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sowon

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  1. Like
    sowon got a reaction from CTmanGer for a blog entry, Jeong Eunji - Be With Me   
    Jeong Eunji is back with a duet featuring 10cm. Eunji is known for being a vocalist for the 2011 K-pop girl group Apink, alongisde her other five members. Eunji has previously released her own solo albums such as Dream, Hyewha, and The Space, with amazing solo songs such as The Spring. Her mature, motherly, and warm voice is beautiful to hear, and Eunji is one of if not my favorite Korean artist, so any and all songs she releases, I will listen to immediately.
     
    Today, I'll be listening to her duet with 10cm to share what I think and what I like about the song. It's a short and sweet single, so I'm highly anticipating hearing Eunji's raw voice which is probably going to be accompanied by a single instrument for a relaxing and soulful experience.
     

     
    0:02 - Lovely and lonely piano to start off, gives a nice relaxing vibe to the song so far.
    0:12 - I love the contrast between Eunji’s smooth and elegant vocals alongside the choppy and cracky piano blocks, it gives some texture and rhythm to the song despite how separate the two are.
    0:22 - I love the transition from Eunji’s warm and soft tones to 10cm’s soulful and by contrast exotic voice, it’s a clear distinction as to who is singing and also a nice back and forth between the two vocalist’s nice tones. I also like how the piano follows the vocal tones of 10cm to give his vocals some more body, as it’s just the vocals and piano.
    0:35 - This back and forth is what I was describing earlier, it’s so easy to tell who is singing and the contrast is great, especially with the piano in the back elevating their singing range.
    0:54 - This is a beautiful duet, I love how sharply both of their voices are hitting notes and how effortlessly they both do it, two excellent vocalists.
    1:26 - Some more of the same toning and pacing of the first verse, and the same goes for 10cm, I love how calm and relaxing this duet is to listen to.
    2:19 - I’ll never get tired of their duality in the song, their voices compliment each other so much and I love how nicely their voices match to make an awesome duet.
     

     
    Despite how simple the compositional arangement of the song was, I love how the song is pure with Eunji and 10cm's vocals with literally only their voices and a piano melody. I especially love how the piano complimented them throughout the song in terms of matching their rhythm and creating warm and relaxation to the listener. Eunji never falters with her songs, and Be With Me is no exception. It is quite a simple song, but it's so relaxing and soothing to listen to, and that's essentially a majority of Eunji's songs.
  2. Like
    sowon got a reaction from Eschew for a blog entry, Cherry MX Black (Re-Tooled) - Really Gold Standard?   
    The Cherry MX Black is arguably one of if the best modern Cherry switch to ever be created, the vintage kind of which is one of the most sought-after linear switches ever for its unbeatable smoothness, and ironically is labelled Cherry's best switch despite being made a few decades ago. There is a lot of debate online about what year would qualify a Cherry Black to be vintage, but generally from what I've read online, any Cherry Black switch found inside a board that was manufactured from before 1990 is considered a board with vintage Cherry Blacks inside of it.
     
    Today though, I have non-vintage, re-tooled Cherry MX Blacks with me. I have used these Cherry Blacks for around two weeks now and here are my opinions and experiences with my time using the Cherry MX Black. For reference, my daily keyboard uses 67g Tealios V2s lubed with Tribosys 3204 resting on a brass plate. The board I used with the Cherry Blacks in uses the Cherry Blacks lubed with Krytox 205g0 and a carbon fiber plate, so my experiences with the Cherry Black might differ from others due to the plate material, lubing, and even keycaps difference.
     
    When I first got my Cherry Blacks, I was curious as to how they would feel, as I've been advised online that re-tooled, modern Cherry Blacks feel vastly scratchier and much more inconsistent than vintage Cherry Blacks due to how much re-molding the Cherry Black has gone through.
    Unfortunately, this was the case with me, as immediately as a loose switch, when I pressed down on the switch, it was really scratchy. It had about the same scratchiness as YOK Pandas, which are notoriously scratchy switches in my experience. Even stock Gateron Yellows beat these in smoothness.
     
    I opened up the switch and the material wasn't actually that bad, but it was clear how rough and unpolished the material was compared to Gateron housings.
     

     
    Prior to purchasing the Cherry MX Black, I knew it was going to be a heavy switch from reading the force curve. At a perceived 60g operating point, and an 80g bottom-out, it was going to be a workout for my fingers which were used to switches that bottom-out in the 60g region.
     

     
    After opening up the switch, I took a look at the  stem, as I always do. Its material is fairly decent, with some minor roughness. It's a pretty standard linear stem with defined stem legs, as with all other MX linears on the market which use the same stem design. The material of the stem doesn't compare to the smoothness of other switches such as Gateron Ink Blacks or Zeal's high-end Tealios V2 switches, but it's decently smooth, and I'm sure people would not complain about it if they were obliged to use a Cherry Black.
     

     
    I believe what contributes more to the abundant scratchiness of the Cherry Blacks - even after lubing - is the housing. The housings are definitely rough and course, especially when compared to something like Gateron housings. The bog standard stem combined with the 'eh'-quality housing is in my experience what makes the re-tooled Cherry Black a scratchy switch.
     

     
    Typing on the Cherry Blacks was in all honesty, a pretty shameful experience. I lubed my Cherry Blacks with Krytox 205g0 - with a single Cherry Black lubed with thinner Tribosys 3204 lube to go into the Escape key - and every time I wanted to use them, the prominent scratchiness and sheer resistance of the spring was something I could not bond with. While it was a nice novelty to be able to daily run lubed Cherry Blacks, I did not find the typing experience throughout the two weeks I spent with them fun, and always found myself going back to my main board with Tealios inside them as I found the Tealios better-weighted and tenfold smoother.
     
    Do I recommend the re-tooled Cherry Black? No, I don't. It's far too scratchy for what it is, and the weight is a mountain to overcome. I would much rather purchase another alternative linear such as Gateron Yellows or even Gateron Ink Blacks, as those two switches are noticeably smoother than the Cherry Black even as a stock switch, and lubing both of those options will lead to an even greater smoothness that the re-tooled Cherry Black can never achieve.
     
    Sorry Cherry, but your gold standard is just a scratchy linear.
  3. Like
    sowon got a reaction from Eschew for a blog entry, Gateron Yellow - The Balanced Option   
    The Gateron Yellow is a linear switch designed and manufactured by Gateron, to along with their line-up of linear switches such as the Gateron Red and Gateron Black. The Gateron Yellow is a linear switch with distinct similarities to the Gateron Red, with a slightly heavier spring at 50g actuation versus the Red's actuation at 45g. In this sense, the Gateron Yellow is essentially a slightly heavier Gateron Red, and in my experience, that holds true.
     
    Looking at the stem, it's about as standard as a linear MX stem goes, with the iconic MX top piece, and the smooth legs on the front of the stem. In Gateron's case, the material of the stem is extremely smooth, similar to their Gateron Red and Gateron Ink Black stems in particular. The stem is in a bumblebee yellow, and is quite literally the same as the Gateron Red's stem, just with a different color.
     

     
    The Gateron Yellow takes lubing well, I lubed Gateron Yellows with Tribosys 3204 and it improved smoothness a lot, as well as increased the 'thock' sound signature. This is again similar to the characteristics to the Gateron Red, and I can't convey just how similar this switch is to a Gateron Red.
     
    In essence, the Gateron Yellow is a Gateron Red with a heavier spring, it shares the same housing characteristics as the Gateron Red, whilst also inheriting the lubing capabilities of other Gateron linear switches. I have previously reviewed the MX Red, and used a Gateron Red as the example there, you can read the review here.
  4. Like
    sowon got a reaction from Eschew for a blog entry, Input Club's Hako Violet - Lightweight & Consistent   
    When Input Club and Massdrop - oh, sorry, I meant Drop - had a feud on mechanical keyswitches, Input Club settled and made their own 'Hako' flavor of tactile switches. What I have here today is the Hako Violet by Input Club, one of the lightest if not the lightest tactile switch I have ever used in my life, at just a 50g bottom-out from what I researched online about this particular switch.
     
    The Hako Violet is the brother of Input's Club Hako line, next to its siblings, the Hako Clear and the Hako True. All three of them are tactile switches and share the same Kailh Box design used in similar switches such as the Kailh Box Jade, Kailh Box Navy, and Kailh Box Heavy Burnt Orange, so they all include a remarkably boxy stem to prevent dust and moisture from entering the housing. My Kailh Box Jade review of which you can read here.
     
    As mentioned earlier, the Hako Violet is a tactile switch. Opening up the switch and taking a look at the stem, there is a noticeable dip in the leg of the Box stem. In my opinion, the Hako Violet isn't noticeably more tactile than an MX Brown, but is still soft enough to be satisfying and indicative of actuation. I believe this is due to the inherently lightweight nature of the entire switch as a whole which emphasises the sharpness of the tactile bump.
     

     
    My favorite thing about choosing this tactile switch over a mainstream MX Brown is the consistency of the switch's actuation. The Box stem is great for minimising stem wobble as well as promoting as consistent actuation on the keypress across an entire keyboard, as there is so much more surface area for the stem to slide down, making them extra smooth.
     
    Out of curiousity, I lubed the sides of the stem with thin Tribosys 3204 lube and I found that it did not enhance the smoothness of the switch in any way. I believe this may be because the switch is inherently smooth thanks to the design, and also that the Box stem sticks further out which leaks out lube when not pressed down.
     
    Input Club have done an excellent job at creating a switch which is smooth and tactile and that is all thanks to the Box-style switch. While I don't think the tactility is any better than a standard MX Brown, nor is it more extreme than a Zealios V2 switch, the switch's strong point lies in the consistency of actuation and smoothness of actuation.
  5. Like
    sowon got a reaction from Eschew for a blog entry, MX Brown - Tactility? What Tactility?   
    The MX Brown is the last of the Cherry originals, its siblings being the MX Blue and MX Red, a clicky and a linear switch respectively. The MX Brown is the tactile switch that completes the trifecta of Cherry's flagship switch line.
     
