Artist Spotlight: Sistar

In light of Sistar‘s recent comeback, I wanted to dedicate this Artist Spotlight to the sexy quartet. Sistar came on to the scene back in 2010, with their debut track Push Push, a Brave Brothers creation. In terms of a debut song, in 2010, I suppose it was pretty decent. As I watch the music video and listen to the song today I realize how generic and bland it is.

For me, Push Push fell flat. The autotune is too much and the beat doesn’t really add to the song. The video is pretty standard in that it is a lot of Sistar dancing in different sets with different outfits on. The song has a good amount of English lyrics, which makes it easy to sing along to and hard to get out of your head.

However, I don’t want to take anything away from Sistar’s debut. It’s hard to be able to see what a group will become from their debut song. Luckily in Sistar’s case, things seemed to keep going up and up.

Brave Brothers produced Sistar’s debut mini album, and don’t get me wrong, I love a lot of Brave Brothers’ songs and productions, but sometimes the songs all just blend together. Shady Girl and How Dare You are both different from Push Push and each other, but to me they do not sound all that different from each other; they’re too cohesive (in my opinion).

As Sistar released more and more singles, they began to show who they really were as artists and as singers. As 2012 came around, Sistar was back at it again with the help of Brave Brothers. Alone was a smash hit and this is one of the styles that I prefer from Brave Brothers. Alone is raw, sexy, and showcased the ladies’ enticing vocals.

This was a huge step up from their debut and really showed K-Pop listeners what Sistar was about. The choreography for Alone is a perfect example of how a simple leg dance can become viral overnight and help define an group’s song.

Since debut, each member of Sistar has completed solo projects. They have all done numerous activities, including Hyorin’s solo debut, Soyou’s duets and collaboration projects, Bora and Dasom’s acting, and, of course,  various appearances on variety shows by all of the members.

Each member of Sistar brings a different element to the group. Hyorin is the most recognizable and well-known member of the group. Her amazing vocals can been heard on her solo album, singing with Stevie Wonder, and singing the Korean version of Let It Go in the film Frozen.

Not only is Hyorin a well-known vocalist and member of Sistar, but she is also a member of the sub unit Sistar19 with fellow member Bora. The duo had a spectacular comeback with the Brave Brothers song Gone Not Around Any Longer, which became an immediate commercial success. The song created, yet again, an infamous dance this time with a table.

Bora is more recognized for her variety show appearances and her athleticism at the Idol athletic competitions. The petite speedster can hold her own on the stage as well as in the field with the best athletes of the idol world. Bora has recently dipped into the acting pool as well. She was a supporting character in the drama Doctor Stranger that ran from May through the beginning of July. Hopefully we’ll see her in more acting roles in the future.

Soyou had an extremely successful collaboration with Mad Clown for their song Stupid in Love. The song became a success, and even earned the duo a win on Show! Music Core. Stupid in Love allowed Sistar fans, and music listeners in general, an opportunity to truly hear Soyou’s beautiful vocals.

Dasom has appeared in a number of music videos and most notably acted as the lead in the drama Melody of Love. Out of the four Sistar members, Dasom and Bora are the only two that I have seen numerous times on variety shows. I remember watching one show that Bora and Dasom were on, and Dasom stole the show with her wit, humor, and fun and care-free personality.

Since their debut, the ladies of Sistar have continuously improved their craft and stepped out into acting and variety shows. They may not be a huge force in the latter two, but nobdy can deny that Sistar has a certain spark about them that makes people attracted to their songs.

Recently, Sistar made their comeback with Touch My Body, a fun song not produced by Brave Brothers. Sistar, as I’ve mentioned, is known for sexy and sensual dances. Touch My Body‘s choreography includes those aspects, but also adds a bit of humor and oddness with the stiff leg wiggle.

Without listening to the lyrics, the beat, instruments, and overall production of the song is a perfect mid-summer jam that makes me want to dance all night with my friends under the hot summer sky. Oh Sistar, you’ve hooked me again with your catchy tunes.

From Push Push to Touch My Body, Sistar has definitely evolved in vocal abilities and range. They are clearly comfortable with themselves to sing about deep and mature subjects such as loving and drifting apart as well as the obvious lust and attraction between two lovers.

Do you enjoy Sistar’s earlier songs or their more recent songs? We’d love to hear you thoughts and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.

Block B’s “HER” Music Video & Song Review

I have to admit that I was quite surprised when I heard about Block B‘s comeback with HER; looking at the teaser, I thought that it would be a cheesy, typical “safe” phase that idols go through every now and then. Boy, was I proven wrong! This was a pleasant discovery of how this group managed to maintain their goofy and playful style while not succumbing to the cutesy, “I’m in love” trope.

Music Video

While I did in fact enjoy watching this video, I must say that it was all over the place. Of course, Block B is known for their interesting and crazy music videos, but it took a while for me to understand what was going on. That’s not such a bad thing, though; they get more views on the video as people rewatch and try to make sense of it!

Atmosphere

This was a huge mixture of bright, super-saturated colors, and exaggerated expressions, which combined with the attention-grabbing, deep rendition of the chorus in the beginning, makes you want to get up and dance along. HER may be upbeat and cute, but it’s silly and full of personality! I mean, come on, just look at all their cheesy grins:

To be completely honest, I can’t help but laugh at their antics, and that’s what I feel is the winning point of this music video. It doesn’t contain a hundred cringe-inducing winks (although it’s guilty of a couple), nor does it make me facepalm at how fake the acting is. It’s so over the top that you know that it’s all intentional and meant to be funny. If anything, the way the guys act in here actually fit their image.

Plotline

I don’t know what the plot is supposed to be, but I do know that the HER Power Detergent ad is hilarious! Let’s not forget this lovely ostrich:

This appears to be a tribute to whomever HER refers to, and a tribute it definitely is. From what appears to be a news segment about HER to multiple references to this mystery person in their props, you have to admit that the group is dedicated.

