This weeks inaugural Sunday Spam come to you in the form of a youtube playlist. Click the link to watch the music videos I am going to talk about in the following post. I made it just for you, all you have to do is click. Click the link. Do it.
Song the first:
Eric Nam’s current promotional song Ooh Ooh. It has been out for a little while now but is relatively new compared to a couple of the other songs in the playlist.
Eric is a from California so it isn’t difficult to find him speaking English. In fact he hosts a popular Kpop show for foreign fans in English called After School Club. He recently appeared on EatYourKimchi to promote this song if you want to watch some zany antics you should check out their Kpop Music Monday Episode.
I really love the jazzy/swing vibe this song gives off with all the horns in the background. It has a good beat, I always find myself bouncing my head along to the beat. It is deginitely a happy upbeat song that I feel is a good song to listen to if you aren’t a fan of the dubstep breakdowns common in so many Kpop songs.
If you like Eric’s song he has one other promotional song which you can watch here and I highly recommend watching his show which I linked earlier.
Song the second:
SPEED’s 빵빵 (Bbang Bbang / S P Double E D’s Back). This is an older song but since I fell in love with SPEED during their recent promotion I have been finding gems among their discography.
SPEED originated as a subgroup of COED SCHOOL, however since the two subgroups that were formed out of COED SCHOOL were more popular and had gained additional members their company decided to dissolve it and let them move on simply as SPEED. This is fine with me since I am not particularly a fan of COED SCHOOL’s sound.
This song is closer to what people expect when someone says Kpop though it has a little bit of a Hip-Hop flare. The chorus of this song is extremely catchy and even if you can’t speak Korean I think you will start humming along. I like to listen to this song while I’m walking to class. It helps me keep a quick pace though I might be caught dancing to it along the way.
If you like SPEED’s sound I would also recommend their three recent back to back promotional songs Don’t Tease Me, Zombie Party, and Look at Me Now. All of those links are either live performances or dance practice videos since the main song I picked didn’t have one. I really think you need to watch these guys in action to appreciate their charisma.
Song the third:
Crayon Pop’s current promotional song Uh-ee. A song that just came out in the past few weeks and its video is meant to be comedic not serious. Could you tell?
While they might look like young girls in the above image they are all in their mid 20s. They just choose to center their themes around comedic images to match their super catchy music. They wore helmets for their last song’s promotion. This time they dress in a way that is easily recognizable as Korean Middle Aged women.
This song is super bubbly and catchy. The dance is silly as well. Some people might think that they would be embarrassed to dress and act this way, but they actually have a big say in how they are portrayed and their dorky concepts have one them a lot of popularity in Korea and abroad.
The dance move they do in the chorus of their last promotion Bar Bar Bar is used often on Korean shows when groups are meant to imitate other groups. It is equally catchy and I would recommend checking it out.
Song the fourth:
G-Dragon’s Coup D’etat, which is not so new however is a song that grew on me. I had to listen to it a few times then come back to it a couple weeks later. However I decided I really liked it in the end.
G-Dragon or GD is a huge celebrity in Korea, not only for his solo music but as his role as leader in BigBang. A lot of the newer Kpop group rappers look up to GD as a role model for being one of the best Kpop rappers. I really like his music, the english in his songs is impeccable, and more often than not his music videos add a whole new level to the song itself.
Now, that being said. This particular video is full of imagery that is very striking and appealing, but doesn’t necessarily come together. After watching the video I’m not quite sure what it was trying to tell me. It was an enjoyable experience but that’s as far as it goes. The song lyrics don’t really help either. However it is still a song I have been enjoying lately.
Song the fifth:
Block B’s Jackpot. This was intended to be their current promotion, however in respect for the family of the Sew0l Ferry Accident they have decided to cancel their promotions. It is understandable and respectable, but it means I can’t buy this song on iTunes for the time being.
Most of Block B’s promotional songs are written and produced by their leader Zico (front and center in the shorts of this picture). They are known for being extremely silly and goofy, willing to do derp faces on their international shows. They always give great charismatic performances and their style changes for each comeback.
This particular song was influenced stronly by Swing music (made apparent by the use of piano and horns). The song and video are meant to expose the faults of the Kpop industry. Though I usually fall head over heels for Block B’s music upon the first listen, this one took a few listens to appreciate it. It can seem disjointed at first like several songs mushed together. The more I listened to it the better it started to flow and I love it just as much as their last three promotions.
I found Block B during their Very Good era however you should also check out Nillili Mambo and Nalina for a good time. I would also recommend Park Kyung’s solo song on their last mini album When Where What How.
Song the sixth:
The next song on the list is a live spotlight performance of two of Block B’s members. What they call the dance line (though they are both Subvocalists as well) B-Bomb and Ukwon.
Both guys are extremely talented dancers and their singing skills definitely warrants their inclusion in the group besides that. Because they are sub-vocalists though you don’t get to hear them shine very often. They both have bit parts, a couple of lines here and there, but are mostly found in the background and harmonies of Block B’s songs. When they do concerts however they are able to do solo stages of their choosing to exhibit their talents. In this case they are covering Beasts cover of a Japanese song called Niji (meaning Rainbow) by Fukuyama Masaharu.
I especially love B Bomb’s enthusiastic bongo playing and Ukwon is able to sing and play the guitar seamlessly. It is also a much mellower song than I am used to from Block B however it matches their voices tone extremely well. I just love listening to it even though the only way to do is via fancam.
