Thursday, 6 December 2012

KPOP STAR WATCH: Ha Minseong, Oh Dawon, Seong Sujin

My favourites from last week's episode, which was also the last first round auditions episode.

Ha Minseong (31)
Half Viet half Korean from Germany, many know him as urbangermany on YouTube. He's a professional songwriter and has already done a huge playlist of amazing song covers. Allkpop did a piece on him earlier this year which I totally recommend you to read, because he talks about affiliations with kpop artists in the past. Translating from the interview before his performance: The positive feedback of his Bad Boy (Big Bang) cover on YouTube made him realize that he too could become a singer. He noticed that the judges on Kpop Star unlike judges at other singing competition shows gave a lot of feedback to the contestants about things they actually need to develop as a singer, which led to him to want to audition for the show.
From the judges expressions during the performance you can probably guess that he made it through to the next round. Boa also clarified that when she said he liked guys who sang while playing the guitar last season, it wasn't all guys with guitars that she was talking about. She liked the guys like this guy.
And I like this guy :)

Jellyfish Entertainment and their wonderful Christmas songs

Last year, Jellyfish Entertainment released one of my favourite songs themed for the Christmas season.
I'm not too big on Christmas themed things but this is such a great song and their voices are just great.

Christmas for Everyone

This year, it looks like the boys at Jellyfish Entertainment are putting together a Jelly Christmas 2012x2013 Heart Project. I'm not exactly sure what that entails but the video they released for the Project single is basically behind the scenes of their photoshoots. This is after Brian left the company, so you won't be able to find him here, but this project brings togetheSung Si Kyung, Park Hyo Shin, Lee Seok Hoon, Seo In Guk, VIXX 
So many well-dressed boys with golden voices... Enjoy!

Because it's Christmas

Saturday, 1 December 2012

[Lyrics Translation] Shut Up - Ailee ft. Simon D

Combined with the bumpin bass and her super refreshing voice, this track makes me feel as though everything bunched up within me explodes out and fades away. It's invigorating.

Yeah, Ailee. I'm Simon D.
We collab baby
Mr. Real flow on this track
This song is dedicated to.. whatever I don't know

Coming totally out of the blue, why are you dissing my man?
What do you mean I'm being wasted? I feel sorry for you
When was it that you dumped me  that you're telling me to come back
Have you gone crazy since I last saw you? Don't block my way and go

Shut up shut up shut up yeah you
Shut up shut up shut up just go

I'm warning you, before I start to yell
Get out of my way and stay far far away
If not, stay with me all night so I can brag about my man
I can do that for you, so you can't say anything

Shut up shut up shut up yeah you
Shut up shut up shut up yeah you
Shut up shut up shut up yeah you
Shut up shut up shut up

Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah from today on you
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah inside my heart
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah you're completely done

Where do you keep looking? Can you get your boyfriend to just stop
contacting you? Tell him that you don't feel well, whatever
Honestly you enjoy it, don't pretend to ignore me
You haven't forgotten me, oh you're pushing my lips away?
Are you thinking of spending the night with me? Look at that big bag
So you're thinking of marriage? Me, me take me
Shut up? what do you mean shut up? That's so harsh
Even while cheating on your man with me

Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah from today on you
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah inside my heart
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah you're completely done

Can you listen to me for a bit? Shut up
I think there's some kind of misunderstanding. Shut up please
I didn't come for this. Shut up
Shut up Shut up Shut up

Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah I appreciated it
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah for making me laugh
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah I feel free inside

Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah shut up, shut up
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah shut up, shut up
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah shut up, shut up

Oh, please just go


As they've shared with this video.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

KPOP STAR WATCH: McKay Kim, 2 Thousand Won, Akdong Musicians

Favs so far (age in Korea are counted one more than in North America because at birth you are one years old...):

McKay Kim (20)

How adorable is he? and he composed that song himself. After his performance during the judges' commentary (which is not included in this clip) JYP asked McKay what that chord he looked impressed with was. He obviously passed.

2 Thousand Won (Kim Il-do & Kim Hyobin both 23)

In this clip they explained that they are called 2 Thousand Won because they performed on the street when they were in the 8th grade and all they could make was 2 thousand won (which is almost 2 USD). Kim Hyobin (the singer) was recognized by JYP because he actually sang back up for his concert tours. JYP thought Kim Hyobin performed with him for only 2 stops when he did for 9 stops and about 4 TV performances. They performed JYP's uber popular song "I Have a Girl But..." from 2001, with some new rap verses. They also passed with flying colours.... but we can only hope they'll be able to stick together throughout the competition.

Akdong Musicians (siblings Lee Chanhyuk 17 & Lee Soohyun 14)
This duo (from the first episode) live in Mongolia, where their parents work. They came to Korea for this competition but have already captured the attention of the nation with their original piece titled "Don't Cross Your Legs". They originally started off singing "Breathe" by Miss A (with Miss A in the audience!) but were stopped by JYP because after being impressed with their musical interpretation of the song he was too curious about their original piece. They were much loved by the judges and the general public because the lyrics are witty and fun (and kind of hard to translate with the same effect). It was revealed in the beginning of the second episode that their song was the top searched in many of the Korean search engines after the first episode had aired. The song was composed by Lee Chanhyuk (the brother) and essentially is about the static feeling in when you cross your legs for too long.

Survival KPOP Star Auditions is back!!

Hyundai Card - sneaky producers of great music videos

Sneaky, Hyundai Card. If that name looks familiar, it may be because you've seen credits to them on popular music videos like Big Bang's Monster m/v. Because Soundholic is such a small company (compared to the power players like YGE), it seems like they didn't get to upload this to their YouTube channel. I never knew that Glen Check had a music video for '84 until I scoured YouTube for everything Glen Check, but I am so glad that I found it.


I also found a video for Addicted, and a live performance of Vivid. Now I really want to see them live.

For another fancam of the same performance but a close-up of the singer BECAUSE HE'S ADORABLE click here :)

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Exid vs. Chérie - Every night



I don't know what this music video means. It's ridiculously bizarre and I would never have watched it if I wasn't curious to see the original dance after seeing Chérie's cover. Obviously he's some bad guy and their genius form of revenge is to make some formulate that makes girls sneeze and spit their champagne to sprinkle and splash artistically on the bad guy's face. WEIRD.

But looking at the dance, who did it better?

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Survival KPOP Star Auditions is back!!

Just in case you missed or even avoided KPOP Star Auditions and its impact during the last year... you really should revisit it. It may have been 'just another audition/singing competition program', but it was really truly awesome with all of the young talent that turned up on the show. Kpop Star was really more of a mission to find young talent and exploit go on this journey with them of learning and training to become professional singers and performers. Korean vocal wonders like Lee Hi and Park Jimin debuted out of this show, and other artists like Su Pearls and Lee Seunghoon were brought to fame.

If you did watch KPOP Star and did not know they have a YouTube channel... you've also been missing out. They began to upload the performance clips aired on the show separately onto YouTube almost halfway through the first season, and they seem to be doing the same thing for the second season but right from the beginning. The noteworthy performances from last week are on their YouTube and should be checked out.

I'm going to end this post with a song by Jenny Suk, the first auditionee on the show. She's freaking awesome and I know people will take the judges' side because they are the industry professionals and blah blah blah... but people, KPOP Star is still a show and you have to take things into perspective. What would have happened if this girl went on in the competition? I really do think she's meant more for shows like The Voice or American Idol.

Jenny Suk - Parables

Swings and SPICA are Lonely

Swings - Lonely feat. Yoon Jong Shin

Swings is awesome. He's been around for a couple of years, and you'd probably remember him from being that feature rapper in Taeyang's After She Goes to Bed, Phantom's Homeground, and Ailee's My Love.

He recently released a song with Yoon Jong Shin, although I don't really see why he has to be in the song, considering Swings has an amazing voice himself. However, despite the cheesy video production (and the super cheesy Yoon Jong Shin) I love this song. It's awesome in how it's so meaningful in telling Swings' personal story, which we just don't seem to get enough of in this industry.

Speaking of loneliness...

SPICA - Lonely 

All of the YouTube comments seem to be about how similar this is to Sistar's Alone... I must say I prefer this one better. I really like the classier colours and sets used in this music video, and I really really hate velvet but I like their outfits a lot more than Sistar's tight hot pink or black pleather outfits. However, I have to say SPICA sounds pretty flat in this song and they really just don't match up to expressing their loneliness through their singing as much as Sistar does.

SPICA gave such an impression with Russian Roulette, but their edge seems to have been a one time thing. They've since dissolved into the demands of the kpop industry by jumping on the cutesy track bandwagon with I'll Be There which sounds a bit like a Spice Girls song. They have yet to impress me as their first songs did, but I must admit that I still have hope for them.

Kpop Instrumentals

I personally am someone who always gets distracted and carried away with singing along to the songs that I listen to. This makes it a problem when I'm trying to study.. unless they're instrumentals :D

Music with no lyrics like that of Ratatat, Deadmau5, and other electronic artists (Justice) or bands (Glen Check) with minimal singing makes it possible for me to do some studying while jamming to music. I actually have found Deadmau5's music really good for when I'm blogging and Ratatat's beats keep me on track when I'm reviewing study notes. However, this is also possible with kpop. Kpop instrumentals that is.

A lot of kpop artists actually release instrumental tracks with their originals in their EPs or albums. A lot of ballad singers do that as well as smaller rookie groups. Some other companies who don't release their instrumentals in the EPs or LPs sell them online, like YGE. Instrumentals, acapella, and music removed versions of their artists' songs can be found on their website, up for fans to buy.

There is also a channel on YouTube that has been uploading all of these versions of YG hits to share. It's AWESOME. go check it out.

They also have another channel where they upload gems like this. OMGTOP.

Big Bang - Candy (H.O.T. cover)

Saturday, 10 November 2012

WTF 15000 views

KPOP COMMENTARY has reached 15 000 views, mostly in thanks to my blog post on Psy's sunglasses which makes up about 85% of my pageviews. That's awesome and was totally unexpected for me when I first made that post. I think it's really cool because I've been thinking and have been involved in a lot of strategizing at work for increasing views for blogs, since the Internet is such a big place. This is first-hand experience gained with amazing timing and has become yet another reason why I think the Internet is so awesome.

Of course I guess whether I make my entire blogger existence a one wonder hit really depends on my persistence and consistency, which I've already proven to myself that I completely suck at (I've tried  blogging since the beginning of high school so that's almost 6 years already....). I will try though, for the love of kpop. hah.

I started a new blog called Cynic & Crazy with my friend J. We're both people-watching loving creeps and will be posting such situations we observe through life with witty drawings and hopefully just show how you can find amusement in just the little things in life. There's also the posting things we like on the Internet part too.

I guess I should thank you Psy fans for all of the views. Perhaps 15000 isn't that big of a number for the Internet nowadays but I think that's mind blowing for something I've done. So yeah. Thanks ^^

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Golden Girl Lee Hi

If you hadn't watched Survival Kpop Star Audition that started late last year and wrapped up early this year then you have definitely missed out. If you have, OMG WASN'T IT SUCH A GOOD SEASON?! I can only hope that the second season - which is to premiere on November 18th - will be half as good as the first.

Second-place Lee Hi (actually pronounced [Yi Ha-yi] or [ee ha ee]) was signed on with YG Entertainment and has captured everyone's hearts with her feature in Epik High's 춥다 (It's Cold) and her official debut as a solo vocal wonder with her song 1, 2, 3, 4. In the music video, her acting and dancing is kind of awkward but that was made clear during the show so it was kind of expected. Her voice on the other hand is absolutely amazing and I think it's wonderful we get to hear that kind of voice from Korea, and from a girl so young. I do agree with the complaints that the makeup jobs in the video make her look way too old (she's only 16) but at the same she's so adorable with her shy smile and her being so petite :)

Here's her debut performance on SBS Inkigayo. She's definitely a lot less awkward and she totally upped the sexy on this one. And the super fast wardrobe change? Magic of video editing my friends :) debut performance

The winner of the show, Park Jimin was signed on with JYP Entertainment and also her debut early October. She debuted as a duo called 15& with Baek Yerin. I think she received the short end of the stick despite her winning the show, but I also think it was appropriate considering the style of her voice compared to Lee Hi, as well as her age. I also think JYP took it as an opportunity to get Park Yerin off the trainees list - she seems quite shy and inexperienced as a singer/performer and it probably would have been difficult to find a  chance to debut her at such a young age.

I also find it amusing that Park Jimin is probably the only one that can pronounce 15& as "fifteen and", considering her perfect English pronunciation. Everyone else around them (except for JYP himself and the Wonder Girls) would probably be pronouncing it... pi puh teen an duh (basically just butcher everything up into consonant-vowel pairings and you'll get a Korean accent).

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Korean hip-hop at it's finest

Primary - Poison ft. E-Sens of Supreme Team

Primary is a producer that has been part of huge Korean hip-hop acts; he released a new album last week titled "Primary and the Messengers". This track featuring E-Sens of Supreme Team is one of them and it is absolutely beautiful.

One of the lines that really struck me was near the end of the track -

If you need to stop/pause, then stop now
We miss too many of the important things

Another music video released with the album is for "?" (or "Question Mark") featuring Choiza of Dynamic Duo and Zion.T.
I love the minimalistic set. It's absolutely wonderful.

Bringing back them Epik High favs

Recently Epik High performed at a club. They filmed the thing (somewhat professionally, with good angles and audio) and put up all of the performances on YouTube.

They performed most of their amazing hits, but what got me super excited was when they performed their past hits. The most amazing hits that were a solid part of my middle-high school adolescence. Gawd I love them.

Go here for the full playlist of the performances in order, and I've linked some of my favourites down below.
If you do watch the playlist, notice the girl at the front near-center where she has bangs in the beginning but they progressively disappear into stringy bits of hair in her face as she sweats and gets hit by water.




As you may have noticed, I just really love seeing these boys on stage together. They're hilarious and Tukutz really brings this energy that makes them so fun to watch. And I didn't know he was such a dancer...

