This Week in Kpop was about the wait. February, the shortest month, can sometimes feel like the longest, with the arctic and gloomy weather pushing at our souls. This week especially dragged, with our patient (and polite) anticipation of new releases from Rainbow and VIXX, two of our favorite groups that we feel are ready to just break out in 2015. But don't feel too bad for us. We reviewed both Amber's solo album this week and crowned a new king of cool in Niel. We've gotten through this week. Together. So let's get started!
Rainbow's "Black Swan" Teasers
We've been intrigued all week by Rainbow's many teasers for both their album and "Black Swan" music video. We're especially intrigued by the fact that Rainbow's trading their more recent aegyo concepts (excluding, of course, Rainbow Blaxx's "Cha Cha"), for something more adult and sexy. Or is it just going to be scary? We're excited for a Kpop group to delve into horror this side of Halloween. And, really, we're just excited that Rainbow's making a comeback, as a whole cohesive unit. They always seem like they're on the verge of greatness - and even had success with "Tell Me Tell Me" and "Sunshine," which, while fun and bright, really lacked the killer energy of one of our favorite Kpop songs ever: "A."
As the kids are saying nowadays, Rainbow is set to finally "slay" on the charts. Yes, the competition is fierce, and yes, it will be hard to upstage 4Minute and their "Crazy" energy. But we have hope and they have Woori. And how cool is Woori? And how adorable is Jisook? And how over-the-top is Jaekyung? And Hyunyoung? Are maknaes ever supposed to be this sexy? The real question really should be, how can you not root for these girls?
Don't look now, but Rainbow's been around since 2009 and hasn't lost a single member. They're one of the few groups that can say that now. That continuity should count for something, right? Maybe. From what we've heard from the Innocent album teaser, this could be a solid release. But we really can't say for sure yet. We want to believe. We want Rainbow to slay, and then to scare too. We want next week to start already, as this week's waiting has gone on long enough!
VIXX's "Love Equation" Teaser
It's like VIXX and Rainbow pulled a Freaky Friday on us or maybe we've fallen into an alternate universe? That's what we felt like this week with Rainbow's dark and horror-themed teasers that play parallel to VIXX's descent into uninhibited aegyo. Yes, this is VIXX, who you may remember from "Hyde," and the especially gruesome "Voodoo Doll," before the darkly cerebral and heartbreaking cyber epic "Error," which we thought was one of the best releases of last year, boy group or otherwise. When we think of VIXX, at least from their more recent releases, we immediately think of adult themes, the rated R in Kpop, which is truly impressive considering the medium they're situated in.
Which is why we're a bit skeptical of this release and this dramatic shift. There must be something more horrifying behind this concept. Maybe the aegyo is mandated by a horrific dictatorship in some post-apocalyptic future, or perhaps the aegyo takes place in some heavenly afterlife that we eventually realize is hell. Or perhaps, perhaps, this is just a cute release from a group that wants to change it up a bit, and this, as a throwback and a remake of R.ef's "Love Equation," is more homage than mutation. We shall soon see. How long could this week possibly be? If felt, as VIXX may say, like an eternity.
"Lovekiller" Announces Niel as New King of Cool
We were happy to see Teen Top's Niel make his solo debut this week with his too-cool-for-school "Lovekiller," that brought back memories of Taemin's "Danger" from last year. Check out our full review right here!
Review: The Weight of Expectation with Amber's "Beautiful"
With f(x) on hiatus for who knows how long, Amber had a lot of expectations on her shoulders for "Beautiful." It'd be nearly impossible to meet those expectations, but how does the album stand on its own as a solo debut? Check out our review here, to find out!
The Tears of Goo Hara: A Look at the Sixth Episode of "Hara On & Off"
Our examination of Goo Hara and Hara On & Off: The Gossip continues! We've really enjoyed taking a closer look at a show that has turned out to be very insightful. Do you have a show that you want us to take a look at? Let us know! But before that, read our take on episode six here.
King and Queen: Episode 7
The saga continues. Secrets are revealed! Mysteries abound! JYP has been shot and everyone's a suspect. Take a look at the seventh episode of our epic fan fiction series, right here.
February 15-21, 2015
And that was This Week in Kpop! It definitely felt like Kpop was in a holding period for some major releases, especially with EXO just around the corner. We think things will start to heat up next week. Will you be ready? Will any of us? Until then, have fun and be safe!