This Week in Kpop: January 3-9, 2016
This Week in Kpop is in with the old, out with the new! While Kara might very well be disbanding, Suzy and Baekhyun made a dream collaboration! Dal Shabet made their comeback as well, and we have new groups already making a scene. Why don't we get started already?
Suzy and Baekhyun "Dream"
Why don't we start 2016 with a dream collaboration between EXO and Miss A? Or how about, failing that, we have Suzy and Baekhyun sing together instead (close enough!)? Good things could be on the horizon, friends, when JYP and SM can join hands and let two of their biggest idols have a duet under the Mystic Entertainment banner.
But really, who would have thought?
Suzy herself, despite the iconic status she inhabits, is a surprise here. She's not normally known for her vocals, an assessment that seems downright unfair when she releases songs like this. She more than holds her own, and the chemistry both vocally an on stage with Baekhyun is actually quite captivating here. They're warm, they're playful; this release makes you feel like you're in a cafe, just chilling, listening to Suzy and Baekhyun serenade you. "Is this a dream?" you may say.
And all we can answer you is with, "Maybe."
Dal Shabet's Revenge
Dal Shabet (with Brave Sound) released an energetic jam this week with "Someone Like U," which serves as a perfectly reasonable and strong-enough comeback for Dal Shabet. While some fans are calling this one of their best releases ever and a chance to grab #1 on one of the coveted music shows, we're giving this a more conservative look - it's a great song, sure, and the girls perform well here - what we see of the choreography is really fun.
But is this release going to be a game-changer that shoots Dal Shabet into another level, a la EXID's "Up and Down" or even Girl's Day's "Expectation?" Not really. If anything, this is Dal Shabet returning to form, holding their ground instead of making any giant genre-defying leaps. The guns are back (Dal Shabet loves guns!), an ultimately ineffectual revenge scenario has returned in a video that is really a hot mess (we still don't understand the training sequences).
The song is a jam, and one that we'll be listening to for a while, but will we be still listening to it in June? Will we remember it at the end of the year? We're not so sure yet.
Winner Teases (with a kiss)
Well, damn, Mino. We know that Winner is going to be a part of most of our conversations in the first half of the year, so it's about time we get teased for their upcoming album. While we expected something moody and mature, perhaps forming a counterpoint to iKON's boyish charms, we were shocked at the sultry kissing between Mino and the actress/model here.
Which poses a question here: How adult will EXIT really be? And also: How awesome is it to see Winner again?
Do you like your Kpop weird? Do you think more groups should entwine trot into their music? Do you miss Orange Caramel as much as we do? We might just have the Kpop debut for you! CocoSori is a playful duo with a super strange music video. We don't want to explain too much here, except that you'll never broccoli the same way again (but isn't it about time that broccoli made you uncomfortable??). Extra points go to their special bluescreen version, where enterprising netizens can edit in their own backgrounds, the most views receiving a prize.
We think that's very inventive and a great way to expand their name and engage with fans. They've even left comments for the fans that have made these videos (or at least the social media team of their agency has). Good going, CocoSori!
MV of the Month: Jun. K's "Love Letter"
We just can't get enough of Jun. K's "Love Letter," easily the best Music Video and maybe just our favorite releases this past December. "But why?" you're asking. Read here to find out, friend!
Critical Kpop Podcast - Episode 19: Say Hello to 2016!
Another week, another Critical Kpop Podcast episode! This week, Tim, Zander, and Sarah gear up for a new year full of great music! But they also talk about dreams, resolutions, and their recommendations! Listen harder, and listen here!
January 3-9, 2016
And that was This Week in Kpop! We're happy to get deeper into the new year and are excited for the big new releases to start trickling in! Who are you looking forward to? How can you even contain yourself? Well, we hope you do, somehow. Until next week, have fun and be safe!