in my next review.
Like I've mentioned before, music has no language barriers, it knows no language. I want to dedicate this section of my website to reviewing in any way, shape or form other languages of music. This includes Jpop, Mandopop, OPM, Vpop, Latin music, Russian, German, American, Venezuelan, you name it. If you think it's worth giving a listen, I'll listen to it and give you a review.