My focus for round 2 will no longer be on the songs - I've done all my bashing and praising during round 1. Round 2 is sole-y for their execution of their debut singles - how they performed, their vocals, how they work as a group.
Children of Empire/Z:EA - Mazeltov
KBS Music Bank January 15, 2010
Z:EA may have won round 1 but round 2 is a completely different game. I think as a whole Z:EA don't know how to manage themselves on stage. 9 isn't a lot compared to Super Junior's 13 but it's still a lot. The thing is, you need to know how to pull off the 'big group' concept by one, being synchronized enough and two, making sure that there isn't too much happening at the same time WHILE sectioning the group to make the synchronization look better. As a performance this wasn't very good - too many sloppy things happening at the same time.
Vocals-wise they've exceeded my expectations. It's enough that more or less the whole group can hold a melody live, it's better that some of them are actually good at it but what really surprised me was that they can sing live. And the chorus is actually a chorus - either they're all singing together at the same time with mics at the same volume or it's made to seem like that. Either way, that's something you don't get from bands very often anymore. There are some very promising voices in this band and although it'll take me ages to recognize them all, once I do I'll find maybe 1 or 2 brilliant voices.
The voices are there, they just need to learn how to perform as a group and clean up all the sloppy execution. Pretty good, actually.
F.Cuz - Jiggy
KBS Music Bank January 8, 2010
To say that F.Cuz exceeded my expectations would be an understatement - they surprised me a heck of a lot. One because Jiggy sounds less pathetic live (THANKFULLY) and two because it sounds less pathetic due to their vocals. I watched the performance on TV (KBS World has live broadcasts on Music Bank) and I was like "whoa, that wasn't that bad" but when I watched it over again before I started writing this, I just listened and was like "oh dear, they can sing". Heck, I don't know why they got a crap song when they can actually sing. They better get some good album tracks OR ELSE. Performance-wise the whole thing was very clean, very rehearsed. You can tell these guys are performers.
The one problem I have is that they don't seem like a group YET. They don't move like the group, they don't sing like a group. All they need is time, I think. If Jiggy didn't sound so cheap, F.Cuz would most probably be a brilliant, brilliant band for me. Gawd I really do hope they get good material in the future because they deserve it.
So now the gap between F.Cuz and Z:EA is quite small, unline B2ST and MBLAQ last year. Both bands can perform, they've shown promise and I personally think they're not as bad as I first thought they were. Yeah sure their singles suck but with the right material there will be magic. Because of that, I was thinking of calling this a tie but after watching over the performances, I think F.Cuz work better as a group and over-all have better vocals. Z:EA aren't that far behind though.
THE WINNER: F.CUZ
That brings the score to 1-1. The deciding factor: their debut albums/mini-albums.