My Venture Back into K-Pop

As I’ve mentioned before, K-Pop was the gateway for me into music that wasn’t in English. FinKL and S.E.S broke down barriers and led me into other groups like H.O.T and Clon. Eventually that would bleed into Japanese music and introduced Idols and J-Rock. I’ve long since left the K-Pop genre due to what I thought were changing times. Back when I was listening, K-Pop was bright, colorful, bubbly and cute. That was my preference and it could also explain why the transition to J-Pop was inevitable.

Each time I look back over my shoulder to see where it all began, I’m mixed with confusion. How did a genre I loved so much change so drastically? The music became more electronic. The clothing more trendy. The dance moves so much more complex, calculated, and sexual. The faces I had grown to love became indiscernible behind the make up and glam. I wouldn’t say there was a hate for K-Pop but there definitely was some sort of misunderstanding. It wanted to grow up while I didn’t want it to.

I’ve dabbled here and there with Korean Pop over the last few years, listened to a few Wondergirls songs here and some SNSD songs there. But I’m an enthusiast for high energy songs. Pop is one thing but what is it that makes Korean Pop unique? I haven’t been able to click with the current generation of musicians. Until now?

When I say high energy, I mean stuff like this. There’s a flow to the song that makes me want to learn the dance. There’s a style to it that I want to replicate. And it’s all because of that girl JiYoon. She’s the one wearing the weird baggy pants and long blonde hair with red tips. Her formal wear is fantastic. And then of course there’s also the over-sized sweater look. The flair is indescribable. It’ll all happened when I saw this next clip on a Japanese TV program.

The girl in the shades, JiYoon. There was something about her style and performance that entranced me. I didn’t just like it, I wanted to imitate it. There’s something about being so cool that people want to be like you. I found it to be a really neat set of circumstances.

I never mentioned which group this was. It’s 4minute. I’ve found myself looking up more of their stuff trying to find a balancing between the Japanese releases and the original Korean songs. Their new release comes out in Japan next month but they’ve already gone back and made the song in Korean. I found the video to be a little weird but fun and visually appealing.

But we’ll have to see if this new resurgence leads to more K-Pop.


About David Liao

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  1. Interesting, the Japanese version of Muzik sounds weird to me. lol Still better than some other conversions though.

    Actually I also got into 4minute because of that song and JiYoon. Before Muzik she had never taken her sunglasses off even on radio shows then BAM she takes em off during the MV and is super pretty. It’s kind of a shame Hyuna gets all the promotion in the group instead of her and Gayoon.

    If you like them I would also recommend T-ara if you haven’t already heard them. Shinsadong Tiger produces a lot of music for both them and 4minute. They are supposed to debut in Japan in September.

  2. I feel like I’ve heard you mention afterschool’s sub group Orange Caramel, but if you haven’t heard any of their songs you should check them out, much more on the bubbly cute side, they also just debuted sub groups Afterschool Blue and Afterschool Red, AS Blue is similar to Orange Caramel in that it has a more bubbly cute sound. Then, of course, there’s Secret (my recent favorite) with their Starlight Moonlight and Shy Boy single albums, with the more retro 50s 60s(?) cute theme.
    But, i love all K-pop :D

    You may also be interested in Pride Band (프라이드 밴드) they apparently just came back from a like 5 year hiatus after one single. But i really like their sound, and it’s really nice to see a K-rock girl band :)

  3. I am a 4minute and Jiyoon fan, so maybe you’ll enjoy some of her performances on Immortal Song 2: (she won that week) (not from immortal song 2)

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