Gyuri & From The Airport’s ‘The Little Prince’ Review

Gyuri and From The Airport
Collaborations between indie artists and idols always interest me in some way. It shows a level of musical appreciation we might not usually see in idols. When most are hungry to be merely famous, it’s nice to see some who genuinely try with alternative music. That being said, most idol/indie collaborations end up being completely safe, coffee shop style songs. This is due to both the mainstream and indie trends moving more towards that style of song. It’s seriously popular in Korea. So when Kara’s Gyuri released “The Little Prince,” a surprise single, with the fairly safe indie band From The Airport, I was worried it would be a disappointment. Luckily my worries were unfounded.

I have never been a huge fan of Gyuri’s voice. Her soft voice is distinctive and quite strong, but whenever she went for bigger notes, it didn’t work for me. Even when she hit those notes perfectly like in Kara’s recent “Cupid,” I wasn’t feeling it. I’ve now realized why it wasn’t working for me. Gyuri has an indie voice. Her soft airy voice belongs with the Neon Bunny’s of this world. Needless to say, it works perfectly with From The Airport.

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For “The Little Prince,” From The Airport have mostly ditched their usual rock sound for something more synth based. The odd guitar riff is thrown every now and then to keep things interesting though. These funky guitars allow the track to stray away from all out EDM territory. The glittering synths have a restraint to them that shines alongside Gyuri’s voice. Her breathy voice threatens to burst just like the electronics. Yet both are allowed to simmer back down without straining the song further than it needed to go. When it does finally reach a climax, the song soars into euphoria rather than crashing into a breakdown.

I was hoping the lyrics would reference Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s novel of the same name. However, they are fairly standard lyrics about the rush of feeling one has for their lover. As an effort from an idol who hasn’t written much, they are not too bad though.

If the references can’t be found in the lyrics, there might be some to be found in the tone. Saint-Exupéry’s novel, though a children’s book, has a sombre and measured, but fantastical tone to it. In a similar way, Gyuri and From The Airport’s “The Little Prince” has a subdued melancholic tone to it before bursting into the chorus. Its lyrical sentiments, too, are bright. Matching a sad tone with such a happy concept would seem like a contradiction, but it works to highlight the happier parts better. The contrast between the start and finish and the music and lyrics of the song serve to create something more than the sum of its parts.

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The song does not really transcend its genre elements though. The synths are great, Gyuri’s voice works well with it all and it’s an interesting new approach for her. And yet, it still feels a little lacking. Nothing new is carved out here. After a couple of really excited listens, I began to lose interest.

The other song they came out with, “Return,” does nothing to rectify this. It goes for a more traditional From The Airport sound with lots more guitar to go with the synths. It’s charming and features From The Airport’s Milo on vocals. This helps it from being a forgettable B-side. The cheerleader chants are pretty fun, but, again, it loses something with every new listen.


I’m not really disappointed with this collaboration. Generic songs are the norm in K-pop, so here it is no different. I guess it being a more indie orientated track made my expectations higher. Or they made me like it more than I really did at the first listen. Gyuri is really impressive and shown she has range outside of the idol world. In reality, it’s probably one of the best idol/indie team ups in K-pop. It represents a good jumping off point for other idols to follow on and work on some interesting projects themselves.

Gyuri & From The Airport's 'The Little Prince'

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Flash K-Pop Music Video Reviews: Jonghyun, Jung Yonghwa, Mad Clown, From The Airport, Eddy Kim, GFriend

There’s a lot of really great music coming out of Korea nowadays and listening to every chart-topping song, let alone watching every music video, is near impossible. Here at KultScene, we’re going to try something new: Reviews written in the span of the entire music video, inspired by the idea of flash fiction. Once the video stops, the review comes to an end.  These reviews aren’t in depth, and are essentially just first reactions, but it’s a good introduction to many of the songs that you’ll want to check out this week.

