[April 30, 2010] KBS Music Bank Highlights + Commentary

Everyone's been saying that May's the month of comebacks for kpop - f(x), SS501, Super Junior, 2PM, Rain and Hyori have all released new singles or have confirmed new releases within the month. Therefore, I think it's time PRN ventured into another part of the Korean pop industry - the music shows.

For those who may not know, weekly music shows in Korea are a big deal. The 3 biggest TV networks in the country all have their weekly offerings of music and all major artists perform there on a weekly basis - you're a star, you perform there. The end goal of all these music shows is to crown a "winner", the number one single+artist of the week based on each network's "formula" and data - sales records, online streaming statistics, the list goes on. Winning one of these is also a big deal, as it means you're successful enough to garner thousands, sometimes even tens of thousands, of "points".

The three major music show's I'll be recaping over the next few weeks are - KBS Music Bank (Friday), MBC Music Core (Saturday) and SBS Inkigayo (Sunday). SO I'll start, with a rather late recap of yesterday's KBS Music Bank. I don't think I'll be doing a recap of MuCore this week, but I'll whip something up for Inki. I won't be writing about everything because I'm not familiar with some of the acts - this recap will focus on idols. Credit for all the YT videos goes to 360kpopHDperf@YT, unless stated otherwise.

F.Cuz - No One

I've got to say it, but F.Cuz were pretty decent today. I mean their song's generic as hell, so last year in terms of auto-tune style and catchy-ness plus it's not exactly the best thing since anything, but their vocals were competent and the performance was OK. For a new band they look like they're really selling the song, even if most of it is just plain boring. I'll give them maybe 2 more singles before they get possibly good?

ZE:A - All Day Long

The song's actually pretty good if you take into consideration how their competition (F.Cuz) is doing. My only problem is that it still looks like there're way too many guys on stage - their dynamics haven't changed since their horrid Mazeltov days and I'm not liking it. Either they need to change their choreographer or lock themselves in a room for 24 hours because it's clear that they don't look like they're working well together. Apart from that, their vocals are pretty decent. Not as good as I'd like, but competent. Off topic though, but who the crap is that guy in lab goggles? LOL.

U-Kiss - Mworago

OK. So straight off promoting around Asia (including the Philippines), U-Kiss are back in Korea. Right. As performers, I think they're damn good - the vocals are strong even if I think there're only like 3 people taking most of the parts, probably because they've been doing this for a while now. The song though is a bit bleh for me. I know it's catchy as hell and all, but some of it just sounds cheap (Don't kill me! I have a few KissMe friends too!) - in defense, it sounds like a hit. AND they have good group dynamics, unlike ZE:A. The performance could've been better, but I can settle for this.
cr: s0shikim@YT

Secret - Magic

Secret have turned into quite the performers, eh? I'm not sold on the song, but it definitely sounds and feels much better live - that's good. Their vocals are pretty good for a new idol group, and the verses were very well-delivered, except for some nasal parts. Not a big fan of the choreography, but then again what do I know about dancing? The cameraman was really annoying though, maybe that's why I had a horrid migraine last night.

OK, enough of the smaller idol groups, time for the heavyweights.

After School - BANG!

I love After School now, I really do. I liked their outfits this week too. Vocals are still bleh like they've always been and it really brings down the over-all performance for me, but it was still near-fantastic. ALTHOUGH, they've improved this week, which is good. Look at it this way, if After School could sing live, they'd probably be my second favorite girl group, second only to CSJH who are like BRILLIANT.

2AM - I Did Wrong

Mel's new second favorite Korean boyband, I've taken quite a liking to 2AM. In fact, they're probably my second favorite boyband too! Vocals-wise they just WIN, but technique-wise I just with JYP would stop making them sing like him. They're not him for crap's sake and sometimes his singing style can get annoying. But other than that, I LOVED this week's performance. Brilliant vocals, like YEAH. JoKwon's in the running for my favorite voice.

