Well come back to the winter series of He said she said ! ! !
She Says :
This week we will be looking at some K-pop boy bands and girl groups. Korea has a reputation as having the best looking guys and girls in Asia, but K-pop is not all about looks ! ! ! Korean pop music is ultra professional and the quality of the bands singing and dancing ability is really high. For a small country Korea has really made a name internationally as a centre for pop music and in this post we will show you some of the groups that are making it in Korea and internationally
If you had said to me a couple of years ago that I would be writing about Korean Boy Bands I would, probably, have laughed in your face. So here is a piece about, among other things, Korean Boy bands ! What has twisted my mind in this way ? Obviously it’s Sakura’s fault. That and the fact that I have a soft spot for well made, cheesy pop.
Mr P – Darling Of All Hearts – Sunny Hill
Sunny Hill originally started as a co-ed group but in 2012 reformed as a girl group. They are really like their name – Sunny ! ! ! I am sure you were all singing along with the track. It has such a quirky and happy feeling to it ! ! ! Their fans used to be called Sunshines, but the fan club had a vote and changed their name to Hillers . . . .I think they should have stayed as Sunshines, it is much more appropriate ! ! !
Start with the best, then. I love this song, particularly for the way it incorporates traditional Korean instruments and sounds. The girls are lovely, their singing pleasant and the slightly goofy dance routine is great fun. And that’s what it’s all about “fun” and, for me, this song has it in spades.
Ms S – Keep Your Head Down – TVXQ
Err…”cod” “metal” sounds, treated vocals, silly dancing and ridiculous costumes ? What’s not to like ? Not really my cup of tea but I can see, if you were drunk as a skunk in a a dance club or on some kind of medication, it might appeal to the younger, more agile set.
I can see Mr P is going to be difficult this week ! ! ! TVXQ started as an acapella group but with a few years of dance classes they are now one of Koreas most popular boy bands ! ! ! They are the most popular boy band in Japan and their last tour here sold 850,000 tickets so you can imagine how big they are. I like them as they do really sing well and can dance well. They actually debuted as Brittany Spear’s opening act, but they really took of in Korea when they sang an acapella version of a Holy Night on Korean TV Christmas Eve Special as Korea is a very christian country and really touched the peoples hearts. 1 million liters of tears were cried during that performance apparently . . . . .
Mr P – Gwiyomi Song – Hari
This is actually our only indie track this week. Hari is a singer who has a cult following in Korea, but this song made her really popular in all Asia. The song is super cute and so of course it became really popular in Japan. The song became famous through social media and people started doing the dance which has really cute hand movements and these are now used by young girls in Japan all the time ! ! !
Cute and annoying in equal measure ( like me !), this, as Sakura said, was a big hit all over Asia. If I’m in the right mood it’s a twinkly, unicorn fueled piece of loveliness. If not it gets turned off after 2 seconds.
Ms S – UP – Epik High (ft Bom)
Sakura ! What are you trying to do to me ? If I were a 12 year old “skater boi” or had had my brain removed then this might appeal. Cliched, teen friendly and about as interesting as wallpaper paste. Not keen.
I think Mr P is jealous as Epik High are maybe my favorite boy band ! ! ! They are more of a rap group than most of the other boy bands and I like their style very much. I like this song because of the contrast with the female singers voice. She is Bom from girl group 2NE1and real star of K-pop actually. Epik High started in 2003 in small clubs singing rap and hip hop as this music was not popular in Korea at that time. Eventually they made it be really successful, so they are one of the very few boy bands not have been manufactured by a management company and to have made it on their own.
Mr P – Tell Me – Rainbow
Rainbow were formed in 2009 and had good success with their singles and tours. They experimented with a more sexy image for a while but it never really suited them and they have gone back to the cute image that they had when they started. There is a sub group called Rainbow Pixe which is a trio formed from the group which is also really successful. I like this song a lot, it is cheerful and catchy and typically the cuter side of K-pop.
I Love the video and the song swings along very nicely. I don’t mind a bit of R & B type music as long as it’s upbeat and “swings”. This is cheeky and cute in equal measure. Lovely girls acting sassy ? Call me an old pervert but I’m a sucker for that kind of thing. Listen to how they say “anyway”….awwww…..
Ms S – Hello Hello – FT Island
This is more to my liking. The boys done good. I like the “circus” style opening bit, reminds me a bit of “Those were the days”. They whole thing is unchallenging rock-pop but very well done.Yep, I’d probably buy this one.
FT Island is one of the few boy bands that can play instruments and do actually play them occasionally in concerts, videos or on records. They have a very varied style and each track is different in some way, unlike many of the K-pop boy bands that seem to have a formula and stay with that forever. But if FT Island have a formula it is dramatic videos and ballads. Just like this one ! ! !
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We know The Spill is more used to rock than pop, but we hope you have found something in the post you liked. Korea is incredible as it seems to be such a force in music in the world. Maybe it is like England in the 1960’s where the influences of American music were transformed into great pop songs. Whatever is happening it is selling in huge numbers in all Asia and there are more and more fans of K-pop in western countries also. We hope you enjoyed the post.
So there you have it. One factor with all these videos is the professionalism, it really takes a lot of work to get those dances etc sorted ( you can see rehearsal tapes on-line and they are very demanding), it takes a huge amount of work to look so effortlessly “cute” and smiley. Korea is producing some top quality pop ( and rock and indie), it’s only the language, I think, that is holding them back from overseas markets.
That , though, says as much about “our” Western dominated view than about the quality of music on offer.
Hope you found something here to love, just a little bit.
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