This Week in Kpop was one gifted with some spectacular, iconic releases, friends. When you have a week brought to you by SHINee, Big Bang, Wonder Girls, and T-ara, you know you're in for a treat. With that in mind, let's get started already!
SHINee's "Married to the Music"
SHINee came back this week and brought the world the surprising, inspiring, "Married to the Music," for all of us who are just not worthy. We're glad (and again, surprised) that SHINee and SM really took this video to the limit, as we were downright bored and confused with this year's earlier "View" (even more confused with the girls taking them hostage story than this music video's plot, which is saying something). We're always down for some horror elements and mysterious mind-altering florescent drinks, but we weren't expecting decapitations, eyes being smashed out of sockets, noses being stolen, people getting set ablaze!, and, of course, our favorite, Taemin, vomiting a plume of confetti! And most of all, we never expected to enjoy it as much as we did (we're not sadists, we swear),
It also helps that the song, like the video, is a lot of fun, energetic and upbeat, accompanied with that perfect retro vibe that has just enough smatterings of soul. Apparently, they're only going to be promoting for two weeks, and we're wondering why SM is smashing all of their major releases together, truncating many of them - we're talking SNSD, Super Junior, Shinee, SNSD again, possibly Red Velvet, and then f(x) one after the other, in a mad flurry of activity, perhaps in an attempt to redeem themselves for a controversial and mishandled 2014. SM is going all out here, everything must go, which we're fine with, as long as their releases are as inventive and fun as "Married to the Music" has been.
Big Bang Finishes MADE
MADE has finally been made, friends, and, as expected, Big Bang does not disappoint. "Let's Not Fall in Love" feels almost like a love song to the fans - don't get too attached, life is fleeing, we must return to the ether. We're already missing them, and we can't help but wonder if MADE serves as a recharge or that one last hurrah. We can't help it, this song is just too sublime to not generate these types of thoughts and a nostalgia before the fact.
But then there's "Zutter." Have there ever been two releases (by the same group/members of the group) that serve as the anti-thesis to the other more than these two songs? True, all of the releases from Big Bang showcase their wide range of musical interests, but if "Let's Not Fall in Love" is matter, "Zutter" serves as antimatter (don't let them in the same room). "Zutter" is a madcap masterpiece, T.O.P. and GD unleashed. Lock up your pigs, lock up your urinals. Turn up that beat. In many ways, it's a perfect release to end their comeback event. Even if they're not releasing songs all together for a while, the feeling is that the best is yet to come. Goodbye, Big Bang. (For now)
Cheetah's "My Number"
We hate to say this, especially since Cheetah's music video for "My Number" does some interesting things with gender and sexuality and not giving a solitary f*ck at defining them, but. This song just isn't really wowing us, and the chorus, the hook, if you will, is a bit flat. We're almost wondering if Cheetah would have been better off accompanied by a singer, perhaps a well-known diva, to really lift the vocals, while she focused on slaying. We're sure she'll have many opportunities to do just that, but, for now, this song feels like a missed opportunity here.
Sulli Leaves f (x), Jessica Leaves SM
After being rumored for, oh, we do not know - MORE THAN A YEAR - it was finally confirmed, just this week, that Sulli has withdrawn from f(x), focusing on her acting instead. We've been ready for this for quite some time, so aren't surprised with the outcome. Many fans do not seem so surprised either, and it's been a relief to not see Sulli getting bashed online as much as we expected (though maybe netizens have already gotten this out of their system).
While Sulli will be staying with SM, Jessica has officially terminated her contract. Besides focusing on her fashion brand, Jessica will someday, maybe, return as a solo artist. Somehow, we don't see that happening anytime soon either. So what does all this mean and how should we feel? Well, firstly, no one can tell you how to feel, okay? But, at this point, both of these stories have been dragged out for so long that we're no longer emoting anything except resignation, which, when you think about it, is the genius of SM. Drag things out, for unbearably long, until the public just doesn't care anymore or assumed that the old rumors were just facts. That's how you control a situation. Jessica's gone? Maybe forced out by the rest of SNSD? Old news. Did you hear that Red Velvet's having another comeback? Genius, SM.
Clash of the Girl Groups: Go RETRO or Go Home
You may be wondering: Where the heck are the two biggest comebacks of the week??? Well, don't you worry! Wonder Girls and T-ara have not been forgotten, we've just already written about them in Timothy Moore's continuing Clash of the Girl Groups! This week he takes a look at Wonder Girl's killer comeback (and spectacular album), as well as T-ara's latest comeback and the haters that may prevail. You can read all about it, right here.
August 2-8, 2015
And that was This Week in Kpop! We've been a bit quiet this week, with various editors on vacation, but at least nothing major happened this week, right? Just the biggest releases of the year, is all. We'll be taking a look at these big releases throughout this next week, friends. Redemption is at hand. Until then, have fun and be safe!