This Week in Kpop: February 8-14, 2015

Amber Solo Debut

This Week in Kpop brings us right into Valentine's Day and we're ready to show some love. But will Kpop love us back this week? Sure Amber finally had her solo debut, and 4Minute was killing it, but for every "Crazy," there's an Unpretty Rapstar here to spoil the mood. Be that as it may, we're ready to get started, so let's just right into it!

Amber's "Shake that Brass"

Amber's video for "Shake that Brass" is a fun video, a quirky video, and a spectacularly corny video. Now, we don't know what exactly we were expecting from an agency that insists on shooting cheesy comic book effects on the screen in many of their girl group videos (think: TTS), but we thought that for Amber's solo debut we'd be getting something more like Taemin's coming out party than a watered down SNSD video. So, we're a bit underwhelmed here, and that breaks our hearts, as we really adore Amber and want to show her some love (for Valentine's Day, at least).

Good thing that the song grows on you, though even that feels a bit muted somehow, maybe because we've been listening to 4Minute's "Crazy" all week. "Shake that Brass" has accompanying brass (or is it woodwinds?) that never really lets loose, but always seems threatening to. And Amber, while consistently charismatic, feels like she's holding back a bit too. Do you know why people keep getting upset at Taeyeon's cameo, accusing her of overshadowing Amber's solo debut? It's because even in Taeyeon's brief turn, she steals the show. Her voice elevates the song to another level, and, like her or hate her, you have to admit that she's gone full diva here.

Did we expect Amber to go full diva here? Of course not. But we did want a single where she could really let loose, be fierce, and steal the month of February, owning the charts (which the song probably will anyway), spawning imitations and affectionate parodies. We wanted to feel that way with "Shake that Brass" but the song really never takes off for us beyond its pleasant mediocrity. We'll take a closer look at the song and the mini-album next week, but for now, we're a bit bummed by this release. Amber will not be redefining cool in Kpop, breaking ground with her tomboy style. She will not be stealing the month of February. We're sorry to say, but we don't think she even stole her own song.

Lizzy's "(Good Bye) PMS"

Lizzy came out with a crazy video this week that pokes fun at that time of the month (you know). The song is mostly forgettable (and how could it be anything else when the video cuts into it with dramatic blockbuster movie-style fight scenes), but this video is so fun that it really doesn't matter, ultimately. Watch Lizzy grow into this giant fighter of justice. Watch Lizzy fearing pimples. Just watch this video.

KIXS' "Beautiful" (featuring San E)

KIXS has his solo debut this week with a devotional love song, in pursuit of beautiful girls. One in particular. This video features Goo Hara, looking absolutely stunning, with a song that feels old school and carefree. This is not the only girl-crazy song this week (look below!), and while we don't know much about KIXS, we're looking forward to seeing what he has in store as a solo artist. He really packs the enthusiasm in this video.

MYNAME's "too very so MUCH"

With a light field of major hip hop releases (have we been saying this all year?), MYNAME's "too very so MUCH" is another devotional love-sick song with some attitude and goofiness. It's also a load of fun, and so catchy that it'll make you forget your heartbreaks on this love-sick day, at least for a moment. 

(Turn it Up) A Review of 4Minute's "Crazy" Mini-Album

While we were disappointed with some of the releases this week, we thought that 4Minute really brought out a fierce mini-album that is ready to own this year. Check out our full review here!

The Destiny of Goo Hara: A Look at the Fifth Episode of "Hara On & Off"

Our continuing look at Hara On & Off: The Gossip brings us to episode five, where one can watch Goo Hara horseback riding, hang with friends, and answer questions on her destiny as a celebrity in her future lives. Wait - what? Read about that here, friends.

The Ugly World of Unpretty Rapstar

You've all heard about this show by now, and boy, do we have an opinion on it! Check out our review of the first two episodes, which you can find right here.

King and Queen: Episode 6

The sixth episode to our exciting fan fiction series continues here! What does Detective Gary think of Rap Monster? Why is Rap Monster even a suspect in JYP's shooting? Find out in the next thrilling episode!

February 8-14, 2015

And that was This Week in Kpop! Were we too hard on Amber? Unfair even? We hope not! We'll give her album a listen to and we're sure we'll find some gems within! But you should be hanging out with those you love today! Get out of here! Until next week! Have fun and be safe!


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