I haven’t written anything on K-pop for a little bit, and there have been a lot of releases. For example, Seven, who many people seem to really be impressed by, is back. Whatever. I just don’t care. J Cera’s 사랑지우개 is an example of strong vocals, sappy ballad. J-Lim’s new release, Would Never Be Real is super sappy- nothing else to say about that. HAM has returned to the Korean music scene with three instead of four member and released 최초강개, trying too hard would be the phrase that best describes what’s going on here. Double B 21's first offering is 조난신호 (SOS). This brand new group has 21 members. Seriously. If you want that many you should at least consider making the group male and female, it’d be easier to remember people’s names that way! The song is okay, but the video is surprisingly amateurish, and oddly although it’s a dance track, the video has no dancing at all. Basically we just see close-ups of various approximately 17-25 year-old boys.
There are, though, some more exciting releases.
SHINee’s new video, Hello, is out. This means that in Atlanta my friend Tim is probably taking a day off studying just to press replay on the video. It’s a bit too saccharin for my tastes, their last two releases, Ring Ding Dong and Lucifer were better (more aggressive/edgier), this seems like a return to the image they had with Juliet. Except fortunately they aren’t wearing the pastel skinny jeans from Juliet. I was partial to Minho in Ring Ding Dong, but with the last two videos I’m a real Jonghyeon convert. He can actually sing. He’s the one in the grey and black print shirt.
Miss A has released their second single, Breathe. I am partial to JYPE, and this is a JYPE act, in addition I like the internationalness of the group, and the English in this song (almost all K-pop is peppered with often quite odd English) is much less annoying than in their previous release… but the song itself is not quite as catchy. The first time I heard the song I was actually listening in two browser windows that had begun playing at –almost- exactly the same time, and to tell the truth, it sort of improved the song. It was certainly edgier.
B2ST (Beast) has released their new video, 숨 (Breathe), which seems to be a bit of recycling from about half a dozen recent boy band video sets… but the song itself is pretty good in the sort of dance boy-band genre. I’d say it’s worth a watch or two, and I expect it hear it playing in every store in university districts within the next two weeks.
The first “idol group” made up of both men and women, 남녀공학, the subject of much anticipation, have released Too Late, a dance number that I think will usher them towards at least moderate success. And I just like any video that includes what looks like giant floating eye-balls. The imagery is pretty darn good, in other words, and I like the song (to the degree that I ever like K-pop).
And of course, the most important news of all, BoA, the amazing dancer (and potential SM puppet), has released her first Korean full length CD in quite some time, and the latest single to come off the CD is “Copy and Paste.” It is futuristic (a sort of running theme for BoA lately) and has more autotune than she needs (she’s actually a reasonably talented singer), but most of all it shows off her awesome choreography. Or rather the awesome choreography that was created for her and is executed flawlessly. I love BoA, but seriously, when is she going to write her own song or dance her own choreo?