Posts Tagged ‘SNSD’

Abs, thighs, objectify

Select members of SNSD + 2PM are in a new commercial together for Everland Caribbean Bay.

To be honest, after I watched the commercial, I wasn’t sure if I was watching a promo for gym clothes, a water park, or some kind of lotion that slims you up and makes you look like you’re skinny in all the right places.

I’ve never seen Seohyun in a risque commercial for anything, ever, so I assumed that somehow this would be a commercial that promotes healthy living. Oh, I’m so silly. Because half-way into the commercial, we get this:

This pisses me off like no other. The girls were born in 89, 90, 91. Whoever’s doing a strip tease is wearing a halter, and it looks like that’s Seohyun, and if that’s so, that’s an even a bigger offense. She was born in 91, for fuck’s sake.

And right now, there are no guys who are more objectified than 2PM, especially Taec. Male objectification, while it does have its implications, don’t have the same historical context as female objectification, so I take more of an issue with how SNSD are portrayed here. It annoys me so much that Korea constantly relies on exploiting sexuality in their youth in order to sell a product. Using sex to sell is inevitable in any entertainment industry, but can we at least try to be ethical about it and use models who are age appropriate and can own their sexuality?

Inkigayo 5/2/10

Hyori’s “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”

This song is pretty catchy and creatively a ton better than the promo song off her last album. I can’t even remember the name of that song anymore, but yes, no sandals with socks and outfits that consist of nothing more than a bra, a collar, a tie, and some short shorts.

But Hyori is pretty much an enigma for me. She’s well-loved, but she sucks at what she does, moreso than all the other girls who get ratted on these days for not doing anything useful, like Uee, Yoona, Sandara, etc etc. I’m gonna take a guess that it’s because Hyori is so well-endowed in the looks department and has been around for so many years that she need not adhere to any standards as an artist and she’ll still be loved.

This irks me because 1) she’s been in the game for more than 10 years now, and she STILL can’t sing or dance. 90% of her performance above is backtrack. That is obnoxious. 2) She’s got 6 counts of plagiarism off her latest album. SIX, people. That’s about half the album. Hyori has a pretty bad record with plagiarism too, so you’d think as a seasoned veteran in the business she can afford to spend the money (or Mnet can) to hire some legitimate producers and writers.

The good thing about Hyori is that she’s good at following trends and building on those trends to make it slightly different. Her new concept is a basic rehash of stuff that other girlgroups have done already — 2NE1, 4Minute, f(x) — but she has the type of persona that allows her to rock it like it’s a completely new trend of her own making. The alien thing? Pretty genius. Does it make sense in the context of the song?……Eh. But it doesn’t matter, she’s Hyori.

Also, she looks like a Jeremy Scott-wearing Big Bird in this performance.

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Music Bank 3/26/10

Usually, when I watch the weekend performances, by the time I’ve watched Music Bank, Music Core, and Inkigayo, I have too many things to say about everything so I just never post anything. This week, the only broadcast was KBS’ Music Bank because MBC preempted Music Core with a baseball game and SBS is observing a mourning day in light of the victims lost to a naval ship sinking from a few days ago.

I was looking forward to a couple of performances, and I think the episode was pretty good.

After School

I can’t believe After School is now officially one member short of being the older version of SNSD. From what I see, none of their four new members except for Raina have actually brought anything new to the table. It’s just that with each increase in size, Jungah gets less and less to do, which is so not cool. Gahee has gotten her fair share of popularity now, and well-deserved of course, but Jungah has been in the idol training game for almost as long and she’s a much needed vocalist in a sea of bad ones in this group, so it’s not fair that she gets kicked aside with every single.

So Nyeo Shi Dae

I think SNSD gets to play the sexy thing so little that a lot of them don’t know how to do it/do it really weirdly/are going overboard. A lot of them are throwing their voices at a lower pitch, cuz I guess you have to sing huskier in order to seem sexy. I dunno. The speak/rap parts of the song are really bugging me and Sunny’s cutesy voice has in general bugged me, but Sooyoung has been really breathless with her last speak/rap line in all the perfs. The most consistent ones are Taeyeon and Seohyun to me, and holy moly Seohyun! Underrated in all those crappy cute songs or what?! The girl is so bomb, but she needs to work on her breathing, it is so so so loud.

