Feb 27, 2014

BtoB Brings Back The Fun With "Beep Beep"

BTOB Hops into Mini-Cars for ‘Beep Beep’ Teaser Photo

Before you say anything, no this is not the SNSD song with the same name, it's BtoB's newest title track that also just happenes to be called Beep Beep. Well, the Korean title is Ddwi Ddwi Bbang Bbang, but they have thankfully provided us with a much easier English title.
The concept this time being cars, I wondered how this would relate to a song and make sense doing it. The video, is of course completely smacked with cars and car related items, as well as the appropriate honking in the choreography.

My first though for this video- that's a lot of flashing items. And a lot of cars. And an early product placement? Well this is going places. Bleach blonde Ilhoon announces that Btob is the place to be at while Sungjae and Eunkwang tell him to get out of their way and later proceed to drive away without him.
The video mainly consists of the boys singing and dancing in flashy sets with plenty of props, driving various cars and throwing a big dance party while at it. It really looks like most of the video was filmed in just one or two settings, and none of them looked particularly interesting either.
The song is about getting over a heartbreak by going for a soothing drive with the car, basically, and is pretty much the only thing that has any connection to the overwhelming car theme. It's a standard Brave Brothers song, and it's extremely basic in terms of instrumental layering and complexity. The boys vocals do sound fantastic though, but that's not thanks to the song, it's because they have some fantastic vocalists.
Even the rapping sounds great, and I usually think Minhyuk is the weaker out of the two rappers but he really killed it this time.

If I were to go into some more depthy stuff about this, it would be pretty hard because there aren't really any. There's no real plot to dig into, but it's entertaining enough to watch the boys' antics and strange facial expressions. I really loved Eunkwang and Peniel's bickering on the stairs that immediately stops when the song's hook and point dance comes on, just so they can do it along with the music in full serious mode.
At one point there are some ladies in skimpy outifts dancing in the background, as previously seen in one of the teaser videos, but I don't see any reason at all for having them there really. There's no other female featuring to play a love interest, which is a shame because I feel that it may have been more interesting to watch them act against someone else instead of just driving in their cars.

When the final breakdown in the song comes around, the boys stand around a grand piano all suited up as if they were doing a ballad song. I get that is fits the music at that point in the song, but it just throws you off completely because this has been, up til then, a really fun, energetic video. If this sequence is for comedic purposes, like a parody of some sort, then fine, but otherwise it's a bit strange. 
The video ends on a high, with a huge dance party happening (among all the wheel props) as the boys get to let loose and be their crazy selves. They drive around in their mini cars, fight with each other, do strange dance moves and execute some of their own choreography too. 

My initial though right after watching this video was that it felt cheap. Like, I felt that their agency Cube had once again given them the short end of the stick. Thriller last year was so gimmicky, and it felt so awkward and forced and that video did no justice to them at all. So with that in mind, I am happy that this at least is a concept that fits them, but the video was very underwhelming. The video was not made on a big budget, that's for sure, and it really did nothing in trying to promote them or enhance their musical abilities (the song choice may have had a part in that too). However, I am happy for them to do something fun and playful, something that embodies them as a group. BtoB is by far one of the craziest boy groups out there (in the best possible way, of course), they have so many funny, strange and entertaining members that could not care less about sustaining any type of image. They are very amusing indeed, so it's nice to see them act it out a bit in this video. In fact, that's probably the best thing about this video. 

I mean, I've seen worse videos, but this was not what I would have wanted from this group. They seriously have so much potential, but are given material that do not help them grow in any way. This video has no identity, no personality. This video could have been done by other, newer rookies too, and for an agency that has hit groups in 4minute, Beast and A Pink, it seems like much less effort is put on this group. I really wanted them to have their breakout song this year, but so far it seems like this is not it, it's just too generic. The boys really do their best though, and I don't blame them but rather their management team who just can't get things right. 

Also, the short over leggings trend needs to stop happening, like instantly. Same goes with Ilhoon's hair. 

Song: 3/5
MV: 3/5

Feb 26, 2014

The Strangest of Names - Groups

In honor of LOEN Entertainment changing their perfectly good name to the strangeness that is 1theK, I though this would be a good opportunity to take a look at some of the more questionable names in the Kpop world. This four-part segment will feature both group names*, fanclub names, song titles and names of individual members.
What names are so embarrassing that you are ashamed to even speak them out loud or introduce them to friends and family? What names make your hair stand up by sheer horror and make you want to wish you never heard them in the first place? Let's find out.

