Mastermind: Beast

Beast just won their first Music Bank! πŸ˜€ I am beyond ecstatic, and serious kudos to them. They are a group full of talent, and their minialbum is selling well amidst heavy full albums out there from 2NE1 and SHINee.

Let’s talk about their new tracks. Automatically, Beast wins best album title of the year. Mastermind. It’s like Kpop finally stopped choosing cliche/nonsensical English phrases and decided to start reading Foucault. But of course, this seems to not have helped Beast’s Engrish as all as Kikwang still lovably confuses his verb tenses, but Omarion loves Beast, so we’ll forgive them for not being quite so perfect.

And I totally stole this from AA-Chan’s blog.
Cube’s got the aesthetics down pat – gorgeous cover.

Actually, if you have read my earliest posts, you’ll know that Beast really had to work to earn affection from me – I really hated Shock of the New Era for the longest time due to the combination of music style and Engrish. But there’s something I need clarify.

I love Cube as a company. CEO Hong is one of the most respectable men out there in the Korean entertainment industry – he has the business savvy and has worked with the best, as a previous high-up in JYPE. More importantly, he has one of the best understanding of the human psyche I’ve seen in a businessman – the man understands the pain, pride, uncertainty, and general psychology of the adolescent idol so well that he would probably be an excellent teacher or psychiatrist. He also has a very concrete sense of the type of music he wants to make, which is very much reflected in what his flagship groups, 4minute and Beast, perform (G.na’s stuff is a bit different). This is also Cube’s greatest musical weakness – there’s a lack of diversity.

As a listener you must make yourself mold to their music, when it really should be the other way around. Beast’s tunes have more or less stayed true to their debut style, usually heavy electrobeat dance tracks. Half the time their songs sound very generic and the formula becomes predictable: Doojoon/Dongwoon openers, Kikwang/Hyungseung the more technical verses, and Yoseob with occasional Hyunseung backup belting out the choruses, with a sprinkle of Junhyung’s rap. This would be an excellent formula if Beast were just another mediocre group. However, they’re not. Of active boy bands, Beast ranks at the top with SHINee (and Big Bang, whenever they comeback) as outstanding live performers. These boys can sing, dance, and if I were Cube I’d be giddy with joy just trying to get as many line-distribution combinations out of them as possible. Their choreo is, however, always tight and unique, which is what finally drew me into Beast. And if all else fails, PLEASE AT LEAST LET JUNHYUNG SING – his timbre is really rich.

Let’s run through their minialbum, shall we?

Mastermind – standard intro piece, thank goodness it doesn’t outshine the title track this time. I actually really liked the triplet

Soom – Something about this song just seems more sophisticated than Shock. Performed live, it doesn’t quite have the sharpness and complexity of Shock, but it makes up for it musically. I personally really enjoyed the direct integration of “breathe in breathe out” into the choreo – honestly, had they tried to be “creative,” it would’ve just looked tacky. And beginning circle dance? OMG. Once upon a time I had a dream that SHINee would promote Obsession and engage in some kind of epic circle dance/position shift a la Replay, but Beast were the ones to pick up on my brilliant suggestion, so +1000000 brownie points.

Tl;dr: I dig Dongwoon’s long note at the beginning (though the effect is ruined by the rapping), somehow the heartbeat slow start transitions logically into the techno verses and choruses, Yoseob is amazing at belting, I wish they’d let Dongwoon/Doojoon sing at slightly higher ranges/otherwise switch things up, but overall I’m enjoying this song WAY more than I had ever anticipated to. And pay attention to their choreo – there are lots of subtle details that make you appreciate their preparation even more and make Beast flow like one group instead of synchronized individual members. Kudos to Prepix!


Credit: beastofficial

V.I.U. – Please watch the end of the Soom practice video. I have no more comments. It’s a fun song, and Kikwang has a Junho-worthy booty. The song may be forever ruined and/or cherished.


Credit: hawoosin

Break Down – I don’t know why, but I feel like every group has released a song that sounds like this. Actually, scratch that, this sounds like a song taken straight from 4minute’s discography. I’m both happy and miffed at this. Since Beast has considerable vocal talent, they can turn a mediocre song into something enjoyable, and this semi-attempt at upbeat R&B is all too rare in Beast discography. Very generic but still enjoyable.

Clenching with a Tight Fist – Again, kind of generic, featuring Yoseob warbling over everyone else with an occasional Hyunseung appearance (who I just discovered holds back his voice quite a bit for vocal control – there’s talent untapped there). Attempts the angsty but doesn’t quite hit it, but the piano arrangement is lovely, their voices are good, and I nod along.