SNSD - OH! Run Devil Run

So it was the girls' 1000th day since their debut yesterday, and what did they celebrate it with? A performance of Oh! before Run Devil Run. Oh dear - I thought we were over this horrid phase of theirs. I know I kinda liked the song at first, but after hearing it live I grew to absolutely hate the song. Enough said. Run Devil Run was OK, competent, but nothing caught my eye. Their hair looked good today though, apart from Hyoyeon but when does she ever have nice hair? *sigh*

2PM - Don't Stop, Can't Stop + Without U

2PM's back. And they're true to their tag - the performance boyband. I wasn't sold on the song at first, still not completely convinced, but hoenstly that was a pretty good performance. Still lacking in the vocals part, they've always been, but they carried themselves pretty well. The rain throughout got kinda annoying a few minutes in, but it's OK. Once again, no ramblings about the rap because I know nothing about it. Case closed. That and why don't I heard a lot of fangirl screaming? I won't tolerate any anti-2PM ramblings or any of that crap because this is a fair and honest judgement of what I think of the PERFORMANCE and the PERFORMANCE alone. Don't bring issues outside of the performance into this, please.

Lee Hyori - Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Bring It Back

Hyori. I liked the album and the performances are OK, but she just keeps on getting overshadowed by Rain. Her vocals have gotten better since U-Go-Girl, which is good, you can tell that the performances were thought of and well-prepared for and Hyori's command of the stage is just something else. What seems like a gazillion backup dancers were also employed for this performance. Even so, I'm sorry Hyori but Rain wins this battle. We'll get to him in next.

Rain - Love Song + Hip Song (WINNER)

RAINNNNNN. Why oh why does he have to make his comeback when I'm no longer a fan? Oh well. I said Hyori's command of the stage is something else, but Rain's command is just mind-blowing - you can't put it into words. I wasn't a HUGE fan of both songs when I heard the recorded versions but DAMN this just blows everyone else and even his recordings completely out of the water. It's not so much the choreography 'coz I know nothing about dancing, nor is it the stripping (LOL) OR his vocals since they're not really THAT good, bu like I said recently, it's the feeling you get when you watch a damn good live performance - your heart starts to race and your senses kick into overdrive. Music is half heard, half felt. AND the fanchants were SO DAMN LOUD.


  1. I've been reading your reviews for quite some time now and I really think that the fans need to allow room for crticism to allow artists to improve.

    Now about the Mubank:
    -Secret is slowly winning me over. Their first Magic performance was eh but this one showed that 2 of them showed that they have the vocals to carry the performance. The rapper and the blond dancer did decently. I'm surprised the rapper even sang at all.
    -Rain is amazing. He really knows how to carry himself well on stage and he put on a great performance. It is true though that his vocals aren't mindblowing. Did he sing a lot during Hip Song?
    - Now SNSD. I've been a fan for 2+ years now but I think they may have gotten too popular for their own good. Fans have put up such a defensive wall against any form of criticism. What really bothers me is how even if SNSD comes out with a crap song, we'll (I'm guilty as well) still buy the CD to support them. SNSD wins based on star power and not on how good the song was. I did not expect Oh! to do that well on the k-pop charts. Just as I'm about to become just a casual listener to SNSD, something...a radio performance, a lesser-known stage performance (Sketchbook, LaLaLa, Chocolate, etc...) shows that there's something beneath that manufactured cute image. If they were only allowed time to properly train they could become very good performers. But will the fans or SM allow SNSD to step off the stage for even a short time?

    CSJH, Brown Eyed Girls and After School have shown themselves to be very capable performers. SNSD needs to step it up.

  2. ^OMG, YES! I agree so much. Dx
    I listen to Soshi's covers more than their own songs, which is quite sad frankly. haha... Practically all the cred and love I have for them are based off of their song covers.

    I had SNSD overload from the end of Gee through Genie to Chocolate Love. And just when Soshi overdose was wearing off, they come back, looking half-dead from their non-stop promotions no less!

    I wish they could go into hiding for a few months, singing in obscure jazz clubs in Seoul, in cognito. I could imagine Fany doing it. :D


Want to share any of your thoughts on the above post? Drop a comment here! I read all comments and reply occasionally, especially if you have specific questions for me. :D

Note that comments are moderated. Spam, self-advertising (K-Pop-related and otherwise) and overly vulgar submissions will NOT be accepted. If you want me to promote/endorse/follow/link to your site, please e-mail me at popreviewsnow@gmail.com instead.


Recent Tweets

Like Pop Reviews Now on Facebook!

Statistics (Since May 2009)

Music - Top Blogs Philippines Follow on Bloglovin

Blog Archive

You're reading an award-winning blog

The K-Pop Writers' Workshop

A workshop for writers of critical pieces on Korean entertainment -- formal reviews, expository essays/Op-eds, and personal essays/Creative Non-Fiction.
Learn from the best in K-Ent writing