Saturday, 27 October 2012

October favs in kpop: Epik High, Ailee, Glen Check

Epik High's comeback totally beat my anticipation level for Big Bang's comeback this year. Epik High is a group that I would recommend to anybody and everybody. Their songs run deep and some are just great for laughs, but three members of the group are each so fun and amazing and talented. Their music has definitely resonates with people around the world and of all ages, and their story adds depth to what they do.

Their two comeback singles Up and Don't Hate Me are both fun tracks that are uplifting and encouraging. There is a story behind choosing their title tracks for the album, which I found quite amusing. To be honest I found the performance for Up more entertaining than the music video because of Tukutz at the end when he grabbed the mic and jumped around on stage with the other two. Don't Hate Me is just screams Epik High with how they executed the music video and the performance stage. I LOVE THEM SO MUCH.

Epik High - Don't Hate Me music video

Epik High - Up performance

They also released a behind the scenes/interview type video of them talking about each track of the album. Unfortunately YG hasn't put in any kind of english subtitles for them but check it out for some behind the scenes glimpses of their studio and music video recordings!

Ailee's comeback was also something that I was looking forward to. Her first single Heaven was amazing, and her run on Immortal Song 2 was perfect. She had proven to have a great voice and a wonderful performer, as well as have a sweet personality and she's so pretty o_o. Her new track I Will Show You is the perfect upbeat song to show off everything she's good at in a fun glitzy kind of way. Her music video is fun, but I was also impressed with all of her live performances because she's obviously not lip-synching and she sounds amazing. New girl crush right here.

Ailee - I Will Show You

I'm also going to add Glen Check here. This freakin band released a new EP called Cliché at the end of September, but I had been listening to it non-stop for the first half of October so what the hell. More amazing dirty electronic rock and roll type sound from my favourite new band of the year. Their '84 The Original is also reminiscent of the funky Jackson type era :)
How can you not love a band that puts out teasers like this?

Glen Check - Leather teaser

Check out the rest of their EP on youtube!

Tuesday, 23 October 2012


As in their idea for their performance promotions. The transition between the music video and the staging is flawless and they're both such creative ideas. I'm super impressed.

TVXQ - Catch Me Music Video

Catch me comeback performance

How awesome is that? No doubt, they look like crazy fools when taken out of the staging, lights and camera angles but I think it's such a great concept for their performances. And that dance is called the "hulk dance". LOL the things that people come up with... they're so ridiculous but its entertaining and these two are especially good at what they do.

Ga-In - Bloom music video (skip to 2:05 for the song)

Bloom performance

It's ridiculously sexy for Korean broadcasting but I think it really was genius with the props and choreography. She's such a tiny lady and she can't dance as fiercely as BoA so she really needs the table midst all her tall dance team. It also allows for less moving around that she has to do so she can maintain a steadier singing voice throughout the performance (compared to what the other idol singers are expected to do with their intense singing and dancing).

I'm really liking what I'm seeing in kpop this fall. Given, some of this stuff aren't actually my favourite songs (I'll make a separate post for that) but I'm seeing some great ideas and content that artists are coming out with and it has somewhat restored my faith in kpop.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

CRAZYNO - 'Musiche' is not how it's actually pronounced

I've been really busy with school work and work work and other things, so I haven't really been in touch with the kpop world. So much that I completely missed Epik High's comeback single release D:

BUT to give myself a break today I watched my guilty pleasure show We Got Married, and at the end of the episode they showed a very short clip of this song.

Crazyno - 무식해 (Musiche)

By the clip that I saw (the scene where he's a crazy conductor) I thought it might have been Sungmin or Donghae from Super Junior, but it turns out he's a solo act from JFC Entertainment. He goes by the name of Crazyno and sings, raps, dances in a very hilarious manner. He has an even higher tone than G-Dragon's rapping voice which I find a little unnerving, but the music video is very entertaining and I had fun watching it.

Overall, big LOLs and I just had to share :)

oh.. and I guess the actual transcription would be [moo shik hae] for the Korean title, but he does say "music hae" in the song too....

Thursday, 4 October 2012

[lyrics translation] Moody Sarah playlist: 그 애 참 싫다 (I really don't like her)

IU is magical.

This is a song from her spring mini-album Spring of a Twenty Year-Old, that wasn't promoted in the music video with the other two songs, "Peach" and "Every End of the Day". It's a song that I really like because of the honesty in the words. It's something that someone really wouldn't say out loud, but its been put into a song and really well articulated by IU's voice. She really has the power of playing different roles through her singing, and this has to be one of my favourites of her songs (the others are mostly from her EP Real).

IU - 그 애 참 싫다 (I really don't like her)

Is she still so great?
Does your heart still jump at just one call from her?
You would forget what you were talking about and your mind would wander
I become more surprised at your suddenly hardened expression
I've never met her before.. but I really don't like her

How much did you like her to be like this?
How much did you love her to be like this?
What about her did you like so much?
Really, why are you being like this?

You say you forgot it, that you erased all of it
That all of it is in the past, that you can't even remember it
When honestly, you kept her embraced in your heart
and tried to forget her when you couldn't even let her go?
I've never even met her, but I really don't like her


How much did you like her to be like this?
How much did you love her to be like this?
Do you have to go as far as to hurt me too?
Really, how much longer are you going to be like this?

After leaving you so coldly, why is she calling you again?
But you're so frustrating too, letting it happen
And me, watching you be like this, still sticking by your side,
I'm the bigger fool, I'm the bigger fool for waiting for you


How much did you like her to be like this?
How much did you love her to be like this?
Do you have to hurt me too?
I've never met her but I really don't like her

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

[Lyrics translation] Moody Sarah playlist: 혹시라도 들릴까봐 (Have you heard / Because you might hear me)

With school and work picking up, my schedule's getting packed and my procrastinating habits have been kicking in. As as a result, I have become dependent on music to get me through it all. Particularly, I've been gravitating to some sad but somewhat refreshing-type songs - perhaps my brain just wants a break from all the fast paced bumping bass tracks of the summer. It does affect me in that I get a bit quiet and broody, but I also blame that on my lack of sleep during the last week.

Anyways, since I hadn't posted in a while I thought I'd share my version of the translated lyrics of leeSA's Have You Heard. It was on the I Need Romance 2 OST, but I hadn't really paid much attention to it when I watched the drama. However, when I heard on shuffle leeSA's awesome voice I started to pay attention and the lyrics really came through to me. I liked that there was a story within it - a breakup with an untold story, the dumpee hopeful that it will be told in the future.

leeSA - 혹시라도 들릴까봐 (Because you might hear me)

Truthfully, I was the one that changed first
I wasn't even sorry then
Not being able to get through the day with my head straight
Those, those, those kinds of days, and
Days when I smile, smile, smile without meaning it, and
That day when I just had to get through everything

Your smile, as kind as always
My eyes, still enduring
Me, not being able to have told you even once
Look, look look, I'm this kind of person
Look at me, who is erasing you, crying
Me, who really isn't going to come back anymore

Do you regret it? Were you sorry?
Why weren't you there by my side then?
Someday, can you ask me, just once,
What had happened to me back then?

