“All about the universe is all about to be reversed.”

“Brave New World” by Brown Eyed Girls | “Why did we not review this?” I told Shalla last week. I didn’t buy a physical copy of this either, although it would have been nice to buy an album from K-pop veterans alongside my expected haul (although IU likely counts as a veteran, too). Also, it would dovetail nicely with the two of us catching the Brown Eyed Girls episode of Korean variety series I Can See Your Voice when we were in Seoul. “Why does Gain always look so frustrated?” I ask. Anyway, this song – it’s one of those “it hit me at the right time” songs; in this case, me walking inside a mall with my earphones plugged in. (Us two discussing “Warm Hole” more might also be behind me overlooking the actual single from Basic.) Also, this song ended up, well, speaking a bit more true than I wanted. Brave new world, indeed. Brave new world. [NB]

How to collect Korean pop music, part four: the girl group course

How to Collect Korean Pop MusicA similarly daunting task stares down at us in this week’s installment of How to Collect Korean Pop Music: the girl groups. To our advantage, this means something far more up Rainy’s alley, which means we don’t have to rack our heads thinking of acts worth putting here. (Let this be an apology to the people who told us we missed out on a critical boy group, TVXQ, who are arguably the K-pop scene’s first boy group to amass the following we’d later see with Super Junior and Exo. Yes, we know, we know.)

Continue reading

Review: Hawwah by Gain

Hawwah by GainI gotta hand it to Gain. That woman is brave. And by brave, I mean brave enough to sing about how sex is a wonderful thing to sing about. Nothing unique about that, but please note that she’s from South Korea, and that idols there are expected to be… well, idols. For the most part, they don’t go around singing about sex lest they get criticized for being a bad influence, or worse, banned from music shows. Enough about her old single though. You’d think this is some biblical EP because, well, Hawwah. What I particularly like about the whole thing is the funky, jazzy (not to mention sexy-cute) single “Apple”, where Jay Park lended his awesome rapping skills. That and the choreography for “Paradise Lost”. I’ll call it provocative, for lack of a better term. [SY]4/5

“당연한 것처럼 니 곁에 눕긴 싫어.”

“Fxxk U” by Ga-In featuring Bummkey | Now, Rainy usually posts these things, but I don’t think she’s mentioned it to me, and she’s asleep, and I know she’d be interested, because we’ve talked a few times about Ga-In, aka Brown Eyed Girls member, and that girl off the “Gentleman” music video. She’d often remind me that I told her I found Ga In sexy on that music video. And then, two days ago, she released a new music video, which is, well… something I would not, and should not, watch at work. (Also, it’s violent, but that seems to get a free pass these days, huh?) A couple of weeks ago Rainy talked about the sexification of K-pop, an apparent trend last year that will only continue this year. From the little that I know about the K-pop world, it is an interesting development. Will the rest of the world gobble this up, or will this be a mostly Asian concern – a vaguely specific expression of sex, unlike the confused teasing of the Western world? Her new album, Truth or Dare, comes out next month. Maybe you can ask Rainy about all the sexiness then. [NB]