Henry – Fantastic – MV Review

Henry Lau is back again with a new mini album and MV titled ‘Fantastic’. I absolutely loved his solo debut last year, so this was a comeback that I had been anticipating – especially since he did SO MUCH trolling and teasing on all of his social media in the months leading up to the actual announcement of a date and time for the MV.

Being the maknae of Super Junior M, he’s already pretty high up my Suju bias list, and all of his appearances this year on variety shows have cemented him even further as one of my favourites. He’s definitely grown as a solo artist, however I do feel that SM haven’t given him anything particularly special to work with for this MV that would really elevate him as a star to watch.

That said, I did enjoy this MV and I also like the song. The violin adds a different feel – especially as he plays it himself and the chorus is quite catchy too. It’s not a song I skip when it comes up on my i-pod, that’s for sure!

The other songs on the mini album are also fun to listen to – featuring cameos from Chanyeol (EXO), Hoya (Infinite) and Seulgi (SM Rookies). I see what you did there SM… It does come across that they feel the need to shoehorn in other artists to support Henry, but I won’t complain too much as they add some additional colour and match well with Henry too.

Of course I ordered the album, and it will come at the end of the month with my other July KPop – with a bonus poster yay! I also hear that there is a photocard included too!

MV Moments that I appreciated

SM Love Their Maze Sets

Henry-Fantastic-1

Kekekeke! I had a slight concerned frown here as I was thinking… wait… is this the EXO set recycled? I’ll put it down to a thematic coincidence and not just SM cheaping out. I do like the transition from the moody B&W noir feel here in the intro, to the colour of the song. The way the red bleeds / seeps into the frame is done well – it is totally in keeping with the ‘giving life through music’ storyline.

The Violin of “Destiny”

Henry-Fantastic-2

Did JJ Abrams direct this MV? So many lens flares! Henry is rather talented, playing piano and violin (a modern renaissance man!) so I’m pleased to see him showcasing that here. Sure, this is a little bit cliched to have the violin create his dream woman – but at least there is a plot of some sort! I am a bit squicked by all the tubes – I have the same kind of feeling about Beast’s ‘Shock’. It’s just somehow unnerving to me.

Henry Does This…

Henry-Fantastic-3

Straight to my ‘crotch dancing’ playlist! Actually titled “Calling Attention to Packages – aka blatant crotch dancing” (39 videos and counting as I work my way back through all the kpop). It’s almost a body roll too! The choreography in this MV is great to watch, it hits all the beats and also has a few set pieces that are quite clever.

Let Me Show You My Co-ordination Skills

Henry-Fantastic-4

I am aware that he doesn’t actually do this ‘live’ during his stage performances – but you do have to admit that it looks pretty amazing fantastic!

Smile For the Camera!

Henry-Fantastic-5

Henry is super cute as it is (and Emily’s ultimate bias), but I do love that he really looks like he’s having a lot of fun here. K-Pop is full of MVs that include the cute camera staredown – it’s a way to engage directly with the viewer (and let’s face it, I can’t resist it either). Henry is just the right amount of flirtatious and cheeky.

A Box Set That Actually Works

Henry-Fantastic-6

SM love their box sets – but this one has a great detail! I love that it’s actually the ‘inside’ of the violin. If the camera swooping in didn’t clue you in at the beginning of the sequence, the cut-outs in the ceiling should. I especially like how this affects the lighting, causing a spotlight on Henry. This is actually pretty clever, so I give some applause to the set designer for this creative take on the typical box.

All the Henrys

Henry-Fantastic-7

This was an interesting visual choice by the PD and set designer. For me, this kind of display of monitors reads as a dystopia – think Terry Gilliam’s ‘Brazil’ or Big Brother from ‘1984’. It has overtones of surveillance and control and the focus on multiple angles of Henry does nothing to dispel this reading. My take on the plot is that he uses the futuristic technology to channel the energy of his music into creating his perfect girl. This set, to me, makes this act come across as something that is either forbidden or dangerous, it’s kind of odd, because SM aren’t really known for making their MVs make sense at all. Ehhhh I’m probably reading too much into it…

Henry Makes / Gets His Girl

Henry-Fantastic-8

The CG here is SUPER cheesy – but I still like it. And yay! A positive ending for an MV!

Watch the MV below – and don’t forget to check out some of the live stages – they’re pretty fun to watch as well!

It’s gonna be fantastic!

