Merry Christmas

25 Dec

Merry Christmas my fellow asian junkies!

 

Best Kpop Albums of 2010

23 Dec

Folks, it’s that time of the year again. No, not Christmas. LISTS!

For me, 2010 wasn’t a particularly great year for Kpop. We were ear raped by auto-tune and electronica, eye raped by ridiculous outfits, and left speechless by stupefying choreography (2PM – I’ll Be Back). A distinct lack of arguably the biggest heavyweights in Kpop, DBSK and Big Bang, did not help matters either. It was however, a year for a LOT of debuts and groups coming out with their sophomore albums.

Here’s my vote for the top Kpop albums of 2010. I have had to draw some inspiration from McRoth’s series of posts (here and here), as quite frankly, my memory is fuzzy on what was actually released in 2010! I also find it troublesome ranking things, so this will not be in any particular order. I will list 10 things though, as 10 is just a nice, round number ^^

2NE1 – To Anyone

The album that split everyone’s opinions. I’ve never seen the words ‘ear fuck’ and ‘so addictive’ so often in reviews for the same album. As I’ve said in my previous review, the auto-tune HAS to die down for their next album. It’s a dying trend anyway. Who gives a shit about T-Pain now? No one. Even Kanye isn’t using auto-tune much these days. Nevertheless, To Anyone had a varied track list, and the beautiful track of It Hurts showed everybody how soulful the fearsome foursome could be (bar Dara). Did the excessive use of auto-tune kill a few of my brain cells? Yes. Did I love the album? Yes.

4Men – Sorry

Gorgeous voices + great melody = win. What can I say? Hello! was on repeat 100 times in one day. No lie. I used to think Brown Eyed Soul were the Korean Boyz II Men. I now pass that accolade to 4Men (or 3Men, as it should be)

Shinee – Lucifer / Hello (re-release)

I loved loved loved Shinee’s first LP. I really did not expect the new SME idol group to have such great voices and such a mature sound. Their second LP had more character, and you could really tell that the guys had more input into the direction and writing of the songs. Lucifer was an outstanding single, so intense, with an unbelievably addictive hook, and powerful choreography to top it off. Hello was another great single. I know opinions were split, but it was a huge grower and was on my ‘now-playing’ list for a LONG time.

T-ara – Breaking Heart (Re-release version)

Going Crazy for You was so fucking addictive. So much auto-tune, but I loved it. The MV gave me a migraine though. And Jiyeon, God love her, so adorable. T-ara aren’t vocally strong, but their producers know how to make addictive tracks. It helps that they look HOT.

Epik High – Epilogue

EPIK. Run Run RUn Run Run RUN

MBLAQ – Y

I surprised myself with this entry, but I thought Y was a fantastic EP which showcases both their dancing and vocal talents. All 4 tracks: Y, One Better Day, What U Want and Last Luv, left lasting impressions and I still listened to them months after the release. This is in contrast to BEAST, who whilst I think they are talented too, need better songs. I like their mini albums, but get bored with listening to them after a week or two, which is never a good sign. Really looking forward to more from MBLAQ, especially G.O., who had a fantastic 2010, featuring on songs with the sexy J.ae and the not so sexy Nassun.

Taeyang – Solar

Another album that split opinions, especially with the first promoted single. I personally loved I Need a Girl. I liked the MV, the choreography was refined and the bonus featuring by best chum G-Dragon was pretty snazzy. Tracks like Superstar, Where U At, Wedding Dress, Look Only at Me, Prayer, After You Sleep, made this sophomore album a very, very strong effort by Taeyang. In addition, I’ll Be There and Connection in the International Edition made Solar a hugely well-rounded album. As a whole, possibly my favourite album of 2010.

BoA – Hurricane Venus

I first got into Kpop because of BoA, 10 years ago, so I can’t leave her off the list. I HEART BOA, and this album just made me reinforce my love for her. The album surprised me, with several tracks having a sort of ‘indie’, acoustic feel to them. A big change to her previous Kpop releases, which were either power ballads, dance music or power pop. The music was also very different to her Jpop sound, which is much more RnB-ish (which I love btw). Just goes to show how diverse she can be.

