ODDS & ENDS: Jada, SHINee, The Saturdays

Rather than separate these little bits and bobs into mini posts, here is a package deal of a few things on my mind recently:

-The KPOP Panel, which I co-founded alongside Ms. Nikki, is making an official comeback like a symbolic Phoenix rising from the (eastern) Ashes. Check out our latest panel, featuring our friends in  rcloy, J.Mensah and the Baby Daddy of all things Pop Panel, Mike of Pop Trash Addicts. Quick -- someone get me, Nikki and McRoth some awkwardly cut, strangely patterned outfits in an odd but dark color palette that both match each other and yet seem strangely non-sequiter at the same time.

-My friend and fellow diva in crime Jennifer over at the Audio Diva is not only celebrating her third blogoversary (Happy BDay!), but also heralding albums celebrating their Quarter Century birthday in honor of her own upcoming 25th B-Day. Seeing as I myself turn the big 2-5 in the not so distant future (read: June 2012), I love these types of posts. Take a look when you get the chance and catch the nostalgia bug like yours truly.

-Everyone knows I love me a good boy band, but so much of my time has been spent oogling the goods in Korea these days that I tend to forget about my own native land. Jessica over at This Must Be Pop reminded me to do just that when she began discussing the chances of a British boy band making it in the US, considering there is slim pickings in terms of American boys stepping up to the task currently. Last we heard from V Factory, there were only two original members left (and that was back in February). Excitement behind the One Call project has also dimmed considerably. The majority of them have created their own personal Twitter accounts and a few have posted their own solo exploits. Still unsure whether or not the whole idea is completely kaput or not...wish they'd stop playing with my fragile emotions!

-I posted quite a bit  last week about my excitement regarding girl group Jada and their recent single release for "This Party's On Fire". I also had quite a few people asking me whether or not the group was still with the Universal Music Group, considering the release was so delayed. I've heard your cries, friends, and have spoken to a source close to the group who had this to say: "Jada and Universal Motown decided to part ways. Since Motown is no longer a major record label, Jada is currently releasing songs as independent artists. We wish the best to Motown in the future." So there you go. Jada are officially free agents. You can purchase the peppy "This Party's On Fire" right now on iTunes.

-I can barely contain the excitement I am feeling as it appears an American-bound release for The Saturdays may actually be imminent. As in soon. Seriously! It's being reported the girls are working out a deal for a Stateside release, as well as a potential television "mini-series" with the E! Network. Pinch me, because I think I'm dreaming! Much of this hovers around their upcoming third full album release, now confirmed for  late November and titled On Your Radar. How appropriate. A third single in the requisite mid-tempo "My Heart Takes Over" is also set for November release, following up the ace "Notorious" and clubby, Xenomania-produced "All Fired Up". The album is lacking the truly popalicious b-side "Lady Killer", though -- a fact I'm not so fond of. Oh well. Guess you can't win them all.

-One of my favorite tried-and-true production teams Soulshock & Karlin have recently confirmed via Twitter their work on an upcoming single for Nicole Scherzinger. While the news is somewhat vague at the moment, it is most likely for the impending re-tooling of Nicole's other debut solo album Killer Love, released internationally this past March. While I'm hardly Nicole's biggest fan, she does have vocals (and is an incredibly charismatic live performer to boot) and I'm really looking forward to see what they come up with.

-Finally, SHINee are making a run for the Japanese market, releasing a string of their Korean hits re-recorded into Japanese. First was "Replay", then there was "Juliette", and now, the moment that I everyone was waiting for is upon us as "Lucifer" (in Japanese!) is now readily available, complete with a new video. I was never one to like the Japanese re-recordings of Korean hits (not quite sure why), but of all of SHINee's offerings, "Lucifer" sounds the most convincing (and the least awkwardly phrased) when translated. I wish I could say the video was just as good or better than the original...but it's not. I wish these Hallyu stars would quit it with the unnecessary sound effects. Seriously. Still, the intent is there, and let's be honest -- I'm going to look for a way to score this re-dub as soon as this post goes live so...::shrug::

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