I’ll be continuing my reviews of HyukOh’s discography, this time focussing on their second album.
Much more upbeat than the previous record, ’22’ aims to charter new ground for HyukOh. Where there were RnB, soul and even funk influences, the band incorporates reggae, Latin melodies, punk rock and contemporary pop sounds. Much less cohesive than ’20’, I feel that the intention was to experiment rather than send an overarching message.
HyukOh wound up exploding into popularity recently in Korea after a stint on Infinite Challenge. As I’m slow on getting on the bandwagon, I only got to listen to them a few weeks ago. And here I am reviewing everything they’ve released officially.
Apart from “Be Mine” and “Destiny“, I hadn’t really liked any of Infinite’s songs. That changed when they changed up their sound with “Bad”. I’m usually easily caught by backtracks and instrumentals that include strings/orchestral elements in them, which “Bad” uses very much to Infinite’s advantage.
On top of that, their mainly high range vocals and lower range rappers were used in the quieter sections of the instrumental, whilst the more pop-friendly hook and chorus vocals were kept sparse and repetitive as the instrumental got busier. It really helped to keep the full, epic sound built up in the intro.
The video also matched the lyrics and atmosphere of the song well, and made use of 360VR, albeit in a slightly lazy way.
I’ll leave the music theory gushing to MRJ if you’re interested. Please Infinite, give me more of these kinds of songs.
Since I’ve essentially been inactive in the blog area but been paying a load of attention to K-pop this, and last year, I figured I should at least write a summary post for last year. In an attempt to be an unbiased writer and try out Youtube APIs, I wrote a script to pull all the K-pop releases of this year into a couple of playlists. There were 355 releases this year(albums, singles, OSTs included) so it’s quite the listen. Enjoy after the skip…
Rather than talking about the album as a whole in this piece I’m going to focus on their 2nd Cypher: Tripiych. First of all, take a look at the translated lyrics by Popgasa.
The cypher starts with a bit of empty gesturing as one would do if this was freestyle. J-Hope shouts “because of whom”? and goes on to take responsibility along with bandmates Rap Mon and Suga. But responsibility for what? We could take them literally and assume that they mean to be the leaders of the rap world, but I’d rather convert what they’ve said previously outside their music. For Rap Mon and Suga at least, there is some want to be a bridge between underground hip-hop artists and the mainstream, which in Korea’s case is the idol industry. I certainly can’t be against the idea of there being more actually talented rappers and artists in the industry, though it is slowly getting easier to get access to indie Korean music. What I believe these two former underground artists really want is for there to be a carved out niche in mainstream Korean music for real rappers to put out good music and make sufficient money off it. Perhaps, or more likely, outside the standard idol machine. We have to start somewhere right?
BTS Satoori Rap – Analysis via Radio Palava
A great analysis of how Bangtan’s Satoori rap is representative of the view of Satoori in Korea and in the Korean entertainment industry. (S)he goes into detail of how a message of the member’s individual identities and inclusivity can be seen.
I’m so glad this happened during the long weekend or I wouldn’t have been able to get up to watch it happen live. If you didn’t hear already, after ~2 years after their debut Block B finally won #1 on SBS Inkigayo! All the BBCs really worked hard ^_^
Wait it gets better, here’s their reaction:
I just wish I could have seen their encore >_< The fanchants would have been amazing
This is a post that has been a long time coming. Basically, its been on the way since No More Dream was released.
In the absence of my bias group, Bangtan was just the right amount of hip-hop, swag, rap, cute and funny that I needed. The one downside to this group for me is I am now experiencing some EXTREME noona-fan problems. Only three of the members, J-Hope and Suga and Jin, are around my age. So…I just feel like a creeper. All the time.
Anyway, on to the reasons why I have become a BTS stan.
Now this is what I’m talking about!