The days when I had more memories of you than of me
Back to that place, at your finger tips
The memories that remain, the memories still warm
All of those days of painful memories

While thinking that this is actually the end, that maybe you might change
So that my lying lips won't get caught


Tuesday, 11 September 2012

"The mindset of this dance is dress classy and dance cheesy." - PSY ON THE ELLEN SHOW

Once I got over the fact that Psy was on The Ellen Degeneres Show, it took a while for me to get over the fact that Psy was teaching Ellen and BRITNEY SPEARS how to dance.


It really would have made my day if Simon had participated, but this will do.
The dance actually is pretty hard to do though. Legit.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

G-Dragon sings about That XX

I started on a post about G-Dragon's bangin' One of a Kind, but I missed the timing to post it and a lot of attention had already been called to it so I decided not to post it. Luckily for me though, he recently released another single that I would like to do a commentary on.

That XX

Clearly those X's in the title (also found in the Korean title) are acting as censors for something along the lines of "asshole" (in Korean it would probably be saekgi, judging by how they've bleeped it). I'm not really surprised that G-Dragon would come out with something that needs bleeping; I was actually more surprised that he paired it with a song of this sound. I'm actually kind of disappointed there are no "explicit version" and "clean version" releases as it is commonly done in the American music scene. They definitely used censorship to stay within the lines of the strict and conservative Korean culture, but then again, G-Dragon's use of the bleeps sounds probably draw more attention to the fact that he put swears in the song and is purposely making it clear that they are there. Battling out artistic freedom like a badass motherfucker that he is.

The music video is quite lovely, with the camera effects, lighting, and props. It definitely reminds me of Tablo's music video for Bad, but a very much more toned down less sexually violent version. It's probably just the eye makeup, finger/hand tattoes and colour scheme :)

He sings about how he's caught the the boyfriend of the girl he loves cheating on her, but she gets angry at GD for accusing her bf for something like that. He sings about his frustration because of her, because he loves her but she can't see it and come to the realization that GD would be a much better partner than her current cheating douchebag boyfriend.

G-Dragon proves with this song that he is a jack of all trades, singing in that boyishly high voice of his and slipping into that more masculine rapper voice; singing, rapping, rap-singing, acting... and his dancing has been confirmed by his earlier works. I really like this song, I just might do a translation post once frosh week is over :)

Sunday, 26 August 2012

August catch up - Super Junior, Boa, KARA

In the week and a half I hadn't posted, there were a couple of big names that had released new songs and videos. I was being really lazy for most of that time but there was also the factor that I'm not a huge fan of these artists which was why I could push back posting on them for a while. It's not that I dislike them, but I'll usually take my time to see what they've come up with.

Super Junior - Spy

I was surprised to find myself actually really liking this song. Probably because it's something that's actually different from what they usually put out. It's not all electronic synth monotone type dance track, but it's actually really interesting. There are of course the stupid sounding English lyrics (which Simon and Martina covers pretty well) but overall I was pleasantly surprised with their comeback. They do have a dance version of the music video, but I don't recommend it. It's really badly done on the production side for a dance version, which is really saying something.

BoA - Shadow

I heard this track when the Only One album was released. I really liked it and was wishing that she made a music video for this one instead of Only One because the "drama version" of Only One ended up being pretty pointless. However, after seeing the music video for Shadow I can't say that it was really satisfying either. Don't get me wrong BoA is super pretty and I really came to like her after seeing her on Kpop Star Auditions and stuff, but the video didn't really connect. She dances well and I like the song but none of that seemed to come together very well in the video, and all I could really get from it was that she's really pretty and they picked some nice outfits for it.

KARA - Pandora

This song... is really.... I don't know. Japanese sounding? There's a quality to this song that makes me think of those Japanese anime soundtracks - all frantic and girly if you know what I mean. It's not completely like that but I'm pretty sure after they made it so big in Japan the people behind Kara are trying more to create stuff that would be really easy to carry directly into the Japanese market. Kara's songs have this thing where it sounds like all of their voices are made into one.. like some chorus or something, and it's something that I particularly like. I think I prefer their individual TV appearances over their music, but that's just me being honest.

PHANTOM is Burning because of stupid girls that think alcohol will put out their fire.

With a friend's recommendation I decided to give PHANTOM a shot. 


To me, Burning is a pretty generic track with things I could expect from most kpop groups done relatively well. Given, their music video is pretty hilarious but I liked the fact that the group only has three members, which impresses me a lot more when the song is done well because there's less members to hide behind. Auto tune was used tastefully and you could really just hear and differentiate between the members.

As for the video, God save those easily impressionable girls who think that fires set by angsty boys can be put out by spraying alcohol on it. And to those awfully unprepared firefighters... maybe if you spent less time trying to party with pretty girls and kept yourself preparing for emergencies like these you actually would be able to help those poor burning boys.

From the rest of their EP, I highly recommend Homeground featuring Verbal Jint and Swings which is a fun 'rep where you're from' kind of track. Also, ICE is a hype track borrowing from Duck Sauce's Barbra Streisand. The rest of their tracks are more slower songs about love and stuff... which takes a lot more for me to get into so I won't say anything about them :) Although I was slightly disappointed to find that 미역국 (Seaweed Soup) was just about a girl. I thought it was going to be more of a Dynamic Duo-esque reflective song about their parents or childhood or something. But its okay because overall they sound pretty good.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

On a café high: Urban Zakapa lyrics translation - 커피를 마시고 (Cafe Latte)

Maybe because I've been to Orange Caramel twice as well as Snakes and Lattes this week that I'm all up in this café high. Either way, Urban Zakapa is all I've been listening to this last while so I've decided to translate one of their songs before I move on to reviewing G-Dragon's new music video.

커피를 마시고  or Cafe Latte, is a track from their first album <01>. It's a great light song that I would definitely play in my cafe (I dream about running a cafe sometime in my life). Urban Zakapa has great voices and amazing harmony that just blend perfectly to brighten up anyone's day.

커피를 마시고 (Cafe Latte)

It's okay, a Me without You is okay
A day thinking [about you] is also okay
Truthfully I guess reality hasn't hit me yet

On rainy days like these
We enjoyed listening to this song together
For a while I stare into space and smile

Baby, baby you are caramel macchiato
Your scent is still sweet at my mouth
Baby, baby, tonight
Baby, baby you are, more than the aroma of cafe latte
Do you remember this warm and comfortable feeling
Baby, baby, tonight

Oh baby our faded sky blue couple tees
Your birthday is a fading memory
But my heart is still as warm as ever

To me you're still so warm and fragrant
All the things that couldn't be more wonderful have now become memories

Baby, baby you are caramel macchiato
Your scent is still sweet at my mouth
Baby, baby, tonight
Baby, baby you are, more than the aroma of cafe latte
Do you remember this warm and comfortable feeling
Baby, baby, tonight

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

PUCCA x Glen Check: Too good to be true

A combination of a childhood favourite character and a new favourite band.. this is just the best thing ever.

PUCCA Love Crash x GLEN CHECK 60's Cardin

Friday, 10 August 2012

I haven't been this excited for a debut group in a while... TASTY

너 나 알아

Alllllllrighty so from Woollim Entertainment were we get some great groups like Infinite and Nell, they've also dropped this bomb of hot dancing fierce ass TWINS on us. Apparently now "Asia's No. 1 Performance Duo", Tasty or Tasty2wins (oh my gawd despite everything I still can't accept the name.. but they do look////) consists of Dae Ryong and So Ryong, 24 year old twins. And they're super freaking tall.. at 185 cm thats like.. a tiny bit over 6 feet.

