Monthly Favorites

March 2021 Favorites!

Dear, guys – welcome back to Letters From Liz!

March came and went, didn’t it? I feel like it came, and now we’re just days away from April! It’s crazy to think that this time last year, we were in the midst of the pandemic and the cases were only getting higher and higher. It was a scary time, and it’s just insane to see just how far we’ve come from being where we were.

But, that was then and this is now, and I have some awesome things to share about this month and the things that I liked!

The *biggest* Highlight:

1.) I am cleared for surgery!

…Technically. Haha, this past month I had my last tests down for the surgery and in a week, I see my doctor and speak about the clearances and the beginning process of pre-op dieting and getting a date! That takes about a month to do, so we are guesstimating a surgery date as early as May! So scary that’s is coming! Nevertheless, I am so ready! One of the last tests that had to be done was a sleep study at their sleep center, which was an experience to say the least. You’re basically put into this room (a doctor’s office by day, a bedroom by night) and the nurses put all these wires on your day and this ridiculous net to keep everything in place. Needless to say, I looked CRAZY. They pretty much forced us to go to sleep around 10pm and thanks to the help of my nighttime medication, I was able to sleep pretty well! My results were pretty normal; no sleep apnea, light snoring, and I was asleep for about 80% of the test, which is a pretty good number. It’s interesting that there are people who work these night shifts at the sleep center to watch people sleep… yes, there was a camera in the room and a nurse would come in the room throughout the night to check up on you. As I write this, I’m awaiting for my blood and urine test results from my actual doctor and let’s hope that everything comes back normal enough to be cleared!

Favorites:

1.) Cravity’s 3rd Mini Album, “HIDEOUT SEASON 3: Be Our Voice”

K-Pop Comeback Spotlight: CRAVITY Stuns With Dynamic 3rd Mini Album "CRAVITY  Season 3. Hideout: Be Our Voice"

So, Cravity was a group that debuted early last year, and when they first came out, I was really liking their music and I thought I was going to really follow them as a group, but I feel out of love with them when they made their comeback with their 2nd mini album. I decided that I was going to give them another shot with their 3rd comeback. I have to admit, when this first dropped in January, I still wasn’t a fan of their newer stuff. Their lead single, “My Turn” was not hitting me at first but long and behold, Cravity is a group that typically has two singles on their albums, and they came back with their second lead single, “Bad Habits” which, oof… it was so good! I now offically love them again and I’m so hooked to this recent album. This is still a group that I can’t choose a bias for, so instead I have a bias line: Serim, Woobin, and Wonjin. (let’s be honest though, I will probably bias Woobin because of his angelic vocals… but UGH WONJIN HAS BEEN MY FAVORITIE SINCE HIS PDX101 DAYS) Anyway… yeah! this was definitely a favorite of mine in the last month.

2.) Music on The “Something” Series Playlist:

Because I’ve been doing a lot more writing of this series lately, I’ve been listening to this playlist while I write and adding new songs on here pretty much every other day to further along my writing process. Alot of the newer songs are songs I’ve actually listened to in the bookstore at work! I would be working on a project by myself in one of the aisles and hear a song so good, I will drop what I’m doing to grab my phone and Shazam it so I could know the title and artist of the song playing. I honestly love discovering new music this way; I don’t listen to music in my free time unless it’s pop, so when I listen to something other than Kpop and I like it, I try to find it so that I can add it to this playlist. Recently, I’ve been jamming out of “Leave The Door Open” by Bruno Mars which oof, such a good song with an old-school baby-making vibe.

3.) Pentagon’s 11th Mini Album, “LOVE or TAKE”

PENTAGON Releases Romantic Solo Teaser Images Ahead of Comeback - Koreaboo

Pentagon is a group that I hate to love because their company does them so dirty, it’s sickening. Anyway, I knew of Pentagon because they are an older group (they debuted a month before Victon did in 2016) and are pretty well known, but I never got around to listen to their music until my best friend showed me some of their music through a watch party a couple of months ago. What got me going was one of their b-sides on this album! “1+1” was on my release radar Spotify playlist and thought it was so cute and good and when their main vocalist was hitting those notes, I just had to find out who the hell it was hitting those notes! (Update: It’s Hui, their main vocalist obviously). I went to listen of the rest of the album and holy shit, it’s such a good album I can’t even stand it. Their sound really reminds me of an earlier Victon (like a boy crush/fresh concept) and it’s just so refreshing compared to the harder songs boy groups are doing these days. I’m definitely scared to hardcore stan them because when their contract is up, I won’t be surprised if they disband just because of the treatment and lack of promotions their company does for them. For the time being, I like them. A lot!

And that’s it for this month! Hopefully next month more new and exciting things happen and come my way so we can have more to talk about than music but… fuck it! Haha. 🙂

Monthly Favorites

January 2021 Highlights & Favorites!

Dear, guys – welcome back to Letters From Liz!

So, quick question: why does January feel like it lasts longer than 31 days ever single year? Don’t get me wrong, January is my birthday month, we love her, but she definitely sticks around for way longer than every other month in the year.

Nevertheless, lots of cool and exciting things happen in this month alone (plus it’s been a hot minute since we did one of these things) and why not end this never-ending month with some highlights and favorites?

Highlights:

I turned 27!

Goodbye 26, hello 27! Earlier this month, I turned 27-years-old! I didn’t do much on my actual birthday (I mean, you really can’t considering the whole pandemic) but nevertheless, I had a really chill and good birthday. I spent time with my family, I spent some time with my closest friends though video chat, and ate some really good food and cake. It was also my Aliceversary, which in case you didn’t know was when I first really got into Victon as a group and began to stan them immensely hard. My tattoo, “The Chemistry”, was inspired by one of the b-sides off of their debut mini album, “Voice to New World”, which was the song that I first heard from them and instantly fell in love with them. So yeah, not only is January 9th my birthday, but it’s also my blog anniversary and now my Aliceversary. We love that.

My 4 Major Clearances are Complete!

