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Fei’s “Fantasy” Music Video & Song Review

Fei Fantasy
Many Chinese K-pop stars have been hitting the headlines lately for their public statements in protest of rulings made against China’s claim to large parts of the South China Sea. The ins and outs of this don’t interest me too much but it’s interesting to see the effect that it’s having on miss A’s Fei and her solo debut. It’s likely these idols (f(x)’s Victoria, Fiestar’s Cao Lu, and Super Junior-M’s Zhoumi along with Fei) were just hoping it would help their chances of expanding into the Chinese market and avoiding a Tzuyu-sized scandal. Korean fans however, have not reacted well and Fei’s debut single “Fantasy” is charting terribly likely because of it.

Letting politics get in the way of an actually important topic like pop music is only hurting the fans themselves however. “Fantasy” is the most sensual release of the year and has a video bursting with sexuality like we have maybe never seen in K-pop before. You’d be a fool to ignore it.

Song

Written and produced by Park Jin Young with help from the brilliant Marcan Entertainment team of producers, Denzil “IDR” Remedios and Ryan S. Jhun, “Fantasy” is a subdued mix of glittering synth pop and lush R&B. Dreamy crystal synths reverberate throughout over a beat that can barely even be called a beat: it’s a variety of 808s that tumble in and out without drawing too much attention to themselves. They create the languid atmosphere that pervades “Fantasy.” It shimmers slowly across your mind, implanting different feelings with every listen.


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The structure does nothing to alter this atmosphere. “Fantasy” moves from verse to chorus with little caution, maintaining the sexual energy rather than bringing things up a level. This lack of movement does not hamper the song in anyway. The second verse and bridge add a number of sounds to keep things interesting. Fei is taking her time to seduce you. Her breathy vocals in the verse turn to sensual opines in the chorus and finally a climatic moan in the bridge. A perfect slow burning progression of sexual possibilities.

The lyrics play up the sexual elements as Fei is a woman ready to fulfill the fantasies of her lover. “I’m your girl now, You can tell me your hidden fantasies” she whispers in the verse. It’s hard to see where “Fantasy” falls in terms of being a positive or negative song for female sexuality. Lyrics like “I’m your girl now” and “I made up my mind” suggest a submissiveness that she is almost being coerced into this by the man. Yet she also takes quite an active role, telling him not to hesitate and to tell her all his fantasies. Even in these more active parts however, it is always in service of the man, “I wanna do everything for you tonight.”

Music Video

As a male I can’t really say whether or not it is ultimately offensive to women. What I will say is that it is an interesting new angle when considered alongside the video. It takes the fantasy to literal levels as Fei plays a Virtual Reality sex worker.

A man sits down in a dingy neon lit backroom as a woman puts VR goggles over his eyes. As soon as they are on him he sees an underwear clad Fei with her hula-hoop. Whether the hula-hoop is merely a prop for her dancing or a particularly female symbol for her openness to any of his fantasies is unclear.

What’s really interesting is how the camera depicts this sexual digital world. I don’t know if it’s just me but there seems to be a lot less close ups in this video than most K-pop videos that feature the artists. It isn’t until around the one minute mark do we get a good look at Fei’s face and even then we might be slightly distracted by her new day-glo orange hair. Most of how we see Fei is in wide or medium shots where her body (always in some sort of underwear) is emphasized. For the VR viewer this disconnects the person who owns this body from herself. He can watch and take pleasure without thinking about an actual person as she has become an object, a fantasy.


Also on KultScene: miss A “Only You” Music Video & Song Reviewc

Aesthetically this is enhanced by a weird digital sheen. The quality seems to have been deliberately made worse for the parts when Fei is dancing in her synthetic realm. It gives the viewer a feeling of discomfort, that maybe we are not supposed to be watching this let alone taking pleasure out of it. Reality is being distorted just enough for us to see the falsity yet not enough for us to stop. In a rare clear shot Fei, lit by a single light, lounges on a bed looking directly into the camera. It is the most brazenly pornographic image in the video. Its clarity is disturbing in comparison to the previous shots and the POV element brings the viewer right into the action, making us complicit.

The final part of the video uses similar techniques to deliver the conceit. The man takes off his goggles seemingly finished with his viewing but Fei then buffers into his view in real life. She continues her dance as he watches mesmerized and then starts to walk towards him, takes off her top and leans in to kiss him. It then cuts to directly to a red title screen with the name of the song, “Fantasy.” It seems like Fei is coming to life in order to be with this man, a conclusion that would be disappointing normally. The camera tells a different story though. As she dances Fei is shot in the same style as before. Wide shots that offer no intimacy. More telling is how these were (I think) shot with a lower frame rate which is what makes it look like it’s skipping a bit. Our view is of the real world but the Fei that is dancing before us is definitely not real. This is the danger of porn and virtual sex. For the viewer, the person he watches on screen becomes indistinguishable from real life people. Either he can only find pleasure in the virtual or he starts to expect real people to act like his virtual loves. He expects them to fulfill everyone of his fantasies without hesitation.