Prior to the bridge of the song, you get a little clip of an interview as the guys are introduced as the music industry brats. They end up talking about their comeback after nine months and their change in style from intense to “win your heart” types of homies. The stage on which they perform on this “interview” reminds me of Looney Tunes, and, whether it’s intentional or not, it’s a witty play on the group’s looney behavior in the video.

If you were ever confused about why they’re coming back with this particular song, then all you really need to do is to watch the video! Personally, I think that’s a great way to introduce the fans to a new side to Block B.

Fashion & Makeup

Oh boy; when it comes to the guys’ fashion, it’s just as mixed up as the plotline. From summer attire to winter clothing, you’re not really sure what they’re aiming for in fashion. That’s when you get the idea that maybe they’re trying really hard to get the attention of HER, going to great lengths and ending up looking like hype-beasts!

They do match the feeling of the song and the colors of the video, from the bright energy to the extremely colorful sets and backgrounds.

Who could also forget their hairstyles and makeup? From spiky hot pink to a silver combover, it seems like their hair knows no boundaries. It brings me back to what appears to be their efforts to appeal to their person of interest, and their makeup doesn’t shy from this goal, either. Bright eyebrows and dark eyeliner on some of the members bring out their characters, and colored contacts add to their quirkiness.

Choreography

There’s a lot of switching scenes around, so I can’t say too much on the choreography. However, from what I do see, they dance in a stupidly cute way. The moves they make during the chorus remind me of their gorilla dance, only it incorporates the typical, “look at me I’m shy” two fists to the face that make everything seems more comedic.

Block B’s dances are always incorporating their playfulness, and, while you don’t see too much of the choreo, you still get to see them jumping around and pretending to fall over in all of their silliness.

Song

I actually liked listening to HER the first time around; it gives off a mixture of ’80s and ’90s vibe that is just weird enough to make you keep listening. Even if you don’t watch the video, you can still feel just how playful the group is in the song, and I think that’s very important in any composition.

Instrumental

The electronic presence doesn’t appeal to me as much as the drum beat and electric guitar does; the guitar just adds the right kind of feeling that adds a special groove and gives off a “let’s go to the beach” mood. The beat keeps everything together in a fast tempo and brings up the energy, which I feel was done very well in this song.

Lyrics

There is a little controversy in the lyrics, as some fans think it’s shaming other girls who aren’t as pretty or unique as HER, as well as adding some possessiveness. To me, I personally don’t care, because many girls themselves put down others to bring up their friends’ self esteems, and jealousy is generally prominent when you like someone. Sure, calling everyone else plain in comparison to HER might seem a bit mean, but seriously, when you’re this infatuated with someone, I doubt you could notice anyone else.

I’m liking how they added “Jesus” to the chorus, because it just shows how much they’re enthralled by this lady. References to Olivia Hussey also piqued my interest, as it sounds like they like her beauty and her maturity, which is a bonus. Read the rest of the English translation I got from POPGASA:

Jesus, what words are needed?
Everyone calls you a masterpiece
Just a little bit of you, I’ll seriously value baby ye ye

Ooh wow, it’s amazing
There’s nothing more to add to her beautiful body
Normal girls can’t even compete
They’ll probably gather together and talk badly about you

Listen carefully

Be careful of the wolves around you
Bastards only care about outer appearance
It feels like I’ve been hit on my head with a hammer
I feel light-headed and dizzy

Jesus, what words are needed?
Everyone calls you a masterpiece
Just a little bit of you, I’ll seriously value baby ye ye
Every bit of you is so pretty

Her! Uh Uh! Her! Uh Uh!
Her! Uh Uh! Uh I can’t talk
Her! Uh Uh! Her! Uh Uh!
Her! Uh Uh! Except for you, everyone is so plain

Your breathtaking curves
Makes me faint right away, I need suction
Among all the fools who just make you feel uncomfortable
You’re a flawless boxer
My Olivia Hussey
You have skills but you’re not pretentious
Your personality and your just good enough volume
I wanna hug and kisses

Be careful of the wolves around you
Bastards only care about outer appearance
It feels like I’ve been hit on my head with a hammer
I feel light-headed and dizzy

Jesus, what words are needed?
Everyone calls you a masterpiece
Just a little bit of you, I’ll seriously value baby ye ye
Every bit of you is so pretty

Her! Uh Uh! Her! Uh Uh!
Her! Uh Uh! Uh I can’t talk
Her! Uh Uh! Her! Uh Uh!
Her! Uh Uh! Except for you, everyone is so plain

I used to be emotionless like a rock
But now I’m a fool once again
When I snapped out of it, I realized I was in front of you
Oh could you be my we love

You’re so pretty, if someone comes up to you
And starts talking to you, just smile, don’t give him your number
Wipe your drool first and go away, stop your talk
Her uh her uh baby I’m all yours

Jesus, what words are needed?
Everyone calls you a masterpiece
Just a little bit of you, I’ll seriously value baby ye ye
Every bit of you is so pretty

Her! Uh Uh! Her! Uh Uh!
Her! Uh Uh! Uh I can’t talk
Her! Uh Uh! Her! Uh Uh!
Her! Uh Uh! Except for you, everyone is so plain

Style & Vocals

So their style went through a bit of a change, but it doesn’t mean that they’re no longer the Block B that we knew. If anything, they’ve just added another category of music that they’re good at! I did have mixed feelings about this song before I watched the video and listened to it, but I am glad that everything turned out well.

As for the vocals? The rapping is interestingly at a minimum, so the rest of the members actually have a better chance to showcase their voices. I think it’s great that they’ve gotten more comfortable with singing; this means that they’re growing as a group vocally, and that’s good news. While there aren’t a lot of outstanding moments vocally, their voices work well together.

