[May 7, 2011] MBC Music Core Highlights + Commentary

I don't know if this is just me, but I'm rather disturbed that the likes of After School, f(x) and 4Minute are the most senior performers on today's show. All 3 groups debuted in 2009. OK, I'm VERY disturbed. If U-kiss were on I might've been a bit less disturbed, but disturbed nevertheless. Mmmm. But anyway.

Video credit goes to CrazyCarrot270@YT. Some things never change.

B1A4 - "OK"
The song is SO JoBros/Disney sitcom opening song. I just had to say it sorry. Mimed performance today, so it's an instant no, but the performance itself was pretty good. I noticed something in the way they move though - they move like a less practiced, more chaotic Infinite. And I like the way Infinite move on stage - it's very clean and sharp. So not bad, guys. Scrap the miming and you're good to go.

A Pink - "Don't Know"
Stop acting like 10 year-olds, A Pink. You're a lot older, even if you guys ARE pretty young. I'm your age and I would never be caught dead singing like that. Never. Ever. Actually, some of them have gorgeous vocals, it's just that like a lot of other groups it's getting masked by a crap song and an order from their agency to act like a bunch of kids.

Block B - "Wanna B"
I now realize that the reason why I don't like this song, never have, is because majority of the song is rapping, mock rapping, talking, or the hook. When people actually sing, it's not bad, it's actually pretty strong, but it's not my cup of tea. And is it just me or are their performances a little too chaotic? Or is it the stupid cameraman trying out new angles again? A little of both maybe.

Rania - "Dr. Feel Good"
If you want manufactured girl groups at their best, Rania is it. Their live vocals are rather interesting, to the point where I don't know how to accurately describe them. The melody is correct, and I believe they're singing in key, and you hear the timbre of their vocals, but it's as if they're singing to you behind a thin paper wall. BINGO - the vocals are muffled. You know they're singing, and you know they have strong vocals, but this could be more of a technical problem than anything else - their vocals are muffled, they're not crisp.

Dal Shabet - "Pink Rocket"
There comes a time when a crap song just fades into the background and my brain just automatically shuts off when I hear it. This is that time.

SISTAR 19 - "My boy"
Now I gotta hand it to them for being consistent in their performances so far, and it's a lot better than them getting worse, but being consistent means being consistently boring. To the point where it's actually painful seeing vocals like that wasted on a lifeless performance. Now I know the song is laid-back and cool and all that, but apart from the vocals, everything else lacks urgency and/or grace.

Rainbow - "To Me"
Miming? Just when you were getting good, you pull this. And I was just about to say how much I liked blonde girl with long hair's voice. Hmph. I'm starting to like the song a lot more though. I just need Rainbow to convince me.

f(x) - "Danger"
Really not used to the fact that f(x) closed the show today. And I'm kinda disturbed by how clean their vocals are today. Partially because there was no live audience, but was this performance pre-recorded and overdubbed or the vocals mixed before broadcasting? Because it's not identical to the recording, but it's far too clean to be an actual live performance, no matter how good a singer you are - the levels are too even and it's freaking me out. Either they tinkered with the recording, or the girls are neither tired, nor do they have fans disturbing them. I really don't know what to think, to be honest, but I'm leaning more towards the overdubbing theory.

4Minute - "Heart to Heart"
Hyun A sounds a lot less annoying today, but she still annoys me. Magnae is getting better, and her hair helps too. Jiyoon. Oh Jiyoon - can't you just sing the entire song yourself please? PLEASE?!? Melodic really doesn't work for 4Minute - can't we turn back time and have "HuH" again please? But I gotta admit, that little twist towards the end was sneaky and kinda cool. And leader girl reminds me a lot of Victoria f(x) during early 'Danger' promo in terms of vocals.

After School - "Shampoo"
Sorry, I'm really not used to After School being the most senior group of all the performers today. Usually the last performance on my commentaries are reserved for the outstanding - the likes of Rain, DBSK/HoMin, Big Bang, BoA. You know, people who have been around? That's not to say that After School haven't been around, but you know what I mean - they still have a long way to go. Anyway. Their vocals have really improved, and by the end of the performance today I wasn't cringing like I usually do. Of course UEE should just go back to standing there and looking pretty (kinda) and Jooyeon is such an uninteresting and weak singer, but Jung Ah and Raina were on top-form today. Even Gahee and Bekah. New girl is really shaping up as well - she needs more lines.


  1. I think I finally figured out why I don't like Shampoo as much as I should. When I first heard the teaser and the beautiful piano line I got goosebumps, but when the full song came out I can't help but feel a little let down, mostly due to reasons Nikki already laid out in her original review. But I think the biggest problem lies with the fact that this song is just not an authentic gung-ho After School style, it's too girly and I don't feel the usual fierceness that you get when you watch AS perform. I thought Kahi and Bekah didn't get the proper rap lines, and Jung-ah's vocals were misutilized (her vocals really aren't suited for this girly high toned singing), and yes UEE needs to graduate when even Nana and Lizzy's vocals can put hers to shame. Basically I feel like Shampoo is suffering from the same issue as 4Minute's Heart to Heart, even though they're both still entertaining to watch.

    As for f(x), what can I say, these girls worked really hard to improve and they totally deserve the win last week. SM groups have proven time and time again, that no matter how poorly conceived they are in the beginning, they always find a way to figure things out and put together something very coherent. Today's vocals might have been tinkered with but yesterday's performance clearly shows they can do this song live and well. SM did a great job with the production of Danger (NU ABO had some interesting beats but honestly I think YYJ should just stick with boy band material), Kenzie seems to have a real knack for producing songs for SM's female artists and she found the right balance for f(x).

  2. YAY! I am so happy that you are back and updating, probably my favorite blog ever :D

    Yeah the f(x) (as well as Rainbow) performances were most likely overdubbed. They did the same thing to 4minute last week (that's why Hyuna sounded somewhat good consistent during her lines) as well.

    Jaekyung & Jisook (long blonde hair) are definitely two of the most consistent vocalists in Rainbow: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LG4vY8FExJE


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