ANYWAYS this music video is clearly just a teaser for all that's to come. There isn't much singing or rapping or whatever they might do except for looking awesome and dancing which I loved. And who else hears a bit of We Speak No Americano in that beat?
What makes me so excited is their potential, you can just see it in their expressions. It seems as though they've accomplished the different personality thing that people associate with twins, with Dae Ryong being the wilder one in style and air, and So Ryong being the more toned down version (and maybe older?) with the simpler clothes and hair. I'm just so excited, the words...aldsfhualueau ^_^

There's been a whole new horde of kpop idol debut teasers and music videos for a while now so I've been skimming through them with some skepticism. I had actually been straying away into Korean indie-type music, but I'm so freaking glad I clicked on Tasty's music video because it got me so freaking excited about kpop again. I'm not going to lie though, I was really skeptical of Tasty because of their name and an instant comparison to 1TYM just from the title of the song... I'm so judgemental ㅠ.ㅠ

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Who makes Psy's Gangnam Style sunglasses?

I decided to check up on my blog stats, and although I have a very humbling number of viewers I did notice what people were clicking on my blog for:

Everyone wants to know where they can get sunglasses just like Psy's from his Gangnam Style music video. I don't blame you, they look pretty kick ass.

So, I did some digging since Google didn't really help and searched up on Naver, a huge Korean search engine, pretty much the Google equivalent in South Korea. Since I can actually read Korean (although I don't usually like to), I thought I'd finally use those skills to use. Voila, here's what I found.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

I Need Romance 2 OST

It's been pretty slow in kpop lately. Given, there are always new artists and groups debuting, and there are other artists making comebacks and releasing new tracks but none of them really mattered to me. However, I do think that I should make a post about now since it's been so long, so I'm here to rave about the I Need Romance 2 OST.

An OST, for anyone that didn't know is an acronym for Original SoundTrack. Korean tv dramas have the tendency to have an OST of 5-15 tracks that they use for the entire runnning of the program (mini-series are the trendiest dramas with 16-20 episodes, aired twice a week). Sometimes half the OST consists of pieces of music with no lyrics, just instrumental melodies and such, but because they play it over and over throughout the episodes the viewers become very familiar with it.

A lot of the times, a good OST can impact how well the drama does, in a very subtle way. OST's are always released like an album, and some of them do super well such as ones that came from trendy dramas like the Dream High series, or ones featuring trendy artists.

[Lyrics translation of leeSA's Have You Heard]
I have been watching I Need Romance 2 (also watched the first series in 2011), and I really love the OST. There are 12 tracks on that OST but 7 are songs with lyrics; the rest are instrumental pieces. It's a light collection of songs that give off a chill cafe feeling. Nothing too dramatic (except perhaps the opening theme titled "Waru Waru") and pleasant. I found a YouTube playlist of the songs from the OST here:

I especially love the first track I Could Give You Love by Lasse Lindh, a Swedish singer. The combination of his voice and the song is quite lovely.

Anyways, I hope we get some new kpop tracks that I can review... I've just been enjoying Psy's rise to international fame with his Gangnam Style, and listening to all of the great summer tracks released thus far.

Monday, 30 July 2012

Let's play devil's advocate - the T-ara controversy

Hmm... yeah. So T-ara has found themselves in another cesspool of shit lately. I'm not going to explain much since Allkpop did such a great job covering it day by day... (haha)

[Edit note Aug. 1: On thoughts on the controversy in general, I recommend checking out Simon and Martina's TL;DR video on their thoughts. They put the idol world into perspective and I appreciate them for trying to put that out there. Meanwhile, my ranty blog post focuses on something different midst the whole thing so...]

Thursday, 26 July 2012

And the summer songs just keep rolling in - Summer funky fresh with Muzie and IU & Fiestar

Muzie featuring Dynamic Duo - Love at First Sight

Oh my gawd.

Some beautiful summer sounds in kpop ^^ - Namaste, Sung Hoon, Brown Eyed Girls

I recently changed my blog's url from kpoptint.blogspot to kpopcommentary.blogspot... Hope that doesn't inconvenience anyone!

If it hasn't been a noticeable trend throughout my posts already, I'm a big YouTube user. Thankfully, the kpop world has caught on to this worldwide trend and has been pretty good with uploading content for more potential viewers and fans. Finding and subscribing to these channels will give you a pretty good dose of current and newly released kpop, as well as other good bits like the behind the scenes videos and other interview clips.

ANYWAYS, came across some really nice songs, no idols, complicated dance/singing combinations topped with avant garde dressing. Just some nice and simple concepts with super amazing voices!

Monday, 23 July 2012

They had me at Beautiful (Let's get some BEAST on this blog!)

Admittedly, I am a huge skeptic when it comes to kpop groups. I tend to give most groups a time to age before I fall for them. It's different for each group, but it only makes my kpop playlist that much better ^^
B2ST (or Beast) is one of those groups that took me a while to like. But I like them now. I love them,
ever since their round with Beautiful. But what actually got me to hit subscribe to their YouTube channel was their recent comeback:

It's a Beautiful Night (아름다운 밤아야)

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

A review of the "Best Absolute Perfect" - No Mercy

** Yes this post is about B.A.P. but I just want to add in a kpop quickie update with Gilme's new track Like a Fool featuring Eun Ji-Won, a very nice R&B with some hip hop sound. Plus, I haven't seen Eun Ji-Won on the scene in a while so it was nice to see him. Gilme's voice is great, y'all should definitely give it listen.
Also, Boom released a new track - Let Me Play featuring Gaeko (Dynamic Duo). Boom... I felt a little annoyed by his uncertainty in performance in this song. I really would've preferred for him to go either super cool or super funny with this, but he tried to combine the two and it doesn't work for me. But he's still super cute and funny and I can bet he's going to refer to this in every TV show that he's part of so check him out!

No Mercy


Sunday, 15 July 2012

That level achievable only by PSY - Gangnam Style

[Edit note Aug. 8: I made a post on the brand of sunglasses Psy wears in the music video here]

Gangnam Style's going viral with all kinds of famous people on this side of the world tweeting about it! Congratulations to Psy :)

As well, I have enough humour to laugh at the comments on his resemblance to the North Korean dictator Kim line and how North Korea actually seems to be doing well. Laugh it off people, not the entire world understands the sensitivity in that issue and reacting sensitively to it puts a damper on all the fun.

With cameos made by comedian MCs Yoo Jae-Suk and Noh Hong-Chul, and 4Minute's Hyuna, PSY delivers with his hilariously explosive comeback.

Gangnam Style

Psy is Gangnam style, which he more closely describes in the other verses of the song. Apparently, the Gangnam style is someone of the extreme, one who downs hot coffee in one shot without waiting for it to cool down, one who's heart is ready to explode by night time (as opposed to just getting... rowdy). Their confidence is unmatched and they know how to charm the pants of any lady - Psy style. With his fashion sense and.. straight forward dance moves as seen in his video, Psy shows the world exactly what the Gangnam style is.