Overall ratings

By now, you should probably have noticed that I don’t like cheesiness. However, this was a slight exception. Were there moments that made me roll my eyes at how obviously cheesy they were? Definitely. But I managed to look past this fault, and I can honestly say I enjoyed the experience. Here’s what I rate this:

MV: 8/10
Song: 8/10
Both: 9/10

Were you as surprised as I was about this comeback? What do you think about this song? Be sure to share your thoughts and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.

What to Expect from “A Pink’s Showtime”

With BEAST concluding their season of Showtime this past Thursday, it’s time to look forward to season three.

But before I begin, I just want to say that Burning the Beast is my favorite season of Showtime so far. I know EXO was the only other group who has been on the program, but BEAST’s ease in front of the camera and with each other made each episode funny and enjoyable to watch.

With the end of season two with Beast, we look ahead to what season three has in store. For starters, Showtime is changing things up by adding a girl group to the show. And it’s not just any girl group, but A Pink! In all honesty, I only really know A Pink for their acting and variety show appearances. By those alone I will definitely tune in to watch the ladies on A Pink’s Showtime.

The only members I have seen on variety shows and dramas are Eunji, Naeun, and Bomi. From Eunji’s characters in Reply 1997 and Trot Lovers, we can definitely expect her to be a sassy edition to Showtime and not afraid to share or show anything. Eunji is extremely outgoing and knows how to entertain.

I only saw Naeun on We Got Married with SHINee’s Taemin. But throughout their season, I found myself watching WGM more for Naeun than Taemin (Taemin was the reason I started watching that season). She was always laughing and smiling and didn’t mind laughing at herself.

I also saw her on a recent episode of Running Man (July 6th) with fellow A Pink member Bomi. She had a few witty comments, which I admire, and held her own with her partner Jong Kook. Naeun may not be as boisterous as Eunji, but she will definitely be able to showcase her personality on Showtime and I can’t wait to see her thrive.

The final A Pink member that I have seen on a variety show is Bomi, who was also on Running Man. Bomi really caught my attention when she and her partner, Baek Sung Hyun, had to move silkworms from one basket to another one. Bomi was taken aback by the silkworms and let out some hoarse noises that the Running Man members didn’t fail to talk about. She didn’t even seem to hear them or care (if she did hear them) what they were saying. But she made me laugh and continued to do so throughout the episode. I can’t wait to see how she is on Showtime.

I think A Pink is the perfect follow-up to BEAST because each member in the group has a strong and memorable personality, and they will definitely make each episode eventful. I’m excited to learn more about the other members and become a bigger fan of A Pink.

In BEAST’s final episode of Showtime, the guys gave a few pointers to the ladies of A Pink, and from the preview, it doesn’t seem like they need any help:

Although the preview is brief, we can already tell that season three of Showtime will also be a good one, like the previous two. I am sad that Burning the Beast is over, but excited to see what A Pink will bring to the show. A Pink’s Showtime will air in August.

Are you guys excited to see A Pink on Showtime? Let us know what you think in the comment section below. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.

Artist Spotlight: Dickpunks

K-Pop may be the most popular thing coming out of Korea today, but Korean rock bands are gradually becoming more and more popular. Dickpunks is one of Korea’s most popular bands right now, so here’s an introduction for everyone who may not know them.

First, the name. Freaking hilarious. Second, there’s no way to describe Dickpunks music. When they appeared on Superstar K4, the judges labeled it solely as “Dickpunks style.”

I first found out about the Dickpunks at the Lush Concert II in Seoul. I had gone to see Ailee, Baek Ji Young, and INFINITE perform, and ended up enjoying all of the performers. However, from that moment on, I fell in love with Dickpunks.

Dickpunks was formed in 2006 and began performing in Hongdae, a neighborhood popular in Korea for its music scene. The group then appeared on Superstar K4 in 2012, and lost to Roy Kim for the top spot on the show.

The group is made up of four members, and was founded when the keyboardist, Kim Hyun Woo, decided to create a band. Kim Tae Hyun is the vocalist, while Kim Jae Heung plays the bass, and Park Ga Ram plays the drums. Unlike most bands, Dickpunks has no guitarist because Kim Hyun Woo liked the idea of a piano-driven band.

The fact that the group doesn’t have a guitar is very noticeable and helps Dickpunks stand out in the Korean music scene, making their songs recognizable immediately. Tae Hyun’s voice is also very distinct.

Even though Dickpunks isn’t an idol group, it’s been compared to groups like Busker Busker and Ulalala Session for its ability to stand out in the industry with a distinctive sound.

Also, they’re incredibly handsome!

Dickpunks appeared on Superstar K4 first while performing its take on the 1968 trot hit, Ulleungdo Twist. The band’s version of the famous trot song met with favorable views, and the group continued on the show until it finally became the runner up.

After taking second place at Superstar K4, Dickpunks signed with TNC Company, and in 2013 released the album and song Viva Primavera. The song’s playful sound and music video gained a lot of attention in Korea, although it didn’t gain a lot of attention internationally. I saw them perform this at the Lush concert and fell in love.

The music video shows off Dickpunks playful style, showing the members in miniature and playing their music in the midst of a “follow the cup.”

Another song off of the album that I particularly liked was New Yorker, due to being a New Yorker myself. The lyrics and style of the song are hilarious, discussing the on-the-go lifestyle that Koreans think people have in New York City. Although I couldn’t find a translation of the lyrics, the song starts with a description of waking up and going to get coffee and then getting brunch at a fast-speed pace.

Ironically, the description painted in the lyrics actually reminds me more of Seoul’s lifestyle rather than New York’s!

After Viva Primavera, came Sunglass. Not “Sunglasses,” but Sunglass. The video, much like that of Viva Primavera, combined hilarity and randomness—the video runs in reverse. The song is about loving someone who hides their true intentions, making it difficult to face one another. Even though it’s a serious subject, Dickpunks makes a joke out of it in the video, and the tempo of the song implies levity.

