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  1. Kassy Mini Album Vol. 1 Kassy Mini Album Vol. 1 Kassy
    Kassy's sonic journey to healing
    January 29, 2018 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    Kassy made herself known as a rapper through the reality show Unpretty Rapstar 3 in 2016. However, I would rather call her a "rapping vocalist" because singing is her primary focus. In her first mini-album I Want Love, the R&B singer retains her groovy style while introducing new genres to depict a healing journey after breaking up with a loved one. The main plug "I Want Love" (Track 1) starts the album with a dramatic string melody that expresses the intense heat of love. The ardent mood simmers down when cool synth beats join the song. Kassy's confident and frank rap about the yearning for a past love enriches the appealing blend of electronica and classical music with a bold hip-hop... [read more]
  2. IU Special Remake Mini Album Vol. 2 IU Special Remake Mini Album Vol. 2 IU
    A trip down memory lane with IU
    October 30, 2017 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    Rather than taking photographs to preserve memories, IU captures the nostalgic moments of her youth through music. In 2014, the singer-songwriter reinterpreted some of her favorite old songs in the special record A Flower Bookmark, which lyrically compares the preservation of good old memories to a pressed flower. Three years later, IU again revisits the bygone days of K-pop music from the 1960s to 2000s in her second remake album A Flower Bookmark 2. Released in 1991, "Autumn Morning" is an encouraging folk song by Yang Hee Eun with Lee Byung Woo on guitar. Keeping the song's minimalistic arrangement, IU recreates a peaceful autumn morning in her soothing cover (Track 1). Over Jung Sung... [read more]
  3. SEOTAIJI 25th Anniversary Remake Album - Time:Traveler SEOTAIJI 25th Anniversary Remake Album - Time:Traveler Seo Taiji
    Seo Tai Ji's unflagging music spirit
    October 23, 2017 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    Before the appearance of Seo Tai Ji & Boys, ballad and trot were the prevailing styles in the Korean music scene. In 1992, legendary musician Seo Tai Ji and bandmates Yang Hyun Suk and Lee Ju No brought their rap-rock debut song "I Know" to the stage of a Korean talent show, where they got the lowest points in history. However, that much-criticized style would make them the biggest trendsetters of K-pop. Seo Tai Ji reshaped the industry by experimenting with different Western music genres, such as new jack swing, hip-hop, dance music, rock and heavy metal. It's hard to classify the singer-songwriter's style because his musical taste isn't bound by genre. However, the positive attitude... [read more]
  4. Primary EP Album - Pop Primary EP Album - Pop Primary
    Primary's first foray into pop music
    September 28, 2017 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    Primary's music style is always unpredictable. Hidden behind his quirky cardboard box mask with a bird beak, the producer's musical mind can never be read. Instead of following the trend, he follows his heart to create music. His carefree attitude towards music leads to an extremely broad music spectrum, ranging from old-school jazz and groovy R&B to electronic music and funky hip-hop. Less than a month after the New Wave EP Shininryu, the versatile musician makes an unexpected foray into the pop world with his second EP Pop that further expands his music landscape. While Shininryu features hidden gems from the K-pop world, Pop enlists vocalists from popular idol groups to tell different... [read more]
  5. Peejay - Walkin' Vol. 2 Peejay - Walkin' Vol. 2 Peejay
    A breath of fresh air in K-pop world
    September 21, 2017 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    After debuting with hip-hop duo Rhyme Bus in 2007, Peejay went behind the scenes and emerged two years later as a producer in IU's first album. Unleashing his irresistible smooth hip-hop style, the songwriter started to gain recognition with a series of groovy hits including Beenzino's Dali, Van, Picasso, Zion.T and Crush's "Just" and Zico's "I Am You, You Are Me." Peejay started the Walkin' project in 2015 to collect his private productions that are hardly heard in the pop scene. Different from his mainstream hits, songs from the first installment Walkin' Vol. 1 exuded a strong outer space vibe that revealed his unique hip-hop taste. In keeping with his signature soulful style, his second... [read more]
