Xia - Flower
Jeez, this is why I love Kpop. Xia was one of the original members of the blockbuster Korean group TVXQ, which has since dwindled to only two (still very successful) members. Since leaving the group, he's released a few albums on his own and with his other group JYJ, which is composed of himself and the two other members who'd left TVXQ. Confused? It doesn't really matter. What you need to know is that Xia is a powerhouse vocalist and dancer, and he's not afraid to go really, really weird. This is beyond Lady Gaga-level weird pop music. He also makes incredibly videos, and the just released Flower is his best yet. The song is a split between ultra-spare, barely registering balladry... and epic, turned-up-to-twenty operatic bombast. It's not even much of a pop song in the traditional sense. It's too haunting and dynamically provocative to be something that fits in well on radio. The video won't make much sense, but your jaw will drop as you watch image after strange, startling image. It's like a big-budget sci-fi epic crammed into four and a half minutes. Unfortunately, Xia has a confounding habit of releasing awesome, boundary-pushing singles as part of albums that, as a whole, feel very middle of the road and ballad heavy. His new one follows the trend. I'm finding it very difficult to get into it. But then again, with a single and video this, I'm not really complaining.
(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. Buy the album here. Follow me on twitter and facebook.