This Week in Kpop is brought to you by disappointment. Not only has this week been mostly a dud, we're concerned about the direction some of our favorite groups are taking. Exhibit A has to be Kara. We're rooting for them, but is "Cupid" really going to shoot them back to the top? Short answer: No. Long answer, well, let's get started!
Much like "Mama Mia" before it, "Cupid" does actually grow on you with repeated listens. That doesn't mean that Kara is not in a funk. We don't care how strong of a Kamila you are, you have to admit that this release pales in comparison to dynamic hits like "Step," "Mister," or even the more recent "Pandora." There's an energy that has been lost here, an urgency. This release feels like an obligation. Like Kara is staying intact just for their fans. Sometimes, that's not enough.
Don't get us wrong. We love Kara. We want Kara to break records and regain their past glory. But we also wonder how much they have left in the tank after almost a decade of Kpoping. "Mama Mia" was feeling out this new form for the group. With this release, Kara really needed a song that would break their traditional mold and show the group's continued evolution. Instead, "Cupid" feels uninspired. Not even the cupid cowboy concept seems thought out. The Kara feel and sound is there, sure. But it's waning. It's as if DSP keeps trying to tell us, "See, Kara's the same as they ever were." It's not more of the same though, it's less of the same.
We want Kara to come back energized. Angry. Like 4Minute Crazy angry. Knock us down, already. We want Hara to scream in our faces. For Gyuri to go full diva. Han Seung-yeon should be belting so loud that our screens crack. Now that we know she can rap, Young-ji can freestyle with a snarl. We don't want Kara to be sorry for their members leaving. It seems like they've been crying and apologizing and appeasing for years now. We want reinvention. We want to be floored.
If there's one thing about 2015 that we're disappointed with so far, it's that no new rookie group seems to have captured our hearts as of yet. If any group has come close, it may just be CLC, with "Pepe" grabbing our attention as a fun and snazzy debut. If you're in need of some old-school aegyo, "Like" may just be what the doctor asked for, though we think that this may veer too far into the cutesy department. This isn't much different from a release by A Pink or early Girl's Day, which is fine, but we're still trying to grasp what a new group like CLC is all about. We don't think this type of aegyo concept really tells us anything except: here's another girl group that can do aegyo. But when is a rookie group going to just, as they say, slay us this year?
Seventeen's "Adore U"
Perhaps Seventeen is just the rookie group that can own 2015? They may be more busy just trying to keep the struggling Pledis afloat! This video seems lifted from the eighties and even features a goofy ring that appears periodically at the bottom left of the video the focuses on the individual members that are singing. Perhaps it's to make it easier to remember the member's faces? We're dreading the inevitability of learning everyone's names, though we think we'll have to since this is a strong release - a quality song with an energetic army of boys that have been ready to debut for years. But the question remains: Can they save Pledis? Our fingers are crossed.
Eddy Kim and Solar's "Coffee & Tea"
You're gonna love this song and video. Solar (from Mamamoo) and Eddy Kim are a match made in cafe heaven in this sweet, silky smooth release. While we're not sure exactly how coffee and tea translates to love, but with voices like these, we'd believe anything they'd sing to us. You will too.
MV of the Month: BTS, "I Need U" (Original Version)
BTS completely blew us away and broke our hearts with their "Original Version" music video for "I Need U." Let's break this video down for you, since it's our music video of the month, shall we?
Your New Favorite Kpop Producer: Baskin Robbins
Not much is known about the secretive Kpop producer known only as "Baskin Robbins." But their impressive resume is nothing to laugh at. Here's why he/she may just be your next favorite producer!
King and Queen: Episode 20
All good things must come to an end! Season One of King and Queen reaches the thrilling conclusion! Who stays! Who leaves! Who loves?! Find out here!
May 24-30, 2015
And that was This Week in Kpop! We hope we're being fair here with our assessment of Kara - but let us know if you think we're way off! We're ready for next week to start already! Until then, have fun and be safe!