Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Kpop Panel: The Outtakes

As you may have seen on Twitter, yes, we are in the process of making a comeback! We've regrouped, roped in a willing guest panelist, and are off channeling lulz into our writing. Aaaaand we've tweaked the layout, complete with a new logo! But while we're busy writing about a truckload of songs (trust me when I say it's a truckload!), we thought of posting some great moments from panels that have, unfortunately, never been finished and therefore never published. The world has to see these things! Be prepared for great chemistry between the panel (who are literally all over the world and have never met each other in person), and also some really, really entertaining moments.

The unpublished panels in this post feature permanent panelists:
Mel @ Melismatic

And special guests:
Jessica @ This Must Be Pop

Despite the fact that only Nikki read that week’s panel in it’s entirety, all four panelists managed to have a pretty coherent conversation with each other about Zia!

Mcroth (⅗): ...I'm not a fan of the way she hisses at thee beginning of her lines. She does it every. single. time. And once you hear it you cannot unhear it. (Now you hear it, don't you?) I would have also liked this to be more of a duet-duet. Not sure what Ha Dong-Kyun is doing in this song. I mean, if you're going to feature a male singer, take advantage of the guy and bust out some sexy harmonies! His bit was too short, too sweet.

Nikki (3.5/5): Thank you, mcroth, for pointing out the hissing. Cannot unhear. Great. Zia has your run-of-the-mill OST voice - a little shrill, but with a bit of maturity and a semblance of a nice, deep timbre. But she cannot, for the life of her, pull of that vibrato she's trying to do - it sounds more like she's sobbing, with snot and a mix of mascara and eyeliner dripping. Not pretty. Bad vibrato….

Ree (⅗): ...The thing is, it doesn't really go anywhere. It stays in one direction, and it's just her beautiful vocals over a piano. The song is very linear in it's structure, in it's melody- it's pretty- but not enough to keep me interested….

Tuc (2.3/5): ...Mr. Featured’s grand appearance comes far too late in the song, and this just adds to the disarray of the track. It’s like a guy showing up three hours late to a birthday party bringing a half-used Starbucks gift card as a present. Nobody wants it at that point.

Basically, when you put together four K-Pop bloggers and make them talk about Boyfriend, they’ll be decent for a while, but chaos will surely ensue. And by chaos we mean that no one actually talked about the song. (decency not included in this clip)

McRoth (3.7/5): Give me a transcending full length album (not just a nice EP), and then we'll talk. Side note: why hello there boy in the green skinnies...(does that sound creepy? Oh my god, it does. Fuckfuckfuck...wait, how old is he?)

Nikki (3.5/5): Okay so on a personal level, this will always hold a place in my life because my first soompi review was on this song, and doing reviews for soompi is all a part of my huge "world domination" plan, which I will not divulge to anyone until it's more than halfway through, so yeah.

Ree (3.5/5): I feel bad for Boyfriend, for several reasons. 1) They're called Boyfriend- something which is inevitably going to be detrimental to any potential career development (meaning after they turn 20). 2) They're from the same company as SISTAR- Starship- the kings of 'okay'-ness.

Tuc (1.5/5): No doubt, I will probably be getting horse heads in the mail because of this rating, but I simply cannot help it if the sound of a couple of pre-pubescent boys doesn’t make me swoon.

We were all praises for the supposed panel champ that week though, as we should be:

McRoth (4.5/5): Very interesting production, boys. There's always been a timeless feel to Infinite's music, and to finally hear a clear vision of their inspiration makes me a very happy camper. The 80s snappiness of the snare caught me off guard, definitely. It's the first time this year that I've heard a drum kit treated in this way, and that in and of itself deserves a tip of the hat….

Nikki (5/5): ...it just works. As does everything else - that electric guitar in the background which gives the song some attitude, the structure of the melody that makes it that much more punchy, and holy mother of heaven and earth that part right after the rap? Those heartbeats/thumping and the HARMONIESSSSSSSSSSSSS. I think I died. And then they just go along like nothing happens? Talk about epic. There's no way I'm not giving this a five.

Ree (4.5/5): I need to hand it to INFINITE, they got really good, really fast. Woolim has an ear for good music. There's a lot of great things about the song, and what I love about it is the fact you discover something new about it after every listen. You hear things you didn't notice the first time- like that whistle during the verses, the complexity of the instrumental during the chorus, little did bits here and there. And that's why I think it's the kind of song to grow on you overtime, it takes a bit of time for the melody to embed itself, but when it does there's no going back….