Overall

2016 has been a bumper year for female soloists with Taeyeon, Luna, Hyomin, Hyosung, and more. They have released a large variety of great tracks all showing a great maturity in their individuality. Like most of them however (except Taeyeon), Fei is proving to be less than popular with the public. This is a great shame considering “Fantasy” biting thesis on modern sexuality, as well as being a beautiful slow jam. Its charms don’t end there also as the choreography makes use of hula-hoops and backing dancers in really interesting ways. Slip into Fei’s “Fantasy” for the future of sex.

What did you think of Fei’s “Fantasy”? Let us know in the comments below. 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.

Video of the Top 25 Korean Songs of 2015

BTS

So far 2016 has been a slow year, aside from Dal Shabet nothing of any interest has been released. This has led us to looking back at how great of a year 2015 really was. To celebrate it, one of our writers cut together a video of the top 25 songs of the year as voted for by the KultScene writers. As you may have seen our top 50 list, this video takes the top 25 and edits them together in inventive ways. This is something to celebrate the year in music with, but mostly we hope you have fun watching it.

What was your favorite Korean song this year? Share your picks and thoughts 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.

#CallMeBabyXWin: Korean Music Shows & the Songs That Win Awards

Here’s a question for you: Does popularity mean great? That depends.

I used to think that for a song to win numerous music shows and to top charts, it had to be a very good song, or at least of a better standard than the rest of its competitors. The more I am exposed to the kpop world however, the more I realise that I was under a misconception.

Ever since EXO came back on March 30th with its new album EXODUS and the title track, Call Me Baby, the particular hashtag #CallMeBabyXthWin (X representing the number of wins, i.e #CallMeBaby18thWin) has trended regularly on Twitter. For readers who are not familiar with this hashtag, it’s commonly used by fans to celebrate the music show wins of their favourite groups, and it normally starts trending right after the results of the music shows are announced. Said music shows include SBS Inkigayo, Mnet Mcountdown, to name a few. These shows run throughout the week on different days, and are the main channels in which idol groups can promote their new singles and albums. As of May 5, 2015, EXO’s Call Me Baby won 18 awards from six different weekly Korean music shows.

Call Me Baby Loser trends

Screenshot of trends in Twitter (2/5/15)

These music shows are also competitions, with battles for the #1 song every week. When I was first introduced to the world of K-pop, these music shows caught my eye, mostly because of the cool and flashy performances by various artists or because of the artists posting pictures or tweets after winning to thank their fans. Either way, I used to think that these shows were a big deal, and that the songs that won on music shows were definitely good. But not anymore. I believe now, that music shows do not determine which songs are better than others but instead represent popularity.


 Also on KultScene: EXO’s ‘Call Me Baby’ Song Review

Disclaimer: I don’t intend any offense or harm to any of the artists mentioned. In fact, I’m a big fan of most of these artists and their music!

Before we dive deeper into this question of whether winning on Korean music shows is a way to determine the quality of a song, let us examine how the results of these music shows are even tabulated. For the purpose of this article, I will be using the examples of 2 particular music shows, Mnet’s M Countdown and SBS’sInkigayo (The Music Trend.)

mcountdown

Inkigayo-chart
As seen above, anywhere between 30%-45% of these two music show scores are determined by active fan-voting, be it on social media sites or via live voting. The percentage weightage of Digital sales points as compared to those of physical album sales are also very high, ranging from 50%-60%, which is vital because digital sales opens the market to a larger and more global audience. Hence, it can be seen here that idols who have larger and more international fan bases definitely have an advantage over less well-known idols, and will therefore have a higher chance of winning these music shows.
Admittedly, it is not easy for idols to claim that trophy on music shows, let alone for several shows in a row, regardless of how many points a large fan base can acquire. Staying atop of the game for multiple weeks is something only a popular song could achieve.
This begs the question, what is a good song? A song that is catchy? Addictive? In my opinion, a good song would be one that showcases the individuality of the artist/group and still sounds coherent as a whole. It would be an added bonus if the artist/group was able to showcase a new side of themselves, or to show some growth and development in the music they release.

