Archive for the ‘ Opinions ’ Category

SQUEEEEEE :3 updated 06/09

Okay, creepy little brothers aside, I struck gold on the internet today.

So, a while ago, I posted that I wanted more cutesy boybands after F.Cuz’s transformation. I was browsing around allkpop today because I was looking for the tracklist for Secret’s latest single, Madonna (pretty good song, sounds a lot like Magic though >.<). This one article with a picture of a boyband I didn’t recognize caught my attention…

Well, lo and behold, someone out there heard my plea 😀

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Nine Muses… no >.>

I meant to post this ages ago, so now I’m wrote it on my laptop while we got lost trying to find our way to Boston.

So, I expressed how excited I was about Nine Muses a few posts ago… I loved Give Me. It is/was such a well-orchestrated song. And I still think it is, I really need to stop neglecting to download it… Well, a few nights ago I was listening to my music on my iPod when I realized I never downloaded that song. With my laptop out of reach with the 10 PM rule and all that, I searched “Nine Muses” on Youtube… Lo and behold, the Muses had finally made their official debut with a song called “No Playboy”, so I checked it out.

All I have to say is: Nine Muses is a very, very wrong name for the group. It’s really should be: A Decent Singer, a Rapper and a Bunch of Models.

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K-pop girl groups: in MAJOR need of weeding

There have been a ridiculously large amount of group debuts between 2009 and now that it’s almost dizzying trying to count them all. For the heck of it (since I haven’t been writing much outside of ranting XD), I’ve decided to go through the groups that have debuted from 2009-present day and sort them into three categories: the great, the good-but-needs-a-little-something-something and the meh. For this I’m gonna go throw some more obscure groups in since we all know enough about groups like 2NE1, Secret, 4minute, f(x) and T-ara.

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I just heard a Jonas Brothers song.

Yeah, I heard a cover of “Hello Goodbye,” a song originally by The Beatles… here’s what I think of it:

IF MY EARS COULD PUKE, THEY WOULD’VE PUKED BUCKETS. Lots and lots of buckets.

THERE IS NO LOVE IN THIS SONG. All I could hear as I endured the first 30-odd seconds was “cha-ching!” (I closed it after 30-odd seconds, my poor ears…) That’s the sound of them cashing out on the millions of 12 year-old fangirls and boys who are so horribly misled. *efwohieeefwq* That was the sound of me gagging because I accidentally thought of the song. I gag a little weirdly.

My opinion of INFINITE

(Before I go on about INFINITE, I’d just like to point out the brand new, shiny “Polls” page I just added- check that out sometime XD)

2 posts ago I linked to a 1-minute teaser for an upcoming boyband called “INFINITE.” Well, they just released their first album, “First Invasion,” and this is what I have to say about it:

  1. They’re not bad, but they’re not really good either; I’m just happy I got my wish, nothing Mazeltov-y. However, I’ve already gone through the first 4 songs of the EP and I haven’t really been blown away by anything.
  2. They sound a lot like B2ST/BEAST with different synth tracks – instead of the usual lead/bass synth that most pop songs use today, they’ve got computerized guitars, strings, trumpets and other normally acoustic instrument. I find this kind of interesting since this does set them apart from other groups… sort of.
  3. Their voices aren’t laden with autosync/autosynth/auto-whatever the whole way through – I can appreciate that.
  4. Their English in “Entrust” bugs me – “My lovely GRRR, my lovely GRRR” – when will these silly Korean pop companies understand that if the poor artists can’t pronounce their English lyrics properly (seriously, in 90% of the songs I’ve listened to the word “girl” comes out as “grrr”), don’t make the poor artists humiliate themselves by recording the silly lyrics.
  5. They don’t suck.

Jess’ verdict: I can’t deny that these guys have something, but it really feels like a “been there, done that” kind of something and it doesn’t sound like they’ve gotten any more than 2, maybe 3 years of training. While I wouldn’t discourage you from tuning into their first EP, don’t expect something that’ll blow your socks off.

Jess recommends: Fixed Star – this is the only ballad on the album, and I must admit, it sounds like INFINITE’s getting their DBSK on; their individual and combined vocals are well complimented (complicated? FAIL XD) by the instrumentals and really shine in this song.

I’d like to check if they’ve got any music videos out yet but my internet died while I was typing this… *hovers mouse over “publish” button*

What makes a good vocal group?

*I POSTED THIS BEFORE I FINISHED IT BECAUSE I GOT BORED*

I dunno, I was listening to some good ol’ Arashi (Tokei Jikake no Umbrella ;)) and I suddenly felt myself wondering:

Really, what parts can be combined to make a good vocal group?

So, I’ve decided to look at a few groups in an attempt to figure out what minimum 5 parts can be factored into an equation to determine the general goodness of vocal groups. The groups I’ll be examining are: Arashi, B2ST, f(x) (pre-NU ABO, I can’t discern any vocal talent out of any of the newer stuff anyways), DBSK, MBlaq, SHINee, SNSD, Wondergirls, 2NE1 and 4minute. Anyone who wants to disregard my opinion because I’m only looking at Asian groups, shut up and go away… Just kidding~ *hugs* I love you too, I just don’t care much for English groups anymore XD

I’ll split the elements and trends I find into “factors,” since obviously not all bands will contain all these “factors” or may contain a person that could be a mix of “factors.”

