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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
https://i1.wp.com/kultscene.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Burning-the-Beast-1.png?fit=1280%2C5625621280Tarahttp://kultscene.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/KULTSCENE-LOGO-2018-TRANSPARENT-RED.pngTara2014-07-05 02:15:542014-07-05 02:15:54Breaking Down “Burning The Beast”
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?
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.
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.
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:
Their fashion and makeup aren’t the only things that play an important role, however.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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)
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!
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:
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.
https://i0.wp.com/kultscene.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/fx-Red-Light.png?fit=1057%2C5775771057Thucydideshttp://kultscene.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/KULTSCENE-LOGO-2018-TRANSPARENT-RED.pngThucydides2014-07-04 17:21:262014-07-04 21:14:19f(x)'s "Red Light" Music Video & Song Review
Summer is here and so is Got7 with their latest comeback song A. The song is upbeat and fun, making it perfect for the summer months. The music is reminiscent of the 1990’s boy bands, which is always welcomed by me. There is a part where the beat slows down and strings are added in, but it all fits well together and does not interfere with the overall tempo of the song.
The video starts with the boys entering a diner/eatery that reminds me of Johnny Rockets’ in the States based on the decor (jukebox, red and white checkered table clothes, waitress uniform, overall decorations, etc).
After dancing in the diner, the boys take it to the streets and show off their smooth choreography. During the nighttime street scene, the boys utilize the layout of the street to pose behind the girl and of course show off their signature acrobatics. Aside from a fire hydrant and some pillars, there are other civilians in the background and they’re of different ethnicities.
Next is the grocery store. If only I saw these goofs in my local supermarket. During the grocery store scenes all seven boys are practically drooling over the girl. They go as far as to buy the same exact products as her as they follow her throughout the store. There are also just group shots of the boys in their shopping carts wheeling down the isles singing to the camera.
The street/parking lot scenes are the dance scenes. Toward the end of the music video, Jackson raps in front of a trio of classic cars and Got7 as a whole dances in front of a Jeep and other classic cars in a parking lot during a sunny afternoon.
The outfits match the boys’ ages perfectly, with t-shirts, jeans, shorts, and vests/coats. They’re all in similar color pallets of blues, whites, and different hues of khaki. As for the shoes, it’s either sneakers or Tims. They aren’t wearing those leggings with shorts or oversized t-shirts. They literally look like any regular guy their age hanging out with their friends.
In the night/grocery store scenes, the boys have an edgier look with black and white themed clothing and leather and more jewelry than before. The clothes are simple, yet noticeable, which is perfect for this video that has a lot of colors, textures, and objects in the background.
As for the choreography the boys are always on point throughout the dance. It’s fun and fits the tempo and style of the song. It looks simple, but even the simple steps would probably take me hours to learn. Toward the end of the song, the choreography becomes more demanding and this is where we see some more of the acrobatics that helped put Got7 on the K-Pop map. The dance is catchy and suits the mood of the song.
I personally think each member of Got7 can hold their own when it comes to singing. As I mentioned in the opening of this article, the song is a fun summer song and therefore does not stress amazing vocals. I’m not saying Got7 does not sing the song well, it’s that this style of song does not require outstanding vocals. The BamBam and Jackson’s raps fit well, in my opinion. They didn’t break up the flow of the song, but added to it.
I enjoy A. It’s perfect to get the summer season started off right. Roll down those windows, crank the stereo and sing your heart out!
Do you guys like this comeback from Got7 or do you prefer their earlier songs? Don’t forget to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.
https://i1.wp.com/kultscene.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Got7-A.png?fit=1500%2C5005001500Tarahttp://kultscene.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/KULTSCENE-LOGO-2018-TRANSPARENT-RED.pngTara2014-06-23 19:11:402014-08-03 07:45:51Got7's "A" Music Video Review & Rundown
Loen Entertainment has made a name for itself by distributing music videos of famous Korean groups and artists. Aside from assisting with the distribution of new music, the company houses a few artists as well, under their artist label, Loen Tree. Sunny Hill and IU are under Loen Tree, along with label mate History.
