fredag 31 juli 2015

French pop: Jonesic

Jonesic debuted last year with the single "Aucune autre" (No other) and from his first full album comes "L'un sans l'autre" (One without the other) which both in name and sound is similar to his debut son, which is not bad as he has a sensual and soulful voice.

torsdag 30 juli 2015

Kpop: Girl's Day - Ring My Bell

I will be honest, there are reasons I hate this summer song from Girl's Day, the styling of the four gorgeous girls being the main reason. I mean:
Where did those *but-ugly* bathing suits come from?! And the zebra background just doubles the pain.

Hotpants to die for. Literally die...

Homeless bum - jeans meets marching band gold chains??

And that super-cheesy whip-my-horse's-ass move in the refrain...

This video was going straight for the Top 10 Biggest disappointments this summer. And then I just had to listen to it again one more time. And one more time...just to hate it all again. And when I returned to listen the 10th time I had to admit it - the song is actually quite addictive, the refrain being really catchy, and the girls just shines through all the styling filth by sheer force of charisma. So in the end this actually became one of their most memorable videos. - But - don't do it again!

Jpop: Sakanaction - Years, Holy dance and Slow motion

If I was to pick a Japanese act that as a whole means the most to me, it must be the Hokkaido-origin group Sakanaction. Their soft electronic melodies with a kind of hopeful mellowness that is very attractive. In August they will release their next album, a compilation consisting of B-sides and remixes. The first videos from this is Years, Holy dance and Slow motion, released almost at the same time. Without doubt for me, as it has been before, slow motion is still my favorite being much more easily accesible and rhythmic. The others has their charms too, but Slow motion really show-cases what makes me love Sakanaction. Read the excellent reviews of Years here and a shorter one with more album pics here.

tisdag 28 juli 2015

Kpop: Anda - Touch and Mastering

I liked what Andamiro have done earlier as she has a sound that somehows seems like an attractive mix of kpop and european pop, so I was a bit surprised when she seemed to disappear. I later realized her company had gone bankrupt, and so missed out on her return as Anda (안다) on her new label. The "new" Anda sounds quite much like Lim Kim, but without the latters problem of sounding a bit too rigid. Anda's music and videos breathes of a will to produce updated kpop performances in the style I have only "Ha:felt" do.

Kpop: Girls, girls, girls - a recap of this summer's top 10 disappointments

As usual, kpop and summer for me usually means misery. All my favorite groups tend to go into some kind of lazy and tasteless mode where bad songs are mixed with garish videos and unfocused productions, and debuts this time of year doesn't have that extra umph. I really, really want to give them love but usually end up watching them the same way you eat too much icecream because you have nothing else to do and usually likes sweet stuff.
Here's my top 10 "meh" this summer, in no particular order, and please bear with the whining...

1. Hellovenus - I'm Ill. The jury is out on this one, but I just feel it has something mssing. It's basically to generic for a group at this level.

2. NC.A - Vanilla Shake. She was so promising in the start but somehow this average summer release just confirms my impression that, however crual that may sound, she has already passed her prime.

3. Sistar - Shake it. This is just what I am talking about. Take a stylish group like Sistar and add summer and what do you get - just...eye candy without any taste beyond the imminent moment, and a slight queasiness afterwards.

4. BESTie - Excuse me. Up and coming stars, BESTie goes for pompous and a song structure that unharminously oscillates between two levels of sound. Reminds me of Girl's Day's Ring My Bell inits shortcomings.

5. CLC - Like. No, girls, colorful visuals and funny dresses isn't enough. You have to deliver something at least resembling a good song too.

6. Sonamoo - Cushion. I have had my eyes on them since they debuted this winter, as they obviously has a lot going for them, but I have still haven't seen anything from them that breaks through the kpop noise. This is an excellent example - its got attitude, production and they look charming. But where's the extra, the non-generic?

7. Girl's Generation - Party. Is this a music video or a commercial for a Thailand holiday? Or possibly a fan video cut together from various Pepsi ads?

8. AoA - Heart Attack. Oh, you too girls? AoA has done some really great hits, and I really love their sound, it has a kind of sharpness to it that is just perfect. All that is there in Heart Attack (the video is great), but somehow the composition doesn't do it for me. I think it has to do with the song somehow being to flat, it all kind of flows together.

9. Playback - Playback. So, these are supposedly a power debut, much like BESTie last year, but I can't see what they have to offer that isn't already there in kpop. Safe is not safe in such a saturated market as korean pop. Yawn.

10. 9Muses - Heart Locker. Until this year, 9Muses has wisely stayed away from the hot weather and through that kept on producing hot videos with good sound tracks. This unbroken row of hits is sadly broken with "Heart Locker". I must say I think eurodisco actually doesn't agree with 9Muses, at least not in this case. They feel bland in both performance, looks and singing. It is not bad. Just not that good.