Published on March 22nd, 2014 | by dinoseoul0
K-Pop Roundup (March 1 – March 20)
We are back with a two week, jam-packed edition of K-pop Roundup, and we’ve picked out our favourites once again. Comebacks include three-member band LUNAFLY with their first comeback after almost a year with ‘Special Guy’, Orange Caramel with sushi outfits for ‘Cantallena’, 4MINUTE with ‘Whatchu Doin’ Today?’, MBLAQ with pre-release track ‘Our Relationship’, and so much more. SoReal, TROY and 2000 Won (of K-pop Star 2), and Toheart also make their debuts, so let’s dive right in:
A collaboration between Girl’s Day‘s Sojin and hip hop artiste Crucial Star, ‘Three Things I Want To Give You’ is a remake of Park Hye Kyung‘s song – and what a lovely remake it is. Sojin sounds incredibly different on this track – much sweeter and docile as compared to her stronger vocals on Girl’s Day tracks – but we’re really enjoying the contrast of her voice and Crucial Star’s rapping here.
For an MV set in a club, this might be one of the tamest songs we’ve heard in awhile. That’s not to say we don’t like it, but we think it could be packed with a lot more punch. Label-mate and Brown Eyed Girls‘ rapper Miryo is also featured on ‘Special Guy’, but her rap is oddly out of place here. Not LUNAFLY’s best song, but we’re just glad they are back!
Toheart, consisting of SHINee‘s Key and INFINITE‘s Woohyun, was probably one of the bff-collaborations that almost everyone was looking forward to. Their debut mini album and title track ‘Delicious’ are very easy listening, but nothing new. That said, we really like how ‘Delicious’ is really a mix of sounds from the groups they are from. The vocals sound really fitting for the members of SHINee for some reason (think ‘Dream Girl’ and ‘Why So Serious’) and INFINITE’s retro 80’s sound is really distinct too. The banter between both of them in the video though… *stifles squeals*
The One is a solo balladeer who moves greatly but simply with purely his voice. He has contributed for OSTs like That Winter The Wind Blows. One might find his stage name odd, but listen to him sing and you will be convinced that this man really is king of churning out the most heartfelt emotions in his songs ever. ‘Who Is The One, I Am The One!’ is no exception, a gut-punching sentimental ballad that will stay with you for a long, long time.
‘Because Of You’ is yet another of Monday Kiz‘s emotional offerings, tinged with piano and guitar throughout to amp up the mood of it. With lyrics that portray the feelings that follow a breakup, we suggest slipping this in the middle of some cheerier tunes on your playlist if you don’t want to easily go into one of those emotional moods.
Count on Orange Caramel to bring us the wackiest hits, ever. Nana, Raina and Lizzy have proven since they stepped out as the eccentric quartet in 2010 that they are able to instill a unique charm in K-pop with songs that do not take themselves too seriously, all the while injecting a ton of whimsy. ‘Catallena’ brings us one of the most adorable MVs we’ve seen in a while – the girls are seen wrapped up in little plastic containers as fish (it is not as bad as it sounds, trust us) and prancing around in quirky threads. The song ultimately talks about being jealous about the popular girl, but it will take some serious deciphering to get any reference out of that from this MV.
SoReal first gained attention when member Sungho did an amazing cover of the popular Frozen song ‘Let It Go’, but now all four members are here with song ‘My Heart Says’ off debut album ‘So Real Story’, and hopefully take Korea (and the world) by storm. The MV features label-mate Siwan from ZE:A for his acting chops, and we are crossing our fingers that SoReal continues to grab as much attention as possible in the coming year, because they definitely show great potential.
TROY is a new hip-hop group from Brand New Music, which also houses artistes like San E and Phantom. The quartet consists of familiar names like vocalist Bumkey and rapper Kanto. Unlike many other hip-hop groups which choose to debut with hard-hitting tracks with lots of swag, TROY’s ‘Green Light’ is classy and sleek. Judging from the group’s average age (the oldest member Jaewoong was born in 1981!), they are definitely one group that strives to impress solely with their music so we’re definitely looking forward to more from them!
Remember 2000 Won from K-Pop Star 2? No? Well, we were pretty big fans of the duo on the show (they did that awesome ‘Love The Way You Lie’ duet with LEE HI), so we are glad that they are finally debuting! ‘Beautiful’ is an R&B number featuring powerhouse Aileee, and although they have not released an MV for the song nor are they promoting it, we’re certain we’ll see these boys back up on stage soon!
‘Our Relationship’ is here to hype us up before the release of their sixth mini album ‘Broken’ on March 24, and it’s basically one of those ballad-y tracks that will pave the way for a (hopefully) more energetic track for the stage. Considering that ‘Smoky Girl’ was a rather slick, smooth track, we wonder if title track ‘Be A Man’ will be something completely different. It’s the first time Wheesung has produced a song for a male group though, so we are anticipating it.
The girls with a ton of questions on their minds are bacccck. After ‘What’s Your Name’ and ‘What’s Poppin?’, they’ve teamed up with Brave Brothers once again for their funkiest offering yet. ‘Whatcha Doin’ Today’ is not only eclectic in sound, the MV is also one that pops visually – a ton of neon colours, flashy outfits and in-your-face dance moves. What I really appreciate is that besides HyunA, the rest of the girls get a lot more air time here as compared to previous MVs, and it seems like Cube Entertainment might just be ready to give everyone the spotlight they deserve.
Despite missing two members, 100% show that they are still a force to be reckoned with this comeback. The song is catchy, and the heart-beating dance is pretty memorable too. ‘Beat’ is darker than their previous singles, but still packs the same amount of punch (or even more) as ‘Bad Boy’ and ‘Want U Back’, and we are really liking it.
‘Zombie Party!’ is SPEED‘s follow up to ‘Don’t Tease Me’. Still sticking with a theme, the boys transformed into you guessed it, zombies, for this comeback. The song mostly plays on the dark concept, but the song switches from a minor key to a major key towards the end, making the track more interesting without segmenting it. Both ‘Zombie Party!’ and ‘Don’t Tease Me’ are really solid, but the group unfortunately isn’t being promoted properly, which is a pity because of the good music they have been putting out since they debuted.
Here comes the next part of Brave Brothers‘ 10th anniversary project – Electroboyz with ‘Bang Bang Crossroads’ which is a fun and groovy hip-hop track. With the catchy ‘bang bang sageoli’ hook and the unmistakable Brave Brothers production sound, it is a track worth replaying.
‘Hold Me Tight’ is Above Ordinary Music Group‘s (AOMG – Jay Park‘s independent hip hop label) second album release since new artiste Gray‘s ‘Call Me Gray’ last October, and we believe this might just be what is going to make Loco (Kwon Hyuk Woo) big. Singles ‘Hold Me Tight’ and ‘Crush’ (feat. Gray) have topped charts since their release, and we can only expect greater things from Jay Park’s agency of stars from here on!