Saturday, June 02, 2012

NOW KPOPPING: Big Bang's No "Monster"

Ever since the release of their latest Korean mini album, Alive, back in February, the boys in Big Bang have been virtually untouchable in terms of consistency in 2012. They return to us now with the album's re-release, Still Alive, with five new songs alongside the singles "Blue", "Bad Boy" and "Fantastic Baby".

One of the new cuts is the re-release's backer, "Monster", which takes a page out of the Michael Jackson "Thriller"/Backstreet Boys "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)" book, displaying South Korea's loveable group of bad boys into creepier hellions. Big Bang has always stood out in this way (much like their labelmates/little sisters in 2NE1) when compared to the rest of Korea's flower boys and when the material is ace to back up their daring imagery, it's hard to look away. "Monster" is not as instantaneously earworm-y as "Fantastic Baby" (because very little is...seriously), but is proof positive G-Dragon can really write a hook.

If you've yet to check out Alive, I think now is the time. 2012 is halfway through and its fair to say its the strongest male release so far (while SHINee's flaw-free Sherlock mini comes in a close second)...However, late 2012 is pointing toward a sixth Korean album from both TVXQ (HoMin) and Super Junior (be still, my heart!), so the competition could go any number of ways...

Next up on the KPOP docket -- my birthday month of June seems to be the month KPOP's Queens return to battle it out. Wonder Girls' fresh EP, Wonder Party, is due this week on the back of the single "Like This" (and will include their recent US release "The DJ Is Mine"), and given how strong last year's Wonder World was, it is easily my suprise excitement for the summer. However, my girls in 2NE1 are also due for a comeback this month. While details are not truly nailed down, its rare for them to dissapoint. Both groups are also due for full length English-language albums that I am positively salivating for.

And that's not all! I'm hearing word that SM's little sisters in f(x) are planning a summer comeback to follow up last year's "Pinocchio (Danger)"/"Hot Summer" one-two punch and their reigning Teen Queens in Girls' Generation are returning to Japan at the end of the month with another supposed uptempo called "Paparazzi". If it's anything like "Bad Girl", I will be a very happy camper.

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