Published on June 15th, 2014 | by dinoseoul0
K-pop Roundup (June 1 – 15)
Mid-year! This can only mean we’ve seen half of what 2014 has to offer so far, and can anticipate a whole lot more of what is to come. It looks like we’re being dominated by males this time – U-KISS, ZE:A, BEAST and B.A.P are back, as well as one male singer we have ALL been waiting for – Taeyang! If you are more into the wacky stuff, PSY has just dropped new single ‘HANGOVER’ featuring Snoop Dogg, and 2PM‘s Jun.K has also released the Korean version of his solo track ‘No Love’.
June started off really hot, don’t you think? U-KISS ‘ ‘Don’t Flirt’ sure gained more attention than any of their other singles, but whether if it’s for the right reasons, we’re not so sure. The song has a really smooth and slick sound which grows on you more and more. A pity that the song itself is being overshadowed by the controversial music video and the banning of the choreography.
ZE:A has been around since 2010, but they haven’t found much success in their music. Don’t get me wrong, their lead singles are pretty decent, but these guys still have not been given a breakout track yet, which is quite sad because they do have some good vocalists. ‘Breathe’ is another of those nice songs but is unable to stand out from the clutter of K-pop songs. If there’s one thing Star Empire needs to improve on, it is the promotion of ZE:A. Instead of relying on a few members, notably Dongjun, Siwan, Hyungsik and Kwanghee, the company should take a leaf out of other labels – CUBE is doing a darn good job for BEAST’s upcoming comeback.
After ‘Rain Sound’ and ‘Coffee Shop’, we saw that B.A.P is as capable at singing stripped down acoustic songs as they are performing their badass tracks. As compared to the other two though, ‘Where Are You? What Are You Doing?’ is more cheerful and is a song suitable to lift one’s spirits. Against the backdrop of London, it is pleasing on the eyes and is guaranteed to put a smile on BABYs’ faces because of the boys’ silly yet adorable antics.
Both ‘Eyes, Nose, Lips’ and ‘1AM’ are songs about coping after a breakup and while the latter is really catchy, the raw and emotional ‘Eyes, Nose, Lips’ is hands down one of his best songs ever. The song is beautiful, the music video is beautiful, and everything about Taeyang is beautiful. Also, for those who missed his R&B side when ‘Ringa Linga’ was released, his whole album is worth listening to.
Crush is undoubtedly one of the best R&B solo artistes currently. ‘Hug Me’ is a super smooth track and Gaeko‘s slightly more aggressive rap gives the track more edge to it. Not to mention, in this music video, Crush showcases his slick dance moves we never knew he had. Besides, he produced, composed and wrote his entire album – how’s that for talent?
After ‘Janus’, it seems like Boyfriend are not going back to their cutesy concept anytime soon. ‘Obsession’ is a total jam and has a pretty good video to go along with it. It was previously said that they were going for a Peter Pan concept, but the final product is definitely no fairytale. Peter Pan’s the main antagonist here, and he plans to kill the Lost Boys because they were growing up. After a series of events which include the Lost Boys trying to rescue Wendy so they can escape, Peter Pan ends up killing Wendy and himself with a bomb. Definitely did not see that coming.
Topp Dogg hasn’t really caught a break since their debut last year, and after the very oriental ‘Arario’, they have opted for a classical music and hip-hop fusion – and it is so good. The whole mini album keeps the classical music, or more specifically, Mozart theme as well and it is brilliant. We have an album review of it coming out so stay tuned!
PSY sure has a lot to live up to after ‘Gangnam Style’ and ‘Gentleman’. While ‘Hangover’ featuring Snoop Dogg definitely isn’t his best song, at least the fun and ridiculousness lives on. Snoop Dogg’s rapping style fits really well with the whole hangover/drunk theme. The main focus of recent PSY songs is definitely the video and this one doesn’t disappoint – it is hilarious and it features cameos from labelmates G-Dragon and CL. Honestly, even if you don’t like PSY or the song, give the video a chance.
This tear-jerker is absolutely beautiful. The way Gummy is able to transform this simple piece into a work of art is amazing – how her voice brings out the sadness of the song all the way through the bridge, then it becomes desperation. Towards the end, her falsettos make the piece more delicate, giving it a comfortable closure.
It always seems like pre-release tracks have to be melancholic in nature – BEAST’s ‘No More’, a prelude to their comeback single ‘Good Luck’, is no different. Although not as sad as one of their previous releases ‘On Rainy Days’ (which is an awesome song, by the way), ‘No More’ illustrates the pain of a man knowing that his ex-girlfriend is still not over him. The music video makes use of ‘Beastagram’, which is really creative, plus it has a nice closure.
‘No Way’ is Bob Girls‘ (how apt that they all have bob haircuts) debut song – it’s pretty catchy, and is more acoustic-driven than dance-y. While the music video only consists of two sets, it fit the genre and style of the song very well. The whole feel of the song plus music video is classy and the right amount of sexy. All in all, not bad for a debut at all!
Tahiti has always been plagued with member changes. This time, with new member Jerry, they are back with ‘Oppa, You’re Mine’. It’s a pretty catchy song, but too generic to stand out. 2AM‘s Jinwoon makes an appearance in the music video, and it’s quite funny when he transforms into comedian Han Mingwan after he gets kidnapped and undergoes a makeover courtesy of the girls.
This collaboration kind of came out of nowhere, didn’t it? This light-hearted and feel-good song sounds exactly like something that San E would come up with. Raina‘s usually strong voice is toned down here and it sounds really good with the rap. The music video has the right amount of quirk (thanks to San E) and makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
In his latest solo release, originally released in 2PM’s Japanese album ‘Genesis of 2PM’, Jun.K shows us why he’s the lead vocal with his undeniably swoon-worthy voice and a certain je ne sais quoi that melt hearts to puddles. ‘No Love’ has a lot of soul and highlights Jun.K’s great vocal control as well as showcases his versatility as an artiste, with rapping to boot. However, the MV features an overbearing presence of Jun.K’s brand, found in almost all the shots used – be it on his jacket, in the form of a clock or just plainly sitting there in the backdrop.
Which was your favourite release? Let us know!