After Sunglass, Dickpunks released a much more serious song, Hello Godbye, also known as Goodbye Girlfriend. The video, much like Viva Primavera and Sunglass, has a unique style- stop motion. Even though Hello Goodbye is a ballad, Dickpunks’ sound is apparent at the first sound of the song.

After releasing three music videos in 2013 and holding a concert at the end of the year, they recently made their 2014 comeback with Soulmate, a collaboration with 4Minute’s Jiyoon. Dickpunks performed a cover of 4Minute’s Muzik on Superstar K4, so it is quite fun to see the group work with one of 4Minute’s members.

Dickpunks cover of Muzik is so well-loved that the band recently performed it at the 2014 Miss Korea pageant during the swimsuit parade.

Along with their promotional songs, Dickpunks has also release music for the soundtracks of dramas like 2 Weeks and Angel Eyes.

Dickpunks style of music isn’t for everybody, but in the Korean music industry that is often ridiculed for being unoriginal, a band with a unique sound like Dickpunks is really appealing and exciting.

What do you think of Dickpunks and its style? Does this band deserve to be more popular?

Henry’s “Fantastic” Music Video & Song Review

It was quite a surprise when SM Entertainment dropped a teaser for Henry‘s second solo album, Fantastic. With much anticipation, fans looked forward to the Fantastic music video; I personally hoped that it would be as eventful as f(x)‘s Red Light. Was it a fantastic comeback?

Music Video

To be completely honest, I’m not a fan of the cheesy opening. However, I still managed to stay focused for the actual song and video, which was pretty cool. While the box dancing sequences returned, I have to admit that the violin theme is awesome! I also have to mention that I’m in love with how SM is showing off Henry’s musical talents outside of just singing for each of his solo releases.

Atmosphere

The grayscale introduction to the video gives off this mysterious, albeit overplayed, feeling in which you’re not sure what’s going to happen. The fog gives way to color as Henry walks up to an electric violin, and the soundtrack sounds like it’s coming straight from a blockbuster movie. I’m serious. It reminds me of when Superman finally puts on the suit and flies into the sky, which isn’t very different than what actually happens.

You see, Henry takes ahold of his destined instrument and plays this badass intro that really made me think that this music video was going to turn into an action film. There’s a tension that breaks once the beat drops, which transitions quite nicely. Basically, you feel apprehensive, but the familiar tempo of pop brings out new energy that gets you back on track.

Plotline

Is there really a plot? I’m not really sure. Besides the beginning and random parts in which Henry pursues and holds the mystery girl, there doesn’t seem to be a point in the video. Of course, there’s the “music gives Henry life” metaphor with tubes connecting the violin to his body that piques my interest.

When the tubes disappear into the girl, I’m led into thinking that perhaps his pursuit of the lady in white is actually his attempt at finding his passion and truly accepting it. When he finds her, he holds onto her shoulders, as if he’s getting ready to keep her in his life. Also, I think it’s important to notice how he closes his eyes in both scenes with the violin and his co-star; this goes to show how he puts all his effort and trust into both his abilities and the violin itself.

Henry Lau Fantastic Review 2

She then reciprocates his actions, so it’s as if she, as the violin, accepts him after he accepts her, further establishing their relationship.

The TV screens? They could be representing his struggle with coming to terms with himself, seeing himself as someone who really can go far with his instrumental talents.

Or I could be totally off, and there really is no story to the video. All I know is that this guy’s dancing inside a violin, and it’s kind of really creative.

Fashion & Makeup

Henry sports similar attire from his previous releases, with a contrast between suits and urban, street-style clothing. The color scheme for his outfits depend on which scene he’s in; his dancing sequences focus on black and white, while his scenes with the violin and the metaphoric girl involve him with the primary color of red.

As for makeup? He’s just going for the simple, clean-cut look with (most likely) just light foundation with a slight, dewy finish and groomed brows.

Choreography

Since he’s pretty well-known for his gliding moonwalk and violin playing combination, I wasn’t surprised to see it in this video.

Accompanied by back-up dancers, he implements a lot of body isolation and smooth transitions in his choreography. Even when the chorus comes in and he starts hitting the moves harder, Henry still retains the fluid control in his dancing.

The majority of the choreography seems to be influenced by popping and locking, which appear to be his specialties.

Song

Much like Red Light, I wasn’t immediately liking this song when I first heard it. I did grow fond of Fantastic as time passed, but I still felt as if there could have been more variety.

Instrumental

Make no mistake about it: I am in LOVE with the violin presence in this song. If Henry had went through with less pop and more power ballad (or even rock), it would have still worked. Not only is the violin instrumentals a great beginning to the song, but it remains a strong force throughout the composition.

It’s not a one-time deal, which I’m extremely grateful for. The violin just adds an extra dash of spicy and epicness that the song would have otherwise missed!

Lyrics

Okay, I really have to confess that I cringed when I heard the opening lines. Really? “Girl, you’re fantastic” is probably fine to many fans, but it’s just so cheesy… Looking past that one fault, let’s examine this translation I got from kpoplyrics:

Yo girl you’re fantastic (you know that)
You make me fly

I was so immature
A child, who didn’t know what love is
I always won in this strange game of love
I was never even serious
I was always too proud

But you make me wanna be a better man
You make me reborn into a real man
You, who called my name
The fantastic you
The reason I chose you
Is because you’re the biggest gift in my life
Because you lift me up high
It’s gonna be fantastic

It’s gonna be really great, be excited
It’s gonna be fantastic
I’ll give you the world and more
It’s gonna be fantastic

I was like a swirling hurricane
Not even knowing myself
I only ran forward
But the very precious you came into my arms
Like a hot and small comet
You melted my frozen heart

You make me wanna be a better man
You make me reborn into a real man
You, who called my name
The fantastic you
The reason I chose you
Is because you’re the biggest gift in my life
Because you lift me up high
It’s gonna be fantastic

It’s gonna be really great, be excited
It’s gonna be fantastic
I’ll give you the world and more
It’s gonna be fantastic

You move me, you’re special
You make me be able to start everything
I found the answer to a fantastic dream
I hope your end is me as well

You make me wanna be a better man
You make me reborn into a real man
You, who called my name
The fantastic you
The reason I chose you
Is because you’re the biggest gift in my life
Because you lift me up high
It’s gonna be fantastic

It’s gonna be really great, be excited
It’s gonna be fantastic
I’ll give you the world and more
It’s gonna be fantastic

I didn’t know this was a love song, but it sounds like it is! The dude is admitting that he was pretty much too vain to even comprehend what love was, thinking that he kept winning the game. When this girl runs into him, he gets hit with the realization that the best thing in the world isn’t him, but her.

