This Week in Kpop is brought to you by walls. Four of them, in fact. Yes, we're hyped by f(x)'s return, but have also been caught off guard here. What do we mean? Let's delve right in, friends!
Art House f(x)
f(x) is back! So why are we so unnerved? We've been trying to figure that out all week! It's not necessarily the art house theatrics of the music video - f(x) has already begun veering towards that distinction with last year's incredible (and ultimately abstract) "Red Light" music video. We haven't even tried to dissect the video for "4 Walls" ad nauseam yet (we'll save that for the Podcast), although there are some masterful shots and interesting character-switching...and a freaking horse, that we could and should try to decipher (you've probably already read YouTube and Reddit theories, in which everyone with a computer or smartphone can become an expert [yes, we know, pot meet the kettle]).
The fact is, we like the fact that f(x) makes videos that beg for deeper interpretation. Even if the commentary is way off (and often, who can know for sure?), the interpretation the audience arrives at is often more interesting than the original intention. So, please - give us your theories!
But if "Red Light" is similar in artistry to "4 Walls," it's still much closer to "Rum Pum Pum Pum" or even "Electric Shock" in presentation. There's choreography, there's an ecstatic energy, there's the box!, that is completely absent from the more muted and Instagram-filtered "4 Walls." It's a dramatic shift, and for us, f(x) fans to the end, it will take some getting used to. Which is not to say we're not digging it. "4 Walls" gets better with each view (and listen), but it will take some time to register as an f(x) release to us. We're going to give this more time, but don't worry, we'll recover and give a closer look at this important release soon!
Critical Kpop Podcast - Episode 9: Halloween Edition
With all this talk of walls, we've nearly forgotten to say: Happy Halloween, friends! Why not celebrate the macabre with a ceremonial carving of a pumpkin and a listen to the only podcast that invites you to, as they say, LISTEN HARDER? This week, Zander and Tim tackle their favorite spooky videos (like Wings' "Haircut" here), and break down exactly what it is they love about Halloween. Listen here, friends!
Review: IU's CHAT-SHIRE is Inscrutably Good
As you must know, IU is back with a brand new mini-album! So what happens when a non-IU fan tries to give a full, honest review? Zander Stachniak tackles CHAT-SHIRE as best he can right here.
From Fame to Infamy: The Harmful Naivety of Bias
Listen. We all have our biases. That's what Kpop is rooted in, dummy! But what happens when your bias crosses a line? What then? Helen Edworthy examines these issues here!
The Idol Grows Up (Or Does She?)
We had a full plate of article this week, after taking a hearty focus on our podcast! This welcome return to writing is due in large part to an influx of submissions and ideas from our readers. Take, for example, this article on IU, Lim Kim, and Song Jieun, and their videos concerning coming-of-age, written by Timothy Moore. This idea for the article was submitted by a reader named Suzanne! We're always looking for ideas and submissions - so send us an email sometime. We can't do this alone!
October 25-31, 2015
And that was This Week in Kpop! We had one of our most packed writing weeks in a long time and we feel re-energized! But now it's Halloween weekend and time to party. Anyone out there dressing up in a Kpop-related costume? Send us a picture already! We, on the other hand, will be listening to f(x) all weekend in preparation of a more thorough dissection. Until next time, have fun and be safe!