Advertisements

B1A4 – Solo Day MV

b1a4-solo-day-1 b1a4-solo-day-2
b1a4-solo-day-3 b1a4-solo-day-4
b1a4-solo-day-5
b1a4-solo-day-6 b1a4-solo-day-7
b1a4-solo-day-8 b1a4-solo-day-10

B1A4 ‘Solo Day’ MV – Gif Set

And the cute MVs just keep coming!

Watching this really makes me wish it was summer and I had some cute boys to go alien chasing with.

B1A4 are back again after only 6 months with a fun and cute new MV and mini album. As always, it’s very much in their quirky style with bright colours, a great story and a catchy tune (with some dubious English thrown in, but it wouldn’t be B1A4 if it made actual sense!)

b1a4-screenshot

Hahaha I had to scroll SO FAR BACK in our Kakao chat to find this exchange… how do we manage to send so many messages a day? (lol all kpop related too).

I love all of the elements in this MV – it’s great to see a group get out of the ubiquitous ‘box set’ and tell a story. It’s definitely different and bears repeated viewing so that you can catch all of the small details – especially in the signs and backgrounds.

This MV went on so many of our random playlists… (pink hair, beach, cute head bobbing, big round spinny things, random shopping trolley, nanana/lalalala, video game, glasses, doggies, stripey shirts, party – alas that the car was not actually a useless car…)  Well done B1A4! We should totally make that whistling playlist now, right?

How cute is Baro with his detecting gear and his utter glee at actually coming across the aliens! I also adore Gongchan and the dog (may have squealed a bit because it was so adorable).

Jinyoung did an amazing job composing this! I can appreciate his talent as a songwriter here as this is so much fun to sing along to.

I’m hoping we’ll get a dance practice at some point too – as the live stages are unbearably cute to watch!

Solo solo day solo solo day girl

100% – U Beauty – MV Review

100-percent-u-beauty-1 100-percent-u-beauty-2
100-percent-u-beauty-3 100-percent-u-beauty-4
100-percent-u-beauty-5 100-percent-u-beauty-6
100-percent-u-beauty-7 100-percent-u-beauty-8

100% “U Beauty” MV Gif Set

It’s the cute flower boys of summer!

100% are back again with a 180 degree shift in concept. Their last mini album “Bang the Bush” and MV ‘Beat’ featured loads of vampire / frankenstein imagery (plus abs – yay! and lots of rather hot stage outfits featuring leather). ‘U Beauty’ is ALL about being adorable and piling on the aegyo. I’m not complaining though, as I love and adore cute concepts – especially cute concepts with colourful hair!

There’s a glut of adorable MVs out at the moment – which are all celebrating the northern hemisphere summer (as I type this, there’s a thunderstorm outside and I have my electric blanket dialed up to “3”). This MV isn’t anything super different, but it’s fun to watch and the song is very catchy! 100% have gone for a fresh and cute idol concept as they sing to a pretty girl (and slightly stalk her in the locker room).

100% are currently promoting as a team of 5. Their very attractive leader Minwoo is in the army and the maknae Sanghoon is on a break as he decides what he wants to do. Rokhyun has taken over leadership duties and is currently making himself my bias because he’s just too sweet. These boys are label mates with Teen Top with Top Media (yay!) and it’s fantastic to see them promoting back to back. They’re very underrated as a group and I’m hoping that they’ll continue to build their fanbase and popularity so we can see more of them!

I love the vocal line in this group – they are all talented singers and this is a light summery song with a good hook line ‘니가 예쁘다’ (niga yeppeuda) which will worm its way into your brain and have you singing along. I like the brass elements too – overall the song is bright and cheerful and has a fun rap chorus too.

I have to mention the colourful hair too! Jonghwan is blue, Rokhyun blond, Changbum pink, Chanyong is orange and Hyukjin escaped the stylist this time!

u-beauty-promo

I also appreciate the choreography – it fits well with the song, and has some pretty well executed moves that put their athleticism and flexibility to the test! I like that there are some jazz ballet moves too!  The live stages have been a real treat to watch so far as well with their strong vocals coming across.

I have ordered the mini album ‘Sunkiss’ from MNet (as they’re doing a signed meet and greet) The promo pictures were adorable giving me hope that the photobook will be full of boys with flowers. (just like CN Blue’s ‘Can’t Stop’). I’ll have to go back and get their first 2 mini albums now… and to think I mercilessly teased Aimee when she bought them in Korea…

I have embedded the original and dance version MVs below (The dance version is my favourite because it’s really good!) and if you have time you should also check out the acoustic piano version because it’s AMAZING! All the harmonies!! *melts* These boys are so talented!