EXO miss A Red Velvet

EXO’s win against Miss A and Red Velvet on Inkigayo (12/4/15)
Bringing it back to the context of EXO’s recent comeback, there were other songs released at the same time as Call Me Baby, but failed to receive any recognition from music shows. Notable examples would include Miss A’s Only You, the title song from their newest album Colors, which was released on the same day as EXO’s album, on the 30th of March. Miss A achieved a triple “all-kill” on Korean music charts with their song appearing in first on all Korean music charts, but still failed to win a single number one on music shows as the girl group was constantly in second place behind EXO. That wasn’t because Miss A’s song wasn’t catchy, addictive, or original, or even popular. Rather, it was more likely because Miss A’s fanbase, Say A is a significantly smaller one as compared with EXO’s “EXO-L” fanbase. Although both groups are famous internationally and have members from both China and Korea, the popularity of EXO is astronomical and few other K-pop idol groups could compare, thus aiding my point that large fan bases are an integral part of music show wins and wins should not be a factor to determine the quality of a song.


 Also on KultScene: Playlist Sunday: BIGBANG

Another example displaying this point would be the respective comebacks of Big Bang and BTS. Big Bang came back on the First of May with two tracks, Loser and Bae Bae. Both music videos reached one million views on Youtube within 8 hours of the same day. On the other hand, BTS (Bangtan Boys) also came back with their latest mini-album on the 29th of April, and the contrast between the groups is extremely clear. One, Big Bang, is one of South Korea’s most popular musical acts and releasing its first music for the first time in three years. The other, BTS, is a popular K-pop idol group but had not previously released a song that won awards on Korean weekly music shows.

Big Bang Loser YouTube Count BTS I Need U YouTube Screenshot

Screenshots taken from Youtube (2/5/15)

The difference in MV views can be attributed to a few factors, most significantly the size of their fanbases. Big Bang has an extremely huge and global fanbase, as can be seen by the fact that Big Bang’s 2012 album, Alive, was the first k-Pop album to chart on the United States’ Billboard 200 Album Chart. Big Bang is also established and respected as artists, both as a group and as solo artists. In comparison, while BTS also has a sizeable (and still increasing) fanbase, it is definitely smaller than that of Big Bang, and BTS is also not as well-known globally. Being a relatively new group as compared to the veteran Big Bang, these statistics are understandable, however does this mean that BTS’s song is of a lower quality than that of Big Bang? MV views also contribute heavily toward music show rankings, so the same question can be posed. Do music show wins define the standard and quality of a song?

There are plenty of examples of this in the Kpop world, be it in the underrated but amazing releases from rookie/relatively unknown singers or the classic releases of singers who have, after a certain number of years, lost their popularity. All of them deserve recognition for their work, but there can only be one winner. Let us not allow these music shows to define the quality of a song for us, but let us formulate our own opinions and follow our hearts. After all, how good a song is is really dependent on everyone’s personal preferences, so there shouldn’t be a way to judge these songs, be it through music shows or through any other mediums.

What is your opinion about kpop music shows? What do you define as a good song? Share your thoughts 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.

Best K-Pop Girl Group B-Sides of 2015

Listening to miss A’s amazing new album Colours got me thinking about the quality of music in K-pop this year so far. We’re only four months in now and already I’d claim it’s a better year than 2014 — especially for the girls. Nearly every release from a female artist has been a complete knockout, and what’s best is that there are even more great tracks hidden on their albums. Missing out on great album tracks is something I do a lot and have been wanting to change that recently. So as KultScene’s self-proclaimed girl group expert (i.e. girl group biased) I’m going to go through some of my favourite album B-sides from the girls of K-pop this year so far.

miss A Love Song

Read more

miss A “Only You” Music Video & Song Review

It’s been a long wait for all the Say A’s out there considering it’s been 16 months since miss A released their last single, Hush. But the four ladies are back with a fun dance track titled Only You. Within less than 72 hours, the music video has already garnered over two million views, which is a first for miss A, and the song achieved a perfect all kill on the music charts. Read more

Playlist Sunday: Kisses

Kisses and kissing aren’t always openly talked about in the K-pop music scene. But there are many songs about first kisses and kissing in general. They can be as innocent as a peck on the cheek or as steamy as a full on lip-to-lip, tongue-to-tongue contact. Sometimes these kissing songs aren’t as blatant as others, but one thing we know for sure is our K-pop idols love to sing about kissing.

Like many before her, Jeon Hyosung used her solo career as a way to show off her large, um, charms. Her solo venture turned out to be just as successful as bandmate Jieun’s but offered something completely different. Goodnight Kiss is an hypnotic trap lullaby for a boy whom Hyosung sings to goodnight. Yet she clearly doesn’t really want to go to sleep but to just kiss and kiss him. Updating fairytales and lullabies is popular these days and this song does a better job of it than most. The song comes off as a reworked lullaby to perfectly suit Hyosung’s sexy image. It starts off relatively innocent but becomes sexier with each part before finally hitting that trap drop. We forget about the lullaby element after a while as it becomes stranger and sexier. It all comes together to create something quite sophisticated and shows that given the right material Hyosun could become a soloist on par with Ga-In.

