8/28/10 Mubank Recap

It’s either my new headphones are allowing me to hear so many dimensions I’ve never heard previously, or that Music Bank revamped their whole sound system, cause EVERYONE sounded phenomenal tonight. Or maybe I’m just so braindead from the first week of school, because the listening experience was beyond enjoyable. Though most people will not feel like it, right now is the height of excitement in Kpop 2010.

Se7en – I’m sad his comeback wasn’t as commercially successful as other comeback artists. His performances are always so tight and engaging (not to mention his live singing is fantastic, and he’s really improved vocally during his overseas ventures) and new artists should take note – after one performance of Better Together, the difference in skills becomes so apparent. I’m also a bit confused why he switched back to promoting Digital Bounce – it’s not a vocal showcase piece, and no TOP. I hear rumors that he’s releasing a full album early 2011, though, so the Digital Bounce minialbum might just be a fanservice.

Once upon a time, I was the biggest FT Island stan in the world – I discovered their music one depressing, snowy winter day, and they were the first group whose music made me cry. The emotional magic just slowly wore off. As great as Hongki’s singing is, I prefer Jaejin’s? *ducks crazy Primadonnas* But as a concession, Hongki sounds fantastic live, much better than recorded, and Jaejin’s always flat *gets bricked again*

Basically, Love Love Love is just another FTI song – it’s good, as are all their songs, but you have to grow to love FTI songs, not the other way around.

Wheesung! I love him, the song sounds like a G.Na sound though.

BoA’s costume is finally fixed today – the grandma flower shit last week pissed me off.

OMG today Secret sounds FIERCE. Even softvoiced Sunhwa sounds loud and confident, and that performance gets me going everytime. It’s so energetic (and they’re #4! I predict a win next week on M!Countdown). Adlibs were spot on.

G.Na – that was hot. I thought her debut song of the thousand word titles (a friend told me it’s closer to I’ll Piss off, have a Nice Life than what it actually translates to, poor Doo Joon lol) was nice, but she’s always emo-faced, had her share of rookie slipups, and that blond hair was not doing it for me. But now Supa Solo comes out – I don’t LOVE the song, but I love her performance. G.Na’s voice, as nice as it is, is still a bit too high and shrill for my tastes – I’d prefer it if a slightly stronger voiced singer sang this (like JeA). However, the hair change, the costuming (I want those boot s NOW), the peek of fun charisma she’s now slowly showing – I’m going to keep an eye on her now. Call it a long stretch, but she could totally be the next BoA – whose voice I don’t totally like either.

Rainbow’s costuming must be pretty economical – all they wear is a different tank top and some booty shorts. Jaekyung is growing on me.

Mamma Mia, Narsha’s back with Sunny Hill – thank God, cause her BRBB totally had me concerned that she was going to spend more than her mini-album will make. Hand mic today, too! There’s a lot more live singing in this one, and as Nikki or PRN would say, OMG I HEAR HARMONIES. That was an excellent treat, and I’m still amazed at how fast Narsha spits out the syllables in the verses – no wonder she collabed with Outsider.

Time to go watch Mucore…

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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 XD 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 😀

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.

Predictions for the rest of 2010

So with 2010 more than half-ways behind us, I decided to make a little prediction on who’s coming back when.
Red = comeback confirmed, Purple = my guess only

August is going to be a fun month, with Se7en, SHINee, and BoA all actively promoting. I think this will be better than the Rain-Hyori-2pm clash during May (especially since I believe the August contenders are musically a little more standout at this point). T-ara is confirmed for an album (full album? But my prayers are never answered that well…) in September/October. Rainbow will be back September, hopefully with much improvement from Gossip Girl. Both Kahi and Gain have solo activities lined up for September, ironic that it’s yet another Pledis/NegaNetwork clash after Son Dambi/Narsha.

For my predictions, I see a 50/50 chance of 2NE1–rumors are they are already working on choreo/album, but for some reason I don’t feel a comeback. But they have to. So either they’ll come out early, say September or early October at the latest, or not at all.

Will the Wonder Girls return to Korea? Their summer was hella hectic, but I feel 2DT was too rushed and didn’t really make an impact. If they have plans, it’ll not be until 2011. Similarly, I think 2pm is going to be back either really late 2010 or early 2011. However, I feel the 2AM boys will be back in October/November. They only have one mini-album under their belts since debut, so a full album is due.

4minute is done for the year, especially with Japan promotions. MBLAQ is probably also done, but a late 2010 comeback is remotely possible. I feel BEAST will be back in November. They’ve more or less wrapped up overseas promotions and it’s been a while since Shock of the New Era.

I don’t predict anything from the Soshi girls in 2010 since I think they’re the only group preparing to enter Japan seriously (meaning long-term), but SM might have changed strategies after DBSK/BoA, so a late-year mini-album is possible. Big Bang seems to still be promoting in Japan, with their new single Beautiful Hangover soon to be released, so I don’t think we’ll see them until 2011. But do remember T.O.P. was working on an album before he started filming Into the Fire, so expect that to drop late 2010/early 2011 before any Big Bang comebacks.

Kara is sticking around in Japan for only about a month, so I predict they may pop out a mini-album in December (a third album would be nice, too). Some sixth sense (that does not see dead people, tyvm) tells me Brown Eyed Girls will be back in action in December. SIGN was so long ago. UKISS, too, has been missing, since Man Man Hani, so they might return in November/December. After School won’t return as a full group until their last subunit promotes, so it’s 2011 for them. f(x) needs a late year mini-album turnaround, but I just feel SM is semi-giving up.

The New Year will be interesting indeed. By that time, maybe miss A will release a second mini-album! Talk about time and progression–rookies don’t stay rookies for long, do they? Let’s check back on this in 2011 and see how many I got right.

Really random…

So the recent influx of horrible Engrish reminded me of something. Weeks ago I was riding my bike and suddenly a thought popped into my head. It seems you really can’t learn a language unless you become fully immersed in it. Riding around in my small college town, I thought, what if an idol just vanished for, say, 2 years and came here, registered as an international student, and just blend in with the background? No one would ever know them here.

For some reason, Hyori of all people came to mind. She’s wealthy enough that she can take a long hiatus without worrying about being buried by the pressures of promotion. Plus she’d definitely fit in with her not asian at all hair color. Huh, imagine if I saw Hyori walking around campus one winter day, books in hand…that’d be the day.

But, yeah, I totally encourage idol study abroad. For their sake and mine.