Initially, in 2008, IU did not have much success when she debuted. It wasn’t until her follow-up album, Growing Up, that her name became known, and she became popular. Her third full-length album, Modern Times, was a hit from release, topping several music charts and programs. Although IU did not instantly become a huge sensation, she has developed into a great singer-songwriter; people absolutely adore her! Now it’s History’s time…
Let’s be honest, how many of you knew that History’s comeback will be their 3rd mini album? Anyone? I sincerely hope that this is the mini album that will make History popular among mainstream music. Granted, they are competing with BEAST‘s recent comeback and many other well-known artists, but people just need to give History a chance. I thought their debut song, Dreamer was a phenomenal piece, but, unfortunately, it did not receive much commercial success.
From their debut, it feels as if History is a group that was together for a while, based on how well their voices compliment each other and how mature they all sound. These boys slay all harmonies; they are just so amazing! Their voices all suit each other so well and sound so smooth together. Their sound isn’t really mainstream at the moment, but that’s part of what gives History their pop. Their music sounds familiar, yet modern and new. I can’t quite describe it, but I know that I love it.
History is back again with their upcoming 3rd mini album Desire. It consists of five tracks and displays elements of funk, jazz, swing, and other genres that are appealing to listeners. Hopefully, this will be the album where people recognize History’s talent so that their popularity could grow
Their title track, Psycho sounds like an ’80s anthem with the synths and bass. Let me tell you: I love me some ’80s anthems. There are only two teasers out, but I can already tell that this song is going to be on repeat for a while. As I mentioned before, History’s harmonies are impeccable, as are their high notes. There’s literally only 20 seconds of singing in each of their teasers, and the majority of the it is laced with harmonies. And that ending, with the creepy smile… This is going to be good.
The second teaser gives us a little more insight into the choreography and setting of the music video. It’s clear that the boys are in an asylum, because their love has turned into an obsession. The choreography looks like it will be pretty good. There wasn’t much given away in terms of dance, but there is a lot of touching each other on the neck and head area, as well as pushing each other away. There were a lot of scenes done in black and white, which I love for its artistic value in any video. Sometimes the simplicity of black and white just adds so much more feel and emotion.
History will release their Desire album on June 23rd, along with their title track, Psycho. Just like IU, I hope that History’s popularity will rise. There are a lot of talented artists out there, but there are some who are just under the radar. History is one of those groups. Psycho could be the catalyst that catapults them into mainstream popularity. No matter the outcome, I will always be a fan of History.Are you guys excited for History’s comeback? Do you think they’ll gain the following they need to make an impact in the mainstream Kpop scene? Don’t forget to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook,Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.
https://i2.wp.com/kultscene.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/HISTORY-Psycho-Comeback.png?fit=1280%2C7287281280Tarahttp://kultscene.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/KULTSCENE-LOGO-2018-TRANSPARENT-RED.pngTara2014-06-21 07:00:342014-07-03 02:30:08Can History reach success with "Psycho"?
If we love K-Pop for its glitz and glamour, K-Indie takes a spot in our hearts for its more genuine and mellow feel. And considering that K-Pop is not even that popular in Korea, let’s take a look at a more coffee shop friendly artist of whom I love: bedroom pop princess Kim Yu Jin, more famously known as Neon Bunny.
In an international spectrum where K-Pop idols reign supreme, Neon Bunny stands out for her electro pop sound that’s completely foreign to the genre. Her 2011 debut album, Seoulight, set her apart from the mainstream dub step pop for her danceable guitars and synthesizers reminiscent of early French band Phoenix’s work. Critics acclaimed Seoulight, and it even won her the Best Pop Album award at the 2012 Korean Music Awards, where Yu Jin beat out IU. Some of the album’s standouts include Long-D and Can’t Stop Thinking About You.
Her following EP in 2012, Happy Ending, was heavily ’80s new wave influenced and delivered stronger messages with songs like Oh My Prince. Neon Bunny’s sound became more disco and therefore club friendly with more upbeat tempos than before, such as in Bubbles. You could say Happy Ending is trendier than her earlier work.
