This Week in Kpop is brought to you by PSY, all the PSYs, young and old. He's not the only one who made a comeback this week, so we have a lot to cover. Let's get started already!
Oh, PSY, PSY, PSY. Here you are again to win the hearts and minds of pop fans (not just Kpop) everywhere. But does he? In many ways, yes, of course he does. Both "Daddy" and "Napal Baji" are energetic slayers - and PSY really kills it with some spectacular dancing. If there is one thing that hasn't been lost in PSY's quest for worldwide domination, it's his kinetic showmanship. He's even more of a larger than life figure than ever, and it's always amazing to witness, even if you don't like the songs, friends.
And now that you mentioned them, what about the songs? "Napal Baji," we feel is a far superior song, a fun retro jam with a dance that feels more in-tuned with the release. At times, "Daddy" feels like a mashup, and although it has gotten far more attention than "Napal Baji," it has the feel of something overproduced (a common issue within Kpop nowadays). Sometimes, you just have to let a song be.
What's missing here? Nothing surprising. It'd be unfair to admonish PSY for losing his piercing social commentary in a genre of music that usually doesn't address much beyond broken hearts. How can we laud Girls' Generation for their lovely "Lion Heart" while at the same breath criticize "Daddy" for not tackling a larger point? Still, there is a loss here, as PSY circa "Right Now" and "Gangnam Style" really was at the peak of his satirical genius. Likely to appeal to a wider (world-wide) audience, these elements were pushed to the background by "Gentleman" and "Hangover" and now, those elements seem gone completely. It's understandable, but it's still a loss.
Speaking of loss, we're at a loss as to why SM would waste a TTS comeback with a generic Chirstmas release. Yes, we know that Kpop has this strange obsession with releasing these sentimental holiday songs, and, to these agencies, and fans too (we suppose), having Kpop's most popular subgroup participate in these syrupy releases is no waste at all.
We have just about zero expectations for Kpop Christmas releases, which is why we were so impressed by GOT7's "Confession Song" song last week. Unfortunately, "Dear Santa" feels like it was produced in some random computerized Christmas generator and, besides Tiffany's always awkward English, "Come on," doesn't really distinguish itself as a unique TTS release. So is it great to see TTS again? Of course! But would we have rather have seen SM gather a bunch of random idols together for a Christmas song and save TTS for something more substantial? You bet your life, friend!
Speaking of substantial (we're full of transitions today), BTS returned this week with "Run," which seems like at least a spiritual follow up to their spectacular "I Need U" (Original Version). It's a great song and the video looks like another classic examination of adolescence and young men specifically. But there's something specific going on with Jin here, and we've read fan theories that we can neither confirm or deny.
We're actually not sure at all what this video is getting at here - and will probably need to give it another watch or a dozen. What are your theories, friends? Or do you think this is just a straightforward look at boys being boys and sometimes having the feelings? Let us know!
Seventeen Teams with Ailee!
Seventeen and Ailee teamed this week for "Q & A," which we found to be very fun and sweet. It's a cute concept too and we love hearing Seventeen and Ailee together here. We are a bit surprised that they didn't employ one of their After School idols that seems permanently exiled (hopefully we'll see them next year?). Still, Ailee is golden here. This is not a major release, but a fun one that will only remind you how great of a rookie year Seventeen has had, and the possibilities for their future.
MAMA 2015 Predictions, Part 3: Special and Daesang Category
MAMA aired this week, and some things, like 2NE1's incredible return, could not have been predicted. Kushal Dev predicts what he can, the winners of this year's awards. Take a look at his picks and compare them to the actual winners right here, friends!
Review: Royal Pirates Returns
The Royal Pirates made their comeback this week, and don't you worry, we have them covered! Helen Edworthy breaks 3.3 down for you, and you can check out her entire review here!
MV of the Month: Verbal Jint's "If the World Was Perfect" (featuring Taeyeon)
Can you believe November is over already? This year is just flying by! But with the passing of an old month, we must announce the best MV of the Month, and for whatever reason, November's pick was hard! But still, we got this down, and Verbal Jint (along with Taeyeon) get the prize. Check out why here!
November 29-December 5, 2015
And that was This Week in Kpop! We've gone through a lot of releases this week and probably have passed by your faves. You can add them in your comments! Next week will probably be full of Christmas releases and we'll try not to be grumpy about them. Until then, as always, have fun and be safe!