"Right Now" by Daichi Miura
Damnit, Daichi! Ever since I heard "4am", I have this overwhelming feeling in my heart that makes me want to cry when I see new epic things from him. Sure, it goes along with that dance trend, but it’s still so Daichi. His voice is on point and the choreography just blows my mind. The best part of it all is his dance with his female partner. That is just mesmerizing. I am so pumped for a new album this year!
"王者の休日" by KREVA
Ah, KREVA, I really don't give you the attention you deserve. I've neglected to mention that I have become a casual fan of his in 2012. This video is no exception. It has a nice steady beat that makes you bob your head along. The visuals are simple and amusing, like the toothbrushing scene, eating ramen in slow motion, and slipping on his black frames. Discussing his lyrical delivery cannot be described in words. Just let his smooth, unique voice just lures you in.
"I LIKE THAT" by GLAM
If this came out earlier, I might've talked about this group in my rookie post, but oh well. Anyway, I initially didn't like this group, but I like this. The music is extremely simplified and the lyrics are just as simplistic. There's something charming about this video and the song is just...fun. *gasp* This doesn't quite win me over to follow these girls, but I did get some good laughs from this.
"Please Don't..." by K.Will
I know, I know, I'm late to the praise party. See, I'm not a kpop ballad or K.Will fan, so I skipped this...all the time. After convincing myself while watching a couple YouTubers mention it, I caved in and watched it. Even though I knew how it ended, it still was so unexpected in the best possible way. I think this is the second kpop video to cause some controversy with homosexuality. With this, I'm giving K.Will's music a chance because I love his voice in this. Anyway, if you haven't seen it, do it!
"? (Question Mark)" by Primary feat. Zion.T & Choiza (Dynamic Duo)
Primary has been quite busy tugging at my heart for the majority of 2012. This song is just so smooth and flirtatious. The beat brings comfort from what I know from old R&B sounds and Zion.T seals that familiar feeling for me. The visuals are very clever. There's no real furniture or props, just boxes with words of what things are. It makes you use your imagination and truly indulge yourself into the concept.
"Furisodeshon" by Kyary Pamyu Pamyu
Perfect way to celebrate 20 years of life, which is very important in Japanese culture. This is a fun little PV and song and I'm not surprised by this. It's very creative, energetic, and has some unique table choreography. This proves that Kyary doesn't have to go overly eccentric to be enjoyable. I'm looking forward to a full release this year by her. Keep it going!
"Reprobate Romance" by Blacklisted Me
Somehow I got distracted by a swarm of female fronted bands that no one has ever heard of in the mainstream world, but somehow have this dramatic and dedicated fanbase. This is one of them. I didn't know what to expect from this duo(?), but I was a little wary with the Black Veil Bride-esque make-up. Fortunately, the music is amazing. I enjoy the contrast of the two female vocals and the tortured, dark instrumental. The video switches between the two female vocalists narrating the story at a table and a narrative story of a couple facing some difficult times, I believe. The only negative I have is the male vocals. I think he kinda kills the mood a bit, but his part is quite minor, thank God.
"Make a Move" by Icon For Hire
I had a little less visual stigma when I checked this band out, since I survived and enjoyed the band above and Atrium. It’s another beautiful face and powerful, passionate vocals. They have been criticized or tagged as Christian rock, but they are more uplifting and encouraging rock music. Either way, it doesn't matter, they're a great band. The lyrics feel quite relatable and the video is quite simple, switching from a pseudo-live setting and side story of the members being typical rebels trying to make a statement to the world. On the less visual side, I also want to recommend the first video I saw of theirs, "Get Well".
"White Robe" by t.A.T.u
Somehow I got hooked back into the nostalgia from Russia that caused an uproar in the States. I didn't complain, I simply complied and enjoyed every minute of it. I'm sure fans were excited about the reunion live on an international recreation of X Factor. This was definitely a different approach of these ladies' roles; call it a rebranding of sorts. Perhaps they could've been lovers and one betrayed the other and now has to be punished, similiar to "30 Minutes" or it could be an ethical message about...well, I don't want to give away the twist. Anyway, there's uncensored Russian version of this on YouTube if you really want to oogle the girls' boobs, but I think this version is satisfying enough. Besides, the song is so powerful and further supports the imagery. Nonetheless, it would be nice to have a new album with this reunion.
"She Bad Bad" by Eve
OMG! It's just so refreshing have a real female MC back in the ring. Even though Eve was never a real favorite of mine, I did enjoy her music, her acting, and her presence. It's a little different than the previous, but I think this is a positive different. The beat and the video is quite minimalistic, but it brings focus to her lyricism and delivery, which is something I miss in the genre. Welcome back, Eve! Teach these amateurs something.
"bright or blind" by amber gris
I probably don't talk about this band enough, but they are pretty good and a nice change of pace from the usual. I kinda want to put them together with otogadead and cocklobin, but they all have their own sound. Anyway, this PV has some absolutely stunning visuals and the song isn't that bad either, that's the important thing. I don't think I've heard vocals like this and the music sounds a little familiar, but it is still refreshing and enjoyable.
"DUAL LIFE" by KIM SORI
After teasing us with sexy pictures, she finally returned to the kpop scene with a different approach. I'm not disappointed as she did a good job with hopping onto the dance bandwagon that kpop has happily joined with America. It has some interesting transitions and the sex appeal isn't overly done either. I just hope that SORI doesn't completely lose her b-girl roots that I fell for in the beginning.
"When I Get Paid" by Prepix feat. Yang Yoseob (B2ST)
Prepix has been on a roll with these innovative concepts and choreography. They make great choices of vocalists and have simplistic instrumentals that fit the mood of the song. The choreography and the concepts compliment just as well. It's just a nice breath of fresh air from all the recycled materials in the kpop scene.
"On and on" by VIXX
Ah, a rookie group keeping the talent strong. I'm glad they're going back to showing off their vocal skill set again. The video is interesting and brings a more mature side to the guys. Although, I must admit it reminds me of U-KISS's "Neverland", but that's not a terrible thing. The song is catchy and a little different from what's out there so far. I enjoy the darker styling and the incorporation of the Phantom of the Opera music at the beginning. I'm looking forward to what they have in store for us in 2013.
"Sweet Dream" by MFBTY
I was getting really anxious and annoyed that I hadn't had any updates on SUNZOO, but this definitely makes up for it. Now I just hope that there's more to come with this trio of talent. Tasha brings in some beautiful vocals and also lends her rap skills and beauty to this chaotic, morbid visual piece. Bizzy and Tiger JK hold their own just as well with no problems, which is no surprise at all. The music transitions are clever, switching from an almost electronic club feel to a hip-hop breakdown that blends in and out naturally with the help of great lyrical delivery. The visuals are bizarre but fit the vocal flow and instrumentals without being goofy with the CGI. Don't tease me, guys, give me more. I'm starving for some mindblowing Korean hip-hop this year.