[Jan/2014] Millie’s Top K-Pop Music Videos

Millie’s Top Ten January K-Pop Music Videos 

[2014]

2014 seemed to start off with a sexy wave as girl groups everywhere could be seen in tiny shorts, stockings and high heels. The males also strutted their feathers with confident songs about their looks. Both genders came to tease their fans this cold January, but despite the flash of skin, many of the songs that shined were the ones that focused on the vocals. And if they could combine a sexy song with powerful vocals, all the better. The ladies might have  won over this month, but 2014 has just begun.

Note: This chart is just my personal favorites and does not reflect any music video views or digital/album sales. 

10. Rainbow Blaxx – Cha Cha

Rainbow Blaxx - Cha Cha

I have never seen a K-pop music video with so many sexually suggestive food props – and macaroons at that! Vibrant colors, royal furniture, jewels, and desserts of all sorts make up Rainbow’s first sub-unit music video. Rainbow BLAXX is the four member sub-unit, that was one of the many groups to come back this year with the sexy theme (unusually for Rainbow since they usually do the cute concepts). “I wanna feel you, I wanna love you…” The girls act seducing in this video to match the lyrics, daring them to come closer before they get too impatient. I found the song really catchy and I liked it a lot, I just wish the side story in the music video wasn’t so weird…what is it with the random jewels popping out of their mouths, and the creepy ghost lady measuring them?

9. Got7 – Girls Girls Girls

Got7 - Girls Girls Girls

JYP debuted a new seven member boy group, Got7. After seeing their debut music video “Girls, Girls, Girls” I got a mixed vibe of old school 2pm and JJ Project (very appropriate since both groups are from JYP Entertainment). The song sounded a lot like JJ Project’s single “Bounce”, which made sense since the duo JB and JR became members of this boy group, and the back-flips and other b-boy moves reminded me of 2pm’s debut song “10 out of 10”. When it came to the song, I preferred the verses and rap portions over the chorus which seemed boring for me and the lyrics where kind of a put off. But the music video did a good job in showing of the boys’ talent, especially with the split screen style that could show both the close up of the boy’s face and the rest of the group performing the choreography. “Girls, Girls, Girls” was alright for me – but it did make me extremely curious to see what this boy group has in store for the future.

 8. B1A4 – Lonely

B1A4 - Lonely

B1A4 made their comeback with “Lonely”,  a sad song about the after effects of a break-up. The music video was not that original, in fact  the lonely theme after a break-up has been done quite often, but what made the video different was B1A4’s little twist – the ex-girlfriend behaved like a balloon attached to the protagonist’s wrist (Jin-young, the leader, who starred in this music video). The magical element added B1A4’s style to it. Quite opposite from their last comeback that had the boys jumping up and down singing, “Lonely” was calm, yet beautiful, fully showing off the boys’ singing abilities. A perfect, sorrowful song for the ending of the winter season.

7. Spica – You Don’t Love Me

Spica - You Don't Love Me

Spica displayed their powerful vocals once again with “You Don’t Love Me”. The girls also came back with a sexy concept of their own; very retro with an over-the-top sexy act that left it more comedic than anything. From singing into toilet paper rolls, to throwing around cereal and streamers, to the exaggerated butt pads, Spica definitely stood out from the sexy singles this month. I always like Spica songs, but this one is not one of my favorites. If I didn’t hear the phrase “You Don’t Love Me” every other line, maybe I would have liked the song more. But none the less, I liked Spica’s creative music video – they always manage to make them sexy but have other interesting elements that balance them out.

6. TVXQ – Something

TVXQ - Something

TVXQ also went back in the past with the jazzy title track “Something”, a confident dance song about how hard it is when all the girls want you (how very modest of you boys). The dance is awesome in this video; with the dancers holding up string props to resemble bass strings that the boys strum too (Major props to all the back-up dancers who not only preformed but made seamless transitions through all the props). The song is upbeat and heavy on the vocals. The music video plays around with mirage special effects and upside down scene changes. It was quite a change from their last two hit songs that contained heavy audio effects and present day music styles, so this single was a nice, fresh new sound from the boys.

5. Sunny Hill – Don’t Say Anything

Sunny Hill - Don't Say Anything

“Don’t Say Anything” narrates the moment someone goes through a break-up; the sudden realization, the heartbreak and the tears that follow. This song is sorrowful, but has beautiful poetic lyrics and is very raw and easy to relate to. Filmed with white backgrounds and hazy focusing, and has the soft piano playing throughout the song, Sunny Hill’s “Don’t Say Anything” is a solid song.

