Soloist K.Will is back with his usual poise in the charts upon the release of the second part of his 3rd album, Love Blossom. As well as scoring a yet uncertified all-kill, his eponymous title-track hit Melon‘s roof, synonymous of the explosive reception.
The Starship Entertainment male singer spent many years in the shades of success before becoming the premium artist he is now. For the last two years, every single of his release has met a huge success and K.Will has gradually made a name and sound for himself.
As a ballad singer, he will be competing directly with Davichi in the charts who, no matter what happens, will top the weekly charts with Be Warmed featuring and written by Verbal Jint. The rapper is another artist who has spent years unknown to most before becoming one of Korea’s favorites.
Congratulations to K.Will for this continuous string of success, and be sure to check out the music video for Love Blossom below:
Next in our Kpop Magnetism series, we’ll hip-thrust, spin, and freestyle our way through the all-out happiness Kpop brings to fans through its world-renowned choreography. While musical arrangement, lyrics, and vocals are the perceived bread and butter to any great track, one simply cannot overlook the leaps and bounds choreography in the Kpop industry has made over the years. Where once artists were prided on their musical talent alone, dance choreography has become a major mover and shaker when it comes to drawing in Kpop fans from around the world.
When Kpop was in its infancy, many routines were heavily based on traditional dances, or didn’t include any choreography at all. However, as the influence of western music and dance began to flood Korea in the early to mid 1990′s, the choreography of Kpop gradually began to morph into a monster all its own. Taking influences from classic dance genres, such as ballet and tap, and integrating them with more modern styles, such as modern/freestyle dance and break dancing, Kpop’s love affair with dance began to grow. Through it all, three styles of dance–B-Boying, Freestyle, and Hip-Hop–have become the prince, queen, and king (respectively) of the Kpop choreography world, and have become integral in grabbing the attention of the Kpop fan and pulling them into the genre.
As break dancing (now termed B-Boying in the Kpop world) began to evolve on the streets of the South Bronx in New York City in the late 1970′s and early 1980′s, it became a staple in the U.S. choreography industry, highly influencing even more modern modes of dance, such as hip-hop. While the popularity of B-Boying has died down somewhat in the US, the dance style has continued to garner a worldwide fandom for decades. When B-Boying crossed the pond, so-to-speak, Korean youths became infatuated with it, spurring the country’s own B-Boying movement that has never truly faded.
When you poll Kpop fans and ask them who the best B-Boyer in the Kpop universe is, nine times out of ten you get SidiusHQ‘s R&B superstar Jay Park and his Art of Movement (AOM) crew based out of Seattle. Known for his killer style, both on and off the dance floor, Jay Park has become the quintessential icon when it come to modern day B-Boying in Kpop. With perfectly synchronized and highly acrobatic moves, Jay Park has moved B-Boying in the Kpop world to center stage and inadvertently has sparked a new-found, worldwide interest in this unique dance style.
While B-Boying has become a staple in Kpop’s dance arsenal, it’s modern dance, or freestyling, that has become the queen of Kpop choreography. Freestyle, by definition, includes a myriad of different dance elements and styles artfully mixed together to form something completely different. This is where the majority of Kpop choreography routines live.
Freestyle dance is a perfect fit for Kpop’s super large groups like Super Junior (video above), as choreographers are able to play upon the many individual members’ dance strengths to incorporate a variety of styles into their dance numbers. This also leaves the door wide open for some highly intricate dance choreography that truly leaves fans in awe. From eclectic and subtle movements to highly complicated ones utilizing up to as many as ten group members at once, its no wonder why Kpop’s dancing has become that wow factor that fans absolutely adore and love to emulate with every new release.
The hip-hop dance style first came on the scene in the late 1960′s, with the legendary James Brown credited as the one who started it all. This style slowly began to develop congruently with the growing hip-hop music genre. While hip-hop music was quite influential in the progression of its dance equivalent, the hip hop dance movement didn’t achieve worldwide notoriety until the 1990′s when dance battles became extremely popular. Iconic dance moves, such at the running man (and its derivatives) are still actively used in Kpop routines to this day, and artists like Girls Generation (and many others) utilize hip-hop based routines more frequently than any other form of dance out there.
In every sense of the word, the hip-hop dance style is king in Kpop’s choreography repertoire. With every new set of choreography that’s released, we can see the obvious influences of Hip-Hop with every move they make. With powerful movements, reiterating a tough and aggressive personality, hip-hop dance in Kpop always receives high praise from the fans and places Kpop artists in the realm of pop culture’s dance elite. Because, lets face it, you have to have some serious talent to pull off some of these routines. While some routines are more based in hip-hop than others, with every routine out there, elements of this dance style or its influence can be readily seen, making it the most utilized dance style in Kpop.