    I personally prefer linear for its smooth actuation, and tactile for its actuation indication, and unfortunately the MX Brown isn't tactile at all. It's almost a linear. I describe it as a Red with a food baby. The bump is so minimal, yet it is just enough to let you know that you've gone past the actuation point.
    Taking a look at the stem, the legs are where the tactility is created. The small, tiny little dip in the legs that even my phone - that I used to take a photo of this stem - can barely detail it. While this particular stem that I have extracted from a Gateron Brown is particularly smooth, I imagine the likes of Cherry's Brown stems share the same characteristics.
     

     
    Next up is the force curve of the MX Brown. The bump's peak force is around 55g with the actuation point at around 45g, and around 0.75mm away from the actuation bump. That's a large gap in delay between the bump and the actuation. While this wouldn't be noticeable in real world usage, I assume for those whom don't often bottom out will have to get used to the late actuation. I'd be inclined to think I confirmed a keystroke once I experienced the tactile bump.
     

     
    The MX Brown is a tactile switch which also has the softest tactile bump of any tactile switch I have used. ZealPC's 62g Zealios being the most tactile switch I have ever used, with the sharpest, most pronounced, most detailed tactile bump I have ever used, and also with the bump being directly at the top of the keypress with no pretravel.
     
    You could read my Zealios review here:
     
    Another notable tactile switch I have used is the YOK Purple Trash Panda, which uses the same concept as the Zealios V2, sharing the same characteristics with the tactile bump being at the top of the keypress. Despite the Purple Panda being scratchier, I still prefer it due to the sharper tactility.
     
    You can read my YOK Purple Trash Panda review here:
     
    While the MX Brown is Cherry's flagship tactile, I don't feel like it deserves the moniker. It's barely tactile. While it does have a slight bump that allows the user to indicate when they have pressed a key, it's far from the standard of tactility that I expect from a tactile switch.
  6. Like
    sowon got a reaction from Eschew for a blog entry, MX Blue - The Worst-Sounding MX Switch   
    The MX Blue is a part of the iconic trifecta of original Cherry MX switches next to its siblings the Red and Brown, as well as their distant relatives, the Clear and Black.
    The MX Blue is the flagship clicky switch manufactured by Cherry and cloned by the likes of Gateron, Kailh, and Outemu, but what they all have in common is the same mechanism, the click jacket, to generate their tinny, wimpy, dissatisfactory click.
     
    The main draw towards opting for a clicky switch such as the MX Blue is the click jacket mechanism, this two-part stem made up of the main MX-style stem (in blue) and the plastic jacket (in transluscent white) to make up the switch.
     

     
    In theory, this is actually a genius design, but falls short as the two-part design creates
    hysteresis, delaying upstroke and for some people, slowing down their typing speed and/or gaming reflexes, as the delayed upstroke will be costly to those who are in need of fast keystrokes. Not to mention the click being tinny, short-lived, and weak, this switch fails to satisfy me when other excellent clicky switches like the Kailh Box Jade with its gorgeous-sounding click bar exist.
     
    As a fan of linear switches, this switch is extremely disorienting to use, the hysteresis delaying the upstroke as well as the jacket interrupting the downpress is just not fun to use.
     

     
    Taking a look at the force graph of the MX Blue, we can see where the pressure is applied and where the click is exerted, as well as the reset and hysteresis evident on the upstroke.
    The click is around 60g with the operation at around 50g, so this is a fairly medium switch compared to the other switches such as Reds and Blacks.
     

     
    The MX Blue is one of the most famous switches in the mechanical keyboard scene, and I would actually bet that most people would refer to this switch if they were asked what a mechanical keyboard is.
    The signature click of the MX Blue is what gives clicky switches a bad time, and that is sincerely disappointing as the MX Blue is easily the worst-sounding switch as well as the worst switch to use in general, with its inconsistent actuation and evident delay on the upstroke.
     
    Lube does not help the Blue either, as even lubing only the sliders will suppress the click and take away the switch's only redeeming quality.
     
    I would not recommend this switch for anybody as it's an all-around terrible switch, instead, if one is looking for a Kailh Box Jade, I definitely recommend the Kailh Box Jade, which I have reviewed previously, and can read here.
     
  7. Like
    sowon got a reaction from Eschew for a blog entry, MX Red - Smooth & Swift   
    The MX Red is one of the most iconic switches thanks to Cherry, the German mechanical keyboards and switches manufacturer famous (or infamous depending on how you look at it) for their MX Red, MX Brown, and MX Blue switches, which are linear, tactile, and clicky switches respectively.
    Today we'll be taking a look at the MX Red, this particular model specifically from Gateron, a manufacturer of switches whom have cloned Cherry's MX Red design and made their own edition, coined the Gateron Red.
     
    The MX Red is a linear switch as mentioned before which means there is no interruption in the actuation, meaning the keyswitch goes straight down when you press on it. Thanks to WASDkeyboards for providing the force curve chart below, we can see the actuation force of the Red is around 45g, and bottoms out at around 65g. This is a particularly light switch that is catered towards gamers who require quick actuation, so a 45g actuation force 2mm down on the switch is preferable for competitive gaming scenarios.
     

     
    Opening up my specific Gateron Red switch, the material is extremely smooth and the feel of the switch can attest to that. The stem legs are smooth which allow the leaf to cleanly slide along the stem legs. However for my tastes, I find using the Reds as stock to be scratchy, this is hard to explain for those who have not used lubed switches. My favorite analogy is rubbing your arm dry versus rubbing your arm with lotion applied.
     
    While the Reds are subjectively smooth when stock, the smoothness is accentuated greatly when they are lubed. I lubed my Reds with Tribosys 3204 and they both sound and feel extremely smooth, greatly improving upon the stock scratchiness. I would personally even rate the smoothness when lubed above something like a NovelKeys Cream.
     

     
    Personally, I am only comfortable using Reds lubed, as I find using them stock to be a bit too scratchy for my tastes, but at stock, they are bearable. They are not the smoothest linear I have ever used but they are also not the worst, although making a non-smooth is a difficult bar to clear.
     
    As a mainstream switch and probably the most well-known linear on the market, the Red is a fantastic choice for those who are after a smooth and swift typing experience. While they are a touch too light for me to use, I do enjoy the smoothness and the lightness is rather inviting when playing games that require that quick actuation.
    For people that want something heavier, I recommend the Yellow or Black switches, as those are a bit heavier than the Red whilst still retaining the smoothness of the Red. Otherwise, the Red is a great switch choice.
  8. Like
    sowon got a reaction from Eschew for a blog entry, Zeal Zilent V2 - Zealios V2 With Pillows!   
    The Blue ZIlent V2 is a silent tactile switch offered by ZealPC, the same vendor who has created other famous switches such as the Zealios V2, Tealios V2, and the Healios. This time around, Zeal has created the Zilents V2 which was made to compete with the MX Clear.
    The Zilents V2 are offered in 62g, 65g, 67g, and 78g weights, similar to its brother, the Zealios V2, which are also offered in those four weights, and additionally in four colors, with a progressively darker stem color with each weight option. I've personally chosen 65g as I own 62g Sakurios which I find a touch too light and 67g Tealios which are near the peak of my weight preference, so 65g was the middle ground in my weight taste. In my testing, I've compared the Zilent V2 to both 62g and 78g Zealios, and here's what I think.
     
    Starting off with the stem, the color comes extremely close to the Tealios, the Zilents are more blue in hue than the Tealios, where the Tealios take on a more turquoise saturation key. The stems of the Zilent V2 are smooth and definitely up to the standard of other Zeal boutique stems, made of ultra smooth plastic and it shows in the feel of the switch. This time around, there are silencing rubbers similar to those found in the Healios and its recolors the Sakurios & Roselios, three more of ZealPC's silent switch offerings. These silencing rubbers are excellent and provide a soft, pillowy bottom-out on keypress as well as dampen the impact on the way back up as well.
    These silencing rubbers also obviously make the switch a lot quieter as well, they slice about half of the sound profile of the Zealios V2, which is what the switch is designed after.
     

     
    Pictured below on the left is a 78g Zealios V2, and on the right is the 65g Zilent V2 that I have been analysing. They share the same stem leg design as well as the same stem slider design, only on the Zilent, the bottom and top of the sliders are lined with rubber instead of the traditional plastic. These are the defining characteristics of the Zilents V2 which is why I often refer to these as silent Zealios.
     

     
    The leaf inside both of these switches housings also remain identical to the human eye, with the legs of the contacts being highly protruded to promote that crisp and sharp tactile bump.
     

     
    The Zilents V2 inherit the same traits as the Zealios V2, having a defined, sharp, crisp bump at the top of the keypress, much sharper than that of an MX Clear or MX Brown. This combined with the silencing rubber to soften the bottom-out and upstroke impact, this switch is an excellent choice for those that find the Zealios V2 to be too forceful with bottom-out and upstroke, as well as find the Zealios to be too loud for a tactile switch.
     
    The ZIlents V2 are a modified switch done right, keeping all the traits of the Zealios V2 but improving them to target the market who want a silent variant.
     
    To read my review on the Zealios V2 where I go in-depth about the actuation and design of the switch similar in fashion to how I reviewed the Zilents V2, you can read below where I have linked my original Zealios V2 review.
     
     
  9. Like
    sowon got a reaction from Eschew for a blog entry, Zeal Sakurios - Not So Smooth Criminal   
    The Sakurios is a silenced linear switch from ZealPC, the Sakurios is a re-colored Zeal Healios switch with a 62g spring, and comes in a light pink tone. The Sakurios' sister, the 67g Roselios, comes in a more saturated pink to the Sakurios.
     
    These switches are costly at $1.20 a switch at the time of review, and I bought 70 of these for myself unsponsored using my own money. Due to this, I had high hopes for this particular switch due to its price as well as its hype, being a re-colored, 62g-weighted Healios. I'm personally fond of the 67g Tealios also by Zeal, and I have read online that the Healios are described as a re-colored & silenced Tealio switch.
     
