K-Pop

NS YOON-G: THE WAY 2..

By Paris365 on April 16, 2014

NS YOON-G: THE WAY 2..

I checked out the video for "Yasisi" ("야시시") and immediately fell in love with it.

One of my longtime readers suggested that I check out this mini-album and I'm quite glad because I hadn't heard about it. Well, OK, I *am* subscribed to 1theK's channel on Youtube, but I'm subscribed to over 200 Youtube channels, trying to keep tabs on everything for both Love is Pop and Otaku (this site), so, unfortunately, I don't have time to watch every single video that they post. But, following my reader's suggestion, I checked out the video for "Yasisi" ("야시시") and immediately fell in love with it.

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HIGH4 & IU: 봄 사랑 벚꽃 말고 [Not Spring, Love, or Cherry Blossoms]

By Paris365 on April 11, 2014

HIGH4 & IU: 봄 사랑 벚꽃 말고 [Not Spring, Love, or Cherry Blossoms]

To be honest, I'm on the fence about this one. It's got some nice, soothing strings and IU sounds beautiful as always, and I think the guys sound lovely, too, but the song is missing something.

Well, this one caught me by surprise. For a few reasons. One, I'd never heard of HIGH4 before. Ever. So, maybe this is their first single and they're using IU to get themselves some airplay or something to that effect? I could be wrong. The other thing is, I didn't hear anything about IU doing a duet with anyone, much less a whole boy band, and I'm just surprised I didn't read anything about this. I get posts from a bunch of K-Pop news sites in my feed on Facebook. And, obviously, since I didn't even know this single existed, I did not know when it was being released.

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CRAYON POP: UH-EE

By Paris365 on April 03, 2014

CRAYON POP: UH-EE

It's a K-Pop version of the chicken dance. Not the "Chicken Dance" we loathe here in the States, but, still, it's a chicken dance. Read on for the ridiculous lyrics.

The video for Crayon Pop's "UH-EE" starts off with the girls entering a jazz club. After a bit of jazz music, suddenly the girls appear in the weird outfits they're wearing on the cover for this single and start dancing and singing the song. They just remain in one relatively small area of the club as they dance and they never change outfits, which is too bad because they look a bit ridiculous dressed in those outfits, the significance of which is completely unknown to me. But perhaps they're supposed to look like workers from a fast food chicken restaurant? Why do I say this?

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ORANGE CARAMEL: SINGLE ALBUM VOL. 3 - CATALLENA

By Paris365 on March 19, 2014

ORANGE CARAMEL: SINGLE ALBUM VOL. 3 - CATALLENA

Aside from being irresistible, "Catallena" is an interesting tune for many reasons. First of all, the marching beats during the chorus initially reminded me of Heart's "Barracuda." But it's ultimately a disco song. And not just any old disco song. This time around, the girls have gone Bollywood style, "Catallena" being a self-described Indian disco-style song.

There are an awful lot of sub-units of various K-Pop girl groups floating around these days and most of them seem to float aimlessly, without any real reason for being, their songs mediocre and unnecessary, tarnishing the image of the primary group, if anything. Orange Caramel is an exception. The After School sub-unit continues to release incredible tunes with their third single, "Catallena," which is easily one of the most insanely catchy songs ever to be released by a sub-unit. Honestly, it's so damn infectious that it actually rivals After School's best singles. No kidding.

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SCARLET: DO BETTER

By Paris365 on March 07, 2014

SCARLET: DO BETTER

Scarlet is one of the new K-Pop girl groups that's starting to get a lot of attention. Apparently, they're named Scarlet because it signifies passion and sophistication.

Scarlet is one of the new K-Pop girl groups that's starting to get a lot of attention. Apparently, they're named Scarlet because it signifies passion and sophistication. Or at least that's what allkpop have to say about it. Sounds about right to me though. But what it mostly makes me think of is The Scarlet Letter. Which doesn't make me think of anything positive, to say the least. So, in my mind, scarlet represents scandal and a really boring book. That said, Scarlet are definitely not boring.

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2NE1: CRUSH

By Paris365 on March 04, 2014

2NE1: CRUSH

It will be interesting to see how this influences the K-Pop world in general because this album is a game-changer. K-Pop has risen to a new height here.

Well, well, well, it's finally arrived, 2NE1's second full-length Korean album, Crush. And since it's arrived at the same time as Girls' Generation's MR.MR., it seems a war has been started. Or so they say. Honestly, I've got so much music to review between Otaku and Love is Pop that I just don't have time to go on forums and Reddit and such to see if 2NE1 and Girls' Generation fans are arguing about whose new release is the best. If you're asking me that question, I'm going to walk that fine line in the middle and say that I like both releases equally.

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GIRLS' GENERATION (SNSD): MR.MR.

By Paris365 on February 24, 2014

GIRLS' GENERATION (SNSD): MR.MR.

