There’s probably no subject more widely used and explored in all of pop — in any language — than that of good, old-fashioned romance, and all the many nuances that come with it. K-Pop band SEVENTEEN are the latest to add their interpretations into the scene, with their latest mini-album “Your Choice”, more than anything a celebration of the euphoric highs that can come with human connection.

Title track ‘Ready to Love’ is as romantic as pop can be, punctuated by a steady rhythmic beat driving the track forward, that’s more than anything reminiscent of the steady, earnest, heartbeat of…


In a burst of creative inspiration, Wong Kar-Wai challenges the conventions of film story-telling to deliver a film that’s as close you can get to a piece of contemporary art, in that it’s as challenging in its non-conformism as it is simple in its understanding of the human heart. Where else could love and loss, yearning and melancholy, loneliness amidst bustling cities co-exist with such innate understanding of the aimlessness of human nature than in a Wong Kar-wai film? …


Photo from BigHit Music

TXT have always been something of a wonder. Ever since debuting in 2019, the group have somewhat held on a unique place in their industry. Debuting under BigHit, they stood on the shoulders of their senior group BTS, with big expectations to live up to, but over time have since built their own formidable presence and sound as one of the most dynamic rookies in the scene.

But their latest release, the second full-album ‘The Chaos Chapter: Freeze’, finds them at their most ambitious and far-reaching, but also at their most comfortable at their own place within the industry.

Title…


Portrait Of A Lady On Fire (2019)

In watching Celine Sciamma’s “Portrait Of A Lady On Fire”, there’s nothing more quietly surprising than the very presence of equality in all of the characters we see onscreen.

There still is, of course, the invisible patriarchal conventions that surround the three women, but Sciamma never glorifies her film as a mere offering for token feminism. In Sciamma’s eyes, Heloise and Marianne’s quiet, yet powerful, inevitable, and all-consuming romance is a powerful, beautiful thing, in and of itself. …


Image from HYBE Labels

Ever since ENHYPEN debuted with their first official EP ‘Border: Day One’, in November of last year, several expectations were already on the group’s young shoulders, having been formed as part of the reality show I-LAND, which aired in the summer of 2020.

Their debut track ‘Given-Taken’ was a hit, and an unexpectedly introspective one, as the seven-member band questioned and grappled with the concept of success “given or taken” with the kind of insight that only comes from training in considerable part in the public eye. …


Image from EDAM Entertainment

The past year has seen K-Pop take on rather retrospective genres, what with the explosive success of BTS’ retro-funk ‘Dynamite’, to the impassioned disco-synths of GFRIEND’s latest album ‘Walpurgis Night’, to SEVENTEEN’s swing and jazz-tinted ‘Semicolon’ EP.

In essence, this retrospective view is the main driving force behind most of LILAC, as IU draws on the retro and dance-pop synths of her previous pop offerings, particularly from Palette and Chat-shire, and fuses and elevates the sonic direction from both albums into an album that’s filled with some of her best artistic instincts.

Title track “LILAC” is wistful and nostalgic, yet…


Image from grammy.com

On Sunday evening, March 14th, the world’s biggest and most renowned musicians gathered again (albeit virtually) to celebrate the Grammy Awards, what’s long been heralded as “music’s biggest night.”

But the Grammys have only held their long-standing claim to relevance and prestige for one reason: they are literally the only existing award board there is of that particular genre — its closest peers are the Billboard Music Awards, which account for sales, as well as other awards such as the People’ s Choice Awards or the American Music Awards, which account for fan votes.

This is, once again, an institutional…


This evening I looked closely at

the girl who was not me

and found the same handwriting on her love-note

and the same metaphor you used on my birthday.

This evening I sat in my room with a pen in my hand again,

and pretended everything is as good as it was when I was younger,

and my heart was a glass always half-full

love and ambition and hope mixed in somewhere

in all the muscle and tissue.

But not everything is wiser in retrospect,

and I am older now, but my fingers still burn with all this,

and on…


And I curve into you,

my body fitting into your bones like

rhymes to a poem

My love is a shapeshifter

in that I will never know its true form

It is this peace in my chest,

golden, glowing,

sure as your breath that fills the room

steady as the rise and fall of your chest

It is this current in my veins,

roaring, ferocious,

one sight of your collarbone

and I am breathless.

Originally published on alike.com.ph


When I was a child, I screamed-sang along to some of Taylor Swift’s earliest, most recognizable hits a la “Love Story” and “You Belong With Me”, earnest and sure that I would one day experience the same kind of fairytale romance and happy ending. I was a good girl through and through, after all, and good girls always won in the end, whether it was the success story, the prince charming, or the last word.

And then I grew older, and Swift’s music matured. Throughout Speak Now and Red, Swift’s understanding of relationships matured, her lyricism growing darker and more…

Audrey Rawnie

culture/media/music writer wannabe type (she/her)

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