Half of the lyrics scream “BALLAD,” but the repetition and finalizing touch of “fantastic” tie everything together to make it fit into a pop song.

Style & Vocals

I feel like Henry decided to play it safe and go with his usual style of pop, and that’s perfectly fine! He’s good at this genre, so I’m not complaining. Did the genre and lyrics complement one another? They do, to a point, but I do believe that perhaps a ballad may have been just as great.

Henry’s known for his higher-range voice and good vocals, and he definitely showcased them. The ad-libbing hits strong notes, and there are moments of really nice harmony; while I don’t think he necessarily improved tenfold, he certainly has matured since his last comeback.

Overall ratings

My opinions regarding this video and song are more balanced than the last review, but I’m still not totally enraptured by this comeback. It’s pretty good, but it’s not the most amazing thing that Henry has done. Nevertheless, here’s my final verdict:

MV: 7/10
Song: 7/10
Both: 7/10

How did you feel about Fantastic? What genre do you think Henry should venture into next? Be sure to share your thoughts and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.

Artist Spotlight: Megan Lee

Megan Lee has been around for quite a few years now. But finally she debuted with her first official single 8dayz this past May. In a world where K-Pop idols are fabricated, Megan Lee comes off very fresh. She is not only an actress, but she is a singer-songwriter and knows how to play the guitar. I first discovered Megan when I saw her on a video with Simon and Martina from Eat Your Kimchi going around Korea. Then I found more about her and I was instantly in love with her voice. Her personality was very bubbly and fun and it made me want to find out even more about her.

Even though her career started when she was 10, the 18-year-old Californian started getting recognition throughout the internet with her YouTube covers. She even won a 2NE1 cover contest and flew to Korea to meet the girls. Eventually, she joined MBC’s Start Audition season 2, where Lena Park hand-picked her to be her mentor.

megan lee and 2ne1

Last year, she signed with g.o.d’s Kim Tae Woo’s record label Soul Shop Entertainment and also with LOEN Entertainment. She had previously released her self composed songs and released a track with Kim Tae tittled Oppa, where their voices compliment each other very well.

With 8dayz, Megan shows a new side. Her whimsical voice blended really well with the country feeling of the song. And even though 2Yoon did the country and K-pop crossover with 24/7,  Megan brings a fresh twist a la Taylor Swift. The concept of the video is very fun and the boho-chic fashion goes very well with her. The song even features BEAST’s Yong Junhyung.

 And if you look closely,  you’ll notice a special cameo from Kim Tae Woo.

And there’s even has an English version of the song:

Moreover, legendary band g.o.d just released a teaser for their upcoming new music video and it features none other than our featured artist Megan Lee.

Listen to the full audio below:

I really hope you love Megan Lee as much as I do. I see a very bright future ahead of her.

Did you like Megan Lee? Make sure to let us know in the comments. And don’t forget to follow us on  Facebook,  Twitter,  Instagram,  Tumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.

What’s Super Junior Been Up To Between ‘Sexy, Free, & Single’ & Now?

Super Junior recently announced that it would return with its seventh album. It’s been almost two years since the SM Entertainment group released a Korean album as a whole unit. And how is ELF taking the news? Well, it’s safe to say that we’re all like:

excited

Despite this unofficial hiatus, Super Junior as a whole was very active in the Japanese and Chinese market. The group released both Japanese album Hero and the Japanese single Blue World in 2013. Their subgroups were also very active. Super Junior K.R.Y (Kyuhyun, Ryeowook, and Yesung) released a single, Promise You, also in Japanese. Morover, in 2013, Super Junior-M released Break Down in China, and in Swing in 2014.

Donghae & Eunhyuk for t heir part released I Wanna Dance in June 2013, and was the only subgroup to have a Korean release in 2013 with the single Still You. Super Show 5 ran between March 2013 and February 2014. The group also appeared at SM Town Live World Tour III. So what has each member been up to?

Leeteuk headed into the army shortly after Sexy, Free & Single was released in 2012. He will finish his military service on July 29, and appears to be returning to Super Junior for the 7th album. So, pretty much, they’ve been waiting for their dear leader. Think about that for a minute.

Right in the feels

Heechul completed his military service at the end of last August, and made his Super Junior comeback in Blue World. He’s also appeared on We Got Married Global Edition Season 2, with a fake marriage to Taiwanese idol Puff Guo. Heechul is currently appearing in the drama Flower Grandpa Investigation Unit.

Heechul Heart

Kangin returned from the army and to normal Super Junior promotions on Sexy, Free & Single. The strongman became the host of MBC’s Show Champion in 2014, and is playing the lead role in the upcoming film Cat Funeral.


Shindong
 continued his career as a host, appearing on The Beatles Code 2 and his own radio show, ShiShimTaPa. In preparation for the album and his upcoming enlistment, Shindong ended his stint as ShimShimTaPa’s DJ in early July. In 2013, he won the Radio Category Top Excellence Award for the radio show at the MBC Entertainment Awards.

tumblr_myj4i7O7Ii1rz8onyo7_500

Sungmin, along with his activities as a Super Junior-M member, has made himself known in the musical scene. He appeared in the musicals Jack The Ripper, Summer Snow, and The Three Musketeers since 2013. He also hosted Super Junior Kiss The Radio show with Ryeowook, but stepped down in April 2013 to focus on his musical activities.

