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Friday, September 11, 2015

Seventeen - Mansae

Only a handful of new male groups have debuted this year in Korea, and most of them have been decidedly hip-hop. That's the trend nowadays, and it's so ubiquitous that it starts to get a bit boring. Standing on a more pop-oriented side are Pledis Entertainment's Seventeen. I adored their first mini album and was so happy when I heard they were coming back this week. Mansae isn't quite up to the level of Adore U, but thankfully it carries forward the same powerful, groovy sound. It did take about three listens for the hooks to sink in, but now I'm totally addicted. The colorful, fun music video helps. The dancing is incredibly powerful. The guys really take advantage of having 13 (!) members.

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Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Robin - Yö kuuluu meille (ft. Santa Cruz, Nikke Ankara, Brädi & Jussi 69)

Robin Packalen has got to be the most prolific teen popstar out there. Without missing a beat, he's delivered a new single every few months since his debut several years ago. He'll be releasing his fifth album soon, and is basically the model for how to naturally and gradually grow a pop career. His output has been remarkably consistent, while still managing to mature just as much as it needs to. Part of that is due to his collaborators, like Jimi Constantine who has written much of his stuff and has a writing credit on this song as well. Yö kuuluu meille features a parade of musicians, from rappers to glam rock band Santa Cruz. They give this song a much rockier feel than Robin's past material. But above all, Robin's own distinctive vocals tie everything together to create yet another solid addition to his ever-expanding discography.

Link to stream song (dubiously, since it ain't streaming anywhere else!)


Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Kat-Tun - Dead Or Alive

I already wrote about Japanese group Kat-Tun back in July, but I wanted to make sure I touched on this track, which was released at the start of 2015, because it'll undoubtedly appear on my end-of-year countdown. The fact is, my last few weeks have been consumed with J-Pop by Kat-Tun, News, and to a lesser extent, Arashi. It feels like stumbling upon a holy grail that I didn't even know had existed. Dead Or Alive is a magnificent, symphonic pop track. In fact, it was the first Kat-Tun song I had ever listened to, around the time it was originally released. I'm not sure why I didn't investigate further back then, but I'm so glad that I've become devoted now. This is one hell of grand, theatrical pop song. That skeletal dance beat keeps it from going full-on Phantom of the Opera, while the instrumental build before the last chorus tips it into total nirvana. Songs like this are rare (and almost nonexistent in Western music), which just makes it all the more special. Luckily, even though the accompanying EP doesn't really keep the sound of Dead Or Alive, it's quite strong as well.

[PV] KAT-TUN - Dead or Alive
Posted by Sunrise Nippon ♥ on Saturday, January 24, 2015

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