The K-pop Round Up: April 2012

Welcome, welcome! Here is the third installment of The K-pop Round Up! My lovely series where I dive into the musical ocean of K-pop and tell you how the water feels. This time, it’s April–which was a month full of comebacks and fallbacks. So, without further ado, let’s get this started! (AND NO, I WILL NOT BEING REVIEWING TAETISEO! *BARF*)

EXO is a giant boy band who have been teasing netizens for the past few months with short teaser videos and photos. Not to mention, three of the EXO-K members look like SHINee(can you spot Taemin, Key, and Minho?) Consisting of 12 (COUGHSUPERJUNIORCOUGH) members, the group is split into two smaller groups–EXO-K and EXO-M–but is still one big group. Cute, huh? 6 members tease the Chinese fans and the other 6 tease the Korean fans. After months and months of irritating fans, EXO finally released MAMA on April 9th. And due to my mom scrolling through the “Featured” option on her iPhone’s YouTube, I’ve already seen and heard the song/video. But let’s see what the “fans” of the pre-debuting group were jumping around about.

Of course, there are two versions: the Chinese version and the Korean version. But let’s just stick to the Korean version since this is The K-pop Round Up.

Now, the whole intro thing makes me chuckle a bit–because, it is a bit cheesy, IMO. But, it is a nice change from average K-pop videos. It kind of makes me expect a video that isn’t so typical…

The guys enter some weird looking room in robes. Their symbols–at least, that’s what they should be–twinkle on the wall near them. They start with some words that I’m assuming aren’t Korean. I giggled though, because one of the words sounded like “ghettoness” x3

Around…wherever, the guys are being approached by the other guys–probably to tell them that they’re part of the revolution the man was talking about in the beginning.

I was starting to think that this was basically another K-pop video, since the dancing is the focal point. However, something isn’t the same here. The video has amazing CGI. And…the dancing is actually entertaining. With every other K-pop video, the video is so chopped up with different shots, I can’t appreciate it. But, with the long shots on the dancing in this one, I can actually see each detailed move and the power they have behind it. It’s actually fucking entertaining.

Apparently, each member has their own unique power; about a minute is spent introducing you to the members and their individual abilities. But uh oh, dance break.

Was pretty fucking awesome.

Seriously, I loved it. These boys need to join like… America’s Best Dance Crew or something. I love the intricacy of it. They’re not all doing the same thing. Some are dancing, some are standing, some do different moves as others do flips. It’s just fucking great.

The screamo part definitely scared the hell out of me. The dude looks like something out of a sadistic B-movie. He pulled that shit of flawlessly. And the dance during that part? Also flawless.

So, the video ends with each member getting more screen time with their power.

And in the end… I’m sold. These boys are talented like nobody’s fucking business. You can also tell SM spent a lot of money on this group and video. CGI is flawless, money there. Fantastic settings, some more money there. Quite a few outfits for 12 guys, money money. They spent a pretty penny. And you know what? It was worth it. Nowadays, your MV almost defines your place as an artist; EXO’s MV just told us that they’re here, and they aren’t going anywhere. Thankfully, the song is as great as the video. It has a fantastic beat with awesome elements(coughviolincough). On the other hand…nah, there is no other hand. I think this MV is just near perfect. I’ll be looking forward to EXO’s future.

I have never, ever been a fan of 4minute. Actually, I’ve pretty much hated them since their debut. Please refrain from throwing rotten tomatoes at your screen. I thought their concepts were far from original, and I just liked nothing about them. Oh, and there’s Hyun Ah. WOO! FORMER WONDER GIRL THAT WAS IN THE GROUP FOR A COUPLE MONTHS! Who gives a fuck? Again, don’t throw the tomatoes.  Even though I did enjoy their debut album, absolutely EVERY song sounded like a song I’ve heard before. No originality whatsoever. But we’re on their newest mini-album, Volume Up, released on April 9th. Let’s see what the 4minute fans were waiting for for so long.

