[April 22, 2011] KBS Music Bank Highlights + Commentary

Can't believe your eyes? Well, believe them because YES, my music show recaps are back! This is one of numerous attempts to get me back in the zone and writing, so if I do anything crazy or out of the ordinary on this, forgive me - it's been months since I last wrote one of these, and almost a year since my first recap!

A number of things sparked my comeback, but the main thing was MuBank's setlist today. It's their 600th episode (O.O), so everyone promoting was out in full-force. The performances I was holding my breath for all day? 3 members of G.O.D. doing "Lie" after a gazillion years, and HOMIN DOING "RISING SUN", as well as X-5's debut.

You ready? Well, whether or not you are, read on for a recap of today's MuBank episode!

Video credits go to DBSKgirl1994 for the U-Kiss performance, and UnknownCarrot170 for everything else.

X-5 - "Fantasy" & "The Show Is Over"

"Fantasy" is a pretty good song, but they shouldn't have mimed it, for heaven's sake - it's too obvious and it's their debut performance of all things! However, I believe they redeemed themselves with "The Show Is Over". Shaky start, but things just got better from there - for their first performance, that wasn't half bad. The chorus was spot-on, the verses a lot better when I watched it on TV (now I understand what McRoth was telling me the other day about how the amazing will sound stunning, but the bad will sound horrid on amazing headphones), but the entire package well-done and thought of. You can see they made an effort, but you can also see that they're actually really good, so the natural just creeps up on you. I'll be watching them.

A Pink - "Wishlist" & "Don't Know"

These girls don't know how to sing as a group. They're not bad on their own (albeit not really that good), but you can see that individually they want the stage to themselves and it's as if when they have solos the other members don't exist. They want to be noticed when it's not they're time to shine - they're all trying to out sing and out dance each other. It's not a bad thing to try to be noticed, but they have to remember that they're not solo singers right now - they're a group, and a group sings, dances and performs together. They have to have a spark - a dynamic as a group. They have to work together. Their vocals are fine, bar the first 2 girls who sang on "I Don't Know" because they're trying to sound like 6 year-olds when they're all 15 and up (and that pisses me off), the song isn't that bad and individually they can perform, but their lack of group dynamic turns me off.

Block B - "Freeze"

Block B? I don't see the hype - their vocals aren't that hot. I mean they're there and they can sing, but over-all they're weak - there's no power to their vocals, no matter how punchy and edgy the song is. They're performers, it's obvious with how they move on stage, so all they have to do is get a less generic song, and work on making their vocals stronger and more consistent. Will I be watching? Maybe.

Brave Girls - "Do You know"

One of the best new girl groups I've seen in a long time, and my god does this song show that. Long-haired girl in the middle is obviously the one being pushed as the good one, and she's pretty good too, but personally girl in the pony tail (not the bun) is better (even if she doesn't know how to hold a mic). But long-haired girl is definitely consistent, and that counts a lot. Compared to the two, short-haired girl and blonde girl are average, but comparisons aside they're good too. Short-haired girl wasn't that good at the beginning, but she got better towards the end. The performance as a whole was ever to slightly breath-taking - you can see that they know what they're doing. It's one of those performances I'd gladly watch again.

Infinite - "Nothing's Over" & "T.O.P"

Infinite are getting a lot of attention from Cassies lately, because Jaejoong tweeted a few days ago that he likes "Nothing's Over". And why wouldn't he? In all honesty, not just because Jaejoong likes it (I believe I gave them a good review!), it's a well-developed song. It has its flaws, but they can easily be cleaned up in their next release. And the song is catchy without being annoying. Their performance today was a lot better than the last one I saw (a good few weeks ago), and everyone seemed a lot more confident singing the song, especially the guys belting out high notes. Which is good. Their Shinhwa cover? Strong. I didn't think they'd do as good as they have, but they've proven me wrong. See, this is why I liked Infinite from the very beginning - they weren't that good, but the potential was there, and look at them now, pulling off Shinhwa pretty well. And it's not easy to pull Shinhwa off. Live.

Rainbow - "To Me" & "Sweety"

That wasn't half bad (even if they mimed that S#arp cover). I mean a good third of them still can't sing, but I can point out at least 4 good voices now that are actually pretty strong live. And they can perform a lot better now - they may not be 100% in sync with each other, that's extremely hard, but there's unity to the performance. Give me a song with a better hook, Rainbow, then we'll talk. For now, you're on my "to watch" list. We'll see what happens after this.

