Saranghae: Purfles “1,2,3”

I think this is a perfect example of a over talented trio plagued by a stupid name. This song came out 6 days ago and just recently broke 100,000 views and I suspect there’s no hype because Purfle sounds strangely like the sequel to a Furby. It’s not, and it’s not even a poorly done translation of the English word Purple. A purfle is an ornamental design especially seen on the back of a violin. You know why I knew that? I looked it up and I bet most other people will have to do the same; purfle is not a common word. But their song tho:

The song is relatively simple, deep booming bass, simple rhythm and all the trimmings included in typical club music. Their vocals are typical for a Korean girl group until you get to the “nana” sections and the breakdown, where the harmonies kick in. It’s not the best thing since sliced bread, but it deserves more hype that 100k views in a week. I think I’m also a bit more hype about it because I can see them getting into even stronger vocals as more songs come out. We could have a tiny Spica on our hands, especially because their introduction sounds like this (only the first 10 seconds):

Also because their debut stage sounds rough but clearly not lipsynced. That ending flourish that wooyoung did after the breakdown was pretty damn cool.

As for the video itself, the club scene was ok, but please feed me workout videos all day long. Workout style shots celebrate the strength of the body, and the company shot them in greyscale, making the feel grittier and more raw. Even the shots featuring a body part typically panned or was shot in a wide angle, making the focus less on that particular body part and more on the act of working out. The ladies in this video are in control and I like that so much.

I can’t wait for their next song, and I look forward to more bands that sound like this and Kiss and Cry. This style needs to keep happening please.

❤ Rebecca

남주긴 아까워 by Spica S is a minor dissappointment

This is less of a review and more of an inquiry as to who else on the wordpress blogosphere feels the same way as me. To preface, I find it to be an enjoyable, well constructed song that just unfortunately sounded a lot more like Sistar than Spica. I like me some Sistar, but switching Sistar for Spica is like getting promised a well prepared steak and getting served M&Ms. Those two foods were picked because I feel like Spica has a meaty deeper tone that is full bodied, where Sistar is high and sugary. This song has low points (mostly the rap section) but stays extremely high and nasally throughout the chorus and most of the verses. I find that I can’t even enjoy the decently made music video, because I got something that was just so far away from what I wanted.

I think mostly it’s my fault. I really shouldn’t assume Spica – Boa is going to sound the same as Spica itself. The leader is an important voice to go without and I think that really impacted their sound. I also shouldn’t assume that Spica S SHOULD sound like Spica. Many sub units are formed simply because they want to take on a different sound, and many times I appreciate the branch from the original (looking at you Orange Caramel). I think my problem was I was thinking that this would be the opportunity for Spica’s members to shine while Boa wasn’t there, cause they would have a more generous line distribution. Instead I spent my time thinking about how much Bohyung sounded like Hyorin, how Juhyun sounded like Bora and how the other two just melted into the background. Very much standard Sistar.

To compare here is the song:

Here is Spica’s most popular song according to peak number in Korean charts:

And here is Sistar’s most popular song based on number of digital downloads (because Sistar has multiple number 1 songs):

Want to refute my opinion? Agree with me? Let me know if I’m going crazy or not, please.

❤ Rebecca

Saranghae: Kara’s “Mamma Mia”

I didn’t know how I felt about Mamma Mia. I really liked the song, but was it really worthy of a post about it when I am equally obsessed with Taylor Swift’s new single right now? Last night I accidentally stayed up until 4am watching live stages, dance versions and MR removed videos of this single, and I might be in love with it. I know many Kamilia’s and even casual fans are mad about Jiyoung and Nicole being gone, but I think its a blessing in disguise since now Nicole gets to go solo and Jiyoung is going to start up acting, which is what I believe she always wanted to do. Plus old members get more screen time, and the new Kara member Youngji has a surprisingly strong voice. I can’t wait until she gets more comfortable with being on stage so she can get some more time belting out lines.

