How to collect Korean pop music, part three: the boy group course

How to Collect Korean Pop MusicWe’re done with the backgrounder and we’ve given you the must-haves, so this week on How To Collect Korean Pop Music, we dig deep – well, deep-ish; you know our usual disclaimers – into the subsets of K-pop. Today, we begin with, well, the boy groups. And let’s be clear: when we say “boy groups” we don’t just mean the One Direction types who look good and sing in harmonies – although there are a lot of those in K-pop. Of course. There wouldn’t be a very big following if not for that, right?

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Swap week two, day three: Niko takes on Epik High

Swap Week 2015“Happen Ending” by Epik High featuring Cho Won-Sun | I’m still posting the official music video here, for I’m a sucker for rules, but it’s really more for their other single “Spoiler”; the song only kicks in four and a half minutes into the whole thing. Thankfully the YouTube page of the hip-hop group (and recent Manila visitor) is nice enough to compile their live performances of the song, where they collaborate with several female singers, mostly under the YG banner. Lee Suhyun (of Akdong Musician) is a little too young for this, I think. Lee Hi is cold… and I like it. (Obvious bias.) Minzy (from 2NE1) is similar to Hi, but it’s not as gloomy. Younha surprisingly brings gravitas to this – it’s a mix of acceptance and sadness, and her blending in really plays nicely. And Cho Won-Sun (from Roller Coaster – not a pop band, I must add), who performed it in the album version, gives a wizened feel to the female vocals. Okay. I haven’t talked about the actual song. It’s nice. Or maybe I’m saying this after listening to it repeatedly? [NB]