This Week in Kpop may not have been as epic as last week's BIG BANG, but it certainly provided some
excitement! We're talking releases from the likes of Hyunseung, BoA, Jay Park, Eunjung and some BESTies. We have a full plate, so let's get started already!
Hyunseung's "You're the First"
Hyunseung had his solo debut this week and there's a lot to love with "You're the First," especially when Hyunseung really has a chance to break loose with the choreography. The video is pretty ridiculous and a little more boyish than we expected (instead of sexy and smooth) as he pursues a gorgeous girl (and, at the end, masturbates imagining her?!?). Is it wrong for us to crave a more refined Hyunseung circa "Troublemaker?" Probably. But some of the mischief and lusting just comes off as goofy, and Hyunseung is a bonafide sex symbol, so why not run with that?
The song really picks up in the third act, when we move beyond the autotune and Hyunseung has an extended, and impressive, dance break. It almost feels like a teaser for something more substantial. We're actually most excited for the live performances in the coming weeks just to see the full range of Hyunseung's moves (there's a dance version to the music video coming out, right?!). Even with some drawbacks, "You're the First" is catchy and fun, just right for the upcoming summer season. Hyunseung has the charisma and talent to will this into a major release, even with Big Bang and BTS taking hold of the top of the charts. It's going to be crowded up there, and that will only mean good things for us fans. Because, seriously, isn't this a great time to be loving Kpop?
BoA's "Who Are You"
It's always great to see BoA. By now, she's an institution. Like Hyunseung, BoA's release is marked by perhaps unfair expectations. We'd like to have seen some killer choreography from the master, but "Who Are You" is mostly just trying to be a poppy love song with cheesy SM graphics. 'Tis the season? The video also makes BoA seem superficial, but only in that way that could only be okay in image-conscious Korea. Glasses - gross!!!! We admit it. We adore BoA, but we're not so crazy about this release, and were pretty bored with the music video even when BoA acquired super powers in the end. Fortunately, we'll be getting another release soon, with "Kiss My Lips" already looking like a killer song and music video.
Jay Park's "Sex Trip"
The title itself should prepare you for something raunchy, and Jay Park delivers! We even get some under-boob, which is a rare feat for any Korean music video. This video just sizzles in ways that will make you feel uncomfortable. Do not watch this in public. Do not watch this with friends. Watch this alone, with the door shut. Also: Notice that this song is in English? How cool is that?
BESTie's "Excuse Me"
Those legs tho. BESTie came back this week with the lighthearted and entertaining "Excuse Me." BESTie might be on the verge here, especially if EXID's success somehow rubs off (with their history, BESTie feels like a sister group). Always stunning, BESTie has never looked better here, and this video does some interesting things and even has some moments that surprised us, especially in super-conservative Korea.
(Eunjung) Elsie's "I'm Good"
And the winner of the most confusing release of the year goes to...MBK Entertainment, for their head scratching solo debut for T-ara's Eunjung! Or maybe, perhaps, there's a strategy here. Eunjung gave an enlightening interview with 1theK's #hashtag, where she explains some of the reasoning behind releasing "I'm Good" under the name of Elsie, and making this song a "blind concept" (with, we assume, the teasers without her face). "I wanted to let people listen to the music, not my name," she says. An interesting choice, and one we can respect. But still, we were hoping for something more here, as Eunjung is one of our favorite idols in our favorite groups. Still, the song is growing on us. Just not wowing us. But enough from us, check out the #hashtag interview for more insights!
Always ready to branch out to new things, we're happy to be giving our first book review! Giacomo Lee's novel, Funereal, brings death and suicide in Korean culture to the forefront, and you can check out our review here!
May 3-9, 2015
And that was This Week in Kpop! We love that we got so many new releases, even though, with some, we were hoping for more. Are we expecting too much? Maybe just getting a new release from, say, BoA, should be enough. Big Bang is back and now we're spoiled rotten. This week is over. Next week is just around the corner. So until next time, have fun and be safe!