For the 2nd week of 2012 we will be reviewing MBLAQ’s “Its War”, SPICA’s “Potently”, Nine Muses’ “News”, Rainbow Pixie’s “Hoi Hoi”, T-ara’s “Lovey Dovey”, Wonder Girls’ “The DJ is Mine”, and Sunny Hill’s “The Grasshopper Song”.
SPICA – Potently
January 9, 2012
SPICA seems to be one of the more vocally talented groups out there. “Potently” was a fantastic way to debut; it’s not too outrageous, but neither is it too boring or safe. It does somehow sound familiar though, possibly from the musical arrangement and the chorus, as they both have a definite Western flavor. While the song was executed quite well vocally, it doesn’t feel too representative of the group’s style. However, only time will tell of course, but as of now, if we were to take this song as a measurement of the group’s uniqueness, we would say they are nothing new or innovative.
“Potently” is quite catchy and actually a very lovely song, but there was no fresh creativity. What we mean is, while it is a pretty piece, there is nothing that sets it apart from other nice, pop R&B songs.
The video is interesting and intriguing in a dark way. But why, especially for a debut, are there no members of SPICA in their own music video. It really doesn’t give any incite to the group itself, and could almost be seen as them trying to ride of the back of Lee Hyori’s popularity. Especially for a debut, the members should be their own star, because a debut is the world’s first look and first interpretation of a group.
Other than this video being completely void of SPICA, it didn’t really have an original plot line. Besides the plot though, the video was quite tasteful and we love the interesting sets and camerawork. As per the plot the though, nothing really happened, and it would’ve honestly been more interesting if the story led to the video getting banned or something. A bit of domestic violence or some kind of super charged violent sexual scene would have definitively made the video tons more interesting than a brokenhearted, sad woman lazing around.
MBLAQ – Its War
January 9, 2012
In all the years MBLAQ has been out as a group, they have never once disappointed with a song. It’s really sad that the most deserving groups, those that hardly ever disappoint and only seem to get better and better (i.e. MBLAQ, U-Kiss, etc.), are also those who have to desperately climb up against highly established groups that don’t have to (and sometimes don’t) try.
“It’s War” fit right in with MBLAQ’s usual genre of angsty music, that combines great vocals, strong rapping, and powerful music. The instrumental version of this song is beautiful, and did a fantastic job at using really pretty instruments to create a sort of ladder of depth during the chorus. The vocals are stunning, Mir’s rapping is awesome as always, and the emotion the members managed to recreate in their voices is, as always, beautiful. To have such a strong song come out so early into the new year, we hope, is a good prediction for the rest of idol groups.
While the song was wonderful and admirable, we wish we could say the same for the video. The choreography was really interesting, so to speak, and was probably the best to come out of this video. It seemed more done for art and the conveyance of the emotions the song portrayed than for visual stimulation, and the effect was beautiful. However, the plot of the video is where the screw-up happened. Apart from being too predictable and over-dramatic, the unscientific logic behind the demographics was awful. For the same reason Wanted was disgusting, this video was just so unbelievable. There is no way the path of a bullet is controllable, but the boomerang effect at the end of the video was so physically impossible, it pained us. The conclusion of the video was also pretty stupid; first off: What kind of friend is okay with stealing another friend’s girl? That’s completely against the rules, and we shame Thunder for his obvious lack of morals. Secondly, the over-dramatization of the characters was laugh-able and stupid. Joon’s actions came from a totally over-reacting being, and the reason for his killing himself was ludicrous and unrelatable.
Nine Muses – News
January 10, 2012
Despite the obvious attempt to pump up the song with the busy music, “News” is boring. The chorus isn’t catchy in the slightest, and in a way kind of sounds stupid and lame. There is no flow in the song, nothing that eases the roughness between singing and rapping. It’s almost as if there is no grace in the song to make it pleasing. We can’t even complain about it being “annoying” actually, as the entire thing is too dull to be the slightest bit irritating. The rapping was unimpressive, and though the vocals were good, we can’t help but feel their talent got lost in such a lackluster piece.
There are too many special effects going on. Way too many. The effect was confusing and dizzy; was there really a need to have such crazy editing, involving every single possible scene in every single possible angle? There are too many camera changes, too many cheap sets, and too much editing. The only thing that was not in excess was their outfits; let us leave a little to the imagination ladies. Either everything was too tight or too short; it’s vulgar and dressing like that would get you put on a makeover show for looking like a street walker.
Let’s class up.
Other than the fairly skanky clothing, head-ache inducing angle changes and lame sets, this video was not much.
Rainbow Pixie – Hoi Hoi
January 11, 2012
This song is actually not as awful as expected. The rhythm in the beginning is nice, and the beats during the chorus are catchy (as they should be). As annoying as the lyrics are during the chorus, they’re catchy enough to be memorable. Where the song starts to take a wrong turn though, is during the actual verses. During the verses, the song began to lose its speed, as it softened up its pace a bit to allow for the girls’ vocals. This is what we didn’t enjoy; the song goes from being really hyper and fun, to boring and slow. This type of mechanism may work for other songs, but without great enough vocals to keep us stimulated, the concept kind of faltered. The “rap” bridge was also a tad unnecessary, and didn’t flow with the feeling of the rest of the song. Our overall impression of “Hoi Hoi” is that DSP was trying to squeeze too many genres into one debut, whilst keeping up the “cute” image, and this strategy just failed.