    Cracking open the switch, it's a nice, smoothly-crafted, pink linear stem with firm rubber dampeners on the stem sliders, the stem is also a nice pink too. The material is smooth to the touch, similar to that of a Tealio or Zealio switch, it's nice quality from Zeal, especially for that pricetag per switch.
    The silencing rubbers aren't too hard nor too mushy, they're just right, and when bottoming out and returning, the rubbers feel pillowy and soft, it's a nice bottom-out experience compared to traditional MX switches where bottoming out can be quite harsh and sudden. I commend Zeal for this particular rubber, it's what silenced switches should strive to achieve.
     
    To compare, I'd say the smoothness of the Sakurios versus something like an Ink Black or Tealios is about 8/10, the Sakurios are noticeably less smooth than Tealios. But I'll touch on this more a bit later.
     

     
    Now where this gets interesting is that when I bought my Sakurios, I ran into quite a few problems...
     
    I ordered my 70 Sakurios directly from ZealPC, and about 10 of my Sakurios had loose leaves in them, whereby if I opened up those particular switches, the leaves would fall out without any force. Add to this the leaves in question bent easily, and I wonder what happened to my particular batch.
     

     
    I actually had emailed ZealPC in September regarding my issue, citing that my Sakurios are consistent on the keypress, which I assume this is due to the loose leaves.
     
    The response I got was as follows:
     
    Now, it's to be noted that I did use Krytox 205g0 lube to lube my Sakurios which are a particularly thick lube, so I can accept that it might have been my own mistake using thick lube on silenced switches, given that it was my first time with silenced switches and that I had been recommended thick lube to use due to my lubing technique.
     
    This still does not excuse the poor quality control of my particular Sakurios batch, loose leaves destroyed my experience with the Sakurios and I am deeply disappointed with the switch as a whole, especially for the price I paid for it.
     
    I paid about $80 to get switches that came with loose leaves.
     
    I will give ZealPC the benefit of the doubt and say that I am probably part of the 1% that got a bad batch of Sakurios, however that stil does not excuse the quality of switches that I got, like I mentioned a multitude of times throughout this review.
     
    That's not to disrepect the switch in any way, the switch is still fairly smooth to use and the bottom-out is soft & pillowy, but the leaf problem I had with my batch gave me an inconsistent typing experience, as well as a sticky feeling after lubing a majority with thick lube. For the record, I used a few unlubed and experienced the same probems minus the sticky feelings, so at stock, the Sakurios feel fine albeit inconsistent.
     
    I do truly hope that I'm in the minority with my batch slipping the cracks and that everyone else who bought - or buys - Sakurios experiences a pleasant actuation and soft bottom-out omitting the loose leaf issue.
    And word of advice, don't use thick lube with silenced linears. I learnt the hard way.
  10. Like
    sowon got a reaction from Eschew for a blog entry, YOK Purple Trash Panda - The Scratchiest Tactile I've EVER Used   
    The YOK Purple Trash Panda is the tactile (and purple) edition of the YOK Trash Panda, a linear switch which is made to be a base in the Frankenstein switch, the Holy Panda.
     
    What sparked my interest about the YOK Purple Trash Panda - which I will be referring to as the Purple Panda - is that the product description across NovelKeys and mykeyboard.eu as well as other keyboard forums was that they described the Purple Panda as having the same actuation and tactility traits as the famous boutique switch, the Zealios V2. You can read my review of the Zealios V2 by clicking here.
     
    On the left is the Purple Panda's stem, and on the right is the Zealios V2's stem. At first glance, you really do see striking similarities between the two switches, such as the stem legs and the color. It's like YOK were intentionally replicate the Zealios V2 and it shows below.
     

     
    The main difference to both stems is the material, the Purple Panda is extremely rough to the touch as well as lubing, the material feels so unfinished and it's such a shame as it makes the switch so scratchy so use. I had to heavily lube the switch with Krytox 205g0 thick lube in order to solve the scratchiness and spring ping, and even then it didn't even rival an unlubed Zealios. The Purple Panda feels like it was sent one production line early and just isn't as polished as I feel it could've been. It's far too scratchy no matter what.
     

     
    If there's any redeeming qualities about the switch - which are minimal and already listed to begin with - it's that the tactility is awesome. The tactile bump at 67g feels great if not more sharp than the Zealios V2 at 62g and 67g weights. The Polar Panda's leaf in the housing is responsible for this trait which is why the YOK Panda line's switches, specifically the housings, are so sought after to create Holy Pandas. The housing is the best part of this switch unfortunately.
     
    I totally know what this switch is not best used as is and is best used to create the Holy Pandas, but I wanted to judge the switch as it is due to the fact that it is a purple variant of the YOK Trash Panda, and why would YOK create an alternate stemmed Trash Panda if the Panda housings are made to create Holy Pandas? Unfortunately in my use case, that's been answered by the fact that the stem is so scratchy and irritable that you shouldn't used these switches in the first place.
     
    It's not a bad switch by any means, and for the $0.60 per switch it retails for on your average mechanical keyboards online retailer, it's a great tactile switch that beats the Gateron Brown easily. The stand-out problem with these switches is how scratchy, unkempt, and rough the stem is, it pales in comparison to the Zealios V2 which is so what it tries to replicate, and falls flat on its face due to the low quality of the stem.
    Overall, it's a tactile switch that I'd take over an MX Brown, but nothing I would actively go after due to how rough and dry the switch feels to use.
  11. Like
    sowon got a reaction from Eschew for a blog entry, Gateron Ink Black - Smooth Like Silk   
    The Gateron Ink Black is essentially a Gateron Black with a transparent, smoky housing and a black stem, and is highly regarded as one of, if not the most smooth MX-style switch on the market, rivaling that of Zeal's Tealios V2, and the Vintage Black.
    The Ink Black is a fairly medium-weighted switch, requiring 60g of force to actuate and 70g of force to completely bottom out. My personal preferred weight for linear switches is anywhere between 62g to 67g so the 60g of actuation force is very welcome.
     
    I personally like to use my linear switches lubed, but the Gateron Ink Black is one of those switches that doesn't require that treatment to be a smooth switch. It's a fantastic switch at stock, and is probably one of three switches that I'd consider using stock, next to the Tealios V2 and the NovelKeys Cream. The Gateron Ink Black is super smooth even without lube.
    With that being said, I still lubed my Gateron Ink Blacks with Tribosys 3204 as I felt that it didn't require thick lube like Krytox 205g0, and it made it even smoother. I did heavily lube my switch, but it did not interfere with the travel, actuation, upstroke, return, or keypress of the switch in any way, and I prefer heavily lubing my linears as it ensures 100% smoothness. Again, not that the Ink Black needed that in the first place, regardless.
     

     
    In my time scouting the switch market, I can find Ink Blacks for around $0.75-$0.80 a switch, which is fairly expensive considering the other offerings on the market, such as regular Gaterons, which can retail for as low as $0.30 a switch. However, I am confident that expending a bit more for the Ink Blacks will work in everybody who is considering a linear switch's favor, as the smoothness - once again, even at stock and unlubed - is rivalled only by the most elite switches such as the Tealios V2 and the Vintage Black - and those go for $1+ per switch each for what I can perceive having using Tealios V2 extensively as minimal improvement.
     
    In fact, since using the Ink Blacks, they've become my top 2 linear switch next to the Tealios who edges it out as a close winner. The Ink Black is smooth in every regard and the spring is really high quality. The spring feels robust and full which gives the Ink Black an ultra satisfying keypress travel. The Tealios on the other hand has a fairly hollow spring which is susceptible to pinging.
     
    If you're in the market for one of, if not the smoothest, linear, MX-style switch on the market for under $1 per switch, you cannot go wrong with the Ink Black. Ultra smooth stem, silky smooth housing, satisfying spring sturdiness, and excellent lubing capability, making it a solid linear switch.
  12. Like
    sowon got a reaction from Eschew for a blog entry, Kailh Box Jade - The Best Clicky Switch to Ever Exist   
    The Kailh Box Jade is one of the most famous clicky switches in the mechanical keyboard scene, boasting a thick click bar, MX stem with a box, and moderate afforadability at around $0.34 at any major mechanical keyboard switch retailer.
    I have owned and use Kailh Box Jades for a month on my main keyboard and have experienced great joy from using these particular switches, they have a consistent click and actuation, and the sound of them is crisp and full, compared to that of the Cherry Blue's click jacket, which in contrasts sound hollow, dull, plasticky, and unapologetically cheap.
    The Kailh Box Jades were my second major mechanical keyswitch, the first being the Outemu Blue in my previous E-Element Z-88 mechanical keyboard. The Jades blow the Blues out of the water in every single way.
     
    As mentioned earlier, the Kailh Box Jade feature what is called a click bar,the small metal, paperclip-like bar in the middle of the bottom housing, this in conjunction with the stem leg on the switch's stem is what creates the satisfying, full, punchy click of the Kailh Box Jade.
    The click feels as good as it sounds. The super thick click bar generates a very loud, typewriter-like sound signature that exudes pleasure on every keypress. It is that good of a keyswitch and I would easily call these the best clicky switch available to buy on the market at present.
     

     
    The box around the stem is not just for aesthetics either, it's for dust protection as well as keycap stability. The housing is made by Kailh and does feature the traditional four pegs but rather only two clips on the side which shows in the unique bottom housing and the stem to accomodate. As a result, frankensteining these switches with other switches such as Gateron Blues or Zealios will not work. I have however had luck swapping the springs an dstems of the Kailh Box Jades and Pale Blues as they both feature the Kailh housing.
     
    My one complaint about the switch is its weight, at stock, it takes approximately 70-73g of force to overcome the click followed by 50g of force to actuate after the initial bump. I found this heavy after long sessions, although your mileage may vary, and I am a fan of light linear switches, so a fairly heavy clicky switch like this was not in my alley. I believe if you are able to have the finger stamina to type on these switches, you'll find them very satisfying, just as I did. I believe the weight is what creates that heavy and full click, as I imagine a lighter spring or thinner click bar would result in a quieter, toned-down, crumbled down click compared to the crisp clean click of the Kailh Box Jade.
     
