I’m gonna keep mention this ’til I’m blue in the face – I simply cannot get over Wonder Girls’ disbandment. Yenny, Sunmi, Yubin and Hyerim turning into pop/rock/reggae band with idol elements was a perfectly executed idea, and Reboot album in particular got me super-hyped and hungry for more. Unfortunately, the girls could not win with the vicious kpop industry. As they had been around for quite some time, newer, younger idol groups became much more popular, and this led to the obvious conclusion – only the bands which bring in the most $$$ get to stay and do stuff (WG’s contracts were expiring and the re-negotiations brouhaha was bound to end in flames).
Yenny and Sunmi parted ways with JYP, and as it turned out, fortunately they’re good without him.
Sunmi made a powerful comeback this August with Gashina, and it’s within mainstream boundaries. Too bad that music-wise, I’m not impressed. It’s a synthpop-y dance song which sounds like dozens of others. It’s catchy alright (as is most of kpop), but it’s a forgettable track. As the bass drops, and the singer does wacky chest-pushing moves in the MV, for a moment it’s DJ Snake/Lil Jon’s Turn Down For What all over again.
Sunmi’s previous great solo hit, 24 Hours, was accompanied by a fresh, very memorable dance routine, which got copied a lot at the time. I guess the one to remember would be BEG’s Gain cover of this song on Music Core show (while Sunmi did Gain’s Bloom).
The new dance though, is also very neat. Gashina immediately made waves just like 24 Hours, as many idols covered it on variety shows and on social media.
Some, like Sunhwa, prepped a lot to do it…
While Sunmi decides to show her goofy side by including quirks like the one I mentioned earlier, it remains a very sexy and feminine dance overall. Her appearances on Weekly Idol were absolutely hilarious, and they prove that she has a pretty silly character. Gotta love her for that. What’s more, it seems that her behavior is genuine, and I don’t think it’s just a persona made for the public eye.
Also I do think she is a talented singer, and both her Wonder Girls’ career and solo endeavors confirm that she sings really well and creates some good music, but this time round, my complaint is that the newest single lacks some originality.
After WG disbandment, Park Ye-eun signed with Amoeba Culture, which is largely a hip-hop label. Yenny returned in October with a single album entitled MEiNE. Initially, it kinda went under my radar, as I hoped it would get a physical CD, but much to my dismay ended up being a digital release only (not sure if I’m too old or too old-fashioned to get on with the times in regard to music being distributed online).
The first song off the single is called I Wander (새 신발), and Gaeko has a guest rap part on it. It’s an meaningful, sensational r’n’b ballad, driven by an entrancing, gentle guitar riff (and I’m a sucker for those). ‘New shoes’ serve as the metaphor for new beginnings, and the song somewhat resonates with me – feeling half-worried, half-enthusiastic about the future to come.
What great peformances
The other song, 나란 책 (Read Me), starts with yucky German being spoken (I only accept German in the form of Rammstein). What follows is a romantic ballad, which once again is impressive lyrics-wise. ‘Could you read all my pages, not just look at the cover?’. In this song there’s a rap bit as well, and PUNCHNELLO does the honors. All I can say is that Korean rappers I heard have very sick and smooth flow, even though Korean doesn’t really seem like a language fit for this form of expression (same with Japanese).
Of course, Yenny’s voice on MEiNE (‘Ze Germans?’…) is otherworldly, I strongly believe she possesses one of the best and the most distinctive vocals in kpop. Additionally, her words always carry an immense emotional and evocative load, which makes her singing even better.
music Yenny > Sunmi
CD, dancing Yenny < Sunmi
I guess it’s tie, as I adore both of them.
…And Sunmi is going to appear on Knowing Brother next week, probably the best comedic variety TV show I’ve ever watched, can’t fucking wait!!!