The music video for this song was, in short, completely made for fan-service with not an ounce of actual professionalism. There was no actual effort to try and introduce something new to K-Pop; just as the song was pretty generic, the video was nothing special. There was no actual plot, no choreography, no interesting sets or fashion, nothing except tons of leg and aegyo. It’s obvious DSP made the video intended for horny fanboys (and girls), with no real goal of expanding towards a larger audience with a fresh concept. That being said, the entirety of the video was basically three girls, messing around with each other, being the kind of subtle sexy-cute “innocent” girls get away with. About the only things we really have to criticize are the hideous blonde and pink wigs (worst of all was the combo wig) and the cheap, plastic looking props that could probably easily be found at a costume store.
T-ara – Lovey Dovey Zombie Ver.
January 11, 2012
After T-ara’s release of “Cry, Cry”, we really expected something more epic. Because in a word, “Cry, Cry” was epic, and sounded like a movie soundtrack smashed together, perfectly, into a composition less than five minutes long. But when “Lovey Dovey” came out, it was obvious they were going to be reverting back to their “retro-pop” sound in “Roly Poly”. We ourselves may very well be some of the only people in this world that strongly dislike “Roly Poly”, and now “Lovey Dovey”. Though “Lovey Dovey” is indeed catchy, it isn’t in a good way, and just sounds annoying in our ears. Whereas “Cry, Cry” was real music, “Lovey Dovey” is just repetitive and high.
In a word, this version of the video was disappointing. The introduction was great; it was suspenseful, the haziness of the club added to the adrenaline rush, and the mood was almost that of a horror film. But then, the goodness came to an end, with the extremely fake splatter of blood, oh-so-cleverly spelling out T-ara’s name. The clips that followed afterwards, of zombies going around the club, killing people, did nothing to save the video. Perhaps we set our standards too high though; upon first hearing news that T-ara would be having a zombie version of their music video for “Lovey Dovey”, we expected something with quality acting, good make-up, and real suspense. After all, with all the mini dramas T-ara seems so fond of releasing, could we really hope for anything less? But this atrocity was just a let down, and seemed more intended to be taken as a “fun joke” than a real thriller.
Wonder Girls – The DJ is Mine
January 11, 2012
“The DJ is Mine” seems like some kind of experiment. The song combines the electronica style, pop and even has a bit of dubstep. It’s pretty obvious JYP is trying to appeal to an American audience, and we actually applaud his efforts. It’s nice that he’s trying to appeal to the intended listeners, because honestly that’s probably the only way a K-Pop group will ever “make it” in the U.S. Now, we aren’t saying that the Wonder Girls are actually going to make it big in America, but by trying to adapt to the typical “American” style, they’ve definitely increased their chances. The song is pretty good also, and, despite the obvious autotuning, the girls’ vocals still manage to shine, in both parties. Without a doubt though, the best part of the song is definitely the rap; it presented the most attitude and spunk to the song.
To be honest, this video was a bit sad. The beginning was dull and boring; there was nothing impressive about Wonder Girls’ atrocious, gaudy looking outfits, and the literal haziness of the girls at a club. There was nothing remotely stimulating, until the School Gyrls came out. Now we ourselves actually have no idea who these girls are, and neither do we really care, but we are sad to report that, whomever they are, the School Gyrls completely saved this video from the depths of oblivion. Other than Yubin (and Yenny for a bit), none of the girls seemed to naturally fit in with the intended concept. Especially when the girls were supposed to be “egging each other on”, it was hard to take the Wonder Girls seriously, or even as the least bit threatening compared to the School Gyrls. In terms of vocals and even the way they executed their choreography, we can’t help but feel the School Gyrls triumphed. And that is just sad – isn’t this supposed to be a Wonder Girls music video? About the only thing that we really appreciated from the video were the little clips previewing Wonder Girls’ soon to come out movie.
Sunny Hill- The Grasshopper Song
January 12, 2012
“The Grasshopper Song” is an amazing song. Not only is it extremely catchy and upbeat, it is something completely new and fresh.
With the violin addition in the chorus, the song has an almost Irish flair. The vocals are flawless (as expected), and the music has an almost rushed and anxious feeling that creates obvious excitement and stimulation. Though there is quite a lot of repetition, the song maintains a certain interest throughout its entirety. So much is happening during the song, but it never becomes cluttered or overly busy.
Due to the nature of the song, a real rap is not necessary and would have probably been detrimental to the song’s flow. What really added great dimension to “The Grasshopper Song” was the male lead’s addition of his three lines. It essentially took the place of a rap.
This video really makes no sense whatsoever without knowing what the narrator says in the beginning of the video, and then knowing what the lyrics say, as they explain the rest of the video. If you decide to go and read a translation, the plot line will unfold quite nicely.
Usually we don’t really like monologues in videos, but this one was a necessity. The song’s pace was perfectly matched by the video’s managed craziness. At first it does seem quite overwhelming, with the plethora of scenes and crazy outfits, but it is a controlled madness and really tells the story of the song without completely overpowering the song itself.
The video is complex and completely visually stimulating; everything about it is not exactly fun but exciting and foreign. We really love the way the video put the audience at a first person point of view. Along with the excellent camera work and unconventional clothing, the video is quite a treat for the eyes.