CN Blue - "Promise" & "Intuition"

They remixed "Intuition" today. Or rather, piled on extra electric guitar lines and this and that then made Yonghwa wear shades. Guitars not plugged in, check. Excessive Yonghwa close-ups, check. The drummer still not close enough to the other 3, check. Yonghwa's vocals strong, check. Jonghyun sounding amazing, check. Just another CN Blue performance, then. Their Jo Sung Mo cover was a bit shaky at the beginning because it seemed like Yonghwa couldn't catch up to the tempo on his first line, but Jonghyun came in and saved it yay.

f(x) - "Gangster Boy" & "Danger"

I liked "Gangster Boy" for a while, but Amber talking just made me cringe. The verses are perfectly fine - everyone's vocals are strong as hell - the chorus is cutesy but not nauseating thank god, Luna's middle 8 was epic, and the hook really hits you over the head without being obvious. It's a strong performance though. And "Danger" was done well, considering that the song isn't really something you can sing live. VICTORIA'S VOICE IS GETTING LOUDERRRR! Krystal sounds like herself, keep it up and Sulli is finally slowly getting over the cutesy phase. But WHO the hell decided that Luna needed to sound like a little girl from majority of the song? SHE DOESN'T. SHE'S BETTER THAN THAT. Krystal isn't the amazing singer in f(x) - LUNA IS. But if I didn't know that and I only heard their verses, I'd say Krystal was the better one, when in reality it's Luna. Just when SME got everyone else right, they just HAD to go and ruin Luna. Her high note, even if it was pretty short (wouldn't have it any other way though), was well-done though. The performance was strong, the vocals worked with that they had, and over-all it was strong. Still not completely sold on the song though.

4Minute - "No. 1" & "Mirror Mirror"

Lesson learned, never let 4 out of 5 of 4Minute sing a BoA song. Ever. Hyun A, Jihyun, Sohyun and even Gayoon, should never be let near a BoA song. Jiyoon can do all the singing for all I care, because she actually sounds decent, just not the other 4. Please. I beg you. That said, 4Minute sound best doing what they really do - and that comes in the form of "Mirror Mirror". I'm not saying that they're suited to inferior songs, I'm saying that they've found what suits them, so they should stick with that - who they really are. Today's performance was strong, and my god Jiyoon those vocals were amazing. Can Jiyoon be lead instead of Gayoon, pretty pretty please? I have a Filipino term for Gayoon's vocals again - "bukaka". If you know what it means in this context yay, but it's hard to explain and it translates to something else literally, so yeah.

U-Kiss - "0330"

Strong performance today, even if the first guy who sang sounded really tired and strained. High note guy sounded strained today too, come to think of it. This is one of the songs that sounds better recorded, and I think it'll stay like that no matter how consistently strong their vocals get, and they're improving at a much faster rate than I expected. We'll see. Prove me otherwise, U-Kiss.

DBSK/HoMin - "Rising Sun" & "Keep Your Head Down"

Let me begin this by saying HOLY MOTHER OF HEAVEN AND HELL AND EARTH AND EVERYTHING ELSE THERE IS, THAT WAS AMAZING I HAVEN'T SEEN RISING SUN PERFORMED IN AGES. AND OH MY GOD MIN PUSHED HO SO HARD THEN HE WAS SMIRKING AFTER I APPROVE OF VOLDEMIN (and I was hung over from the jaw-dropping G.O.D. performance when I watched this so that explains a lot) Okay. Fangirling out of the way.

KYHD was done spot-on, as always. They sound a bit tired, but nothing too obvious. Now, RISING SUN, on the other hand, was amazing. I was expecting them to do the whole song, but to be honest with you I'm thankful they didn't. It's not that HoMin can't sing good enough, it's not that they can't dance good enough - for crap's sake they can sing their heads off while dancing their feet to oblivion without batting an eyelash, they just did with KYHD - it's that the song is so damn tiring to perform, whoever's performing it, with all the jumping through hoops and fire (LITERALLY! YAY! lol). Did you see the SHINee performance? They were sweating by the end of it, and they only did the chorus. Like I said on Twitter this morning, the song is hard enough to do with 5 members, and was a pain to do with 4 (when Jaejoong was injured in 2005, and when Yunho was injured in 2006), what more with 2 or 3? I would like HoMin to survive this performance, thank you very much. That said, the vocals were strong, Yunho changed Yoochun's rap verse a bit (just a rephrasing, nothing big) and sang Jaejoong's lines (YunJaeeeeee!!), Changmin sang Junsu's part but didn't scream, and the performance was over in the blink of an eye. The simple fact that they got through it is worthy of praise, and they did it - they pulled it off, damn well. It made my heart race and flutter and whatnot - it should make yours too.

G.O.D. (3 members) - "Lie"

If you don't know who G.O.D. are I will personally hunt you down and MAKE SURE you die a slow and painful death, because you deserve it. They, along with the likes of H.O.T. and Shinhwa, are the epitome of the word "LEGEND" - you cannot NOT know them because they made the industry the way it is today, and it took much, much more than just a pretty voice or a nice face to do that. Even 1 member short, the performance today was EPIC - the vocals were perfect. Not just stunning, not just amazing - perfect. The timbres of their voices have gone from gorgeous to stunning, and the technique they've learned over the years has given their vocals dimension and emotion. They didn't have to command the audience or hold them in the palms of their hands - the audience willingly let themselves be mesmerized and the sight of it was almost surreal to be honest. The screaming, the chanting, the singing, the performing - perfection. I hope the newer idol groups, and their fans, understand that you have to have more than a catchy hook and a few members who can sing to make your music as immortal as G.O.D.'s.