Factor A: The All-Around Awesome Leader

Let’s face it, in most vocal groups, the leader ends up being good at freaking EVERYTHING. Now, obviously being good at singing is the main criteria here, but the leader is often also good at: dancing, rapping, being beautiful (if that counts XD), or all of the above.
Examples:

  • Satoshi Ohno (Arashi)
  • Hero Jaejoong (DBSK)
  • CL Rinn (2NE1)

Factor B: The Vocalist Who’s Just as Good as/Better than the Leader

This is a commonly recurring factor among K-pop groups today since companies are demonstrating a trend of spewing out groups with only 2, 3 years of training as a group, and as a result there’s often really good and really bad people. Sometimes they’ll just pick the eldest of the group to be the leader and not ask any questions (*COUGH* 4minute *COUGH*), sometimes they’ll be smart and hold some kind of friendly competition among the members, but regardless, there is almost always a singer that will be at par or beyond the leader’s singing ability.
Examples:

  • Luna (f(x)) (considering Victoria almost never gets any lines of her own anyways, I’ve barely anything for comparison XD)
  • Xiah Junsu (DBSK)
  • Park Bom (2NE1)

Factor C: The Rapper

It’s nice having rappers in a group to keep things interesting. That, and usually some kind of epic rap can be found at the climax of nearly every pop song in existence. This person’s usually got some decent vocal skills to boot too.
Examples:

  • Sakurai Sho (Arashi)
  • Hyuna Kim, Jiyoon Jeon (4minute)
  • Minho Choi (SHINee)
  • Minzy Gong (2NE1)
  • Jun Hyung (B2ST)

Factor D: The One Who Can Sort of Sing But Is an Awesome Dancer

Factor E: The One Who Can Sort of Sing but Is Mostly Kept Around for the Band’s Image’s Sake

Sometimes I wonder what talent scouts/producers/directors/whoever the heck puts people in a band were thinking when they put these kinds of people in a band. Then I remember it’s because they look good on promotional posters, in commercial appearances, or something else. Often this person’s talent will be slightly above that of an average person, but  really nothing spectacular. A lot of the time, they can’t even perform well. Other times, it’s just some really young person that everyone goes “OMG THEY MUST BE SOOO GUD IF THEIR IN A BAND” over (which really annoys the heck out of me, frankly). I’d just like to point out right here that so far I’ve been having a lot of trouble finding this factor in a boy band.
Examples:

  • Most of SNSD (seriously, I’d like to see what would happen if you took out everyone but Taeyeon, Seohyun and Tiffany…)
  • Sulli Choi, Victoria Song (f(x))
  • Sohyun Kwon, Jihyun Nam (4minute)

Factor F: The Shrill One (shrill in a good way ;))

This is the one in the band that can get away with screaming into the mic, but somehow managing to keep that screaming in tune and musical. And I don’t mean a little scream like “YAOH” and move on, I mean like an epic, long scream like Max’s “YEAAAAAAAAH” in Mirotic. This person is usually male too, guys screaming in that distinctly manly way is something that for some reason doesn’t always work for us gals x.x
Examples:

  • Max Changmin (DBSK) (Seriously, listen to Rising Sun – he screams so much it’s funny XD)
  • Jonghyun Kim (SHINee)
  • Gayoon Heo (4minute)
  • Krystal Jung (f(x))

Factor G: The One With the Nasal-y/Breath-y Voice

I dunno, I’ve noticed there tends to be someone with this distinct breath-y sound in some groups. I actually kind of like that sound to be perfectly honest, it’s so… well, distinct, compared to everyone else XD
Examples:

  • Micky Yoochun (DBSK)
  • Masaki Aiba (Arashi)

Random Opinion on Korean Boy Bands

I was just listening to “Jiggy” by F.Cuz and “Bad Girl” by B2ST when a thought struck me.

Not enough Korean boy bands are going with the cute, up-beat style anymore. (Well, if there are, I certainly am deaf/blind XD)

Both F.Cuz and B2ST had absolutely adorable singles and outfits in their debut – F.Cuz with their crazy colours, while B2ST had a more mature, monotone look but their sound still made me want to get up and dance. Their music was catchy and a little repetitive, but the good kind of repetitive, so it’s not like you’d regret getting the song stuck in your head or something, because the songs were enjoyable.

Now I’m not really saying that they suck or anything now (well, actually, I don’t really like B2ST’s Shock of the New Era, but that’s beside the point), it’s just that the the cuteness from the beginning was just so much more enjoyable. I like wanting to get up and dance. While SHOCK and No One are pretty okay, they’re just not Jiggy and Bad Girl, y’know? I mean, look how cute F.Cuz was: (that guy in the middle isn’t from F.Cuz, not really sure who he is to be honest XD)

And now:

While I do admit the darker, more mature look is pretty damn smexy, there’s just not as much personality to it since everyone’s doing it.

Example A – SHINee:

Example B – U-Kiss:

Example C – MBlaq:

Example D – Shinhwa (yes, I know they’re disbanded, but still, this was the look during their 7th and 8th albums so this counts!):

So, yeah, that’s sorta my spiel for today. I want more cutesy boy bands. The end.

PS: I’m calling this sub-section “Opinions” because “Reviews” makes it sound like I’m trying to sell my opinion like fact. I really don’t mind people thinking I’m wrong, considering I (surprisingly) can be XD