Tag Archives: F(x)

Kpop for Noobcakes 10 Best MVs of 2014

It’s no secret that Kpop suffered heavy losses this past year. The entire country collectively mourned for 3 weeks, leaving many schedules canceled and new releases pushed back. While I didn’t listen to them, the Ladies Code crash rippled to all parts of kpop, and other stars went through injury. Lastly, many prominent kpop stars pushed back against their contracts, switching companies or all together leaving the Kpop scene. Yet I found I was at no shortage of fabulous songs, and like last year, I had to cut songs from the honorable mentions section, let alone the top 10. So without further ado, I give you the music videos that I thought were the best this year. Scoring is biased towards the song, but the video also has a heavy weight to how high the song is placed on the list. Cultural relevance and years in the industry also have an impact on how well the song scores.

10. TVXQ- Spellbound

This year has been a fantastic one for swing, and the trend started with TVXQ on the first of the year when they came out with “Something”. “Spellbound” is the even better follow up to their first song of the year, adding a Vegas style flair to the “One shot” box style video that SM is known for. One thing that particularly impressed me about the video is that the backup dancers actually interacted with the camera instead of trying to blend in.

9. F(x)- Red Light

I rather liked the dark styling in this video and the almost round like song. It was an extremely different and memorable song. The draw backs to it were the lack of a climax and how loud the background layering comes through on headphones. It wasn’t mixed as well as I would have liked. All of the ladies were styled well to their personalities and the stylist left behind the usual Katamari ball of weird accessories.

8. Purfles 1,2,3

The first of several rookies on my list, Purfles took their solid harmonies to the bank on this club style Kpop song. Their name is kinda dumb, and their company is small so their distribution is limited, but I advise you to actively promote these girls and the other rookies on this list. All of the groups feature strong vocals, something I feel we need more of in Kpop. Purfles are still working on reaching cohesion live, but if their introduction video tells me one thing, its that their vocal talent may be rough, but its real. Also workout sections of songs are my soft spot, not to mention that her boxing was actually decent.

7. 2ne1- Come Back Home

This is the song I arguably have the most bias with. 2ne1 is my favorite band, and I identify as Blackjack when asked by another Kpop purveyor. This song sits at number 7 because is a slightly above average song with amazing production value. The song does not reach the level of quality I expect from 2ne1, but I spent weeks watching nothing but this music video. It looks gorgeous and has a story worth unraveling.

6. Kiss & Cry- Domino Game

Can we have more trumpet please in songs? The Latin flare and beat is so good in this Kpop song and the dance follows suit. The vocals are very strong, although whether the strong vocals continue after the loss of a member remains to be seen… its not for certain that the group will even be making a comeback. I hope that even if they do not make it back, that more rookie groups will be following in their style, strong vocals, strong image, strong dancing. Strong is sexy.

5. EXO K- Overdose

I think this song slammed its way onto my list because I (wrongly) attribute it to bringing back Kpop. It was the first song to be released after the ferry accident, and I was grateful to them. The ferry tragedy affected me like it did other Kpop fans, but it also occurred during my student teaching and I felt the tragedy a little differently as a teacher myself. Kpop was my way to bring me out of my funk and I was very happy when news of an EXO comeback came my way. Usually I like the M version of the song better, but for this release, I think the K version is much stronger.

4. Block B- Her

Block B’s move to Seven Seasons seems to be exactly what the doctor ordered for the group. While the lines really aren’t balanced anymore, it seems like Zico having a greater hold of creative control on the group has allowed the members to make videos that adhere to their sense of humor. In addition to that, the songs sound different, and that’s not only musical styling. Zico’s writing doesn’t rely on the same tropes that other pop songs seem to use, and so the words sound different than the typical “saranghae” nonsense. I would love to see more releases from them, or even subunit work.

3. Taeyang et ala- Eyes Nose Lips cover project

By itself, “Eyes, nose, lips” is a simple but forgettable ballad. The original song was well sung, and while Taeyang was shirtless for the entirety, the shooting never focused on what he looked like. Here is the original:

YG did a very smart thing with this song and allowed other artists on their label to reinvent the song in their style, bringing out the cover project. The first is the brother sister duo AKMU, who did the song in a soft spring-like indie style.

The second was the English rap ballad version done by Tablo of Epik High. Taeyang sings the bridge on this version in English. The lyrics are decent; listen to this one carefully.

