[May 6, 2011] KBS Music Bank Highlights + Commentary

Words cannot express how happy I am that A Pink and Girls' Day didn't perform today. Now all we need to do is get rid of Dal Shabet and my life will be complete. Jay Park is back! Yay! I'm used to calling him Jaebeom though, so this Jay Park will take some getting used to. Other than him and 1/2 of SISTAR, it's the usual line-up.

Video credit goes to UnknownCarrot170@YT. Brilliant as always.

X-5 - "The Show Is Over"
Their live vocals remind me a lot of Miss A, actually. You know they're good - they have nice voices and they know how to deliver them - but because of the demands of the performance, they always sound out of breath. Now, I say time and time again that if you're a good singer you will sound good even if you're dancing your ass off, and that should be the case - always. However, doing that requires half talent, and half practice - they need to not only get used to the stage, but its demands, and that's something they haven't done yet. In this case, practice makes perfect. In their defense though, not a lot of idol groups these days debut with such a vocally and physically-demanding song - they got used to the stage with a much easier song. I'll give it to them though - they're pretty damn good.

Rania - "Dr. Feel Good"
This is one of these highly-orchestrated performances - everything about them on stage was planned ahead - and it really is a sight. And the fact that they have the vocals to do justice to the very tight performance just makes everything so much better. Of course there are glitches in the performance, but do you expect them to be robots? Of course not. Regardless, I'll be watching - very closely.

Dal Shabet - "Pink Rocket"
No. Just.. no. NEXT.

SISTAR 19 - "My boy"
I was watching their performance on yesterday's M!Countdown this morning, and my observations on that performance are identical to the ones for this. The song itself if very laid-back, and so when it's performed there should be some kind of gimmick to make people want to watch you. In this case, it's the chair dance and the choreography, and all the winking and acting cute. Not working. At all. They're trying too hard. When MBLAQ tries too hard it looks painful, when SISTAR, or at least half of them, try too hard it lacks grace. Hyorin has a GORGEOUS voice, I have never denied her that - if you remember my complaints about SISTAR it's that only one of them can actually sing, and that's Hyorin. No matter how gorgeous her voice is though, the rest of the performance is an absolute bore. I close my eyes to just listen and it sounds amazing, my ears are in heaven, but I open them and all I want to do is close them again - nothing about what they're doing makes me want to watch them. I might as well listen to the recording at the rate things are going. It's boring, it lacks grace, the chair dancing looked so contrived - the entire performance is dry.

Rainbow - "To Me"
The more I hear this song, the better it gets. And their improving vocals are a big help too. That's more like it Rainbow - you're singing like how a band from the 4th biggest agency in Korea should. And a lot better than Kara too, may I add. Well, some of you.

f(x) - "Danger"
This is an SME performance through and through - the song, the choreography, the vocals, the stage presence - everything about this is contrived in the most contrived way possible, and yet that's what sucks you in. The performance is far from perfect, and the autotune on the recording is still a tad bit annoying for me, partially because it really affects the live performance, but they are at the level that they should be at for an SM group of their stature - using handsfree or handheld mics don't matter anymore because they're practically the same. FINALLY. Luna sounds amazing as usual, Krystal's getting a lot less annoying, Victoria's vocals are getting stronger, and SULLI. THOSE VOCALS. OH MY GOD. GORGEOUS. KILL ME NOW.

4Minute - "Heart to Heart"
Oh, they did this song today. Hyun A annoys me beyond belief, maknae girl too, the leader's fine, Jiyoon goes in and makes everything better, and Gayoon makes the chorus a lot cheaper than it could be. Pretty much the entire performance, and song, explained in one sentence. Yup, that's about right.

After School - "Shampoo"
For After School standards, this was a strong performance - you can actually hear everyone actually singing. And they're getting used to performing the song at a much faster rate than they usually do, which is good. I find it hard to believe that there are 9 of them now, actually - it just hit me when I saw the shot at the beginning with all of them. Can I nominate Jooyeon and UEE for graduation? PLEASE?!?!?

U-Kiss - "0330"
The song's starting to bore me already, but I'm happy that their fanchants are getting louder and louder! And their vocals are now at the beginning stages of being above average. The U-Kiss performance style has always been edgy - they're a fun version of highly-orchestrated performances, and that's something they've perfected with this single. If their vocals don't make you watch, the performance itself will.

Jay Park - "Tonight" + "Abandoned"(WINNER)
He's come a long way, gone through a lot of crap (partly because of indecisive fans), but my god would this have been an incredible talent wasted had he given up on music altogether. How he moves, how he holds the audience in the palm of his hands like it's nothing, how one second he's prancing around stage and the next he's dancing like there's no tomorrow, reminds me a lot of a young Rain. Actually, his story is similar in ways to a condensed version of the Rain story. There are been truckloads of comparisons to Taeyang, and I do see them vocally, but to be honest with you I like Jay a lot better, because unlike Taeyang, who's focused on the nasal-ness of his voice, Jay is focused more on the smoothness, and you all know I like a smooth voice that knows how to deliver. And he delivers. Of course the not singing during the chorus, apart from those adlibs, is something I'm not particularly fond of, but it's not like he can't sing. I like the song, I've liked it since the first time I heard it (when it came out), and the live performance did more than justice to it. Partially because he's a talented performer, and partially because the audience screaming and the fanchants send chills down my spine. Brilliance. And he deserves that win.



  2. Are the videos are already being deleted? Dang it!

    Off topic, but thank god that Sulli's getting rid of the aegyo schtick. See the wonderful difference when the resident 'cute one' isn't trying to be cutesy and sound like a chipmunk? Now, can the other girl groups do the same? On that note: JYP, if it means that Sohee can sing without sounding like a squeak toy (You know darn well that she sounded great in Heartbeat during Team Play because it was in her range and tessitura.), can you keep the Wonder Girls here in the US for a good while til she's too old to play the 'cute' role in Korea?

    Janet Jackson is the only one who can have a light, youthful voice (cause she's a straight up soubrette soprano, unlike the majority of kpop girls that try to be) without being a nuisance. Unless you're Janet (or any true soprano): stop it.

    Back to f(x) and kpop:
    Now that their vocals are up to snuff, can we get some original songs that aren't already written and produced? Pretty please? For the biggest record company in S.K, SM is real cheap when it comes to songwriters (who are now basically translators) and producers. It's bad enough that SHINee does almost nothing but remake obscure songs (even if they do make them better imo), but do you need to do the same with f(x) and all of your other artists? Sampling is fine, but over the years, your laziness has become more blatant.

    Forgive my rambling. It's 11 past midnight here -_-".

    Will be back when there are actual videos/audio for me to listen to and agree/disagree with you on, Nikki.

  3. YES, as much as i love Uee and Jooyeon they are horrible singers and should graduate.. and they should take Nana with them
    i don't get the hype, yes she is SUPER pretty, but her voice is damn annoying and her rap is cutesy and lame.
    Eyoung is kinda talented i think.. she only sings 7 words so i don't know yet.. Lizzy also started as a one liner and now i think we all know she is one of the good vocalists.
    Hate Jungah, but her voice is amazing so AS needs her.. Raina is an amazing singer.
    Kahi and Bekah should stay forever, they are talnred, fierce and make AS what they are, without them they are just another regular group.
    So.. imo useful members are- Kahi, Bekah, Lizzy, Jungah, Raina and Eyoung (still not sure about her)
    and useless members are: Nana, Jooyeon and Uee


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