Tuesday, February 22, 2011

K-Pop (and K-Pop in Japanese and Chinese)

After School has decided to release their first song in Japan/in Japanese together with Namie Amuro, one of J-Pop's biggest stars (like the BoA of Japan). The song is "Make it Happen" and it sounds okay and doesn't look too bad, but the best video I could find is this one obviously shot on a video camera off a TV broadcast… not exactly a high quality recording.

제 블로그를 방문해 주셔서 고맙습니다. 저는 이 블로그에 일주일에 4번 정도 한국 전통 공연 문화에 대해 쓰고 있습니다. 처음에는  K-pop에 관심이 있으셔서  방문하셨겠지만 나가시기 전에 한국 전통 문화에 관한 것도 한번 봐 주시면 좋겠습니다.

Dalmation- "Lover Cop" This song is total bubblegum pop, in fact musically it's incredibly simplistic, and so predictable you just expect someone to start someone to start making heart signs with their hands and arms. Oh wait, they do do that. The most interesting thing about the video is that one member has blue hair! In Lover Cop and 그남자는반대 (Against that man) they have to wear a lot of black and white because they're Dalmation, get it? Actually I watch this video and I think "wow, is the image they are aiming for that of the total dork?" I guess they're too young to shoot for sexy, so… that leaves being cutely geeky.



Gahi (from After School) has finally released a single. Okay, I just like her because she's an amazing dancer and one of the oldest people in an 'idol' group, but this song doesn't do much to convince me that she's a good singer, too. The video is visually arresting and she's gorgeous in a so-thin-you-could-break-her sort of way. The song is "Come Back You Bad Person" If they showed more dance and perhaps had at least one catchy part to the chorus or something… Frankly I am disappointed. There is a long review on allkpop.


Gan Miyeon has released "Paparazzi," I have three thoughts on this video before I forget I ever saw it—one it's vaguely Gaga sounding, two it actually incorporates shutter release sounds from cameras (cool!), three Gan Miyeon is how old? She looks like she's a badly preserved late 30s, but I get the feeling she's a lot younger than that.

5Dolls (a subunit of Namnyeo Gonghak or Co-ed) have released two music videos: "Lip Stains" and "Your Words" with Jay Park (박재범) formerly of 2PM starring in both. "Lip Stains" and "Your Words" are telling the same story, which is very Korean so it involves Leukemia in a young beautiful woman (who can dance aggressively up until the day she collapses of course), but the musical sound isn't bad. The words are totally boring and predictable and the singing isn't great (one singer seems competent out of the 5), but overall, it's above average. A few days after I wrote the above Allkpop reviewed the new album. I don't entirely agree with the review (I liked Co-ed's "It's too Late"), but it's sure a heck of a lot more detailed than mine.


Kim Jae-uk, one of the sexiest men in Korea, along with his group "Walrus" has released a video for the song "서울마녀" which mean Seoul Witch. This of course is a pretty odd name for a song illustrated by a video shot entirely outside of Korea (not that they didn't find some beautiful locations, they did). The singing is average, the music is boring Beatles-esque, but the eye-candy is definitely there.


Coin Jackson is "a cappella hip hop group" and they've just released their debut MV, "feedback." I'll give them some feedback—don't try to do a cappella unless you have really good pitch. The MV is bad (and of course still emphasizes the physical appeal of the girls which is far from a hip-hop aesthetic as you can see from the screen captures below) but even worse than the official MV was a recording I saw of them performing live. I'll spare you, but if you don't believe me, just search it out on Youtube.



Super Junior M (the Chinese recording sub-section of the 13 member Super Junior) is back with an awesome new video and song. Almost enough to make me into a fan girl (to actually become a fan girl I think I'd have to find any one of them attractive, sorry boys...). They use only two sets, there is no story to the video – it's just good old dance music with an excellently choreographed dance performed by some of the best male dancers in K-Pop. Although I'm not a native Chinese speaker, the lyrics and their Chinese sounds good to me, too.

Ham has released a song "눈높이를 낮추고" which should be translated as something like "Don't set your sights too high," but has been literally translated by the internet world as something a bit more awkward "Lower your Sight." It's classic bubblegum, as you can see in the photo. The girls don't shy away from any potentially sexually suggestive move possible, but they most like to swish their hips from side to side in tiny skirts. The entire image of the video turns me off, it's not particularly danceable, and the girls don't have particularly good voices. With the release they announce they'll release in Japan next. Uhhh, this is when I wonder for a moment if government oversight is needed. If you want to keep Hallyu strong, don't let weak acts release overseas. Oh wait, Kara is already big in Japan. So maybe overseas audiences aren't very discriminating and everyone who can make it in Korea might as well release around the world....

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