Amerie ft. 4Minute

Can we just talk about this for a second? I’ve never been a fan of Amerie even though a couple of her songs are pretty catchy, but she’s so obnoxious in this performance. This is her song and 4Minute does much more work than she does. She goes like 2 minutes full without singing anything, and punctuates the air with “GIRRRRRRLS” and “HA! HA! HA!” There is already barely anything left for her to sing after 4Minute rap/sing all their lines, the least she could do was sing her lines without backtrack.

Second, 4Minute were mad fierce in this. I’ve never watched a full 4Minute performance because I don’t like their songs, but this was good. Hyunah’s outfit is boss and Gayoon is snazzy. Someone needs to clue me in on 4Minute repertoire–it’s hard for me to tell Ji Hyun and So Hyun apart :( And Ji Hyun is supposed to be the leader? What in the what? She didn’t even do anything in this track!

Bright lights and pretty colors

I liked this but to be honest, one “strong” girl image is not enough to erase all the cute ones from the past. I’m still waiting for that one SNSD song to really stick with me in order for me to become a real fan, like Sorry Sorry/It’s You did for Super Junior.

One thing I’m happy about is that this song sounds like it actually requires some sort of singing skill for the live performances. From “Gee” to “Oh,” SNSD’s songs progressively got easier to sing but the hooks of their dance routines progressively got more gimmicky and imitable. “Oh!”‘s choreography might’ve been difficult to some extent, but for all their other hits, at least Taeyeon/Jessica would always have some sort of bridge to sing, but nope.

Onto shallower things. They all upped their fierce quota in the video but Taeyeon totally through me off with all her sultry looks and I’mma-lop-yo-(expletive)-off-if-you-misbehave attitude. Yuri really knows how to work the camera. It’s kind of alarming how sweet and jokey she is on variety shows, and then how hard she pushes the sexy image when she’s performing.

This video made me like the song. I LOVE how fun it is and it makes me like Dara more and more. I find her to be kind of grating on 2NE1’s TV show and she can’t sing, blah blah, but I think she’s really charming when she has to act and play these characters for music videos.

I think this is a really brilliant video, though it doesn’t completely feel like it actually mirrors what the lyrics are saying. (I barely look for that when I watch a Kpop video, to be honest.) The only thing that really bugs me is this sequence with CL. It wouldn’t bug me as much if Lady Gaga didn’t just do something to a similar affect at a recent gala.

In my magical fantasy world of Kpop, YG’s creative forces join with SM’s talent and come together to make music video babies. There are three things to a Kpop idol video: the song, the choreography, the visuals. Songs I can’t pin down which company’s I like more because I like and dislike songs from both. Choreography-wise, I hate 95% of what YG comes up with. Story and set-wise, I hate SM videos. (There are exceptions to both — Taeyang & Se7en get stellar choreography, Zhang Li Yin gets epic videos, Big Bang’s Korean videos all involve some sort of dying cancer-infested love interest, f(x) gets some ridiculous choreography — but these are just exceptions.)

Phew, I got too rambly. Time to sleep.

A new day, a new SNSD song

SNSD’s concept makes it so hard to like SNSD as a Kpop project, regardless of how the girls are personally. Their concept has never really changed (with the exception of maybe “Genie”); it just adapts itself with each promotional period by tweaking hair, makeup, and accessories.

I think SNSD’s concept planners are a decade behind with the idea of girl groups, because I think that SNSD is the worst in Kpop when it comes to redefining what being a girl group means. People already make fun of SNSD as it is for being the 9 [insert your own derogatory adjective here] beauties, and their management isn’t keen at all about embracing individuality and promoting all of the girl’s potentials. Wearing identical outfits for every performance, with maybe a difference in jean color and shoe color (Gee), wearing the same outfits and same everything (Genie), wearing identical extensions and being fucking cheerleaders (Oh). Music concept-wise, SNSD is the ultimate example of embracing conformity. On the international music scene, girl groups don’t seem to have much cache left, but that doesn’t mean that Korea can’t keep putting them out and doing well with the girl group idea.

My ultimate grudge against SNSD is not against the girls themselves, but the kind of male management that’s behind them, because I am pretty much 100% sure that their images are decided by males, for males, to appeal to men’s wishes. It’s so tired, uncreative, sexist, and the worst is that they all have to act like they’re lapping this shit up by playing up the winking, head tilting, heart-making, nervous shaking. And I’m sure all that wasn’t for my benefit. It disgusts me and makes me disappointed because I want to see stronger girls in play.

I’d rather stick to watching them do dance covers forever if that’s the only thing I’ll get: