Sunday, July 19, 2015

#NOWKPOPPING: Summer Round Up with Super Junior, Girls Generation, 9Muses, BTS, & More...

Dear #KPOP, We need to talk. What with both of my main biases announcing their imminent departure into the military for their mandatory two-year enlistment, I'm fearing we might have to go on a bit of break. It wouldn't be too much of a surprise considering I rarely follow much beyond my faves anyhow. Even still, what with your catchy hooks and ridiculous color schemes and fashion, I find it so hard to quit you. Sigh. Let's try our best to make this work long distance, eh?


It's Summer! And when it comes to KPOP, that apparently means a literal cattlecall of every KPOP girl group ever (plus a million more you've never heard of before -- TREN-D, huh? Ugh, you tried it.) coming out of the woodwork in cute bathing suits. Luckily a few of the (male) faves have offered up something too (but nope, no bathing suits...lame), despite all of my faves choosing to make 2015 their last hurrah before heading in to the Army. Do you know what that means for a 28-year-old KPOP fan like me? That means, having to find new (baby) boy bands to stan and I'm not particularly fond of gushing over 17 year old boys like a pedonoona at this point in my life. Sob. These two years better fly, damnit.

Here's some fun new tunes to jam to when the weather is this hot, bias first because duh:

SM Entertainment is getting some serious shade right now from me and literally every other non-EXO fan because they are tossing all of their "other" groups out for promotions that literally overlap each other. I thought this was SMTOWN "FAMILY", guys? Oh well, I guess that's the reality right now: 11 months EXO babies, 1 month of everyone else (except f(x)).

While almost half of the active members of SuJu have already gone through their army enlistments (Leeteuk, Kangin, Heechul, Yesung), two are now in (Shindong & Sungmin) and three more are imminent (Siwon, Eunhyuk, and my beloved Donghae). The babies (Ryeowook & Kyuhyun) are also talking about heading off as well, so it's pretty much confirmed there will be no new Super Junior until 2017-2018 or so. That's a long freakin' time. SM The Boys choose to throw us a bone and offer up the surprise "special" album Devil in honor of their ten year anniversary in the business with ten new tracks that mostly highlight all of Super Junior's long list of sub-groups. It's not an official eighth album, but I'm willing to forgive because we have golden-throated Yesung back (vocal nodule and all).

The album is fun, even though I adored Mamacita front to back much more. "Simply Beautiful" gives me all the feels (Yesung!). "Good Love" feels vaugely Pharrell/"Blurred Lines" esque (but in a good way, I promise). Midtempo "Alright" namechecks a bunch of the members names. I would have been a little happier if "bonus" members Henry and ZhouMi had more of a presence but we can't win 'em all, right?

"Devil", while lyrically written not by Yoo Young-Jin but instead by Kenzie (writer of my fave SJ hit "It's You") the beat was produced by American group The Stereotypes (best known over here for working with Danity Kane and Far East Movement). It sounds right in the pocket of Pharrell's "Happy" or Bruno Mars' "Uptown Funk" and has an undeniable boppy chorus. The choreography can best be described as laid back and not their usual, but what with ten years in the game, no one should be judging a group that in 2006, everyone was expecting to fail. Now they are everybody's oppa and it's grand. Your move, Shinhwa.

PS - the fans were promised a "rated" (meaning: sexy/adult) music video, right? I'm not getting what's so rated about the below aside from SuJu sitting next to girls in bikinis. Pretty sure SHINee's "View" was more sexual than this was. Am I missing something?


Not their first release post-Jessica exiting but the first that caught my ear. SM's Elite Eight will be releasing 3 main singles this summer, and based on the teasers, "Party" was the one I expected to like the least so imagine my chagrin when I couldn't get it out of my head. They all look predictably beautiful in their swimsuits on the beach and the song is catchy enough but I'm really looking forward to the inevitable final shabang single from this project -- the dance banger "You Think", which was co-written originally for Finnish pop singer SAARA. Dear girls, let's get some lemon soju on a beach sometime. And by lemon suju, I mean Donghae in a yellow banana-hammock swimsuit, of course.

PS - I need to stop stanning the few members of SNSD who barely sing or get any lines. YuRi is cute as hell but is basically just there to look good. Sigh. Still, I want Seohyun and YuRi's outfits right now. And also SooYoung's bikini.

PPS - Tiffany, stop with the stilted English bits. Just stop. And NO MORE CREEPY CONTACT LENSES! I'm not telling you again, girl.


If eight girls in bikinis singing about drankin' in the summertime isn't your thing, 9Muses has backup. Instead of being cute with whistle hooks, they're bringing sequins and choreo and temporary tattoos and sorta-vouging (and sadly more creepy contact lenses) and a banging hook that should be more popular than some of their contemporary competitors (cough lazy singles by SISTAR and Girls' Day). "Hurt Locker" (rationale for calling the song that, I don't know -- the lyrics are about telling an ex off for being bothersome despite initiating the breakup) was co-composed by Herbie Crichlow, who I associate best with his work in the late 90's/early 00's with UK boy band 5ive. Ain't nothin' wrong with that. Song of the Summer? I think so.


This is what I want Big Bang to sound like in 2015 -- if they quit makin' so many drug references and letting G-Dragon run the show. Oh, and I legit thought the hook was "BETTING ON YOU!". Whoops.


If BTS wasn't so rap-heavy, I'd probably be stanning them almost as much as my boys in SHINee simply because their choreography is something to behold. BTS does not stand for "Behind The Scenes" (if you thought that like me -- guess what? You're old!) but for Bangtan Boys or Bangtan Sonyeondan, a Korean mashup that translates to a mixture of "bulletproof" and "boy scouts", reportedly to express oppression on youth culture...or something. Now that I think about it, Bulletproof Boy Scouts (BBS) is a pretty epic KPOP boy band name. Get it? Literally bbs! Hmmm.

Despite "Dope" being, well, dope (JJEO JJEOREO!) there is one caveat to a potentially inevitable adoration for these boys. My personal favorite at the immediate onset seems to be leader Kim Namjoon (the first to be seen in the video below). Rather than go by his name, his performance moniker is...wait for it...Rap Monster. But at least he's 20 so not a teenager and can speak English, right?

Sigh. I feel hopeless.


Badabadabadabah. I think I like this just for that hook-y bit. Produced by perpetual KPOPpsters Brave Sound, this sounds like a forgotten jam from 4minute's epic Name is 4minute EP.


Okay, so this came out a while ago. Okay, so it wasn't a single. Whatever. I wanted to bring it up before but in true SM in 2015 fashion, SHINee's Odd dropped right at the same time so I didn't have the chance. This one is on perpetual repeat for me.

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