Don’t really like how the song starts out. It has a jazzy sound but then the electronic beat–it just sounds annoying and confused.

On the plus side, the settings are great. They’re just plain gorgeous. I can’t say the same for the members since I don’t really find any of them attractive.

The MV has a typical formula. Dance shots and close ups. There’s nothing special here except that there are many different settings and the members have cool clothes on.

And what is up with those female backup dancers? They look like they were just pulled out of Rainbow’s Korean A music video. And what about them grinding and feeling on Hyun Ah? Is there some subliminal messaging going on here?

And oh shit. What’s this? A ROTTWEILER!? OHMAI. SO BADASS. [/sarcasm]

Mkay, more jazzy nonsense.. Blah blah. Just end this video please. T__T

Okay, so… Why is 4minute so popular? I just…see nothing special here. Not even in looks. They try SO HARD to be sexy and appealing, it just ends up looking awkward and overdone. The video’s settings were nice and eye-pleasing, but they were almost so different from each other, it nearly didn’t make sense altogether; it made it look like a sloppily thrown together video. The costumes were also so different that it made it impossible to appreciate each one. The dance is sloppy. There’s nothing intricate or coordinated about it–or even anything that is more difficult than a 6 year-old’s ability. As for the song? Again, nothing special. ESPECIALLY the English. Holy fuck. I’ve never heard anyone butcher the word “Volume” so badly. Not even the Japanese. The video was a complete waste of 3 months and $100,000+. Honestly, the coolest part of the video was 1:35.

I never tried out SISTAR. Even before their debut, they were shunned for having too many similarities with the extremely popular 2NE1. At that time, I was a pretty big 2NE1 fan and the fact that they seemed like wannabes made me dismiss them. Since then, I really have no idea if they’ve gained popularity much or anything close. Well, their most recent track is Alone, which was released on April 12th. Bracing myself.

Although I like the dance shot setting and colors, somehow it reminds me of miss A‘s Touch. And as I paid attention to the dance moves, it again, reminded me of Touch; the way some dance moves are extremely dependent on certain details of the music is similar to miss A‘s recent release.

As the MV progresses, different settings arise. Apparently, they’re in Las Vegas and it seems that they visit all different places–most likely clubs. I honestly really like all of them. The lighting is especially amazing. With each “club” setting, there is bright, pastel lights gleaming from a certain direction or area–I totally love it.

Of course, there is a car scene; I still don’t get Koreans’ love for cars in MVs. Another shot shows the members laying on a LED floor, which is awesome. It’s so simple, yet so cool to look at. It gives such an awesome illusion.

The video ends with more shots of them in all the different settings.

In conclusion, yes, I liked it. The song was very mellow and easy on the ears. The video altogether, had a great vibe. It was sexy without being cheap or overdone. It was classy. Not to mention everyone looked so damn beautiful. All the outfits were completely perfect to each setting. Every setting had perfect use of lighting and effects. Of course, the dance isn’t all that intricate because of the tempo of the song, as well as the style they’re dancing. I really can’t say anything bad about this MV. A classy, subtle but still sexy style is good for them. Well done, SISTAR.

I’ve tried Girl’s Day. Their song Twinkle Twinkle was cute and catchy, but…the aegyo. I am no fan of aegyo. If I can barely take it in Japanese culture, there’s no way in hell I’m going to take it in Korea–where it’s a million times worse. Judging by the cover outfits, I’m not expecting something super hyper or overloaded. Hopefully, I’m right. Everyday 2 was released on April 18th. The MV of Oh! My God is below.

The video starts out with some silly ass mess. And I can’t even lie, it’s hilarious. The chipmunk voices stumble through some inaudible nonsense. A member exits a car in front of “Girl’s Day Library.” But when she steps toward it, the building turns in to a night club. In addition, the girl basically smacks that dude sitting on the bench. I lol’d.

So, the song starts with the dance shot. The song starts off kind of gangster-ish LOL. The hard beat doesn’t match the style of the video very much.

