Weekly Playlist (August 3-9)

Last week's playlist had mostly new releases because there were quite a few high-profile comebacks, but during less active periods like this past week I actually listen to a mix of really old, relatively old, and slightly more recent material. I have moods for certain types of music, "cravings" if you can call them that, or sometimes my playlists will be study-friendly music -- in the weeks to come you'll most probably find out what kind of music I listen to when I study.

While writing this post I noticed that I listened to mostly female acts this week. This wasn't on purpose!

Girls' Day - "Something"
I didn't get to write about "Something" back in January because it was overshadowed by DBSK's "Tense" and then I got swamped with schoolwork, but it's good that I somehow gravitated towards listening to it again this week! I liked "Something," a bit differently and a bit similarly to how I liked "Expectation." The whole aura of the song is in the vein of SISTAR's "Alone" because it's that alluring, sultry kind of sexy girl group pop -- but I think the nature of Girls' Day as a group gives this vibe the punch it needs. What sold me was the intensity and slight in-your-face quality that was added -- and honestly, you need a bit of confidence if you're going to be alluring. "Something" is well-produced, it's the slightly more "classy" (though I wouldn't use that term without the "slightly more" qualifier) Girls' Day release, and it seems to have replay potential -- Girls' Day have come so, so far since their dismal debut that sometimes I can't believe they're the same group.

Red Velvet - "Happiness"
I know I said last week that I probably wouldn't listen to "Happiness" again after I wrote my first impressions on them, but for a good few hours after I published the post I couldn't get the "la la la la"'s out of my head. I ended up looping the song for an entire day! It's not the best SM release ever, not a pop masterpiece or anything, but it is a well-produced, catchy song that's unpretentiously pop. I echo what I said last week -- Red Velvet are being pushed as your best friends, and it extends to the fact that this is so easy to sing along to. "Happiness" is that song you sing along to with your friends chick flick-style.

SNSD - "All My Love Is For You"
2012 Single of the Week Review
I seemed to be on an SM girl group-spree this week, and it continued with one of my personal favorites from them. I like the slick, stylish side of SNSD on tracks like "Animal" or "The Great Escape," but I also really like the more feminine-but-not-cutesy tracks like "All My Love Is For You" and "Indestructible" (which was on last week's playlist!) because this wraps up their "quintessential girl group" image. "All My Love Is For You" is subdued without being weak, as I said when I made this single of the week back in 2012, it doesn't hit you over the head. The song focuses on the sweeping melody, the airy "yeah yeah"'s, and the multi-tracked, layered choruses -- but it leans on those gracefully firm drum rolls (that have sent me swooning more than a few times), that epic, strong but slightly hidden string section, and the individually bold solos to give that gentle femininity the substance it needs. Two years later, "All My Love Is For You" is still a song I listen to.

HA:TFELT (YeEun) - "Iron Girl" (feat. Lim)
Album Review
Yes, I'm STILL listening to the HA:TFELT release -- it's that good. I've taken a strong liking for "Iron Girl," and it's the kind of song that I liked from the very beginning but only got better with each listen. The melody is firm in all the right places, graceful in all the right places, and coupled with YeEun's vocals blows me away every time. And I've grown to like the rap sections, they add another dimension to the song and keep the melody from dragging on, making it more concentrated and, in turn, more show-stopping. The drum rolls firm, and the instrumental arrangement really brings all of its dimensions to the spotlight -- that gutsy yet melodic electric guitar line, the solitary acoustic guitar line, the rain drop loop, they all contribute to the strong yet graceful motif of the song. I'm going to have such a hard time choosing a representative song from this EP this December!

LYn and Leo (VIXX) - "꽃잎놀이"
I don't talk about her a lot here, but LYn really is one of my favorite female vocalists. She has such a beautifully rich timbre that really soars in her higher ranges, and surprisingly she's also a flexible vocalist -- sexy up tempos like "New Celebration" (one of my favorites from her!) put most of K-Pop to shame with the vocals alone. My favorite duet of hers will always be "스치다" with Junsu because two of my favorite voices in K-pop singing the most heart-wrenchingly beautiful song is enough to send me into hysterics -- but I like this new duet with Leo as well! "Blossom Tears" is a lot edgier with its pop/R&B beat, prominent electric/guitar line, drum rolls (which I think are always appropriate) and more blatantly melodramatic melody. I love "스치다," but whenever I listen to it I get depressed -- "Blossom Tears" is a slightly more light-hearted, pop alternative. You still get LYn's beautiful timbre with a feminine touch, and Leo's vocals are a breath of fresh air and are capable enough to match up to LYn's range. I've been listening to this since Wednesday, and I don't think I'll be stopping any time soon!


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