    As a complete package, the Kailh Box Jade is easily my favorite clicky switch. It has a crisp & sharp click thanks to that thick click bar and decent weight albeit a bit heavy for my tastes. I have not had the opportunity to use the Kailh Box Navy, the Jade's heavier brother, but I would assume with my glaring concern regarding weight and finger fatigue of the Jade, that I would find the Navy a bit overbearing for my fingers, and I find the Jade the perfect mix of click and actuation.
  13. Like
    sowon got a reaction from LukeSavenije for a blog entry, Jeong Eunji - Be With Me   
    Jeong Eunji is back with a duet featuring 10cm. Eunji is known for being a vocalist for the 2011 K-pop girl group Apink, alongisde her other five members. Eunji has previously released her own solo albums such as Dream, Hyewha, and The Space, with amazing solo songs such as The Spring. Her mature, motherly, and warm voice is beautiful to hear, and Eunji is one of if not my favorite Korean artist, so any and all songs she releases, I will listen to immediately.
     
    Today, I'll be listening to her duet with 10cm to share what I think and what I like about the song. It's a short and sweet single, so I'm highly anticipating hearing Eunji's raw voice which is probably going to be accompanied by a single instrument for a relaxing and soulful experience.
     

     
    0:02 - Lovely and lonely piano to start off, gives a nice relaxing vibe to the song so far.
    0:12 - I love the contrast between Eunji’s smooth and elegant vocals alongside the choppy and cracky piano blocks, it gives some texture and rhythm to the song despite how separate the two are.
    0:22 - I love the transition from Eunji’s warm and soft tones to 10cm’s soulful and by contrast exotic voice, it’s a clear distinction as to who is singing and also a nice back and forth between the two vocalist’s nice tones. I also like how the piano follows the vocal tones of 10cm to give his vocals some more body, as it’s just the vocals and piano.
    0:35 - This back and forth is what I was describing earlier, it’s so easy to tell who is singing and the contrast is great, especially with the piano in the back elevating their singing range.
    0:54 - This is a beautiful duet, I love how sharply both of their voices are hitting notes and how effortlessly they both do it, two excellent vocalists.
    1:26 - Some more of the same toning and pacing of the first verse, and the same goes for 10cm, I love how calm and relaxing this duet is to listen to.
    2:19 - I’ll never get tired of their duality in the song, their voices compliment each other so much and I love how nicely their voices match to make an awesome duet.
     

     
    Despite how simple the compositional arangement of the song was, I love how the song is pure with Eunji and 10cm's vocals with literally only their voices and a piano melody. I especially love how the piano complimented them throughout the song in terms of matching their rhythm and creating warm and relaxation to the listener. Eunji never falters with her songs, and Be With Me is no exception. It is quite a simple song, but it's so relaxing and soothing to listen to, and that's essentially a majority of Eunji's songs.
  14. Like
    sowon got a reaction from Eschew for a blog entry, Tealios V2 - The Smoothest Switch Around   
    The Tealios V2 are a boutique linear switch offered by ZealPC which features a 67g spring, Gateron-made housing, and a smooth, linear stem in Tiffany & Co. blue, no I'm not joking, the pantone for the stem is inspired by Tiffany & Co, and it's adorable. It sets itself apart from color from Zeal's popular purple Zealios, Hermes orange Healios, and pink Sakurios and Rosélios switches.
     

     
    I bought a 68 pack of Tealios V2 from KBDfans, for $1 a switch, which is expensive especially when I have a 60% keyboard. I would definitely say it's well worth investing in the Teals if you are after the smoothest switches on the market, a close second in my eyes are the Gateron Ink Blacks.
    What gives the Tealios its extremely smooth actuation is its stem legs, the stem itself appears to be made out of an outstandingly smooth plastic mould, and it shows in its construction where nowhere on the stem is rough to the touch. The legs are also angled perfectly to give the linear actuation of the stem a good balance between weight on the downpress and upstroke.
     
    Even from factory unlubed, these stems and by extension the Tealios as a whole switch feel extremely smooth to use, it's one of the best linear switches to use stock in my opinion purely because of how smooth the stem has been made.
     
    Despite its stock smoothness, I lubed my Tealios switches with a mildly-thick coating of Tribosys 3204 on the housing sliders as well as the entire stem, and this ultimately made the switch all users of linear switches should try. Zeal cracked the code for how to make the smoothest linear possible, and it's thanks to the ever-smooth stem.
     

     
    Personally, after using these Tealios lubed with Tribosys 3204, I don't think I can settle for anything less anymore. I formerly used NovelKeys Creams and even those now feel scratchy thanks to my time with the Tealios. Same can be said for Gateron Reds where while they are smooth, they feel hollow and far too light.
     
    The Tealios are a well-weighted switch which when paired with lube make the best linear switch in the game. If there was one thing to keep me from rating it a 100% switch, it would be the spring weight. I find 67g a little too heavy personally, although the weight also does accentuate the smoothness a lot, so I feel 67g is just the right spot. A spring swap to 62g might eleviate the heft a bit but like mentioned before, may reduce the feel of the actuation force and leave me wanting more out of the switch.
  15. Like
    sowon got a reaction from Eschew for a blog entry, NovelKeys Creams - Contender For Best Stock Switch   
    The NovelKeys Creams are a linear switch made by NovelKeys in partnership with Kailh. This switch is the first of its for Kailh as it features a traditional MX stem and MX-style latching for the housing, and I'd say Kailh have done fairy well.
    These switches are made using an al-POM housing - that's DuPont POM Plastics - and also for the stem. POM has been used in this switch as it is often referred to as self-lubricating, which due to the nature of lubing, means that it will naturally be super smooth. I've used these switches for a month in my 60% keyboard and here's my experience of it.
     

     
    Believe it or not, this was my first linear switch I had ever used in my mechanical keyboard life, so I was on neutral ground for what to expect. For context, I was using the Kailh Box Jades, so transitioning from those heavy clicky switches to the NovelKeys Creams was quite the leap.
     
    I found the stock experience to be a nice one, being that it was my fitst linear switch. I found the POM material to be satisfyingly smooth to type on, and they sounded nice as well stock. They sound like pressing on soft, fine powder. The 'self-lubricating' deal appeared to be a true statement.
    The stem of the NovelKeys Cream is a standard linear stem, with the legs being fairly cut and dry in design, and the slider also sharing the same design as many other stems. The bottom of the slider was chamfered rather than right-angled, which interestingly made the bottom-out less harsh and more soft compared to most other linears such as Gateron Reds or Tealios. The POM material was an excellent choice by NovelKeys as it creates a nice stock experience.
     

     
    Unfortunately for the NovelKeys Cream, it is not kind to lube at all, no matter lubed with thick or thin lubes. I lubed the Cream with both Tribosys 3204 in a thin layer and then a noticeably thicker layer, but the Creams do not play well with thin lube at all, and the lube will often slip around rather than adhering to the POM material.
    The same story goes for Krytox 205g0, which is a thicker lube than Tribosys 3204. I also applied an appropriately-thin amount as well as a thick film of lube, still no avail.
     
    It it such a shame that the Creams don't do well with lube, as I'm a linear keyswitch enthusiast who lubes all her linears, and I mean all, so the Creams remaining unlubed puts them a peg down from my lubed linears. I prefer lubed Gateron Reds/Yellows to the NovelKeys Creams because of this lube issue.
     

     
    Overall, I'd say while the NovelKeys Creams aren't good with lube, I would say they are an excellent, if not the best stock linear stock for any mechanical keyboard enthusiast. The POM material is excellent and it makes for a nice stock switch experience. I would say NovelKeys Creams are like if you took a linear switch like a Gateron Yellow lubed, but the lube is substituted with a lot of powder. It is a very different kind of typing experience and feel.
    While the Creams are fairly expensive at $6.50 for a pack of 10 over at NovelKeys' website, they are a definite top 2 stock linear switch.
  16. Like
    sowon got a reaction from Eschew for a blog entry, Zealios V2 - How a Tactile Switch Should Be   
    The Zealios V2 are a well-regarded switch made by ZealPC in partnership with Gateron, which has come to rival the famous Holy Panda switches. This particular Zealio in my hands is a 62g weighted one, which is the lightest out of the four Zealios weights, those being 62g, 65g, 67g, and a hefty 78g version.
    These Zealio switches feature a purple stem which with each weight, has a darker colored stem with the heavier weights sporting the deeper purples.
     

     
    I bought my Zealios V2 from KDBfans at $1 per switch, which like its brothers, the Tealios, Healios, and the recolors Sakurios & Rosélios, are very expensive compared to other mainstream switches which retail at merely $0.30 per switch. Despite the price, I think the Zealios are what everything who enjoys tactile switches should look into, they have a satisfying tactile bump as well as smooth actuation. I would describe the Zealios V2 as Brown switches on steroids, with the tactile bump being extremely prominent while still maintaining the smoothness I expect out of a comparitive linear switch.
    The tactile bump also begins at the top of the switch which makes the tactile bump satisfying while not interupting the flow of general typing. Some may find this as a disadvantage to the Zealios because traditional tactile switches tend to have pre-travel, but the fact that the Zealios starts it bump at the top with no pre-travel is an excellent design, especially with the stem leg design and how it's weighted.
     
    The tactility comes from the way the legs of the stem are angled, ZealPC has crafted the stem leg's design of the Zealios V2 to be angled at such a a way that the contact leaf generates an amazingly assertive tactile bump. The meticulous convex curve in the stem is the reason the tactile bump is so satisfying, and is ultimately the reason I see the Zealios as the ultimate tactile switch.
     