You’re the one and only

God bless lycra and the PD-nim for giving us this

woohyun-pool-1

woohyun-pool-2

woohyun-pool-3

woohyun-pool-4

woohyun-pool-5

“Hi School – Love On!” Episode 2 – Woohyun Gif Set

Behold, Woohyun and his rather enviable form striding across the screen…

*fans self*

This series is super cute so far! (and thank you PD-nim for the bonus shower scene, though I mourn the lack of the mentioned “chocolate abs” showing on screen)

Alas that we only get one episode a week!

I’m looking forward to ALL the bromance with Sungyeol (who is being super broody and angsty already *pets him*) and a sweet high school first love story.

Bigflo Polaroid!

bigflo-firstflow-4

So I *might* have run up and down the hallway squealing like a crazed lunatic fangirl after I opened this album – but you can’t blame me for turning into a complete mess because this was the best surprise!

I caved, and added this adorable rookie group to my June buys because I managed to absolutely fall in love with them. Their adorable Bigflo-TV shorts on YouTube might have been the direct cause of this obsession… Plus the debut song was really good and very catchy!

Their last update was ‘Bigflo CD Factory’ which showed them preparing a special gift for their fans: 200 polaroids, signed and placed into albums to be distributed randomly.

Watch it subbed in English here or the original below:

I remember thinking it would be awesome to get one – but that the odds would be pretty low…

Anyway – Emily (one of my kpop BFF’s) got her latest order on Wednesday and promptly had a meltdown on Kakao – because she got one!!! Hers was from HighTop and there was a whole heap of excited squee and extreme jealousy exchanged in our group chat.

I’m sure she won’t mind me posting her photo too!!

bigflo-firstflow-1

How cute is it!!!

My order was delivered on Friday (I missed the first delivery and had to have it rescheduled). It was waiting for me when I got home from a particularly gruelling day at work, so before I hopped in the shower I thought – ‘I’ll just take a peep at one album’ and grabbed BigFlo from the stack…

bigflo-firstflow-3

Cue my own epic meltdown!

I was so thrilled to get this special item! Especially as it’s a one off polaroid. Jungkyun signed it and added a cute smiley face cartoon. There’s also a fingerprint in the sticky tape where he placed it on the CD.

Well, this is certainly turned me into a diehard fan now!

Emily and I are both incredibly lucky!

I’ve had to put this on top of my shelves so that I could display it opened up. Good thing there’s a nice gap between the top and the ceiling!

SHINVIXXFinite!

shinvixxfinite

The best kind of birthday present is one that you give to yourself.

Japan K-Pop releases in early July just happened to have the best ever combination of groups releasing within days of each other, so I bundled them together into one delivery of awesome!

I buy my Japan K-Pop through HMV – not only do they have an extensive and thorough catalog, their shipping is SUPER fast and always supremely well packaged. I’ve never had a bent or damaged CD yet. They might be slightly more expensive than CD-Japan, however I earn a lot pf points with them that I redeem to cover the shipping of subsequent orders… This is how my never-ending stream of deliveries is justified… Japan is bankrupting me I swear!

So yes, I absolutely bought all versions of SHINee and Infinite and restricted myself to just one of VIXX (though I am now VERY tempted to add the group version to another order).

Apologies for the photos – it’s late at night and I’m working at the moment. Boo having to earn money to fund this addiction!

SHINee – Lucky Star  – Standard Edition

Also known as the cutest single EVER!

luck-star-a-1

The standard edition is a CD-sized album. It comes with a photocard (1 of 6 random) and postcard (1 of 6 random). I got Taemin and Onew!

luck-star-a-2

Inside is a small photobooklet with 12 pages of images and lyrics – it’s head shots of all group members posing super cutely and some group shots as well. For those wondering – YES they are different to the Limited Edition.

The CD has the single ‘Lucky Star’ and B-side ‘Bounce’

SHINee – Lucky Star – First Press Limited Edition

lucky-star-b-1

*nosebleed*

This was seriously so adorable! The limited edition is a DVD sized release with a perspex slip cover (printed with stars – sooooo cute!). It also comes with a postcard (1 of 6 random) and photocard (1 of 6 random). I got Onew and Key! Inside is a 28pp photobooklet and case with a CD and DVD.

lucky-star-b-2
lucky-star-b-3
lucky-star-b-4

The CD has the single ‘Lucky Star” and B-side ‘Bounce’ and the DVD has the full PV (yay!!) as well as a super adorable ‘making of’ featurette. This is not subbed in English, but you don’t really need a translation!

