And we move on to today's episode of Music Core. Music shows are getting more and more enjoyable these days, which is really good! And, surprise, surprise, MBC's sound system seems to be getting better as well. Or, they put someone better behind the system. Today's show features EXO's debut, and comebacks from 4Minute and SISTAR.
Video credit goes to shu35151224@YouTube.
EXO-K - "History" + "MAMA"
Looks like someone took my comment on them singing together too seriously, because now it's 80 percent backing track, 10 percent random mumbling in the background, and another 10 percent belting out unnecessary notes. However, the parts which weren't drowned out by the backing track were much, much, better today. There are still so many major problems with their performance though. First off, the six of them are still singing and moving for themselves rather than for EXO as a whole, and so the performance is so robotic. I believe I said this before, but they don't look like they're happy to be on stage, like it's a privilege -- they look like they were pushed on stage against their will. You don't need to smile to show joy, or prance around not caring about anything to show effortlessness, but their performance has no emotion whatsoever. Which leads me to believe that these guys aren't in it for the music, but for the popularity. And I'm extremely disturbed by that. And secondly, I was telling Ree just a while ago that pretty much all of the SM bands have a very obvious "lead singer" figure from the very beginning. While that figure can change through time (like Junsu and Jaejoong in DBSK), it is always present, and very obvious, even to the untrained ear. I don't see that with EXO. In fact, listening to them now, if I didn't know any better I wouldn't think they were an SM group. They don't move like one, they don't act like one, and they don't even sing like one either. All of this is very strange.
BTOB - "Insane"
I never thought I'd say this, but honestly, BTOB sound much better than EXO, because for one thing, at least they, or some of them, can sing their own song. Yeah sure they murdered DBSK's Love In The Ice, but EXO murdered their own song.
NU'EST - "FACE"
NU'EST fulfill one of the most important traits in a new group -- if you don't have good material, if you don't have amazing voices, at least pull of what you have, so much that you keep people's attention on you until the day you do get good material and you do become brilliant singers. And really, they pull this song off so well, that I had to do a double-take to see if they were lip-synching, which they were not. I have my eyes on you, NU'EST, you better not disappoint.
Spica - "Painkiller"
Another strong performance, however, again, I'm more concerned with what they're going to release next than I am the song they're currently promoting. These girls need an explosion of a song to show off their vocals!
B1A4 - "BABY I'M SORRY"
Seriously, B1A4, after a disastrous singles last year, you're quickly turning into a band I'm keeping my eye on for quite a long time! They all look like they genuinely enjoy being on stage, on top of consistently pulling off a strong performance. The song matches their vocals, and they all know how to perform it as well. Pretty good, B1A4!
SISTAR - "Lead Me" + "Alone"
To answer the reactions to my comment on their performance yesterday, there are three other members in SISTAR, are there not? Hyorin is not the only member of SISTAR. But, I'm glad they didn't lip-sync Alone today. My problem with SISTAR has always been the combination of their performances and their material, and how they can never seem to pull them off with a sense of finesse. The same goes for today's performance.
4Minute - "Dream Racer" + "Volume Up"
So far, 4Minute are creaming SISTAR in terms of live performances -- from song selection to stage presence and the consistency of their vocals. The middle 8 of Dream Racer was really sloppily done, but the rest of it was pretty good. And for a second there I was really surprised at HyunA's not painful vocals, then I realized that this performance was overdubbed and double-tracked, very badly may I add. Which is suspicious because this could possibly mean that they can't pull this song off for three days straight, which will ultimately make them lose to SISTAR, who we know can pull their single off. Hmmm. We'll see.
SHINee - "Sherlock"
Strong, consistent performance today. Very effortless but accurate and snappy at the same time. Everyone sounds good, Taemin and Onew in particular. But then again, I expect nothing less from SHINee.
Shinhwa - "Venus"
A lot more stable than yesterday, but of course, performance-wise they're still consistently effortless, as individuals and as a group. They look not only like they belong on stage, but like they love being on it, they love performing. That's something new groups have to learn and take to heart, because it's one of the most important aspects of a live performance -- if you can't sell what you have, no matter how good you are people won't be convinced.