— Joe


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Dara’s Kiss is filled with ridiculous yet catchy engrish lyrics, yet there’s one line that I’ll occasionally find myself singing to in public; I just wanna kiss, I never wanna miss. Kiss is a fun and rather playful song whereas the music video, which features actor Lee Minho and if you look closely, Kim Woo Bin is also featured, is rather on the dramatic side; I guess that’s what happens when you feature actors in your music video, it suddenly turns into a short drama! Aside from the dramatic acting from both Dara and Lee Minho, the overall production was entertaining and to me, it felt like a commercial!

— Tam

If we talk about kisses, what’s better than a french kiss? Hyuna’s song French Kiss recounts a story at a scandalous party. Hyuna meets a guy and it;s like love at first sight, or maybe lust at first sight. Right then and there she wants to be only with him, alone. The chorus is very addicting and the part where Hyuna whispers “Let’s french kiss” sounds so seductive and sexy. It almost makes the listeners feel that you are the man she lusts over and she is whispering those words to them. The song has a great beat and it’s a great song to just dance let loose and make out.

— Alejandro

Rather than celebrating love, Super Junior‘s My Love, My Kiss, My Heart mourns it. The song is the classic tale of missing an ex lover post break up while reluctantly trying to move on. You know, when it still hurts. The boys lament the love lost, saying they will bury their love, kiss and heart through a heartfelt ballad.

— Alexis


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X’s are for kisses, sings EXO in XOXO. The song is an adorable, upbeat, jazzy ode to the woman EXO loves, filled with sweet lines about dreaming of hugging and kissing the one you love. EXO’s vocals really shine in the song, with enough lines for EXO’s multitude of members to express their own individual vocal colors.

— Tamar

miss A’s Hush actually uses the word ‘kiss’ in the chorus. The ladies sing about their steamy wants and desires. And at the top of the list is kissing, which is a great way to get to know someone intimately. Hush takes things a few steps further than kissing, but the sexy ladies of miss A know what they want and clearly depict all of that in this song. Aside from the content of the song, Hush has an infectious chorus and sultry dance moves perfectly executed by the quartet.

— Tara

Share your thoughts 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.

K-Pop Idols Who Need to Release Holiday Songs

This Holiday season we all need some music to fit the mood. It’s about time that some K-Pop idols release a Holiday song or even a Holiday CD. The idols listed below are known for being able to sing in both Korean and English, which is beneficial for this particular concept considering there are a lot of Holiday songs originally sung in English. English or Korean, or another language, it would be great to see these songs happen this year.

Eric Nam

eric nam holiday songs

via jjigaehouse @Tumblr

Eric Nam is well known for being the main host of After School Club. His quirky and fun personality keeps fans engaged and entertained throughout ASC and the After Show. Not only does Eric have the personality, and looks, but his voice is spectacular. Winter Wonderland, The First Noel, Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) and others would all be great choices for Eric Nam and he would be do justice to all of them.

Also on KultScene: Best English Covers By K-Pop Artists

Ailee

ailed holiday songs

by kpopcorngifs

Ailee could ace any Holiday song coming her way. Her voice is so powerful and regal that any song would sound great. But a few that would sound amazing are Silent Night, O Holy Night, and the Holiday classic All I Want For Christmas Is You. She has actually already sang the latter song choice, but I wouldn’t mind a solo performance where fans can really feel her power.

miss A

suzy holiday songs

via TAEMON

miss A is a group that doesn’t have many comebacks and are extremely talented. Instead of a full on comeback before the Holidays, we’ll settle with a song or two for the season. Carol of the Bells would really show off their abilities vocally and would sound great with a girl group at the helm. It would be hard to pull off, but miss A can definitely sing Carol of the Bells beautifully. For a more fun route, they could take on Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree as well. The fun and upbeat Holiday tune would be much more fun with miss A singing it.

CNBLUE

cnblue holiday songs

via cnbjonghyun @ Tumblr

CNBLUE would be a great group to add a rock vibe to the Holiday classics. They really could pick any Holiday song and pull it off. They have the looks, the sound, the talent, and the vocals to make any Holiday song a smash hit. Little St. Nick, Feliz Navidad, and Jingle Bell Rock are a few classics they could rock on a small stage or a huge arena.

Also on KultScene: The Colors Of K-Pop: Red

Mamamoo

mama moo holiday songs

via @lovelyhari99

The all female rookie group would bring Holiday classics to a whole new level. Their sultry and soulful voices would only enhance current classics, such as White Christmas, Jingle Bell Rock, and more. Mamamoo would have the best stage for a Holiday classic. I can see it now, they would be in a red dresses with white faux fur trim and their makeup and hair would be spot on (as usual).

The ultimate Holiday gift would be if all of these artists got together to create a Holiday CD and collaborate on a few songs with each other. If only, if only.

What Holiday songs do you want to hear from the K-Pop world, and who do you want to sing them? Share your thoughts 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.