Neon Bunny laid very low after her Happy Ending success for a while, only helping out with bands Smells on Listen to your Heart and Demicat on Singing Bird. But the hiatus ended back in March of this year when she released the single, It’s You, produced by Demicat himself. And while an album or EP is still not confirmed, It’s You sufficed for us fans.
It’s You’s sound seems like Happy Ending’s continuation, embracing the retro synth and electro elements. You can see her progression since her last EP by noticing Singing Bird’s influence on the song, but still retains her individuality and signature voice. This song leaves listeners with high expectations of what’s to come from Neon Bunny in the near future.
If you haven’t heard of Lucia, then you’re missing out on an incredibly soothing voice in K-Indie genre of the music industry. Her peaceful vocals and thoughtful music videos earned her the spotlight for this article, and the following three songs will show you why you should give this singer a try.
Sim Kyu Seon debuted in 2010, under pastelmusic, but she already had a musical, The Magicians, under her belt prior to moving onto a new career path. Even though she changed her stage name to Lucia a year or so after her debut, she is still best known for her calm, gentle tone and lovely ballads.
The first MV on my list is a collaboration between Lucia and INFINITE’s Woohyun, titled, Cactus.
While this is labeled as a duet, the first half consists of mainly Woohyun singing. I wish there were more harmonic parts to this, because the pair’s (most surprisingly, Woohyun’s) soft voices complement each other quite well, especially at the end.
The video itself may be sad, but it’s wonderfully put together. I am in love with the split screen, and both sides use water and tears to interact with one another. Not only does this represent the fluidity of emotions between people in relationships, but it also shows how, despite the break up, the two still have a special connection.
When discussing her works of art, I must include Lucia’s That Season for Korean-Japanese movie, Flower Shadow:
Right from the get-go, I knew that watching this music video would be a wonderful experience. The animation is simple but conveys so much emotion and movement reflecting that of the song and Lucia’s vocals. The use of colors (not to mention a lack of colors) and emphasis of red definitely highlight the strong sense of love and loss. The rise and fall of action in the video also synchronized perfectly with the singer’s voice.
This is probably my favorite composition from Lucia, mainly because I just can’t get enough of soft but strong ballads with an equally controlled voice.
Another project of Lucia’s that involves dance is Demian, from her latest album, Light & Shade:
This is where Lucia showcases her powerful voice and vibrato, along with some interpretive choreography on an otherwise not-so-flashy set. Due to the simplicity of the background, certain elements like the fluttering of fabric, the throwing of rope, and the scattering of smoke stand out and capture your attention.
Both Lucia and the male dancer perfectly express the feeling that Demian gives off, using a slow build of curves into a flight of muscles with a flow that parallels a stream setting into a waterfall. I think this is absolutely breathtaking, and it’s definitely the right representation for the theme of her album.
Four years into the business, and Lucia just seems to blossom even more with each release. It’s a shame that she’s not as well known as she should be, but I’m quite happy to be able to discover her talents and share them with you. Be sure to follow her on Twitter and Facebook to keep a tab on new music!
Are you a fan of Lucia, or have you never heard of her? What do you think about her work? Share your opinion and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook,Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.
We recently talked about K-Pop Instrumentals, now let’s look at a few of our favorite artists covering some of our favorite English songs. Occasionally, K-Pop songs have a few English words and/or lines throughout them. Unfortunately, the pronunciation and even use of the word(s) are oftentimes not correct or irrelevant. It sometimes makes you wonder whether or not these idols could hold their own with an English song. Well let me tell you, a lot of them definitely can. It takes a lot of practice and confidence to pull off a cover of an English song. Especially when there are so many fans from Western countries.