The third and final YG cover is by Lydia Paek, a choreographer under YG. Her cover is a English Ballad. Lydia is formerly of Quest Crew, a dance crew based out of LA, so her English is very accurate and slang infused.

Lastly, while he is not under YG, Eric Nam, a Kpop artist born in Georgia did a verbatim English translation of Taeyang’s original song.

Now all of these songs separately would not be enough to make it onto the list, but together the concept of “Eyes, Nose, Lips” is enough to make it to the third spot on the list.

2. Mamamoo- Piano Man

This song nearly became my number one song of the year. Mamamoo debuted at the beginning of this year, but they seemed to be on very few Kpop fan’s radar. This song however, is a brilliant use of their vocal talents to deliver swing music that uses excellent piano that was clearly live recorded for the song. The video evokes a 1920’s speakeasy, and each idol is cast as a different person inside the club. What is even more spectacular than the video is the live performance, which not only sounds exactly like the recording, but every single performance version differs from the others. They do a different action or add a different flavor sentence to the blank spaces of the song. It gives the viewer a reason to sit through all the live versions to find the differences. It also shows how talented these girls are, to remember which version is happening at which show. There are at least a dozen live performances, and if you like this song even slightly, I encourage you to watch a live version… or two… or 8.

1. Spica- You Don’t Love Me

Do I even have to explain? I hope the 3 rookie groups mentioned on this list this year reach the vocal prowess that Spica just is. The styling of the video uses a lot of 40’s and 50’s makeup, hair and outfits, and while this is a box video, they actually interact with the set, to hilarious fashion at the end of the song. Their take on the use of butt padding in the industry is amusing as hell and the whole thing is quite frankly perfect. The only issue I’ve ever had with it has been the English translation of the song being not quite as girl power as the video is, but since I can’t speak Korean, it’s not really an appropriate complaint, nor would it change the spot on the list if I added that problem into the equation.

At the end of every list, I add five slots for videos that didn’t quite make it on the list. As for my honorable mentions:

1. Everything that Orange Caramel touched this year. Seriously, they had Catellena and My Copycat for main songs which both had awesome videos. They had a great commercial video for Baskin Robbins called Abing Abing, and my personal favorite Gangnam Avenue. If I liked their group concept even a tiny bit more than I do, any one of these songs could have been on the list.

2. High4 and IU- Not Spring, Love or Cherry Blossoms. This was huge in Korea, especially because they really like seasonally themed music. This is the first time I really enjoyed a song centered around the start of spring and how the writer did not want to have to deal with love blossoming.

3. Kara- Mamma Mia. I was pleasantly surprised with this song; I was worried with the loss of 2 members that Kara was not going to fair well. This song was really good.

4. Masta Wu ft. Dok2 & Bobby- Come here. It’s a guilty pleasure to be honest. I liked the stripped out mixing and I’m rather a fan of the flow of all the members featured. I have no idea what they’re saying and I think if I did I probably wouldn’t like it as much as I do. I’m trying to stay blissfully ignorant.

5. Got7- A. As you may be able to see by my lists, I enjoy female groups far more than male groups, because I like their singing a lot more. What carries this song is the video, especially the dancing and the humor used and how sometimes they intertwine the two. It’s also pretty damn catchy considering most of the chorus is AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYEEEEEEE.

Hoping for a good 2015 for Kpop. Have a happy New Year everyone.
❤ Rebecca

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Saranghae: F(x)’s Red Light Teaser Pictures

Now I am usually the last Kpop fan on the planet to get wrapped up in teaser videos and pictures. I let everyone else do the hype and just bide my time until the release date. However, the styling on these pictures is something that I’m REALLY enjoying, particularly because the members don’t look like their rolled through the dollar store (or for Electric Shock, a taxidermy office). Even if the video isn’t horror, I feel like the pictures actually match the vibe of what 8 seconds of the song I heard. Plus there were clear winning pictures in this group that made me shift my mindset a little when it comes towards the members of F(x).

I grabbed these pictures from all over the web and they have different qualities because of that. Sorry for that.

