You Asked For It - KPop

Our first reader request has been for us to review a selection of KPop songs, so I watched the music videos. First off, as far as my personal taste in music goes, I am a Pop music guy. Roughly 60 percent of what is in my IPod can be classified as Pop from a variety of countries like the UK, Japan, Sweden and Denmark. I like the fact that it is fun, uncomplicated music that is easy to sing along with. That being said, I wasn’t particularly familiar with any KPop artists apart from BOAPsy, or Rain so I was eager to dive into this assignment, and overall, I was pretty pleased with what I heard. I will be reviewing five songs from five different artists, and I encourage you to tell me if you agree with my take on these songs.

Mr.Mr - Highway
This was my favorite of the five songs I listened to because I thought it had the strongest beat and best harmony on the vocals. It sounded like it would fit right in on the US music charts because it was the most progressive. In my opinion, this is what boy band music should sound like, versus something lighter and less substantial, like One Direction. The video is almost hilariously melodramatic, but as I am probably not the target demographic for this group I can let it slide.

Sistar19 – Gone Not Around Any Longer
Sistar19 is a female duo featuring lead vocalist Hyorin and rapper Bora. The strength of this song is that it has a more R+B/Soul vibe to it, and it is very well suited to the voices of its leads. Hyorin and Bora complement each other very well and the song is very smooth when paired with both the singing and the rapping. I didn’t like the synthesized saxophone in the backing track, because I thought it made the song sound a little dated and was too sharp a sound in contrast with how the rest of the music flowed. Otherwise, this was a very solid track.

Infinite H – Without You (Feat. Zion. T)
This was just OK. The pace of the song was slowed down, but I never felt like it hit any kind of groove. It was the least interesting of the songs I listened to because I didn’t get much flair or personality from the vocals. I thought that Zion. T’s verse was the best thing about this song, and I will start looking for more music from him. Infinite H is talented, I just don’t think this song was the best showcase for what they do.

IU – Good Day
IU is the stage name of Korean singer and actress Lee Ji-EunGood Day is a sweet and simple song that I liked more the second time I listened to it. Of all five songs I liked IU’s voice the best but similarly to the Sistar19 song, I felt that the music, in particular the electronic violin effects, made it feel like it was a bit old fashioned. I will listen to more of IU’s music because of how much I like her voice, I just hope she works with more inventive producers going forward.

9Muses – Dolls
The large girl group is a staple of both KPop and JPop (Japanese Pop) and this is a pretty good iteration of that type of group. None of the singers are standouts, but overall 9Muses has a nice sound and is helped out by the fact that there are a lot of voices contributing to the song. Dolls isn’t breaking any new ground, but it is pleasantly poppy and easy to listen to. I think 9Muses could do some interesting things with music that has a harder more thumping bass line, but this is a good tune.

I enjoyed this assignment and I found a few artists that I will keep my eyes on, going forward. Please keep your suggestions coming and we will get to as many of them as we can.

Krista Boivie