Tag Archives: SHINee

SHINee

SHINee is a kpop group that particularly focuses on excellent dance sequences, although they are not a pop group lacking in singing and rapping in exchange. They’re a band that has pretty similar sounding music, save their first single “Replay” (its full name is in Korean). It leans slightly more to dance than typical, especially more recent releases that have featured dubstep like sounds as part of the song and bridge.

From left to right: Minho, Onew, Jonghyun, Taemin, Key
From left to right: Minho, Onew, Jonghyun, Taemin, Key

Members
5 members, none inactive or retired
Onew: Leader and singer
Jonghyun: Main singer
Taemin: Main dancer, singer, maknae
Minho: Visual, rapper
Key: Pretty much does everything

If you looked up the official classifications, they’d appear different from what I just told you. Sometimes, groups will give out titles based on who is the best at something at the beginning of the groups conception, and sometimes better titles will be given to older members since Korea is very honor conscious. What I notice is that Minho pretty much exclusively raps and is what’s known as the visual (an admittance that this person has the prettiest face/most charisma), Taemin is by far the best dancer of the group and Jonghyun is the most vocally gifted. Onew has decent vocal ability, and he’s also the leader so he gets a good number of lines. Key is the last person left without a niche ability, and his skill is that he can really do everything. Dance? Ok. Sing? You got it. Rap? Sure. Wear a ridiculous hairstyle and still look really damn good? No worries, I got this on lock (but really though, check out lucifer).

Shipping
SHINee used to have a crazy fan base back in the day, that has kinda tamed down as the fans have grown with SHINee (those that didn’t, in my brain, make up the crazy internet dwellers in the Exotics). One of the artifacts of this fan base was a really well explored shipping culture, where there are supporters for every (and I mean EVERY) pairing within Shinee. The most known are:

Obtained from Kpopselca.com
Obtained from Kpopselca.com

JongKey: Jonghyun gets shipped the most with everyone, because he can be the most fanservice-y. He has a good pairing with Key because Key is much cuter and caring, which balances out Jonghyun’s more sexy side.

Found at mymusicradar.blogspot.com
Found at mymusicradar.blogspot.com

2min: So if Jonghyun and Key are already taken, a strong ship is 2min, Minho and Taemin. It has a catchy name and people who ship Jongkey can also ship 2min. Works for everyone. It’s a decent pair because the two seem more reserved than the others, and with Minho being athletic and Taemin being a great dancer, they tend to have material in common for the fanfics.

Found at onewxmishiru.blogspot.com/
Found at onewxmishiru.blogspot.com/

OnewxChicken: Arguably the strongest ship in all of SHINee… nah just joking. The Onew and chicken joke came out of a long running joke that happened during SHINee’s younger years. Onew got the reputation of being kinda clumsy and kinda dopey, like a real life Goofy. Playing it off, Onew often made comments about his favorite meal, chicken. That side of him really doesn’t come up anymore, but the chicken joke remains.

Another notable ship is Jongtae, just off of their stage interactions. If you google it, you’ll see what I mean. I just suggest not looking it up where people can misconstrue what you’re seeing. It can be… well a little suggestive.

Videos

SHINee’s most popular video would be their Lucifer video. It is particularly catchy, features some edgy hairstyling and has a pretty difficult dance. What’s even more astounding is that it looks like SHINee can do this dance as easy as breathing.  The video has over 48 million views, and the official dance version is approaching 15 million views. The single only reached #2 on the Gaon charts, but it is known as a timeless song because it was still achieving high downloads the following year as well. Minho was injured during the promotion of this song.

Other notable songs are their debut single “누난 너무 예뻐(Replay)” [Noona neomu yeppeo], the engrish laden “Ring ding dong”, and “Sherlock (Clue and note)” which has a detective story that kinda mimics Blues Clues. I would watch the dance version of the last one.

The Noobcakes stats

Favorite video: Juliette. It’s a really good song and a really good video. I really like the masks, and it was in this video that Jonghyun stopped being creepy to me and started being sexy (that face that he makes in “Hello” still haunts me).

Yes. To everything.
Yes. To everything.

Bias: Minho. He has puppy dog eyes, and I got suckered in via a K-drama. Before the K-drama, I watched Taemin’s dancing all the time.

Favorite SHINee moment: When I accidentally wrote a fan fic in my sleep starring the members of SHINee. I don’t write fan fics, but the power of SHINee was too strong for my sleeping brain, and I made myself the female protagonist of the Japanese anime “Ghost hunt”. For some reason, Jonghyun was my pairing, with Minho being the monk and Onew being the priest. Taemin and Key were both women and I’ll let you figure out who was who. We had to solve a murder with paranormal activity in the parking garage that Ukiss filmed “Standing Still”.

