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 →