  6. Block B: Zico Mini Album Vol. 2 - Television (Special Edition) (CD + DVD) (Limited Edition) Block B: Zico Mini Album Vol. 2 - Television (Special Edition) (CD + DVD) (Limited Edition) Zico (Block B)
    An artist, not an idol
    September 8, 2017 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    In Korea, the gap between the mainstream and underground hip-hop scenes can be wide. Underground rappers can freely rap about provocative and political topics, but such sensitive content is usually restricted in mainstream media. The difference between the two fields inevitably develops into arguments over the authenticity of hip-hop in the pop scene. Idol rappers naturally become the target of some underground rappers, as Zico is well aware. In the past, the Block B leader has been accused of faking hip-hop for money and taking advantage of his large fandom in the underground scene. However, he shrugs off all the hostile comments and proves himself as a genuine hip-hop musician in his... [read more]
  7. Girls' Generation Vol. 6 - Holiday Night (Random Version) Girls' Generation Vol. 6 - Holiday Night (Random Version) Girls' Generation
    Tenth anniversary party of Girls' Generation
    August 28, 2017 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    Amid the wave of disbandment of iconic girl groups like 2NE1, Sistar and Wonder Girls, Girls' Generation continues to reign over the K-pop world with their sixth full-length album Holiday Night. In keeping with their ever-changing music style, the group experiments with more retro sounds in their tenth anniversary release. The group shows off their girl power in the funky disco jam Girls Are Back (Track 1), in which they confidently announce their comeback. The glamorous anniversary party continues in the double title tracks All Night (Track 2) and Holiday (Track 3). The disco anthem All Night is a sophisticated blend of 80s synth sounds, modern trap beats and a sparkling electronic tune.... [read more]
  8. offonoff Vol. 1 - boy. (Normal Edition) offonoff Vol. 1 - boy. (Normal Edition) offonoff
    Futuristic groovers
    August 7, 2017 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    Composed of singer-songwriter Colde and producer 0channel, offonoff is part of Dean's hip-hop crew Club Eskimo, which also includes singer-songwriters like Crush and Miso. Since their dreamy debut Mood launched on Soundcloud in 2015, the talented duo has enjoyed increasing popularity among futuristic music lovers. Recently recruited by Tablo's indie label HIGHGRND, they stay true to their raw music style and reveal people's innermost thoughts and emotions in their first full-length album boy. Love is the primary theme of this album. Comparing smoking to an addictive love, offonoff, Miso and Tablo capture the dreaminess and bittersweetness of a fleeting love in Cigarette (Track 2). Miso's... [read more]
  9. Beenzino - 24:26 (5th Anniversary Remaster Edition) Beenzino - 24:26 (5th Anniversary Remaster Edition) Beenzino
    Modern hip-hop classic
    July 14, 2017 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    During his Hot Clip days, Beenzino experimented with different genres to produce refreshing hip-hop sounds. After forming Jazzyfact with producer Shimmy Twice, he established his unique jazz rap style and soon became one of the most sought-after rappers in the music scene. The pioneering musician emerged as a soloist in 2012 with his first album 24:26, which has a significant influence on the development of Korean hip-hop. Breaking the convention of hip-hop music, the album is a groundbreaking release that deserves classic status. While the lead-off track Nike Shoes looks like an advert song for the sports brand, it's actually a breezy love song about Beenzino's ideal type. Primary's groovy... [read more]
  10. Heize EP Album - /// Heize EP Album - /// Heize
    Love in the rain
    June 30, 2017 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    Known for her distinctively soothing groove, Heize often expresses the feelings of exasperation and anger in a peacefully rebellious tone. Her anger gives way to sorrow and regret in her third mini-album ///, which uses rain to create different lyrical emotions. The sentimental singer-songwriter reveals the internal pain of separation in her deeply felt songs steeped in heartache, remorse and yearning. In the music video of "Don't Know You" (Track 1), Heize introduces 14 violent ways to lose a teddy bear, such as hitting, slapping and burning. The rapper's exaggerated portrayal of a dismissive girlfriend in the music video provides a heartbreaking contrast to the apologetic lyrics about the... [read more]
