As I stated in my last post about JYP’s iconic comeback, I was going to talk about Big Bang’s comeback in my next post. However, I almost forgot about Sexpost Hyosung’s comeback so I figure I may as well kill two birds with one stone and talk about how underwhelming both of them were at once and end my pain sooner.
Big Bang is, maybe a bit surprisingly, one of my favorite boy groups(even though this link is outdated a bit). I like a lot of their songs, even if I don’t care for a majority of the members as people and wish they’d tone down the swag a bit. It’s been 3 years since the fantastic “Alive” EP, so obviously expectations were high for their comeback. YG revealed Big Bang will be releasing a new single every month from May until September, it was relatively exciting – albeit a bit annoying as I like other groups and this will inevitably effect their comeback plans.
We later found out that from May-August Big Bang will release single albums, and then a full album comprised of the previous singles and some new songs in September. It’s an interesting strategy considering BEAST is doing something similar in Japan, and SHINee did the same thing with the Misconceptions series in 2013.
The first of the MADE series is M – which has two singles, “Loser” and “Bae Bae” – and both of them are relatively unexciting.
“Loser” seems to be the primary single, and it is doing better on the charts than “Bae Bae” – although they’ve been holding the 1st and 2nd realtime chart positions until today, and switching back and forth repetitively. Similar to how “Bad Boy” and “Blue” kicked off Alive promos in 2012, Big Bang decided to use a similar approach and go with a more mellow start to their 5 month promotions.
“Loser” is similar to “Blue” in that it’s a more melancholic song. It’s my less favorite of the two, as it’s treading on ballad territory, and the only K-Pop ballads I truly like are from Kyuhyun and BEAST. While obviously “Loser” has hip-hop elements in it (would a Big Bang song be a Big Bang song without hip hop?) – it’s just boring to me. I understand that lyrically it’s unique since it’s not really about love or a break-up – it’s actually quite self deprecating, but it just doesn’t do it for me. The composition is bland (it’s a Taeyang and Teddy job), and I honestly have enough negativity that I don’t need to listen to music knowing it’s self deprecating, since I prefer more upbeat music as it is.
Maybe that’s why I prefer “Bae Bae” immensely to “Loser” – even though it’s still not up to par for Big Bang, in my opinion.
Before I get into the song, I’d like to talk about how disturbing the video is on a few levels. Firstly, I don’t get why GD is running around like a hoodlum while wearing a backpack. Secondly, there’s way too many references to sex during TOP’s part (even though it matches lyrically with what he’s rapping about), which already reminds me of an acid trip. Thirdly, Taeyang needs to stop. Stop EVERYTHING. And finally, the end scenes of white women wearing hanbok (traditional Korean dress) while the guys essentially upskirt them and look at the camera in a smug way is extremely disrespectful and unnecessary. So many idols get insulted and dragged for disrespecting western culture, however Big Bang were barely touched for essentially disrespecting their own culture – which is a bit hypocritical to me.
Anyways, I enjoy the song, despite the troublesome video. I think the composition is interesting (this song was done by GD and Teddy), and it has a nice balance of swag, horniness, and longing for it to work pretty well. I think it’s miles more interesting than “Loser” and if “Bae Bae” were a B-Side, I think I’d be very happy with it since it’s about on par with “Not Fun” from Alive.
Obviously Korea, as well as international fans, are eating up the songs because they’ve been deprived of Big Bang for so long. I’m expecting better songs by July, and I’m hoping to see Seungri get at least one title composition, since I love all of his solo material.
Next we have Sexpot Jun Hyosung of Secret. Her song, “Into You” is really really…underwhelming. After last year’s surprisingly awesome “Goodnight Kiss” – one of the best songs of 2014, to release “Into You” is almost a slap in the face – not to mention how horrible she looks in the teaser and album shoot (the video was not out at the initial posting – has been updated below – but MESS @ TS Ent for releasing the MV so late) – she’s a gorgeous girl and I don’t know what anti decided to get her these fillers or do such a horrible job on her makeup.
After listening to the song one more time, it’s almost delivering me SES vibes, meaning it’s something I’d expect of a newly grown up APink, and not goddess Hyosung – albeit with maybe slightly less sexually charged lyrics. However, the song is good. I’m not saying “Into You” is a bad song – it’s really not at all. It’s just not what I would expect after such a great dance song that was honestly the best female solo song of 2014 from a jam perspective (obviously IU wins in terms of artistry, but that’s not here nor there).
In fact, I would go as far as saying her entire Top Secret single album from 2014 is better than everything on the Fantasia mini. While obviously the styles are different as Top Secret was going for a more dance vibe and Fantasia rested on more of a subdued R&B vibe – I much prefer dance tracks. Each set of songs had Hyosung’s signature seduction come into play, but to me Fantasia tried too hard to cash in on that. I do have to say, Hyosung’s voice does suit R&B, so the mini isn’t a bad listen. It’s just not something I personally can listen to as often.
All in all, I’m happy K-Pop is starting to pick up again after a relatively lacking first quarter, I’m still unimpressed with a majority of releases. Rookie groups have been as a whole delivering more than my faves, which is to me in a way saying that maybe it’s time that we start seeing that reflected in sales and numbers. If rookie groups are going to be putting out better music than seasoned idols who are relying on their name to get by, it’s not fair to either the rookies or the fans. The sad thing is, fans of big name groups will eat out whatever their faves are putting out just because it’s their faves. I’ve said before that I’m almost worried for my faves to comeback because of the sub-par music I’ve seen this year from groups that usually deliver – such as 9Muses, Dal Shabet, and Fiestar. Even though B1A4’s sister group had an amazing debut with a wonderful mini, I can’t say I’m not worried about how their summer/early fall comeback will turn out – especially since I’ve been waiting now over a year for it. Same with Super Junior, BEAST and Infinite.
Speaking of BEAST and Infinite, I’m actually really exited to talk about Hyunseung and Sunggyu’s solos, so anticipate my thoughts on those as well as a review of Bestie’s latest EP in the coming week!