Park Ji Yoon – Beep – Hot Comeback!

Park Ji Yoon – Beep

Talk about a comeback! February is turing into a hot month in kpop with Park Ji Yoon’s release of Beep. It’s a funky and soulful dance track that references American 1970’s R&B straight out of the Soul Train pantheon. I’ll talk more about that more later, but first lets get straight to the song.

I love this song. The song kicks off with a disco inspired beat that I’d expect San Francisco Dance-Music Queen Sylvester to have produced. Do you wanna funk? Indeed. Beep is infectiously cactchy with amazing hooks and Ji Yoon’s vocals are once again on point. Her Beep Beeps and Bow wow wows will keep you bopping your head over and over. I especially love the “what what what what what…” portion of the song. To say the song is fierce fun funky and fresh is an understatement. It’s so completely fabulous that I halfway expect one of the Queens from Ru Paul’s Drag Race to show up and turn it out. If I had my choice it would be Latrice Royale and Manila Luzon in their best Soul Train bell bottoms and wigs. The song is going is a strong contender for Song of the Month.

I’m not digging it. I’m loving it. Somebody call McDonalds.

The video from a kpop standpoint is completely off the chain. Their is nothing normal or run of the mill happening here. I especially love the retro production of the video that makes it look like we’re actually watching Soul Train. It adds a legitimacy to the song as it harkens back to the late 1970’s paying homage to great artists like Prince. Those under a certain age might not remember Soul Train at all. Soul Train was a heavily Black-American focused dance and music show which first aired in syndication in 1971 and didn’t end its run until 2006. That’s a solid 35 years and remains today to be the longest running syndicated television show in American history. Soul Train is an enormously important cultural phenomenon that brought a stage, on television, to a new demographic of the American landscape which didn’t really have a national exposure. It was a response to American Bandstand, another long running music and dance show, but that show rarely featured any non-white acts or dancers prior to Soul Train making a splash. In my opinion, Soul Train is why in the 1990’s we had shows dance shows on Mtv’s Spring Break and largely led the way for music countdown shows the way we know them today. Without Soul Train we would not have seen a diversification of music that was allowed to be on television and shows like TRL (remember when Mtv was cool? I do.) and any number of Korean shows like M! Countdown. Referencing this aspect of American culture so directly could have been a huge mistake or a huge win if done right and I’m happy to say that despite some rather strange use of stereotypes (the introduction for example) the music video gets it right. I felt the video honored the history and heritage of the music and venue that came before it in a way that may turn some off due to their lack of history regarding soul music. Bravo!

Aside from the interesting cultural connections we see in the video it’s just simply fun. Sure, it references a time when most of the people reading this parent’s are old enough to remember Soul Train but, I don’t think it’ll matter because the fun factor is so high. Cameos are everywhere with my favorites being Noh Hong Cul, Muzie, and of course my ultimate bias looking so sick Jay Park. They add a bit of humor to the video that splices together Korean dancers dancing right along with black dancers from today and what looks to be original footage from Soul Train circa 1978. If the producers of the video didn’t use some Soul Train footage that is some uncanny wardrobing they accomplished.

Bow wow wow wow…what what what what what what what what what you ask?

I love this. I love everything about Beep.

The total package, perfect 10/10.

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New Kpop! BTOB’s Beep Beep

BTOB – Beep Beep: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

So I haven’t heard BTOB since they debuted. Thriller and Wow just didn’t do anything for me but Insane has been in my MV playlist for two years. I can finally say, they’re going back on the playlist with something new.

I dig this video.

The Ugly: There is a lot going on visually. The cars are not a good prop to use, nor were the female backup dancers. They added nothing to the video other than to say that these guys are hot cause we are…I totally checked out saying ugh ugh not that.

The Bad: I didn’t like the hairstyles, but since I haven’t seen these guys since they debuted I have no idea if they’re good, better, or worse. I do like that they’re different hairstyles than I’m used to. The clothes left me feeling a bit blah too, but…

The Good: Everything…else. I really like the suits they wore for a fraction of the video. They looked amazing in them. The beat of the song is fun and kept me bouncing. The rap, for me was the best part. I liked the flow of each rap. The hook is contagious. I’m going to be going beep beep bam bam all day now. Thank you.