Mad Clown Fire

First things first, Hani from EXID is blatant media play since it’s actually Jinsil singing and Hani is just lip-synching. I like the lighting and Hani’s eyes really are mesmerizing so I guess it’s okay, but still kind of sad for Jinsil. The big-band beat and Mad Clown’s rap nicely go together to create a dramatic song that describes the craziness of the lyrics. As usual, Mad Clown doesn’t disappoint with his rap, but instead delivers every line in an aggressive, statement-like way.The lyrics of the song don’t really match the music video, other than showing their craziness, but it’s really beautifully filmed. Jinsil’s voice isn’t too cloying in comparison to Mad Clown’s intense raps, but instead her raspy voice sounds exactly like how a confused, lover should sound. The bleeping and blurring out curses is really amazing for mainstream Korean music, as if Mad Clown is protesting the clean-cut rapping that is prominent in Korea. Overall, I’m impressed.

Eddy Kim My Love

We’re behind scene, and Eddy Kim takes a pause to look at a piano, sits down, and tells the person he’s talking to wait a minute. This piano medley is nice, like something you’d hear in a hotel lobby, and then Eddy Kim’s voice starts up to sing a sweet, powerful melody. The song is really interesting because it uses an orchestra rather than any electronic beats, which are popular nowadays. The singing into the phone while his girlfriend rides a bus is a really cute touch, showing how Eddy feels his love even though they’re apart. It doesn’t really sound like it, but Eddy Kim’s songs always makes me think of Michael Buble. Between the song looking good and Eddy Kim appearing as handsome as ever, My Love is a winner.

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Jonghyun Crazy (Guilty Pleasure)

A steady beat mixed with classic piano introduces a song that’s like a pop ballad trying to grow up into a hip-hop track. Jonghyun’s acting and the music video are impressive, but these up-close facial shots are a jarring thanks to these jerky camera movements. He’s singing about being crazy, emphasized by the gas mask and being chained up, but it looks like it’s just an excuse to show off his ripped body. Iron’s speedy rap is a completely different sound from Jonghyun’s breathy falsettos and high notes, which is really a different sound than what I’m used to hear from SHINee, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like it. The song completely shows off Jonghyun’s best skills, dominating high notes, while the video shows off his body’s best aspects to entice any fan of SHINee to watch. A little bit over the top in general, though, with all of the special effects that aren’t limited to explosions and mechanical giant spiders. But Jonghyun’s a singer first and foremost, and this new style really matches his personality.

GFriend Glass Bead

So here’s the Into The New World similarities, especially the girl that looks like ex-Girls’ Generation member Jessica. The athletic styled outfits, the retro-style sweet pop song is really like something that I’d expect to hear from late 2000’s K-pop girl groups, so I see why everyone’s comparing GFriend to Girls’ Generation. But while the images are similar, the dancing is really impressive. None of the vocalists stand-out particularly, but it’s likely that as GFriend releases more music several of their vocalists will stand out. An all around good song, even though it’s nothing that we’ve never seen before. The concept is cute, sweet, and totally needed in K-pop, which is becoming so overly sexualized that it’s losing the innocence that made songs like Gee and Tell Me viral hits in 2009.

From The Airport Sight

I don’t know if this is supposed to be the response, but when I pressed “play” and heard Sight I wanted to close my eyes. The music video almost demands this, by hiding the two members of From The Airport amid shadows, star-like lights, and occasional bursts of light that essentially blind the camera. The song has a bit of a heavier bass beat than many of From The Airport’s songs, with an occasionally heavy handed rock sound as the backtrack to their heavily synthesized vocals. The profiles of the two members don’t distract from the sound of their song, but aren’t really supposed to be the point of this video. The song climaxes with From The Airport being completely dissolved by light, and then continues with mere music, highlighting not the singers but the sounds themselves.

Jung Yonghwa One Fine Day

Clubbing, two people see each other across the room, and then we wake up in a depressing, green and gray environment. A slightly misleading title? This video is really visually beautiful, I actually feel like it would do well as a magazine spread. Yonghwa’s side profile is really prevalent, and changes his overall style and feel as an actor.The cinematography is really the thing that makes or breaks this video, but it’s a little disappointing as a song overall. This is CNBLUE’s lead singer, who is a popular actor, Yonghwa simply… singing and acting? So what is new to this? Nothing. This could just as easily be a music video for a song from the soundtrack of a drama that Yonghwa is starring in. The song isn’t particularly memorable, although Yonghwa’s voice perfectly depicts the emotion described in the lyrics. It’s a heartfelt song, but if you’re a lead singer with such a distinct voice, just going the ballad route is a little bit boring.

