This week in Korean music was a real mixed bag of genres; we had a little bit of everything. It was also a week of extremes: extremely cool, extremely unique, and even extremely concerning. But the one thing that can be said for sure, is there was a lot of good music to be heard.
After a rough year and a series of boring teasers, KARA has comeback with their latest track “Mamamia.” The song itself is a throwback to the 70’s and 80’s, it is catchy and makes you want to dance. The choreography was fast paced, it good to see that they did not lose their high-energy style. What I don’t like about the music video is it looks to be over-edited, and the lens flares are prolific to the point I stopped trying to count them. But over all, it a good song and video, and one you should check out.
Jang Beom June “Difficult Women”
Jang Beom June from Busker Busker releases a solo debut track titled “Difficult Women.” It a nice an simple track, with well-played instruments and not overly engineered. It sounds just like Busker Busker, and not just because was the lead singer. You could have put Busker Busker on the album and you would have believed it was them. The video has an interesting concept, I don’t want to share too much. So, watch it for yourself.
Skull “Ooh Baby”
Remember when I said earlier that we were going to talk about some unique music? Skull is considered to be the guy who brought reggae to Korea, and he has returned with “Ooh Baby.” But, it is another mixed bag of feelings for this song and video. Sound-wise it is a mix of reggae and dance, but when you listen to it, listen to it as another reggae song, not a Korean reggae song. The video is just not that great, I can commend him on spending the time and filming in the Caribbean to get the right look and feel for the music video, but it is still lacking something.
When I learned that Chaness was a sub unit of the trot group LPG, I became very curious about their track titled “SeSeSe.” What I found was wonderfully awesome. The song itself is a fusion between 2007 ballads, Latin guitars, and pop music. Trust me it is good. The story of the music video is we see one of the members helping to bathe another member with a few lingering glances and touches. Then we see her husband, and its the same thing lingering glances and touches. Oh, and there is a spider. Symbolism perhaps? I don’t want to ruin the rest of the music video for you, but I will say that the content does become a bit more adult halfway through. If you are so inclined, the group also released a dance practice video, which is just as impressive and minus the adult content.
Hoody “Baby Oh Baby”
Rookie Hoody makes her Kpop debut with “Baby Oh Baby.” This is another great song, and comparatively is reminiscent of Janet Jackson for the late 90’s, but with a sound that is distinctly Korean. So far this year, there have been some very impressive rookies debut, and this is one of them. The song makes you want to sit around with your friends telling stories and enjoy the late summer weather. The music video is nothing remarkable, it is Hoody solo shoots, Hoody going trespassing , Hoody walking. You get my point, but be sure to give the song a listen.
Billion “Salang Salang”
Billion has made a complete 180 concept wise with their new song and music video “Salang Salang.” The video is bright and cheerful and what one would picture from a Korean girls group. The video is footage of the girl doing random things, riding in a car, riding bike, and even some BTS footage.
Orange Caramel “My Copycat”
Orange Caramel has returned with their new track “My Copycat.” One of the best things about this group is the fact that there is no doubt who it is. Orange Caramel have a very distinct sound and look about them. But under the bright , cheerful costumes and singing, you can still see the talent these 3 ladies possess. If you want to try your hand at the choreography yourself, check out the dance version they made also.
SunnyHill “Monday Blue”
The ladies of SunnyHill are back with their second song of the summer, “Monday Blues.” When the teasers for the song first came out, there was some chatter online regarding the similarity of the teaser and another’s group sets, and there was also concern regarding what kind of sound would the group return with. The music video is nice, quirky, and upbeat. But I, like most, am not sure how much work is really getting done in the music video.
Lipservice “Too Fancy”
Hip-hop group Lipservice have returned with a new song titled “Too Fancy,” and a new member Anna. Even with the addition of the new member, sound-wise Lipservice still held on to their signature “tongue in cheek style.” The rapping and singing flow seamlessly together without any awkwardness, and it is likable enough that they should have a larger fan base. But its only their second song, and there is still time to gather that fan base.
This is my least favorite song of all the ones I am covering for this article. Stellar have returned with their newest track “Mask.” I have talked to some of the other fans about this song, and we all kind of had the same thought. What is their record company doing? If you were to watch all 3 of their videos: “Study“, “Marionette” and now the debacle that is “Mask,” you can see them go from good group with potential, to awkward and over-sexualized . I am not blaming the group, they normally have little to no say in their concepts. When watching ANY Kpop video, you learn to forgive an certain amount of bad costumes, location, and video concepts. Then, to make it worse, halfway through the video they start the fan service, and there is a lot of it. In short, Stellar, GO BACK TO YOUR ORIGINAL CONCEPT. But watch it for yourself and decide, let us know what you think.
AlphaBAT “Oh My Gosh”
Rookie group AlphaBAT has decided to change, with some aegyo on their newest release titled “Oh My Gosh.” This is the another song that is completely different from their debut song, which was a bit darker and heavy on the rap. This song is your standard up-tempo, funny, cutey boy band song. Its a good song fitting for the summer time. This is also another group that has undergone some lineup changes recently. If you did not like their debut, then give this song a chance and see how you like it. I think it is good that the guys can pull off both looks that are so dramatically different.
JJCC (K-Tigers) “One Way”
If JJCC‘s first song established the group as singers, then this second music video establishes them as idols well worth the love and admiration of their fans. I was hesitant to include this music video on the recap, because there has been some suspicion that there would be a second version of the music to be released. But “One Way” was such a good song and cool music video I had to talk about it.
JJCC shows that in fact despite what some trolls of the internet want to say and think, these guys can sing and dance … Really well. I am not going to name people, but there are some old idols groups out there that still have trouble pulling off a strong music video concept. The choreography is fast-paced and shows different moves, transitions, and level changes. The music video is very science fiction in its styling, and the K-Tigers are in it also.
Big Byung “Stress Come On”
Who is Big Byung? Big Byung is parody group made up of BTOB ‘s Sungjae, VIXX’s Hyuk and N, and GOT7‘s Jackson, and was produced by the ‘Brave Sidekick Tiger’ duo – Jung Hyungdon and Defconn. This is just a funny song and video. I heard it one time and added to my playlist. The song is about stress and all the things that cause it: money, relationships, family, being in a parody group. You know, normal stuff. Like I said, the music video is funny also. I can’t tell you too much about it, but it is well worth 2 minutes and 59 seconds it will take you to watch it.
Now is the time where we hear from you. What do you think of this week’s list? Who are your favorites? Anyone’s comeback you are looking forward to? Leave your questions and comments below. Be sure to keep checking Officially KMusic for all the latest Korean music and releases and news.
Edited by: Laura Dees
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