The one member with the wonky eyes turns into a thug and enters the club. Well, she tries to anyway. The bouncer tells her that she has to prove herself with some dance moves. She thinks the moves were enough to impress and enters the club. But when she does, the other members are there to burst her bubble. The girl with the shortest hair does some weird ass moves, but wonky-eyed girl shows her off with some breakdance.

Of course, another girl butts in, but she just runs into the wall. Good job. Another girl steps up and krunks. And still, wonky-eyed girl shows off with some more breakdance! But no, it’s not over. Yet another member tries to go against the breakdancer, but again, wonky wins. On top of that, she manages to kick the guy in the face from the beginning of the video. He drops a drink which causes the one girl to slam into a wall again. LOL much!?

And so, the video ends with more hilarious nonsense and crazy dancing scenes.

So, how about it? I liked it. It was funny and cute and catchy. It didn’t make me wanna puke. Although I wasn’t really fond of the song, the MV made up for it. The settings weren’t anything over budgeted or crazy, they fit the mood of the MV perfectly. It was so fun to watch. All the girls seem like they have great chemistry with each other, which creates an awesome vibe throughout the whole thing. My favorite outfits are the plastic-looking ones, haha. If you’re looking a fresh, fun, sweet group to try out, Girl’s Day should be your first choice. On a different note, 3:18 – 3:21 is absolutely the best scene.

I have a sweet spot in my heart for SunnyHill. I think they are like a Brown Eyed Girls minus the sexy. They are so talented and their songs are deep. Is The White Horse Coming? is their latest track that was released on April 19th. I downloaded the song before watching the MV, so I’m already hooked on the song. So let’s see how the MV looks.

The videos starts off with the girls and backup dancers in a rundown-looking dance studio. First thing’s first, SunnyHill aren’t the type to follow the latest trend or look like they came out of a magazine. They make their own damn rules. If you’re turned off within the first 5 seconds, you might as well go back to your 2NE1 video.

Being all cutesy and stylish isn’t their thing either. So of course, they’re all cooly dressed in men’s uniforms. And LOL @ the pink setting. I thought it was a hilarious scene. So cute and simple.




Anyways. I think Jubi(red pants) looks adorable in the dance shot. She just keeps a smile on her face and looks so sweet & innocent.

Along with those other scenes, the girls also mess around in a classroom, which is a cute addition.

When the song break comes, one of the members mess around on a white horse in what looks like a damn matador suit. Oh, and some flashing lights. Plus, Seung Ah looks super sexy on that table ;D

The weird, Mexican “Prince Charming” is super fucking weird XD

For whatever reason, the girls decide to put the giant pink A in a massive shredder. And then the video ends with the girls dancing with their tuxedo-dressed back up dancers.

So, the video is definitely a lot more simple than their previous releases like, The Grasshopper Song and Pray. But considering it’s just a digital release, I’m not gonna down it for that. In fact, I really quite like the MV. It’s so simple but keeps you entertained. Plus, the song is so addictive. Now, if you haven’t really listened to SunnyHill, you must know that every song they release has a very deep and current message to it–like BEG. I’m sure this song has a true, deep meaning to it, but honestly, I can’t really tell by the video. Lastly, I love how average and normal the girls look. They aren’t dressed in outrageous outfits; their hair and makeup aren’t all eccentric. Honestly, I could barely recognize any of them. As much as I like the super eccentric and unique styles of K-pop music, I really love this side of SunnyHill. On a different note, I absolutely loathe the way Kota’s hair is styled.

U-KISS has truly grown in popularity since the line-up change. I’ve been a fan for two years and can honestly say I like their growth as a group. DORADORA is U-KISS’s 6th Korean mini-album released on April 25th. I haven’t heard the song or seen the video, so let’s start my biased review of it.

