onsdag 29 januari 2014

Jpop: Itano Tomomi (板野友美)

Will Itano Tomomi go the same way as all other ex-AKB48 members striking out on their own, i.e. nowhere? She graduated last year, and in the new single "little" she tries a darker theme, lets see if it works out for her. Personally I find her first single (while still a AKB48 member) is the the best in a purely musical sense.

tisdag 28 januari 2014

Kpop: Gain - Fxxk U

While in some sense Gain could be seen only in the perspective as the latest and most explicit example of this winters new wave of more open sexualized kpop videos, she has a credibility in this area that stretches beyond and before this. Her Bloom is en excellent example of that. For contrast, one could compare her with Hyuna and her part in for example the recent "Now" (in the duo Troublemaker). While Hyuna provokes and explores these sexual boundaries that kpop and korean media culture has created, she does so from inside somehow. Gain, on the other hand, is to Hyuna what Madonna is to Britney Spears - she projects a sexuality that implies that she is in the center and that it is about her, not only for you as a viewer. If Bloom it was about life-affirming lust, "Fxxk U" is the complete opposite, but without the somehow glorification of Troublemakers "Now". In the video we can see all the terrible phases of an abusive and destructive relationship, and while there is explicit scenes they don't feel quite as objectified as one would expect normally from kpop, rather they suit the mood. The song is not that memorable, but the video confirms Ga-In as the woman who dares explore the sexual boundaries of kpop like no-one else does.

fredag 24 januari 2014

Russian pop: Bianca - Hands Feet (Ногами Руками)

Russian Bianca follows up on her hit "Alle Tanzen" with another stylish video. "Hands Feet" may not be as musically creative but it is well worth watching. And that spider, ouch...

Mandopop: Alien Huang (黃鴻升)

Alien Huang has one favorite track of mine and that is "Make Sense", otherwise it is mostly slower (if nice) songs.

Kpop: Kiss & Cry (키스&크라이)

After Bella was disbanded, Kiss&Cry was put together from the remaining members and some new additions (like Dia, hinted in her song with Kiss&Cry in October). I can't say the general production values seems to be more than average, but what struck me was not their attempt to hook onto the current sexiness trend, but rather the "latin" sound. This is what I imagine may be their opening and potential niche. The rhythms used in "Domino game" is actually quite unusual in kpop.