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On the other hand



On the other hand, other than poor Sunny, (hope she takes the time for self care!) they seem genuinely happy and excited for this. The visually-effortless level of execution here has a level of loose sync that speaks to their experience, talent, but also an energy and intent to it that was missing for a few years.

Like, I may find the song a bit worthless, but their performance is far from soulless, which gives it so much value.

(Man, they make it look so damned easy, and at the same time convey how their visual ease represents their exemplary work ethic.)

Quality shitposting by AG (updated!)

Lion Heart the song is shit. Outside of Fire Alarm, the rest of the album is pretty bog-standard meh, too. Fire Alarm is pretty spectacular, (it could be a Shinee track, it's that good) but otherwise, y'all should go listen to Faint Star's P4LE album instead. (Ooh, but caveat, P4LE works best as music alone. Faint Star aren't that visually dynamic, nor are they live, so don't watch the MVs or perfs. But their music is just solid songwriting and arrangement. Not necessarily set your blood on fire special, but won't let you down like SNSD's smorgasbord of crap empty calories.) The "Boyfriend -A.S.A.P- Favourite Wild Summer Remix (Suki Suki Summer REMIX)" is pretty great, and rather fascinating to consider how the remix arrangement changes the feel of the song through genre associations, and whether or not that composition is weaker for being able to be changed that way. (Compare to this, where the iconic composition is still dominating the feel.)

EDIT: okay, 12 tracks previewed
Read more...Collapse )

Final grade: 31.25% would probably stay on my music player! Whoooooo!
(But let's face it, any artist only needs 1-2 songs per release at that level to maintain fandom, so this is a pretty resounding success. Still, P4LE is gonna get, like, 11-13/15 tracks, probably? But this me being way harsher on SNSD because of J-pop Summit. Unlike Mr. Mr., which followed the "smorgasbord of mediocrity" template to a T, none of the songs on Lion Heart the album immediately leap out to me as filler. Most of them could have been A-sides for another group. But a lot of them just aren't my thing, so.)

Discuss whether musical entities should aim for "high peaks, low lows" vs. "nothing special, but consistently solid." The latter makes for better longevity on my music player, but might be a harder initial sell for people who aren't as DD as I am, and may not inspire such fandom fervor. It's not like I follow Kikkawa Yuu, or plan to follow Faint Star, whereas I'm still keeping tabs on SNSD after TMYW grabbed me by the eargasm.

The Band Concept

Go watch the Wonder Girls live showcase clips here, I can't seem to embed dailymotion http://omonatheydidnt.livejournal.com/16317755.html

We've talked about forming a band as an 'idol' concept before, at least some of us, with AKB48 one of the first idol groups to try it and other jpop groups following https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MJnGf-MM10

WG teasers showed pretty solid skills. Live perf doesn't sound bad. They didn't record the instrumentals for the album though. The interesting part here is that they apparently have said they're not done with the band concept, which makes sense after all that practice.

The Returning



Okay, yeah, this song is so much better when paired with the choreography. I don't think I've seen them ever hit this hard outside of Dance Line specials, and even Dance Line has never gone this breakneck fast. This is at, like, ITNW remix speeds. And Tiffany! Wow! Ever since TTS, she's really devoted herself to the performance aspects of the group. And even Taeyeon is going at it in this perf.

This performance honestly highlights how SNSD is very much qualified to be The Top Group, on strengths of the roster alone.

FUCK YOU CAMERAWORK FUCKING Every time I manage to purge from my mind the atrocities of Korean pop performance camerawork, I have to be reminded how terrible they are at it.



Party, meh. And Check can get a little monotonous. (but then again, Have you got any monotony today?) I can still very much appreciate the attitude they're bringing to the Check perfs.

Also, more Yoona in a ponytail with that swept bang style, please. :d



I quite liked Holler, but only recently came across this perf. Holy shit. I've been ragging on the quality of SNSD's choreo for a while, but not only is CMIYC stellar, but look at this great stuff. This choreo is like stuff you normally would reserve for BoA or something. It's relentless, and they maintain the energy like the pros they are, but also with a feel of real satisfaction, even excitement. This is not the SNSD I checked out of by, let's be honest, Hoot. I didn't even get this feeling from them during Mr. Mr., though they might have had some of it during IGAB.
And it's not a triplet song, thank goodness!

Who knows. Maybe the roster change did do something. After all, no one thought C-ute needed a roster change when they were putting out the likes of Tokkaikou Junjou and Namida no Iro, and yet it's been more apparent after all these years how optimized the 5nin unit is.

First Suju post?





So, Bonamana as an album did not go down well at all, with only about 2 tracks worth anything.

In contrast, I quite like this one! It's more shamelessly retro than Boa's latest, but nonetheless, it seems to only have 2 ballads, and everything else nice and upbeat!

Devil's tapped into that Happy beat. I have no complaints.