  1. I knew you would write a commentary on this Music Bank episode. ^^
    I can just say X-5's debut disappointed me.*sigh*. I was looking forward to it after the teaser. Same thing for A Pink and B-Block.

    I love,love and love Brave Girls's Do You Know. Ah did not participate in their debut at all but after this song; they've got my attention. Their debut song is the best for me so far. It reminds me of 2NE1's It Hurts.

    For some reasons, I cannot like Infinite's songs. They're just not my taste.XP. I listened to the song again after Jaejoong complimented it;I still don't like it.

    As for f(x),Danger is randomly playing in my head.

    Time for HOMIN's Rising Sun. I was nervous when I saw the tweet. I was afraid they might wreck the song.However, their performance blew me away. It was sooooo good! LOL at your nickname for Changmin 'Voldemin'.
    Lastly, please do a vocal commentary !!!

  2. i was surprised too, to see rising sun performed again. Its one of my favourite DBSK songs. Everytime i hear it i feel like dancing (lol).

    A pink, there is one singer who is rather good, but i can see what you mean when you said that "they're all trying to outshine eachother". They still have a long way to go as group. A pink was one of the most anticipated girl groups this year (not really for me) because they're part of cube entertainment.

    I don't really like the Brave girls too much, but i don't hate them. They are definitely one of the few rookie groups who were good (this year, kpop, has been getting a truckload of crappy rookie groups). Brave girls have talent and potential. However, i didn't like their songs too much (not really my style).

    I was REALLY excited when F(x) made their comeback this year, and the songs were pretty good. Its nice to see Victoria becoming louder and Krystal, in my opinion, is WAAYYY better then her sister, Jessica. F(x) is in my top five favourite girl groups.

    X-5 actually seem like they have potential. They're still an early group with not much experience in performing yet, but that will get better over the years.

    I can't wait for your afterschool vocal commentary though. Your reviews have been great this past month :D

  3. Awesome, your music show recaps are back! ^-^ I love these, especially since no one else really does them.

    Anyway, I wholeheartedly agree with your thoughts on A Pink. They aren't really in synch with each other at all, which probably has a lot do to with how the group was put together in the first place. The singing is fine but half of them are a bit too harsh for the image they're going for, but some nice phrasing would take care of that. I do think the girl who opens the chorus is singing in too high key for her range though, she sounds like she can do better.

    Brave Girls are fantastic. It's very rare when a girl group debuts and none of them are tone deaf, especially with a model turned singer in the group (Seoah, the blonde girl). The song really helps set them apart as well but that they can actually pull it off is what makes them special. I can't imagine any other k-pop girl group out there who have the right style and finesse to do the song justice.

    Rainbow is definitely moving up in the girl group hierarchy. They perform well, the main singers sound fantastic live and also sing with the right attitude which is, sadly, something most idols don't bother with. I'm a bit sad they cut out all the high notes in this performance but major song cuts are to be expected when their is such a large number of debuts and special stages taking place.

    4minute need to stay away from BoA's songs. The only one I could imagine them getting close to pulling off is Valenti and even then it's still iffy. I agree though that Jiyoon should have just been given the whole song. She had the right energy, her dancing was on point and although singing a bit more sweetly wouldn't have hurt she did well enough. Mirror Mirror was much, MUCH better. They have their own style and should stick to it, even when performing a tribute it should be for similar artists until they broaden their performance abilities. Though you know I think Jiyoon would have been the lead if it was only based on tone and power but my problem with Jiyoon's singing is that its 2 dimensional. In the verses she sings in the same slightly subdued way and in the chorus she belts out every single word. There's nothing in between the two and unfortunately you can't build a singing group around someone who lacks variation in their singing. So they picked Gayoon, even though her voice sounds a bit weathered and hollow imo she is the better overall technical singer.

    f(x) was great and this is really the first time they've ever impressed me as a whole. Krystal got over her stone face problem and is sounding awesome. Sulli and Victoria are improving more and more. Luna is as wonderful as ever. The dancing was slick and on point and their stage presence was phenomenal. They are certainly living up to their female Shinee tagline, even if the song isn't their best.

    Anyways, looking forward to more music recaps if you decide to do more, as well as the AS vocal commentary. I have my own thoughts on them so it'll be nice to see what you think. :D and sorry for the extremely long post lol

  4. B-Block was a disappointment. I expected a lot more :(

  5. G.O.D <3
    Please do a 'legend' vocal commentary or any review on them...


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