Almost a year after entering the program, I can finally say I am (almost) complete with all four major clearances! Last week, I took my last test and sent the results back with to my doctor and now I’m just waiting to get that clearance before I take the very last steps before I get a surgery date! It’s really crazy and scary to think that in a couple of weeks, this surgery can potentially happen. To be at this point into the process and only have some minor preparations left is still something so mind-blowing and seems so unrealistic. It’s definitely caused some minor/major (all-around really) anxiety because it’s just something that is so tangible and achievable that I sometimes think if I’m actually ready for something as major as this. Nevertheless, I know I’ll be okay and ready when the time gets even closer.

Victon Made Their Comeback!

VICTON [VOICE : The future is now] Video Call Event | Makestar

Two days after my birthday, Victon made their comeback with their first full-length album, VOICE: The Future is Now. (If you would like to read my thoughts on the album, you can read that here.) Not trying to be biased or anything, but wow this album was so good and like the whole thing is a certified bop… no cap. Anyway! They promoted their album for two weeks and honestly every performance of theirs just got better and better. Here, take this special video performance of their b-side track, “Flip A Coin” as context to the type of shit they were on for this comeback.

Favorites:

Victon’s VOICE: The Future is Now :

VICTON 1st Full Album [VOICE : The Future Is Now] Concept Image Part.2 |  Kpopmap - Kpop, Kdrama and Trend Stories Coverage

And to transition to some favorites: This album is definitely my favorite thing of this past month. Like I mentioned this before, this was definitely one of my favorite albums of theirs and it’s a literal masterpiece. Ugh, so proud of my boys!

Olivia Rodrigo’s “driver license” :

Gotta thank the Instagram reels that are just reposted TikToks for this discovery! There was something so raw about this girl’s voice and the fact that it really gave me some writing inspiration that made this song an instant hit for me. I know this song has some Disney drama behind it and it’s literally giving me some Hilary Duff, Lindsay Lohan & Aaron Carter vibes (man can you guess how old I am from that statement), but the lyrics are just so amazing and heartfelt and again, this girl has pipes! Ugh, such a great song.

For now, that’s all the stuff for this month! Let’s see what February has in store for us!

Blogust 2020: The Series, Monthly Favorites, Topic Tuesdays: Music

Day 4: July 2020 Favorites… Well, Discoveries!

Dear, guys – welcome back to Letters From Liz!

So, July was a very interesting month for “favorites”! I say favorites because, well, these things have so much potential to be favorites possibly this time next month!

July was a month that I got the pleasure to listen to a lot of new music and meet a lot of new people through the trading community who recommended these new songs to listen to!

Shall we get straight to it?

1.) WayV

WayV is Here to Awaken The World — The Kraze

So first, I’ve met an amazing person this past month that has become literally one of my closest friends in the community alongside Amy and Ella; their name is Ro and they’ve been making my days so great lately by either spamming my DMs with pictures of my ult, Seungsik, and crying over the fact that Sejun is a literal masterpiece. Just recently, they’ve put me onto a boy group that I’ve occasionally heard through the KPop community but never really checked out: WayV!

WayV is the fourth and most recent sub-unit in the whole NCT mega-group in SM Entertainment. What makes them different than the other NCT groups is that this is the first NCT-related group to be based in China; so technically they aren’t Kpop, but instead Cpop! This is also the first group under that is fixed, meaning they don’t change members for every comeback like most of the other NCT-related groups which, for me at least, I like. I don’t really much like change, especially when you’re researching a new group trying to get into them and know who the members are and all of that. For WayV, there are 7 members: Kun, Ten, Winwin, Lucas, Xiaojun, Hendery, and YangYang.

Anyway! These boys are, like, crazy with their duality. One minute you’re sweating over their very sexy dance moves and songs, and the next minute you’re uwuing over their cuteness. They have a very similar familial energy that Victon has, which clearly I’m a complete sucker for groups with crazy-ass chemistry. But yes, after getting educated on WayV by Ro, I’ve started to realize just how much I was about to double-bias in this group. I instantly was hooked on Ten, possibly my favorite dancer ever, and who’s vocals are like butter. Honestly, that man took all the damn talent. He has a duality that I guess is my type in Kpop biases because he’s oof one minute and then smiling like the baby he is. Ugh, such a talented man! My second bias is Kun, the leader and eldest in the group and someone who has the prettiest vocals ever. He sorta came in out of nowhere, like I was not expected to bias him but like… the bias is real and I’m not complaining.

Honestly y’all, just stan WayV!

2.) BTS

BTS Reveals Title And Teaser For New English-Language Single | Soompi

Hi, my name is Liz and, like, I’m getting into BTS?! Who would’ve thought that me, LIZ, would get into BTS in any way! I still have a long way to go to learn about them, but from what Ro showed me and exposed me to, they are a talented ass group that although get so much love, needs to be recognized for their productions behind the scene. Hah, BTS…

Anyway, if you don’t know who BTS are, they are a 7-member group under BigHit Entertainment that debuted… I believe back in 2013? Do not come for me, Army. They gain international success a couple of years ago and have been the most known Kpop group in westernized countries. So these 7 members are RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook. They also carry such family energy that makes it hard to not like them. After a couple of research videos and performance videos, I’m definitely also double-biasing. First of all, J-Hope is such a fucking cutie like, his personality is so 4D and he’s completely the most chaotic one in the group. He’s one of the rappers in the group, but like his dancing is what got me; it’s incredibly clean and so animated like, wow, we stan talent. Also, Jimin and his pretty ass vocals wrecked me; it’s funny because Victon’s Sejun is a huge BTS fan and he has a bias just like the rest of us and his bias is Jimin so like, talent stanning talent; we love. But yeah, gimme a couple of weeks to fall head over heels for BTS, like I already brewing inside my Kpop heart already.

3.) A.C.E.

A.C.E Profile | KpopInfo114

I adore ACE for so many different reasons, let’s be real. They are a very different type of Kpop group; they aren’t your typical “we just do cute and sexy concepts” type of boy group, they are very different in their styling and aren’t afraid to come off as too feminine, especially Byeongkwan: our crop top king! So ACE is a 5-member group under Beat Interactive and they debuted back in 2017! Their names are Jun, Donghun, Wow, Byeongkwan, and Chan. When listening to their earlier stuff, it’s definitely so unexpected like if any group knows how to switch up genres, it’s them for sure. What i like about this group is that they all are some serious all-rounders; they all can dance insanely well and their vocals… like, stan a group where every member in the group can hold the main vocalist position. I definitely have to do some more research on them, but like I’m already so in love with them and their vocals so I’m excited to get into them a little more!