Jul. 3rd, 2015



Dude, if you're not going to go the full AKB what even is the point.

where's my wtf imagery to contrast with the bikinis





Shitty Dr. Luke copycat song

In other news, accordions, timpani, vibraslap, and surf guitar from Hello!Project for you, askbask.

In a meta mood

Hi look at the photoshoot thing
Whoever directed this shoot has clearly been a fan for years.

Hyoyeon: brawler in leather
Seohyun: dignified ballerina
Taeyeon: greaser's girlfriend
Yoona: studio system classic star
Sooyoung: girl next door
Sunny: photographer
Yuri: surfer

Hyoyeon: the standout on her leather are the spikes, of course, and second photo puts the focus on her hands. Despite the fishnets, this persona isn't coy. She's putting her cards on the table right from the start, and while the reveal of her shoulder would normally be a show of vulnerability, that it just highlights the tattoos is actually a display of how much she owns herself, that the invitation to play is not an offer to buy.

Seohyun: wow, can this play into her standard image as the graceful, stiff-postured doll any more? Kind of concerned about the airbrushing in the third pic. That looks unhealthy, man.

Taeyeon: No spikes on this leather, and even the first picture makes sure to repeat the imagery of the lips three times in a line, along with a bedazzled heart. Hyoyeon's chains worked with the spikes to connotate that she's holding herself back for your own good. Taeyeon's chain necklace in the first picture, along with that choker, is a symbol of her belonging to someone already. And then it's followed by three pictures of ero-kawaii imagery straight outta the worst of The Grand Narrative's accusations. That fucking lollipop undoes anything Taeyeon might be trying to do to overcome her babyface making these poses skeezy. Out of the eight, only Taeyeon's persona is going for making her look younger. At best, we're talking Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday. (And lol, Taeyeon always makes me word vomit the most.)

Yeah we get it Yoona stepped out of a dream, she is too wonderful to be what she seems WE GET IT

Sooyoung is the cute girl next door with the cute ickle doggies. Yep.

Sunny's DIRECTING FROM BEHIND THE CAMERA can this get anymore obvious.

Gorram Yuri has always been the most photogenic of the nine. Camera loves her, and only her shoot aims to display contrasting sides to her. You have classic Baywatch sexiness, and the "wind in mah hair" at-one-with-nature Mild Pixie Dream Girl shots, but I think it's truly notable that they also made that contemplative photo a larger one. As we saw with IY, Yuri is very much a thinker, always trying to figure out her next step, even if her decisions don't play out as tactically well as her fellow members'. It's like, if we compare their taking on these personas for the photoshoot to acting styles, Yuri's the one trying to go method, you know? I don't know. This girl has always caused word vomit urges in me that, unlike with Taeyeon, I can't for the life of me articulate precisely. warglebargle

Tiffany gets to recreate Andy's transformation in Devil wears Prada. It feels like she had a blast doing it, from her expressions, and it's the only set to really have a narrative to it, although it's also why it doesn't feel as much a look into the different sides of Tiffany as an acted story, compared to Yuri. But that might be just because Yuri's second to none in making her expressions look naturalistic. Look I'm talking about Yuri again. In Tiffany's section. Whoops.

Jpop music credits

Previously, I could only rely on Hello!Project songs reliably having the composer and arranger listed. Everyone else was a toss-up. Kpop got a little better, for certain groups, but overall, it's still hit or miss on who wrote what.

But now...
http://www.uta-net.com/search/

Yesssssss I have found credits. ALL OF THE CREDITS. THE CREDITSES IS MINE

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May. 12th, 2015

Is it just me, or is the new BoA album the most explicitly retro-themed that she's ever released? There's a sense of intent to the tracks of not just slapping a retro arrangement on a pop song, but actually going for an authentic recreation of the genres they're using. (Especially in the highlighting of the guitar parts, and prevalence of low-key celeste. I hesitate to say neo-soul, considering my lack of experience with the genre, but it doesn't match my perception of regular R&B and hip hop, either, nor Jpop's appropriations. There's also the 80s-retro pop entries, but they also take more elements from funkier genres than the hits of the decade.) It's like she's going for a vaguely timeless-from-the-past feel, deliberately eschewing any modern pop trends, besides the obligatory K-ballads.

(There's definitely a Jpop flavor to it, as well. Lots of Royal Road variations. XD)

Oh, Clockwork, what the fuck are you doing. Don't sully the tango beat with 2-and-4 double claps! STOP THAT THAT'S NOT HOW TANGO WORKS

Catch me if you can MV (Korean)



Choreo: Great
Styling: Horrible
Line distribution: Holy shit so this is what happens without Jessica
Song: Interesting??

[ETA] OH WAIT MRJKPOP ALREADY DID A REVIEW YESSSSSS



LJ's formatting is so strange now wtfCollapse )

If anything, this makes a statement that yes, they can indeed hold their own as 8. In the end it's a good thing that they never had a permanent concept; I wonder if they'll try to now.

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