     
    I lubed my Zealios with Tribosys 3204 on the housing sliders, center pole, as well as the top and bottom of the spring. As for the stem, I lubed every part of the stem, which means the sliders, front, back, bottom of the sliders, and even the legs.
    Even with the stem legs lubed, it is still one of the most tactile switches I have ever used, and it's a testament to the excellent design of the stem, and particularly the legs. As I mentioned before, the legs design is what gives the Zealios their amazing tactile bump, and it's what makes the switch great, even lubed.
     
    The switch is my absolute favorite tactile switch, despite the price, and everyone who prefers tactile switches should experience a Zealio switch for themselves.
  17. Like
    sowon got a reaction from LukeSavenije for a blog entry, Momoland - Thumbs Up   
    Momoland are back with their new single 'Thumbs Up' which is their first comeback since two members had left in Taeha and Yeonwoo, and one in Daisy whose future is still hangs by a thread. With a five-member lineup, Momoland are returning with a familiar style and aim to capture the same audiences that their previous songs such as I'm So Hot and Bboom Bboom captivated so well.
     
    Having followed Momoland since the inception of Bboom Bboom, I've been closely following their activities such as Baam, I'm So Hot, and indeed now, Thumbs Up. I've been anticipating a Momoland comeback and when Thumbs Up came up, I was excited to listen to it.
     
    Today, I'll be going through Thumbs Up, analysing it, and giving my thoughts and opinions on the song at a critical level. I love Momoland so my bias will definitely show.
     

     
    0:04 - Hyebin has such soft, seductive, and airy vocals in this beginning which is accented by the subtle undertone in a lower octave which gives her main vocals some more body and structure. The low, earthy, grounded bass is a nice contrast to the highs in Hyebin’s vocals.
    0:18 - Nancy’s part here raises the tone of the song a lot since now the song has Nancy’s girly and feminine fragrant vocals which are also accompanied by the instrumentals being a touch higher as well. Nancy’s vocals also have a soft resonant undertone which also gives her vocals a lot more depth. Nancy’s voice is so cute, soft, and elegant to listen to here.
    0:33 - The instrumentals almost go half-time and depress a lot during Ahin’s part here, her vocals explode since she has the astounding power voice and it’s utilised very well here. The continuous clapping builds up a lot of hype and energy especially since Ahin’s voice is also high and mighty in its volume.
    0:41 - Jane comes in with the same amount of energy and character to really build up this pre-chorus, the instrumentals in the back are slowly rising which again builds up the energy and hype of the song to flow into the chorus.
    0:47 - This song has such an EDM-style to it, it’s so heavy on instrumentals and the beat does the talking, with mainly JooE here shouting “THUMBS UP!” to accentuate the rhythm and energy of the chorus here. Definitely a song I could head-bang too and also sing along to in this chorus.
    1:02 - This trumpet-like instrument (can’t quite point to what it is exactly) has a nice subtle rhythm to it which is catchy, especially since followed by the members’ “la la la la la la la” which is a nice extension to the chorus.
    1:17 - The instrumentals here drop down a touch and dive into the lows to allow JooE and her acute rapping style to take shape. Momoland is known for swerving eccentric raps into their second verses and it appears Thumbs Up is no exception. I love that JooE gets the spotlight this time as she’s easily one of the most energetic and bubbly members in the group.
    1:32 - This second part to the verse follows the same formula as the first verse, especially since Jane’s lines follow the same rhythm similar to Nancy’s “hot hot issue issue” as her first verse, which I like as it steers the composition back into the rhythm after the rap swerve.
    2:01 - The chorus is amazingly catchy, it’s so easy to follow along with and vibe with. Momoland love their EDM-style choruses and Thumbs Up is awesome.
    2:31 - This switch-up in tempo into a seductive and sexy vocal performance from Nancy is great, she has this beautifully gravitating voice and the instrumentals toning down but still keeping the highs is such a great accompaniment to her singing here.
    2:46 - This final chorus with Hyebin’s ad libs are great, it brings even more energy to an already sugary chorus.
     

     
    Despite being a five-member group, Thumbs Up is easily one of my favorite Momoland songs, next to Bboom Bboom in an obvious number one. Thumbs Up has the flair, charisma, and energy that I have grown to love out of any and all Momoland title songs, and the amazing vocals from the likes of Jane, Ahin, and Nancy are no exception.
     
    Nancy in particular captivated me a lot in this song, her singing style this comeback was somehow the most mature she'd ever been and the most cutely-sexy. Her 'hot hot issue issue' in the first verse was easily repeatable as it was equal parts cute and sexy. Same goes for her part in the bridge, she has such a graceful and beautiful humming in her part of the bridge and it completed the song so well.
    Ahin's stellar vocal performance is also not to go unnoticed, she excelled and stood out as being easily the best vocal-wise, her vocals exploded and she nailed every single note.
     
    Thumbs Up is a song I can easily have on repeat, it's such a great song, thanks to the amazing vocals, catchy chorus instrumental line, and the energy and character that all five members exuded throughout the song.
  18. Agree
    sowon got a reaction from Microdrive for a blog entry, MX Brown - Tactility? What Tactility?   
    The MX Brown is the last of the Cherry originals, its siblings being the MX Blue and MX Red, a clicky and a linear switch respectively. The MX Brown is the tactile switch that completes the trifecta of Cherry's flagship switch line.
     
    I personally prefer linear for its smooth actuation, and tactile for its actuation indication, and unfortunately the MX Brown isn't tactile at all. It's almost a linear. I describe it as a Red with a food baby. The bump is so minimal, yet it is just enough to let you know that you've gone past the actuation point.
    Taking a look at the stem, the legs are where the tactility is created. The small, tiny little dip in the legs that even my phone - that I used to take a photo of this stem - can barely detail it. While this particular stem that I have extracted from a Gateron Brown is particularly smooth, I imagine the likes of Cherry's Brown stems share the same characteristics.
     

     
    Next up is the force curve of the MX Brown. The bump's peak force is around 55g with the actuation point at around 45g, and around 0.75mm away from the actuation bump. That's a large gap in delay between the bump and the actuation. While this wouldn't be noticeable in real world usage, I assume for those whom don't often bottom out will have to get used to the late actuation. I'd be inclined to think I confirmed a keystroke once I experienced the tactile bump.
     

     
    The MX Brown is a tactile switch which also has the softest tactile bump of any tactile switch I have used. ZealPC's 62g Zealios being the most tactile switch I have ever used, with the sharpest, most pronounced, most detailed tactile bump I have ever used, and also with the bump being directly at the top of the keypress with no pretravel.
     
    You could read my Zealios review here:
     
    Another notable tactile switch I have used is the YOK Purple Trash Panda, which uses the same concept as the Zealios V2, sharing the same characteristics with the tactile bump being at the top of the keypress. Despite the Purple Panda being scratchier, I still prefer it due to the sharper tactility.
     
    You can read my YOK Purple Trash Panda review here:
     
    While the MX Brown is Cherry's flagship tactile, I don't feel like it deserves the moniker. It's barely tactile. While it does have a slight bump that allows the user to indicate when they have pressed a key, it's far from the standard of tactility that I expect from a tactile switch.
  19. Like
    sowon got a reaction from LukeSavenije for a blog entry, Red Velvet - ReVe Festival Finale   
    Red Velvet are back with ReVe Festival Finale, the 3rd and final chapter in the ReVe Festival trilogy, and featuring a song that some consider to beat Bad Boy, a 2018 Red Velvet song that was touted be the greatest Red Velvet song for its masterful composition, pitch-perfect vocals, and record-breaking media.
     
    Today I'll be listening to just the new songs that were introduced in the ReVe Festival Finale album, and not the ones that were included from the Day 1 and Day 2 albums. I'm particularly excited to see what Psycho is like, and judging by the reception its gotten so far, I'm highly anticipating one of if not Red Velvet's greatest song.
     

     
    0:03 - I like that most of the members get a small note to include into the intro here, it’s a nice showcase of vocal ability. The subtle string pizzicato also creates a dark and mysterious vibe to the intro.
    0:13 - This wonderful electronic arpeggiated synth here is great, it’s bubbly and vibrant compared to the sombre and dark heavy bass that is a layer below it, this combined with Irene’s stellar vocals create a nice composition.
    0:25 - I love the small attention-to-detail with Seulgi’s ‘I don’t play that game’ with the entire instrumental composition coming to a stop to emphasise her lyrics in this first verse.
    0:26 - The re-entry with the glitch effect and back into that beautiful arpeggio is a nice transition from Seulgi’s soulful and mature tone into Yeri’s youthful and girly tone.
    0:39 - The instrumental composition comes to a stop again here but this time with a light, airy, almost ghost-like vocal to carry the verse into the first pre chorus.
    0:41 - I love how airy and warm the instrumentals are here, especially with Wendy’s amazing falsetto, it’s such a dark pacing compared to the artificially sweet and bubbly instrumentals with the arpeggio earlier in the song.
    0:53 - So much brass to be heard here to emphasise the power and weight of the chorus, especially with the fast shakers to increase the tempo even more compared to the slow and steady pacing of the first verse and bridge.
    1:08 - The brass instrumentals go so well with the harmony going on, there’s so much power in the highs because of how punchy the brass is here. Wendy and Seulgi’s light sub vocals also give the chorus some more body in the higher registers.
    1:23 - Irene’s verse here has the same pizzicato that was found in the intro. I like that the second verse does not follow in the footsteps in the first verse with the arpeggio - even though the arpeggio was very addictive - to keep the song fresh and new throughout, as well as allowing Irene’s vocals here to shine through and emphasise on her talent.
    1:28 - The re-introduction of the arpeggio for Yeri’s small line here is nice as it breaks up the dreary and dark mood from the chorus that carried over into Irene’s part of the second verse.
    1:32 - I love Seulgi’s vocals here. She goes so high into minor keys, and the arpeggio almost seems to follow her even though the arpeggio is still the same register as before.
    1:36 - I like that they re-introduced the glitch effect transitioned back into the arpeggio was added to this latter half of the second verse for Joy and Wendy’s parts here, they both have feminine yet mature vocal tones compared to Irene and Seulgi who led the first verse with their contrasting vocal tones.
    1:50 - This time it’s Seulgi to do the pre chorus and she effortlessly does this one with her serene and graceful tone, which is in contrast to Wendy’s sharp and melodic tone in the first pre chorus. I love the contrast and the distinguishable nature of the bridges to tell who’s singing which bridge.
    2:03 - I absolutely love the chorus of this song. It’s so soulful, full of energy, charisma, and the composition to match.
    2:30 - A nice sombre change of pace and volume, Joy with her ballad-like singing her combined with the muted instrumentals makes for a completely calm break in the song with this bridge.
    2:45 - I love that this chorus doesn’t deviate too much from the already-masterful chorus that we had previously in the song, apart from some additional subvocals. It’s such an addictive and wonderful chorus to listen to.
    2:59 - I like the mix of heavy bass and brass combined with the ‘Hey now we’ll be okay’ to really emphasise the mood and aesthetic of the song. Especially with how the members pause when they say ‘It’s alright’ to really hit home the song’s meaning.
     

