Posts Tagged ‘SHINee’

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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A dissection on SHINee: the timeline

Like I don’t write enough posts on SHINee. This post made possible by “Lucifer,” which I’m still ambivalent about. A timeline briefly going through all their promotional singles.

LUCIFER

I feel like Lucifer is an intensely sped-up remix version of Juliette. I don’t like songs that sound like shouting (ie: DBSK’s “Are You a Good Girl?”) and the chorus is somewhat headache inducing. Not only that, but the song is really repetitive, and I mean pop songs are meant to be repetitive in order to be catchy, but the repetitive parts in this song go on for so long. There’s somewhat a bridge, but I’m not really feeling it, so the song by itself is definitely not a favorite.

Now for the choreo. SHINee’s one true strength is that they are all great with choreography, and they almost always get great choreography. I really want to know who choreographed this because they just look like they’re doing non-stylish hip thrusts repeatedly. But I can’t fully judge the choreography yet because MVs are always edited in and around choreography with other set pieces, so it’s harder to tell, and Music Bank cameramen don’t seem to have any idea how to film things because they kept focusing on Minho half the performance and I missed out on all their dancing.

In addition, after watching their comeback perf, I will say that I grossly underestimated how much of a nightmare “Lucifer” is for Jonghyun and Onew to sing. Like I seriously teetered on the edge of my seat in fear that Jonghyun will pop multiple blood vessels in his forehead/neck when he was belting out notes and I think Onew was sweating the Atlantic Ocean out of his forehead trying to get all of his. Those two are the motherfuckin’ BOSS when it comes to singing, but it can’t possibly be good for their vocal cords to have to hit all those notes perfectly so many times a week for such a long time.

The one thing I really, really love about SHINee’s live performances is Jonghyun. I love watching him sing and perform because he’s so passionate and aggressive with his singing and he has so much attitude that it’s just really attractive in a performer. So I’ll stick around for Jonghyun if nothing else.

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I don’t even know who I should blame

Man, I’m so over the Kpop music scene. Everyone tries so hard to out-do each other, but everyone for some reason, ends up looking like the everyone else anyway. How about we just concentrate on making good music, good videos, and good dances and call it a day? Instead of forcing these ridiculous concepts and images and blah blah blah and then getting accused of plagiarism left and right?

SHINee is not usually a group I pick on for this sort of stuff because I really enjoy their music and their efforts as artists, but SM is slowly turning them into gimmicky little marketing ploys and it drives me up the wall.

…Enjoy these?

Stuff I listened to this year; aka, music of 2009

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.

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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:

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