This Week in Kpop is brought to you by Kpop's iconic teasers. You may string us along, you may even lead us the wrong way, but we'll always come back for more! Here's looking at you, Goo Hara. Super Junior. This week also had its share of comebacks and controversies, so let's just get started already!
Goo Hara (Guhara) Goes Solo
We're excited for this. We're terrified. We've been fans of Goo Hara for more than half a decade now, and have been following her even closer ever since we reviewed her reality show, Hara On & Off. That show would have actually been a good jump to a solo debut, and we wish DSP Media would have been more strategic in their planning. And that's what really terrifies us about this release: DSP.
Some "fans" have been saying that Goo Hara doesn't have the talent to be a solo star, or that she sings terribly. We don't think those fans (shockingly) are being fair. For one, Goo Hara is a spectacular dancer.
If DSP plays this right, she can unleash her inner rock star. Her singing isn't terrible, it's serviceable, and if that's a huge issue for you, we question why you're even listening to Kpop. We're sure Hara's been giving her release a lot of practice on all fronts. If you watched Hara On & Off you would see that she may be the most dedicated pop idol in the world. So she does have the talent, the skills, the drive, and may just be one of Korea's most glamorous beauties. So why are we worried? Because of releases like this:
DSP released a solo Kara album a few years ago to exhibit their solo skills. While they were, again, serviceable, and Hara's release was probably one of the stronger of the five (five - sob!), where this could have slayed, DSP went with being cute, and, ultimately, generic. Safe. Which has been modus operandi for the last few Kara releases as well. We're hoping for something closer to HyunA's "Red" instead of, well, HyunA's "Bubble Pop," with a bit of slaying and some attitude (and a touch of strangeness). We want Hara to stand out, because she can. The first album teaser seems badass and surprised people with a hip hop vibe, the other teaser?
Not so great. We've been hearing that she'll be releasing two MV's - but which song will be on the music shows? We're hoping to be surprised here. We're hoping that DSP takes a risk. (GO BIG OR GO HOME)
Super Junior's "Devil" Teasers
Speaking of GO BIG OR GO HOME, we're not quite ready for Super Junior's special album release, Devil. Mark your calendar for July 16th because that is the day you're being slayed. This album commemorates 10 years of Kpopping(!), so we're expecting big things, especially coming off of last year's Mamacita, which we will defend to the death as one of the best albums of 2014.
The teasers look especially badass and fun, and ridiculous in the way that only Kpop can get away with. We can't believe that SM is having Girl's Generation and Super Junior performing at the same time, and maybe part of it is to overcompensate for departures from their most popular groups (so long, Tao). But let's not be too cynical here. Super Junior is about to tear the house down.
Eluphant's "Sim Sim" (featuring Sistar's Soyou)
While we haven't been wowed with Sistar's releases for maybe two years, they've made some great collaborations, friends. Here we have Eluphant's "Sim Sim" which features Soyou's soothing voice. From what we've heard of Eluphant's Man on the Moon, we're really loving. We don't know much about Eluphant (it's been a busy week in Kpop, come on), but we think we'll be hearing a lot more about him soon.
Girl's Day Apologizes
No, they're not apologizing for their middling release (zing!), but for being aloof and, at times, seemingly rude, during a live broadcast on AfreecaTV. They were criticized so much by netizens that they had to come back to the program to apologize for their behavior. You can read more about this on Soompi, because we're sufficiently over it already, and you should be too. Whatever the reason for their behavior (and the MC, Choi Kun has blamed himself and said much of it was scripted?), fans should remember that idols have unbelievably stressful lives - performing, training, dieting, constantly having media appearances, constantly being judged, that if most people had to live like this their faces would melt off of their heads. There will be missteps. There will be small breakdowns. That's life.
What's especially alarming is the venom being unleashed on Girl's Day over this flap. Netizens have been chomping at the bit, just waiting for Girl's Day to mess up. This is the case for any group, and any group of netizens who, as it happens, are not fans of said group and see that said group as rivals to their own fandom. This is not WAR. They've apologized. Nothing more to see here.
Girl's Day, SNSD, and Nine Muses! The Clash of the Girl Groups Continues!
Speaking of Girl's Day, We had so many girl group releases this past week, we had no choice but to examine them all together, pitting them against each other and themselves! Girl's Day, SNSD, and Nine Muses enters the fray! Check out our latest Clash of the Girl Groups right here!
Your Cure for the Kpop Summer Blues? K-R&B!
And maybe you're just sick of girl groups and summer songs already! Well, Zander Stachniak sure is. And he knows just what the cure for his summer blues are, and maybe this will help you too. Enter: K-R&B! Check out the best new releases right here!
July 5-11, 2015
And that was This Week in Kpop! We're hoping that Girl's Day controversy will just fall away, as Kpop is gearing to have an amazing summer and just about everyone is invited. Why harp on the bad when there's so much good? Really, netizens. Are you not entertained? We are. And we'll be looking at more of these upcoming releases next week. Until then, have fun and be safe!