I loved Especia's Primera EP, but it didn't have the same lasting impact that last year's Gusto did. Patrick from MB Melodies summed up some of my thoughts on the album (namely the eight-minute lead single...), but I'll add that I found Primera a little dark.
I loved Nicole's underrated debut single "MAMA" more than a sasaeng loves their oppa's dirty underwear, but I get why it didn't win everybody over. It was a little dark and restrained without much of a chorus, so it was never going to connect with people the way KARA's pop confections usually did.
A lot of people were asking me why I wasn't posting the fifty million music videos from Namie Amuro's _genic album. The truth is, I was torn on the songs. Some were fantastic ("Golden Touch" is easily one of the best things she's done in years), but others sounded like generic J-diva pop, which always occupy a portion of Namie's albums.