4. Kiss&Cry – Domino Game

Kiss&Cry - Domino Game

Rookie girl group Kiss&Cry debuted with “Domino Game”, and wow did they make a debut! Defiantly one that is easily missed because of all the big named comebacks, but these girls made a great first impression. They weren’t  just sexy, but confident, and have vocals that amazed me during live performances. These girls don’t act like rookies, which makes me excited to see how they will grow in the future. The lyrics tell the story of a girl who wants to stop playing this “game” with the boy she loves, as it seems he doesn’t match the same loving sentiments towards her.

3. Girl’s Day – Something

Girl's Day - Something

Girl’s Day started off 2014 strong with their New Year Day release of “Something”. Following the sexy singles from the last year that gained them so much popularity with “Expectations” and “Female President”, the four girls appeared with “Something”, a sexy but sad song about a girl’s suspicions of her boyfriend’s other ‘something’ on the sideline. Vocally this was one of the Girl’s Day strongest song, but what gathered attention was their many new iconic dances; the “feather dance” where they tie feathers to their pinkies and sensually run them down their leg, the “cat dance” which mimics a cat’s movement on the floor, the teasing way they open up their skirts to give a peek of their legs and of course, the bouncing in the chorus.

2. Ailee – Singing Got Better

Ailee - Singing Got Better

I don’t think it’s possible for Ailee’s singing to get better since it’s already fantastic. “Singing Got Better” is her latest song’ a powerful vocal piece that tells how a break-up improved her singing. She understood the lyrics and emotions behind a song from her own pain of a broken heart and transformed that into her strength. I love the originality of the song, and the simplicity behind it. Lee Joon from MBLAQ starred in this music video as her cheating boyfriend. Seems like another amazing song from Ailee!

1. Ga In – Fxxk U

Ga In - Fxxk U

When I say Ga In like to push the boundaries, I never thought she would take it this far – and I’m glad she did! Ga In as a solo artist likes to center her music videos and songs on taboo topics in South Korea. Her last single “Bloom” was completely about sex and female sexuality. This time around she hit on a darker note; “Fxxk U” is an emotional song about a girl in an abusive relationship, revealing that even sexual abuse can occur in relationships, and traumatic repercussions of rape. “Fxxk U” features Bumkey who sings his lines from the point of view of her abuser trying to convince her that it’s okay and to return to him once again. This song will probably be banned from music stations, not only because of the topic but simply because of the “overuse” of the word fuck. However, I hope that doesn’t stop Ga In from making more music videos like this one.

All Things Korean For International Fans – Global Concerts

As the Hallyu Wave has grown, so has the number of International fans. Luckily for us foreign fans, many K-pop idol groups are expanding to world tours to be able to meet the dedicated fans outside South Korea.

TVXQ World TourTVXQ began their world tour TVXQ! Live World Tour “Catch Me” in late 2012, holding concerts in Seoul, and then venturing off to Hong Kong, Beijing, and Malaysia in early 2013. Now, the duo is making its way over to the United States for a concert in Los Angeles, at the Nokia Theatre on July 5th. After that South American fans are in for a treat as TVXQ will make its way down to Santiago, Chile on July 7th and Lima, Peru on July 9th.

In early June, seven-member boy group Infinite released a group teaser video for their first ever world tour. Infinite has only performed in South Korea and Japan, so Infinite is making sure to visit as many places as they can. 2013 Infinite World Tour “One Great Step” will start off in August with concert venues in South Korea and Hong Kong. In September, the boys will visit Japan and Thailand. In October, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia and China will get to see the boys. And finally in November the boys will make their way over to U.S.A (L.A, New York), Peru, U.K and France.

infinite-world-tour

 

SNSD World TourFanboys are in for a treat as one of the most popular K-pop Girl Groups, Girls’ Generation, has just embarked on a World Tour. 2013 Girls’ Generation World Tour – Girls & Peace is the first world tour for these nine beautiful ladies and they already began their journey by holding several concerts in Seoul and are moving onto Taiwan in late July. They have reassured their international fans through a press conference on June 8th that they plan on continuing their tour to several cities in United States and make their first appearance in South America. Although the concert dates have not been released, Girl Generation is expected to make their way to American fans in the Fall.