That’s it for now! I know for this month there’s going to be a ton of favorites because, well, so many comebacks and albums are coming and like, we are living for it. Until then!

Monthly Favorites

May 2020 Highlights & Favorites!

monthly favs

Dear, guys – welcome back to Letters From Liz!

Another month has passed, and another one is around the corner. I’m telling you, it was just March the other day, and now we are entering Summer territory. Honestly, I’m not completely ready for the hot weather just yet, but she’s coming, so let’s get through it, y’all!

In the meantime, let’s talk about this last month! How was everyone’s May like? Are you slowly getting back into the swing of things after these last two months? Hopefully, wherever you are in the world, you are adjusting in a healthy way and taking it one day at a time!

So, without further ado, let’s talk about some highlights and favorites that happened in May!

Highlights:

1.) I submitted (and got accepted with revisions on) my first-ever academic journal article!

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A while back, I promised myself in the future that when I publish my thesis in a journal in the future, I would then publish my actual MA Thesis on the blog, where everyone can read it. Well, it’s happening! At the beginning of the month, my mentor Ro and I submitted our article for the Journal of Basic Writing, a CUNY-based academic journal based at Kingsborough Community College. We’ve been actively working on submitting something for them within the last year, but with our busy schedules and such, we finally found that we could do so during the COVID-19 quarantine. We literally wrote our 25-paged article in two weeks; one week if you count that full draft being finished by then. Anyway, we submitted it and then two weeks later, we’re in! Ro and I just ave a couple of more revisions to make and we go back into review within the next month. If anything, this article may make its debut in their Fall 2020 issue or Spring 2021; depending on how long it takes to get it where they would like it to me. This journey has definitely made me see what I want for my future, so I’m glad that I just got a little taste of what being in this field means.

2.) Victon’s 2nd Single Album, “Mayday” Comes Out Next Week!

VICTON members sport new hairstyles in 'Venez' version image ...

On the day I’m writing this, Victon announced that on June 2nd, they were making a comeback as a gift to the fans and of course, I’m so fucking excited. Although it’s only been 3 months since their 6th Mini Album Continuous came out, it felt like it was too soon for another whole ass album came out, so I’m glad that even though it’s a comeback, it’s a simple single album. Of course, I immediately pre-ordered the single album in advance because I’m Victon trash, we know, so I’m excited to recieve it in the mail next month and most likely add it to my June 2020 favorites because… let’s face it: it will.

Favorites:

1.) Cravity’s Debut Album, “Hideout: Remember Who We Are

CRAVITY | Kpop Wiki | Fandom

I told myself I wouldn’t buy any more albums until Victon or ITZY (or until Seungyoun makes his debut in June!) had future comebacks, yet here I am. Y’all. This album as a whole is a certified banger. I spoke briefly about these boys in this post, but to summarize who they are, they are Starship Entertainment’s new boy group. They debuted back in April and although I immediately enjoyed the tracks on the album, I hesitated buying a physical album. But, I want to fucking stan this group. These boys are so fucking talented and their sound just slaps so fucking hard. While I’m getting to know this group a bit better during my time off (don’t worry; Victon will forever be my favorites), I still wanted to add their album to my collection because I promised myself I’m only buying albums of other groups IF I love the album as a whole… I might be a bigger shelf in the future…

2.) Everything (and anything) Seungsik Related

Seungsik Victon GIF - Seungsik Victon Laugh - Discover & Share GIFs

If I didn’t express my obsession with Seungsik on here, then here we go – this last month I’ve been on a Seungsik binge. Sure, he’s my bias within Victon, but when I tell you of all the Seungsik shit I purchased because I just needed it in my life, it’s insane.

CJAM8937

For those who may not know, Kang Seungsik (강승식) is the main vocalist and now the permanent leader of Victon. It’s funny because when I started to watch and get to know Victon as a group, he always seems to have that leader energy, in many ways his leadership skills reminded me a lot of another leader in a Kpop group, TWICE’s Jihyo. When Seungwoo was promoting with X1, the group decided to vote Seungsik has the temporary leader and once Seungwoo returned from the project group, Seungwoo would take back his role. Well after the sudden disbandment of X1, Seungwoo returned to Victon but decided against taking the leader position back and voted for Seungsik to remain the group leader. Besides his leadership skills, he has one of the sickest vocals in the industry, and I hope his talents become better known while the group is getting the attention they deserve. I love the group, but Seungsik holds a special place in my heart.

3.) Rina Sawayama’s Album, “SAWAYAMA

Rina Sawayama: SAWAYAMA Album Review | Pitchfork

Let her blow up in our music industry! I cannot express just how much of a gem this album is as a whole! I love discographies that feature all different types of music genres, and this album flawlessly does that. I first heard of her on Instagram through an… edit of Seungwoo by Sekuromi and instantly had to find out what the song was playing in the video! (Of course, I had to add that hot as hell edit to my saved junk on my Instagram first though! Sidenote: I’m totally living my Kpop dream like I’m 15). Anyway! I wanted to know the title of this song because this song gave me an early 2000’s pop-vibe, and anything that makes me feel nostalgic like that needs to be added on my playlist. Oh! The song is “XS“, by the way. If you truly like experimental artists that play around with different sounds, I totally recommend Rina Sawayama! Stan her y’all!