     
    0:12 - There’s such a deep hitting drum and the warped synths, and the vocals have a light warping effect on them too, it’s quite an interesting composition.
    0:39 - I like that the warping effect follows through into this prechorus.
    0:47 - This is a very EDM-like chorus, it’s very electronica heavy and the vocals are so fast and have a lot of reverb.
    1:39 - I find it really funny that the lyrics here are basically how to bake a cake, especially when the instrumentation follows their tone to emphasise the lyrics.
     

     
    0:12 - A light piano with soulful and ballad-like vocals, this definitely has a jazzy ballad feel to it so far.
    0:28 - The vocals are so soulful and heartfelt, the piano still following throughout is lovely to hear.
    0:53 - I love how raw and jazzy the chorus is here, there’s barely any assistance to the lyrics apart from the light piano that has been there from the beginning.
    2:22 - I like that the instrumentation stops to allow the high note to really hit and emphasise the vocal ability here without any help from instrumentation to elevate the high note.
     

     
    Gotta outright say it, Psycho in my opinion is a better song than Bad Boy, they're both so exceptionally well-mastered, well-composed, and both absolutely stellar songs, but Psycho's vocals are so wide and beautiful. I love how beautiful the arpeggio is during the verses, as well as the dark and heavy bass that follows the intro as well as parts of the second verse. It's such a nice contrast between the cute & bubbly and the dark and & remorseful. Combine the amazing composition with  the fantastic vocals from all the Red Velvet members and we have ourselves one of the best K-pop songs to be released in 2019.
     
    I know Wendy suffered injuries due to SBS' poor venue management, and Godspeed to her recovering, it must be devastating to create such an amazing song & album and have live performances taken away from you due to a company's poor artist care and attention... I'm sure Red Velvet are looking out for her every day and for a song where Wendy stood out so much as one of if not the best one in the group this time around, it must absolutely suck. I'm sure I'm not the only one, but I'm sure all ReVeLuvs are appreciative of the hard work and effort Wendy has gone through along with Red Velvet to create such an amazing song.
  20. Like
    sowon got a reaction from Cyberspirit for a blog entry, Cherry MX Black (Re-Tooled) - Really Gold Standard?   
    The Cherry MX Black is arguably one of if the best modern Cherry switch to ever be created, the vintage kind of which is one of the most sought-after linear switches ever for its unbeatable smoothness, and ironically is labelled Cherry's best switch despite being made a few decades ago. There is a lot of debate online about what year would qualify a Cherry Black to be vintage, but generally from what I've read online, any Cherry Black switch found inside a board that was manufactured from before 1990 is considered a board with vintage Cherry Blacks inside of it.
     
    Today though, I have non-vintage, re-tooled Cherry MX Blacks with me. I have used these Cherry Blacks for around two weeks now and here are my opinions and experiences with my time using the Cherry MX Black. For reference, my daily keyboard uses 67g Tealios V2s lubed with Tribosys 3204 resting on a brass plate. The board I used with the Cherry Blacks in uses the Cherry Blacks lubed with Krytox 205g0 and a carbon fiber plate, so my experiences with the Cherry Black might differ from others due to the plate material, lubing, and even keycaps difference.
     
    When I first got my Cherry Blacks, I was curious as to how they would feel, as I've been advised online that re-tooled, modern Cherry Blacks feel vastly scratchier and much more inconsistent than vintage Cherry Blacks due to how much re-molding the Cherry Black has gone through.
    Unfortunately, this was the case with me, as immediately as a loose switch, when I pressed down on the switch, it was really scratchy. It had about the same scratchiness as YOK Pandas, which are notoriously scratchy switches in my experience. Even stock Gateron Yellows beat these in smoothness.
     
    I opened up the switch and the material wasn't actually that bad, but it was clear how rough and unpolished the material was compared to Gateron housings.
     

     
    Prior to purchasing the Cherry MX Black, I knew it was going to be a heavy switch from reading the force curve. At a perceived 60g operating point, and an 80g bottom-out, it was going to be a workout for my fingers which were used to switches that bottom-out in the 60g region.
     

     
    After opening up the switch, I took a look at the  stem, as I always do. Its material is fairly decent, with some minor roughness. It's a pretty standard linear stem with defined stem legs, as with all other MX linears on the market which use the same stem design. The material of the stem doesn't compare to the smoothness of other switches such as Gateron Ink Blacks or Zeal's high-end Tealios V2 switches, but it's decently smooth, and I'm sure people would not complain about it if they were obliged to use a Cherry Black.
     

     
    I believe what contributes more to the abundant scratchiness of the Cherry Blacks - even after lubing - is the housing. The housings are definitely rough and course, especially when compared to something like Gateron housings. The bog standard stem combined with the 'eh'-quality housing is in my experience what makes the re-tooled Cherry Black a scratchy switch.
     

     
    Typing on the Cherry Blacks was in all honesty, a pretty shameful experience. I lubed my Cherry Blacks with Krytox 205g0 - with a single Cherry Black lubed with thinner Tribosys 3204 lube to go into the Escape key - and every time I wanted to use them, the prominent scratchiness and sheer resistance of the spring was something I could not bond with. While it was a nice novelty to be able to daily run lubed Cherry Blacks, I did not find the typing experience throughout the two weeks I spent with them fun, and always found myself going back to my main board with Tealios inside them as I found the Tealios better-weighted and tenfold smoother.
     
    Do I recommend the re-tooled Cherry Black? No, I don't. It's far too scratchy for what it is, and the weight is a mountain to overcome. I would much rather purchase another alternative linear such as Gateron Yellows or even Gateron Ink Blacks, as those two switches are noticeably smoother than the Cherry Black even as a stock switch, and lubing both of those options will lead to an even greater smoothness that the re-tooled Cherry Black can never achieve.
     
    Sorry Cherry, but your gold standard is just a scratchy linear.
  21. Like
    sowon got a reaction from LukeSavenije for a blog entry, Cherry MX Black (Re-Tooled) - Really Gold Standard?   
    The Cherry MX Black is arguably one of if the best modern Cherry switch to ever be created, the vintage kind of which is one of the most sought-after linear switches ever for its unbeatable smoothness, and ironically is labelled Cherry's best switch despite being made a few decades ago. There is a lot of debate online about what year would qualify a Cherry Black to be vintage, but generally from what I've read online, any Cherry Black switch found inside a board that was manufactured from before 1990 is considered a board with vintage Cherry Blacks inside of it.
     
    Today though, I have non-vintage, re-tooled Cherry MX Blacks with me. I have used these Cherry Blacks for around two weeks now and here are my opinions and experiences with my time using the Cherry MX Black. For reference, my daily keyboard uses 67g Tealios V2s lubed with Tribosys 3204 resting on a brass plate. The board I used with the Cherry Blacks in uses the Cherry Blacks lubed with Krytox 205g0 and a carbon fiber plate, so my experiences with the Cherry Black might differ from others due to the plate material, lubing, and even keycaps difference.
     
    When I first got my Cherry Blacks, I was curious as to how they would feel, as I've been advised online that re-tooled, modern Cherry Blacks feel vastly scratchier and much more inconsistent than vintage Cherry Blacks due to how much re-molding the Cherry Black has gone through.
    Unfortunately, this was the case with me, as immediately as a loose switch, when I pressed down on the switch, it was really scratchy. It had about the same scratchiness as YOK Pandas, which are notoriously scratchy switches in my experience. Even stock Gateron Yellows beat these in smoothness.
     
    I opened up the switch and the material wasn't actually that bad, but it was clear how rough and unpolished the material was compared to Gateron housings.
     

     
    Prior to purchasing the Cherry MX Black, I knew it was going to be a heavy switch from reading the force curve. At a perceived 60g operating point, and an 80g bottom-out, it was going to be a workout for my fingers which were used to switches that bottom-out in the 60g region.
     

     
    After opening up the switch, I took a look at the  stem, as I always do. Its material is fairly decent, with some minor roughness. It's a pretty standard linear stem with defined stem legs, as with all other MX linears on the market which use the same stem design. The material of the stem doesn't compare to the smoothness of other switches such as Gateron Ink Blacks or Zeal's high-end Tealios V2 switches, but it's decently smooth, and I'm sure people would not complain about it if they were obliged to use a Cherry Black.
     

     
    I believe what contributes more to the abundant scratchiness of the Cherry Blacks - even after lubing - is the housing. The housings are definitely rough and course, especially when compared to something like Gateron housings. The bog standard stem combined with the 'eh'-quality housing is in my experience what makes the re-tooled Cherry Black a scratchy switch.
     

     
    Typing on the Cherry Blacks was in all honesty, a pretty shameful experience. I lubed my Cherry Blacks with Krytox 205g0 - with a single Cherry Black lubed with thinner Tribosys 3204 lube to go into the Escape key - and every time I wanted to use them, the prominent scratchiness and sheer resistance of the spring was something I could not bond with. While it was a nice novelty to be able to daily run lubed Cherry Blacks, I did not find the typing experience throughout the two weeks I spent with them fun, and always found myself going back to my main board with Tealios inside them as I found the Tealios better-weighted and tenfold smoother.
     