  11. SHINee: Jong Hyun Collection - Story Op.2 (Essay Version) SHINee: Jong Hyun Collection - Story Op.2 (Essay Version) Jong Hyun (SHINee)
    Blue Night memories
    May 19, 2017 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    Jong Hyun started hosting the radio program Blue Night in 2014. Inspired by audiences' real-life stories, the SHINee member created a bunch of soulful and jazzy ballads that were collected in his first compilation album Story Op. 1. After stepping down from the show in early April this year, the singer-songwriter wraps up the series with Story Op. 2, a sentimental sequel drowned in the mixture of melancholy, loneliness and helplessness felt in different seasons. Spring is the blooming season not just for flowers but also for love. However, the title track Lonely (Track 1) reveals the intense sense of loneliness behind an apparently blossoming love. Jong Hyun and Tae Yeon tenderly croon to... [read more]
  12. IU Vol. 4 - Palette IU Vol. 4 - Palette IU
    A frank reflection of growth
    May 9, 2017 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    At the age of 15, IU began her music career as an all-round singer with "Lost Child." However, her music style remained vague until she found her quirky fantasy vibe in the 2010 album Real. Despite her wide variety of music styles, she managed to retain the fairytale concept in her subsequent albums to show her inner child. Reaching adulthood, the singer-songwriter takes on a down-to-earth style to find her true self in her fourth full-length album Palette. It's hard to tell what "Dlwlrma" (Track 1) means through its apparently nonsensical title. However, when you type out the letters on a Korean keyboard, you will discover that the playful jazzy song is named after IU's nickname "Lee Ji... [read more]
  13. Junggigo Vol. 1 - Across the Universe Junggigo Vol. 1 - Across the Universe Junggigo (Singer)
    Exploring new possibilities for R&B
    April 27, 2017 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    Gifted with an enchantingly smooth voice, Junggigo has been one of the most sought-after vocalists in the jazz-influenced underground hip-hop scene since his debut in 2002. After starting his solo career with a series of richly soulful tracks including the highly praised Blind, the singer-songwriter continues to work with different hip-hop artists and further expand his R&B spectrum. In his first full-length album Across the Universe, Junggigo melds even more different styles to open up new possibilities for his musical direction. Moving out of his comfort zone of warm-hearted ballads, Junggigo explores his wild and sexy side in the sensual and funky Nocturne (Track 8). Backed by... [read more]
  14. DPR Live EP Album - Coming to You Live DPR Live EP Album - Coming to You Live DPR Live
    A rising hip-hop power
    March 27, 2017 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    In recent years, many underground rappers have come to light thanks to rap competition shows like Show Me the Money and Unpretty Rapstar. However, Live, also known as DPR Live after his agency Dream Perfect Regime (DPR), takes a different route to start his career. Though he didn't participate in any competitions to raise his popularity, he captures mainstream attention because of his futuristic artistry. Collaborating with A-list R&B and hip-hop musicians like Jay Park, Dean, Crush and Loco, the promising rapper kills it with his debut Coming to You Live. Centering on the themes of drinking, love and sex, this album features a number of sensual tracks with a swirling psychedelic charm.... [read more]
  15. Girls' Generation: Tae Yeon Vol. 1 - My Voice (Fine Version) Girls' Generation: Tae Yeon Vol. 1 - My Voice (Fine Version) Tae Yeon (Girls' Generation)
    A new generation K-pop diva
    March 9, 2017 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    In recent years, many K-pop idols have started solo careers but only a few can really stand alone as successful soloists. Stripping away Girls' Generation's dance pop style, Tae Yeon has explored many different genres since her solo debut I. The songstress impresses fans again with her first full-length album My Voice, which features an incredibly wide range of music styles – including not just pop ballad and R&B, but also avant-garde styles like alternative pop, PB R&B and tropical house. The acoustic guitar introduction of the title track Fine (Track 1) creates a similar vibe to I. Crooning in a subdued tone along calm guitar tunes, Tae Yeon perfectly portrays the inner struggle of a... [read more]