* I've chosen only to include newer groups, so classics like H.O.T and Trax do will not feature on this list.

Feb 24, 2014

BTS' "Skool Luv Affair"

[Mini Album] BTS (Bangtan Boys) - Skool Luv Affair [2nd Mini Album]This is, I realized, the first mini album review on this blog! I hadn't even noticed that all of my previous reviews were of full length albums, it just happened that those were the ones released at the time. On the other hand though, I'm not sure if you can call BTS' newest Skool Luv Affair a mini album, because there are a total of 10 tracks on there. I wonder how long their actual first album will be if this is the shorter edition.

BTS is marketed as a hip hop group, and considering they have 3 former underground rappers, it's a lot more believable than other groups having the same brand. Their music so far have had a more old school hip hop sound with hard hitting beats, meaningful lyrics and lots of great rapping. Compared to other hip hop marketed groups such as BAP, their sound is a lot lighter and I would say focuses even more on the rapping parts rather than the singing. I really enjoyed their latest mini O!RUL8,2? (that name though), and I'm not even a big hip hop fan. Also, these boys are hysterical and have great group dynamics, as seen on their channel BangtanTV, and I suppose it makes sense considering their long training period.

Feb 23, 2014

Song of the Week #4

BtoB - Star

The vocals, everyone, the vocals! But honestly though, this song is so soothing and calming, and is a real gem  hiding in the back on their Thriller mini. I love that they chose to perform it on "A Song For You", and that episode was great overall (BtoB + Vixx = Awesomeness).

Feb 20, 2014

Hormones- The Ups ans Downs of Teenage Life

I suddenly had this sort of epiphany and I remembered this wonderful series I watched last year, and I just needed to write a post about it.
Hormones is a Thai series, in fact, and therefore it has nothing to do with Korea or Korean entertainment but it doesn't really matter because this is my blog and I decide what goes on it. It's still Asian though, so I guess there's some relevancy.

I have never watched a Thai series before, actually I've never experienced anything within the Thai entertainment industry prior to this, so I can't really make any assumptions about how the culture or industry is different from the Korean one. However, I can tell you that this TV-series is something different, something way out of the ordinary. This series has not only been revolutionary in the Thai TV-industry, but it has also made people react, both in positive and negative ways.

Feb 19, 2014

A Vampire Romance in Sunmi's "Full Moon"

24 Hours was amazing, no point in denying the impact it had and the popularity it recieved. Everyone listened to it, loved it, and your favorite idols parodied it. Sunmi's solo debut was by far the best decision JYP made in 2013, and now she's back to take over the charts (and our hearts) again with a supernatural concept.

Feb 18, 2014

Ladies' Code are "So Wonderful"

Ladies' Code was probably the only rookie girl group that caught my eye last year with Bad Girl, and they really hit home with Pretty Pretty, keeping a consistent, original sound and style. I adore Sojung's husky, jazzy voice and the rest of the members are pretty much on par with each other, which is always a good thing. Usually with groups (especially those with many members), there's always at least one that is not on the same level as the others. I'm not mentioning names, but there are quite a few well known "black holes".
Moving on, I had high expectations for this comeback, because the concept looked really interesting judging from the teaser photos and video.

Feb 16, 2014

Song of the Week #3

CNBLUE - Blind Love

CNBlue's Japanese discography is rock solid and by far superior their Korean releases up to date. Their first full album consisted mostly of Korean versions of their Japanese songs, so it's fair to say they've had a lot more musical freedom and productivity in Japan.
Blind Love is a Jonghyun composition, and it is absolutely beautiful.

Feb 13, 2014

"Boy In Luv" - Not As Sweet As It Sounds

Yes yes yes!
I'm a huge fan of BTS and have been since their debut, although my love for them grew even more with N.O last year. The entire mini album was very promising and full of hidden gems, so my expectations for this comeback were high and hopeful. 
This music video, however, has me somewhat conflicted.