First off, Victoria does not remind me of a shark. The lace is beautiful and there's such a Victorian quality to it.
First off, Victoria does not remind me of a shark. The lace is beautiful and there’s such a Victorian quality to it.
When she opened her mouth to smile, it gave a very predator kind of feel. I always called it the shark look.
When she opened her mouth to smile, it gave a very predator kind of feel. I always called it the shark look.
I got none of that feeling from these pictures.
I got none of that feeling from these pictures.
Also, might I say that loose curls work REALLY well with her facial structure. It's very pretty.
Also, might I say that loose curls work REALLY well with her facial structure. It’s very pretty.
Sulli in a classy hat is a superior Sulli.
Sulli in a classy hat is a superior Sulli.
In this picture, I thought Krystal looked a lot like Dara.
In this picture, I thought Krystal looked a lot like Dara.
And in this one she looked like Luna Lovegood wearing a suit.
And in this one she looked like Luna Lovegood wearing a suit.
Speaking of Luna, wow does she look fantastic with that haircut.
Speaking of Luna, wow does she look fantastic with that haircut.
And the power I usually praise Amber for she embodies in this photo. Strong women are sexy women to me.
She embodies the power I usually praise Amber for in this photo. Strong women are sexy women to me.
And speaking of Amber.
And speaking of Amber.
That is an unbelievable hair cut, and I'm so glad they found a style that was more feminine while still retaining the strong qualities that Amber possesses. Her style choices had kinda become monotone after the 7th time she wore basketball length shorts.
That is an unbelievable hair cut, and I’m so glad they found a style that was more feminine while still retaining the strong qualities that Amber possesses. Her style choices had kinda become monotone after the 7th time she wore basketball length shorts.
RIP my ovaries. Done and out. Cannot wait. Well teased.
RIP my ovaries. Done and out. Cannot wait. Well teased.

I wrote this while there was still potential for more Amber teaser photos to come out, so I may edit if the photos are superior in quality to the ones I have already. I am so hype right now, I can’t contain it. I have work tomorrow and I don’t know how well this sleep thing is gonna go. I’ll try though.

❤ Rebecca

My post-Christmas, somewhat Kpop related wishlist

I had a phenomenal Christmas, spending time with family and friends. All of the gifts I gave went over well and I got really awesome gifts myself. I was thinking though, what would happen if I could wish for totally unrealistic things. Here is my Christmas list if money and barriers were not a thing:

1. Celebrity makeup artist and youtuber Pony (Park Hyemin) will live in my closet and do my make up for me in the morning:

I don’t do jack to my eyebrows, don’t own an eyelash curler, and have never put on fake eyelashes. It will be a totally new experience.

2. Climb everything with Amber:

Why is she the coolest thing?
Why is she the coolest thing?

3.  Look half as cute as Minho, sing half as well as Jonghyun, dance half as well as Taemin… basically distill the talent of Shinee and give me their powers.

4. Give me CL’s closet for a day. I can do some crazy cool things with her arsenal of clothing.

5. As a matter of fact, let me fit into any Korean style clothing. I have an excellent proportion for a white American girl, but 36D’s and a hip size over 40 does not exist in Asia (well it probably does, but free size is just dumb). AND THEIR CLOTHING IS SO CUTE.

Recycling this Min picture because this dress is the best thing. Really. It will also never fit me.
Recycling this Min picture because this dress is the best thing. Really. It will also never fit me.

6. Be Tiffany. Because Tom Hiddleston:

He is just the best, and I am jealous of her on so many levels.
He is just the best, and I am jealous of her on so many levels.

7. And lastly, all of Nine Muses in their “Wild” outfits, in a private location.

When this one is the most innocent out of the group, you know your night is going to be just the best.
When this one is the most innocent out of the group, you know your night is going to be just the best.

Since this didn’t happen for Christmas, my birthday is January 17th. Just saying, Kpop world.

❤ Rebecca

Kplaylist 1: Aegyozilla!

So I made one mistake when filming my introductions to all these songs besides all of the stuttering and tangents. I filmed this at 1 am at my house, while the rest of my family was asleep. This means that I spoke really softly and you’ll need to either listen to me whisper or turn up the volume on my videos and turn down the volume on the kpop videos. I’ll make sure to film during the day next time =D  Warning: Both my video explanations and my blog post contain spoilers.

So this playlist started off by hearing the song Bar Bar Bar by Crayon Pop. I was really interested in this song that had somehow taken over the Billboard charts, and I really feel that the power of cute helped out in that. I have to make a temporary (I hope) edit to the playlist; Bar Bar Bar has been blocked in America by the Korean companies on copyright grounds…. and it was fine when I filmed a day ago. What can you do?