  16. Zion.T - OO Zion.T - OO Zion.T
    A jazzy lO-Ok at Zion.T's world
    February 16, 2017 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    From the eccentric and wild Babay to the retro Miss Kim to the moving "Yanghwa Bridge," Zion.T's quirky and offbeat R&B vibe varies from theme to theme. One thing that doesn't change is his simplistic style and addictive rhythms. Since joining YG Entertainment's sub-label The Black Label last year, he has turned to hip-hop and even became a judge on the popular rap competition Show Me the Money 5. Despite concerns that he would go mainstream after signing with his new agency, the singer-songwriter eases the worries by displaying his creative independence in the album OO, a refreshing jazz/hip-hop fusion about his unique worldview. Kicking off with a film rolling sound, the lead-off track... [read more]
  17. miss A: Suzy Mini Album Vol. 1 - Yes? No? miss A: Suzy Mini Album Vol. 1 - Yes? No? Bae Suzy
    An artistic portrayal of love
    January 26, 2017 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    Since her touching performance of "Winter Child" in the hit drama Dream High, Suzy has been known for her warm vocals which are rarely shown in miss A's songs. Last year, the singer-actress deviated from her group's chic style and ventured into jazz through the successful duet Dream with EXO's Baek Hyun. Making her solo debut, Suzy strays away from the mainstream even further with her first mini-album Yes? No?, an atmospheric release delving into the inner world of a young woman struggling with love. The title track Yes No Maybe (Track 2) is the only dance number in this ballad-driven album, but it still goes well with the album's hazy theme. The upbeat Britpop song is full of strong... [read more]
  18. Block B: Park Kyung Mini Album Vol. 1 - Notebook Block B: Park Kyung Mini Album Vol. 1 - Notebook Park Kyung (Block B)
    Mainstream idol, indie vibe
    January 24, 2017 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    Over the past two decades, the K-pop scene has been dominated by idol groups, though the early to mid-2000s was the golden era of solo acts with big names like BoA and Rain. Now, we're seeing the gradual emergence of an era of idol soloists–an era in which notable members from idol groups pursue solo careers. As extensions of the groups they belong to, solo idol singers usually follow their groups' concepts. However, Block B's Park Kyung takes a new music route completely different from his group's tough hip-hop style in his solo debut Notebook. Notebook is a love diary recording the different emotions of a romantic relationship. The love tale begins with "Ordinary Love" (Track 1), a smooth... [read more]
  19. I Mini Album Vol. 1 - I Dream I Mini Album Vol. 1 - I Dream i
    A dreamy pop debut
    January 20, 2017 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    To appeal to the widest range of audience, Korean entertainment agencies tend to promote idol groups rather than soloists. Members from idol groups or well-known contestants from singing competitions like K-pop Star and Superstar K usually have a better change at solo careers. Solo singers without an already established fandom are hard to launch in Korea unless they are backed by large agencies. However, rising company WM Entertainment, which houses B1A4 and Oh My Girl, confidently introduces its first soloist Cha Yoon Ji with the stage name "I." Though known as the younger sister of B1A4's Baro, I proves that she is able to stand alone as a unique artist not because of her brother's fame,... [read more]
  20. WJSN (Cosmic Girls) Mini Album Vol.3 - From. WJSN WJSN (Cosmic Girls) Mini Album Vol.3 - From. WJSN WJSN (Cosmic Girls)
    A new cosmic power
    January 13, 2017 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    Like many other girl groups, Cosmic Girls debuted with a cute concept. However, this common style didn't help them stand out. They soon found a new direction and successfully created their signature cosmic vibe with "Secret" in their second mini-album. Rather than simply following the newly established style, the thirteen-member group gives a fresh sound by blending their typical cuteness and the mature tone of "Secret" for their third mini-album From. WJSN. Kicking off with a refreshing synth opening reminiscent of their debut song MoMoMo, the title number "I Wish" (Track 1) may disappoint those who expect something as amazing as "Secret." However, the beautifully crafted pre-chorus and... [read more]
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