This Week in Kpop is brought to you by hair dye. Yes, hair dye. You know a week's been slow when a CF dominates this week's releases. But fear not, there's more to Kpop than the color of your favorite idol's hair, so let's get started already!
Girl's Day's "Hello Bubble"
This was a quiet week, friends. Except for one noticeable and surprising exception. Girl's Day's "Hello Bubble." Yes, this is a solid song. Yes, the girls look gorgeous. But this is a CF, and it's already had success on the charts. A CF on HAIR DYE. Blink and you'll miss that! So what does that mean? A few things, so thanks for asking.
For one, the lines between CF's and actual releases is blurring more and more and has been, gradually, for years. We will not be surprised when a comeback is tied with a brand and is explicitly stated as such (here's looking at you, Red Velvet). And will there be much difference? With Kpop being as commercial as it is, and with success tied to the amount of CF's one gets, isn't Kpop already under the thumb of consumerism?
But really, this release (yes, that's what we're calling it), is showing how darn popular Girl's Day is now. They must be considered a top tier group now, even when haters are gonna hate. Hyeri is a variety show darling now, Minah just had a successful (though we'd argue underwhelming) solo debut, Yura is a step away from becoming an icon, and Sojin is, well Sojin (meaning: awesome). They're set for a comeback soon, and watch out! It could be huge!
BoA's "Kiss My Lips"
Even with a strong release like this, we can't help thinking, BoA, why do you bore us so? We don't want to feel this way, and we've felt this way since last week too. But though "Kiss My Lips" is a superior release, and objectively a solid song, we're not really getting much excitement from this release. Is it because we're getting more of the same? Even after an absence, are we wanting more? We'r not so sure, but we'd love to read your thoughts in the comments and beyond!
BTS' "I Need You" (Original Version)
This week BTS released the "original version" of the MV for "I Need You." It feels a bit awkward to call it the original version when it's actually the second version, but either way, we love it. The original version helps clarify some of the insane confusion of that pesky first version. We get more story, more artistic cuts between happiness and despair, and more time to focus on that amazing song. Original version? Try only version.
Critical Kpop Podcast: Episode 2
That's right, we've finally recorded episode 2 in the only Kpop podcast that asks you to Listen Harder. This week we talk Big Bang, BTS, BESTie, and Toronto's very first Kpop Con. Check it out here!
Review: "Sixteen" is my New Guilty Pleasure
Have you seen "Sixteen" yet? Well, we have. And, despite some reservations, we think it's the perfect guilty pleasure to get sucked into. Here's Zander Stachniak with a review that you can find here!
"Into You" Proves that Hyoseong is the Nation's Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Don't hate us. There's a reason, several actually, that we believe, in much the same way that IU is the "Nation's Little Sister" and Suzy the "Nation's First Love," Hyoseong should get the title of "Nation's Crazy Ex-Girlfriend." Read our examination of this important issue right here.
King and Queen: Episode 18
After last week's devastating episode, do you think we'd give any of our students at Kpop High a break? Think again! We're almost to the thrilling conclusion! Start now before next week's penultimate episode, right here!
May 10-16, 2015
And that was This Week in Kpop! A slow week after a burst of major releases gives us a chance to catch our collective breaths! But what will next week bring? Until then, have fun and be safe!