4.) 이불 킥 (English Translation: “Blanket Kick”)

seungsik | Explore Tumblr Posts and Blogs | Tumgir

Y’all. This weekly radio show from Seungwoo & Seungsik is the cutest thing ever. So, every Tuesday starting last month, NOW. Korea, a radio station, airs a weekly radio show called “이불 킥” (Blanket Kick, which is slang for when you’re laying down and you remember something embarrassing and “kicks the blanket” off). Seungwoo and Seungsik will be the fixed hosts for this radio show, and although their time zone is a whole ass half-day ahead of us and I’m still sleeping when they actually go on air, I follow a channel on YouTube that translates their hour-long show in English for International Alices. Bless that person’s heart. We appreciate you. Because my top two biases in this group are Seungwoo and Seungsik and their SeungSeung Chemistry is untouchable, I instantly became addicted to their show. Every week they tell stories that the viewers send in on that week’s topic, they tell some stories of their own, joke around, be themselves, sing a couple of songs with the karaoke machine; typical Victon shit. Still, as a “2Seung Enthusiast”, I live for their chemistry and friendship. It’s funny because when Seungwoo was in X1, I pretty much liked the Seungs in that group as well [Seungyoun], so there must be something with the “승” prefix…

I know I’m always talking Kpop and my favorites are very Kpop related or music-related, but it’s honestly all I can indulge in during this time. Music makes me happy, Kpop does as well, and, well, I’m trash.

… Maybe next month will be different? I doubt it.

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Monthly Favorites

April 2020 Favorites!

Dear, guys – welcome back to Letters From Liz!

Another month has passed us by and it’s now that time of the month where we talk about some highlights and favorites and all that jazz. As I write this, I wish I was able to share some exciting highlights of this month, like a concert or a happy hour gathering or something exciting – but alas, there isn’t anything to report back on because we are still under Quarantine. Ugh.

But besides that, I do have some favorite things that I discovered/got in April! There’s nothing else to do besides finding some new things to like, so…

Without further ado, here are this month’s favorites!

VICTON’S Signed “Voice to New World” Album

RNTD2011

Y’all, I can explain. I was on this late-night binge-watching Kpop channels and saw how some people had their favorite groups signed albums and I instantly was jealous. For a while, I thought about getting a signed Victon album because well, I’m K-motherfucking-Pop trash, y’all. I made sure the person I bought this copy from was a real one, and oof, she’s so fucking pretty. I wanted to get this particular album in a signed version because this album is still my favorite out of all of Victon’s discography, so yeah. My impulse buy at 3am in the morning was so worth it. 

MCND & CRAVITY

So, I had some time to stan some new groups this month while being under this quarantine! All the rookie groups coming out this year have been so legit, and two rookie groups definitely caught my eye: TOP Media’s MCND and Starship Entertainment’s CRAVITY. MCND debuted back in February yet made their comeback in April with “Spring” while CRAVITY debuted in April with their debut single, “Break All The Rules”. These groups are both rookies but are both so very talented and have unique concepts. I’m telling ya, these rookies these days are fucking killing it. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing the rest of their careers and wish nothing but success for the two groups!

This look:

2020-04-09 15_40_41.729

So, in the middle of this pandemic and our mandated quarantine, I figured it was the best time to do the one thing that I’ve been trying to do for the last year. I’m officially trying to grow out my hair! I know my hair length doesn’t define me or my beauty, but I’m very much bored and missing having some hair on my head, and I’m ready for the next chapter of my life when it comes to my hair. Don’t get me wrong, my pixie cut has opened so many opportunities for me to gain self-confidence and see past my looks, in all honesty. So, while I wait for my hair to noticeably grow, I’ve been hiding it under this funky hat. Also, I’ve been living in this denim jacket because this is her season, but this damn quarantine got her fucked up, and we gotta wear it before the hot weather comes along.

 

And honestly, that’s all I have! Let’s hope that May some things change for the better, and some highlights are actually mentioned in next month’s post!

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Monthly Favorites

February 2020 Highlights & Favorites!

monthly favs

Dear, guys – welcome back to Letters From Liz!

Is it just me, or does it feel like this month just flew by? January felt never-ending, but this month just came and went within a blink of an eye. Although the month is almost over, a lot of exciting things and new obsessions have come my way! The thing about having the time and space to self-discover is that along the way, you find some interesting things you missed out on and find some new things to add to your collection of the things that make you, you.

So, here are some things that happened this month and some of the things I’ve been obsessed with.

Highlights:

1.) The first month of my Weight-Loss Journey has officially begun!

9A55DA02-99DB-4F2C-9F9E-5F6B0AD3B8A2

Last month, I went to my consultation appointment and got introduced to the program and how everything is going to go for the next couple of months while being under this program. Like I mentioned in a post a couple of months ago, I am taking the bariatrics route of weight-loss. I’ve decided to make a huge lifestyle change this new year, and while I have the opportunity and chance to do this, I’m going to do it for my health; present and future. So, this month was my official first month of the program. The program is a 6-month program that includes tons of check-ups, support groups, seeing a lot of doctors, and following a little diet in order to start this new lifestyle before the whole surgery thing happens. The surgery would happen sometime this summer (which is insane to even think about) so from now until them, it’s just a lot of prepping and mentally getting ready to make a drastic lifestyle change.

2.) I “popped my social cherry” with my coworkers!

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As you all may know by now, I’m not the type to go out and have drinks with friends or anyone of that matter because, well, I didn’t have many friends. Now that I socialize with my coworkers and have some really dope connections with them, one day after work we decided to go to happy hour at a taco joint & bar called Ho’Brah. The food was pretty good, the drinks were flowing, and man; I had such a great fucking time. We spoke about everything and anything really, gossiped a bit, laughed our asses off, and I truly opened up and my shyness and anxiety were nowhere to be seen. It was such a great time, and I hope to do it more in the future with them because they are truly amazing people and I’m so glad to have them in my life.

3.) Tattoo #5 has been added to the collection!

image0 (1)

It was about time I got some new ink on my body because ya girl was itching for it. So on Valentine’s Day, I went to work and had no plans whatsoever because I’m single and well, no gals for Galentine’s Day because my gals got men in their life. So on my way home from work, I decided to treat myself with a new tattoo; for a couple of weeks, I wanted something to represent a song that has honestly got me through the tough times and anxious nights as of lately. The song, although a Kpop song by ultimate bias group VICTON, has such a lively beat to it, and it’s quickly become the song that I rely on to put me in a better mood. The song is called “The Chemistry”, and instead of just getting the song title on my arm, I decided to do something for the best of both worlds; a chemistry bottle accompanying the song title.