Overall the video has a very summer 2013 feel to it. It reminds me of Sleep Talking, Rocking, Ajax’s Insane, Run & Run, and Ok About It which is good because last summer’s kpop was my favorite summer yet.

I’ve already out the video into my playlist, how about you? What do you think of the song and video?

#btob #kpop #beepbeep #korean

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GOT7 – Girls Girls Girls – Hot Debut?

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

Oh my…where to begin.

The Good JB and JR were great. JB styling in the opening and on the stains. JR picks things up right after JB and I like this. They’re the reason I care at all about the group. The rappers flow was excellent and each word was clear. I think I can easily say that was my favorite part of the video seeing future Thai Prince coming out with that baby face and that voice. That voice y’all. The beat was different I liked it, but sounded a little to similar to LC9’s Mama Beat slowed down a bit.

The Bad I did not like the lyrics. They are utterly stupid. Aside from JB and JR we don’t know these guys. It felt a bit pretentious every time the chorus came around. In time…this could have been a decent come back song but not digging it for a debut. JYP knows how to do a debut well too. I’m confused by this one.

The Ugly This video is just not easy to watch. I don’t like their outfits, the dingy dark set. Why are we in a basement…fight club at 10 pm? I was expecting the bright colors and vibrancy of 2PM, Miss A, WG, and JJ Project and got a video that even though is in HD I felt like the resolution is 360p.

I like this song, but I do not like the video one bit. I had high hopes for the group as a whole and I’ll probably follow them, but overall I think JYP dropped the ball with this debut.

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Big Band and Swing – Kpop Style

This was originally posted on January 10th, 2014.

It’s just about two weeks in 2014 and I have been dropping the ball a bit as to what music videos have been released. Rain’s long awaited comeback saw not one but two songs uploaded on New Year’s Day and Dong Bang Shin Ki’s Chang Min and YunHo finally unveiled their much hyped track Something.

I was notified first that DBSK’s video was out so this was my first song of 2014. It was ok…didn’t set me on fire, but I liked the song. Today I finally downloaded it as well as Rain’s La Song and 30 Sexy. One thing I noticed was a similar sound between La Song and Something. Their were brass instruments…god damn, I’m hearing something from the 1920’s Chicago and I like it…a lot.

Each song is unique and I think it’s fair to compare these two songs because of the big band and swing elements each use. Personally, neither song is going to make my 2014 Favorite Kpop anything. I just don’t love either, but they did get me bouncing and I spent an hour each listening to these songs released on 14.1.1 today and I was most definitely grooving my bikers butt at my desk.

The thing about all this though…is it felt so 2013!

Rain is the undisputed King of Kpop and could only really be challenged by YunHo or Se7en, in my opinion, as a top tier solo artist. DBSK, I need to say no more…they simply are. Here’s the thing that struck me. I had heard this sound before…way back in August of 2013.

Anyone remember the Infinite-H produced Tasty track MaMaMa?

While technically, not a big band sound they did use swing which is the style of music that gave big bands of the roaring 20’s their signature sound. I got to say…them Jung Twins did it better than two of the biggest acts in Kpop. I enjoyed the song, visuals, beat, and video of MaMaMa more than either of Hess other songs…that’s kind of a big deal.

Now, I know I just said it felt so 2013…I really meant 2011.

2011 saw the release and hugely successful 2nd album from SS501’s leader Kim Hyun Jung. He really is a Lucky Guy as I recall this album reached the top 5 on the Billboard World charts. If you missed this video back in 2011 check it out down below because it also uses big band in its show stopping tunes.

So…did Kim Hyun Jung set this trend nearly three years too early and of all the big band swinging kpop songs that have come out in the last few years which is your favorite?

Ok ok ok…fine you can include Secret if you want, but I won’t like it!

You can check out the rest of the videos talked about in this post here:

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Don’t Cry (I Need Romance 3 OST) – Lee Hyo Ri

Don’t Cry – Just Need a ‘lil Romance

I found the OST for I Need Romance 3 episode 1 to be rather haunting. As you feel Joo Yeon’s pain Lee Hyo Ri’s tender vocals add a lot of weight to the drama. If you haven’t checked out this show yet…the OST might convince you to!

Lee Hyo Ri – Don’t Cry

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