Favorite outfit:

With every other outfit in this picture being runner up. And that's saying a lot because I HATE dress shorts. Key can wear a garbage bag and make it look good, I swear.
With every other outfit in this picture being runner up. And that’s saying a lot because I HATE dress shorts. Key can wear a garbage bag and make it look good, I swear.

Best dance: Everybody. Even with the foot screw up in the bridge. It’s just a ridiculously flashy dance.

Worst song: Amigo. MEH.

Pet peeve: Shinee’s obsession with unnecessarily long hair. Key can never see, Taemin looks like he’s wearing tassels on his head and Minho has a mop on his head during Ring Ding Dong.

The moment when I wanted to change my Blackjack status to Shawol: When Jonghyun updated his twitter profile picture as a statement supporting a bisexual transgender woman’s campaign to change the way South Korean’s perspective on LGBT youth and youth troubles. And the subsequent surfacing of his personal message to the woman asking if it was ok for him to spread this message, concerned about throwing her into such public life.

Soy un dorito!

❤ Rebecca

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Kpop for Noobcakes 10 Best Kpop Videos of 2013

Now when I start this list, I want to let everyone know that I’m basing it on the full package, the song and the video. Otherwise “Recipe” by Brown Eyed Girls would have taken all 10 slots and I wouldn’t have a blog post.

Kpop doesn’t fit well into a list this small. It would probably be easier to compile a list of 40 videos than it is to talk about 10. What get’s hard is determining what goes where in the list. My list is very personal, and it’s as much about my personal tastes as it is the quality of the song or video. For example, “Rum Pum Pum” was a sleeper hit for me, but I don’t feel like it impacted my Kpop viewing experience as much as these songs did. A band could have put out a song that I rather enjoyed from the start, like “Gone not around any longer”, but didn’t really have that lasting quality. Some songs were good, but over hyped, and felt like a let down. Others are just perennially outside of my taste no matter how decent the song is.

So what did I think were the top 10 Kpop Videos of the Year?

10. “I’ve got a Boy” by Girl’s Generation

To be honest, I wasn’t quite sure if this was going to make the list. The song has a musical type feel to it, which I actually like, but I’m not a fan of the bridge. The video looks like they took F(x)’s item collection, dipped it in rainbows and unicorns then rolled GG in it. Is no bueno. But I love the dance. It’s sexy without being butt shaking and all sorts of other “hey look at my body parts” dance moves, in that all the dance moves have power to them.. If the video was styled the same way they danced, it would be fantabulous. What really won me over was the talking piece. Without changing their image (something that GG really needs, mind you) they changed their sound to something that spread well outside of kpop, on to the youtube front page, into the best video slot and traveled on to the Time’s best singles of 2013 list. I could ask friends about what they thought of the song artistically and actually have a conversation about the musical piece stylistically. Any song that allows me to bleed my Kpop life into my everyday life deserves to be in the top songs of the year.

9. “While You’re Sleeping” by JeA

Leave it to JeA and Nega Network to put music first. I was completely in love with Recipe, but that had no video, and I wasn’t as starstruck by Kill Bill as the rest of the Ksphere was. This song had both the elements of a good song and video. The video was minimalistic, allowing the viewer to view the singer as the instrument and let the focus be on the sound, rather than the visuals. Excellent.

8. “Be the Light” by Block B

Decent song, much better when you consider that Block B was crumbling the previous year because of statements and a shitty entertainment company. Also that they’re a RAP group. What clinched it for me, was when my Korean friend heard me listening to it when it came out and had a conversation about how decent the lyrics were. Apparently, when Zico writes, its not trite. It’s hard for me to appreciate, but I’m glad to listen to words that aren’t always some conjugation of love. On top of that, me and other kpop fans have been interpreting the video as BB getting the snot beaten out of them by their old entertainment company, and the women are the fans that receive the collateral damage. It might not mean that, but since meaning is in the interpretation, I think that’s not a far reach.

7. “Dream Girl” by Shinee

The video where SM proves they can, in one video, make a non boring in a box video and provide an applicable context for their random ass styling. I really like the sound of the song (save the annoying ass bleeps that were added for effect in the video), since it requires a level of singing and depth present in few other songs in Kpop. The dance isn’t quite on par with “Everybody” but I like that they chose to dance with the mic stands. It was all together a different Shinee song, and I rather liked it.
Also, they are all very good looking. Just saying.

6. “Miss Korea” by Lee Hyori

This was certainly the way to get introduced to Lee Hyori. Generally all I heard was that she was Kpop’s ‘sliced bread’, but I never knew what songs were so influential or the like. Hyori comes out with a single, and it’s simple. Cool, I was expecting that based on what I had heard. What I was not expecting was a confident star that makes a video that sends a message and brings more meaning to her song lyrics (which I felt compelled to look up after I watched the video).  Lastly, she acts her age. That shouldn’t be as big of a deal as it is, but it’s Kpop. 30 is like death. Hyori is 34.