    Do I recommend the re-tooled Cherry Black? No, I don't. It's far too scratchy for what it is, and the weight is a mountain to overcome. I would much rather purchase another alternative linear such as Gateron Yellows or even Gateron Ink Blacks, as those two switches are noticeably smoother than the Cherry Black even as a stock switch, and lubing both of those options will lead to an even greater smoothness that the re-tooled Cherry Black can never achieve.
     
    Sorry Cherry, but your gold standard is just a scratchy linear.
  22. Like
    sowon got a reaction from LukeSavenije for a blog entry, Red Velvet - ReVe Festival: Day 1   
    Red Velvet have come back once again with 'ReVe Festival: Day 1', and their newest title track 'Zimzalabim', which is a divisive song between ReVeluvs and other K-pop fans alike. I'll be going through this entire album and sharing my thoughts on opinions on the production, sound, vocals, and most importantly what I liked about each of the songs.
     
    Having been a fan of the cute side of Red Velvet - think Russian Roulette, Ice Cream Cake, & Power Up - so I'm interested to hear what Zimzalabim has to offer, as I've heard it's one of the weirdest-composed K-pop songs ever, if not the strangest. As always, I'm up for listening to anything, so I have high hopes Zimzalabim can deliver.
     

     
    0:15 - The song starts off airy and spacious with cowbells and some light guitars which is a nice entry into what I will assume is a busy and bubbly song.
    0:22 - Already there’s so much happening in the composition, there’s a lot of cowbells, synths, drums, and of course vocals. It all sounds very circus-like which I guess is this album’s aesthetic.
    0:26 - I love the bright and poppy vocals here combined with the high stings.
    0:51 - The cowbells come back, and now Seulgi is singing with so much echo and reverb that the airy and spacious environment the cowbells made in the beginning of the song sound even wider, it’s such a simple composition but works so well.
    1:07 - And back into a verse similar to how verse 1 began with the same type of instrumentals and bright and cheery vocals, so far I like the bright and circus-like vibe this song is giving off.
    1:30 - The circus-like theme is only amplified even more by the drums and rising tension of instruments, as well as the “Are you ready?” which is some serious integration into a pantomime sort of experience that you’d get from watching a circus show.
    1:45 - This chorus’ instrumentals I swear are a bit busier than the previous one’s, there’s clapping now and a lot more going on in the composition.
    2:14 - Everything slows down here for a bridge which I think is great as so far the song has been really fast-paced and bright, so a small ballad-like break is greatly welcomed.
    2:39 - In this final chorus, Red Velvet just pop off on the vocal harmony, the instrumentals are all fully blown out and it makes for an amazing finale to the song.
     

     
    0:15 - An interesting low and bassy instrumental to compliment the feminine vocals here.
    0:43 - I absolutely love this airy harmony, it’s so vibrant and fresh.
    0:56 - The harmony is so great here, the instrumentals have a reggae feel to them which gives a great welcoming and calm vibe to the chorus.
    1:24 - I like the subvocals to give the main vocals some more body here.
    2:09 - I love how much harmonies this song uses, it’s so unifying for all the members’ voices.
    2:52 - I feel like this song is just a choir set from Red Velvet and I’m all for it, the chorus harmonies will never get tiring.
     

     
    0:13 - Very lowkey instrumentals combined with sultry vocals, this is quite a different vibe to the previous two tracks.
    0:36 - A lot of clicks and bells in this pre chorus which is a nice progression for the instrumentals.
    0:46 - I like how the chorus stays fairly lowkey with the soulful harmonies from the girls, and maintains a low instrumental signature.
    1:16 - These high notes in the “I like it like milkshake” are so nice to hear.
    2:30 - I like how this part of the bridge is similar to the prechorus in that clicks and bells are introduced to lead to an explosive transition into the next section of the song. I love this production choice.
     

     
    0:19 - In contrast to the previous tracks, this track is so low and rumbly in the instrumentals and the vocals are so loud this time around.
    0:53 - I love the harmony here, it’s so airy and roomy.
    1:23 - This song remains so lowkey and vocal-heavy which I enjoy as Red Velvet have top-tier vocals.
    1:44 - I noticed this song relies a lot on vocal progression and repeat lyrics a lot which continues the tension of the song and progresses the song forward a lot. It’s got a similar style to Zimzalabim with these unconventional production choices and compositional design.
    2:56 - This song almost has a chant-like ending, it’s so repetitive and the instrumentals are no exception, definitely resembles Zimzalabim a lot.
     

     
    0:10 - This song has a very retro vibe to it, the vocals are so soft and the instrumentals are very bright and poppy.
    0:30 - There’s so much synthwork going on the instrumental which makes the already bright vocals so poppy and vibrant.
    0:51 - Definitely circus feel, it’s so bright and vibrant, the instrumentals are so electronic and arcade-like with the tones.
    1:37 - I find the prechorus so cute, it’s got such a cute instrumental signature and the high vocals compliment it so well.
    2:27 - I love the harmony here, it seems Red Velvet’s B-side tracks for this album emphasise on harmonies a lot to focus on the circus-like atmosphere of the album.
     

     
    0:25 - Very jazzy verse so far, has similar vibes to Sunny Side Up.
    0:53 - This chorus is so airy and vibrant, there’s a lot of echo and synthetic subvocals, and the instrumentals are so authentic which is a nice contrast in the composition.
    2:30 - JAZZ. The saxophone solo is so rich and vibrant, and I love how it continues throughout the bridge to compliment the vocals.
     

     
    Zimzalabim was definitely a strange song. It has an unusually catchy and mysterious chorus, combined with a unique and bubbly array of verses. The song switched up its composition and tone on so many occasions and it was mildly disorienting, but I guess that's what makes the song so fun to listen to, it's so unique and definitely a song I associate with Red Velvet. It's such a brave production choice and I love it.
     
    As for the rest of the album, I got really circus-like vibes and some minor R&B reggae vibes too, it definitely makes for the whole festival vibe that the album seems to be going for.  Sunny Side Up and Milkshake in particular I liked, both were consistent in terms of composition throughout the song, the vocals were so on point, especially when they harmonized in sections of the songs. Red Velvet have outstanding vocals, and ReVe Festival Day 1 was no exception.
     
    The ReVe Festival saga also has two more parts which I will also be listening to at a later date, so I'm looking forward to seeing what those have to offer.
  23. Like
    sowon got a reaction from LukeSavenije for a blog entry, Gateron Yellow - The Balanced Option   
    The Gateron Yellow is a linear switch designed and manufactured by Gateron, to along with their line-up of linear switches such as the Gateron Red and Gateron Black. The Gateron Yellow is a linear switch with distinct similarities to the Gateron Red, with a slightly heavier spring at 50g actuation versus the Red's actuation at 45g. In this sense, the Gateron Yellow is essentially a slightly heavier Gateron Red, and in my experience, that holds true.
     
    Looking at the stem, it's about as standard as a linear MX stem goes, with the iconic MX top piece, and the smooth legs on the front of the stem. In Gateron's case, the material of the stem is extremely smooth, similar to their Gateron Red and Gateron Ink Black stems in particular. The stem is in a bumblebee yellow, and is quite literally the same as the Gateron Red's stem, just with a different color.
     

     
    The Gateron Yellow takes lubing well, I lubed Gateron Yellows with Tribosys 3204 and it improved smoothness a lot, as well as increased the 'thock' sound signature. This is again similar to the characteristics to the Gateron Red, and I can't convey just how similar this switch is to a Gateron Red.
     
    In essence, the Gateron Yellow is a Gateron Red with a heavier spring, it shares the same housing characteristics as the Gateron Red, whilst also inheriting the lubing capabilities of other Gateron linear switches. I have previously reviewed the MX Red, and used a Gateron Red as the example there, you can read the review here.
  24. Like
    sowon got a reaction from LukeSavenije for a blog entry, Itzy - IT'z Different   
    Itzy are a new-generation girlgroup from JYP Entertainment, following on from the success of Twice, one of JYP's most successful girl groups to this date. Itzy's concept was to stand out and be different, and so they have debuted in 2019 with their first extended play 'IT'z Different'.
     
    I'm curious as to how Dalla Dalla, the title song will sound, as a member of Itzy was formerly a contestant on JYP's reality show Sixteen, which was a competition to decide who would become part of 2015's new girl group, Twice. Chaeryoung was a contestant but failed to debut, and so has spent the latter portions of her life as a JYP Entertainment trainee, and it looks like that has paid off as she is now part of the 5-set girlgroup, Itzy.
     
    Today I'll be listening to the extended play 'IT'z Different' and breaking down the songs, as well as sharing my opinions on song composition.
     

     
    0:03 - I’m already getting a dancey vibe right from the get-go, which gets me into the mood. I also like the (dalla dalla) adlib in the background to give a taste of what’s to come, especially coming from a newly-debuted group.
    0:18 - That same bumpy instrumental remains and now we’re introduced to our first singing part from Ryujin, I love the energetic and courageous entrance from her so far, her vocal tone screams fierceness and that she has no fear, which nicely compliments the violent and dirty instrumental.
    0:30 - With the (don’t care, don’t care, really don’t care), on top of the main vocals, there is a subvocal underneath an octave higher which is elevating the vocal portion and the lyrics to stand out much higher than the deep and punchy instrumentals and I love how nicely the undertone is used here.
    0:35 - Chaeryoung’s vocals are floral and feminine which is a contrast to the previous peppy and moody vocals, add to this the new poppy and flowery instrumental pickup in the background and so far it’s been a nice mix of grunge vibes and the now more serene and flowery feel from Chaeryoung’s portion of the first verse.
    0:49 - This chorus is heavily contrasted by what we’ve heard so far in the first verse. It’s a lot more akin to Chaeryoung’s part which was floral and elegant and girly, as opposed to the harsh and girlcrush vibe of the beginning of the song. I love that the instrumentals in the background are similar in tone to the first verse but the pitch is a lot higher and brighter to keep the sound consistent.
    1:06 - I like this part of the extended chorus a lot as it’s a harmonisation of all the girls and walking back into the intro with the (dalla dalla) adlib, loving the callback and the energy from this part.
    1:22 - Now we’re back to the grunge and girlcrush vibe and it’s definitely a switchup. This time the instrumentals are more trappy and hip-hop, combined with the harsh and hostile tone of the lyrics and vocals.
    1:30 - That 808 drop was nasty. It perfectly transitions this part into a half-time and keeps the girlcrush vibe going, I also love how much echo there is in Yeji’s voice to give her vocals that big and strong energy, almost like a lion’s roar.
    1:37 - Now back to that floral and girly lyricism and composition like we saw in the end of the first verse from Chaeryoung. There have been a lot of switchups in the song and it just keeps us interested in what’s to come.
    2:10 - The bridge here is very mellow and airy, especially with the serene and sincere vocals. The instrumental is still very poppy and dancey which I love as it doesn’t derail the song’s pace.
    2:25 - This chant is awesome, even if the lyrics are a little cringe and youthful. I love the harmonisation here as well as the poppy and dancey instrumentals.
    2:43 - I love that there is little to no changes to the chorus in this ending piece, the chorus is so iconic for being so standalone yet at the same time it’z so different to the rest of the song. Awesome stuff.
     