Favorites:

1.) X1/Victon’s Seungwoo

Image result for seungwoo fanmeeting

So, bias wreckers are bias wreckers for a reason. You see, every now and then, our bias gets a little MIA on the scene, and you just look for another person to admire for a bit and BAM – bias wrecker just destroys you. When I first started to like X1 as a group, Han Seungwoo (Hangul: 한승우) became my bias for a while; he’s a 94 liner, his stage presence was insane, he became one of my favorites on Produce X 101, and his vocals are just… whoa. Sooner or later, another X1 member, Seungyoun, became my bias and pretty much still is. It wasn’t until recently since I started to get more into Seungwoo’s original group, VICTON. Seeing Seungwoo in VICTON versus Seungwoo in X1 is literal night and day; in VICTON, he’s a lead vocalist and lead rapper and his charisma while performing in VICTON was… whoa. In X1, Seungwoo was the main vocalist and he deserved to be it because his vocal range is also… whoa. This boy is crazy talented and so humble about it too! He definitely deserves all the success in the world because he worked hard to get where he’s at and despite the lows he experienced in both groups, he has a crazy amount of fans that support him. Wooya hwaiting! 

2.) LOONA’s “So What”

Image result for loona #

Now I’m not a LOONA fan for one reason and one reason only: their fans are insane. But despite that, I was just never into their songs, until this comeback came along. This song is just a different style that they haven’t done before; it’s like an  EDM dance girl crush concept and sound and it just is such a good song! The harmonies are sick, the raps are dope, and the music video to the song is just so good as well! If there’s one song (besides VICTON’s albums) that I was obsessed with this past month, it’s been this song – and that says a lot! So many different comebacks happened this past month (two big ones were EVERGLOW and IZ*ONE) and still, this song outshined them both. Loona is definitely a group to look out for; their fanbase is loud and bold and they are crazy talented.

3.) Sejun of VICTON’s cover of “River” by Bishop Briggs

Lawd, this song made Sejun such a bias wrecker for me, y’all. So back in January, VICTON had their 1st concert in South Korea, and each of the members had a solo special stage. Sejun, who is typically the “second” main vocalist after Seungsik, sang and danced to a cover of Bishop Briggs’ “River.” Y’all. Let me set the scene for you: this man came on the stage, barefoot, and with a red cloth covering his eyes and danced for like a minute straight with it on. His vocals in this song originally are already crazy, and Sejun handled it flawlessly – he even added his own high note at the end. You can tell how immensely proud he was when he watched the recorded performance on VLIVE, and deadass, he deserves it! I don’t now why Play M are hiding these boys because THEY ARE CRAZY TALENTED. Also, Sejun with blonde hair is a curse, it’s lethal, and wow he’s just so damn good looking.

4.) I (almost) collected all of VICTON’s physical albums!

So, with VICTON now my ultimate bis group of Kpop, I wanted to actually start collecting their physical albums because again for the umpteenth time, my hopes of doing that with X1 abruptly ended because of their disbandment. So when I fell in love with their debut mini-album, I knew I needed the physical copy in my very-small-but-ever-growing collection. So, I bought it, then bought my second favorite mini-album, and then ended up with their entire discography. They are currently coming back in March as OT7 (Seungwoo is back!) so best to believe I’ll be owning that too.

That’s it for this month of favorites and highlights! See you in March!

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Monthly Favorites

January 2020 Highlights & Favorites!

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Dear, guys – welcome back to Letters From Liz!

How are we already ending the first month of 2020? Time truly flies by! How did everyone’s month go? Whether it was good or not, you have 11 months to make this year even bigger and better, so don’t give up!

January is always one of my favorite months, mostly because it’s my birthday month, but besides that – January always gives me hope and motivated to make moves that make my year worthwhile. So, with that being said – here are some of the things that happened and discovered during this first month of 2020!

Highlights:

1.) I turned 26!

January means that it’s my birthday, and this year I turned 26! It’s truly insane to believe that I’m closer to 30 now than 20, and I’m scared. Nevertheless, I celebrated in the calmest way possible: I worked. Last year, all I did for my birthday was go to therapy and stayed cooped up on my house, so I was happy to at least be around people that I adore and being productive at my job! It was the first time in a couple of years that I got multiple text messages from people wishing me a happy birthday, which was a surprise because I’m truly not the most social person on this planet! Even so, the people who mattered wished me a happy birthday, and I felt truly loved on my day. After my day at work, I came home to a couple of lovely balloons and a “birthday princess” pin, which honestly it’s the little things that make me feel so good. It was a great birthday, and it left me excited to see what 26 has in store for me!

2.) I went to my first ever KPop Concert!

Man, was this a night to remember! To treat myself for my birthday, I bought a ticket to go to my first ever KPop concert! Never in a million years did I think I would go to a KPop concert, let alone for in my hometown, but I’m so glad I got the opportunity to see ITZY live in concert. ITZY is a five-member girl group under JYP Entertainment; they are TWICE’S juniors and are considered monster rookies. Although they are pretty popular in South Korea, they are still new (they debuted only a new year), and their full fandom potential has not even reached its peak. This would probably be the only time I will get to see them live before they explode in popularity, so I couldn’t miss the opportunity! It’s definitely is a highlight of my 2020 already!

Favorites:

1.) VICTON

Another month, another Kpop group ya girl stans hard. So here’s some backstory: earlier this month, my literal heart broke in a million pieces when it was revealed that my ultimate favorite group, X1, officially disbanded due to their agencies being unable to compromise their activities after the whole Mnet Produce Series manipulation thing that was exposed after Produce X 101 wrapped up. While K-OneIts and International OneIts are trying to fight for the boys to get back together and given one more chance, I’ve been trying to at least stan another boy group that I was interested in while watching PDX101.

You see, Seungwoo, the leader and main vocalist of X1, already debuted prior to PDX101. Many debuted idols participate in this show because typically the groups that they are in are not doing well and want another chance at debuting while giving more exposure to their groups. Both Seungwoo and Byungchan participated in PDX101 and ultimately Seungwoo got to debut in X1. Seungwoo (before Seungyoun waltz in and took my breath away) was my bias in the group, and while trying to get to know him as an idol back in the summer, I began to watch and listen to VICTON, and slowly but surely, I became obsessed with them. It took me a while to get into their music and it wasn’t until recently since I started to stan them even harder than before. Although the future of Seungwoo is undetermined as of right now (which I hope isn’t for too long), if X1 truly stays disbanded, he is most likely to return to VICTON. As a six-member group right now, VICTON is doing extremely well and getting the recognition they deserve! They came back with “nostalgic night” back in November and got their very first win on a music show, which was bittersweet to see that the boys got that feeling of winning an award after having been a group for 3 years now.

