[May 21, 2010] KBS Music Bank Highlights + Commentary

Apologies for being MIA this week - I was so busy with review classes that when I got home I was too tired to even think, which is why I felt like I was gonna go crazy if I didn't write today. Hence, my review of the new Wonder Girls single AND today's MuBank commentary.

Quite a number of comebacks today, but all the acts had already performed on Mnet Countdown yesterday because none of them were from SME (long story) so technically today wasn't the first time they all performed their singles. I don't wanna do a recap of Mnet M!Countdown because I'm freaking out already with the 3 music shows, what more if I add.

I also noticed that a lot of the bigger artists used hand-held mics instead of hands-free ones. Usually hand-held mics sound better so yay. Although I'm not used to some of these idols actually holding mics anymore. Oh well.

Once again, YT credit for all videos goes to UnknownCarrot110.

CN Blue - Love + Sweet Holiday
The producers of MuBank committed a very, VERY grave crime with CN Blue today. Well at least it's grave for me. WHO THE CRAP OSTRACIZED THE DRUMMER TO A TINY LITTLE CORNER ON STAGE? That's just stupid - the 3 other guys have to actually HEAR the drummer because he lays down the foundations of a song. He lays down the tempo, the feel and the way the song flows AND YOU THANK HIM BY PUTTING HIM IN A CORNER? I know it was just for one song when they sang two but still. UGH. However I think I have new-found respect for CN Blue because I'm 90% sure that they're playing live - I hear hints of live drums here and there when it's not drowned out by fancy guitar lines. I hear wood clanking on metal. Yayyyyyyyy.

I won't deny the fact that MBLAQ have improved A LOT since their crappy Oh Yeah days, but their material is still generic as hell and they're still not the best singers in the world. In reality, I find their vocals very lazy - the reason why it's like they're going out of tempo is because they don't sing with conviction, their vocals have no kick. Their vocals are stronger than before, but now they lack kick. I mean a lot of pop singers lack soul, but at least some of them have kick in their vocals - they don't make it sound like the song's being forced upon them. Rain is trying way too hard to make MBLAQ 5 Rain clones music-wise but he has to understand that there's only one of him - that his ability to perform even without the best voice in the world is something he can't just tell 5 random guys to do. The 5 guys have their own style, and they'll learn that as time passes, but if Rain keeps pushing songs that could've been for him, they won't get anywhere. I'll expand on this once I whip up my review - hopefully by tomorrow morning.

f(x) - NU ABO
Their live vocals are getting better, and Luna's middle 8 is starting to sound fantastic - atta girl. I'm still not sold on the song as a whole though - f(x) have A LOT to prove to me in the coming months/years, but this performance was relatively good.

4Minute - Who's Next (with BEAST) + HUH
That's it, I'm writing a review for this single too, that makes 2 reviews to write tomorrow morning. GREAT. I like how BEAST kinda "passed on the Cube torch" or whatever at the beginning, and that track has grown on me. I'll save a lot of my observations on Huh for my review and just focus on the performance first - once I've said my piece by tomorrow, I can start ranting here. One thing I noticed about Cube idol groups, namely BEAST and 4Minute, is that when they're actually singing live, they're pretty good performers. These 2 bands know how to sell a song and they both started out kinda bleh in terms of performance but they've learned and grown - that's what's important. They tweaked their sound a bit, but I can still tell that it's from Cube, there's a certain combination of the instrumental and the melodies and the vocals that makes this entire package look, sound and feel very much like something Cube Entertainment would do. They've got a long way to go performance-wise, but hopefully by the time they're halfway into promo it'll get better.

The Wonder Girls - 2 Different Tears
One thing I like about never bothering to learn their names is the fact that I'm not biased when it comes to their vocals. The girl who did the hook at the start is really good, and I mean REALLY good, but the girl who did the first verse is very lazy - her runs at the end of lines were sloppy and her nasal-ness can get a bit irritating. The one doing the bridge is OK, but one line alone isn't enough to gauge if the nasal-ness is good or bad. The girl singing the so I hate you.... part has weak vocals, but a lot of potential - with a little technique I might just like her vocals.

Rain - Hip Song
The fanchants made this performance. I mean yeah Rain sang a bit more than usual but I still hate his wardrobe - it's irritating. Rain does what he does best on this performance and that is command an audience into thinking he's the best thing since anything, which is probably is.