5. “Hurricane” by B.A.P.

Addicting. Seriously. The beat is phenomenal.  The video makes decent use of the location, and has some decent shots and dancing moments. What makes this song is the Engrish. This was the only song I could blast in my college lounge and everyone would yell “We hurricane” during the chorus. My friends would light their loofs on fire. It suckered non kpop fans with the ridiculous pronunciation and kept them there with the excellent production. Done deal.

4. “What’s going on?” by B1A4

Also translating into “What’s happening”, this song is the perfect example of my own personal bias towards a group. I thought this group was full of teenyboppers and ridiculous. I wanted no part of it. Apparently I can take ridiculous if it’s beheading mannequins with a pillow. Also, the song isn’t called Beautiful Target. That helps.
But seriously, there’s not a part of this song and video I don’t like. Even the Japanese version is something for me to watch, with all the ridiculousness and a more succinct and feminist message. This is how you do a box video.

3. “24 Hours” by Sunmi

Funny that the Wonder Girl that left years ago is the only Wonder Girl really in the game right now. I went in to this song having no expectations and came out surprised. I loved the look, with the bare feet and leotards. I thought the white and black imagery was really great, how as she got more involved with this shady dude, the clothing got darker.  While the tango section wasn’t the greatest (for me), I understood it’s importance musically and in the video as the turning point. And I loved what they did where they rewound time. I thought it was very clever, all around.

2. “U & I” by Ailee

I’m happy to say this Kpop powerhouse is from my home state. I think we can claim this victory for New Jersey. U&I was the perfectly balanced soulful track that “I’ll show you” tried to be and fell short. The video had some great images, including the only band that I actually believe that knows how to play their instruments in the video (I’m looking at you SNSD). Honestly, Ailee is the perfect balance stuck between the soulfulness of Lee Hi, the cuteness of SNSD and the confidence of 2ne1 or Lee Hyori, and I really like where she’s at. Fingers crossed for an English album.

1. “Wild” by Nine Muses

If sultry-ness was all it took to get the top spot on my list, After School or Girl’s Day would be sitting in this place. This song was perfectly balanced with the video, with piano elements in the soft sections and electronic sounds powering through the chorus. The raps were decent, the melody something belonging in an Anime opening. And the video. You can’t go wrong with 9 models posing in lingerie, shot in black and white with the red elements added back in. What they do with the rose is just exceptional, and I find that all of the girls are wearing outfits that suit their charms perfectly. What makes this exceptional is that all of the girls appear confident, even the ones who are portraying a more shy and coy type of lady. The coat drop and the cape swing are gifs that should live on in infamy. I dare SNSD to attempt something even half this good. We might break Kpop then.

5 Honorable mentions:

Hyde by Vixx– The song caught me off guard. Rather enjoyable, especially the dance.
Gotta Talk to U by Seungri– Seungri, how did you outshine the rest of the YG cast?
Ringa Linga (Dance version) by Taeyang– The regular video was meh compared to this great dance video. Well done.
All Day I think About You by 2PM– The song is decent. The visuals are on some 9muses level shit. Colab?
Bar Bar Bar by Crayon Pop– You want to talk different in Kpop? Listen to this. Starts out annoying, ends up refreshing?

There were other songs I enjoyed that are not on this list. Have your own list or a song choice to dispute with me? Write it in the comments.

Happy New Year, and well wishes for a great 2014
❤ 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

K Culture 7: A short behind the scenes glimpse of the Kpop Machine…..

Now, as all Kpop fans know, the world of Kpop is tightly controlled and manufactured to have the “best possible results”. Entertainment companies focus on creating a perfectly polished image in their hopes of getting to and staying on the top of Korean Entertainment. This is a fairly successful model, but there are other avenues for success for the select few. I look at Busker Busker, who started out on the Kpop machine route and wrenched themselves out of the grasp of controlling Entertainment companies and did things their own way. They undoubtedly have just as much influence as the major idol bands as they wrecked the billboards when they released their most recent album. For their story, I love to read the story written here: http://noisey.vice.com/blog/great-white-hope-how-bradley-ray-moore-accidentally-conquered-k-pop. It’s focused on Bradley Moore, the American drummer from Busker Busker, which gives it a biased feel in terms of culture, but because of this it doesn’t try to justify the Kpop machine, which makes me feel like it ends up being more honest.

