Browse Tag


Rainbow – ‘Rainbow Syndrome – Part 1’ album review: DSP screws up another comeback

For a long time, Rainbow has been my second favourite K-pop girl group after SNSD. I didn’t care much for their debut single but it was the stellar “A” and “Mach,” both released in 2010, that won me over. I also find the girls very pretty and by the end of 2010, I assumed Rainbow would achieve stellar success in the coming years!

But they didn’t.

Rainbow’s 2011 comeback was disappointing and their company, DSP Media (the same folks behind uber-successful Kara), left them in the lurch for much too long. I felt really sad for the members. The girls never seemed to get a good break — be it in music or even on variety shows.

So when it was announced Rainbow would finally be making a comeback after a span of nearly 1 year and 7 months(!), I was overjoyed, but at the same time, worried. Knowing how often DSP have screwed up in the past, it was a cause for concern.

Rainbow members Syndrome kpop album

Here’s a track-by-track review:

01. “Golden Touch” – Such a straight ’80s-inspired pop song! From the beats, instrumentation and melody, everything about this song reeks 1980s-pop 🙂 (Did Sweetune work on this?). As dated as I may sound, it was quite refreshing to hear a song like this in Korean. All I could imagine were the members of Rainbow with hair-dos a la ’80s Madonna, ha ha! Love it! – 4/5

02. “두 눈을 감고 (Close Your Eyes)” – I wasn’t expecting a ballad this early in the tracklist, but here you go. Although the tempo feels a bit run-of-the-mill, I still found myself listening to it quite a bit. It may feel like a standard girly K-pop ballad, but track 2 raised my hopes up for the rest of the album. – 3/5

03. “Tell Me, Tell Me” – The much anticipated comeback single:

*Sigh* I’ll just say it. This song is just disappointing. My earlier worry about DSP screwing up have been proven right. “Tell Me, Tell Me” would have worked as a single… back in 2009-10 when a girl group debuted as a rookie! This is not a song worthy of a group like Rainbow and that too after making fans wait 1 year & 7 months for a comeback! It’s bland, uninspired, and choc-full of mediocrity. From the girl’s styling, to the music video’s set, and even the choreography.

Rainbow Tell Me Tell Me dance outfits mv screencap
Was DSP attempting a “Gee” for Rainbow?

Jaekyung – one of the hottest girls in K-pop – has in fact gotten gotten the worst hair treatment among the members in this MV. You would think with all the money DSP earns from Kara, they would invest in better talent to make their other artists look good. The outfits are plain, and I’m not sure Rainbow can pull off the “cute” concept at this stage of their lives. Jisook, Yoon Hye and the like, yes, but all of them as a group – no. Rainbow should have stuck with the mature concepts and kept “cute” for Rainbow Pixie – their sub-unit.

Anyway, I digress. To sum it up, “Tell Me, Tell Me” is a very forgettable track. – 2/5

04. “Cosmic Girl” – It’s not often I have listened to a K-pop comeback album and found another track better suited for a single release than the one that eventually did. This is one such track. Easily my pick for the “best song” on this album! Uptempo, funky, great chorus and a very good track in every sense. – 4/5

05. “나만 아는 너는 절대 모를 이야기” – Translated to “The Story Only I Know You Will Never Know,” this album-filler keeps the tempo going. Very reminiscent of a typical IU song, this isn’t a bad album-filler though. – 3/5

06. “In Love” – The final track is a sweet, saccharine finish to what has been a fairly uptempo album. It isn’t until this song you get to hear some of the girls hit the high notes, which was sorely missing for much of the album. – 3.5/5

Rainbow Tell Me Tell Me Syndrome members k-popIt’s very rare I have liked the album tracks on a K-pop album more than the lead single, but this is unfortunately the case with ‘Syndrome – Part 1’. I scored every track higher than “Tell Me, Tell Me” because it really is the most boring song on the tracklist. Even as I was wrapping up this review, I kept replaying every track except “Tell Me, Tell Me.”

I know there’s a second part to ‘Syndrome’ coming and I have a hunch we may see an edgier concept for the next release. But why after such a long hiatus DSP thought “Tell Me, Tell Me” would work is beyond me. In my opinion, it only lessens Rainbow’s image on the K-pop scene. They had something going for them and now the girls are neither here, nor there. Sure, I loved their cutesy Japanese single “Candy Girls” — but at least that was a catchy song with some cute dance moves. “Tell Me, Tell Me” has nothing special going for it.