I absolutely cannot believe that it's already been two years since Psy's last return with Right Now; I can still relive the hilariousness just by thinking about the music video and his performances. He's on a whole different level from all the other Korean music artists; he produces and choreographs most of his stuff (as he did with Gangnam Style), and he is an incredible performer. Of course, I haven't been able to witness him in action live but he has been crowned the Performance King of Korea. Click on any of his performance clips on YouTube and anybody will be able to see why. He really has a whole level of ridiculous fun that only he can achieve, it's really unmatchable by anybody in the industry.

Psy has a crazy sense of humour and a very bold nature that's made him so famous as a performer and artist, and I'm very glad he didn't disappoint for his 6th album. Gotta get on that Gangnam style...

Thursday, 12 July 2012

[Day 5 Music (is my life)]

Returning to that 30 Day Kpop Challenge that I started back in March, here's day 5 - Your favourite track from a Korean group.

This is actually really sad that I could only make it consistently through 4 days of the challenge. Pathetic.

Epik High ft. K.Will - Music (is my life)

This song has always been on my all time favourites list since I first heard it back in 2007. I was already in love with Epik High, and then this song introduced me to K.Will. Omg I fell in love with that guy almost instantaneously. His voice is so good and I jumped on all of his solo stuff for the first little while after his debut. For a while I was seriously telling everyone that I'd marry this guy for his voice (which was actually saying something since in Korea K.Will gets made fun of a lot for looking like Daesung, and that standard to Koreans is very low in terms of looks. Truthfully I think they're adorable and if a guy can sing... that's good enough for me.)

Anyways, I loved this song because it was simple, fun and I connected with the lyrics. I'm a big music appreciator, and it's definitely got me through a lot of ridiculousness in my adolescence. I know all of the words by heart and I always sing this song when I go to karaoke with my friends. Yes, I can rap. Just this one though.

[Lyrics Translation - kind of] Handsome People :3

Contrary to what you might assume of this song of simple "hey lets party" lyrics, there is something of a story in there. Whether they're felt deep or not, I just needed to make a post about this song (I can't believe I haven't already) because I freaking love Handsome People.

Handsome People - Woowei Woowei

The song is about how the he loves a girl with an intellectual charm. He's fallen in love a couple of times before but this girl is on a whole different level, and it makes his breath stop to just glance at her.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Fact: The Wonder Girls are robots o_o

Wonder Girls - Like Money

Wonder Girls are back on the American music scene with a Vevo and an Akon feature. Their song is catchy and their music video looks pretty cool, but it does look like it is meant for a younger audience. Their video reminds me a lot of the movie Tron, and with clean lyrics and video it just sounds like they're sticking to their original target market of young teenagers.

The song actually starts at about the 54 second mark, but the video stopped being interesting as we got into the first chorus of the song. There aren't many outfit changes or close-ups, and the choreography consists of  easy lyrical dance moves. Akon takes the entire second verse and the following chorus with cut shots of the Girls dancing in the same outfits. There were some interesting parts of the video when the Girls were being put together as robots, and it was fun to spot J.Y. Park's appearance as well as his discrete headphones promotions. For me, I can see how cool and awesome this would look when I was 12 or 13, but now the only way I can enjoy this is just by looking back at how far the Wonder Girls have come and feel proud of them.

I do think the lyrics are stupid, but as always, that never stops me from listening and singing along... *le sigh*

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Another MV roundup! 2NE1, Sagging Snail, T-ara, JoKwon

I didn't want to do another one of these posts so soon but there are just too many recently released interesting music videos that I want to talk about, so let's just get into it!

2NE1 - I Love You

I love this. It's one of those party beat love songs but what I really like about this song and video is that it really makes sense to see what we are seeing with what we are hearing. There's a mixed Asian quality to the sound and it's really well reflected in the theme of the video. I can't exactly locate which country the colours and patterns remind me of but it's definitely not just one country. I really love that about 2NE1; they seem to incorporate all different kinds of sounds and looks in their promotions that represent and are relatable to more than one country. Anyway this video is beautiful, CL and Minzy are working their sexy, Dara looks fucking fierce with that hair and Bom is pretty pretty pretty. I really do love hearing all of their unique voices changing up the song - not one member sings the same part of the song throughout.

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Kdrama Preference: Whatever tvN comes up with.

It's something that I've been noticing these past cycles of Korean dramas. Any regular kdrama follower is familiar with Korea's mini-series shows; romance-based stories told in 16-20 one hour-long episodes aired twice a week. Plot lines are always set in a variety of contexts, from ER or Grey's Anatomy-type medical backdrops, to CSI-type police/forensics/prosecution backgrounds, to just "ordinary" poor girl meets ridiculously rich and perfect guy situations. I've realized a stupidly repetitive formula for all kdramas airing these past couple of years, but that's for another post.

Anyways, I've followed dramas from all three of the major broadcasting stations: KBS, MBC, and SBS, and for a while I preferred the ones produced from SBS. I'm not exactly sure why but they've been coming up with story lines that interested me the most. However, somewhere along the line tvN were producing dramas that were much more original and fun to watch.

The Review
The first round (I'm hesitant to call it a "season") of I Need Romance was awesome; it was like a Sex and the City type girly friendships dealing with the lack of romance in their lives and other boy problems. Compared to the other kdramas sticking to the formula, it was one of the first realistically feeling drama I'd seen in a really really long time (I want to say ever, but I need to reflect on that a bit longer).

Shut up Flower Boy Band was pretty ridiculous, but there was a sense of reality in the friendship of a group of high school students, whose journey takes them from struggling to get into the competitive music industry to struggling with each other because of the fame that followed them. I like dramas that are more realistic.

I Need Romance 2 recently began to air, which I was ecstatic about. I was worried that it was going to be too similar to the first installment of the "series", which seemed like it was going to be in the first episode but they're clearly taking a different route with each of the base three girl friends so I'm good. Watching the first couple of episodes I couldn't get the original characters from the first installment out of my head, but it's only been 4 episodes now, so hopefully the characters will become more charismatic to stick.

If I may digress a little...

Thursday, 21 June 2012

2BiC & Ailee!

I'm kind of returning to posting, now that I'm returning back to kpop :)

I've been in Trois-Rivières these past six weeks to take some French course and just get immersed in a French speaking community. It's been great, but I'm just so excited to get back home, which will be on Friday :)

In the meanwhile, I have been keeping an eye out for new kpop releases, and I've been really impressed with some of the new stuff that have come out, like Teen Top's new release To You, which was actually something I expected from Infinite, but they did it so well. There was also After School's Flashback (okay I'm not that impressed with the song itself and some of them are STILL a bit dead in the eyes but their attitude is much more present. I think they've improved for sure!)

What I really want to post about is 2BiC's new song Love Again featuring Ailee. I never really gave 2BiC a listen but they popped up on my YouTube subscription list and I am a fan of Ailee so CLICK

Friday, 11 May 2012

Recently released, new favourite tracks - JYP (with Ga-In), BoA (with Henry and Key), Nell, IU

Since my last post, there hasn't been an awful lot of new content released to the world, but the ones that have been unleashed are pretty significant. Big expectations, great results. Let's start with JYP.