VIXX – Darkest Angels – A Edition (N) – First Press Limited

darkest-angels-1

This album has 7 versions! One for each member and a group version. So hard to choose OMG! In the end I went with my bias N 🙂

This is a square album – slightly larger than a standard CD. It has a clear perspex slip case, CD/DVD case and 52pp booklet that has images from several of their Korean photoshoots for previous albums. It also came with a group postcard as well as a photocard (1 of 6 random). The photocard is the larger ‘Japan-size’ which juuuuust squeezes into a photo holder.

darkest-angels-4
darkest-angels-3
darkest-angels-2

This is a full album with 16 tracks and the DVD contains 10 MVs (all Korean versions). This is an album release purely for the Japanese market – VIXX have not re-recorded their songs in Japanese, so there’s nothing new here. This is really only worthwhile if you like collecting!

Infinite – Last Romeo -Kimi ga Ireba Ii (Standard Edition First Press)

last-romeo-normal-1

The Infinite albums are all exceptionally presented! The standard edition has a slip cover that has foiling and also comes with a photocard (1 of 8 random) I got Hoya! Again these are the larger type photocards.

last-romeo-normal-2

The photobook is the ethereal white outfits where they all look like their floating or ascending 🙂

The CD has the title track ‘Last Romeo’ as well as ‘僕という人’ (Boku toiu Hito) and Nothing’s Over (Japanese Version)

Infinite – Last Romeo -Kimi ga Ireba Ii (Type A First Press Limited)

last-romeo-A-1 last-romeo-A-2

Suuuuuper pretty!! It’s about the same size as a DVD and comes with a 16pp photobook as well as  a CD / DVD combo. The photobook slides into the left hand side and is hidden.

last-romeo-A-3

These photos are of the Japan outfits from the MV remake!

The DVD has the PV as well as a making of featurette

Infinite – Last Romeo -Kimi ga Ireba Ii (Type B First Press Limited)

last-romeo-B-1
last-romeo-B-2
This edition is AMAZING and it’s also absolutely HUGE as it’s A4 in size. *sobs* Infinite had to be re-shelved because of this! The gold foiling on the cover is a really lovely tounh


last-romeo-B-3
last-romeo-B-4

last-romeo-B-5

Edition B only has the single, but the 52pp photobook is absolutely gorgeous! This is from the same photoshoot as their second Korean album and it’s a very high quality print with lovely paper.

The Great Shelving Crisis!

kpop-shelves

*sobs pathetically*

This is what a deadly K-Pop addition looks like…

That ShinVIXXFinite order arrival from Japan finally put my Kpop shelving into overload. There is officially no more room at the inn! I’m actually going to have to invest in the add-on unit because I may have bought a heap of Kpop albums for my birthday (it was totes just all the albums for June that I had on hold until monies came my way…) and have pre-ordered another pile of Japan releases and upcoming Korean comebacks.

I love to display the albums that I’ve bought because they really are beautiful to look at – not just because of all the cute boys, but because they’re really gorgeously packaged. I’m a graphic designer who works in print and I really appreciate how the albums are put together. All of that Spot UV and foiling and embossing! Not to mention the really amazing die cuts that make up the actual album enclosure – I wish that my clients would spend the money on these processes!

I like to have at least one album per group facing outwards – usually their most recent release – however I now have at least 9 groups who are delegated to spine only *sad*.

This all started just over 2 years ago with my first physical album purchase – Super Junior’s ‘Breakdown’. I then added albums slowly until we went to Korea last September. I remember making lists before we went of all the albums that I wanted to buy. My extreme ‘wish list’ had over 65 albums on it, and after laughing at how ludicrous that idea was, we all culled our lists down to about 20 with a +5 leeway for sneaky buys (aka my cutie boy groups that I was at the time in denial over)…

Then Aimee and I went to Tower Records in Japan and threw our rules out the window. I had 2 Japan albums on my list – SHINee’s Boys Meet U (which had just been released) and Junho from 2PM’s solo album ‘Kimi no Koe’, and let’s just say that I left Japan with over 20… Damn you Boyfriend and Infinite! Why did you have to be so awesome! Korea was even worse – even after posting all my Japan albums and our first few days haul back home, I still left the country with 85 albums, most of them carry-on and we were STILL overweight on the baggage weight limit!

