This Week in Kpop: July 12-18, 2015

Siwon Super Junior Devil

What a week! The last seven days have been packed full of great new releases and a hefty amount of scandal too. Take a minute, catch your breath, and we'll take you through the biggest events that happened This Week in Kpop!

Super Junior's "Devil"

Super Junior came back this week with a 19+ music video! We're jazzed because last year's Mamacita, despite the silly music video for the title release, was easily one of the best albums of the year. But it's 2015 now, friends, and Kpop, as we know, is a fickle lover. So how does "Devil" fare? 

First of all, the music video is ridiculous, but at least it's not completely silly like we found "Mamacita." Super Junior falls from one movie trailer (Poster? Scene?) to another, and usually guns and illegal activities are involved with a girl who's nothing but trouble causing mayhem, or so it would seem. The excessive amount of guns in the video feel like play acting, like the guys just wanted to have fun as cops and robbers, and that's a bit ridiculous, as are those unnecessary (and cheesy) explosions at the end of the video, but Kpop.

We're hoping there's a dance version that follows, because have you seen the live version?

When Super Junior performs, their true personalities seem to shine. They're stylish, sexy, all class, and they're adults, the men of the Kpop world, and we wish that SM would focus on bringing that side to the forefront instead of these goofball concepts and boyhood cops and robbers and cowboy gimmicks. It certainly would save SM a lot of money!

It's also a bit troubling, we feel, that SM is releasing this so close to SNSD's summer comeback. Having both of their megagroups out at the same time seems counterproductive. We know that this is a 10th year anniversary release, but wouldn't you want Super Junior to have its own time to shine on their own? "Devil" is a fun, slick release, and we're hoping that they won't be overshadowed by their sister group.

Infinite Releases "Bad" MV and a 360 VR Version

We predicted the video gamification of Kpop almost exactly one year ago, and now Infinite is proving us right! The guys released a standard MV for "Bad," which just slayed (and the mirror stuff creeped us out in the best way!).

They followed this with a 360 Virtual Reality version that lets the viewer control the camera! We're just loving this release and this song is killer, the true cure from weeks of summer releases. Check back in tomorrow, when we'll have a in-depth review of "Bad," including the exciting 360 VR Version!

GOT7 Reminds Us All that We're "Just Right"

The more we listen to GOT7's "Just Right," the more we fall in the love with the fun and quirky song. But aside from being a great song, "Just Right" is getting a lot of attention for promoting a positive self-image for women and girls! True, it's not perfect, but when was the last time you saw a Kpop group eschew sexy dance moves for a positive message? Scroll down below and we talk more about this release! We know you can do it! 

Apink's "Remember"

We have to admit, Apink just confounds us. They're undoubtedly a top tier group now, and had an amazing 2014 with hits like "LUV," and "Mr. Chu," but, really, Apink has been doing this for years. But what is it that they're actually doing here? Do we call it Bubble Pop? Pretty Pop? Pre-2000 pop? The reason we don't really get Apink is because groups like Apink, cute and flowery, aren't why we love Kpop, but there's no doubt that they're successful. If anyone is going to dethrone Girl's Generation, who seems to just be on a dominating tear this week, it's going to be Apink.

For what it is, in a subsection of Kpop that we're just not invested in (we're trying), "Remember" is a solid release, though there are legitimate complaints that the song doesn't have a compelling hook and is too disjointed. And true, the "remember remember remember" part lands awkwardly, much like Girl's Day's "ring my bell" part of their chorus, where the song just loses all momentum. But, still, this release will do well, because Apink has built a massive following. Can they beat Girl's Generation? If any girl group can, it's them.

GUHARA's "Choco Chip Cookies"

Why oh why did "Choco Chip Cookies" have to be the promotional release for Hara's solo release? Why not "How About Me?" Have you heard this song, DSP? Have you listened to how it simply slayed? While "Choco Chip Cookies" gets lost in the summer crowd, "How About Me?" shows us a new side of Goo Hara with a hip hop vibe that we find exhilarating. It would have at least stood out. Did you even listen to the rest of the album, DSP? Do we have to do everything for you?

Oh, was it because the lyrics to "How About Me?" were banned on certain music programs (as some rumors state)? THEN CHANGE THE LYRICS FOR THOSE DUMB MUSIC SHOWS. The controversy would have garnered even more attention! That's what you want, right, DSP? Sorry, we're being unprofessional. But this may be the missed opportunity of the year, and it kills us. "Choco Chip Cookies" is a serviceable summer song, and it looks as though Goo Hara, from her interviews, wants to just have a solid release and doesn't expect to dominate this summer.

Which is fine. We just have to live with it.

JooHeun x Mad Clown's "Get Low"

Shut up Shut up Shut up! We're just leaving this special clip here for you. You're welcome *get low tho*.

“Fan” of BTS Makes Death Threat

Honestly, this news is hard to report. We should not have to write this. We're upset. We're furious, actually, that a supposed fan of BTS would make a death threat over the recent comments of Rap Monster, which some took to be racist. Regardless of your beliefs, the threat of violence is a despicable act. Come on, people!

Feminism in Kpop Takes Three Steps Forward

In completely unexpected news, there were three separate events this week that heralded a major step forward for feminism and gender equality in the male-dominated world of Kpop. Read our take on why Clara, GOT7 (we told you we'd get back to them), and Jonghyun have all pushed us in the right direction! You can check that out right here!

New Rumors of Disbandment Surface

The rumor everyone is talking about this week is of the supposed disbandment of an unnamed girl group, due to jealousy of the most popular member. Take this rumor, like all rumors, with a grain of salt. Though we will say, the increasing amount of solo promotions in modern Kpop was always bound to cause internal strife.

Critical Kpop Podcast - Sexuality in Kpop

And finally, we searched our archives and found --THE LOST FILES-- a whole podcast about S-E-X. 'L,' Tim, and Zander talk about their “first times,” as well as the prevalence and inequality of sexuality in Kpop. Listen here!

July 12-18, 2015

That's all for This Week in Kpop! It's been a busy summer, and there are a lot more big-name releases on the horizon! Stay tuned for more next time, and until then, have fun and be safe!


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