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 →
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’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 →
Another year for Knowing Bros went by, and now they’ve pretty much established themselves as one of the most successful variety shows in South Korea, despite being aired on cable network. JTBC also does pretty good work with promoting the show internationally, by constantly adding clips with moments from the show. Out of 52 episodes aired in 2018, large majority orbited around 5%, with only 5 going below 4%. Continue reading →
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 →
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 →
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 →
The best TV talk show I’ve ever seen? Sure, I enjoyed Mock the Week, back when Frankie Boyle was ripping everyone and everything to shreds. I laughed hard at Dave Letterman’s attempts to make guests feel as awkward as possible (to lesser extent, Conan O’Brien sometimes does the similar shtick). Graham Norton had me cracking up many times. There’s also Polish Kuba Wojewódzki show, where the titular host is joined by guests for the no holds barred chat. It was kind of fresh and unusual at the time over here, but I feel it became just crass with no subtlety, and the guy got way too political, instead of staying a goofball. Then, the hope was gone with Letterman’s retiring (he’s back though!!!!), and all that could be heard was the fake-ass giggle of Jimmy Fallon. I sought relief and laughter in the world of Korean variety shows, Running Man and New Journey to the West standing out as genuinely hilarious shows. But the truly unrivaled show came in the form of Knowing Brother aka Knowing Bros aka Ask Us Anything. Continue reading →
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 →
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, TTand 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 →