K-Round Up: Sunny Hill, MBLAQ, Rainbow Pixie, T-ara, and Teen Top

16 01 2012

Just like my H!P Roundup, to save a ton of posts and time, I’m rounding up the latest Kpop music videos into one post.  For the most part, I’m thoroughly impressed with the latest releases, which means Kpop’s 2012 is off to a great start!

Sunny Hill – In Praise of the Grasshopper

I’ll start with my favorite of this batch.  I started to notice this group when they did “Mamma Mia” with Narsha, and it was a very, very bad impression.  In fact, it was by complete chance that I stumbled upon “Midnight Circus” and I was hooked.  It’s such a good song and so very different.  That’s what I like about Sunny Hill, they are very different from your normal Kpop act.  This release is the first I’ve heard with their male member, Janghyun.  While it’s not a huge part, he writes the incredibly intriguing music for the group.  

This song caught me off guard.  The intro has you thinking that it’s going to be a blaaaaaaaaahhhhh acoustic ballad, but it ends up being an incredibly catchy dance number, although slow-tempoed, it’s fast lyrics make it addictive.  The use of the cello is beautiful and makes the song that much more high quality and different.  The whole mini-album is really top-notch.  I highly recommend it.

Another thing I really like about Sunny Hill is that they always have profound lyrics with a really deep and positive message.  Janghyun is definitely a talented lyricist.  “Grasshopper” is a really uplifting song about standing up for yourself against your peers and being yourself.  I would expect nothing less from them.

The music video itself is also nothing less than what I would expect from Sunny Hill after “Midnight Circus” and “Prayer.”  They quite literally break free of the mundane life under the ground and break free to experience really exotic sets that resemble India (I think).  It wasn’t until about halfway through that I realized they were all wearing adorable grasshopper outfits.  It’s still a pretty typical Kpop music video, but it’s very endearing and coupled with the song, really stands out.  Great job as always, Sunny Hill.

MBLAQ – It’s War

Wow, a Kpop MV about a hired killer.  How very, very original.  And he has to leave his girl behind?  Goodness, I’m shocked.

Okay, okay.  It’s not completely unoriginal.  Unlike most MVs like this, I was actually really surprised with the plot twist right before the bridge of the song.  I don’t want to spoil it if you haven’t seen it yet, but I certainly didn’t see it coming.  That’s a nice change. Overall, the music video was really well-done.  I really enjoyed Thunder and randomgirl’s acting a lot.  Only… Joon, really?  Is that really what dying looks like?  It looks like he was parodying someone dying, not really trying.  (Oops, did I just spoil there?  Sorry.)  That’s really the only problem with the MV.

The song is good.  It’s not the best MBLAQ song ever, but I particularly enjoy that only Mir is rapping (even if he looks like a rooster) and that Thunder is singing (he is so precious).  I appreciate that G.O. got most of the chorus solos, because I probably would have been upset if Joon both starred in the music video and the song.  Otherkid is just there, not making an impression, as always.  I don’t even know his name because a) he never stands out and b) he gives me no reason to care.

On a side note… did their outfits remind anyone else of Black Swan?  No?

Rainbow Pixie – Hoi Hoi

Rainbow is one of those kind of new girl groups (but not the new new ones) that haven’t caught my attention and that I really don’t give a rat’s ass about, including, but not limited to: Nine Muses, A Pink, Girl’s Day, and Dal Shabet.  They’re just… not as good as the older groups like SNSD, 2NE1, After School, and KARA (to name a few).  This music video pretty much proved me right.  I really have had no reason to care about these groups.

Actually, the only reason I even watched this is because I was watching the latest episode of Inkigayo and Rainbow Pixie’s intro was SO SUPER CATCHY.  I just had to see what followed it.  Alas, it wasn’t as good as the intro lead me to believe, but it’s a good song with a cute and catchy melody.  I got bored about half way through the performance, though, and decided to watch the music video.  I fully expected it to be filled with magical forests and unicorns and have the girls seducing this man they’re singing about and when the magic wore out, he would stay in love with them!  A la T-ara!

Not so much.

The music video is really, really sloppy and just down-right lazy.  It’s an official music video for an official group that will be making money off of this song.  It should not be out of sync.  No, it is not youtube’s fault.  The video is in sync perfectly in some parts, then falls out of sync, then 20 seconds later is in sync again.  More than once.  In addition to that, there are several shots used three or four times throughout the video.  Now, I’m sorry, that’s just lazy.  And could they find nothing better than bath robes?  I mean, the entire first half of the video is in bath robes.  You couldn’t afford costumes?

