Blackpink Private Stage 2019 – mój pierwszy koncert k-popowy

Moja przemiana z osoby nieznoszącej kpopu w kogoś gorliwie kupującego płyty ulubionych artystów tego gatunku i gościa, który ma plakat Twice w pokoju jest niemal bibiljna w swej skali.

Wiedziałem, że w trakcie mojej pierwszej podróży do Korei muszę uwzględnić jakieś elementy miłośnika muzyki. Wizyta w muzeum wytwórni SM Town była obowiązkowa, jednak bardzo liczyłem też na to, że choć jeden z zespołów, które lubię będzie akurat tam i wtedy występować.

Regularnie sprawdzałem newsy o koncertach niektórych grup (Twice!), ale przez długi czas nic się nie pojawiało i już powoli się godziłem z rzeczywistością. Nagle w ostatnim tygodniu przed wyjazdem pojawiło się światełko w tunelu – Blackpink Private Stage w Seulu, dokładnie w zakresie dat, gdy miałem być w mieście. Nie był to typowy koncert-koncert, a raczej coś w rodzaju spotkania z fanami + występy, ale z pewnością nie narzekałem – pomyślałem, że tym większa atrakcja. Continue reading →

Blackpink Private Stage – my first kpop concert

My transformation from kpop hater into a person who loves it ardently, collects CDs and has a Twice poster in the room is almost biblical in its proportions.

I knew that for my first trip to South Korea I had to incorporate some fanboy music elements into it. Visit to SM Town Coex was a must, but I was really hoping to step it up a notch, and see one of the bands that I enjoy live in concert. I has been regularly checking the schedules of some groups (Twice!), but nothing of interest was coming up. Just in the week before my travel I finally saw a light in the tunnel – Blackpink Private Stage in Seoul, exactly within the dates I would be in the city. While technically it was not a concert, but sort of a fan meeting, it was close enough. I booked the ticket (I managed to get a VIP seat fairly close to the stage) and only had to show up at the time and place. Continue reading →

Twice Fancy return

Twice’s newest EP entitled Fancy You was released in April, but as usual I’m late with getting down to commenting on it. Twice have already cemented their position as one of the most popular kpop girl bands around, and certainly as my favorite one. While Blackpink (YG) is quite focused on the international audiences and the recent American tour/ Coachella performance made for an incredibly successful promotion, Twice continue to dominate domestically, they also held several shows outside of South Korea. So, how is the title track, Fancy? I was a bit apprehensive after first few seconds of the tropical pop sound which I’m fed up with at this point, but it gets much better later. Continue reading →

Twice – Yes or Yes, and the visit on Knowing Bros

My beloved Kpop group returned with yet another EP this November, entitled Yes or Yes. Twice had an admittedly intense year, with a release after release and busy performances schedule. I can only be happy, as their songs tend to get stuck in my head for a long time and the new one is definitely no exception, but I do hope the girls get some well-deserved rest. The music business is pretty fierce in South Korea and it’s all about the timing – Twice along with Blackpink do enjoy plenty of spotlight right now, but how long can this last? From JYP or YG’s perspective they probably can’t afford to slow down, but let’s not go overboard…
Having said that, Yes or Yes? Totally yes. The new tune is surely another success for the band. Continue reading →

Dance the Night Away with TWICE and the KPOP Summer 2018 (short) Summary

Barely 3 months after What is Love, TWICE reissued the EP in July, rebranding it as Summer Nights, and now that the summer is coming to an end, I’m finally getting round to write about it. Only three new songs appeared, including the main track – Dance the Night Away. The upbeat, EDM-y song did not completely win me over, though when you accept it for what it is – a light summer party banger, then I guess it’s decent? The visuals of the girls were stunning (no surprise there), the MV is enjoyable and despite the fact that the band did not promote for a long time on music shows, they continued to garner wins and got another deserved popularity boost. Continue reading →

What is Love? TWICE is.

JYP sure has struck gold with TWICE. The band’s brand of bubbly pop, sugary voices and smiley faces sells ridiculously well, while the views on Youtube reach some crazy new heights (TT is at 350 million, while the newest song is already at 74 million).
The band made a comeback earlier in April with a new EP entitled ‘What Is Love?’. The title track doesn’t really bring to the table anything groundbreaking stylistically – it’s exactly what one would expect from a hit made by Twice, and apparently, it’s exactly what the masses want, as the girls have won on most of the Korean music shows over the last few weeks. I’m kind of picky when it comes to TWICE songs – I’m constantly rocking to TT, Like Ooh AAh, and last year’s Signal and Likey, but my response to Knock Knock was lukewarm at best, and Heart Shaker is way too cringy for me (‘yeah yeah no no’) – What is Love? fits into the first group of tunes, as the song is the right sort of catchy and the music video is really cool. Continue reading →

Wonder Girls continue to rock: Sunmi’s Gashina and Yenny’s MEiNE

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. Continue reading →

Twice is Sending You a Signal

More and more kpop groups which I’ve been fond of retired lately – Wonder Girls (still can’t get over this one), 4Minute, SISTAR or 2NE1. The giants like Girls’ Generation or BIG BANG may still be around, but I don’t think they’ll stay around very much longer. The entertainment industry is a very vicious place, and new bands pop off straight away to fill the void left by their sunbaes.
In less than two years, Twice has become one of the main forces of the Korean pop. Starting with Like Ooh Ahh, through ubiquitous Cheer Up, TT and Knock Knock, the girlband continues to make a hit after hit, enjoys commercial success and observes great view numbers on Youtube. Twice quickly cemented their position at the forefront of the kpop phenomenon, and now the girls are back with the new single, Signal. So, does it live up to the hype? Continue reading →

Wonder Girls continue to amaze

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Wonder Girls by far remain my favorite Korean girl band. This summer’s new hit single, Why So Lonely does not disappoint – the only thing that’s unsatisfying is the fact that we didn’t get a full album. Sunmi, Yenny, Yubin and Hyerim continue their full band endeavor – I was kinda worried that they might give up on the instruments but I’m glad they didn’t – their approach continues to breathe fresh air into the industry. Singing, dancing and playing the instruments – darn impressive feat! Continue reading →

4Minute Act. 7 – it may be Hate but I'm loving it

Jiyoon, Gayoon, Jihyun, Sohyun and Hyuna are back with some new music. 4Minute’s previous single, 2015’s Crazy, turned out to be a breath of fresh air in the Korean pop, which usually either takes ’sexy and feminine’ or ‘cute and playful’ route. The girls did an EDM-y party number and I certainly didn’t initially expect to like it so much.
The new single, Act. 7, seems to be a true follow-up to Crazy, with its bold and ‘tough girl’ concept and EDM influences. Once again 4Minute has taken everyone by surprise. Continue reading →