Anyway, the reason I thought to write this post is because I’m a fan of Simon and Martina from Eat Your Kimchi and they were at the Youtube Music Awards backstage in Seoul. It was their job to do quick impromptu interviews with the Kpop stars performing there. Sistar, MissA and a Youtube performer from Korea (I’m having trouble finding his name so if anyone could tell me that would be awesome) that’s worked with GDragon and had a live performance with Hyorin from Sistar. One of the other main features of this show was that Shinee was supposed to do a long formal sit down interview and it would be posted several days after the Youtube event to keep the buzz up about the performances. Nasties (EYK fans) were super psyched about this interview, and I imagine many international Shawols would have been really happy that there were questions by international fans translated into English.

The interview we got, however, was about 2 minutes long and while it was awesome to see Key touch Martina’s hair and Jonghyun talk about how he was going to sneak off for 3 months and not tell anyone, it doesn’t compare at all to their other interviews. I mean UKISS has a 9 minute informal backstage interview, where they were just talking and relaxed. Simon and Martina explained their issues with the interview in their blog post here: http://www.eatyourkimchi.com/shinee-interview/. This blog post has the interview that they talk about imbedded, so I won’t post an additional link.

They talked about how they had planned and worked with the people running the Youtube event as well as Shinee’s managers. How they had them agree to the planned format and the questions ahead of time. How they made time in their tent after Shinee couldn’t make the sit down interview backstage and how they had to last minute change all of the requested questions to ask because Shinee’s managers changed their minds. After all this, Simon and Martina had a short clip ready about 4-5 days after the Youtube awards, all translated and full of rainbows. They sent a copy of the video to the PR staff, not for approval but just to check to make sure that a particular shot wasn’t bad or a response from someone put words into someone’s mouth or things like that. It was for minor changes. I will now remind you that the managers agreed to the video, the questions [twice, because they changed their minds], the location and were even present for the video filming. The PR staff said no don’t put it up. It’s filmed in a tent and it looks like it’s backstage. Obviously that didn’t fly with S&M after the video was agreed upon. EYK even offered to reschedule and refilm the interview using EYK’s or SM’s studio, but they still refused. Since they refused to reschedule, and since SM no longer has legal grounds after the agreement to film said interview and going through all the approval process during the interview, they posted the interview up and let all of us know what took them 2 weeks to get it out.

Note that Martina is about the same height as Jonghyun and how tired Onew looks. DEM DOUBLE BAGS.
Note that Martina is about the same height as Jonghyun and how tired Onew looks. DEM DOUBLE BAGS.

The thing is, SM, and arguably all of Kpop is extremely concerned about image. I’m betting that the real reason is that they did a standing interview and Martina is about 5’8″. She’s not a small girl that makes their idols look like tall lanky people. I assume it’s also because Shinee visibly looks tired. Having a crazy schedule is tough and it doesn’t help that it was in a tent. But their PR people screwed up by thinking that S&M weren’t going to talk about their experience. EYK has almost 300k facebook fans, they have almost 450k subscribers on their main Youtube account (and they have 3 total), a twitter, tumblr, blog and a bunch of Kpop fans that watch their videos and call themselves Nasties like Shinee’s fans call themselves Shawols. And Nasties have Kpop friends. And blogs. Nasties also don’t appreciate when the EYK staff is (according to EYK at least) laughed at while trying to explain the situation.

This isn’t like the Allkpop scandal with Ailee that will ruin the credibility of the company. I feel that it is instead, similar to the moniker “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.” but instead, replace the word fool with douchebag. SM has had contract scandals before and their management style has seemed pretty cold, but getting a short glimpse into what PR looks like in the biggest Kpop company just confirms that I would never want to be a Kpop star and I hope that all the other entertainment companies treat their stars and the people surrounding them better than SM do.

❤ Rebecca

Kplaylist 3: Testosterone Takeover

I just have to say before you start: Lloyd that is the best face I’ve seen you make ever (the video thumbnail).

Hello one and all Kpop nubs, this is the significant other of the blog overlord here, taking over this blog for the moment with shoop da woops, fried chicken and growing Kpop love. Following the theme of the previous post, i will be injecting this page with my repeat button-smashing Kpop list. I’ve worked on on-the-spot intros to every track basically highlighting a key aspect to the music or video that just made it so enjoyable, time and time again.

And for anyone looking to avoid seeing my mug and just absorb the vibe of the music, here is a playlist without the intros to every video.

The fundamental theme is how many of these songs related to r&b/hip-hop styles from the 90s, at least to me, and how this list is as much a reflection of these artists style as it is nostalgia. Its infinitely more enjoyable when you can find the familiar in a new genre and how much more relate-able it makes the music, even when you fail at the words. Hopefully I get to enjoy the nuances of Kpop music itself as I dig further down the rabbit hole. See you there.

…Wat.

I love my boyfriend, but sometimes I just go “Srsly?” I guess Kpop exposure has to get a little bit ridiculous, cause Kpop is, well, a little bit ridiculous.

❤ Rebecca