Tag Archives: 2ne1

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.
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Pic of the Day – Dara Getting Married

5 Oct

Here’s a nice picture of my bride Dara wearing my pimp hat. Because she’s classy like that.

Dara is awesome at crowd pleasing. At least I’m getting pleased. Yeah.

photo credit: letsplay2ne1

Thoughts on 2NE1 – To Anyone

10 Sep

Just a quick review. No – I lie. A review is supposed to be insightful right? Check out McRoth’s (and Tuc’s) review for a more articulate piece. Sigh, I’m jealous they can write eloquently. At best, I’m a mad man with a keyboard trying my best to write in proper sentences.

Well anyway, a few general thoughts of the long awaited (pretty much every album/single by YG artistes are ‘long awaited’ .. )  first full album from 2NE1.

TOO. MUCH. AUTOTUNE.

I think that echos the thoughts of 99% of people who listen to “To Anyone”. I actually felt pissed off when listening to “Can’t Nobody” lol. WHAT IS THIS I DON’T EVEN…

2NE1 CAN sing. Even Dara can! Yeah I’m not kidding – I said it. Dara can sing. It’s just when she is in a group with 3 other girls who can really belt it out, and have such deep, rich voices, listening to Dara on the same track is a little jarring. So why use so much autotune? I’ve never been a fan of autotune, but I agree that if used in moderation, autotune can enhance a song (examples: Taeyang’s ‘Prayer’ and ‘I’ll Be There’).

I think only 3 tracks don’t use autotune – the gorgeous ballad, ‘Painful’, Bom’s ‘You and I’ and ‘I Don’t Care’. Incidently, they are also my 3 favourite tracks.

I’ve now listened to the album in its entirely at least 6 times, and the initial ear-fuck that the autotune gave me has subsided. I’ve started to like ‘Can’t Nobody’, ‘Go Away’ is a great uplifting tune, and ‘Clap Your Hands’ is a decent hip hop number. BTW, do yourself a favour and listen to the album with a decent pair of headphones. It makes a world of difference. With a crappy pair, it makes the songs sound even more processed and fuzzy.

2NE1 may not deserve all the hype YG keeps giving them, and even though the album isn’t perfect, they’re still my favourite kpop girl group. They got the x-factor, the swagger, the style, the talent. Most importantly, they have personality, unlike many other korean manufactured groups.

Overall, whilst it was a bit rough on the production front (please Teddy, get some rest. YG needs some new producers!) I’m pleased with the album, and I look forward to their other MVs and performances.

Meanwhile, check out their MV for ‘Clap Your Hands’. They really shine don’t they? ^^

What I Like: KPOP

9 Sep

My first encounter with Kpop was around 10 years ago, when I noticed a Korean buddy of mine bought a shiny new Sony Discman.

“Hey man – I thought you were gonna buy one of those new music players, a MP3 player, Samsung Yepp?”

“I was. But my bro just got back from Korea. He bought me a CD. New group called Fly to the Sky. Don’t laugh man, the name sounds gay, but they are so awesome. Can’t stop listening to them”

Forget about the fact that you can burn CDs to transfer the music onto an MP3 player (Hey, we were young and technological newbs. I bought a freaking MD player. What a waste.) But I was intrigued at why my friend would spend a huge amount of money -for a kid- just to listen to music by 2 guys with the craziest hair.

Hairstyle name: Parting Mop Head

But after listening to them, it was love at first sight listen.

From there, I went onto BoA, a bit of HOT, bit of Shinhwa, god, watching X-man, Rain, Se7en, Wheesung, Tasha, JinuSean, 1TYM, Big bang (basically most of YG) etc.

Korean music is different, unique, trendy. At least compared to Chinese music. Korean music can actually be defined into different genres. There is only one type of Chinese music – Karaoke CPOP. The singers themselves are also the full package – most are multi talented: singing, rapping, dancing, acting, comedy, variety and to boot, they are HOT. No wonder the Chinese music companies are trying to replicate Korean music, and bringing in Korean coaches to train new Chinese talent.

ANGEL

Below is a list of my favourite Kpop artists – you can see the majority is made up of RnB and Hip Hop artists.  I’ve also made a list for singers that I think have a great future ahead. If they fulfill their potential, then I hope to promote them to my “Fav Kpop Artists” list 😀

Fav Kpop Artists
Big Bang, Epik High, 1TYM, JinuSean, BoA, Fly to the Sky (now Hwanhee), Wheesung, Tasha, SHINee, 2NE1, Rain, Se7en, 2PM, Younha, 4men, Brown Eyed Soul, Lyn, Gummy, god, Dynamic Duo, J.ae, Clazziquai

Ones to Look out for
One Way, 4minute, MBLAQ, BEAST, Secret, Untouchable, Navi, May Doni, Seo In Gook, Kim Yeo Hee

I listen other singers too, like DBSK, SNSD, After School, CN Blue. FT Island etc, but they aren’t my absolute favourite.

Big Bang - All sorts of awesome

I’ll create a page for these lists, which I’ll update every so often, so you can see who I think are hot right now. I don’t listen to much indie, but you have any good recommendations based on my taste, feel free to suggest some.

Cheerio!

A Letter to YG

1 Sep

Dear Mr YG,

With the arrival of September, summer has officially ended for most of us, not that it matters since I’m no longer a child/student and thus no longer have ridiculously long summer holidays. Weather is cooling down, big summer movies have been mostly disappointing (Inception and Toy Story 3 are exceptions), fanfare of the new iPhone is dying down, and kids are heading back to school.

But it’s obviously a different kind of world at the YG headquarters, because you and your artists are banging out hit after hit (in more ways than one – congrats on the baby!) through the summer and I can’t see an end to them.