Song the seventh:
EXO-K’s Peterpan. This was not a promotional song and I only found it this week while searching through their songs on itunes because of this however it is extremely sweet and I love it. Though EXO normally shows a very strong and cool image.
EXO-K is one of two subgroups that form EXO. EXO has twelve members that split into EXO-K (who sing and promote in Korean for Korea) and EXO-M (who sing and promote in Mandarin for China [primarily]). They do perform as their 12 member group on occasion but more often split into their six member groups. While I prefer to listen to EXO-K’s music, my favorite members of EXO are all in EXO-M.
This song in particular has great harmonies that I really love. It is something I like to listen to while sitting near an open window. It is slower paced than most of the other songs on this playlist and is accompanied primarily by guitars and a drum machine. This is very different from EXO’s promotional sound but I think it suits them just as well.
If you like EXO I would recommend checking out their promotional tracks though they are a bit different. Mama is the closest thing my roommate could find to Metal in Kpop, and Wolf is equally strong though more similar to Hip-Hop. Their most recent promotion Growl is closer to this song though a bit catchier plus the video is amazing.
Song the eighth:
IU (aka Taylor’s favorite Korean idol)’s You & I. This song is a little bit older and I along with Tayor would recommend literally anything IU has ever put out into the world because it is glorious. This is merely the song of hers I have been playing most often recently.
Look how cute she is. She also acts in dramas if you prefer the Korean drama route. She has some of the most interesting and unique music on the Kpop market and is very popular in Korea. Her last promotion was based on ragtime music and that entire album is golden.
This song in particular features an almost 1960’s disco quality to it. It might be in the rhytmn though it could also be IUs voice. In any case it is upbeat and cute. I am also a fan of the strings in this song (the violins and piano in particular). She is one of the strongest female vocalists that I like to listen to, at least as far as solo artists go. Though I originally listened to mainly female artists there is something about boy band recently that I have become enamored with. It says a lot that I still go back to IU’s music rather than run after something new.
If you like this song I recommend Modern Times and The Red Shoes. I believe if the music wasn’t enough to have Taylor fall head over heels for her, the quirkiness to her music videos definitely did. They are interesting to say the least.
Song the ninth:
Plot twist, extreme change in tone! The next song is M.I.B. (Most Incredible Busters)’s 치사BOUNCE (CHISA’BOUNCE).
Before their debut each of the members released a solo track to prove their talent on their own. They are one of my favorite Hip-Hop groups. Their last two title tracks are impossible not to dance to and I have even forayed into the rest of their discography to find some gems. Their last two songs (including Chisa Bounce) are inspired by Men In Black and are a sort of pair. Their are a few vocal snippets in this song that are recognizable from Dash their last promotional track from the end of last year.
This song came out at the same time as Block B’s Jackpot and I have to admit that I was more enamored with this song at first. It is much catchy and works well as a whole. The lead vocalist Kangnam also happens to be one of the prettiest boys ever and I am extremely jealous of him. These guys have a great charisma on stage as well. I am not sure how to describe the song so I recommend listening to this to find out for yourself. It is hard not to like.
Like I said, this song is sort of a duo with their last promotion Dash so feel free to check that out for more Men In Blackesque fun. I listened to it on repeat for at least half an hour on my drive home for winter break. It also has parts that English speakers can imitate even if they don’t normally sing along to Korean songs. Not only due to the sheer amount of English smattered throughout but some of the Korean being easily recognizable syllables (though nonsensical to an English ear)
Song the tenth:
The grand finally fit for a king, or a dirty player in this case. This is Ravi’s solo stage from VIXX’s Milkyway Concert in Soul.
I couldn’t honestly make this without including something from VIXX though recently I have been listening to this song a lot. There is not a studio version of it but I think that his stage was strong enough to allow me to be not even mind the screaming fans. Ravi is VIXX’s rapper and for a number of their songs a writer. He writes his own raps though he composes music as well. Ravi chose his stage name because it means delightful in french, and boy is he.
This is his self composed song and solo stage. The chorus is so freaking catchy and it gives off a vibe that is distinctly Ravi. Ravi might be one of my favorite Korean rappers (along with Zico, Kyung, and GD). I am not usually a big fan of rap in English and by that I mean I don’t like rap at all in English but their personalities or perhaps the way that Korean flows makes it an extremely enjoyable experience for me. I can’t help but sing along to this song. It even often makes me do the cheesy little dance that Taylor does when he is enjoying a song. Not all of you know what that is, but I’m sure you will see it in some Bibliomancy for Beginners episode or another.
If you like Ravi’s music I would recommend listening to his self composed song that the entirety of VIXX performed on their last album called Secret Night plus VIXX make videos for their fans every week which I would highly recommend watching if you want to get a feel for his personality off stage.
That took forever. I have spent two hours compiling this list. Depending on how much time I have in the future I might make shorter playlists. I thought our inaugural installment should be special!
Look out for a new Monday Musing tomorrow in the form of this months TBR because this is primarily a book blog. We divert on Sundays for the music because I love it so much and I want to share it with the world.
I hope there was at least one song or artist on this last that you enjoyed I know that some of these songs are on polar ends of the spectrum. If nothing else it shows the variety in Kpop. Let me know what you thought of the songs in the comments below.