Tuesday, October 12, 2010

K-Pop Releases by U-KISS, Ga-in and 2PM

There are quite a few releases as theme songs for dramas, and some ballads, but since I don’t really care about those, I’ll skip right to the three notable recent releases.

First, U-KISS, a ballsy group if their name, Ubiquitous Korean International Super Star is any indication. They are another of the very calculatedly created groups with the half Korean member (who is ¼ Chinese and ¼ Portuguese), the Korean-Americans, the guy who formerly lived in China, etc. so that they can travel around and be charming in interviews in multiple countries and languages. The new song is 시끄러. My immediate reaction was, wait a second, isn’t that non-Korean model at least five years older than the boys, but I guess it could just be that women mature faster than men… But I’m a big proponent of male nudity (upper body only) so this video won me over.

Ga-in of the Brown Eyed Girls has released her first single, Irreversible, which is unfortunately a ten minute movie (which I don’t understand or find appealing). Fortunately a few days later she released this “dance” version that skips the story and is a much more reasonable length. The song (when not distracted by the movie) is okay, but she’s not the BEG’s best singer, I’m still waiting to hear Je-a’s solo release, that’ll be worth hearing!

The cookie-cutter approach to song (and video) production in K-pop is certainly worth criticizing, and I do not hesitate to point it out. Yet the stronger groups do have their own sound, where just a couple beats of the song already let you know who the group is, even if you’ve never heard the song before. That’s certainly true of 2PM, and of this song, “I’ll Be Back.” The song should be somewhat more popular than the previous release from the hit group, as it strongly references 2PMs biggest hit “Again and Again” (2009). The video is sort of ordinary, showcasing the dancing abilities of the group as well as a very unsubtle use of make-up on the boys.

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