EXO: Open Arms
First is EXO singing Journey’s Open Arms. Baekhyun, D.O., Chen, and Luhan all demonstrate why they are the vocal line. These four gentlemen showcase their amazing and powerful vocal talents, as well as English pronunciation, in this wonderful song. And can I just say, those harmonies, whoa… Beautiful, absolutely beautiful! These types of performances are nice because fans really get to experience another side to their favorite idols. In a group as big as EXO, and one that is made up of many parts (singers, rappers, etc.), it’s rare to have a song of just great vocals. This is a treat, and I’m so glad fellow writer and KPOPme co-founder, Thuc, suggested it.
Eric Nam & Boa Kim: Say Something
In all honesty, this cover of Say Something, was the first time I actually heard the song (I don’t listen to the radio that often). You may consider this one slightly cheating because as we know, Eric Nam is indeed from Atlanta, Georgia, and therefore he is fluent in English. Either way, his voice is amazing, and I like to hear him sing. But, Boa Kim, a member of SPICA, holds her own and then some in this song. Her vocals perfectly match the mood, tone, and energy of this song. Her pronunciation is flawless, and I could honestly listen to this cover all day. The music video is also done quite well.
TaeTiSeo: DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love
Next is TaeTiSeo singing Usher’s DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love. TaeTiSeo is made up of Taeyeon, Tiffany, and Seohyun. Again, Tiffany can speak fluent English, but that’s not the point. The point is that Taeyeon and Seohyun sing their English lines very well with confidence, which is the key to a great cover; this is a live performance full of energy that keeps the crowd pumped up throughout the song. It also doesn’t hurt that EXO joins the trio during the rap part of the song. Let’s be honest, can one really go wrong with an Usher cover? No, no one cannot. Also the numerous cuts to the middle-aged man dancing adds to this video.
SHINee: Just Dance
We’re throwing it back to 2009 with this little gem. SHINee give Lady Gaga’s debut single, Just Dance, their own Gaga flare. With this cover, Key is the frontman, because his English is the best out of all of the members. The performance may be short, but SHINee’s Gaga-inspired outfits and their dance moves keep the audience interested from beginning to end. I would love to hear another cover by these guys today, since their pronunciation is much better now.
Changmin & Kyuhyun: Just The Way You Are
These SM artists love their English cover songs, and you’ll hear no complaints from me. On their own Changmin and Kyuhyun have amazing voices, but put them together, singing a Bruno Mars cover, it’s magical. I’d like to thank Alexis, co-founder and writer for KPOPme, for suggesting this cover. I couldn’t find a great video of the duo, but you can still feel their passion and talent. I’ll stop talking now and let Changmin and Kyunhyun do the rest.
I have to show some love for the female power vocals in Kpop. First up is Minzy of 2NE1. She took a bold step and covered Queen B’s Halo. I think she did an amazing job. Her pronunciation and vocal range is amazing! I’ve always loved Minzy’s voice, and this cover is reason enough to love her. The song on its own is a hard one to sing, and Minzy gives it her all. She is a true talent.
Ailee: I Will Always Love You
The last cover song I want to talk about is Ailee’s rendition of Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You. We all know Ailee has a phenomenal voice. When I first heard that she covered this iconic song, I wasn’t sure if she would be able to live up to its reputation. Don’t get me wrong, I love Ailee’s voice, but I Will Always Love You has so many nuances throughout the song that need to be met in order to be a good cover. Nevertheless, Ailee owned this song; her performance was amazing! With flawless vocals, she was powerful when she needed to be and still had that finesse in her voice that complemented the song.
Although some of these idols may not be fluent in English, they could definitely fool me based on their amazing performances of English covers. This is only the beginning of a long list of great covers, what are some of your favorites? Don’t forget to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook,Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.
https://i1.wp.com/kultscene.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Eric-Nam-Kim-Boa.png?fit=1240%2C7007001240Tarahttp://kultscene.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/KULTSCENE-LOGO-2018-TRANSPARENT-RED.pngTara2014-06-14 09:05:382014-07-03 02:33:43Best English Covers by K-Pop Artists
[Disclaimer: Information is solely based on personal experience]
If you’re anything like me, you have lots of non-K-Pop fan friends who generally don’t support your favorite music genre. However, you still play them song after song in hopes that there will be one they actually like. And although my actions have often been unsuccessful, there have been some instances where it works. Alas, here’s what you should try with your friends if you want them to ride the Hallyu wave with you:
This is probably the first K-Pop music video I ever saw and liked (although I had no idea who they were, what language they were singing, or what I was getting myself into), so this song was a no-brainer as the first choice for introduction. It may be the visuals, or the clothes, or the dances, or the epic intro, but this song captivates you right from the get-go – everything about I Am the Best is meant to lure you in. And boy does it work!
I can vividly remember fellow KPOPme writer Alejandro requesting it with me at a bar in our hometown and watching everyone dancing to it. And then see it happen again the next week… And the next… And the next! This works for every demographic: my gay and girlfriends love it for the fierceness and (a few of) my guy friends like it for the “hot girl” in spandex (or Bom, really).
Similar to I Am the Best, Growl is well-liked by most of my friends, but more surprisingly, my EDM-groovy-soul loving straight guy friends. Everything I had ever listened to up to this point was “noise,” but this EXO song crossed cultural and gender boundaries. My friends praised the song for its funkiness and groove emulating Jamiroquai. The fact that 12 guys were singing and dancing was not an issue anymore, because the music was genuinely good.
While Opera falls under “noise” to some of my guy friends, it’s the only K-Pop song some of my girlfriends like. Maybe this is due to it being the equivalent of drinking a Monster Energy Drink in one shot – it’s a blast of energy pumped forcefully into you. However, I never showed them the Japanese music video – that would definitely stir them away, and I don’t particularly want that. While I love Super Junior and I support their Phantom of the Opera concept, I wouldn’t shove that down my Westernized friends’ throats. It’s too much… I shall rely on randomly playing it in my car while they sing the chorus.
Back in 2012, Gawker named Bad Boy the perfect pop song, validating what K-Pop fans have known for years: BIGBANG is awesome and crazy talented. Although blending pop and R&B is BIGBANG’s staple, they reached perfection with this song. I mean, who could resist T.O.P’s deep vocals, G-Dragon’s overall demeanor and style, and Taeyang’s soulful verses? Like I Am the Best, Bad Boy itself and its music video are eye and ear-candy (cue Baek Ji Young) – no one could resist this track! Not even a male writer at Gawker! I rest my case… And even if I can’t really think of any of my friends liking this song, I recommend that you should recommend it because it is flawless.
Abracadabra is a song about casting a spell on your ex so he’ll get back together with you and leave his current girlfriend. However, this completely escaped my friends, who only focused on the famous hip swinging dance and the chorus. This was perfect, since that is what I focused on too when I first got into K-Pop. Back then, it was all about the visuals, the dances, and the superficial appeal – which may be crucial to luring friends into liking K-Pop, that’s how I got sucked in! It didn’t hurt that this song, like I Am the Best, had the “fierce” factor Beyoncé-loving girls and boys crave.
With no conventional visual appeal or fierce factor, Lee Hi won some of my friends over with pure talent. This girl fought her way through K-Pop Star and fought her way through idol-dom as well in order to establish herself as a bright star among those dimly lit. If your friends judge all the girl and boy groups you like by labeling them “talentless,” they sure fall short of an insult with Lee Hi. 1234 is a fun song that could be sung by any Western diva if it were in English – and that’s what resonates with my friends.
If these songs don’t work on you non-K-Pop fan friends, then I don’t know what will. Have you tried to introduce your friends into K-Pop? What songs did you use in your endeavor? Don’t forget to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook,Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.
https://i1.wp.com/kultscene.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Untitled-design-11.png?fit=1024%2C7687681024Alexis Hodoyan-Gastelumhttp://kultscene.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/KULTSCENE-LOGO-2018-TRANSPARENT-RED.pngAlexis Hodoyan-Gastelum2014-06-11 22:15:082014-07-03 02:34:506 Songs Non-K-Pop Fans Can Like
There are plenty of good songs in the world of K-Pop, but only a few stand out for their amazing music. When you are a fan of certain idols or groups, we are sometimes biased about their music. But do we really like the song, or are we playing favorites?
There is nothing wrong with not liking a new song that your favorite group released. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but sometimes we get a little bit blinded by our love for them. Here at KPOPme, we have been guilty of that a few times.
So this time, we are going to forget all about the lyrics and voices. We are only going to focus on the instrumentals. Sometimes the best songs don’t make it into singles, but the music itself is amazing.
A song is constructed by an introduction, verse, and chorus, and sometimes ad libs are added to build the composition’s intensity. After a song is composed, the lyrics give life to the melodic story.
One of the best examples of an amazing instrumental is f(x)’s Rum Pum Pum Pum (produced by Erik Lewander). The song is a mixture of organic drums, guitar riffs, and synthesizers. The introduction itself starts with two different guitar riffs. The guitar really has its own voice throughout the whole song. The percussions start to kick in and rise at the chorus, representing the sound of a heartbeat. f(x) has many amazing songs, but this one really stands out for us for its originality.
We talked about how it’s not wrong to not like a song from one of our favorite bands, and this is what happened with EXO. When they realeased Wolf, we really didn’t like that song too much. It was so busy and full of dubstep, although the boys redeemed themselves with the next song, Growl.
Right off the bat, the song starts with the same melody as the chorus. The music changes completely on the bridge before the chorus and brings us down to a very smooth melody. The chorus hits and we hear the same beat starting again, just a little bit faster. The music is very funky and very sexy. This song has already become EXO’s signature. It really reminds us a lot of those great boy band songs from the 1990s, and we love it!
[Editor’s Note: “Growl” is probably the only song my non-K-Pop fan friends genuinely like]
SHINee’s Symptoms is a great example of a great R&B song in K-Pop. The Underdogs produced it, and it’s the perfect mixture of R&B and Soul. It’s very slow, but it builds up on the bridge. The drums give a feeling of explosion in the chorus that really make you feel the emotions conceived in this song. Then it drops again and keeps us on a roller coaster of sounds. The song ends abruptly when the beat just stops, giving us a metaphor of how a relationship could end all of a sudden.
If you were to name a great pop song, it would be BIGBANG’s Blue. It keeps a steady beat that slightly changes on the bridge and flourishes in the chorus. The guitar adds an acoustic feel, while the piano gives life to the piece. The electronic beats synch perfectly with all the instruments and create a very dynamic melody. The song also features different sound effects in the background. Blue has been one of the most successful BIGBANG singles in their career, and that’s because it is pure perfection.
Girls’ Generation’s Mr.Mr is the perfect example of a modern pop song. The beat reminisces the disco era, but somehow feels very modern with the added sound effects. The claps before the chorus even give it a feeling that you are there, hearing the song live. Unlike what they tried to do with I Got A Boy, the song mixed different genres very well and doesn’t seem that there are different songs in one. Why is it that when a song incorporates old music elements, it makes it feel modern?
Talking about old music, IU’s Red Shoes gave us a very creative and new edge in K-Pop. The song incorporates classical swing-jazz melodies that makes us want to stand up and dance. It perfectly captured the feeling of the 1920s and gives it a modern twist, with a few electronic beats at the beginning.
G-Dragon’s Shake The World gives us an example of a song that can speak by itself. If you hear the instrumental, you can really feel how much is going on in GD’s mind. There is a feeling of despair, a lot of screaming, and a lot of hidden emotions.
The song starts with a sound effect of a cash counter, really setting a scene for the ending. It makes us feel that he is running away from a bank they just robbed. The melody is full of personality, and that trap in the end is amazing. It’s really surprising, as it constantly goes up and makes us never want to go down. My favorite part of the song is the saxophone before the exploding chorus, it’s just so unexpected!
2NE1 always loves to mix genres, and, with Come Back Home, they nailed it. The song goes from pop to reggae to trap. This holds the future of K-Pop music, where mixing different styles create a very unique concept. They had done it before with other songs, but this one was perfection. Even if the song doesn’t have a fast beat, it still wants to make us dance.