Monthly Archives: October 2011

{WS} NY Times Reviews SM Town at Madison Square Garden

Interesting. NY Times writer “reviews”  SM Town’s Sunday performance but seems to try to keep opinions as neutral as possible. Doesn’t say much in the way of music or performance other than naming a lot of other entertainers to compare the Korean ones to.

The article really reads more like a restrained intro into K-pop, all of which is understandable I suppose, coming from a Western writer and geared for an audience likely unfamiliar with Korean music. I still would’ve appreciated more of an opinion though. The most interesting comment I read was in the opening paragraph about America being “a country that’s still starving for them [teen pop stars/idols],” but unfortunately Mr. Caramanica doesn’t elaborate further.

Read on for the actual article from nytimes.com:

Korean Pop Machine, Running on Innocence and Hair Gel

Read the rest of this entry

Stuck in a Girly Haze: SNSD’s “The Boys”

This fall is supposed to be the return of many girl groups in K-pop. One of the frontrunners, nine-member SNSD (for 소녀시대 or Girls’ Generation), has recently released their song all over Youtube in both Korean and English versions.

I’m not really feeling either one, to be honest. I feel like I’m stuck in the rose-imprisoning glass cage from Beauty and the Beast while the beats shift between Britney-electronica and Gwen-Stefani-esque songspeak. As usual, the production value is up there for both video and audio, but other than that, it’s just another polished SM number. Not much maturation, freshness, growth or edge in the style or sound.

It’s also kind of a strange match, though the production does its best to make it work, so I’m not sure where the song will find a place. Despite its electric leanings, the slow tempo makes it difficult to take up as a club/dance track, and overall it lacks the catchiness of earlier hits like “Gee.” I can see it as cafe filler (Seoul is saturated with cafes) and used in some cover performances, but not much else. Maybe the major intent is simply to use it as a performance song, declaring SNSD’s presence, as SM continues to gear toward markets outside of Asia.

Any thoughts? Sound off!

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