As of right now, my favorite song of theirs was actually in their debut album, “Voice to New World“, and it’s called “The Chemistry“. It’s such an upbeat, feel-good song that has been on repeat for WEEKS. I’m excited to see the future of VICTON and where they go, as well as Seungwoo’s return.

Stan VICTON, y’all.

2.) Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow

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Although I finished this book a couple of days before the new year, I wanted to include this in a favorites post because it was just so fucking good. This novel is about a 17-year-girl named Charlie, who finds her way into a psych ward after self-harming her body excessively and once she is released from the hospital’s care, she’s now on her own trying to figure out how to live her life with her demons, regrets, memories, and the pain she constantly feels. She moves to Arizona for a new start with one of her good friends, Mikey, but finds herself tangled in the web of Riley West, a musical genius but a total fuck up, and she finds herself going down a path one too familiar to the one she was on. The thing is, she wants to change her life, she cuts herself to mask the pain, not to kill herself. And that right there speaks volumes. Of course, cutting isn’t a healthy way to gain control of your life and to mask your emotional pain, but cutting doesn’t always mean someone is suicidal. I was that type of cutter when I was a teenager, and it’s so important that there is a story being told that explains that side of self-harming, but it’s not attention-seeking, it’s not a sign of wanting to die, and as the author says it, “it means you are struggling to get out of a very dangerous mess in your mind and heart and this is your coping mechanism. It means that you occupy a small space in the very real and very large canyon of people who suffer from depression or mental illness.”

And that’s pretty much it! Here’s to another month of highlights, favorites, obsessions – whatever you want to call it!

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Monthly Favorites

October 2019 Highlights & Favorites!

Dear, guys – welcome back to Letters From Liz!

Can you guys believe that in two days, it’ll be Halloween? This month flew by and I’m not ready to dive into November and see all the damn Christmas decorations go up.

It was definitely an overall hard but good month for me. For personal reasons, my emotions were all over the place and it took some reflection time for me to settle in everything I was feeling and going through this month. For the most part, though, October was truly a good month for me, and sometimes my pessimistic self doesn’t believe that I’m capable of having a generally good couple of weeks. 

So, without further ado – let’s talk about some highlights of the month:

Highlights:

1.) Ya girl got her hair done!

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I finally got myself some bleach in this hair and I’m gradually starting the process of going from black/dark brown to a medium brown/something lighter than my roots in all honesty. My sibling is currently a student at a beauty school and is currently working on the salon floor as practice and to build up clientele for the future. They asked if I was willing to come to the school and get some highlights in my hair since I was dying to lighten my hair in the first place. I’m a sucker for doing all sorts of shit to my hair, so I went and got my hair bleached and toned into highlights. I’ve been my sibling’s test dummy for years regarding haircuts and hair color, and this was honestly one of the best times they ever did highlights on my hair. It was crazy natural, and it blends in with the rest of my hair!

2.) High-School Reunion with Nina (SparklyWarTanks)

This is a high-school photo of us, by the way. Although this event happened towards the end of September, I wanted to include it here because of the things that happened and discussed that day are some of the reasons why this month was so completely different for me. So, Nina was my best friend in high school. We were in the same vocal class as freshmen and we got closer as freshman year progressed. We became extremely close our sophomore year; we basically had every class together and we spent many of our days off singing at events under our school choir. If anyone has seen me grow from the little, innocent, naive prude into the rebellious all-over-the-place teenager, it was her. We were the same in a lot of areas of our lives, but we were two completely different people as well, which ultimately led to us drifting apart as high-school went on. College came and we went our separate ways, and we lost touch for those years we were busy with our college selves.

What brought us back together was the mutual passion of writing. She began her own blog as part of a senior school project, and I followed it since. In a way, her blog encouraged me to start my own, and the rest is history. As we began to support each other’s passions through social media and through her events, she brought up the possibility of us hanging out one weekend and so we did. I can’t lie and say I wasn’t nervous; letting her back into my life meant that I was letting a part of my high-school self back as well, even if she wasn’t the toxic part in my high-school life. That conversation we had for hours taught me a valuable lesson: I can hurt people too and I can be the cause of someone’s bad mental health. I could be just as toxic for people as some people are for me, and it truly reminded me how much we’ve grown since we were teenagers. Of course, we did, we’re 25 now, but to have honest conversations with someone you hurt and just discuss unspoken emotions we both felt made me appreciate life a little more that day.

So, if you’re reading this Nina, thank you for teaching me a valuable lesson.

3.) I started a music podcast!

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Sometimes, doing things out of pure curiosity and fun of it could be a good thing! Earlier this month, my good friend, Tori, was thinking about starting a podcast on her Patreon and I was all in for the idea. I’m not the most active podcast listener, but I know that people listen to them while they are working out, cooking, studying, trying to sleep; whatever type of multitasking thing there is to do. I mainly wanted to try it out because I’ve been doing nothing but listening to music to get me through the hardships that the month brought me. I wanted a platform where I could share my love for music, showcase the music, and even share my knowledge about the genre without typing it all out. So, I decided to test-run an episode with some of my favorite hits at the moment and found myself having so much fun with it. Music, especially now, is one of the major reasons how and why I’m happy at this moment (especially K-Pop) and I wanted to share it with other music-loving people in hopes that they adventure out into some genres and songs they never even heard of. In the time I’m writing this, two more episodes have been recorded and are pending for publication within the next couple of weeks, so be on the lookout for that!

