SECRET’s ‘Yoo-Hoo’: Catchy and Seasonal Song, But Formulaic Video

My first impression to the music video was ‘Wow. This is so seasonal.’ and the second thing I noticed is that even though it was my very first time listening to the song, my head was filled with its chorus part and all the random echoing sound of ‘Yoo-Hoo’. It was so catchy, once you hear it, you cant unhear it. And there is no way of getting it completely out of your head.

* The storyline of the music video and setting/scenes are disappointingly formulaic. Even after considering that SECRET is a group never shooting for ‘edgy or chic’ and aiming for more of a easily approachable style, widely loved by both genders, it was bit too 90s– old and plain style, very girlish, overly cute and feminine. If they did this purposefully, then it is understandable, since so many girls are trying to appear funky, wild, edgy, sexually aggressive, it would be a fresh change of atmosphere.

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4 Minute ‘What’s Your name?’: Vibrant, Unique, Yet Cluttered

*Outfits/Style: This would the most vivid, vibrant, funky and wild looks 4 Minute has ever pulled off so far. Especially the Jackson Pollock-ish paint splashed patterns in their shirts perfectly matched the electro popping sound and powerful beat. And very short shorts and half-cut fishnet stockings (although Korean net users seem not taking that well) worked quite well together with the lyrics that would have taken place in a clubbing scene.

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Why Korean Net Users Hate T-ARA So Much? Part 1

There is no reason in hating someone, but people always come up with a list of rational explanations reasoning their strong emotion. Popular girl group, T-ARA has become one of the most hated girl groups in South Korean online where there is an inundation of photos of T-ARA’s bullying and even a bit unflattering gif of them dancing which people love to jeer at. This unexplainable hatred against T-ARA can also be a very bad news for international fans who seem to care less about the bullying case. Since South Korea is their home base after all, their performance and profitability in the country are a major factor in deciding their future activity and eventually, their longevity as a idol group.

1) Member’s Bullying (which I will explain in the part 2 of the post)

2) Agency Headed by Notoriously Problematic Chairman. 

Show biz-savvy folks remember the Core Entertainment (T-ARA’s agency) as the “one ruled by Kim Kwang-soo”, a notoriously problematic showbiz mogul who has numerous allegations and scandals against him. There is a very long list of talents names [ko] who have been either fall from fame after they have been re-constructed by Kim or wound up in various scandals– especially the ugly one involving contract issues (i.e. Seeya)

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Dispatch, the Owner of K-Pop Pandora’s Box

A relatively new entertainment news outlet, Dispatch, has become K-pop stars’ biggest nightmare.

If you have been obsessively following K-pop news for a while, you must have caught the name “Dispatch” at least once or twice. If not, it is an indication that either 1)there is a serious language barrier that you rely heavily on second-source sites which are busy copy-pasting and translating one or two articles exposed in the portal news sites) or 2) you are not that interested in K-pop, since there is no way, no way at all that you may have missed all these huge scandals involving these big names.

-Starting Weird Tradition of “Airport Fashion Photos”

Stars’ Nightmare, Unexpected Santa for K-pop Celeb Voyeur

Siding with Paparazzi? Lawsuit, Lawsuits, Many Lawsuits. 

There has been quite a controversy going on around Jae-joong’s case as it got murkier as some idol stars revealed via talk shows that how creepy (actually much more than what people usually call creepy), anti-social and sociopathic the Sasaeng fans are: they hire a cab for the entire day to follow their stars (which often result in a car accident), hack into their cell phone to monitor their phone calls, and of course hack their email/social network accounts, even to the point their behaviors can clearly be understood as organized crime (link to local article [ko]): they install security cameras in front of the stars’ house and GPS in their cars, and share information together. (There is even a Wiki page on how crazy these girls (mostly teenage girls) are, though I am not sure whether they should let them use the word ‘fans’)

Using Sasaeng Fans as Their Source?

