"Lean On" by Major Lazer & DJ Snake feat. MØ
Never listened to any of Major Lazer's material until recently and, probably like most people, I've only heard "Turn Down for What" by DJ Snake, but this song has a little bit of that sound in the chorus. Perhaps that's his signature. Anyway, I really like this song and the video is beautiful with lots of rich color. I enjoy the culturally appropriate choreography and landscape while the performers just enjoy themselves to the beat...even though it is laughable. The song is both relaxing and danceable. I'm glad I saw it on TeenNick, because I've been playing this on repeat quite a lot.
"Wild Frontier" by The Prodigy
The Prodigy is back and I'm excited to listen to the newest release! This stop motion animated music video is definitely not for kids. I really enjoyed the story presented in the music video and has some interesting surprises. I'm also a fan of stop motion as well. This music video almost feels more like a short film in its presentation. As for the song, it has plenty of energy with a nice dark edge to match the visuals. I guess there's an argument (in the comments) that this doesn't sound anything like their old material, but I think it does with a few new additions to revitalize their signature sound.
"Pepe" by CLC
KPop girl groups are the hardest for me to get into. Well, even jpop girl groups are a challenge as well and it usually comes down to vocals. Most times they're too high and cutesy that my ears bleed or I just completely shut down. I was pleasantly surprised that this group retained some vocal dignity while still being cutesy, but not overly infantile doing it. It has some nice colorful set pieces and gives the members some personality. It doesn't completely stray from the limits for kpop girls, unfortunately, but it isn't obnoxious in its attempt.
"Evanesce" by Super Junior
Much like SNSD, I try to give almost every new music video they release a chance, even though I'll never like them. I was surprised to find myself enjoying this emotional R&B song by them. Even though the acting is wooden by some of the members, the unnecessary sound effects still exist, and I don't completely understand the slow downs and speed ups during the transitions, I thought it was a nice, mature shift. It just looks like there was actual effort put into this project and the song is beautiful on its own too. Also, that dance duet is by far the highlight of the whole video. It felt powerful with their vocals.
"AM 4:44" by Bang Yongguk
While Rap Monster was slaying, my bias from B.A.P released this thoughtful piece while the group was sorting out their legal issues with TS Entertainment. Before I say anything, it is very important to watch this with subtitles, if you of course aren't fluent in Korean. This song is extremely powerful and honest. The melody is very simplistic, but holds as much emotional strength as the lyrical delivery. The visuals are minimal, but has an artistic and vulnerable appeal to it that suits the content. You get glimpses of the artist behind the words with some abstract visuals and shadows. This proves that Bang Yongguk really needs a solo.