Saturday, April 30, 2011

K-Pop Releases in late April

Rainbow is a group I've sincerely found little redeeming qualities in from their first release. The latest is "To Me" a song that has the advantage of a good strong dance beat. Unfortunately it still has the annoying girls of the group using English really awkwardly (seems to be a trademark) and generally just being a plastic cut-out concept of a money-making ensemble, instead of actual artists. (Yes, I'm being a bit harsh but even the dance to the best part of the song (the chorus) is just completely unimaginative).

A-Team released a new song "Run It."   The group must be new, can't remember hearing of them before. They're a group of apparently 7 rappers, they seem to have some serious talent (one is even a woman!) and a social conscience. In other words they probably won't be doing that well. Too bad. Give it a listen. The video is not worth much though, it's too artsy for focus, apparently.

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.

NS Yunji has released a video in clay animation called "Talk Talk Talk."  The photo should let you know what the music sounds like. If you like that kind of thing, go for it.

San E, who had a first mini-album that I was completely impressed by (I thought he was super smart and funny and very good at rap), has released a crap-ass follow up. The song, 가면 안돼 (I Cannot Let You Go) , is a total freaking ballad with easy slow non-challenging rap about love (and loss). The reason that San E was impressive the first time was because he got away from that stereotypical trap of following what sells in Korean music, and here he is, smack dab in the middle of it.

After School has two new releases off their new CD "Virgin" (which has them in –red shoes- apparently Koreans don't know that that is a traditional sign of being a prostitute). Let's Step Up  is a tap piece. I don't quite get it, as in the clip that's online (which is a minute and a half long, much too long to be a teaser) the song definitely takes second seat to the tapping, which is pretty bad (except for one member).  The other song is called "Shampoo," no I don't think it sounds like a song name, either. Unless it's for an advert, of course. They've recently expanded their group, adding a member, and this video has a theme of a new girl coming in and getting hazed a bit and then working really hard to do well. But what irritated me about it (and I don't know if the video has anything to do with their recent auditions etc) is that there is this air of the male teacher/trainer/manager person has to legitimize the girl. It's in his eyes that she is working hard and eventually able to succeed.

2PM has released a Japanese track, "Waiting for the Take-off," so far only a non-HD track is online, sorry. At any rate, I think it sounds like bubblegum pop and I expect heavy-hitting mature dance tracks from 2PM, so I'm disappointed.

Former 2PM front man Jay Park has released a mini album including "Abandoned"  This Seattlite is a lightning rod in Korea, and I'm impressed he held off this long to release the mini album, which apparently are almost all songs he wrote (the way many a CD should be and the way K-Pop almost never is). He has an amazing voice and he's one of Korean pop's best dancers… he should go far, far, far if politics of the split from 2PM aren't dogging him too badly. It sounds good, not really my style but great.

Girls Generation (SNSD) has released the full version of "Mr. Taxi."  This track is also in Japanese, but it sounds more natural than 2PM singing in Japanese. I'm not sure why they'd call the song Mr. Taxi and then dress the girls up in taxi driver uniforms (if taxi drivers wore hot pants/skorts). It's a really fun dance track, I hope they release it in Korean.   

1 comment:

Georgeanna said...

When I saw the photo of "After School: virgin," my first thought was, "they look like they're trying to impersonate/personify one of those portraits you see at funerals," and so I then thought "maybe they're referring to the actual virgin ghost... the story that started the legend."

Food for thought. I ca't believe you have the stamina to do these reviews... I'd croak.