Keeping it short -10 bits and thoughts

Well, it’s been a while. And a lot has happened in kpop utopia.

Even though I haven’t been active here I’ve been actively following new releases and listened to anything that appealed to me and I really love a lot of those new songs. Also I may have changed preferences over the last year, looking back, on some of the posts I was way too harsh , on others, let’s not call it biased, but too subjective.

I’ll keep it short and on point :

1. Way to go and steal wigs on a daily basis 2ne1. I’ve been blown away by each and every release of them, also CL’s solo. Digging the rapping and baddass attitude, although ocasionally forced or cheesy sounding, but all in all, great music, cool MV’s, good job.

In my defence I still think those first releases, up until I am the best, were a bit too similar and quite tamed. The girls had it in them to kick ass.

( to be really honest I’m having a hard time liking Happy. H-a-p-p-y?! Seriously now. Also too soon, too PharellHappy. )

2. On a similar note, loved Alive, loved TOP’s solo, loved Taeyang’s solo, loved Seungri’s solo, GD,…I don’t know. Only liked both song and MV for Coup D’état. The rest, not so much. Still jamming to Heartbreaker.

3. Among the oh so called rookies, well not all of them are still technically rookies, I loved : EXO singles ( even Wolf, I can’t believe what a silly crush I had on that crazy song ), Lee Hi’s songs, all time favourite being Rose, Ladies’ Code, Crayon Pop, B.A.P ( B.A.P , actually hit or miss for most of the times) , History, Tiny-G. Favourite new group – LC9. Stupid name. Huge potential, Great mini album. Worth tons of listens.  And a lot others. I lived with the false impression that most of the new acts are not so special, or interesting but seeing all these names constantly on my playlist, the situation is looking actually pretty good.

4. Crazy cool comebacks by Rain ( oh Rain, y u so hot !!), Epik High, Leessang, Infinite, Lee Hyori, Kahi, Miss A, block b, PSY, Sunny Hill, Ga-in, Jay Park ( really underrated) etc.

5. Somewhat dissapointed by or expected more from : Shinee, Ailee, TVXQ (biggest dissapointment, with Shinee being 2nd tier ), Super Junior, etc.

6. Still trapped in kpop limbo : U-Kiss, Teen Top, B2ST, CN Blue, Nine Muses, Secret, A Pink, ZE:A, FT Island, despite having really cool songs, choreos and/or lovely personalities.

8. What the hell, 2PM, what the hell ??

9. Biggest revelation : Cho Yong Pil ( whole album, great material ).

10. On kdrama land things for me haven’t been so exciting. Loved the Reply series, couldn’t get past episode 3-4 of any of those new Lee Min-ho dramas, and pretty much nothing else got me hooked. Oh, no, I’m lying, LooooooVED Queen In Hyun’s Man. The guy is crazy hot and the girl is pretty damn funny, both on screen and in real life. Also, talking about real life, they’re a couple. Ain’t that really cute ? I think it is.

On variety programs – I have a soft spot for 2days and 1night ( both old and new seasons ) and Immortal Song 2. ALi rocks!!!!!

Sorry about any typos. It’s been a long time and english is still not my first language.

Miss A – A Class (album review)

The one girl group that manages to impress me is Miss A. I have all the confidence in the world when it comes to JYP‘s capability as a producer. He’s a master at polishing rough talents and at discovering all of the out of the ordinary traits hidden inside those artists he works with. You could say that this is a must for any producer, but you really have to be a genius in order to make 2PM that succesful. Geesh, is so obvious the boys are nothing more than mediocre singers. But the moment they start taking those tops of and doing all those group acrobatics…

Why is it that the perfect abs of 2PM boys are a recurring topic on this site ??

Miss A’s latest release, the A Class album is exactly like the title says, nothing less than A Class. I really dig that whole feet fetish thingie, especially in the video. They’re slim, they’re young, why shouldn’t they flaunt it ?

Out of the 4 girls I’m more familiar with Suzy‘s role in Dream High and that hilarious bad-ass attitude of Min. That girl can seriously kick some ass with just a bat of an eye.

I’m impressed of how convincing these girls in their late teens or early 20s sound. This is why Miss A is so much better than most of the other girl groups : they refuse to play cute, yet don’t try to be too seductive. They’re natural when performing live and give an overall impression of a mature and full of girl-power group. It also helps that they have strong vocals, I’m guessing Min‘s the most prominent one.

The overall mixing is done nimbly, some mediocre melodies are saved by the arrangers, the exact case of  Blankly, the, oh, so plain ballad without that orchestral intro.

I have some favourites, One To Ten, Help Me, Goodbye Baby of course, a wonderful breakup song, Love Again and Good Girl Bad Girl an even more wonderful break up song, keke “Shut Up Boy!!”. Break it, Play The Music DJ and a few others don’t rise to the awesomeness of those before-mentioned.

A Class is a very good pop album. It has all those elements that worked well in the 80s but wrapped in the finest up to date orchestration. The kind of album I would recommend to anyone that thinks pop isn’t all that complicated.

Final rating : 9/10

2ne1 – First Mini Album ( review )

As I said before, I am definitely not a fan of YG and most of its artists. 2ne1 and Big Bang, both fail to impress me, only some of the solo acts do sometimes break this wall of indifference between us. What is it that the girls from 2ne1 do to annoy me ? Well, they promise much but deliver almost nothing. Same way a politician would do. They’re supposed to be this hip and powerful girl group, a kind of empowering role model for young girls and women. Instead their music fails to be something out of the ordinary.

I really have the impression their first album set the bar in terms of composition for the latter ones. The excessive use of autotune, the plethoric adlibs  and the simplistic melody lines do manage to appeal by means of catchyness, however they fail to remain memorable. Yes, I know it’s a paradox, but bear with me.  After a complete listening of the album I don’t see any of the songs as the prominent one, the main track or at least the track that should be the supporting element and reason behind the release of a mini album. Is it because I try to be most objective that I refuse to have any contact with other info about these albums before the first listening, including MVs. This way, at the moment I’m writing these words I have no idea which of the songs was used as a debut track.

So, by the time I reached this 3rd paragraph I had listened to the first track for 5 times in a row and it still sounds unfamiliar every time I press play again. Why in hell’s name does it have to be like this ? Can’t I get over my hate for YG and deliver a decent review of their artists ? Or is this grudge really justifiable ? I developed this hatred over the course of long hours of fastidious efforts to get into the Big Bang craze. I tried hard to make the difference between a solo song by Taeyang and a  Big Bang song. I’m not that insensible, wait a minute, I’m referring to the compositions. If you try to ignore the vocal parts and occasional use of rapping, the melodies and arrangements are practically the same in the cases of many of their songs. Of course, it isn’t a such an unusual practice, everybody does it. Still, in the case of YG songs it is more palpable because they hardly give their artists any r

I'm gonna kill myself out of so much joy with this tiny tiny gun!

oom to test their boundaries. They’re always kept inside the fragile shelter of “what’s hip at this very moment”.

I’m making one last appeal for divine guidance in my arduous task of writing an objective review of this mini album. Fail. The songssound so generative kpopish, so plain and boring that they manage to turn that last

song, Lollipop, featuring Big  Bang into an obscenely good song in comparison to the first 6 tracks. Albeit the fact that it was created for a CF.

Final rating : 3.5/10

Ha, that first forgettable song was indeed their debut single !