Jul 27, 2014

Song of the Week - #20

Co-Ed School - Bbiribbom Bberibbom

This group were pretty much over before it even had begun (thank you very much for that CCM), but this song still lives on to this day. All that remains from this co-ed unit are boy group Speed and girl group F-ve Dolls, but there have been so many member losses and additions that the two subgroups really don't have anything to do with the original one. I seriously love this song and I think they had massive potential, but being with K-pop's arguably worst label is bound to end in tragedy.

What the f(x) is going on in the SM building right now?

When f(x)'s maknae and beloved visual Sulli suddenly stopped performing last week, most people knew something was up. SM later released a statement about how she had fallen sick and was therefore taking some time off to get better. Many fans, including myself, felt worries because it's not SM's style to let group members temporarily leave in the middle of promotions. There have been many cases with SM idols performing despite broken legs and whatnot (the throne, anyone?), so suspicion arose when a claimed cold put Sulli's activities on hold. Then f(x)'s entire schedule was cleared and another statement was released, giving the reason for her absence and also declaring an indefinite hiatus from the entertainment industry. Sulli has been the sufferer of hateful comments and rumors ever since god knows when, but it only worsened when she got caught up in a dating scandal with rapper Choiza and now it appears it has affected her so deeply her mental health has taken a toll. I truly understand why she would want to take a break, and I sincerely hope she gets to spend time with her family and friends and people who love her, but this doesn't explain why SM decided to let the entire group suffer by ending promotions completely. I mean, when Amber was nowhere to be seen a couple of years back the group carried on just fine, and they have been doing so without Sulli this time around too. To conclude promotions this early for no good reason only adds to people's suspicions about something even more serious.

Sulli's leave is a reasonable decision on her part, and you could see it coming from quite a far, but her absence for any kind of entertainment also suggests it's not just f(x) she has problems with. Her new movie "The Pirates" is scheduled to come out soon and have already been been pre-sold to 15 countries, so her skipping out on that my affect her acting career as well. However, I don't doubt she has thought this decision over many times, and after all her health is the most important thing. In the future though, people need to lay off the malicious comments because they affect you more than you would think. And no, her being a celebrity should not mean having to live and accept those, because no one deserveds that kind of groundless hate. Whether Sulli comes back or not and when that might be is undecided, but if she does I hope everyone will welcome her back with open arms.

In other news, SHINee's Taemin is going solo, being the first member of his group doing so. Although I love the guy and I know he's mad talented in both dancing and singing, I actually don't think he's solo material. The thing about Taemin is that he works really well in the group, as there are other members that can compensate for what he lacks and vice versa, bu't him alone? His faults will become even more obvious. I've watched a few of his stages on Immortal Song 2, and no one can deny that he's skilled, but he lacks enough charisma and stage presence to own the stage he's standing on. His naturally shy and reserved personality will also become a problem when promoting alone, and I wonder how he'll manage going on variety shows on his own.

Frankly, I'm a bit upset that Taemin is the first member to go solo, as I would have loved to see either Jonghyun or Onew instead as they definitely have the skills but also better stage personas and variety personalities. I get that SHINee's youngest member is one of SM's golden children and that he has improved greatly over the years, but I don't think he's for this kind of thing. I don't doubt he will put on a impressive performance and that we'll see some great choreography, but that's because he's a good dancer, not because he's a good solo artist.

In the middle of this messy f(x) situation and the news of another solo debut, SM has announced a new four-member girl group scheduled to debut next month. Of course, this has stirred up more controversy and al kinds of theories on how SM is cancelling "Red Light" promotions early not only because of Sulli but because of this new group. It might seem a bit far-fetched, but it's not impossible. I don't really care for this new girl group at all so far, but they're all pretty and seem to have talent as well so I'm sure they'll do fine (it helps having the backing of an enormous company too, just ask EXO).

What are your opinions on what's going on right now? Are you excited about Taemin, the new girl group, EXO's new variety show or TTS' comeback? What do you think will happen with f(x)?

Jul 26, 2014

Eye Candy Saturday - L

Being an Infinite stan means having to deal with Kim Myungsoo aka L and his angelic looks on a daily basis, and believe me, it's harder than it seems. At times you just want to bury your head in your hands to hide the reddening of your cheeks and other times you have to bite your lip to prevent squeals and screams. Yes, that's what he does to you.

