Friday, September 17, 2010

K-Pop Reviews from Mid-September

Seriously I sat down twice and started writing up a mini-review of the latest releases and got distracted twice, but since I didn’t delete the info, I get to give it all to you now, even though some is rather dated (two week old releases, gasp!). Sorry!

2PM’s Nori For You is an example of a weird phenomenon in Korean pop, which is that advertising jingles are released as full on music videos and sold as songs, even sometimes performed on the weekly music programs. What? So weird. Anyway, this song is a waste of some of the excellent 2PM talent. The video is a muddle, since it’s about the product (what else but a new cell phone model?).

Sori’s latest, 넌 내스타일 아니야 seems to have as its high point the rapping of an unnamed guy, the crooning and booty shaking of Sori is a little weak, although the one bare-leg cat suit is sort of amusing. Actually the song may not be so bad, just mixed poorly, I can’t quite decide why it’s falling so flat for me.

When 2NE1 first appeared on the scene, I found them irritating. I thought that the girls were (some of them) too young for the super hard-core look and exceptionally sexual dance moves that are part of their image. However I became rather fond of them mostly because they’re real personalities, not trying to always appear nice and likeable, but actually sort of crazy/off-the-wall/fun, you know, people I think I’d actually enjoy meeting. This is contrasting them with, for example, Girls Generation, as far as I can tell none of the nine members has enough going on in their head to have an interesting five minute conversation. Now maybe it’s just good image management for 2NE1 and very safe image management for Girls Generation (SME, the company that manages the latter doesn’t have any –outrageous- personalities in their stable, so far as I can tell, whereas YGE (2NE1’s company) seems to specialize in artists with excess personality who push boundaries – just think of G-Dragon’s simulated sex scene in his live concert (he was sued. They have just released their first full length album, including three MVs coming out all at once. The first, “Clap Your Hands” is going to be a huge hit. It’s got a dance routine just easy enough to learn but challenging enough to be fun to learn, a very easy infectious beat driven song with a lot of rap, I like everything except the bizarre set with pink sand and plastic trees. The second, “Go Away,” just turns me off. One of the 2NE1 members cannot sing –at all- so they use a lot of autotune, this song takes that way over the line, but worse, it features a story line of woman is dumped, she’s a mess, she is a car racer and so is her ex (who immediately has a new girl), she races him, goes to see him again he BEATS HER UP! She races again, they both blow up. WTF?!! The last song, “Can’t Nobody” would be much better without very very overdone English lyrics, like the sort of thing that the first time you hear it you still know what’s coming next cause you’ve heard those lyrics so many times before. Otherwise it’s pretty good, if too auto-tuned.

문지은 Mun Jieun has a new release, 히비예 히비요, it’s pretty forgettable, a massive amount of auto tune coupled with my lack of interest in her hips (the video seems to feature them) overpowers the few catchy phrases.

It is with some amusement that I read an story that informs us that “SBS’s “Inkigayo” set three bans on outfits: shirts that reveal too much cleavage, shirts that expose the belly button, and wearing white shorts under miniskirts. Starting from the 4th, the producers of “Inkigayo” asked singers to make the appropriate changes, keeping the three bans in mind.” SBS is one of the major TV stations and Inkigayo is a TV show for performing the latest and most popular hits, it’s quite crucial for the career of major pop stars to appear on these shows. The article accurately calls it a ten year regression, yet ten years ago (trust me) there was not this much blatant sexuality, so I guess I understand why a TV station showing a prime time show is concerned about what kids are seeing.

Gavy NJ, the oddest name for a group I’ve run across in a long time, has released the new single 그만하자. As you can tell by the photo below, it’s a ballad. You never see that look of pain except when it goes along with a sad story, do you? Actually all three members have real voices, no big auto tune sound here, but I still like “dance” more than “ballad” (esp. in the Korean sense of the terms).

Son Dambi’s latest release, dB Rider, is yet another opportunity for her to try to prove she’s the hottest woman in K-pop. She might be, you be the judge. The video is fine visually but the song doesn’t grab me and the vocals sort of blend into the rest of the music—not her best work in my opinion.


  1. Dambi is the hottest woman in K-Pop, but she's got no musical talent. But then again, for most guys, she could be singing off key with laryngitis and still, people would be captivated by her goddess-like body and face (thanks to her god-like surgeon).

    Personally if we want real musicians, very few K-poppers fit the bill and all the talented ones aren't incredibly sexy (Younha, Brown Eyed Girls, IU) and all the sexy ones don't really have that much talent. There's a reason that girl groups are so rampant. You can have the singers hide behind the models!

  2. I think BEG are pretty sexy... not overly, just in a sort of normally sexy sort of way. I have always thought Hyori was hotter than Son Dambi, personally, but then again, women don't affect me like hot men do... so I guess I'm not the best judge.

  3. Saw the 2NE1 video. I don't get it. He leaves her and she's sad, so... she wants to beat him in racecar driving and then they both die? Huh?

    Thought the ending was gonna go, she wins the race, his new girl dumps him on the spot (because she didn't really like him for who he was, just for his money, or potential money he could have gotten for winning), and he tries to get CL (the 2NE1 member) back but it's too late..

    But both of them dying, it's like, why bother, why didn't you just get a gun and murder suicide?

  4. I know, serious head-scratcher, and yet people are depicting it as her being a -strong woman- I've seen that comment several times. Huh?! I think CL dying just ruined the whole video, at least if he'd crashed and died we could have called it karma or something.