So congrats, Beast, on your first Mubank! May many more come your way.

Hyunseung you are so weird and adorable ❀

Co-Ed…?

Dear Co-Ed:

How did we go from this:

To this?

It’s similar to the concept of that other mixed group that debuted even worse than Nine Muses did (F1rst), but since Co-Ed has at least Soomi of ex-Seeya, they immediately get an up for having a non-whiny, talented vocalist. However, I saw a predebut video of that “Little Goo Hara” girl, Hyewon (or should I say “One Star Hyewon” now) singing, and that girl sings like Hyuna – good projection, poor pitch control. To this day I’m still questioning why Core chose to stick that girl under Hara’s shadow of all people – I can’t tell the facial resemblance at all, Hara’s a DSP artist, and as much as I love that girl to death, she can’t sing (and DSP is too cheap to even train her to be adequate). It’s like calling a girl “Little Yoona” or “Little Sulli.” You are asking for the ZOMGoverrated trolls.

Their stage names are also very DBSK, with some pithy, symbolic epithet before their names:
Balance Noori (κ°€μ˜¨λˆ„λ¦¬)
Smile Soomi (λ―Έμ†Œμˆ˜λ―Έ)
Rascal Kwanghaeng (악동광행)
Star Light Chanmi (별빛찬미)
Hot Blood Kangho (μ—΄ν˜ˆκ°•ν˜Έ)
Solid Sungmin (μ•Œμ°¬μ„±λ―Ό)
Sage Taewoon (μ§€ν˜œνƒœμš΄)
Sky Earth Yoosung (μ²œμ§€μœ μ„±)
One Star Hyewon (ν•œλ³„ν˜œμ›)
One Light Hyoyoung (ν•œλΉ›νš¨μ˜)

^It sounds a lot better in Korean, but still kind of tacky.

However, Core has promised no “bling bling song,” opting instead for a strong, electro beat. Well, you know me, if it’s anything T-ara like I’ll eat it up.

Lastly, I don’t know who this guy is (yet) but this was too funny not to include.

OIC. JYP, SM, DSP – just give me a Lil’ TOP or Mini-zy and my life will be perfect.

Dalmatian, please sing more of this in the future

Ok, so I can’t differentiate the three vocalists’ voices yet, but DAMN Dalmatian, that sounded good. Actually, from their previous work and extensive training, I expected them to sing very well, but the good pronunciation is an added bonus (and DayDay attended the University of Maryland? Bonus kudos to him, since I have a HS classmates there).

This is just another classic case of wrong debut song, because First Round was so little kid cute that it destroyed any potential for the boys (more like men, yay no more prepubescent K-Biebers) to run with the badass hip-hop boys image they built up with the concept photos. The clothes with puppy spots should have served as a warning… Regardless, while I was expecting something like 1TYM, the debut song sounded like DBSK’s Hug, hip hop style complete with “woof woof woof.”

First Round wasn’t bad, to be honest – it simply wasn’t what people expected or wanted, and won’t provide Dalmatian with the big break they need. They simply need more R&B and soulful music with a touch of angst (it’s the spice of life, people), give the three fantastic singers parts with more freedom for vocal expression (and harmonies, kthxbye) and keep the rapping tight and neat as it has been. Dalmatian’s a group like the Boss – it has wonderful potential, but need to make that magical match with choice of song and a little luck with the reception from the general public.

Credit: Lackadaisily2

Digesting 2NE1

So, the major points from yesterday’s YG announcement regarding 2NE1 are:

1. 2NE1 will be releasing their first full length album on Sept. 9th. It will feature 6 new tracks and 4 rehash solo pieces.

2. 2NE1 has recorded 10 songs in English under the direction of Black Eyed Peas’ Will.I.Am and of course, Papa Teddy.

3. Will.I.Am will be helping 2NE1 make their U.S. debut, tentatively in 2011, but they will not stay long (so no Se7en repeat here).

4. 2NE1 will be debuting in Japan in early 2011 as well.

5. 2NE1 will have 3 title songs with full MVs from this album, and plan on promoting all three SIMULTANEOUSLY.

6. Lastly, I quote directly from the YGLadies translation, “Teddy is planning to leave the country to produce with other famous producers.” This means Teddy will likely be heading for bigger and better things in the states/Europe in the near future.