Jul 25, 2014

Infinite's "Back" Comeback Post

Usually when idol groups promote follow-up tracks, it's not less than a month after they wrapped up their prior promotions. As a fan of Infinite, I'm always happy for new stuff, but I also care deeply about their health and well-being. As much as I enjoy seeing them back on shows and on stage, I sincerely hope they have had some rest in between and have not just kept on working. Although, they have had time to learn and record new tracks, put together a new choreography and shoot a video so my guess is they have been pretty overworked. Nonetheless, as you might have read on my mini-rant about the teaser video, I was really excited about this comeback. It seemed fresh, thrilling and the song sounded great too.

Girl's Day Are Cute For Summer In "Darling"

Everyone's new favorite girl group Girl's Day is back after a few months of hiatus since their last hit "Something". This group has put out great songs for all of their latest comebacks, and along with their pretty looks and cute personalities they are definitely one group to look out for. Like with the South Korean public they have found a way to my heart, and now they're back to bless us all with summer jam "Darling".

Jul 19, 2014

Eye Candy Saturday - Sojin

In celebration of the glorious return of Girl's Day and "Darling", I thought it would be the perfect time to showcase leader and unofficial goddess Sojin. She, along with Yura, is my bias and has been ever since I first started liking the group. She's absolutely gorgeous, amazingly talented and a really sweet person, so what is there not to like?

Jul 18, 2014

Rate the Look - Girl's Day's "Darling"

Girl's Day just came back with the "Darling", a cute summer song spiked with some sexiness, colorful scenery and traditional summer rituals like car washing. Being a big fan of the season and it's fashion I was excited to see the members wearing some really great outfits in the video.

Jul 17, 2014

B1A4's "Solo Day"

Seriosuly guys, July is bringing it with the comebacks! Every day it seems another one of my favorite groups announce their return, and even though it's getting a bit crowded I'm really happy about it. My main concern as of now though is about who will win on the music shows, because I want them all to win but the competition is so tough. 

B1A4 is a group whose music I've slowly realized I'm not as attached too as I wish I am. I really, really like the boys and their title tracks are usually great, but in general I find that their music is just not my style. However, it won't stop me from doing this review because if anything, this video is one worth reviewing.

Jul 16, 2014

F(x) Further Solidifies Their Musical Identity With "Red Light"

I became a big fan of SM's experimental, quirky hipster group f(x) last year with Rum Pum Pum Pum and Pink Tape. It was purely by chance I listened to the album because while the title track was good, it wasn't so good I would have immediately wanted to get the entire album. However, it turned out to be the best decision I ever made, as the album now is one of my favorite albums not only in K-pop, but among other music genres too. I didn't really expect SM to give them another full album only one year later, but I'm happy they are investing in the group and giving them more material. Additionally, it meant more potential hits from the group which I was all for.

Jul 15, 2014

All I Can See Is Another Infinite Comeback

Although they just wrapped up promotions, Infinite are already teasing their follow-up track along with a new repackaged album. Not that I'm complaining though. Hopefully they're well and rested enough to go through with another round of promotions because I can tell this is going to be epic. 

Just look at this teaser. Look at it. I'm definitely more excited about this than I ever was with "Last Romeo", mainly because this looks like something we're not quite used to seeing this group doing. I mean, have they ever had that kind of styling before? I don't think so. Their hairstyles are also outrageous but I love it. Yeah, the song sounds good too but Infinite title tracks rarely disappoints.

Jul 13, 2014

f(x) Is Back With "Red Light"

Remember back in this post where I said I had no clear favorite girl group. Well, that has changed now. When I saw the teaser photos for f(x)'s new comeback, I think I might have squealed a tiny bit. I usually don't fangirl that hard over female idols, but I just couldn't help myself. The pictures looked so good and interesting and different and when living in a time where most girl groups all sound and look like each other, it's honestly delightful to see something not so ordinary.

Jul 11, 2014

Fiestar's "One More" (And A Rant)

I have literally no idea what kind of group Fiestar is, apart from that I listened to their debut song and thought it was alright and saw member Jei on dating show "Romantic and Idol". Aside from those two things, I'm clueless. I only know that one member and I have not yet grasped what kind of music they put out and what kind of concepts they normally do. Apparently their new single "One More" takes on a sexier approach than they have had before, but what really lured me in was the song itself. 