It's finally here, Girls' Generation's fourth Korean mini-album, a six track masterpiece titled MR.MR. Seems like just yesterday they were releasing their latest Japanese language album, Love & Peace, but I'll take all the Girls' Generation music that I can get and if you're reading this then chances are you will, too.

It's finally here, Girls' Generation's fourth Korean mini-album, a six track masterpiece titled MR.MR. Seems like just yesterday they were releasing their latest Japanese language album, Love & Peace, but I'll take all the Girls' Generation music that I can get and if you're reading this then chances are you will, too.

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GARY (OF LEESSANG): MINI ALBUM VOL.1 - MR. GAE

By Paris365 on February 19, 2014

GARY (OF LEESSANG): MINI ALBUM VOL.1 - MR. GAE

Gary -- real name Kang Hee-gun -- is one half of the hugely popular South Korean hip-hop duo Leessang (Hangul: 리쌍), which also consists of Gil Seong-joon. (Gary raps and Gil sings.) Since Leessang debuted in 2002, they have released eight albums and each has had at least one #1 single. It was their seventh release, Hexagonal, that really saw their popularity skyrocket when it started breaking all kinds of records, as did their following two albums, AsuRa BalBalTa and Unplugged. Meanwhile, their concerts typically sell out in under three minutes. Random tid-bit: Both Gary and Gil were amateur boxers for roughly eight years.

Gary -- real name Kang Hee-gun -- is one half of the hugely popular South Korean hip-hop duo Leessang (Hangul: 리쌍), which also consists of Gil Seong-joon. (Gary raps and Gil sings.) Since Leessang debuted in 2002, they have released eight albums and each has had at least one #1 single. It was their seventh release, Hexagonal, that really saw their popularity skyrocket when it started breaking all kinds of records, as did their following two albums, AsuRa BalBalTa and Unplugged. Meanwhile, their concerts typically sell out in under three minutes.

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KOYOTE: 1999

By Paris365 on February 11, 2014

KOYOTE: 1999

Koyote really baffles me. You have the girl, Shin Ji, who's the lead vocalist, but she's the only original member still in the group. The guys come and go. I know it's largely due to the mandatory military service for Korean men, but, still, it surprises me that a group with regularly changing members can remain so popular.

Koyote really baffles me. You have the girl, Shin Ji, who's the lead vocalist, but she's the only original member still in the group. The guys come and go. I know it's largely due to the mandatory military service for Korean men, but, still, it surprises me that a group with regularly changing members can remain so popular. Actually, it seems like Koyote only gets more popular every time they change members. Maybe that's the secret to their success? They change one of the guys and that gets media attention and that triggers sales. Who knows.

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CRAYON POP & KIM JANG HOON: HERO

By Paris365 on February 07, 2014

CRAYON POP & KIM JANG HOON: HERO

Crayon Pop have joined forces with Kim Jang Hoon to perform this song that is dedicated to the firefighters of Korea. The money raised from the sale of this digital single will go to firefighters and their families.

I was not sure if this highly infectious song was from a movie soundtrack or if it was the theme for a children's television series or what, but it clearly had a theme song sort of vibe both in terms of the music and lyrics, so I did some digging and discovered that it is a song dedicated to Korea's courageous firefighters. Better still, the funds collected from the sales of the digital single are going to the firefighters and their families.

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SPICA: YOU DON'T LOVE ME

By Paris365 on January 28, 2014

SPICA: YOU DON'T LOVE ME

Spica's new digital single is a highly infectious -- I'm talking 100% contagious -- tune with fun and funky horns, jangly flourishes of guitar and entirely danceable drum beats.

Spica's new digital single is a highly infectious -- I'm talking 100% contagious -- tune with fun and funky horns, jangly flourishes of guitar and entirely danceable drum beats. The bass guitar part is pretty funky, too. Actually, just about everything about the song is funky. But it's the horns that rule here. Well, aside from the girl's vocals. But if you don't like repetitious, hypnotic songs then you should avoid this one at all costs because the girls sing the line "you don't love me" over thirty times during this one! At least if I counted right.

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HYORIN: "LET IT GO"

By Paris365 on January 24, 2014

HYORIN: "LET IT GO"

Hyorin sings a Korean version of the song "Let It Go," which is currently a massive hit for Demi Lovato.

Chances are that you've heard Demi Lovato's smash hit "Let It Go" from the soundtrack to the animated movie Frozen by now. If you have kids, you've probably heard the song more times than you would like. A lot more times. (My sister's sons are currently obsessed with the song and have her play it over and over and over. And then again. And, of course, they sing along gleefully, which is cute the first few times but then one can only take so much of the same song.)

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MAMAMOO & BUMKEY: "DON'T BE HAPPY"

By Paris365 on January 14, 2014

MAMAMOO & BUMKEY: "DON'T BE HAPPY"

Smooth R&B, K-Pop style!

If you like super smooth R&B with nice and punchy beats then look no further. Mamamoo and Bumkey's new duet, "행복하지마 (Don't Be Happy)" is a silky, '70's R&B-flavored number with plenty of gusto.