OMG Sungmin

Eunhyuk not only appeared at all of Super Junior’s concerts, but he was continuously active in two subgroups, Super Junior-M and Donghae & Eunhyuk. In addition, he appeared on several variety shows, including Barefoot Friends.

Eunhyuk squeel

Donghae‘s activities were pretty much the same as Eunhyuk for many parts, but he also opened up a restaurant in Seoul and appeared in the movie Rumor and the popular drama God’s Quiz Season 4.

donghae cute

Siwon partook in Super Junior-M activities and was busy acting. He appeared in the Hong Kong film Helios, and was cast in the film Dragon Blade, which he will act in alongside Jackie Chan, Adrien Brody, and John Cusack. Siwon also appeared in the music video for Donghae & Eunhyuk’s song Motorcycle.

oh hai siwon

Ryeowook has been busy with subgroup activity with Super Junior K.R.Y and –M. He also sang songs for several soundtracks, and appeared in two musicals. Ryeowook took over as the sole host of Super Junior Kiss The Radio after Sungmin left, and he also hosts the Mnet show Super Idol Chart Show with Beast’s Dongwoon.

ryeowook

Kyuhyun participated in subgroup activities with K.R.Y and -M, and appearing in the 2014 reiteration of SM The Ballad. He also appeared on Henry’s solo song Trap. Throghout part of 2013, he was a host of the show Mamma Mia. Kyuhyun also acted in four musicals since 2013, and is currently appearing in Singin’ In The Rain. 

Kyuhyun me gusta

Yesung went into the army in May 2013. Hero was the last albumin which his vocals appeared on. Before enlistment, he also sang Carbon Paper for the drama That Winter, The Wind Blows.

Yesung and Leeteuk 'we are Super JiniOR'

[Disclaimer: These two are members of Super Junior-M officially and many people consider them official Super Junior members so I am including them on the list.]

Zhou Mi promoted with Super Junior-M and SM The Ballad, and he, wait for it… Was the mastermind behind  the lyrics of not only the title song Swing but also Fly High! He also hosted a Chinese radio show with Miss A’s Fei and Jia.

zhou mi

Henry promoted with SuJu-M and became SM Entertainment’s first male solo artist in over a decade when he debuted in 2013 with Trap. He also appeared on numerous variety shows to promote himself and SuJu-M, including MasterChef Korea Celebrity and Real Men. Henry also acted in the movie, Final Recipe. He’s currently gearing up for his comeback with Fantastic.

henry hambruger

Pretty much, the members of Super Junior have been busy, but now it’s time for them to release something new. SM Entertainment has shared that the group will release a new album in September, and have a concert at the end of that month.

Are you excited for Super Junior’s comeback? Or do you like their solo activities more? Make sure to follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagramTumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.

4 Reasons to Start Watching “Trot Lovers”

Even though it’s been lagging behind Doctor Stranger, Trot Lovers has been among the most viewed dramas in its time slot since it premiered. And while the plot line in its essence is nothing new, Trot Lovers has that je ne sais quoi (but it probably concerns its comedic approach) that gets you hooked since the first episode.

If you’re not currently watching this drama, I will give you four short reasons why you should get on DramaFever or Hulu and start ASAP. Here it goes:

1. Eunji’s character is similar to Reply 1997’s Shi Won

If you were (or still are) a fan of tvN’s 2012 drama Reply 1997, you’ll surely enjoy Trot Lovers because of A-Pink’s Eunji. I don’t know if this is intentional or Eunji simply can only play one character as an actress, but anyone who liked Sun Shi Won will like Choi Choon Hee too because they’re very similar.

Even though both characters follow the ever present plotline of needing to be rescued by the leading male, these are not useless women without their male counterparts (think Jan Di in Boys Over Flowers). No, Choi Choon Hee is, to some extent, independent and her own strong person who doesn’t always take Jang Joon Hyun’s ish so willingly. In fact, she only lets the former singer boss her around so he can help her become famous and pay off her father’s debt.

Furthermore, you’ll often see Choon Hee breaking free from Joon Hyun’s grasp (in most K-Dramas, girls get manhandled a lot!) or talking smack back to everyone. She’s obviously not as funny or whiny or crazy as Shi Won, but hey, they’ve only aired five episodes of Trot Lovers so far. There’s still some hope that Eunji will make Choon Hee just as funny or funnier than Shi Won.

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2. Ji Hyun Woo

The eye-candy factor should be more than enough, but ok, I’ll elaborate. Recently released from the army, Ji Hyun Woo gets his hunky self back in the acting game by taking the male lead, Jang Joon Hyun, in the drama. And even though he plays a self-centered, mean, singer à la Hwang Tae Kyung (You’re Beautiful), he’s just as likeable in a masochist way that, let’s be real, a lot of girls like. I mean, really, who can resist those scenes when he sings while playing the guitar? Not me, of course. Plus, he’s developing a really sweet relationship with Choon Hee’s little sister, which is adorable! And that eye smile! I die!

3. The inevitable love line

I hope I’m not giving you this drama-ruining spoiler experience by pointing out that a love line and love triangle is bound to happen –it always does! It’s so predictable that I already want to see it develop before my eyes. It will obviously play out with Choo Hee at the center and Joon Hyun and Jo Geun Woo (CEO of the entertainment company played by Shin Sung Rok) chasing after her. And we can’t forget about Park Soo In (played by Lee Se Young) who used to be Joo Hyun’s lover and now is jealous of all the attention Choo Hee’s getting. I’m still not sure which guy this girl will pursue yet, but she has ties with both of them too.