Jul 10, 2014

Rate the Look - GOT7's "A"

So, GOT7 just came back and is looking better than ever. Like, the styling for this comeback is absolutely spot on and I refuse to admit they ever wore anything else.

Jul 9, 2014

Rate the Look - f(x)' "Red Light"

I seriously don't know how to begin to formulate this post that I'm about to put together. I had been away for a while when I first saw the endless amount of photos that SM had released to build up hype for f(x) standard summer return, and I had two initial thoughts when I came across them.
1. This is really, really, really good.
2. Are SM actually putting in some real effort this time around?

Truth be told, this group usually gets the short end of the stick and with EXO skyrocketing to fame it appeared as if all hope was lost, but with this new concept it might seem like there's still some light to hold onto.

Jul 6, 2014

Beast's New Album Is a True "Good Luck" Charm

I always look forward to Beast's comebacks for one main reason: the music. More than anything, I enjoy this group because they always put out solid material and manage to impress with their skills and talent over and over again. Being arguably the most well-rounded K-pop group out there at the moment, I can always count on Beast to show everyone it's possible to both sing, dance, rap and perform well at all times and that not every team has to have a so called "black hole". 

Song of the Week #19

GOT7 - Good Tonight

Off of their latest album release, GOT7 delivers the goods with this sexy jam. I have not been able to stop listening to this track since it came out, and I particularly like Jr and Youngjae's sweet falsetto in the chorus. This is by far my favorite of theirs that they've put out so far.

Jul 5, 2014

Eye Candy Saturday - Sunmi

Former Wonder Girls member Sunmi made her awaited solo debut after many years of hiatus from the entertainment industry. Her debut track 24 Hours was before the release highly doubted upon by K-pop fans and I admit I was not sure how she would pull it off. However, when the song and video came out and she took the stage by storm, no one has any more hesitation. She continues with the same kind of flawlessness in first comeback with Full Moon, and had me convinced that she was surely the next big solo artist in South Korea. She's sweet, funny, talented and absolutely gorgeous, and has to this point had good management as well, something not very often occurring within JYPE. 

Jul 4, 2014

GOT7 Continues Being Utterly Adorable In "A"

GOT7 Reveals New Teaser Image, to Comeback with Title Track “A” by Park Jin Young

Man, I was so convinced I wouldn't get into this group. Dead certain. Yet here I am doing a review of their new video and have started considering myself a fan of them. They're just so charming and cute and I can't help it. I've also started watching their new reality show IGOT7, and so far I'm loving it because these boys surely know make your heart skip a beat. While their debut song "Girls Girls Girlsdidn't impress me much, and it still doesn't, they had some other good songs on the mini-album and they're really great performers on top of that. I was really hoping for a better title track for this comeback, as well as some decent styling, and I can honestly say I do not feel let down.

For this video, the group flew out to Malaysia to capture some local scenery, and it sure helps giving the video the desired youthful and playful vibe. The song is very simple, but the hook is infectious and while the line distribution is a bit uneven, there's no way you won't be singing it all day afterwards. Trust me, that's exactly what I've been doing since I watched it earlier. Right off the bat I can say I'm a lot more impressed by this song and video than with what they've debuted with. "Girls Girls Girls" was such a desperate attempt at recreating 2PM's success and it felt so unnatural to watch these young boys acting cool and sexy. Now that I know them a bit more after watching their show and other video clips, this video suits their image as a group a thousand times better. There's nothing forced about it, and it allows the members to be their happy, mischievous and adorable selves. I suppose they could be compared a bit to BtoB, who opted for the same image for their Beep Beep comeback, but GOT7 seem to have less of an identity crisis and are so far, managed better.

The premise for "A" is very simple. Boy sees pretty girl, boy likes girl and boy follows girl around and starts hitting on her in a way that's totally not creepy. The boy in this case is the entire group, as per usual, but it's never clear whether they end up with her or not. All we're certain of is that her boss totally digs the song. The video is definitely great for summer, and all the locations used provide wonderful scenery for the boys to work with. The video starts with the boys wandering into a small restaurant and spotting a pretty girl working behind a counter (a JYP trainee possibly?), and they all fall in love at first sight. I do love how they all make instant use of the props and play around with each other whilst looking lovingly at the girl who seems a bit taken back by all the sudden attention. The day turns into night and now they're basically following her as she walks along the sidewalk and into a supermarket where they all pick up the exact same shampoo as she does. *Cough* Obligatory Product Placement *Cough*. In the end, it doesn't appear as if they manage to get to her, which is probably a good thing considering their creepy behavior. The lyrics are actually quite problematic but are justified by their overwhelming love for her, but I don't really buy it at all. She obviously looks deeply uninterested, so their attempt to convince her and almost force her to like them feels more like harassment than anything. It's a shame because I love everything else about this video.