 

Friday Drama Review – “Queen of Ambition”

QoAPoster1Monarch of Madness? Perhaps Not. 

 

Ambition. Passion. Revenge. The series “Queen of Ambition” wrapped up its final episode with much weeping and nose-blowing, but all plot-lines were neatly tied up and finished. It felt, when all was said and done, that all 24 episodes were needed to fully develop the nefarious tale and all its sordid details. Indeed, each emotionally charged episode left the viewer anxiously anticipating the next installment.

Storyline/Synopsis: My rating 8/10

“Queen of Ambition” is the beguiling story of a woman whose ambitions leave a trail of death in her wake. Joo Da Hae spent part of her formative years in an orphanage (where she met her best friend Ha Ryu Oppa); the other part of her childhood was spent fending off the attentions of her pedophilic stepfather. Ha Ryu and Joo Da Hae met again years later as adults and Ha Ryu dedicated his life to making Da Hae’s happy: he worked hard to support her while she studied to get into college. He worked even harder to send her to college. Their common law marriage seemed to be a match made in heaven, if somewhat impoverished, and was blessed with a beautiful daughter they both adored.

The tale turns when a wealthy young man, Baek Do Hoon, falls for her, unaware that she has a family. Stoking Da Hae’s craving for a better life, She dupes her husband into footing the bill for her to follow Do Hoon to the United States to attend graduate school.

The story continues with deceptions and schemes. Half of the cast of characters ran intricate cons, half was seeking brutal revenge. Some were doing both.

QoAcastScript/Acting: My rating 8/10

The strength of this drama was in the script and acting. The Ambitious Queen, Joo Da Hae, portrayed by Soo Ae, had just enough humanity to make her frighteningly real instead of psychopathic. At issue was the audience’s ability to empathize, however reluctantly, with the emotions that drove this woman to the lengths she went. She was almost never completely without empathy or remorse.

Sidebar: I found Da Hae’s character to be completely American in nature. She describes herself as having to “step on others” before she got stepped on herself; “hating others” before she, herself, was hated. She pursued her goal with a single-minded “me first” ambition, very much in keeping with the American ideal of “rugged individualism” and not in keeping with the Korean, Confucian concept of doing things for the greater good. Is that to say there are no social-climbers in Korea? Obviously not. But the clash between these two ideals is a major concept behind the drama.

QofA Back MusclesKwon San Woo not only put in an excellent performance as Ha Ryu (and his twin brother Cha Jae Woong), but the script afforded him the opportunity to show off his very well-toned body as he worked hard at a host bar as “Mr. Back Muscles”. Gratuitous eye-candy for the ladies? Partly, I’m sure, but the display had a serious function as well and was an important part of the plot. The characters of Ha Ryu and Cha Jae Wong were emotionally engaging in the extreme, albeit a little one-dimensional when compared to the character of Da Hae. The acting was consistent and stirring, leading one to empathize with Ha Ryu at the gut level throughout the series.

yunhoYunho (from TVXQ), who played Baek Do Hoon, was a little less consistent in his acting: sometimes excellent, moving, credible, at other times, a tad amateurish and a wee bit off. Do Hoon’s character was sweet, unsuspectingly gullible and naïve. The genuine way in which he portrayed the slow change from complete trust and belief in his wife, to desperately wanting to believe, to the final demoralized submission to the truth was nicely done.

Baek Do Kyung’s (Kim Sung Ryung) big reveal was pretty easy to guess. The character, however, was a delightfully complex woman: strong, female head of the household and key player in the family business, but emotionally cold and lonely. There was an understated vulnerability in the character that appealed for empathy despite the cool exterior.

Best couple award of the year: Sung Ji Roo as Uhm Sam Do and Lee Il Hwa as Hong Ahn Shim. Both turned in amazing performances.

Kwon-Hyun-Sang-02And a special “Always-The-Bridesmaid, Never-The-Bride” award to Won Hyun Sang as Yang Taek Bae. This young man is a fine actor who always seems to play the best friend, always seems to have secondary roles. His performances are consistently great and he has a charming way that should carry him much further than he seems to be getting.

DaddyKissMePark Min Ha was a complete darling. The scenes where Kwon San Woo playfully pretended to ‘eat her up’ mimicked what the audience longed to do to this little sweetheart. I do want to add that throwing dead children into the script is using incredibly unfair emotional tactics against sensitive women.