Do you like this idea of quick music video reviews? If there are any music videos you would like to see reviewed, please leave suggestions in the comments 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.

Glen Check & More at 2014 Seoulsonic in New York

The 2014 Seoulsonic show on October 22nd in New York, was a feast of light and music when From The Airport, Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio, and Glen Check took the stage.

The groups, brought to New York City by the CMJ Music Marathon 2014, played in the Soho-based venue SOBs to an enthusiastic audience that was enthralled by the variety of sounds produced by the three indie groups from South Korea. Despite coming from thousands of miles away, the audience and the musicians had no problem understanding one another– this may have also been aided by the fact that only Rock’N’Roll Radio’s songs were in Korean, while the other two groups sung in English.

After starting roughly twenty minutes late, From The Airport kicked off the Seoulsonic show. The electro-synth duo brought a rock vibe to their set, with one member on stage in full-dj mode while the other switched off between his guitar and synthesizers. Even though From The Airport had a heavy emphasis on synthesizer, to the degree where one member’s singing sounded entirely mechanized, a few songs had guitar riffs, providing a synth-rock feel.

From The Airport 2014 seoulsonic nyc

The duo, made up of Milo and Zee, gave off a laidback concept as they stood on stage wearing T-shirts and glasses, while they performed their six song set. But From The Airport’s production anything but laid back, and every moment that the two were on stage, it was clear that they had put their heart and soul into the music. Zee in particular couldn’t seem to stand still as he delved into the music, nodding his head to every single beat other than when he had to sing into the mic.

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Even though the words were partially drowned out by the music, the meaning of each song was clear thanks to the presentation. The surreal sound of the songs matched the light show throughout the set. A screen behind From The Airport created a backdrop of vibrant flashes of color that enhanced the music rather than distracted from it, as if the lights and the synth-beats were combined.

The following act, Rock‘N’Roll Radio, was a completely different sort of indie group, forgoing technology and taking the audience back to the time when the only type of concert was one with a full five-member rock band. Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio was the relative newbie in the night’s roster, but the band had a great response from the audience, despite the fact that their lyrics are in Korean.

Rock'N'Roll Radio 2014 seoulsonic nyc

After From The Airport’s modern, electro-synth sound, an old school-style band like Rock‘N’Roll Radio was able to get the crowd moving. Every song that the quintet performed had a beat that was easy to move to, and several songs had simple lines of “oooh ooh ooh” or “yea yea yea” that made it simple for the audience to get into. Dance-rock songs like One Week and Shut Up and Dance were full-body experiences, and it was easy to see why Rock’N’Roll Radio received the 2014 Korean Music Awards New Artist of the Year award.

As if the audience wasn’t enthralled by the modern take on traditional bands, which are rare in the current Korean music scene, the lead singer kept the audience entertained in between songs by trying his hand at English. He had everyone in stitches with a random reference to a hit HBO show when he was discussing what it was like being in New York.

New York is cold. Winter is coming… I love Game of Thrones.

Glen Check rounded out the evening, and were definitely the most popular act in the room. The group is one of Korea’s best electronic acts, and recently had their song 60’s Cardin featured in the OST of both seasons of SBS’s Roommate. Like From The Airport, Glen Check sang in English.

The three on stage, the two members wearing matching white Glen Check sweatshirts and an additional guitarist, began performing to a loud round of applause. The set featured electro-dance songs with heavy synth, and Glen Check, like From The Airport, used the backdrop to create a light show with images and lyrics that matched their songs. The synth music that Glen Check meshed with the guitar and drums on stage created a funky sound that was both infectious and new; a style that was retro and new all at once. Numerous times throughout the set, Glen Check urged the crowd to clap along.

2014 seoulsonic Glen Check nyc

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The group ended the set and then performed an encore song, with one of the members taking up a drumstick and hitting the cymbal numerous times. The indie-pop-dance music had everyone in SOBs moving, and brought the entire night to a perfect full circle.

Stay tuned for more pictures and video from the event coming soon!

Do you like the bands featured on 2014 Seoulsonic? Be sure to tell us which is your favorite and don’t forget to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Bloglovin’ to keep up with all of our posts.