From there I started with B1A4’s What’s Happening? which shows off the murderous nature of pillows and Tiny G’s Minimanimo which highlights how giant objects make everything cuter. Then I went for an SM kick with Shinee’s Hello and  F(x)’s Chu ❤ where the girls exchange saliva with everything and Jonghyun looks creepily at small children. I took a short break from my SM bit with the song Shy Boy by Secret with their Shy boy themed stores and clubs, only to go back to SM with SNSD’s Oh. Then I have 4minute’s Heart to Heart where you’ll need to watch for the girl in the cap. After that comes BAP’s Stop it where you have to wonder if the girl did that all on purpose to convert him. Then it’s Miss A’s penguin dance… I mean Breathe and finally the movie IU’s You and I. I talked a bit about each of the videos I chose in the playlist, so it’s best to watch the videos for some explanation.

Also, should you like my playlist and want to listen to all the songs without my commentary in between, here’s a link to a playlist with only the music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMqL1iWfku4&list=PLHmOF2oQvtQGIu4GXFg2Fts-BoZrNmWWy

❤ Rebecca

Kpop Culture Day 5: Biases

Biases: Who’s YOUR favorite?

Biases as a concept are actually pretty easy to figure out. The only issue with translation might be when people say they have a “bias”in a band it means that they have a bias towards them, not away from them. You can’t be biased towards a solo artist, because there’s really nothing to compare them to in a unit (unless you compare them to all of kpop). It’s really a convoluted way of saying “______ is my favorite”.

As a new person, you might say that “I don’t have a favorite in this group, I don’t know them really well.” That may not be true. A bias isn’t always who you fan-gush over when the music video isn’t on. I think the easiest way to tell who is your bias in the group is to see who your eyes gravitate towards when watching a music video. If it stays consistent through several videos, it’s safe to say you have a bias towards that member. Because of this, biases don’t have to be the star you find most attractive, instead it can be the funniest member of the group or the best dancer.

Biases can also change, and may change pending on new information that you receive. For example, in Shinee, a group of RIDICULOUSLY good looking men, I was always biased towards Taemin (TAEMAN!!!) because he was the best dancer in the group. Therefore whenever the whole group was on screen I would look at him to watch his dance moves. Not anymore. I just watched a drama staring Minho, the rapper of Shinee, and now I am hard core smitten with his facial expressions.

So, I thought I would make a more casual and personal culture day by telling you my biases. I will only tell you biases out of the groups I show you videos for, so this post will grow as I review more and more videos. Feel free to tell me who you like in the comments below xD

SNSD: Sunny

She's so cute. Honorable mention goes to Hyoyeon.
Sunny! She’s so cute. Honorable mention goes to Hyoyeon.

2ne1: Minzy

The super swag maknae!
Minzy: the super swag maknae!

MBLAQ: Seungho

Great looks, great voice.
Seungho: Great looks, great voice.

F(x): Amber

Her English rapping is great.

Wonder Girls: Yubin

Yubin has excellent rapping skills. Especially in "Be my Baby"
Yubin has excellent rapping skills. Especially in “Be my Baby”

Shinee: Minho

Minho has great facial expressions, although I still love Taemin's dancing.
Minho has great facial expressions, although I still love Taemin’s dancing.

4minute: Hyuna

Hyuna. Even though I don't like her solo stuff, she's the one I watch in 4minute
Even though I don’t like how she is portrayed sometimes, I still love to watch her.

Brown Eyed Girls: Miryo

She's really powerful when she raps.
She’s really powerful when she raps.

BIGBANG: Taeyang

He's like the Korean Neyo. He just does everything, and looks good while doing it.
He’s like the Korean Ne-yo. He just does everything, and looks good while doing it.

Nu’est: Baekho

Attractive and a martial artist? Works for me xD
Attractive and a martial artist? Works for me xD Close second goes to Ren.

FTIsland: No Bias

Whole band is good.
Whole band is good.

Super Junior: Shindong

He was my very first bias. Funny and a great dancer. Kyuhyun and Siwon are pretty good too.
He was my very first bias. Funny and a great dancer. Kyuhyun and Siwon are pretty good too.

Miss A: Min

She's so cute.
She’s so cute. I want that grey dress by the way.

Ukiss: Kevin

Kevin has a great personality, although Eli and AJ also are easy going.
Kevin has a great personality, although Eli and AJ also are easy going.

B.A.P.: Zelo

He's 6 foot and he's only 16. I promise I'm no pedo noona.
He’s 6 foot and he’s only 16. I promise I’m no pedo noona.