Favorites:

1.) My First Physical Copy of a K-Pop Album:

 

If I was ever going to pop my K-Pop album cherry, it would be X1’s 1st Mini Album, Quantum Leap. If you guys have been living under a rock or purposely been ignoring me because I’m always talking about them, you would know that I’ve been obsessed with X1 ever since they were officially put together during the summer under Produce X 101. If you want to know more about my thoughts about their debut when it first happened back in August, you already know there’s a blog post about it. Not only was their debut such a strong one, but the whole album was also really good, so it was only right for me to get it when I had the extra money to purchase it. I ordered it directly from South Korea so the shipping was crazy expensive, but it was so totally worth having this album in my hands. It’s funny, I showed my mother the album and the photobook that comes with it and was like “…this is what you’re obsessed with?” And I proudly said yes. I told myself that while X1 is promoting, I’ll be buying all their physical albums because I’m such a huge fan of them. So yeah. Thanks, X1, for popping my K-Pop physical album cherry. Ew, that sounds gross.

2.) Anything Seungyoun related.

Cho Seungyoun (Hangul: 조승연) is a member of X1 obviously. Born in 1996, he is the second oldest behind Seungwoo, the leader of the group and occasional bias wrecker for sure. It’s truly crazy to see how quickly things can change; on my ideal final-lineup for the group during PDX101, he wasn’t even on my top 11 and yet I’m obsessed with him. It’s not like I’m obsessed with him through his looks (yeah, he’s good-looking af), but I’m obsessed with the many talents he has and the “all-rounder” title he holds within the group. He knows four languages, he sings, dances, raps, beatboxes, produces, writes, composes, like do I need to say more? He’s a fucking monster.

Within X1, he is one of the four members in the group that had already debuted through their own respected companies and boy groups before joining the show for a second chance at success. Seungyoun started out as one of the members of the Chinese-Korean group, UNIQ. As one of the rappers and one of two members that are Korean, he was in charge of pretty much rewriting the lyrics to their songs in Korean so that their Korean audiences would know the songs in their languages. Mind you, homeboy was only 18 doing all of this. Their second single, “EOEO” is such a good fucking song; it’s sexy, it’s rap-heavy which I’m finding myself loving K-Rap a little bit more these days, and it’s catchy!

He’s also branched out of the group and began his own solo career, first under the stage name “Luizy” and later under the name “WOODZ”. As “Luizy”, his song entitled “Baby Ride (feat. Hyungsik of BTOB” is such a feel-good song. If you’re already missing the summer (I’m not), this will definitely bring that summer-vibe back into your life! It’s definitely a good song to listen to on a sunny breezy day on your way to school or work and it just feels like a good time. As “WOODZ” the musical genre is a lot more mellow, R&B and less rap-focused, and as mentioned in the first Music From Liz podcast, “DIFFERENT” hits you in the feels. It’s also a very big mood-setting song; on a cloudy day with a slight drizzle of rain hitting the bus window; ugh the feels. The song is typically about a breakup of a couple because they were incompatible with one another. The music video is definitely aesthetically pleasing, artistic, and beautiful.

 

 

Honestly, that’s all for now! See you guys in November!

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Blogust 2019: The Series, Monthly Favorites

Day 30: August 2019 Highlights & Favorites!

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Dear, guys – welcome back to Letters From Liz!

Let me start off by saying this: good friggin’ riddance, August, and hello September! I was never this happy for September to be coming my way.

But before we can fully hop into a new month, we gotta talk about some favorites and highlights of August! A lot has happened in the course of 30 days (thus far)! So, let’s get straight into some highlights of the month:

1.) Ya girl got hired!

Yes, I know, finally. It was fate, let’s just say. The job listing that was posted for my job was already 15 days in, and I was telling myself, “man, should I even bother applying for it? They probably found someone for the position by now”. I guess I said yolo and just applied for the job. I applied for the job on a Sunday, I got the callback on a Wednesday, and I was hired by that Friday. It just feels natural for me to gain some experience at a place I already know a lot, so it eliminates a lot of the anxiety I would’ve felt at a new place, in a new atmosphere, with the potential of getting lost. 

My job is at my old college’s bookstore, it’s part-time, and it has the potential to be permanent in the future. It’s retail, I know, but it’s not the crazy retail that you find at a mall or in Manhattan with a variety of different people, it’s literally working with college students, which I ultimately want to do. This truly is a good first job to have; it’s not overly consuming, I still can have my therapy sessions on my day off, and I’m working with such a nice and helpful crew; I could’ve had asked for a better first job than this one.

2.) Blogust!

Man, this year’s Blogust flew by compared to last year! I felt prepared enough to blog every single day for the month of August, but I also feel like the days just kept going and going and now BAM! It’s over now. It was fun to write something every day; it allowed me to showcase some of the things I rarely write about (i.e creative pieces and such) so I’m glad that Blogust gives me that opportunity.

You can check out the Blogust 2019 Series, as a whole, here.

Favorites:

1.) tvN’s “Mafia Game in Prison”

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Yes, another South Korea related thing. Newsflash: All my favorites are going to be Kpop/Korean related. Anyway, this show is fucking funny, hands down. The synopsis of the show is 12 people (guest stars are usually Kpop Idols or other actors and comedians) who play the mafia game. In this version, 9 people are “model prisoners” while 3 people are the “mafia”. Players know if they are a model prisoner if they are giving a keyword for that game, while mafia members don’t know what that word is. The 12 people are split into two teams: Team Honesty & Team Diligence. In a variety of competitive games, the team that wins gets an extra ballot of votes, while the losing team has to do either the drawing or motion penalty. In these penalties, the players have to draw or act out something that is related to the keyword without being too direct, or you risk the mafia members figuring out the word and acting as a model prisoner. If all 3 mafia members are caught after 5 rounds, the model prisoners win. If there are still mafia members left after the 5 rounds, the mafia wins. It’s just a really fun show to watch, and quite frankly I like to figure out the keywords myself and pick out who may be the mafia members. Newsflash: I’m usually wrong. 