Hyori - Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
*sigh* When's she wrapping up promo? I hope she does soon. She isn't doing anything different to amuse us anymore, so I'm bored for like a gazillionth week in a row.

2PM - Without U
2PM are starting to bore me as much as Hyori now, I'm sorry. With Wooyoung, my favorite voice, lip-syncing his parts, I have nothing to get excited about anymore. They're good performers, yeah, but the song bores me now. Oh well.

Super Junior - Bonamana (WINNER)
SuJu score their first win on Music Bank today, and I have to admit that it was deserved - even if it's against my "beliefs" or whatever, I can't stop listening to it. Today's performance gained a few eyebrow raises from me in terms of their vocals, but SuJu aren't known for their strong vocals so today was a pass. The performance was tight and a lot more lively than the recorded version, and the vocals were comfortable. Not necessarily strong, but comfortable. Although I am surprised that Heechul sounded pretty good today. No magic trick during Donghae's line, I believe he did it earlier during an interview and gave the rose to the girl host.

So there you go, the weekend of comebacks is just beginning. Over the weekend I'll be reviewing 4Minute's HUH, MBLAQ's Y, a few of the World Cup songs and possibly the new Kylie single, POSSIBLY. That plus a recaps of MBC Music Core and SBS Inkigayo - that's a lot of posts! Well I gotta make up for the 4 days I was MIA.


  1. The drummer is playing live, but the rest aren't, as their instruments aren't plugged in. It's not their fault, though. These music shows don't want to put in the energy or time to set up the stage for a band (as it takes a long time to prep and requires a lot of equipment), although, if they didn't invest so much in fancy stages, it would probably take less time to transition from group (that dances) to band to group (that dances).

    C.N. Blue do play live when they're given the chance. They've held street guerilla concerts in Korea, i.e. Hongdae and Coex, as well as a few club concerts in Hongdae. They've played live at Kim Jung-eun's Chocolate Show and will play live at Sketchbook. They've played live at practice sessions, which you can find on YT on AznSamManMV's account (he labeled it wrong, it's not "unplugged version" but more like "live practice session"). C.N. Blue have played live at their their debut showcase and at FTI's concert. You can look up all these (real) live performances on YT.

    And of course, C.N. Blue always play live when they're in Japan, because, unlike Korea, Japan has a larger and better band scene that'll accommodate to a band's needs. (Unfortunately, Japan is completely strict on fancams, so no access to those, which sucked because they played the full length Burning version of "I'm a Loner," and I wanted to see that.)

  2. I'm quite glad that you did a review about WG even though you don't like them. I have to agree and say that I don't really like this song either but I still want to appreciate them haha... I don't really like the new member's voice and you're right, she loosely sang the end of her lines. I remembered that during violin lessons, my teacher would always say that you shouldn't mess up the end of a phrase. It's as important as the beginning. The one singing 'so I hate you' used to have stronger vocals...

  3. ETA: For your convenience (and the convenience of many others, because the question as to whether or not they have played live is asked over and over again), I have compiled a list of links to all their performances in which C.N. Blue just genuinely played live -- along with some relevant songwriting credits. It took forever, but hopefully, it'll be a useful point of reference. Link: http://eraeos.livejournal.com/2455.html

  4. Len - *slaps self* I CAN'T BELIEVE I MISSED THAT. UGHHHHHHHHH. Thanks! I feel so stupid now.

    bulleusekat - Hahahah. You took violin? Cool. Yeah, runs should be delivered with each note clear and recognizable - they're not called runs because you run to the next line!

  5. Re CN Blue's guitars not being plugged in, wouldn't it be possible to use a radio link? (Of course, then you'd have to look to see if there were transmitters fitted to the guitars...)

  6. @Nikki - No problem! We all have those moments at least some point in our lives. ^^

    @Gag Halfrunt - C.N. Blue had the radio links/transmitters at their Debut Showcase, and I think also for some of their street concerts in Japan. But I don't remember seeing them in MuBank today.

  7. @Gag Halfrunt - Oops, I meant radio links/transmitters for FTI's Men Stories Concert. I'm not so sure about their Debut Showcase, I'm leaning towards for the Debut Showcase.


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