Because I collect so many groups, every month I add at least 10 albums to my collection (usually more, because of Japan releases that I can’t stay away from). For reference these are the groups that I either own the entire discography of or am currently collecting:

  • SHINee – Japan and Korea all versions
  • Infinite – Japan and Korea all versions plus Toheart, Sunggyu and Infinite H
  • FT Island – Japan and Korea (missing 6 singles that are out of print)
  • MYNAME
  • VIXX
  • BtoB
  • Teen Top
  • B.A.P – Japan and Korea
  • UKISS – Korea only
  • EXO – K and M versions
  • TVXQ! – Japan and Korea (only the duo releases)
  • CN Blue – Korea only
  • 2PM
  • 2AM
  • SHU-I
  • B1A4
  • Boyfriend – Japan and Korea
  • Beast – Japan and Korea plus solos Yoseob and Junhyung
  • MBLAQ
  • Nu’Est
  • History
  • BTS
  • ZE:A – plus subgroups
  • Alphabat
  • Boys Republic
  • Speed
  • Block B
  • JYJ
  • Heo Yeong Sang
  • A-Prince
  • A-JAX
  • Super Junior – incomplete – only my fave albums so far
  • and various solos and one offs

Hmmm – I have a lot of groups there! No wonder I can’t narrow down a top twenty!

Whenever I have visitors they all enjoy pulling them down and looking through them because they’re so different to anything that you can buy here. An album in Australia is a CD jewel case and you’re lucky if there’s a 4 page insert at the front. K-Pop comes with so many extra goodies – I especially love photocards – I’ve filled nearly 6 cases with back to back cards (I may have an addiction) and let’s not mention the now more than 100 posters I seem to have accumulated…

Lots of albums also come with postcards, stickers (not that I’ll use them – they are for looking at only!) and bookmarks. The most deadly aspect is the repackage album, where about a month after the initial release the group will record another song (or two) and re-release the album with a brand new album design and photobook. I’m a bit of a serial collector, so I have a fair few of these. To me, they are worth buying – because most of the time the CDs never make it out of the case (except to be added to i-Tunes). I buy them for other reasons – namely the photobooks!

I rotate my posters in and out – although I am currently having an existential crisis because there are too many posters and not enough wall! And I do put up postcards from select albums as well. Technically this would reduce the re-sell value as *horror* I do use blue-tac – but I’m not about to get rid of any!

My Current Stats! *shame*

Albums – 252
DVD Concerts – 16
Photobooks and Other – 9
Posters – 119
Photocards – too many… (LIES! there is no such thing as too many)

Wow… I could pretty much make a post per day featuring a K-pop album for a year…

On it’s way to me are:

MBLAQ – Broken (signed edition)
B.A.P – Unplugged
Beast – Good Luck (Black and White versions because I totes need both photobooks)
Bigflo – First Flow (I broke my rookies rule and bought them because I love them)
History – Desire
VIXX – VIXX box and Voodoo DVD box (‘cos I skipped Voodoo last time and had regrets! Good thing it was bundled with the VIXX box on sale!)
SHINee – SHINee world 3 DVD set
Boyfriend – Obesssion (signed edition)
UKISS – First Homme (signed edition) – I am giving the copy I already have to a friend…
ZE:A (signed edition)

On Preorder for July:

Got7 – Got Love (signed edition)
Henry – Fantastic
B1A4 – Solo Day
Nu’Est – Rebirth
Boyfriend – Seventh Color (Japan release) – maaaaay need 2 versions of this, let’s just say they are in the cart, waiting to be processed
BTS – Boy in Luv (Japan release)
BAP – Excuse Me (Japan release)
Donghae & Eunhyuk – Skeleton (Japan release)
Junho (Feel – Japan release)

Likely to add:

Infinite – Last Romeo repackage
C-Clown – 4th mini album (also WAE are all their other albums now out of print *will have to scour ebay*)
Teen Top – comeback
Block B – comeback
JYJ – comeback

I have no idea how I’m going to cram this into my shelves without drastic rearranging and spining most of my displayed albums. *crying forever*

How do you display your Kpop? Do you do it by group like me? Are your favourite groups in a special position?