This isn’t the first time DSP messed up a comeback. After the stellar “Step,” Kara took a mis-step with “Pandora,” which wasn’t the girl group’s finest. And now, same is the case with Rainbow. I haven’t heard a great Korean single from Rainbow since “Mach,” and I can’t understand why it’s so hard for DSP to get it right.

Rainbow had as much a chance to be the next big K-pop girl group. Their name is synonymous, the girls are pretty, they have a sexy member, a cute member, a funny member, good-at-acting member, and everything else Koreans can get into. From strong vocals to rapping, I see nothing Rainbow lacks as a girl group. All that is lacking is DSP’s  management of the group.

If Rainbow continues to flounder, it will all be DSP Media’s fault. I really hope ‘Syndrome – Part 2’ has a stellar single to raise the roof – because it’s what the girls need, badly! Rainbow’s “Gee” should have come by now. So whatever DSP has planned for Rainbow’s next comeback, they better make it fast. Rainbow has wasted enough time out of the limelight, and this comeback isn’t going to help win them many new fans.

My final rating for Rainbow – ‘Syndrome – Part 1’ is:

Rainbow Tell Me Tell Me Jisook kpop
A better album than a weak lead single

Rainbow – ‘I Said You’re The One’ (너뿐 이라고): The only song I like from the new album ‘SO女’

Not a very inspiring headline, I know. If you have come to my website before while searching for K-pop, you’ll notice I quite like rookie girl group Rainbow. I’ve written about them twice in the past — first, when I heard their brilliant single “A” and a second time, when they released “Mach”.

With those two songs, Rainbow became the only other girl group I cared about as a fan after SNSD. So it was with much anticipation that I awaited the release of their new single “to Me”.

Rainbow to Me mini album new kpop girl group Korean So女
DSP Media introduced a flower-y concept for the girls for this album

But it’s not like DSP Media sticks to one concept for a photo teaser and another concept for the actual music video release. They caught my attention before the release of “A” with a futuristic and very fashionable look for the girls. But when the video came out, the girls had to dance as though they were about to take off their top.


Oh well.

Today, tracks from their second mini album, SO女, hit the web. I went straight to the single “to Me” and quickly hit play… but after a minute later, I had to stop the song. I was disappointed. The song wasn’t very good — and the “Oh-eh, Oh-eh-oh-eh…” chorus was annoying.

I then tried listening to the other songs. “So Cool” was just “meh”. The ‘Engrish’ is what got to me I guess. I then hoped for a saving grace from ‘SO女’.

And it came when I played the third new song on the mini-album:

“I Said You’re The One” (너뿐 이라고)

Now songs like this is what I was expecting! A nice upbeat ballad with a great chorus. Sweet vocals and no cringe-inducing English phrases. “I Said You’re The One” has a melody and song structure that is pure K-pop.  I won’t be surprised if this song will end up being used on soundtracks.

That said, “I Said You’re The One” still wouldn’t have done too well if it had been released as first single to promote this mini-album. It’s a good song, no doubt. But after “A” and “Mach”s success, Rainbow needed to keep the success train rolling full steam ahead with a great track! “To Me” only slows the train down.

All-in-all, I am disappointed with Rainbow’s new material. I’m not giving up on the group though. I’m sure in a few months, they’ll release another mini-album, or who knows, going by online feedback, DSP Media may even release  “I Said You’re The One” as a single with a sweet MV.

I haven’t written about K-pop since November last year and there’s good reason for that. There’s a bit of a lull in K-pop right now. Way too many girl groups and more boy bands are on the way. The only songs I liked in the last 3 months were Seungri – “What Can I Do,” MBLAQ – “Stay” and K.Will’s “My Heart Is Beating” — but I didn’t like them that much to write a post on them.

But hey, 2011 is still young and April couldn’t get more hotter. Jay Park’s finally releasing his debut single and SNSD returns with a Japanese single.

So expect new posts on K-pop in April! 🙂

Rainbow’s new single ‘Mach’ — Really starting to like this group!

I’ve written about Korean girl group Rainbow before. After their disappointing debut single —  “Gossip Girl,” they came back strong and won many fans (including myself) with “A” (I still feel the lifting-the-shirt dance is lame).

Rainbow Mach new single kpop dominatrix black leatherNow they are back with a new single called “Mach”:

Why the song is named after a measure of speed I’ll never know (until I learn Korean). But who cares. It’s a great follow-up release and I’m now really starting to pay attention to Rainbow. I still don’t know their names and could care less for their sexed-up image.

As long as they come out with good singles like this, I’ll be eagerly awaiting Rainbow’s next release.

I just hope they hire better choreographers from now on.

Related Posts with Thumbnails
  • 1
  • 2