Dispatch got hold of Jaejoong’s audio files by contacting one of these Sasaeng fans[…]

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Why Korean Soap Opera Sucks, Yet Popular_Part 1

This would be the best joke I’ve ever seen made about South Korean soap opera:

American Soap : Doctors cure disease, Lawyers handle legal stuff, Detectives catch criminals
Japanese Soap: Doctors give life lessons, Lawyers give life lessons, Detectives give life lessons
Korean Soap: Doctors in romantic love, Lawyers in romantic love, Detectives in romantic love

Mushy-gooey romance, tackiest and cheesiest lines delivered by beautiful young faces- are the essence of network TV soap opera. There is nothing wrong with it, though it surely opens up discussion if it is the only thing soap opera is about– which happens to a majority of Korean soap opera. Not only everything comes down to romance, but the route to the romance is nothing but identical. To cover up for formulaic plots and poorly written scripts, they depend more heavily on emotion.

1) Emotional. Emotional. Just Too Emotional.

2) Idol Stars and Degradation

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Psy Drops New Single ‘Gentleman’_Review Part2

Continues from Part 1. (also published in the Asian Correspondent site)

2) Adaptation of Abracadabra dance: Yes, it is that dance routine the Brown Eyed Girls rocked back in 2010. Gain rose as a new sex symbol for killing this super sexy, signature dance move (youtube link below– skip to somewhere in the middle, the chorus part). Psy explained [ko] few days earlier at his latest concert ‘Happening’ that he adopted the dance routine and reinterpreted it. I see this as kind of industry mutual back scratching– Gain gets international attention by appearing in Psy’s music video and Psy gets to tweak her routine– the most famous routine in South Korea to the point it has a nickname “시건방춤” (could be translated as ‘the freaking cheeky/arrogant’) since it always goes together with crossed-arms and big smirk and it would be extremely hard to find young Koreans would have not tried — at least once when they are alone at home.

3) Back to his root: Psy, starting from his debut song “Bird” back in 2001, has kept his uniqueness and invented his own genre, never losing his color for once– his music was so racy, explicit, yet fun that most of his songs were labeled as “inappropriate for young audience” numerous time, mostly club-themed and rocking the hilarious dance routines you cannot find elsewhere. People who known him from his early days, would never call this song as mere ‘continuation of Gangnam Style’. No, it is rather just another song of Psy that just sounds like Psy.

And it is adorable that he debuted his new single in Seoul, South Korea (during the concert) though I wouldnt call it a clever move, career-wise. Psy knows that whether he make another hit or wind up becoming the one-hit wonder, there is a loyal fan base who loves his music for years and losing them would cost him great deal.

I see the reviews are not that favorable, but Youtube hits beg differ– it seems Gentleman is not that big disappointment after all.


Psy Drops New Single ‘Gentleman’_Review Part1

Another mega-hit could be difficult, but well done indeed– especially under the enormous pressure and high expectations after the ridiculously phenomenal hit, Gangnam Style.

-Rising Fast: Only about 24 hours have passed since the music video’s Youtube upload, and it has already hit 19 million. There was even a brief time period yesterday (about 6 hours after the release), the Youtube hit count just could not keep up and stuck at 311 views, although everybody can see about there are already 250,000 likes.

1) Irony and Obviously Fun Elements

The beauty of Gangnam Style music video lies in its irony, so as the Gentleman, at least that is what it is aiming for. Psy himself explained in many previous interviews, that Gangnam video shows how un-Gangnam Psy’s character is, but claims to be Gangnam man (the poshest area of Seoul). Scenes of pulling pranks on female characters clearly were meant to demonstrate the irony of how un-gentleman the character is, though he kept shouting  “mother f**ker gentleman” (and yeah, that is what the “mother father gentleman” means, obviously.)

What I found bit disappointing is the intended ‘fun’ scenes were not that hilarious, and bit stale — once more strengthening the belief that this can never surpass the popularity of Gangnam music video which made even the most bored internet addicts hit replay multiple times.

Just the music itself, apart from the music video, is so Psy, and I personally like it more than Gangnam. While Gangnam was bit all over the place, (however the explosive chorus part compensated all those), Gentleman has very strong and distinctive underlying theme and the feedback loof and every elements are put together, and of course, addictive enough.

Review continues in Part 2 (also published in the Asian Correspondent site)

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