Welcome to the month of June, where in Kpop Land the women rule, conquering audiences with slinky outfits instead of iron fists. This month in Kpop ladies were supreme: flash mob ladies, electric ladies, and gun-toting bank-robbing ladies. First up for review is Dalshabet’s new release ‘Mr. Bang Bang’ – part rodeo disco and part Thelma & Louise, the song starts with an accented English-spoken intro before a gunshot fires into a fast, beat-heavy “bang bang” chorus. The video concept is cute girls who sing and dance, also carry guns and rob colourfully decorated banks filled with cute pink bags of dollar bills. Why? I think that’s a misfortunate question mark that hangs over the heads of all Kpop bloggers. But fringe and all, we love their counterfeit bling bling.
Less than a week after the SMH comments on Dalshabet’s bank robbing MV scandal, fan favorite SM Town girl group F(x) came out with a new hit called ‘Electric Shock’. The biggest “shock” probably came to the song’s producers: a little known Dutch duo called Future Presidents, who could not have imagined the consequences of handing over their track to (what they initially thought was a Japanese) music company. After the song and video reached over 1 million views in less than a day of posting, the two men of Dutch electropop were suddenly very aware of the Hallyu wave… and extremely pleased with their new global Twitter status. And while the video is decidedly boring, kind of resembling an LED advertising campaign, the song is truly packed with voltage and grooves that proves that sometimes it pays to bring foreign talent into the Kpoposphere.
Now, I like to save the juiciest for last but I can’t restrain from talking about probably the most buzzworthy release of the month: the comeback of the Wonder Girls with ‘Like This’. Despite the intense hype surrounding the return of JYP Entertainment’s golden gals, I have to confess at first view of the video I didn’t like this much at all. Taking the low-fi reality-show approach, the MV features a flash mob of over 300 people doing a crazy Steve Urkel leg-shake dance, all under the leadership of the Girls. The flash mob is very obviously choreographed with young and cute people, and the dance is frankly awkward to say the least. But 3 weeks later, with more and more listens and views circling, my thumbs down has slowly transitioned to a Facebook thumbs up. I do like this, yo!
It’s funny how opinions can change and songs can grow on you. Like how I always thought, aside from their hit ‘Alone’, the group Sistar was a bit of a negligible act. But their new single ‘Loving U’ is a perfect summer hit with an equally perfect sun-kissed video.
What remains negligible are groups like Gang Kiz and Chi Chi, whose respective new releases have yet to show us more than long legs and pretty faces. We will just have to wait and see about the fate of these rookies. Longevity is the plan for After School, who had a bit of a rocky return after one year of absence and losing their key member and leader Park Kahi. Now, armed with a new leader and a dark and sexy vibe with ‘Flashback’, Pledis Entertainment is banking on the system working in their favor and keeping fans of the group loyally at their side.
Before closing off this monthly chapter, I have to give a shout out to 2AM’s JoKwon, the lone merman standing in a sea of mermaids. His solo album I’m Da One is a fun and joyous celebration of electro pop. Jo Kwon is a full entertainer, a variety show regular and a campy soloist whose mega 7.5 inch heels trump those of divas like Gaga, even. If anyone can beat the ladies at their own game, it’s ‘Kkap Kwon.’
Phew! What a month right? Good thing half of it was spent in anticipation for July with teasers of the new Super Junior and 2NE1 blasted on every corner of the internet. And now that Psy has given us a Hallyu chant ‘Korea’ in time for the Summer Olympics, I fear no summer break for Kpop lovers. We’ll just be examining our “sexy, free and single” status updates till next time and watching F(x)’s Suzy in new episodes of the drama Big. Like this yo, like this!