This news piece is a bombshell – no matter how many times YG has done it – for Taeyang, for Gummy, for Se7en – I will never get used to the company’s ways of dropping mindblowing announcements without any warning. And now I know better than to believe anything YG says – remember when he said Taeyang’s Solar album was supposed to be released in January? At least he got the J part right. It’s better off to just pray and expect stuff to drop from the sky -_-

So, most people are freaking out mostly about the promoting in the U.S. with Will.I.Am part, but honestly, it’s the least mindblowing part for me. YG has already made it clear that should promotions take place, it would not be for long, no doubt influenced from the previous hardships faced by Se7en, BoA, and the Wonder Girls and the seemingly unbreakable wall for Asian artists in the current American market.

What concerns/excites me the most is 1.) short term, the 3 song-promotions, and 2.) Teddy’s inevitable departure. Three songs will guarantee the crowd playing favorites and shunning at least one song, plus how are they going to promote this on shows, and without over exhausting the girls to boot? And as of right now Teddy is 2NE1’s main producer, and while it was predicable that YG would just be a phase in the probably long and successful career of this talented producer, 2NE1’s musical styles in the future will change. Kind of shocking to think that this might be the last of Teddy’s works with YG. Good luck to the girls!

Girl Group Foursome Comeback, and ALL THAT JAZZ!

Sorry, really digging my Chicago soundtrack for some reason…totally odd, but it kinda fits Secret’s concept?

Sooooo, explosion of estrogen these past two days, as two girl groups made their debuts and two newish groups made their comebacks, and somehow, their concepts were different enough from each other that no one is making comparisons! Or at least they’re too busy bashing each group individually.

Let’s talk about the new debuts first.

I introduce to you, pedo-bait GP Basic! With an insane average age of 13.5 and the maknae still in 6th grade, it’s redundant to say netizens are going batcrazy about their need to stay in school, wtf were their parents thinking, and that they better not be wearing skimpy shorts and be humping the floor or somethin’.

Their debut single contains two tracks, but because the youngest’s rapping voice is just grinding on my nerves (she has good potential, but her voice isn’t developed enough so the rapping just sounds annoying) I will not be listening to LALALA (the…er…B-side track? I did too much J-pop/rock research today. It’s all coming back to me…). Here’s the video for Game (haha video…game, video game πŸ˜„ omg I need to stop sleeping at 3 every day…).

I’m not going to lie. It’s not terrible. I think my tolerance for badly autotuned songs has just built up during late 09-10, because I remember the days where I could absolutely not tolerate UKISS and Beast, and yet today I ended up dancing Mystery in front of my bathroom mirror. The autotune should go, but I find it listenable. The tempo’s too slow and not varied enough for a electro-pop song like Game, though, so its main fault is that it gets a little boring. And these girls should drop the fierce concept – it’s like a monochromatic 2NE1/4minute Jr. I actually don’t care about their age that much considering my best friend made me listen to Kidz Bop 1-12930945 while growing up, and, at the risk of GP Basic bringing on the Miley/Justin trend to Kpop, I think they can safely go down that road without too much bashing. But please, WIPING YOUR MOUTH AND FLINGING IT FORWARD IS NOT A DANCE MOVE. That goes for everyone in Kpop.

Next, it’s the super-leggy models-turned-singers Nine Muses.

I have an unfair prejudice against them. I want to confess that the first healthy obsession I had was Greek mythology. I LOVE me some Greek myth. The fact that they call themselves Nine Muses, after the minor deities of arts, music, and science (and the inspiration for some good Charmed episodes, good times) is just – NO. I’m sure like Girl’s Day, they’ve got some vocal talent under there, but, nononono. Staying away from Greek/Roman myth references/Greek-Latin in general is the best way to make me like you more.

But I feel really sorry for these girls, because they knew right off the bat they would be getting lots of hate for having 9 members – stupid, yes, but the comparison is inevitable, since there aren’t a lot of super-loved 9 member girl groups in Korea right now than SNSD. And then they had to bring that ‘Genie’ beat in – in general I thought the whole dance/concept resembled more of After School’s Bang!, but man, the first 10 seconds sank all hope for them. I was surprised JYP/Rainstone wrote this song, because it sounds so not JYP – there’s no catchy chorus, the beat was too heavy, and it just felt weird. It did resemble other JYP ‘catchsongs’ in one way, in that it doesn’t allow the singers to show off their vocals at all and thus makes for a terrible song to be performed live – if even Yeeun sounds bad in 2DT’s verses, then Nine Muses are screwed. And I’m so disappointed there’s not enough Julien Kang in that MV – it might have been the only reason I watched the MV?