Here’s the MV:

And here’s a live version with the MR removed:

I’m excited for the new Kara. =)

❤ Rebecca

K-Feminist: Whatcha lookin’ at? My eyes are up here. (Spica’s “I Did It”)

That title comes from the lyrics of Spica’s English debut song “I did it” which was just released today. I felt a feminism segment coming for a long time, and it can’t be easier when I have lyrics to analyze along with the presentation for the video. If you wanna follow along, click here for a link to color coded lyrics.

Spica’s English debut single is one where it says one thing and shows the other. Now I know that as a woman I have the agency to wear whatever the fuck I want to to make me feel sexy, confident, etc. I also know that kpop stars surrender their agency to their literal agency. For Spica this is B2M entertainment, who also manages Lee Hyori. Now in the past, Hyori and Spica have been portrayed (whether it be by their own request or by the agency’s desires) as strong, independent women in videos such as “Bad Girls” and “You don’t love me”, but the English translations for the lyrics don’t quite make that same mark. “Bad girls” is a guide book on how to be a bad girl in order to be more attractive to men with lines like “Look a bit far ahead, walk a bit fast/Show just a little skin to be sexy” and “The heroine of a movie may be like an angel/But the bad girl next to her is more attractive”. You don’t love me is a distraught woman getting rid of a relationship; the lyrics would have been much more empowering without the breakdown where they repeat “I need you, love love.” This new single fixes the lack of agency in the lyrics, where the whole anthem in the song is that “I did it for me”. Can’t get much more empowering than ‘the only thing in my life that effects my decisions is my own damn opinion.’

But after you get past the lyrics, you watch the video. Now I’m ok with the outfits, I’m ok with the dance. The problem is in the editing, where the video literally embodies what feminism calls “the male gaze”.  Juhyun, you ask me where I’m looking, and tell me that your eyes are up here. Let me inform you that the video is cut in such a way that the only way I can watch it is to look at your legs, or to watch every part of you dance but where your eyes are located. I never object to a shot of someone’s legs when the lyrics point to shoes, but this whole video was a series of disjointed body parts. The lyrics state that “I don’t care what you want me to be” but this whole video turned your image into one of an object, a faceless idol that could be replaced by any band anywhere.

This is what half of the video looks like. Really.
This is what half of the video looks like. Really.

B2M has shown through their lyrics and their idol’s images that they want to make the the strong independent women the sexy woman, and I am more than happy to support that line of thinking. I just hope that next video can be one where the lyrics are more like “I did it” and the video is more like “You don’t know me”. Spica certainly has the talent to rise above pandering and I hope they do so.

❤ Rebecca

 
 

Saranghae: Block B’s “Her”

Is there anything better than a kpop band who’s leader writes and produces their own songs? Since the lawsuit with their former entertainment company, Block B has become synonymous with the word authentic when it comes to kpop entertainers in my mind. This latest video is Block B’s way of taking on the aegyo concept and smashing it out of the park with pure ridiculous.

You too can dye your hair and clothes with the power of ridiculous for one lowwwwwww payment.
You too can dye your hair and clothes with the power of ridiculous for one lowwwwwww payment.

The only thing I wasn’t too fond of was the cut in the music to go to the fake variety show, but the only reason I didn’t like it is because I don’t like cuts in the music for music videos. The idea that they were trying to show at the end was that there are really three Block Bs. There’s the idols, the performers and the musicians, and the latter two want to be taken more seriously than the former. They’re goofballs but they’re real musicians and don’t forget it. Or Zico will go aegyo on your ass.

Hey Zico Zico ni, let me high five you in the face. See even the subtitles know what you're about.
Hey Zico Zico ni, let me high five you in the face. See even the subtitles know what you’re about.

All in all, this is the type of Kpop video I want. Sexy is sexy, but hilarity trumps that any day.

 ❤ Rebecca