Feb 12, 2014

I'm Not Crying - It's Just BAP's First Win In My Eye

I just got home from school and found to my surprise that BAP had scored their first music show win on Show Champion! I don't even care that it's on Show Champion, I'm just so happy for them to finally have their first win on a music show, because they've won so many other awards and have continuously proven themselves worthy of first place. It seems like in Kpop, a group hasn't quite made it yet until they win #1, so I am tremendously excited right now. This is what we all have been waiting for the last two years!

I have to admit, I had sort of fallen out of BAP since last summer, but this comeback has won me over again. I'm so sorry, boys, I will never abandon you from now on! It's just that I started losing hope and therefore I distanced myself to avoid any heartbreak. It always hurts when you want to see your favorite groups succeed but they just never make it, you know?
It's also quite funny because I thought just the other day that they might win this time around, because their album has been selling well, but I was too afraid to hope for anything because you just never know with these shows. I mean, AOA won on Inkigayo last Sunday and I did not see that one coming at all.

To round this off; Congratulations to BAP for finally, finally getting that long deserved win, and may there be many more in the future! I love you boys!

/Biased and proud of it!

Feb 11, 2014

February - The Month of Combacks

I've said this before, but literally everyone is coming back this February. I'm beginning to wonder what March will look like, because it feels like there will be none left by then. Already both BAP and Ga In have released albums and it's only 11 days in!

This is just a quick recap of what we're able to look forward to during the coming month, and my opinions of the material and concepts we'll see.

Feb 9, 2014

Song of the Week #2

Jung Joon Young - Spotless Mind

This song is amazing, and his voice is just to die for. I enjoyed a bunch of other songs from the mini album but this one i probably my favorite along with 정말?. The hard hitting beat along with his powerful vocals is a perfect combination.

Feb 8, 2014

It's A "First Sensibility" For BAP

I've been following BAP ever since I first got into Kpop almost two years ago, and I've been loving almost everything they've released since then. I absolutely loved the Power EP, as well as the mini albums for No Mercy and One Shot. I always though they had a distinct, unique style, one that was not very common for other idol groups. It was masculine, aggressive and intense, and I think a lot of people were impressed. Now finally, two years after debut, they've released their first full length album First Sensibility, and signals a change in sound.

Feb 7, 2014

BAP Sings About Their "1004(Angel)"

When you get used to a group having more than multiple comebacks within a year, it feels as if they've been gone forever even if it's only been 6 months since the last comeback. I am more than happy to have the boys of BAP back again, and I was also excited for them to redeem themselves after the mess that was Badman. I can usually handle a less than stellar title song from my favorite groups (I stan SM groups, so I'm used to it) but there was a lot more that felt lacking about that particular comeback. It could have been so amazing, I mean it had all the right conditions; a video shot on the US, an interesting concept and great styling, but it just fell flat.

So you can imagine my joy when I heard the teasers for 1004(Angel).

Feb 4, 2014

EXO's Showtime Ep 8-9 - The Progress

After over 2 months of airing, EXO's first variety show EXO's Showtime is slowly coming to an end. I have watched almost all the episodes, except the earliest ones because those were really slow and non-eventful, and have decided to do a recap/review of two of my favorites so far; episodes 8 and 9.

Why on earth do I even watch this, you may ask, and that is a perfectly qualified question considering my general opinion of the group. I guess I just wanted to give them a chance to win me over, because not stanning EXO has become quite boring, in a way. I feel like I should just jump on the bandwagon too because how nice wouldn't it be to have a favorite group that's always winning something?

Feb 3, 2014

Song of the Week #1

Welcome welcome to Song of the Week, where I will share with you my most played song of the past seven days!

Girl's Generation - Flyers

I know that this is technically not a Kpop song because it's in Japanese and from SNSD's latest Japanese album, but it's my blog so I'll do whatever I want. Also, SNSD are still very much a Kpop group, so I still think I can get away with it!
I loved this song upon first listen; it sort of reminds me a bit of Avril Lavigne and her pop-punk sound. It's energetic and fun with some good old guitars, bass and drums, and that can never go wrong in my opinion.

Feb 2, 2014

Gain Pushes Boundaries with "Fxxk You (Feat. Bumkey)"

The fearless maknae of Brown Eyed Girls is back after almost a year and a half since the magical Bloom was released along with mini album Talk About S. Gain is known to start controversies and heated discussions whenever she comes back and this time is no different. Pre-release track Fxxk You dropped January 27th along with a brand new music video starring actor Joo Ji Hoon.