I thought the video was going to start in the fluorescent paint room, but no. These sexy mofos start dancing in a different room…with some pelvic thrusts ;D

Hm. I wanna like Eli with his blonde hair, but somehow it doesn’t suit him. Eli kind of has this tough, rough exterior and I feel like only feminine guys dye their hair bleach blonde. It’s not like it looks bad, but it just doesn’t suit him.

A couple of the guys start chilling in a house/bedroom setting, but wait–what’s this? WHY HE ON DA WALL LIKE DAT? Rooms start spinning and boys walk on walls. Trip, much?

The dance during the chorus is really lovable. I love when dances use details of the song to their advantage–the reason why I love Perfume dances so much. Plus, there are plenty of body rolls in this dance–in which Kevin executes like a female… WHY HE SO DAMN COOT?? THE FUCK.

The video basically only consists of dance shots and close ups. Even though it does, I really like it. Every shot is so different but they work together so well. My favorite is the pure white setting with the spray paint–love it. The effects of the video are really good, too(spinning rooms, camera movement during dance). Everyone looks absolutely great. Kiseop looks sexier than usual with that red hair. AJ surprisingly doesn’t look that bad with the chopped hair–I honestly didn’t really like his black hair. Oh, and I wanna just jump into bed with Kevin–even with those bum clothes on. Although the video has its pros, the only con I see is the song. Honestly, I really don’t think it’s their strongest. I don’t think it’s a bad song, but I don’t absolutely love it. All of their previous songs–Forbidden Love, Tick Tack, Neverland–have been extremely strong and unique; the only things I find catchy with DORADORA is the chorus.

B.A.P looks like FAP, which makes me cringe. But that’s okay because I’ll just deal with it for now. B.AP is an extremely new boy band, just releasing their debut shit in January. They have been introduced as a “versatile hip-hop group”; I’m quite curious as to what “hip-hop” is believed to be.  The group also has quite an age-range of members(youngest is 15 and oldest is 22). Power is their second lead track, released on April 27th. Considering their praise, I’m expecting something good out of this.

These poor boys are being used as test subjects for a humanoid Transformer!

And as soon as this one guy opens his mouth… I think I fell in love all over again. Not only does he have a delicious raspy voice, but oh my god. This song is ACTUAL hip-hop. I mean, of course it’s not exact hip-hop, but you can tell it’s heavily influenced by it.

The guys dance in the humanoid Transformer room and phew, I love how hard they’re dancing. It has so much umph and power(get it?), it just makes me stare even harder.

They dance outside in a sandy, desert area with a Transformer hand sticking out of the ground. It looks as if there are 14 of them, but then I realized they were back-up dancers, LOL.

The shots alternate from outside to inside. And still, I’m mesmerized by these boys’ power behind their steps.

They walk towards the camera in tattered army-styled clothing, looking like they just exited the set of The Expendables. Suddenly, a wild electric bunny appears! It’s kinda cute. :]

The boys dance…with…hairspray? I really have no idea what it truly is, but I love when a group can dance with props. It’s just so innovative and inviting. I don’t think it was the most exciting dance break, but it was cool. Mind you, I’ve been watching way too much America’s Best Dance Crew lately.

Dancing crazily indoors and outdoors ensues as the video ends.

Jeez. They really served me with this video. I really liked it. Not only was the video very entertaining, but the song was sexy ass hip-hop. The video really lived up to the song 100%. Every step they took, every word they mouthed had an amazing amount of power behind it. It was just so exciting to watch. The settings also fit with the image very well. Fire and disarray debris, it all worked. They remind me a bit of Block B, but still are so, so different. I think these boys are extremely talented and will go far if they keep up what their doing.

One thought on “The K-pop Round Up: April 2012

  1. This has to be the cheapest and most generic song to make it onto this list, but there’s no denying that RaNia’s “POP POP POP” snagged me hook, line, and sinker this year. Produced by the RedOne of K-Pop, Brave Brothers, “POP POP POP” is a shameless Euro-dance anthem that sounds just like everything else that Brave Brothers has ever done before — but it’s just so damn good!

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