Tuc (⅘): …this song may have, as they say, “made me a believer.” In terms of the instrumental track, I was particularly partial to the use of the ever-pleasing combination of rock and classical instruments. This combination of seemingly polar genres has worked in countless other songs, and it works just the same in this song, particularly in the chorus….

While everyone else on the panel was spazzing over the Brown Eyed Girls' "Sixth Sense"...
McRoth (4.5/5): I love them. I love this EP. I love everything they do. 4.5 MEEEOWs out of 5.

Nikki (4.5/5): YESSSSSSS! THIS. IS. HOW. IT'S. DONE. Although CSJH (as 4) will always be my favorite girl group, and k-pop's most talented, BEG are pretty close now.


...Tuc was... well... being serious.
Tuc (5/5): While discord and disarray usually work to the detriment of most songs, there are those rare few that take advantage of the spontaneity that can result from such an haphazard arrangement; “Sixth Sense” is one of those songs. The song displays no apparent structure (if there is one, I am failing to find it), but this is ameliorated by the sheer power and variety presented by the voices of these vivacious young ladies.

Before "Gangnam Style", there was "the Korean Rick Astley", in the form of "Right Now"

Mel (4/5): It wasn’t till the video was thirty seconds till over that I realized the lead in the video wasn’t Korean variety show host Ho Dong, but Psy himself. Guilty. With that said, the song alone is a lot of fun and sounds every bit the relevant YG jam. It’s catchy as all hell with a synthy roller coaster of a backdrop, and easy to sing along to. He’s kind of the Korean Rick Astley in the sense that his voice doesn’t match his face/body but, I dig. It’s not even a guilty pleasure. It’s just plain awesome in an awesomely bad kind of way.

McRoth (5/5): Damn, finally. I haven't really said much on this song outside of this post, so I'll give y'all a brief taste of what I think of this song. First off, welcome back Psy. Glad to hear you've decided to own the idols at their own game. This song is just awesome. It features a nice mix of crazy nuances, a catchy chorus and attention-grabbing verses. And the energy of the whole thing makes me very happy. Nothing speaks louder than a song that drops TNT on your face. How's that for a wake up call?

Jennifer (2/5): Eh. This guy is doing a bit too much. He literally is screaming instead of really singing anything. Is he noted for singing or a being a screamer? I got the latter impression. Yeah, I know, that's what music, especially what pop music is mostly all about, people screaming and expressing themselves, which he does extremely well. Just that this song feels a like a big old uninspired bag of "blah". I even think I've heard this song before, but done by the Black Eyed Fleas...I mean, Black Eyed Peas. Though I give the guy credit for one thing, he totally should consider taking up a job rallying up a sporting event, he has all the energy and quirky humor as expressed in the music video.

Jessica (3/5): I love the energetic Europoppy backing track that runs throughout the track and the "right now!" part gives it great momentum, but I don't think the humour of this comedy pop singer transcends the language barrier. With a different vocalist this could be pretty good but he just shouts his way through the song. There's nothing average about "Right Now" - it's amazing and awful in equal measures, but unfortunately that means it will have to get a very average score.

Without a doubt, the most obscene line ever written in a KPop Panel review is courtesy of none other than McRoth himself:

McRoth (4.3/5): It's as if he was holding back from really singing just to hit your G-spot at the climax.

But the award for best review ever goes to Ree!

Ree (2.5/5): Alright Junsu, let's sit down. No Junsu, stop crying. If you're going to produce your own songs you need to hear criticism. First of all Junsu, I do think you're talented and a great singer and- no, stop smiling, that doesn't excuse this song. First of all Junsu, what were you on when you made this? It started of like it was going to be great, mind-blowing, bedazzling. It started off like it would be a great song... until it turned into a whole other song. And then another one. And another one. And another one. Junsu, I understand you're a growing and curious boy, but stuffing hundreds of random and different elements into one song does not make a good song. If you wanted orchestral influences, then by all mean put in orchestral influences, but stay consistent. The song is all over the place, at times is becomes gorgeous Junsu, much like you, but then it takes a 180 degree turn and I don't even know what happened. And why the rap? You come from the kings of mediocre rap groups, Junsu- sorry, Jun. K-- I thought you'd know a good rap from a rap that goes nowhere. I guess I underestimated you, clearly your bandmates have brainwashed you. I tried really hard to get into it Junsu, but with this song you're essentially asking me to get into fifty different things in four minutes. And I love you- but I'm not that easy, babe. That being said though, call me.