No, no, I get it, they’re getting ready to go to the club and use their pixie magic on the guy they’re singing about.  It’s still lazy.  But it’s not all bad.  I really enjoyed the second half of the video, it fit the song much better than the first half.   I absolutely adore the glowing gloves, they’re genius.  I wish they would have had a dimly-lit dance sequence with those on.  That would have been awesome.

I just have to get one thing off of my chest.  Could this group be any more like Orange Caramel?  It’s not that they’re a three-member subgroup of a massive girl group.  I’m not saying every single subgroup from one will be like Orange Caramel.  But do you recall a particular set of outfits from Magic Girl?

Oh…. Hmmmmm…

Also, doesn’t the song itself sound oddly reminiscent of, oh, songs such as “Magic Girl” and “A~ing”?  And while we’re at it, wasn’t “Magic Girl” about magic and using it to make a guy fall in love, too…?

Oh… hmmmm…

Just saying.

T-ara – Lovey Dovey

Wow.  What a catchy song!!  I was really, really disappointed with “Cry, Cry” for several reasons, and I was really not looking forward to this song, but it redeems the previous one entirely.  I honestly haven’t enjoyed a T-ara song this much since “Why Are You Acting Like This?”  (Sorry, apparently I’m the only person on the planet who wasn’t absolutely infatuated with “Roly Poly.”)

I couldn’t sit through the 20-minute “Cry Cry” video, and I certainly wasn’t able to do the same for the 20-minute “Lovey Dovey” video.  Which is why, if you haven’t noticed, I’ve shared the Zombie Version with you.

As far as songs not fitting the video, this one tops my list.  This cutesy dance track is anything but a zombie thriller soundtrack.  Also, veeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerry subtle hint to Michael Jackson there, T-ara.  Verrrrrrrrry subtle.

The plot had a lot of dumb holes.  For example, the girl at the beginning is the first victim.  How is she the sole survivor?  And why didn’t the guard lock the gates?  And why was he holding the gate while zombies are clawing at it and can easily nom his hand and get the girls?  And why do they all just stand there when the zombies all come after them?  And HOW did that girl hide right where the zombie mob was just dancing and get away?!  And if she’s a zombie, how is she the only zombie that doesn’t look like a zombie?  I’m sorry, I missed the part where zombies go do their makeup  before noming on some brains.

Besides that, kudos for a zombie music video.  And the song, while really repetitive, is really catchy.  I love that T-ara constantly proves that you don’t have to follow the norms to sell out.

Teen Top – Crazy

First of all, I have to get this off of my chest, TEEN TOP, WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO SOUND LIKE JUSTIN BEIBER? WHY, OH WHY? FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD. I THOUGHT YOU WERE BETTER THAN THAT.

I’ll nitpick first: This is my least favorite Teen Top song (and album) to date.  Besides sounding like a cheap ripoff of Justin Beiber, the dance isn’t their best, either.  It’s overly simple and just doesn’t stick out like their previous ones.  Also, can someone please tell me why rubbing their crotch is the dance move for “Stop breaking my heart, I love you girl”??????  I’m really… flabbergasted.  It’d be bullshit to say they don’t know the meaning, they have two fluent English speakers in the group for God’s sake.

And children, despite what Teen Top leads you to think, it is absolutely NOT safe to stand in the middle of the street in the dark.

But on the bright side, I think this is the first song that I’ve realized that their are other members in the group besides C.A.P., L.Joe, and Niel (crap, more names to learn).  Besides the Justin Beiber parts, this song is actually very catchy.  I like that it has lots of rap sprinkled with the singing instead of one random rap break in the middle.  And L. Joe is precious.

The storyline is pretty cute, but I’m actually a little disappointed that whatshisname ends up with the girl in the end.  Teen Top, you want to know why you keep getting your heart broken?  It’s because you’re dirty cheating scumbags.  😀  I hope you learned your lesson.

I really like the dance sequence at the end.  It’s not quite “Super Love”, but it’s still very good.  Teen Top is improving every single video and I’m really excited to see where they’ll be next year or a few years after that.  Keep working hard!

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6 02 2012
30 Day Idol Challenge 5 ~Favorite Group~ « Shanimuni Paradise

[…] usually.  My favorite idol group promoting right now is, without a doubt, Sunny Hill.  I’ve talked about that before, […]

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