Now for the comeback girl’s. I honestly think Rainbow can compete against model-fierce ulzzang Nine Muses on equal ground looks wise. Looking to climb their way to success in typical DSP fashion after Gosship Gurl and Not Yogurt (DSP – Please suck less), Jaekyung and the Pussycat Dolls Rainbow returns with their digital single, A.

Ok, the MV looks cheap and DSP doesn’t even give Rainbow cool costumes to redeem themselves (DSP 2010 MV review: Lupin–awesome costume/styling, wtf black flakes and moon beds; SS501 – Prince of Persia awesome background, but did you give them scissors for the suits? Rainbow’s was like a combo of the weaker parts of both MVs) BUT I really like the song. It sounds sooo like a 80s beach pop-song, and no autotune! Plus, watch their comeback on Mubank – they all look so energetic when performing, unlike the flopping fish of Nine Muses.

It’s a good song and performance, but why on earth was this only a digital single? Rainbow’s been out of the game for quite a while now, and I know that they’re supposedly releasing some rehashed compilation of their previous singles, but for them to do well on the award shows/charts, they need album sales, and I personally think Secret is going to cream them in digital sales.

One last note on Rainbow: I thoroughly appreciate that DSP gave the non-Jaekyung members that I still cannot differentiate more spotlight. A word of advice from me to them on giving too much love for leader only – deja vu.

Finally, Secret. Ok, so I was VERY excited about their comeback for some unexplainable reason (mostly because the teasers looked so bamf) and was thoroughly crushed when I listened to Madonna and discovered it was Mazik, Mazik Mazik ver. 2.0. Omona-spastic was replaced by the ma-mi-a-ma-mi-a business, mazik was replaced by madonna-donna, the choreo’s virtually the same, and somehow even the backdrop looked identical after watching Magic and Madonna back to back. But thank their lucky stars Mazik 2.0 is much, much better than the original (the costuming, though excessive, was leaps and bounds better than the idk what-you-call-it Magic things).

Hated it the first time I heard it. Then mazikally it began to grow on me, and 12 hours later I’ve flipped my opinion about Madonna 180 degrees. I actually don’t care that it’s basically rehashed Magic anymore – the song is fantastic, the rest of their minialbum is solid (loved the 8eight collaboration), their live performance was very satisfactory, and I now love Jieun forever and ever and ever. Possibly more than Zinger – omo how is that possible. And I feel inspired to review their minialbum, which will happen tomorrow! So yay, expect more Secret spazz πŸ˜€

So ranking the four songs? Hmm, if you’d asked me 24 hours ago, I would have said A above Madonna, but Madonna-donna *does the spastic hand wave dance moves* is sooo freaking catchy, and has won my heart.

The list goes Madonna, A, Game, No Playboy. I need to stop being so mean to them.

Speaking of which, I want to make apologies to Girl’s Day. They were my bashing toy since they debuted due to a combination of atrocious outfits and me being in a bad mood, but I took my own advice and tried to walk a mile in their shoes, and actually listened to their EP.

Control blew me away. There are no vocal prodigies in that group, but so far, two of them sing quite above-averagely. And I’m sorry I called Minah the fake-eyesmile girl (hey, that one picture did her no favors), she’s one of the two who can sing. And they’re actually pretty funny on variety. My apologies for their debuting with the wrong song – it happens a lot. I feel like I’m at Confession D:

Finally finally (last thing I promise), Minho’s dancing! I think he was tired/overexcited/nervous because he totally rushed and slipped up on his rap, but no grudges at all, since it was such a fantastic live today – Jonghyun wasn’t ‘flying off the handle,’ Key sounded more like his old self with the deep tone instead of whiny, and Taemin braved his stupid jacket that kept on falling off.

^Yeah sorry guys, I accidentally opened my sarcasm spigot a bit too much here. It’s completely due to the fact I need to sleep but am terrible at staying off my computer X.X

Credit: natsumeluver4, KyuleeKPOPMV, UnknownCarrot160, sweety555288.

WHOA.

Normally I don’t like posting up news articles because there’s better places for that, but this one just kind of caught me off guard.