     
    0:08 - The song so far has a cheerleader vibe, similar to Dalla Dalla’s bridge.
    0:23 - This verse is very old-school pop, especially with the harmonisation, the lyrics, and the electric guitar to accompany the youthful and raw emotions of this verse.
    0:38 - I love how airy the vocals are, it’s very chant-like, especially with the kickdrums being introduced the deeper the first verse gets.
    0:53 - This was a weird hook. I really loved how the airy vocals remained and this hook was a nice display of how good the vocal range is. I also loved how the instrumentals followed the pitch of the vocals to really elevate where the tone was going.
    0:58 - This sounds really punk-rock with all the electric and dirty instruments combined with the raw and emotional vocals.
    1:47 - The additional kickdrums really give this chorus some more energy whilst still allowing all the different instruments to not be too cramped.
    2:16 - I love how all the instruments are toned down to give some emphasis on the vocals, as well as the claps added to really get the chant vibe going.
     

     
    I loved Dalla Dalla a lot, it's so different, no pun intended. I loved the pace and tonal switches to keep me engaged and thinking of what's to come. Plus the instrumentals were head-bang worthy and easy to sway to. Their vocals I didn't find particular interesting nor polished, but the song composition is there. Yeji has a particular energy about her, especially during her half-time part in the second verse.
     
    I feel like this is a mildly-strong start to Itzy's career, but nothing to cement what they seem to be capable of. They seem like a dance-oriented group with how electronica-emphasised their song composition seems to be aluding to.
  25. Like
    sowon got a reaction from LukeSavenije for a blog entry, Berry Good - Fantastic   
    Fantastic is a 5-member Berry Good group comeback that marked the last comeback before leader Taeha, would make her departure due to contract expiration. Fantastic features the bubbly and sincere 'Oh! Oh!' along with a range of B-side tracks that I will be listening to today.
     
    Having been a fan of Berry Good only recently with their recent 2018 album 'Free Travel' which had awesome songs such as 'Green Apple,' 'Mellow Mellow,' and of course Seoyul's solo song 'Can I Dream Again?' I was anticipating what Berry Good would have next to present on their music portfolio. And after the news of Daye becoming inactive for this comeback - and presumably the future of Berry Good - as well as Taeha's departure, I was sure that they would put their all into this comeback with all that's going on.
     
    Today I'll be listening to Berry Good's latest album 'Fantastic' in its entirety, and analysing the composition, instrumentation, as well as what I liked about the song as a whole.
     
    I have acquired the 1411Kbps lossless audio FLAC files for this album as I actually bought the album physically, so the timestamps will be for whatever foobar2000 shows the timestamps to be for the physical CD, which I assume will not deviate from other sources too much.
     

     
    0:09 - I love Seoyul's entrance, she has such as serene and pure voice, so her voice combined with the sharp piano stings makes for a nice mellow entrance to the song. The composition here is so simple yet so effective as it controls the tempo of the song whilst also letting the vocals shine though.
    0:18 - Similarly for Gowoon, the composition stays merely the same, but this time her voice nicely contrasts the girly tone of Seoyul to give some nice separation of tones.
    0:28 - This pre-chorus is nice and mellow and still has the same vibes of the previous verse, Sehyung's vocals here are excellent, she has nice vocal range and sings her lines effortlessly. There's also this very low string instrument in the background playing a flat tone and it perfectly contrasts Sehyung's pure and innocent vocals which gives the song some space and body.
    0:32 - Honestly don't know what to think about Johyun's heavily edited voice here, she normally has such a sexy and womanly voice, so not sure what they were thinking by applying this robotic and synthetic vocal effect to her voice. It's very contradictory to the mellow and pure tones of the song.
    0:36 - I love this chorus so much. It's so colorful, vibrant, and super poppy. The short piano stings from the first verse come back here but very sharp and high this time, the vocals have also amped up a lot to give the chorus the energy and soul. I love that Gowoon's youthful and airy vocals are used here, she has the vocal range and talent to be able to carry this chorus nicely. The 'Oh! Oh!' part is also really catchy to sing along to.
    1:00 - This second verse shares similarities to the first verse with the simple instrumental and I love that they keep it simple and not too outlandish.
    1:28 - Once again, the instrumental composition here remains the same with only the vocals being varied.
    1:36 - This chorus is kept simple and is another reminder of the 'Oh! Oh!' part that I will never resist singing along to.
    1:56 - A little peek at a Johyun rap segment, and it uses her normal voice with no vocal effects. I'm still very neutral on whether applying a vocal effect in the first pre-chorus worked or not.
    2:04 - I like that this pre-chorus differs from the song's composition in that the instrumentation is really long and winded compared to the verses' quick and simple instrumentation, this gives a sense of air and room in this bridge which promotes serenity and purity which is exactly why Gowoon's voice fits this part so much.
    2:22 - This final chorus has altered lyrics which I find interesting as the start of the chorus seemed like this final chorus wasn't going to change, and we were led to believe we were right, until Seoyul entered and changed the lyrics, ultimately deviating from Gowoon's classic chorus.
    2:43 - Johyun's rap here is amazing. I love how the crude vocal effect is nearly gone from her vocals and we get a near-enough pure vocal rap from Johyun here. It's a nice mixup from the pace of the song up until now.
     

     
    0:18 - This has a very different dynamic from Oh! Oh! so far. This song is very poppy and dancey, with a heavily electronic instrumental and much more expressive vocals.
    0:33 - This is such an airy pre-chorus and even moreso with the added reverb on the vocals here.
    0:47 - This chorus is so energetic and poppy, it's definitely a song that you can dance along to. I also love the vocal ability displayed here despite how dance-oriented the song is.
    1:18 - This rap fits the song so well, it pumps up the energy even further especially since the instrumentation has remained pacey and energetic.
    2:04 - The chorus is so catchy, I really love how well the vocals here are at the chorus, especially with how high the notes go.
    2:35 - A very ballad-like bridge here with everything turned down just to get those low vocals in there. I love how much of a display this song is for vocal ability.
     

     
    0:10 - This song already feels fast, and it's absolutely because of the instrumentals here. The vocals are even so fast.
    0:40 - This bridge is also extremely fast despite the vocals being noticeably slower.
    0:54 - This chorus has so much Latin vibes about it, the lyrics combined with the instrumentation here indicate that with the piano and the shakers, and later with the wind instruments.
    1:26 - Interesting to have a rap here to spice up the already fast pace, this is a really fast song with a lot of Eastern vibes to it.
    2:34 - This part of the song has similar vibes to One Step Closer in that it's very dance-oriented, I like how the vocals get their chance to shine particularly here.
     

     
    0:17 - This song sounds very ballad-like and serene compared to the tone of the previous songs.
    0:36 - I love the vocals here, they're very airy thanks to the added reverb and the airy instrumental composition.
    1:01 - I love this chorus, it's so airy and fresh, the vocals are harmonized so well and the instrumental is so pure and untapped. It's very Gfriend-like.
    2:31 - I love the echo of the lyrics here, it's so airy and gives so much space to the composition.
    3:12 - This song has major Gfriend vibes and I'm all about it. This particularly chorus with the adlibs in the background is so pure and feminine.
     

     
    0:12 - I'm already getting dance vibes from this song, it's such an electronic intro.
    0:30 - The vocals have this cyber effect on them to give them an electric vibe which I assume is to promote this electronic aesthetic of this song, so far.
    1:12 - The vocals here are amazing. It's so clean and effortless. The high note at 1:40 in particular.
    1:51 - I love the break in the song to insert a small bit of adlib in there with the "It's like a breath of fresh air!", what a nice little message.
    2:45 - I will never get over how effortless that high note was.
    2:57 - This whole song is a display of the high note capabilities Berry Good members have and I'm all for it.
     

     
    I really loved this album. 'Oh! Oh!' and '달빛아래 춤을' stood out to me the most for being the most Berry Good songs that have come out, Berry Good are very pure in image and these two songs perfectly encapsulate what they're like. Oh! Oh! is so feminine and girly, and so refreshing to listen to. I also love that this song is where Johyun got shine, as I've previously been cynical of Johyun as a member of Berry Good for being nothing more than a pretty face. In 'Oh! Oh!' she got to rap and she did it effortlessly. Her part in 'Oh! Oh! was a great finisher to the already stellar song.
     
    It was sad to not have Daye in this comeback, and just as devastating to hear that this would be Taeha's last group activity as her contract would expire, but as an album that marked both those occurences, it did incredibly well. The fact that I went and bought the physical album is already a sign. Berry Good are incredibly unknown and any purchase matters.
     
    We will have to see what Berry Good will get up to next now that they are down to 4 members for now. For now, Fantastic is a fantastic album and definitely one of my favorite albums of 2019.
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