Kpop’s choreography has become so influential and important that when a new routine comes out from a popular artist, said routine –or parts of it–usually gets dubbed with its very own name and is often times reused in future routines. Dance moves such as Super Junior’s Sorry Sorry hand rub, Brown Eyed Girls’ Abracadabra hip sway, DBSK‘s Mirotic chin pose, Girls Generation’s Gee crab leg, Wonder Girls‘ So Hot bracelet dance, Sistar19‘s My Boy body roll (video above), and even PSY‘s iconic horse riding dance from Gangnam style, have all solidified their place as some of the greatest dance moves in Kpop history, spurring not only a myriad of dance covers worldwide, but also prompting Korean groups to release dance practice videos in record numbers.
Kpop dance enthusiasts around the world are always on the hunt for the next great choreography, and their passion has turned into a booming movement (and business) worldwide. The interest and popularity of Kpop’s choreography has spawned hundreds of popular dance cover crews from around the world, which cover everything from the simplest of routines to the most advanced–and everything in between. Vietnam’s Kpop dance crew, St319, for example, has covered routines like TVXQ‘s Catch Me, SHINee‘s Sherlock, Kara‘s Step, 2NE1‘s Clap Your Hands, and EXO‘s Mama, and has not only become extremely popular with Kpop fans worldwide, but also has exemplified the true cult-like following that Kpop’s choreography has generated over the years.
Even though the era of flashmobs has died down globally in the last year, iconic dance routines, such as the one for SHINee’s Lucifer (video above), are still a staple at huge fan events, and can be seen being mimicked at concerts and festivals all over the world. Fans don’t hesitate to pop off their favorite artists’ well-known choreography at the drop of hat, and do so simply because they enjoy it and want to show their support and love for their favorite artists. Further proof of the fans’ love for Kpop choreography can be found easily on YouTube, as thousands of fancams have caught these “show the love” moments at concerts and events around the globe.
While dance covers have become a huge part of Kpop’s virility in the world, that influence hasn’t just been limited to the Internet, concerts, and fan events. This love for the art has also sparked classes in local gyms and dance studios worldwide. These businesses offer Kpop-themed classes, where they teach their clients highly popular Kpop routines step by step or, in the case of gyms, offer aerobics classes perfectly timed to Kpop, while utilizing iconic moves from across the genre. Even in small towns, far from the hustle and bustle of diverse urban areas, these classes are beginning to spring up and have become a testament to the true power of Kpop and its choreography.
So what is it about Kpop choreography that really pulls in the fans? Answer: Everything. There is something for everyone when it comes to dance in Kpop. Whether you enjoy sexier dancing with a more R&B-style groove, highly choreographed freestyle dancing that makes you want to get up and dance, or powerful hip-hop inspired routines that just make you feel invincible, Kpop has it all.
Just as fans of Kdramas are unable to nail down their favorite OST track, Kpop fans have an even more difficult time trying to pick their favorite Kpop dancers! Who do you think are the BEST Kpop dancers in the business? Tell us in the comment section below.
Philippines, get ready for the BIGGEST VALENTINE CONCERT of 2013!
Korean rapper PSY who captured world attention and recognition with his viral hit song, Gangnam Style, will wow Filipino fans when he performs his amusing dance moves at a special Valentine concert entitled Ang Tanging Family Valentine Show on February 16, 8PM at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
Joining him on stage are Ai-Ai Delas Alas and comedy duo Wally and Jose. Hailed by many as Philippines’ comedy concert queen of today, Ai-Ai promises award-winning comedy antics and comic musical performances on the 16th. Also, expect a night of production numbers from the veteran comedienne herself as she prowls the stage with her comic fury and undeniable talent. Meanwhile, Wally and Jose have evolved as mainstream comedy acts when they successfully held their first major comedy concert in 2012, impersonating today’s controversial personalities.
PSY, whose real name is Park Jae Sang, has been a mainstay of the South Korean music industry for more than a decade before achieving international success following the release of his K-pop single, Gangnam Style, which went viral both as a pop song and as a music video on YouTube and other social networks. The song peaked on Billboard’s YouTube Music Video Chart at No. 1 in early September of 2012 and earned recognition from the Guinness Book of World Records as the most “liked” video in YouTube history. The said music video has already hit 1 billion views before Christmas Day.
Furthermore, PSY’s most successful single, Gangnam Style, is part of THE HOTTEST HITS EVER… GANGNAM STYLE! — a powerful CD compilation loaded with twenty of the biggest international chart-busters and record-breaking hit singles by all original artists! Apart from Gangnam Style, the album also includes the hottest record-breaking singles of 2012 such as Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen, Payphone by Maroon 5, Boyfriend by Justin Bieber, Starships by Nicki Minaj, Where Have You Been by Rihanna and more! This best-selling CD compilation is exclusively distributed by MCA Music (Universal Music Philippines).
Ang Tanging Family Valentine Show featuring PSY is jointly presented by That’s Entertainment Productions, Ovation Productions and Music Management International.
Tickets are available at SM Tickets outlets or online.