First, I want to apologize to Secret fans for forgetting them in my 2010 predictions list. 1.) Secret Time was released in April, so I thought they might be done for 2010. 2.) Secret Time came out during a time when I was preoccupied with getting screwed over in school. 3.) I didn’t know Secret (during Magic promotions, I actually thought they were some old group making a comeback after 2 years or something ><) until I started watching Invincible Youth. *humble full bow*

So, Secret will be making a comeback August 12th, a week after BoA-cane. Sunhwa's concept teaser picture is already out, and when I saw it, literally all I could say was WHOA. Like, WHOA.

Considering Secret’s past concepts, it’s not out of left field or anything, but it just looks very clean, sophisticated, mature, sexy even. It looks like a concept I want every Kpop group to do instead of whatever weird stuff they seem to be doing (imagine the SHINee boys doing Lucifer in crisp, fashionable white suits/vests. I would love them even more). I like it.

I like Secret because they can all sing, and that means a lot coming from me. Plus, they’re growing on me with their variety antics. I’m liking where the concept is going, and if their song is decent then the girls can pull it off, because again, omo omo omo, the whole group is talented. And they really deserve a #1. They need to move the hell out of their old dorm now, ok, cause that place is not habitable.

Thanks to AKP and, er, KBS, for the pictures?

UPDATE: T-ara’s member change

First, I would love to rub it in my non-existent denouncers’ faces that I was right about Mubank again. Post Suju/Taeyang, miss A will snap up a couple of wins, and then it’s all SHINee. M!Countdown easily went to Se7en (I’m impressed he won on comeback but if my solidifying belief that M!Countdown can be reasonably predicted by the MNet chart, then it isn’t a surprise) but remember SM is always absent on MNet.

Anyway, this is supposed to be about T-ara. In case you missed Core’s announcement of T-ara’s upcoming changes:

1.) New member Ryu Hwayoung will join T-ara as its 7th member. Hwayoung and her sister Hyoyoung appeared earlier this year on Star King and were recruited afterwards. Most of us remember Hyoyoung as the guest that fawned all over Nichkhun in Victoria’s presence. I guess Core originally intended her as the 7th member, but opted to add her into to their new mixed group that will debut later this year.

2.) Eunjung steps down and Boram succeeds her as leader.

3.)T-ara will have a new leader every year.

4.) Not really a change, but the reformed T-ara will be releasing a new album in September/October.

Being backed by one of the major media companies, T-ara was labeled the ‘super rookie’ group long before debut, and when they released Good Person for the Cinderella Man OST, I totally understood the label. First, pre-debut T-ara was 5 members: Eunjung, Jiyeon, Hyomin, who stuck with the group, and Jiae (leader) and Jiwon leaving due to ‘musical differences’ (how much musical difference can you have with a group yet to debut?). In the MV all of them looked like ulzzangs (people with great faces), had long, black hair, minimal makeup, and could ALL sing. Back then, Jiyeon was targeted as the talentless one, and compared with T-ara, heck, Kpop in general, today, we all know she’s not bad.

Since 2009 already had 2NE1, and to a lesser extent, 4minute, showing the industry rookie groups can take over from the start, this T-ara predebut sneak-peek put all girl groups on the defensive.

Then, 40% of T-ara up and left, and Core quickly found 3 replacements and debuted T-ara as a 6-woman group. What I found interesting was that T-ara was kind of a patch-work project–very few of the members were trained to debut as idol singers. Eunjung trained for acting, Hyomin for musicals, Qri for instrumentals (bass), an Jiyeon for acting/modeling. Only Boram and Soyeon had any official music experience. Boram previously released an OST and sounded pretty good, so I don’t know why people complain she can’t sing.

Park Soyeon is of course famous for being part of the SM project Super Girls, today known as SNSD, and would have debuted as the leader had she not withdrawn at the last moment. I really feel for this girl, because she must have beat herself up everyday at the opportunity she missed. Unlike other would’ve-been greats like Hyuna, Soyeon has confirmed that she personally pulled herself out because she was uncertain about idoldom and probably couldn’t take SM’s training anymore. However, I do applaud whoever recruited her into T-ara, because this girl was probably the best addition Core could’ve made–if she wasn’t a vocal powerhouse, antis would have bashed T-ara to the ground about the new members being ‘useless.’

I’ll just admit right now that I don’t understand the changes. T-ara is a very young group. Their most important short-term goal is to build up a solid fanbase and music style. With Lies, TTL, I Go Crazy Because of You, and to a certain extent even Bo Peep Bo Peep, they’ve established an electro-pop style that I personally was receptive of. However, their upcoming album is supposed to show a ‘different side’ of T-ara, and as a firm believer in ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,’ I don’t know what they can gain from a style change.