Drama clichés: Orphans (yet again), Kpop star feature (Yunho of TVXQ), twin mixups. Most of the clichés, however, were cinematographic.

Cinematography: My rating 6/10

ridingQueen of Ambition” had many, many, many familiar sets and settings: the stables from “Boys Over Flowers”, the very recognizable walkways and streetlights from “Missing You” and others, the park from “Personal Taste”, apartments from – well – everything! Yes, many dramas use the same filming locations, the same sets, props and costumes. It sometimes gives me the feeling that Seoul is actually quite small geographically, that there are so few spots in which to film. And there is apparently only one police interrogation room and one prison in all of Korea, and everyone goes to the same bar and coffee shop. Or am I the only person distracted by these things?

Stunts shots ran the gamut. Some were extremely impressive, like the car accident scene where Yunho flew through the air (a stuntman, I would presume!) Other stunts were not so well presented. The twin scenes, however, were well executed.

There seemed to be an unusual number of places where the editing was choppy, or there were abrupt changes in scenes and/or music. There were also a few noticeable inconsistencies. I often overlook these, but one odd instance included Da Hae leaving Do Hoon’s car without briefcase she’d stolen but having it later. I find it worth mentioning only because I had believed Do Hoon to be in possession of it, but it appeared with Da Hae a few scenes later.

 Music: My rating 7/10

The soundtrack included a really nice instrumental electric guitar song, although tracking down the title was unattainable using the usual sources (and a few unorthodox ones, as well!). YouTube had a limited selection and nothing is available on iTunes yet. The music was quite complimentary to the drama. In general, and this is not a fault of this drama in particular, SBS, KBS and other Korean broadcasting stations, while aware of their international appeal, do not appear to be interested in marketing to that populace.

“Ice Flower” Ailee http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3_FnVfVQR8

“Tears Rain” Fat Cat http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVaWACCsM-o

“You Don’t Know” Kim Nam Gil  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SiLUacdgYI

“There Is No Love” Lim Jae Wook http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beoQPnzsBOk

“I Love You I Hate You” Lee Jin Sung http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0dUE-WZfbw

Overall Charisma: My rating 7/10

The skillful development of Da Hae’s persona was the crowning achievement for this drama. When I found myself in tears when faced with her eminent demise I was honestly surprised (and a little aghast!) Yet I realized that Da Hae represented that seed of greed and envy that exists in all mankind, the small green monster kept  tethered and tamed as best we can so as to appear as civilized human beings. Da Hae cannot not be dismissed as a psychotic or an outlier in society, because it is far too easy to identify the many Da Haes around us. Ambition. Passion. Revenge. It’s not a new story, but “Queen of Ambition” packaged it nicely.

 Happy Drama Watching!

wedding photo

The Ultimate KPop Electro House Party!!!

Break out the glow sticks, turn out the lights, and have a 4:05 minute party in your house.

DJ Zedd-Spectrum with a KPop Twist.

S.M. The Performance: TVXQ’s Yunho, SHINee’s Taemin and Minho, EXO’s Lay and Kai, Super Junior’s Donghae and Eunhyuk

This KKonnect writer likes the music, but ponders why there aren’t any K-Pop musicians with beards or mustaches.

(Original by Zedd)

© S.M. Entertainment

[Now Listening] “Catch Me” by TVXQ


TVXQ (also known as Tong Vfang Xien Qi or 東方神起 or 동방신기 ) is back with their long awaited comeback album called Catch Me! It’s been almost exactly a year since TVXQ has released Korean material, and their title song “Catch Me” is one of my favorite songs this year. It may not have grabbed me instantly, but I can’t stop listening to it now and I truly love it. TVXQ is made of Shim Changmin and Jung Yunho who used to be part of the group DBSK (also known as Dong Bang Shin Ki) with other members Jaejoong, Yoochun, and Junsu, however the group split a few years ago with Changmin and Yunho continuing the TVXQ name and the other three members made a group called JYJ (Jaejoong, Yoochun, Junsu). Anyways, TVXQ is easily one of my top three favorite groups. I personally love them as a duo and they are pretty much flawless. Even their live performance of this song is executed flawlessly. There’s a reason DBSK was one of the greatest kpop groups ever, and these guys keep that reputation going. They are great singers and dancers, and TVXQ is even getting their own world tour! You can bet I’ll be going! ^^ Anyways, please check out their song “Catch Me” here!