A while ago I posted about some awesome “Western” music that I’ve been listening to lately, and this time I want to share with you my other musical obsession – Kpop.
Now, sometimes I’m reluctant to sharing this very closeted part of my life because I don’t want people to thing I’m some crazy, obsessed fangirl, but I have to admit I can be at some times. I only spend hours in front of my computer screen wishing I could teleport halfway across the world. Korean music is definitely a guilty pleasure of mine, but sometimes you just need to kick back, let it hang loose, and listen to music that doesn’t make any sense to you. I mean I think “Call Me Maybe” is pretty catchy, but it makes little sense and it’s in English.
So for this installment of Music on My Mind, I’m gonna be reviewing two albums that I’ve been listening to nonstop – f(x)’s Electric Shock and After School’s Flashback.
Electric Shock by f(x)
Release Date: June 2012
f(x) has been sweeping the Korean music charts with this single and album. And it’s no wonder, it’s their best so far! f(x) of SM Entertainment, which also houses big acts such as DBSK/TVXQ, Super Junior, Girls’ Generation, SHINee, and their latest debut EXO. Of all these groups, f(x) seems to always get the short end of the stick. Their promoted singles tend to be generic and the songs that fill their albums seem lackluster. But in my heart I have a soft spot for f(x) because they bring something unique to the Kpop table. While most girl groups switch off between cute and sexy concepts, f(x) has been consistently edgy, spunky, and rebellious. Some people may not like this, seeing them as a one trick pony, but I think some credit must be given for staying so true to an original concept and not deviating from it too much.
When it was announced that f(x) was making a comeback this summer, I was really hoping for something amazing, and I got it! Electric Shock is a 6 track minialbum/EP and each track is amazing! I think the members really got a chance to showcase vocal and musical ability in this album, especially Amber, who has been previously the “rapper” of the group. They finally let her use her amazing voice to sing! With that being said, my top 3 from this album are “Electric Shock,” “Beautiful Stranger,” and “Let’s Try.” But like I’ve already mentioned, all 6 tracks are awesome and if you are a fan of electronic, dance, or hip-hop/RnB, you should give this album a try.
Flashback by After School
Release Date: June 2012
Flashback is After School’s first album without former leader Kahi, who has “graduated” the rotating system to pursue a solo career (congrats to Kahi on the career move!) and with new member Gaeun. I wasn’t sure what to expect since Gahi played such a huge role in the group being one of their main vocals, rappers, and dancers, but I think After School held up well without her. There is no doubt though, that After School has definitely changed since their debut days. In contrast to f(x) who has remained with the same concept since their debut, After School has undergone many changes, and the number of members is only one of them. They went from a rebellious concept with “AH” to a more serious one with “Because of You” and now with “Flashback” they seem to be playing it safe with a sexy concept.
“Flashback” itself is quite a generic song. When I first listened to it I didn’t find it unique or extremely catchy, but after a few more listens the chorus kind of sticks with me. The weird rap in the beginning threw me off but I just learned to ignore it. The dubstep breakdown in the middle is cool, but Pledis Entertainment really needs to end its dubstep obsession. While the title track is bleh for me, I really like “Ripoff” and “Eyeline,” Nana’s solo. “Ripoff” is much more unique and catchy to me and I think the dance choreography to it is awesome. And while I don’t think Nana has the best voice, she is one of my favorite members and I quite enjoy her solo song. All in all, After School did okay with Flashback but I would prefer if they reverted to their “Because of You” sound.
And that’s it for Music on My Mind June edition! Hope you enjoyed my rational fangirling, and if you want to see anymore, not-so-rational-and-quite-borderline-obsessed, you should probably follow my personal Tumblr.