The member/leader change also clipped both ends of T-ara: Eunjung’s no longer the leader, and Jiyeon’s no longer the maknae. The leader change initially confused me the most. First, the position of leader in a Kpop group is largely a ceremonial one–it doesn’t mean anything anymore nowadays. Second, Eunjung’s strong personality fit very well with the leader image, so taking her down rips out part of her idol ‘identity.’ Apparently the T-ara girls personally selected Boram, but I doubt the leadership cycle idea was theirs. So I’m fine with Boram but still think the change idea is dumb.

I will, however, not understand why T-ara, or any Kpop group, for that matter, feel they need to add a member (notice I do not mean replace. Replacements for departed members are an entirely new matter). If the addition means a boost in talent (Kyuhyun in Super Junior), then people will get over it, but as After School has shown, when the new members don’t do much, fans have a much harder time accepting the addition. After School for me has changed toward a direction I don’t really like from their debut. Originally they were the strong, sexy, mature group with 5. Even with Uee I tolerated it. But I swear, if it wasn’t for Because of You, I would have turned my back on After School so fast after Raina/Lizzy/Nana. Nowadays I appreciate Raina’s vocal addition and even periodically defend Orange Caramel, but Bang! was a mess, and the Ah!-era After School has largely vanished, their group unity gone with the introduction of subgroups, and this recruiting a 9th member business just goading me on to abandon After school.

We shouldn’t judge Hwayoung until she officially debuts (considering she’s already getting hate just from Nichkhun lovers for being Hyoyoung’s sister/Jiyeon lovers for being born later than Jiyeon…), but the way Core is currently marketing her (pretty-face instead of vocal/dance skills), I feel she may just be another good-looking filler.

As a group, T-ara shocks me with the division of its fanbase (do they have an official fanclub name? I know Diadem is their international forum but come on people…). Usually new groups initially have a strong, unified base, but T-ara’s fanbase has always been a loose confederation of the fans of each individual group member. In particular, there’s a sharp contrast between the popularity of the ‘old’ T-ara and ‘new’ T-ara. If you check any T-ara forums, you’d realize the old members (plus Soyeon) always have the most active threads and sections. Boram’s election as leader has to be to boost her visibility in the group, but the position of leader, despite its lack of meaning, really has to be earned. I already saw Forever Leader Eunjung threads starting in AKP…

Another of T-ara’s problems is that the activity levels of the members are too different. The first casualty is the sense of team unity. Usually, each group has one or two members who venture into acting/modeling/MCing, mainly to get the group name out there. However, for Eunjung and Jiyeon in particular, with all the performances they missed, though understandable, make their membership in T-ara seem like a side job–they seem to be actresses first, T-ara members second. Again, since T-ara is a new group, it will be very easy for members to become bigger than the group itself, which will totally sink the ship for the rest. For the ‘hidden’ members, Boram, Qri, and to a lesser extent, Soyeon (at least she sang an OST for Death Bell and did the occasional variety shows), they were literally invisible–they become the members no one remembers. I appreciate that Qri is starting to act soon, but this move is months overdue.

Despite all my gripe, T-ara still remains one of my favorite groups. Three of them are exceptional singers, two are okay, I like their music, they have all the ingredients for success, and have so far been very successful. The next move I want them to make is to release a solid second album. I want a full album that shows individual improvement, style development (more I’m really Hurt, less Bo Peep Bo Peep, which was a necessary evil), and strong live performances to show that they have improved or at least remained consistent after their change. If they can accomplish 80% of what I want, then they will be fine. But please, no more new members.

Contrasting against Jpop groups, an appeal to Korean music groups was the stability of the groups and the belief in growth and development as opposed to member shifts to create changes in musical styles. That was once upon a time, I guess. *brings on Hyuna* Ch-ch-ch-change, baby.

Credit: Sookyungie, LeeHoKa

EDIT: Looking back, I realized I never really talked about Hyomin. To me, Hyomin is what’s keeping T-ara together. She’s the full package–good looks, vocal talent, and broad appeal (thanks to Invincible Youth, she’s gained lots of Sone fans and pity fans…poor folding screen XD). Honestly, the constant references Hyomin makes to T-ara songs during IY and how she kept on filming despite clearly being uncomfortable made me respect her a lot. I think T-ara would be fine with Hyomin and another member doing the majority of the individual activities, but eh, the T-ara girls are ambitious. But now Hyomin is filming for My Girlfriend’s a Gumiho? Omg…no one listens to me.