K-Round Up: Secret, Miryo, and B.A.P.

2 02 2012

So we’ve gone through one month of 2012, and it’s already turning out awesome in the land of Kpop.  I’m continuing to look at new artists, this time sucked it up and watched B.A.P.’s debut video, “Warrior.”  Also, Miryo (rapper of Brown Eyed Girls)’s solo debut is FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY out!  Even though it’s not technically Kpop, I sat through the entire MV for Secret’s “Kore Kurai no Sayonara” as well.  It’s in the K-round up because, well… Secret’s a Korean group.  (But last J-Round Up had a Kpop group, Tsukiki!!  To which I say, irrelevant.)  

Secret – Kore Kurai no Sayonara

Despite this being a really, reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally slow ballad, I decided to sit through it.  I think Hyosung’s purple hair always keeps me watching Secret videos all the way through.  Maybe that’s why I’ve liked them so much lately…

After the awesome that was “Love is MOVE”, I can’t lie that this video is slightly disappointing.  Dear Secret, here’s how NOT to break into one of the largest music markets in the world: a ballad.  I know, I know, they already released a Japanese version of Madonna, but most people, myself included, believe that it’s cheap, lazy, and unappreciative to re-release old songs in a different language and call them the debut for that market.  Take a lesson from SNSD, KARA, and U-Kiss, Secret, who know how it’s done.

So really, this might as well be their debut Japanese single.  And it’s not a bad song by any means, it just doesn’t have that “WOW” factor.  I’m not saying that all ballads don’t, for a great example of a “WOW” ballad, see my review of Koda Kumi’s JAPONESQUE.

The song is actually quite beautiful.  All the members performed exceptionally, especially Zinger.  I didn’t know she could sing that well; you would never guess it based on their previous songs where she just raps and maybe sings a line or two.  She’s a really energetic rapper, which is probably why that’s her role.  But she hit some lovely falsetto high notes in this song that really impressed me.  Besides Sunhwa’s few strained notes, they all sounded awesome.  I really love the vocal ability of Secret.

The video wasn’t that bad, either.  It’s a little dull and a little too bright for the mood.  I also didn’t think that the crying was particularly warranted, but the acting was great.  Hyosung looked like she had just watched a brutal massacre of puppies.  And Sunghwa, bless her soul, tried so hard to cry.  She couldn’t, but it looked like a painful process.  Zinger didn’t try, which probably means it was for the best.  Jieun didn’t look quite as beaten as Hyosung, but I think that’s a good thing.

I won’t put this song on my iPod because it’s boring, but for one-time through with a music video, it’s not that bad.  Just not quite quality enough to break into the Japanese market, I think.  I’ll be interested to see how it sells in a month.

Miryo (Brown Eyed Girls) – DIRTY

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH FINALLY MIRYO’S SOLO DEBUTTTTTTTTTTTT.  I had really high expectations for this album, and it definitely followed through.  The first music video we get is “DIRTY.”  It wasn’t exactly what I thought it would be, but I still liked it a lot.

It was very dynamic and very well-done.  The first time through, I thought that the video didn’t quite match the song too well; however, the second time through I realized what a great portrayal of the lyrics and message of the song that it is.  Not only one, but two men are shown to be pigs in the video.  It’s pretty difficult to piece the story together, which I think was intentional so that you could decided the possibilities on your own.  Here’s what I think happened:

Miryo was a beautiful and innocent woman with the perfect boyfriend and perfect best friend.  Unfortunately for her, they never got along, but she never let it worry her too much.  Then one day she got in some fatal accident that she barely survived at the cost of paralysis.  I’m not sure what is paralyzed, because she’s still able to move her hands, head, neck, and torso.  So why she’s bed-laden is beyond me; it seems she could function just fine in a wheelchair.  Anyway, the rest is obvious: while caring for Miryo, her best friend and boyfriend actually forget all about her and find the reason why they never got along: sexual tension.  They always held back because of Miryo, but now that she’s a veggie, they don’t care.  Poor baby.

The climax of the video is really contradictory to the rest.  It’s really sad and depressing; she finally realizes the veggie she’s become.  Other than that, the video has a really rebellious comedy vibe.  I think it’s very well-done, and the song is really superb.

I wonder why, though, Kpop rapper solos are so fond of the f-word?  First Zinger, now Miryo?  Hmmm…

B.A.P. – Warrior

I tried really hard not to watch this.  B.A.P. seems like a cheap rip-off of BIG BANG mixed with BEAST.  They’ve been working really hard for their debut though, and I really liked whoeveritwas that was in Song JiEun’s solo single.  I was also really curious about this super impactful dance move that apparently broke the stage on Inkigayo.

I think the “mascot” they adapted, which is really deadmau5’s mascot, is kind of lame.  It’s not copyrighted or anything, but it’s still unoriginal.  The raspy vocals are supposed to be really unique and a selling point for B.A.P., but it just reminds me of TOP from BIG BANG.  Only Zelo stuck out to me, the others really just… blended in.  The rebellious video was also supposed to be unique, but it just reminds me an awful lot of 2NE1’s “Clap Your Hands” video.  And to top it off, the adlibs at the end really didn’t fit the song at all and sounded like they were put in there really randomly at the end.  I’m sure the producers though “Oh, wait, we got the rap but we forgot to showcase their vocal ability, here whatsyourname, record some adlibs really quick and we’ll put them somewhere in the song!”

Despite all that, I really liked two things about this video.  I love Zelo’s rapping.  He is incredibly talented.  His breakdown on the second chorus literally made my jaw drop, and I replayed that part over and over for several minutes.  His charisma and stage presence dominate all of the other members, which is probably why he was the focus of the dance.  Which is the other thing I loved about the video.  The dance was really creative, in a “Heartbeat” kind of way.  It’s not just a couple of memorable moves; the whole dance has its own theme.  Zelo is the puppet master controlling all of the other members, who finally break off of his spell and kill him at the end of the dance.  I mean, wow.  You don’t get that from a Kpop boy band every day.  The stepping was meh, it wasn’t the best and I’m not a big fan of step dance, but the dance was really powerful and keeps you interested in the song the whole way through.

I’m proud of myself for actually watching the video… but in the end, I probably won’t follow this group.  Unless their next single really impresses me, I don’t think they’re iPod material.

So what do you guys think?  Hate Miryo’s solo debut (shame on you!)?  Completely in love with B.A.P.?  Let me know!



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