JYP, the man behind the label and the many many hit tracks of 2PM, 2AM, miss A and Wonder Girls is back on stage as the solo artist he debuted as. As a man of 40 (this year) he brings a sense of maturity and experience in his stories underlying his lyrics in his new mini-album Spring 새로운 사랑에게 보내는 다섯곡의 노래 (Spring - Songs for a new Love) and we get to see his awesome moves he's also been known for.  He's also been on multiple variety shows which aired all around the same weekend as the last episode of Survival Audition KPOP Star, also on which he was a judge. If you're interested in his actual personality then I suggest watching episode 41 of Healing Camp, where he talks about his values and goals throughout his life and reveals a unexpectedly adorable side to him compared to the face he puts on when he's on stage or on Kpop Star.

Someone else (with Ga-In from Brown Eyed Girls)

8 Tracks Love Duets mix

Saturday, 21 April 2012

[Lyrics Translation] GOGOBOYS!

Discovered this on my YouTube homepage. I'm starting to believe that subscribing to Soundholic Entertainment on YT is one of the best choices in terms of acquiring new Korean music for my playlists.
I am absolutely loving GOGOBOYS; their vintage rock concept for their new album Jukebox is just so fun.

우리가 이렇게 된 건 전부 너 때문이야 (It's all your fault that we've become like this)

Friday, 20 April 2012

Daesung's beauty tip: The Go-Dae facial cleansing method

A-class actress Go Hyunjeong's GO Show recently featured Big Bang, making for an absolutely hilarious episode. I thought I'd just make a post from one part of the show, Daesung's facial cleansing method.

They revealed in their "G-file" segment of the show that upon Daesung being aired on HD TV, he learned and started using perfect complexion Go Hyunjeong's facial cleansing method. He shared his interpretation of the method with his own added tip, which I've translated below:

Monday, 9 April 2012

4Minute Volume Up

4Minute's back.

Volume Up

[Lyrics Translation] Busker Busker!

I know nothing about this group. Other than their names, that they were on Superstar K3 and their drummer is American (as in he's white), I know nothing.
But I love them.

And their Konglish.

Busker Busker is a fun and very charming band, just debuting around mid-March with their first self-titled album. I'm very curious as to how they communicate with each other, seeing how Brad seems not to know much Korean in their "interview" and Bumjoon and Hyungtae don't seem very fluent in English (Bumjoon couldn't remember how to say 'spit' so he first called it 'mouth water' LOL).

They haven't released any full music videos with their first album, but they have a short "music video" for their song 이상형 (Ideal type/partner) with some fun OK GO-esque choreography and their own silliness. I thought I might do a lyrics translation with this post because the lyrics are also very funny, full of some odd fetishes :)

Monday, 2 April 2012

There used to be a time like this [Super Junior]

I just keep going back on nostalgic moments in kpop these days, I thought I just might as well make it a corner. A segment? A regular.


Miracle, Super Junior's debut single. I, with every other kpop fan back in stared at the screen back in 2005 in wonder, at the reality that there was a 12 member super cutie boy band singing and dancing together in the same frame. Sure their hair and number intimidated me, but eventually I learned all of their names (with difficulty) and picked favourites. That was back when I did indeed love them.

I followed their activities from Miracle, to Twins (Knock Out), to U in 2006, which was when they gained Kyuhyun as their 13th member.


U was probably the last track I really liked from them as a fan. After this track they become a bit irrelevant to this back in the day post, but I'm going to continue. This blogging momentum, you know?

Friday, 30 March 2012

There used to be a time like this [Happy Face]

Post update:
I was pleasantly surprised with Lee Seunghoon's performance on Survival Kpop Star Auditions two days after I had posted this. Why? Both Big Tone and Pilkang were involved in helping stage his performance! Oh, the happy coincidences in life ^^

The last two days there was a song that kept nudging into my head. I couldn't remember what it was but the sound kept pushing in. I finally figured it out last night and raked through YouTube to find it.

There was once a time like this

The group was Happy Face, consisted of members Pilkang and Big Tone. They released an EP in 2009, with songs like Happy Face, See (보여), and Be My 1004 Part II. They were active previously in about 2005 (I can't remember) under a different name, iM, where they released Be My 1004 Part I (1004 read in Korean sounds like chun-sa, meaning 'angel'). They had a distinct Linkin Park-like sound which I really liked. Now the two members are producers at YG Entertainment, Big Tone keeping his name and Pilkang's name being shortened to PK.

Performing [See] on Music Core

There used to be a time like this, when music broadcast shows didn't depend on their giantic LED screens backing every stage; when Jay Park and Nichkhun rocked to a song together; when even kpop artists rocked on stage with endless energy, out of breath but still unrestricted from confining choreography.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

SPICA - new stars?


I think it's safe to say everyone was a little skeptical of this music video as soon as they got a glimpse of the opening scenes. Especially if you're familiar with 2NE1's Ugly M/V. However, SPICA's Painkiller did not disappoint, or even make it comparable to 2NE1's video.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

John Park

I've really been loving this guy's voice lately. Love love love him!

If anyone remembers a couple of years ago, John Park made it to American Idol's Top 10.

After that, he went to Korea and participated in Superstar K2, where he placed second overall. I never followed the competition but I did see clips of him and the first place winner Huh Gak on other TV shows, so I was still aware of his transitioning into the Korean music industry.

Then, on the day that Big Bang was scheduled to release their first track and music video from their much anticipated comeback, I noticed John Park's music video on my YouTube stream. Watched it while I waited for Big Bang, and I fell completely in love.


After hearing his other tracks where he doesn't sing as high as he does in Falling, I felt reassured and decided to call myself a fan. He has a good range and a wonderfully deep voice which I love. His debut EP Knock has a jazz/blues tone to it, and he's not a ballad singer, which I loved to hear in the midst of all the synths and pop/dance tracks that are coming out in Korean music right now.

I very much look forward to what he'll come out with next. John Park fighting!

Friday, 23 March 2012


There are no official rules stating that I have to the 30 day challenge in 30 consecutive days. Then again, I did just start it to get me in my blogging zone.

I just watched SHINee's newly released music video and their comeback stages. I guess I wasn't surprised at how impressed I was with their amazing ability to dance in perfect synch like that, as well as pull off some of the funkiest moves in the idols scene. I wouldn't say the same with their hair and outfits, but I do love the for the incredible sound and dancing that the group delivers every time.

Sherlock (Clue + Note)

I've also followed SHINee from their debut. They weren't always a favourite partially due to the fact that half the group looked like they never went through puberty yet (ahem Taemin), and I wasn't really used to hearing their style of music. They have a distinct style from the rest of the idol groups that I am very pleased to see have been maintained throughout all of their music, but at the same time it's not that distinct in the pop genre in general. They're probably the first group to really introduce that into the kpop idol scene.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

[Day 4 Epik High]

I'm going to have to pre-write some of these posts in preparation for the upcoming week and a half. Exam period is near and I'm feeling the pressure :(

Day 4 // Your favourite non-idol Korean singer/group

Korean music is not all idols. The younger generation of singers typically promoting in groups, all of the members have to sing and dance on stage despite their role within the group. Thankfully, there are very talented non-idol artists in the industry as well. They're the ones that have me still sticking to kpop.

