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Friday, June 26, 2015

Teen Top - ah-ah

As evidenced by Tuesday's post, summer music has fully bloomed in Korea. The theme (at least visually) this year seems to be neon 80's colors, as seen in Teen Top's fun new video for ah-ah. The song itself is a smooth throwback to the day when Michael Jackson ruled the airwaves. For some reason, to me it sounds like a track that would've been played to death at roller rinks. At first it may seem a little underwhelming, but it's a total grower (same thing for the accompanying album). It's also a welcome step back onto the dance floor for a group that's released more subdued music for the past year or so. And that fancy footwork! I love it.

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Carly Rae Jepsen - Making The Most Of The Night

Though it won't be out in the States until early fall, Carly Rae Jepsen's newest album was released in Japan earlier this week. To be honest, I didn't pay much attention when the first single, I Really Like You, was released. But then I started hearing awesome things about the album as a whole, and I got really excited to check it out. I'm so glad I did. Song for song, the album feels like nothing short of a sugary 80's pop masterpiece. Despite being seventeen tracks long, the consistency of the track's massive hooks is very, very impressive. Chief among them is the transcendent Making the Most of the Night. Even on the first listen, this is the song that stood out most. The ridiculously catchy and uplifting hook is so perfectly produced and performed that it turns into something quite epic. And it gets better the more you listen to it. Best of all, the song itself is just pure positivity. No twerking or "dranking," just unadulterated joy. Whether or not Carly will find widespread success with this album or remain a one-hit-wonder in most people's minds, I'm just glad she was able to release songs like this with the big budget needed to make them really shine.


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Sistar - Shake It

The floodgates have officially opened and now that it is summer, K-pop season is well and truly upon us. I love how every year around this time we get handfuls of bright, summery tracks from South Korea. One group that's been known for these types of singles is girl group Sistar. Sistar is enormously popular in Korea (and I'll be seeing them live in about a month as part of KCON), but for whatever reason I've been slow to connect with them. Shake It will probably be the song that tips the scale for me. It just sounds like summer, with hook upon hook. In fact, it doesn't really have a chorus in the traditional sense. It's more like one of those Xenomania-produced Girls Aloud tracks where it's literally three or four choruses constantly repeating. Unfortunately we don't get this kind of music in America any more. Thank god for Korea!

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Monday, June 22, 2015

Janet Jackson - No Sleeep

My pop goddess of choice is back today with her first new material in years. I'm super excited because I'll be seeing her live for the second time in Vancouver when her world tour kicks off at the tail end of August. The fact that there'll be a new album to celebrate alongside her many, many classics will be absolutely awesome and unexpected. No Sleeep, I'm predicting, is acting as a sort of buzz single before the inevitably dance-heavy track is unleashed on radio to promote the album. I say "buzz single" because the song, while gorgeous and timeless, sounds more like a "second half of the album track" than traditional single. That's not necessarily a bad thing, since Janet's voice and harmonies coupled with that classic Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis production makes anything sound good. I'll honestly be surprised if this resonates heavily beyond her fan base, but I'd rather have her cater to those of us that adore her than chase some stupid trends to pander to radio. The fact that we're even getting a new album in a couple of months is probably the happiest musical surprise of the year.