Even at five episodes in, you can see that the Choo Hee-Joon Hyun relationship will be a love-hate one, making Geun Woo the second male lead who never gets the girl but always has a more meaningful relationship with the leading woman.

4. Eunji’s singing

While I don’t have the knowledge to properly say what “good singing” is, just like Geun Woo pointed out during Choo Hee’s trainee audition, her voice and interpretation amuses people and makes them dance. And even though Eunji is described as a “competent to good” vocalist by a blog more savvy than me in this department, it’s safe to say she’s bringing trot to the domestic K-Pop and, ultimately, global audiences as well.

Are you watching Trot Lovers? How are you liking it? Make sure to follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagramTumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.

Breaking Down “Burning The Beast”

For those of you who follow Showtime, you are aware that for the first season, SM Entertainment’s EXO was the focus. It was announced earlier in 2014 that Beast, of Cube Entertainment, would take over for the second season. I was excited for Beast to have their own reality show, although after watching EXO’s Showtime, I wasn’t sure how it would match up.

After watching the first nine episodes of Showtime Burning The Beast, I can’t help but become completely enthralled with it. I don’t think there were any intentions of comparing EXO’s Showtime to Beast’s, and I don’t intend to do that in this article. I want to focus on the overall feel of the show and occasionally add in how I feel it differs from EXO’s Showtime.

To begin with, let’s discuss the title of the second season: Showtime Burning the Beast. Is that ‘burning’ as in embarrassing the members throughout the show, is that ‘burning’ as in a rebirth of Beast’s variety presence, or is that ‘burning’ because it’s a fun English word and it’s decent alliteration? I’m not sure, but to be honest it could be all three based on the episodes aired so far. In each episode, at least one member is momentarily embarrassed, mostly due to the fact that the other members make fun of them or dwell on a mistake they made.

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The best friends episode (episode 7) saw Kikwang and his friend fail the mission and therefore complete the punishment, which was to go to the center of Myungdung and do a Gosa for Beast’s new album. Then in episode 8, Beast could have had an embarrassing outcome for their telepathy missions, but they managed to squeak by with a minor punishment, but not before picking out what style of underwear Yoseob would most likely buy. Obviously these embarrassing punishments make for good television and ratings.

Yoseob-Beast-Boxers

Looking at ‘Burning the Beast’ in a rebirth sense is also plausible. During the first episode, the members voiced how this was a chance for them to show their improved variety skills and show a different side of Beast to their fans, the human side. Considering their last reality show was years before, clearly the members have changed in looks, confidence, and personality. From episode 1, it is clear that the members just want to be themselves and have a good time.

And let’s be honest, Burning the Beast does have a nice ring to it. Whereas the first season was called EXO’s Showtime, which was simple and to the point. Burning the Beast, at least to me, is more elaborate than Beast’s Showtime, and also makes the second season theirs as opposed to constant comparisons to the first season with EXO. Maybe that’s why the show isn’t always going to be titled [insert band name here]’s Showtime.

The content of the show is based around Q&A provided by fans and relayed to the members by the PD, which makes me wonder how much shows like this are scripted. However, in this instance, I don’t think the show is fully scripted. Or it’s just my blind love for Beast that’s clouding my judgement?

After each episode I watch, the member’s emotions, actions, and conversations feel genuine (although I’ve never met any of the members and therefore have no previous interactions to use as a basis). But it’s the light-hearted joking and poking fun at each other that you can’t script.


All of the members are active in their own ways throughout each episode. Hyunseung further solidifies his 4D image, Junhyung isn’t afraid to show his love for the camera, Dongwoon is just Dongwoon, Doojoon acts as the leader/MC and is competitive, Kikwang shows his variety show experience, and Yoseob is constantly smiling and making smart remarks. Frankly, they all make smart remarks and their camaraderie and banter with each other just seems like something so organic that it cannot be scripted.


That’s one thing I enjoy more about season 2 of Showtime in comparison to season 1, that I, as a viewer, feel that there is more of a brotherhood among the Beast members as opposed to the members of EXO. I’m not saying EXO doesn’t have brother-like bonds, but it’s easier to show the true personalities of six guys as opposed to twelve and Beast has been in the industry since 2009 and are more comfortable with themselves, each other and in front of a camera and crew. They’re more natural and tend to ignore the cameras. And they definitely don’t mind if they make fools of themselves.

Junhyung-Yoseob-Showtime

The way the show is shot, and due in large part to the members’ closeness with each other, at times, it really seems like we are witnessing a group of friends just hanging out and having a good time. That is really all that Burning the Beast is about. It shows the camaraderie and fun the members have with each other and allows fans to get a glimpse of their envious relationship with each other once a week.

Are you guys enjoying the second season of Showtime or do you prefer the first season with EXO? Be sure to share your thoughts and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.

f(x)’s “Red Light” Music Video & Song Review

When SM Entertainment dropped a teaser for f(x)‘s comeback, it hinted at a change in the group’s style and image for Red Light. With such captivating stares and haunting makeup, the ladies kept their fans on edge in anticipation for the release of the music video. When it was released, swarms of people rushed over to the YouTube channel. It appeared to follow the same theme and feeling, but… Did it live up to their expectations?

Music Video

I’m definitely in love with this video for many reasons. For one thing, I’m happy that the entertainment company hasn’t done another “dance in a box” video that has garnered much criticism. For a while, I thought that they were focusing too much on special effects for groups like EXO instead of giving some attention towards f(x). Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised.

Atmosphere

Right from the beginning of the teasers, I was looking forward to a darker, intense, and brooding f(x). The concept of having two faces, but only letting people see one, lends itself to a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde sort of situation, and I couldn’t wait to see how they would represent it in the music video.

Did I get what I was looking for? Definitely! The ringing telephone, the burning book, and the black cat with heterochromatic eyes pulled me in from the get-go. There was a forbidden, eery feeling in this intro, and it was further emphasized by the powerful contrasts in color.