Taeyang kicked off the summer with Solar. Like many others, I needed a few listens to let “I Need a Girl” grow on me, as the tone and arrangement of the song was quite different from his/Teddy’s previous material. I loved the whole album.  See the past tense in ‘Loved’? Yeah. After a few hundred listens, I’ve found the album to be great KOREAN RnB album – but quite average when comparing to RnB as a genre. It’s a big step for TY though, and I can really see his true colours show, which is rare in the Korean idol world. He did good, and I expect even greater things from him in the future.

Se7en was next with his long awaited return from the States (which I still believe he was banished to because he lost a bet). When those previews of his new music started cropping out, I was worried. What happened to Se7en’s trademark silky smooth vocals and RnB vibe? What’s with the autotune and  electro? You had a lot of people worried with the new direction. But it turned out to be awesome and a breath of fresh air.

Then came Taeyang’s 2nd comeback. What? Does he think he’s Michael Jordan? Now I’m not a big fan of re-released albums with a couple of new tracks thrown on. I mean come on – I spent over 300HKD on that Deluxe Solar album, and now you want me to buy another with 8 of the same tracks? OK OK – I forgive you and your money-grubbing ways, because “I’ll Be There” is a fantastic track. Whilst I liked INAG, “I’ll Be There” was a much better “title track”; it was the full package: great MV, superb choreography, wicked beats, and my man TY getting nekkid for the ladies.

Who’s next? 2NE1! Dayuuuuuuuuuum I’m stoked for this album, mostly because I think no group in the Kpop world at current are quite as exciting as 2NE1. The teaser pics are FIRE. September 12th can’t come soon enough.

And the rest of the year?

October: BIG BANG!

November: JINUSEAN! (hopefully)

December: 1TYM (I can dream)

Mr. YG?

I fucking love you.

Yours truly,

Qoobie

YG, stop being such a tease

28 Apr

New post by zerohundred – read it on asiawhat or fangirltainment!

x

2009 – you've been good

4 Jan

Almost every other blog out there is doing some sort of “BEST OF 2009” post, so let me be a sheep and do one myself.

Qoobies Best of 09 KPOP Awards

Best Artist
G-Dragon

Best Group
2PM

Best Newcomers
2NE1, 4minute, After School, BEAST, Lady Collection, Maydoni

Best Songs (no particular order, one song per artiste)
SNSD – Gee
2NE1 – I Don’t Care
Taeyang – Wedding Dress
2PM – Heartbeat
Park Bom – You & I
Kim Tae Woo – Love Rain
4minute – Won’t Give You
After School – Because of You
Hwanhee – Bring it Back
Epik High – Wannabe
2AM – Time for Confession
Super Junior – Sorry Sorry
Brown Eyed Girls – Abracadabra
SHINee – Please Don’t Go
Maydoni – 7 Teen
LeesSang – Girl, Unable to Separate – Boy, Unable to Leave
Baek Ji Young – Don’t Forget

Best Albums
G-Dragon – Heartbreaker
2PM – 1:59PM
Hwanhee – H-Soul
Wheesung – Vocolate
2NE1 – 2NE1
Maydoni – 7 Teen
Untouchable – Quiet Storm
Brown Eyed Girls – Sound G.
Super Junior – Sorry Sorry
Lady Collection – Lady Collection
Kim Taewoo – T-Virus
4minute – Musik
Epik High – Map the Soul

Best MVs
2NE1 – Fire
2PM – Heartbeat
G-Dragon – Heartbreaker
Brown Eyed Girls – Abracadabra
Epik High – Wannabe
LeesSang – Girl, Unable to Separate – Boy, Unable to Leave

Drama
I haven’t been a huge follower of K-dramas (I’ve seen less than 10 my whole life), although that will change as I’m on a rabid download spree. Recommendation welcome!

In 2009, I’ve watched Cinderella Story (not sure why I even bothered), IRIS (very entertaining, although the last few eps were a huge let down; they either should of added a few more episodes to flesh out the story, or end it earlier) and You’re Beautiful (wasn’t going to watch this as it looked too “teen” and “cute” for my usual tastes, but so many people recommended it. Good recommendation! Park Shin Hye ^_^).

I am about to begin Return of Iljimae, and plan to watch Shining Inheritance after, since it has won so many drama awards in 09.

Variety
As I understand little Korean, the shows that I can watch it limited to the ones that are available on youtube/download with subs.  Family Outing is my no.1 variety show.  I’ve been a huge follower of the first series of couples of We Got Married, but interest has died down.  MNET Scandal seemed to have some promise, in at least we can expect to have crazy fangirl complaints; but that was a letdown too.  Other shows I watched/followed include Intimate Note, G7, Star King, 2NE1/Big Bang TV.  I wish there was a site which keeps track of all the episodes and where I could watch/download them…

Looking ahead to 2010
The Return of the Jedi Jaebum. Comebacks/LPs from:Taeyang, Big Bang, 2NE1, 1TYM, Se7en (basically YG family), Tasha/T, May Doni, Hwanhee, Hyori, BoA.  More material from the many newcomers of 09, such as BEAST, MBLAQ, 4minute, Untouchable, f(x).  Less freaky gifts from netizens to their idols.  Return of X-man alumni HaHa and Kim Jong Min. Movies/dramas/variety/eye candy which feature either Park Shin Hye, Ha Ji Won, Jun Ji Hyun, Park Bo Young, or better yet, all of them together. Anything with Kim Sooro – God of Study is a good start for 2010. New Cha Tae Hyun movie?

And of course, a new blog site. Damn will I ever be able to make it?

2010 – let’s hope for a even more exciting year for k-entertainment!