2.) X1’s Debut Album, 비상: Quantum Leap

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How are my PDX101 babies so grown now? It’s only been a month and a half since they were announced! X1’s debut was crazy good, to say the least. On August 27th, they released their first mini-album entitled,비상: Quantum LeapOn this album, they released 6 songs with their title track called “Flash“. Let me just say this: I love this concept in the group. I feel like every member benefits from this concept (yes, even baby Dongpyo and Hyeongjun) and for a rookie group, they carry such a mature sound to them. In order of the picture, there’s Eunsang, Seungwoo, Seungyoun, Hangyul, Wooseok, Yohan, Hyeongjun, Dongpyo, Junho, Minhee, and Dohyon. Although you can read my thoughts on their debut here, you know I had to include them in my monthly favorites because their debut was so highly anticipated, and it was definitely worth the wait. X1 hwaiting!

3.) Everglow’s “Adios”

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Everglow is that group that will become widely popular as they release more comebacks throughout the years, and it’s crazy because they come from an agency that doesn’t have any well-known girl groups in the previous generations that were widely popular. Yes, I’m aware Cosmic Girls exist, but they aren’t from 2nd generation Kpop and they are co-managed by Starship Entertainment. Guys, Everglow is killing the game, and “Adios” is a strong competitor for other songs out right now. Everglow’s overall concept is a sexy, girl crush one, and they all honestly slay that concept so well! They are all sexy and mature in their own ways, and I think every member contributes to that image well for the overall concept of their group. Like many people speculated, “Adios” has some similar sounds and melodies to Blackpink’s “Kill This Love“, but in my unpopular opinion: “Adios” is superior. While “Kill This Love” killed my soul when it was first released, the song isn’t something I found myself listening to after two weeks. It just began to feel repetitive and melody-wise, it wasn’t really intriguing. “Adios” in other ways carries more of an addictive melody, and I just don’t know, I just prefer Everglow’s than Blackpink’s. Don’t come for me, Blinks. “Adios” is off of their second mini-album entitled, H:U:S:H

And that’s about it! Here’s to the new month, a new season (Fall where you at boo), and some new highlights and favorites!

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Monthly Favorites

May 2019 Favorites & Highlights!

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Dear, guys – welcome back to Letters From Liz!

First and foremost, I wanted to wish my partner an amazing birthday; we met when he was 17 and to think he’s now 27 seriously baffles me. I’m forever grateful that despite everything that we go through, he’s been by my side & again, to think I’ve known him for a decade baffles me, but I’m glad I have because he’s amazing and the person he’s grown/growing into is a beautiful one.

I also wanted to congratulate my co-writer for our ongoing project, Rosanne, for getting married this past weekend! I hope she enjoys her time in Japan for her honeymoon! Totes jealous, but I can’t wait to hear about the beautiful sights she got to see on her trip!

Lastly, I wanted to congratulate the Class of 2019; specifically, the English MA students who I got the pleasure of working with and studying with during my time as a grad student. I know how surreal it feels to be finally done with your graduate studies, and I couldn’t be more proud of you guys!

Needless to say, May is a very exciting month. Yes, even last year was just as eventful!

So, without further ado, let’s dive into some of the highlights of the month and some things I’ve been obsessed with!

Highlights:

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Earlier this month was the 2nd Annual BCS Showcase and the second year that The Eliminators Dance Crew performed. This group, coached by my partner, honestly gets better as the years go. The steps get more tedious, the music mix they dance to gets more articulate, and the experience just gets better. I know how hard he works to get these girls together and dance, and the work definitely shows at every performance. As for the other performers, I give them extreme props for getting up on stage to perform their talent, whether that was dancing, singing, and even rapping! The arts are needed in these public schools, and these shows are one way to keep it alive. That’s the mission.

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I’m learning Korean! For the longest time, I wanted to learn a new language. For a while, I was learning Italian when I was an undergrad in college. Once it got too hard, I sort of stopped, and it’s been a while since I studied another language. Because of my genuine interest in Kpop and the shows that surround it (which is mentioned later in this list), I wanted to at least learn how to read and write in Korean. As of now, I’m a serious beginner; I am currently learning the 18 consonants and 21 vowels (yeah, you heard right) in the Korean Alphabet. But, thanks to watching Korean variety shows and Kpop interviews, I know how to say “hi” in Korean! 안녕하십니까!

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I’m working on my next big project, which is publishing my Master’s Thesis in an academic journal! Back in December of last year, I brought up the possibility of co-writing a journal article with my former thesis advisor. She was interested in working with me on this new project, and here we are, putting that into action! Currently, we are both doing some heavy research and readings on some scholars to potentially use to revamp it and update the content, and is it weird to say that I’m actually excited to do so again?! May 2018 Liz would slap me, seriously. But, this is honestly the type of work I’m truly so excited to read and work on the content that I fell in love with in the first place.

Favorites:

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Dress Liz is in full effect. In NYC, we had a couple of warm, summer-like days and it gave me the opportunity to try out these dresses I bought for the warmer weather. I feel really pretty in them, and I’m honestly kicking myself asking why I didn’t do this sooner? I think I just stopped caring what other people may say about my image, so here I am, rocking a pixie cut and wearing a nice, summery dress!

Alright, here comes the Kpop stuff:

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프로듀스 X 101! So, Produce 48 was the third season of the “Produce” franchise, and it’s the program that put together girl group, IZ*ONE. I was so hooked on that season, that I gave this new season, which is now looking for the next boy group, a try. Two episodes in and I’m already hooked. There are so many more elements that contribute to this season to spice up the show a bit, and I genuinely like the boys enough to actually stan the winners when they doubt later this year. So, as they say together:

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Onto some Kpop music obviously…

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TWICE’s 7th Mini Album, FANCY YOU, was *e v e r y t h i n g.* April left us Kpop fans which a lot of music to enjoy this month. Pretty much all my favorite girl groups made a comeback, and yes, one of them happened to be TWICE. Music wise, I think this album is the best out of all of their discography because each song is an honest hit. Any of the songs could’ve been their title track. Although “FANCY” is a great title track to show off their more mature side, my favorite track is “HOT“, which was completely written by Twice’s own Momo! 모모 화이팅! The album regarding its physical copies, I think it could’ve been a lot better. I just feel like it wasn’t that thought out and put together very last minute, which is a shame because I would honestly love to buy this album because the entire album has amazing songs, so it does leave me conflicted! Needless to say, I suggest everyone stream this album because it’s just so good!

 

And that’s that! What were some of your personal favs this May?

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