Red lights are definitely prominent, but it’s impossible to overlook the pops of blue that showcase how people have two different sides to themselves.

f(x) blue

Set in an abandoned warehouse in an urban dysphobia, this gave off a rebellious, “we’re going to create an uprising” atmosphere. The incorporation of marked mannequins watching a broadcast of a commanding presence and explosions also contribute to this atmosphere. They’re in a war setting, but are they also fighting with themselves?

Fashion and Makeup

Looking at their outfits, captivating eye makeup, and strong hair colors, you could say that they might just be facing more than one battle. Their camo shorts and ammo-accessorized military-style shirts are a stark contrast from their business attire, symbolizing their struggle with society’s molds.

Their smoky eye makeup only focus on one of a pair, with their hair covering the bare eye at multiple points in the video. Even eye-patches are used, but, given some of the after-war imagery, I’d like to think it represents some of their losses after battle. Think of it this way: both eyes represent the complexity of each person.

The less adorned eye symbolizes their innocence, a state in which they didn’t yet realize that they could fight back. The other eye is shown more often as they begin to retaliate and try to escape from their imprisonment.

Did you also notice how, after leaving, they have less jewelry? This white, peaceful aftermath lends to the idea that they cast away some of the hindering distractions that prevented them from reaching their goal.

Also, I just have to mention that I am in LOVE with their hair:

f(x) Amber hair

f(x) Luna hair

Their fashion and makeup aren’t the only things that play an important role, however.

Choreography

The marching and strong poses reflect the mitilitarian theme, while the angular, crisp movements during the chorus give a mime stuck in a box sort of image. They aren’t always stuck in the confines of authority, because they incorporate feline paws and “challenging their oppressor” hand gestures while they break out of their prisons.

f(x) meow

This choreography focuses on the upper body, and mainly the arms and hands, along with connecting the members in one movement at important intervals, especially at the climax of the video.

Song

Do I feel as strongly for the song as I do for the video? To be honest, no. It was mainly because it was very strange, as if SM tried another I Got A Boy, but with f(x) instead. But I’m not one to completely give up on songs after one listen, so I tried over and over again. Is this really electronic house music as SM describes it as? I’m not really feeling it.

Instrumental

Like I said before, this change in tempo was pretty strange for me. I did get used to it after repeatedly listening to the song, so it slowly stopped being weird. Instead of plain old electronic house music, it sounds like this composition combines electronic house with trap and dubstep in a very interesting soup of music.

Does this represent the feelings of someone fighting with an outside force while struggling with two different faces? Actually, it kind of does! It just takes a while to figure it out.

Lyrics

Even before I read kashigasa’s English translation of the lyrics, I knew that there was something very obvious going on between the contrasting cool and warm color scheme, along with the war imagery. The words fit with the video and the overall feeling of the song, so I really do like the following lyrics.

Hey wait a minute
Under the rule of the jungle
The weak get eaten

Just get pushed ahead,
Yeah pushed ahead
Oops, I get stepped on

Ay ay it’s a red light light
I don’t even know what’s wrong
With the current situation

Ay ay it’s a red light light
Listen carefully to the whoever is trying to warn us
Red light

Try to breathe for a moment
Try breathing, try breathing
Eh eh oh
This isn’t a war

Open your eyes wide
Stop the collision from happening
(You’re going to be a witness to change)
In front of that caterpillar that got pushed around
(When everything sinks)

It’s turned on, red light
The vivid, red light
It gets bigger by itself
That red light

Boy
Your best excuse
Is just filled with doubt to me

Maybe it’s love
A very slow wave
A very slow wave

Ay ay it’s a red light light
Let’s find it for each other using light
That special emergency exit

Ay ay think about it
Why something made us stop
Red light

Turn around again, eh oh
Try to fnd what’s important

Open your eyes wide
Stop the collision from happening
(You’re going to be a witness to change)
In front of that caterpillar that got pushed around
(When everything sinks)

It’s turned on, red light
The vivid, red light
It gets bigger by itself
That red light

It’s taken too long for this miracle to come
But we wait for the blue light, we want it

Stop the flood (This is reality, listen to my voice)
Open your eyes wide (Look at the world in front of you)
The one who’s only been pushed (A bright light pushed you)
Caterpillar
That’s madness

It’s turned on, red light
The vivid, red light
It gets bigger by itself
That red light

So there’s a mish-mosh of lyrics that can get kind of confusing, but there’s just enough clarity to see that this is a metamorphosis, both physical in fighting back and aiming for the blue light, and emotional, in dealing with their dual personalities. Once you get past the puzzling instrumentals and understand the lyrics, it makes a lot of sense!

Style & Vocals

There’s been a little bit of a conflict in the f(x) fandom (not very affectionate) in regards to the group not “fitting” with their usual style. Is this different than what they’ve been producing? Of course! But it doesn’t mean that it’s bad. These ladies have already established a standpoint on style, because, as their namesake goes, they’re able to grow and change, adapting any style.

I still do get an f(x) feel from the song in general, mainly because of the bridge, in which they all sing together in this hypnotizing harmony that strikes me as “hey, that’s f(x)!” However, there are other new horizons that they touched upon, and I think that’s pretty gutsy and cool.

In terms of vocals, I was surprised that there wasn’t a rapping sequence, and I was even more surprised that Amber actually had a couple of strong singing parts. It really sounds like they’ve grown in terms of vocals, as they hit high notes and maintain their control. I’m proud of them for that!

Overall Ratings

Did I enjoy this comeback? It didn’t agree with me at first, but I’m liking this new edge that f(x) is going with! Here’s my final ratings on this matter:

MV: 8/10
Song: 5/10
Both: 7/10

Did you agree with my verdict? Did you think I missed some important points? Be sure to share your thoughts and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.