The only things I cared about this year:
This music video is easily the best looking Kpop video to come out this year. The cinematography is gorgeous and the visuals are sharp and sleek, the styling is fun and well put together.
Unfortunately, this song just isn’t very unique and the actual content of the video is unremarkable. I’m reminded of Jinusean’s earlier stuff, stuff that was the typical hip hop bling, hoes, and cars — except in TOP’s case, it’s Goyard bags and luggage. I’m also irritated by the brand-name dropping because TOP is more than capable of telling folks he’s badass without having to talk about McQueen or Galliano. Yeah you can argue that “that’s just what hip hop artists do,” but honestly, name dropping is is so outdated and the second half of the video looks like one long product placement video.
I generally really like TOP but I’m experiencing TOP fatigue from the oversaturation of TOP lately in the media. From what I’ve gathered, he’s not so remarkable an actor that it garners this much press, but that’s what happens when idols are in movies and dramas. That aside, I’m kind of tired of TOP the rapper too. Back when he
still used to rap performed while Big Bang was still promoting, he started doing this thing that my friend likes to call the “DMX effect.” The DMX effect is basically when you shout words and get gruff and just come off as unnecessarily angry and for some inexplicable reason drop your voice several octaves lower than how you usually sound. That’s just how TOP sounded whenever he was covering songs live and it just really drove me bonkers because I’d never had an issue with how he rapped and I’d always preferred his rapping to GD’s.
However, even though I think “Turn it Up” is kind of one-note, it’s an excellent song to exercise to :D Nothing better for a gym playlist than one that talks about how much you rock and how awesome you are.
TOP being an actor is great and all, but has anyone watched him act in anything yet? He was barely impressive in what little I saw of Iris, so it’s hard for me to gauge. I’m sure he’s not as bad as Kim Hyun-joong (nobody can be as bad as Hyun-joong), but what the dealio on TOP’s acting?
Dear two dudes who have the lofty and great profession of being YG’s only stylists,
Can we stop styling while tripping on acid? Is it just too hard to stop throwing all the shit you found at the bottom of your draw onto a piece of clothing? I get that it was really cool and refreshing when you first put dolls together into a circle formation and deemed it a “bracelet” and then let CL wear it on stage, but maybe we should stop at one toy-strung-bracelet.
I know that you guys (or one of you guys) went to Central Saint Martins for ~fashun~ and ~design~ but can we stop with this shit? Can we stop trying so hard?
Time for an end-of-year post. In addition to the music post, which I also did last year, I’ll also be doing a drama post because…I watched a lot of dramas :Db
Favorite albums of the year:
Eternal Morning’s “Soundtrack to a Lost Film” – This album was released in 2007, but I’ve only gotten around to loving it this year. The pieces make me feel like I’m wandering around, submerged under water. Everything looks illuminated, but hazy too, so I don’t know what I’m looking at, yet I want to keep looking. This album makes me feel a jumble of things, but most importantly, it makes me wish I could set every single song to moving image so as to truly make it a soundtrack.
Kanye West’s “808 and Heartbreak” – I like this album better than anything he’s ever done. Yeah, it’s a mystery to me too. But the short of it is that I’ve always been wary of Kanye West because he samples SO much and this album is 80% refreshing and new. “Love Lockdown” is one of my favorite songs ever.
Super Junior’s “Sorry, Sorry” – I basically talk about this album ad nauseum in the rest of my favorite song review, so read the ramble after the jump!
The Bird and the Bee’s “Ray Guns Are Not Just the Future” - Delightful new find of the year. Their sounds are really whimsical and I love the lead singer’s voice because it sounds so clear. If The Bird and the Bee’s music were a person, it’d be a person who’s good at pushing away pangs of disappointment and loneliness when he/she has to deal with the rest of society. But hey, being sad is still being sad, and I feel the album does dip into more melancholy territory in the second half.
Epik High’s “Map the Soul” – Tablo’s writing never strikes me as pretentious even though I can see how it can come across like that to other people. He’s very sharp with his words and his music (as well as Epik High’s music) reflects that aspect of him, along with the qualities he admires in other musicians.
This is “Cipher” from the album.
I will NEVER forget the atmosphere in Irving Plaza when Tablo jumped on stage to sing this first line. I can see is so clearly in my head: Beatbox DG does about 5 minutes of beat boxing and then he signals the start of the “Cipher” performance and the crowd goes crazy. Tablo speaks into the mic from backstage and the cheers get even louder. We were all anticipating, but even that is not enough to describe the mood of the audience. Even watching fancams now, my heart still pounds in anticipation of Tablo jumping on stage and whipping the audience with water as he raps his first line.
Favorite songs of the year: