Sexy and strong is great, but K-pop comes in all shapes and sizes and sometimes that size is “cute.” This week’s KultScene Playlist Sunday features our favorite cute K-pop concepts. These bright, colorful, upbeat songs and music videos were handpicked by KultScene’s staff to put a smile on anyone’s face as these girl groups and boy band win their way into everybody’s hearts.
I don’t know where exactly DIA’s “My Friend’s Boyfriend” falls on the cute spectrum, but I have no doubt that it is there. If I were to guess it would be somewhere between Red Velvet’s chaos and A Pink’s purity with added self-parody. This confusion becomes immediately apparent with a first listen. The song opens with blaring sirens and rolling drums that recall heavy American hip hop more than a cutesy pop song. This is straight undercut though by soft vocals in the opening verse, which harmonize in traditionally satisfying ways when it comes to being cute. The song doesn’t stop throwing stuff at us there though, still to come are coughs, psychotic la las, and a fiery rap which follows the first chorus with barely a blink to recover. The whole song is more akin to an obsessive young person who thinks they’re cute and will never believe that the object of their desire has no feelings for them. I mean, they are literally stealing their friend’s boyfriend.
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I’m really not a fan of the cute girl concepts. For me, they cater to the male gaze by falling into the stereotypes of the uber feminized, demure woman that just isn’t prevalent anymore. So imagine my pain when I began liking APink’s “Mr. Chu” and see it become one of my favorite songs from last year. This group is the epitome of the hypersexualized virginal, docile woman in my eyes, but even I couldn’t help but fall for the catchy chorus and the awesomely shot music video by one of my favorite directors, Digipedi. Because at the end of the day, it’s more important not to promote girl hate and just accept them and enjoy their feel-good music.
GOT7 has shown us an array of styles, everything from preppy and cheerful to the mysteriously rugged. It was only a matter of time before they gave us an overly cute concept like “Just Right.” There’s been times where I had forgotten how old these guys really were, especially when the choreography for songs like “Girls Girls Girls” and “Stop Stop It” required them to be a bit more serious, through their dance moves and facial expressions. “Just RIght” was a nice break from it all. Even though it was rather cringe worthy to watch at times anyone who watched this music video and saw the members frolicking around, making derpy facial expressions and acting as goofy as they did, probably couldn’t help but smile from ear to ear. Whether it’s the finger snaps or the addictive “woo-oohs”, it’ll only take one listen before you fall in love with this song.
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When you think of INFINITE, you don’t necessarily think “ah they’re adorable.” But in 2013, the group released “Man In Love,” and the song is just an ode to the group’s cute, whimsical side. “Man In Love” takes everything good about INFINITE- the retro inspired dance songs, the synchronized dance moves- and adds an element of sweet, adorableness that other INFINITE songs don’t display. The 80’s inspired song is lighter than most of INFINITE’s more recent songs, while similar to early songs like “Come Back Again.” The music video is filled with images that are sure to make INFINITE’s fan’s hearts flutter (Sungyeol baking, Sungkyu’s light show, L’s romantic silliness in class, etc.) but the lyrics of “Man In Love” are also simply adorable. “Like a young child, I keep laughing for no reason” and “The letters in my book are dancing as they form your name,” give the song a lighthearted meaning that I absolutely love and would be happy to see more of from INFINITE.
What’s your favorite cute K-pop song? Let us know in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.