For starters, the locations used in the video are brilliant. I am in love with the American inspired diner, the parking lot and the local supermarket the boys wander around chasing their "A" in. I wouldn't have guessed it was shot in Malaysia though, since it's more reminiscent of down town California (at least the way I imagine it) or somewhere in the US rather than another Asian country. The diner looks typically American with the jukebox right there in the corner, and the big sign saying "California Boys" is also highly suggestive. It doesn't really matter to me, but I don't know if Malaysian fans feel as if they actually highlighted any real Malaysian locations or landmarks or made any tribute to the country they shot in. There are also quite a lot of non-Asian extras in the background, which I can imagine is probably upsetting for Malaysian fans. If there was a lack of cultural representation in the locations used, the fact that not even the people at the streets or in the diner are Asian makes it even more obvious. The only one that actually looks South Asian is the angry woman at the supermarket, and I'm not sure how intentional that was but it's sure not the most flattering image of a local Malaysian. Despite all this, the scenery for the video is gorgeous, and the warm and sunny filters and coloring adds to the beautiful cinematography. It's a great fit for summer and the laid back, easy going song further enhances the concept and the boys' skills.

When GOT7 first debuted, they were promoted as a "martial arts" group, which only added to the list of things they had in common with 2PM, and also tried their hand at the hip-hop trend that's been used and overused by boy groups for the last year or so. The choreography for this song is a lot more relaxed, I would say, but that's because the concept is vastly different too. There is a dance break near the end, but the rest of the time it's more playful and flirtatious and not so desperate in trying to have as much swag as possible. The styling is also heaps better this time around, and I've realized just now how rarely you see groups wearing normal denim jeans nowadays. All of the clothes they wear look like clothes any ordinary person would wear, and I find that really attractive and also quite refreshing. Stage outfits can be overwhelming and overly theatrical, and it's sometimes nice to just see some normal clothes that look just as good, if not even better. As the concept this time is more relaxed and boy-next-door inspired, the styling reflects this and helps bring the members down to earth again after the horrendous fashion mess that was "Girls Girls Girls". You know how much I love suits and have praised both Infinite and VIXX for that type of styling, I also like seeing groups in comfortable clothes, stuff that they would wear on a daily basis. It makes the seem closer and more relatable, like people you could bump into on the streets.

Overall, this comeback was pretty much everything I wanted from this group that I've recently fallen head over heels in love with. I was hoping they would redeem themselves and put out something less cringe-worthy, and to my relief they did. It's crazy how catchy the song is and the video is, apart from the stalking, a wonderfully creative and beautifully shot piece. All the boys look great, the styling is spot on and the real life scenery is always a viewing enhancer. Now, let's get rid of Bam Bam's blonde hair and I'm all set for another round of promotions.

Song: 3,8/5
MV: 4,2/5

Jul 3, 2014

Rate the Look - Beast's "Good Luck"

The 6 handsome boys of beast are back after a year with new single "Good Luck" and an accompanying mini-album. This is a group with many good looking guys and there were some instant stand-outs when I saw the teaser pictures and the video. Beast have generally had quite dark and colorless styling throughout the years (apart from Beautiful Night which was the exact opposite), and it seems they have continued with that theme this time around as well.

Jul 2, 2014

Beast Says "Good Luck" To You

When I think of Beast, I think of quality. I know I can always count on them to deliver genuinely good music and great live performances, so I'm always looking forward to their comebacks. Last year, they had a bit of a setback, if I may say so myself. There was nothing wrong with Shadow, and the Hard to Love, How to Love was a good album by all means, but their promotions were short, unmotivated and a bit underwhelming. Therefore, I was really hoping for Beast to comeback with something stronger and more powerful this time around, something that would really knock me off my feet. With their new MV I can definitely say they're well on their way.