Brown Eyed Soul – Vol 3. Brown Eyed Soul

The ultimate chill album. I love putting their album on the background whenever I’m working. Just so CHILL. Love them. I also found this album to have a more ‘throwback’ feel to it. Does that even make sense?

Honorable Mentions – 2 albums that are yet to be released, but I can definitely see them in my top 10.

GD & TOP
Big Pimpin. That is all.
Oneway – Rainy Days
Their first LP has only been released a couple of days ago, but only for retail. But judging from their debut EP, and their titular track, I expect nothing but greatest by these very talented guys.

Vid of the Day – SNSD Screen Savers

9 Oct

SNSD recently made some screen savers for Daum. Well I don’t know the details but I do know that these are SO ADORABLE. ESPECIALLY TAEYEON.

I WANT TO BE THAT SPOON.

Credits: aslotussmusic , Seoulbeats

 

Pic of the Day – Scorpion on a stick

8 Oct

Ugh. Insects like these are a common “delicacy” in many parts of China, including Beijing. Sorry to those who do like enjoy a bit of fried scorpion or sweetened spider (the large kind), but I think it gross.

Picture credit: MOP

Speaking of insects, a new show by “The Office” creator Ricky Gervais sends his friend Karl, who so happens to be a total idiot, to see the Seven Wonders of the world, including to China and the Great Wall. Watch the video below, which also contains a clip of Karl’s priceless reaction to people eating insects.

Hilarious!! Some Chinese people might find this particular episode slightly offensive, but he is a bit of an idiot after all. Other nationalities, don’t feel left out. Since Karl goes to all Seven Wonders, there will be 6 additional episodes of him being a moron and unwittingly insulting other cultures and heritages. I’ve watched clips of the India episode – funny stuff 🙂

Pic of the Day – Big Bang LG

7 Oct

Big Bang promoting for the new LG Optimus One phones. I’ve personally owned LG phones before (2 different ones) and have had really bad experiences with them. I much prefer my iPhone 😀

See YB’s pinky pointing out lol. How delicate.

Pic of the Day – 2PM Teases

6 Oct

JYP released the first teaser pics to 2PM’s upcoming mini album, Still 2PM.

I’ve just uploaded Chansung’s picture because his forehead looks absolutely huge, and his pose makes it even funnier. It’s the “I-think-this-pose-is-badass-but-my-group-will-bully-me-after-this-photoshoot-fml” pose.

You can see the rest of the pictures at their site .

Where is Big Bang?

5 Oct

On the way home today, I spent my bus ride listening to my favourite Big Bang hits – Last Farewell, Haru Haru, Lies, A Fool’s Tears, Babo, Remember, We Belong Together, etc. Damn they sound good, and even their more mediocre tracks put most Kpop groups to shame.

I think the biggest difference that make BB shine more than others is the rapping. Taeyang is my favourite member, but it is the combination rapping of GD and TOP that make the songs. Almost every Kpop group, be it male or female, has a ‘rapper’. But how many of them have actually been rapping for more than 2 years? You don’t just learn how to rap overnight. Rapping is an art that is honed over many years, a lyrical battle and test of flow. GD and TOP has been at it for over 10 years each, they CAN rap. Whilst I like a lot of other groups, such as 2PM, their weak flow makes me feel groups use rap as a gimmick, which saddens me.

GD and TOP may not be at the same levels of Epik High (how many are??), but out of all the so-called idol groups, none can rival them.

Shit… went a bit off topic! Anyway, I read an interview the other day and GD was quoted as saying he has 18 songs already prepared, and are just waiting for the other members to comeback. He also mentioned it will not be an electro-pop themed album. THANK GOD! It’s good to know that GD is hard at work for the group, and I can’t wait to hear what he’s prepared.

My hope is that Big Bang will come out with teasers for their 3rd full album in the 1st week of November, and then release a 12 or 13 track album. In the first album, all the members had their own solos. I’m hoping the new album will contain some solos or duets, some unique combinations. Possibly a Seungri + Daesung duet? TOP, GD, Taeyang is another tried and tested combo not to be messed with. How about some special guests? A featuring by se7en would be pretty awesome.

What do you think? What are you hoping for in their 3rd album?