Source: Direct Correspondence
d.ear – Love Graphy
Release: January 22, 2013
Producer/Distributor: Realcollabo/CJ E&M
There are two sides to Love Graphy: one is characterized by rich, soulful atmospheres and melodies and the other by tried-and-true Korean R&B-lite tropes. Fortunately, there is a great selection of the former to be found here. 너를 그리다 (Picturing You)’s lengthy and nuanced hook is wonderfully moody, No Matter What I Do plays with rhythm in absorbing ways, and We Need To Talk scratches that urban-R&B itch with attitudinal string backing and punctuated melody. d.ear gives appropriately soft, falsetto-heavy performances throughout.
On the other hand, the album is rounded out by pop-ballads that are found a dime a dozen elsewhere. Which normally wouldn’t be a huge negative, but these do hurt the album’s overall impression as they are concentrated near the end and draw out the monotony. (It’s the same reason I wasn’t initially very high on Junggigo’s Pathfinder last year.) Still, this is an extraordinarily well-prepared and polished debut effort. Lots to look forward to from Realcollabo in the future, it seems.
Tracklist (recommended tracks listed in bold)
2. Love U
3. 너를 그리다 (Picturing You)
4. 그래도 (Still)
5. No Matter What I Do
6. We Need To Talk – Featuring BrotherSu
7. You Make Me Feel Good
8. 시간이 흐른다는 건 (As Time Flows)
9. 12월 24일 (December 24)
10. Good Night
4Men – The 5th Album Vol. 1 – 실화 (True Story)
Release: January 28, 2013
Producer/Distributor: Happyface Entertainment & YWHO/CJ E&M
There isn’t much to discuss about this EP. We already knew these guys can sing, and we’re familiar with the styles they sing in. The three vocalists are predictable by now in their flawless execution of the tearjerker ballad. There isn’t anything special with the tracks either; maybe they’re not quite as derivative as the Cho Young-soo – SG Wannabe connections, but the old formula of emotional ramps and melismatic climaxes applies to the entire EP. Befitting the album title, lyrics are based on true stories, but that makes no perceptible difference as the expressions here border on the cliché anyways. I got something out of But I, listening to Shin Yong-jae and co. throw down explosive choruses one after the other, but the album adds little value as anything else.
Tracklist (recommended tracks listed in bold)
1. 아직 너야 (Still You)
2. 안녕 나야 (Hi, It’s Me)
3. 내 세상 (My World)
4. But I
5. 그 때의 나, 그 때의 너 (Me Then, You Then)
6. 그 때 그 시절 (Back Then) – Featuring MIII
7. 안녕 나야 (Hi, It’s Me) – Instrumental
8. 내 세상 (My World) – Instrumental
Sistar19 – 있다 없으니까 (Gone Not Around Any Longer)
Release: January 31, 2013
Producer/Distributor: Starship Entertainment/Loen Entertainment
Genre: Dance pop
If you want further proof that Hyorin is continuing to evolve into a premier vocalist, look no further than 나도 여자인데 (A Girl in Love). She takes over the track with an expressive and chameleon-like performance. Not only has she learned to shed unnecessary power (you can hear the difference between this and Ma Boy), but she also handles the chorus’s fretful shyness and the conversational advances of the second verse with equal fluidity.
Everything other than the vocals leave a lot to be desired. The titular lead single is strapped by limp instrumentation, awkward pacing, and evidence of trying too hard for mood (the saxophone loop is particularly egregious). It’s not an unmitigated disaster like the last big Brave Brothers work (Son Dambi‘s Tears Flow), but it’s not all that much better, either. On the bright side, you can enjoy the still-great Ma Boy (at this rate, perhaps Brave Brothers’ last good work) some more, since that’s packaged with this EP.
Tracklist (recommended tracks listed in bold)
2. 있다 없으니까 (Gone Not Around Any Longer)
3. 나도 여자인데 (A Girl in Love)
4. Ma Boy
5. 있다 없으니까 (Gone Not Around Any Longer) – Instrumental
Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely of the reviewer and not of hellokpop as a whole.
Agree or disagree? Or have a recent release that you’d like to see reviewed? Let us know with your comments below! Requested albums will be considered each week and may be selected to be reviewed in the subsequent week.
Despite releasing their latest single Tears a week ago, LeeSSang managed to hit Melon‘s roof two more times on January 31st. This incredible feature is reminiscent of their ASura Balbata days when various songs of the album hit Melon’s roof over 20 times. Nevertheless, LeeSSang had to give in the lead on all real-time charts to the sophomore release of SISTAR19.
The Starship Entertainment sub-unit confirms its rank amongst the greatest of the day along TaeTiSo and Troublemaker. Their latest single “Gone Not Around Any Longer” has taken an hold of all real-time charts; scoring an unofficial all-kill. It is now a battle against two digital giants in the charts. If SISTAR19 wants to get their all kill certified, they will need to remain on top of all charts for another 24 hours. If they want to equal LeeSSang and The Seeya by scoring a perfect all kill, they will have to stay continuously on top of all charts until Monday morning for their release came too late in the week to top the weekly Instiz chart.
Giving that SISTAR19 did not top Melon roof (as shown above), a safe bet will be that LeeSSang will come out as the strongest song of this battle while it is comfortably cementing his place as current song of the year.