The mid-tempo ballad begins with Bumkey singing in a most broken-hearted fashion, "I never had a chance to say that I miss you." Later, Mamamoo coos, "I never had a chance to say that I love you." (Most of the song is in Korean. But there are a few lines in English.) Suffice to say it's quite the lovelorn number.

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PARK JI YOON: MR.

By Paris365 on December 12, 2013

PARK JI YOON: MR.

Park Ji Yoon finally goes the digital single route with a new hip-hop flavored pop track that radiates pure warmth.

This is the first release by Park Ji Yoon that I've checked out, but she's been releasing albums since 1997 and has actually released eight of them since then. For whatever reason, it seems that she's always released full-length albums instead of jumping on the mini-album bandwagon that so many K-Pop artists are on these days. Of course, to be fair, it's really the record labels, not the artists, who are so obsessed with releasing mini-albums instead of full-length albums nowadays.

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CRAYON POP: 꾸리스마스

By Paris365 on December 04, 2013

CRAYON POP: 꾸리스마스

In spite of my confusion about the title of this new Christmas song by Crayon Pop, I still managed to enjoy it quite a bit, hence this review.

Well, I'm actually not sure what the title of this single is. According to Yes Asia, it's pronounced "Kkuristmas" and would seem to be a spin on the word Christmas (obviously). But I've seen the title translated as "Lonely Christmas," so I'm not sure if the title is just Kkuristmas regardless of the language it's in or if it's something that actually does translate as "Lonely Christmas." I'm thinking it might just be "Kkuristmas" because when I used Google translate it spit out "Dre master lease" and that's obviously not what it means.

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2NE1: MISSING YOU

By Paris365 on November 20, 2013

2NE1: MISSING YOU

2NE1 get serious on their heart-wrenching new ballad, "Missing You."

2NE1's new digital single, "Missing You," is an emotive ballad that starts off with a lovely vocal harmony over sweet, bubbly electro-beats. As the girls beautifully sing the first verse, it gradually adds semi-dark synth and piano. The piano starts off quietly, but gradually grows louder and louder until it reaches the chorus, at which point the other music stops and it's simply the girls singing along to the piano. Post chorus, it goes back to the bubbly beats and so on...

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DAVICHI CODE: THE LETTER

By Paris365 on November 13, 2013

DAVICHI CODE: THE LETTER

Davichi's latest ballad, "The Letter," was written by Jun Hae-sung, who previously wrote the girls' biggest hit, "Don't Say Goodbye."

The cover of "The Letter," this pretty new single by Davichi, reads DAVICHI in large letters and the word "CODE" underneath it in smaller letters. And iTunes (U.S.) has the song listed under Davichi Code. What does this mean? I really have no idea. The description of the song/video on Youtube on Loen Music's official channel simply reads "Davichi" a few times without the word "code" after their name. My guess would be that Code is the name of the album the song is going to appear on and that iTunes simply screwed up and posted it with Davichi Code as the artists' name.

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MR.MR: DO YOU FEEL ME

By Paris365 on November 12, 2013

MR.MR: DO YOU FEEL ME

MR.MR's new digital single, "Do You Feel Me," follows the release of their debut EP, Waiting For You, which was released on July 5th of this year. And what an irresistible earworm of a single it is.

MR.MR is a super talented K-Pop boy band from TH entertainment which debuted in October of 2013. The group consists of members Jin, Changjae, Tei, Doyeon, Ryu and Jiwon. Jiwon is a rapper, the other guys being singers.

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T-ARA: AGAIN

By Paris365 on November 11, 2013

T-ARA: AGAIN

T-ARA might be down one member, but they've never sounded stronger than they do on their new mini-album, AGAIN, which packs some of the best K-Pop songs about heartache ever.

Following the departure of Areum, T-ARA are a six member K-Pop girl group once AGAIN for their 5th mini-album (though some sites are calling it their 8th), which they've appropriately entitled AGAIN (although that might not be why they've given it said title), and they are back for the attack. Er, back for the dance floor. Seriously, the first track on this one, "넘버나인(No.9)," just demands to be danced to. Sure, it starts off with gentle acoustic guitar, but it's only a matter of seconds before a thick, throbbing dance beat kicks in and it proves to be a propulsive blast.

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BESTIE: LOVE OPTIONS

By Paris365 on October 18, 2013

BESTIE: LOVE OPTIONS

BESTie's new single, "Love Options," is a new wave-flavored, lightly and fluffy but awfully sweet and catchy delight.

BESTie's new single, "Love Options," is a funky, synthy delight that sparkles and shines like a dazzling disco ball. It's definitely more '80's disco than '70's disco though. The bass guitar line is '70's-ish, but the glittery synth and the light, thumping beats are totally '80's. Then again, the synth is also reminiscent of new wave music from the '80's. Suffice to say that this one has '80's written all over it.

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