This Week in Kpop was marred by this foreboding sense of Déjà vu. And it all stemmed from one sad source. Exo is in turmoil again, just after their latest killer release. Fans can only show their support on social media. No one knows what's really going on. And then, like a breath of fresh air, Lim Kim arrives. And for a moment, we remembered why we loved Kpop so much to begin with. We're trying here. We will do our best to combat despair. Lim Kim is here to help.
Lim Kim's "Awoo"
For some strange reason, we always think of Lim Kim as the Queen of Indy, which is just wrong-headed. Lim Kim is not from an indy-label, if anything, with Mystic Entertainment's merger, they're as big as they've ever been. But Mystic's aesthetic does often feel off-kilter from the mainstream, beautifully sublime and crafted (as opposed to micromanaged and endlessly produced). Lim Kim fits right into that aesthetic, leads it proudly, and we've been blessed with such treats as "Rain" and, of course, her masterpiece, "All Right." We were worried that Lim Kim couldn't top herself. We were wrong.
In other hands, "Awoo" could be a sweet, but ultimately forgettable meditation on love. But in Lim Kim's confident hands, and on Mystic Entertainment's supportive shoulders, the release feels like a surrealist painting come to life. Just "off" enough to defy the mainstream while being housed comfortably within it.
Lim Kim is the real deal even though she feels like a dream. She's not your typical diva. She feels more Janis Joplin than Beyonce. More coffee shop than dance floor. And her voice. It will set you free. Good for us that this is just the start of her upcoming releases. Have you seen the teaser for "Love Game?" While we have some reservations of yet another peeping tom in Kpop, at least she's throwing a dart at one of the assailants, instead of singing her loving devotion to them (cough - miss A - cough). As much as we love "Awoo," "Love Game" could be wrecking our worlds very soon.
Park Boram's "Celepretty"
Park Boram came back this week with this little gem. We can always appreciate a music video that lets their idol poke some fun at their own celebrity, inauspicious as the revelations here are. Still, we're seeing a trend here of Kpop videos that take us behind the curtain (EXID and Stellar come to mind), giving us a representation or at least a parody of their lives as idols, instead of, say, pretending that they are lovelorn girls next door. Park Boram may not be the girl directly next door, but she's close. Maybe the girl next door to that girl. She has the talent, is gorgeous, and has that light touch that makes her relatable and oh so likable. This release is already getting a lot of attention. We have no doubt that she's going to be huge.
Exo got you down? Why not check out UNIQ to get your next boy group jam. There's some slick (and salacious) choreography here from this Chinese/Korean mixed group and the song really moves even with the silly sounding E-O-E-O chorus. They whole enterprise is infused with a jolt of energy, making it, just maybe, your cure for the Exo blues.
Or maybe that cure will really come from MR.MR's "Out" which is a solid release (with a cheap looking music video). Or maybe the song will just remind you of how much you're missing Ryu, who left in controversy and with a myriad of accusations against his agency. We're getting depressed again. Let's just. Let's just move on.
Standard Press Release for all Exo Departures
Okay. We don't have to tell you the news about Tao possibly very likely leaving Exo. Hell, we've heard and then witnessed similar stories with other members before. And we're sick of this already. So, instead of writing about our confusion and despair, we've developed a standard press release for Exo departures, which you can see here.
Why Not Dal Shabet?
After years in the middle, Girl's Day finally made their mark in Kpop. Now, EXID is making theirs. So why not Dal Shabet? Seriously. Why not? Let's take a look at the girl group here. And then you can tell us.
A Hopeless Love: Exploring Our Obsession with Sad Music
It seems counter-intuitive, doesn't it? Why would you want to obsess over something that produces a negative emotion? Why not take a look at the sad songs of Kpop and why we love them (sometimes)? All you have to do is click here.
King and Queen: Episode 15
After a short break last week, to give you time to catch up, we're proud to bring you episode 15 of our epic fan fiction King and Queen. This week, things get physical! Characters will be in peril! Mysteries will be revealed! We're nearing the conclusion and Kpop High will never be the same! Read episode 15 here.
April 19-25, 2015
And that was This Week in Kpop! We're hoping that we could cheer you up, just a little, as we head into next week and perhaps even more bad news. To end on a bright note, we leave you with Dal Shabet dressed as animals, singing and dancing to "Joker." Seriously, why not Dal Shabet?
Until next week, have fun and be safe!