There are multiple non-idol groups that I absolutely love, such as Clazziquai Project, Winterplay, and Brown Eyed Soul. But Epik High is the group that I love the most. I've been following them the longest, and I have great respect for them, having witnessed all of the out of the norm risks they've taken with their career to express what they feel and think through music.

Epik High is a trio of a hip hop/rap/pop genre. Member DJ Tukutz creates their beats, and Tablo and Mithra rap to it. All three write lyrics and compose their songs, they also feature some amazingly unique voices in Korea in their tracks. The contrast in their voices (Mithra generally sounding like a wild husky voiced lumberjack) and their clever lyrics with Tukutz's style of beats combine for some amazing songs of love, politics, fears, hope and some random topics of pure amusement. Tablo, having done an English degree at Stanford in the States not only manipulates the Korean language in his amazing lyrics but also English, in the couple of English tracks they have done.

Monday, 19 March 2012

[Day 3 Alex]

I had to think a lot for this one. A LOT.
There are so many solo acts in Korea that I love and I really wanted to focus on a singer that debuted as a solo artist from the beginning, but I love this guy's voice too much.

Alex Chu.

<미쳐보려 해도 / Can't Be Crazy - Alex>

Day 3 // Your favourite solo Korean artist

Alex debuted in 2004 as a member of DJ Clazzi's project group Clazziquai Project. Fun fact: Horan wasn't an original member until their official debut. Alex's sister Christina Chu was friends with Clazzi and the brother/sister pair sang in Clazzi's songs until Christina left to the States for her career. Alex stayed and Horan was introduced. Christina still features in a couple of their songs, and she also featured in a couple of tracks from Clazzi's recent album Infant.

Alex was known for his smooth voice and loving yet masculine charm through his appearance on the first season of We Got Married. Although many people called him out for being "느끼해" (which can be interpreted to being an extremely cheesy romantic), you couldn't really help but to fall in love with him.

<Ping - Clazziquai Project>

Sunday, 18 March 2012

[Day 2 2NE1]

At this point, there's already a pretty clear bias forming here. I am clearly in love with YG artists over the rest, but I try to be fair. In terms of favourite girl groups though, this one dominates.

Day 2 // Your favourite kpop girl goup

Ever since there were even talks of a Big Bang sister group forming in the depths of the kpop industry, I was taken. When they released short "trainee videos" of the members, I watched them in awe and anticipation.  2NE1 represented a fierce girl power right from the beginning, and I loved the fact that they were different from all of the ultra feminine girl groups sporting uniform stage outfits prancing around with their long wavy hair. Although I'll admit that my first impressions of them were slightly tinted with influence from my Big Bang bias, but I was completely in love.

2NE1 sticks to their style, not only with their bold fashion sense and the confidence to pull it off, but there's also a level of continuity in their title tracks with the various use of "eh eh eh eh". They have incredible versatility and they know how to bring something different to the kpop scene. They're successfully transitioning into the Japanese market with a Japanese concert tour already under their belt and planning their English album release, produced by

I love Big Bang as a die hard fan, but with 2NE1 they were really role models for me. There are lots of things about them that I wouldn't copy, such as their outfits, their hair or makeup, but the energy that they bring and the way that they conduct themselves in front of the camera is just great. All 4 have such different personalities, but there's an aspect of how they keep their privacy that I admire (and I just love their adorable nature). I really admire artists that can bring it to the stage, which is exactly what these girls can do. I am a proud viewer of all three seasons of 2NE1 TV, which clearly depicts how much love and energy they bring into their amazing stage presence. Although I wouldn't say that they can't bring it as much as Beyoncé (yet!) they're pretty close when looking at the any of the female singers in Korea.


Saturday, 17 March 2012

kpop 30 day challenge [Day 1 Big Bang]

While I share my love for Korean music through this blog, I'm also going to try to improve my blogging skills. So, I've decided to take up the 30 Day Kpop Challenge. I've also decided to change the list a little (full list after the jump break) to cover all of Korean music, not just Kpop (I know it makes me sound a little anal about wording but a lot of the good music is not in the pop genre!). My modifications also include the Canadian spelling of 'favourite'...

Day 1 // Your favourite kpop guy group

My all time favourite guy group is Big Bang. They debuted back in 2006, right before I started my ventures into the world of Korean music. I've witnessed all of their evolving in fashion, hairstyles and maturity in front of the camera. They're a group that I feel like I've grown up with, through my crazy high school years and their scandals concerning plagiarizing, car accidents and pot.

The 5 member group is YG Entertainment's prize boy band, having extremely successful rounds of promotions in Korea and Japan. They are also planning their world tour this year, which I am extremely excited about (they're coming to Toronto!!). Their music is rooted in the hip hop style, but they've infused a lot of genres like rock, electropop, and R&B into their style. All of the members have done multiple solo tracks, which further displays their experimenting with the different genres.

Members (names in brackets are their secondary stage names, used during their Japanese promotions) :

Wuddup world it's a kpop blog

Kpop is my guilty pleasure.

Considering that I am Korean, I was a bit late on catching on to the kpop scene. To be fair though, I didn't grow up with a lot of Korean kids around me. I never went to a big Korean church, which any Korean immigrant knows is the number one way to make Korean friends. All of my schools had next to nothing of a Korean (or East-Asian in general) population, so I didn't meet many fobs until I got to high school.
[clicking on the captions will take you to a music video from the album. They get better, I promise.]

That being said, I did watch a couple of Korean dramas with my mom during middle school, but I didn't like them very much because they were like super dramatic soaps infused with a bit of comedy. What I did like were the ballads that they used in their soundtrack, which was basically where I started my interest in Korean music. I managed to get a hold of some drama OSTs (official sound track), and from there I was introduced to Clazziquai Project, Epik High, SeeYa, SG Wannabe, and Brown Eyed Girls. In high school, there was a sudden increase in the East-Asian population around me and my new Chinese friends were asking me if I liked Big Bang and Epik High. That basically sparked the explosion of kpop domination in my world. Because of my advantage of being able to understand Korean, I understood songs, dramas and variety shows without having to wait for subtitles (a service that took a  lot more time to provide back then). I was slowly able to reconnect with my Korean side through the Korean entertainment industry.

From about Grade 12 until now I've grown just a tiny bit weary of the whole thing. I stopped jumping on all of the new groups pretty much after 2PM because I couldn't deal with all of these 5+ member groups that all sang and danced in perfect synch. I stuck with my bias groups and gave a chance to the groups that were recommend to me by multiple people. I've definitely slowed down my drama consumption since high school (which was more out of responsibility than anything), but I still like to pop by Dramabeans to keep myself updated.

Alex - Just Like Me (2011)
Big Bang's Alive (2012)
Clazzi - Infant album (2012)
Tablo - Fevers End (2011)
2NE1 - 2nd Mini Album (2011)
Winterplay - Touché Mon Amour (2010)

That being said, I still can't let go of Korean music, which is why I've started this blog. I want to share thoughts and favourites from the Korean entertainment industry in general. I like to laugh at Engrish and I love following a lot of the fashion that explodes out of that scene (Eiffel in Seoul is a pretty good blog for that). 

So tell me, how did you start listening to Korean music?

[all images from Bugs, a Korean music site]