Posts Tagged ‘Miss A’

Best of Music 2010

“You’ve probably heard or read, many times over, that the world of music is a fragmented one–all of us paying attention to our own personal scenes, streams, and cubbyholes, barely aware of what’s happening in the next one over. So when December rolls around, we have this annual problem: It’s harder and harder to say what defined the year. It depends on what music you follow, which magazines or websites you look at, whom you talk to, and how your ears work…

That said, every December, when it comes time to make these kinds of lists, it feels steadily harder to say anything authoritative about which records were the ‘most important. The best any one person can say is ‘This was my year.'”

– Nitsuh Abebe’s “The Year in Pop

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Best of Kpop 2010

If 2009 was the year of American crossovers, 2010 was definitely the year of scandal and bad music. Not that there isn’t always bad music in Kpop, but there seems much more of the bad this year than good. Still, not all was drab, there were some releases that felt nice and different.

I can’t complain about the dramas. I watched a buttload of dramas this year and it was a pretty satisfying year of dramas. It wasn’t all great, but there was enough good all around to make this a pretty decent year in dramaland.

This post will be divided up into music and dramas, though I concentrate mostly on music, since I will go much more in-depth for dramas in my upcoming monstrous review post.

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Current Kpop

Sorry I haven’t been updating the site. I’ve been so busy with everything that I severely underestimated how little time I’d have for maintaining the blog. I have a whole ton of things I want to post about (OB/GYN! Jung Kyung-ho! Nikita!) but I have so little time to myself that when I do, I don’t have the energy to write lengthy pieces on TV. I spend an unusually large chunk of time crafting a lot of my TV posts because I’m a slow writer and I have a ton of things to say and that’s a horrible combination, lol.

Anyway, I just wanted to quickly talk about Ga-in’s “Irreversible” music video before jumping into Miss A’s “Breathe.” As is Newton’s law, each time I really like something unexpectedly in Kpop I have to simultaneously be severely disappointed with something I wanted to be good.

Ga-in’s “Irreversible”

This video is stunning.

As with any Kpop video, there’s a song, a dance, a story, a picture. On a more critical note, I think that the picture and the aesthetics of the video overwhelms all else. The cinematics are much stronger and more meaningful than the other components of the video: the song is very different, but it’s not great. It doesn’t feel fully developed, and I would’ve much preferred this to be an instrumental track than an instrument + Ga-in’s voice. Not that she doesn’t have a lovely voice, but the song would say more if she didn’t sing. In other words, her vocals don’t add anything to this production as a whole.

As for the dance, if I were not at all cynical and I wanted to give Loen Entertainment + Nega Networks complete benefit of the doubt, I would like to believe that the choreography and the dance setting was solely created for art’s sake and solely created to enhance the visual palette of the video. But because this is a song for a dwindling Kpop market that has a short attention span, there is a practical use for every element in a song, which means that the dance is going to be part of the performance for when Ga-in promotes. And something with the choreography is meh to me. It looks beautiful, but I’ve always found the way the Brown Eyed Girls danced to be really awkward and forced, a result of education rather than innate talent, so if this choreography didn’t have a beautiful desert setting with nicely styled men and women, I wouldn’t want to watch it for Ga-in’s sake because she’s not a natural dancer.

On a purely aesthetic note, I love everything. Styling, backdrop, the director’s use of color. The caps I pulled follow the story in a roughly chronological order, and you can see there’s a really subtle shift in color as the story progresses. Everything starts in blue, and then slowly transitions into blue-green, morphing into green, which then becomes a mustard green, then turning into yellow, before slowly blending into a rose, and then rounding out in an auburn.

And then if you have to really analyze the story, it’s also nothing new. Kpop has gotten so commercial that it feels nice when you get a treat like “Irreversible” and there’s some semblance of a puzzle you have to figure out. But for this video, the story is just that: a semblance. If you wanted to go deeper, you can’t. Because there’s no going deeper, it is what it is. I find the story kind of pretentious and very familiar, so it doesn’t resonate with me. Girl meets guy who saves her, girl misunderstands guy’s love, but when she finally learns, everything is too late. Make everything super pretty and apply lots of eye makeup so that when girl cries, it will look really dramatic.

However, for all these misgivings, the appeal of the aesthetics of the video really outweighs everything else. It’s so gorgeous to look at that I’m in awe. Even if certain components aren’t great, when put together, they all work and is really one of the most meticulous productions I’ve seen in a while that obviously took a long time to plan, shoot, edit. If everyone in Kpop spent as much time in each of their songs and each of their music productions, the quality of Korean pop would really rise.

Ramble on Miss A after the jump!

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Two things

Miss A’s debut

I am LOVING this debut. When I first heard the song, it was alright but I didn’t really dig it, but now I find myself humming to it and I think it’s actually a good song to show off the girls’ vocals. I’m impressed that everyone’s fairly well-rounded, and I love Jia and Fei’s voices. Suzy’s singing and dancing is a little weak — it’s easier to notice that her pops aren’t as strong or that she gets out of breath a lot easier when she’s in a sea of good apples. And Min…well, Min’s debut is long overdue.

Super Junior’s “No Other”

God, what is this embarrassing crap. SuJu’s 4th album in general is lackluster and can’t really compare to their third. “No Other” isn’t bad — I actually quite like the happy pop sound going on — but I refuse to watch anymore live performances of this song. The upside of the slower tempo is that everyone sings their lines perfectly, but the downside is that everything else about this song is crap. I hate cutesy dancing and I pretty much hate cutesy SuJu. They do not tickle my fancy at all. Oh, and massive fail as a repackage album song because this is NOT the “Norago” caliber I was hoping for.

Ah well, you win some, you lose some. Here’s to hoping there will even be a fifth album and that it’ll happen soon before the group disbands / more members sue / everyone goes to the army.