[April 13, 2012] KBS Music Bank Highlights + Commentary

Why hello there! (^_^) Music show recaps are now in full-swing after re-starting with Inkigayo last Sunday, and today's show was full of comebacks! If you haven't already, acquaint yourself with new offerings from EXO-K, 4Minute and SISTAR before we go on to the show itself.

Today's show was actually pretty good, and I was pleasantly surprised to hear very few extremely painful moments. However, we weren't completely free of them.

Video credit goes to shu35151224@YouTube.

EXO-K - "History" + "MAMA"
YES! They finally sing live! However, like everything else SME does, it's once again a huge disappointment. I thought you guys could sing? You're even worse than DBSK when everyone but Yoochun sounded painful. When they hit the chorus of History, I literally started laughing. What is this? A screaming contest? What are you, a bunch of starving 3 year-olds during lunch time? I admire you all for singing at the choruses, but that was just painful. That high note at the beginning of the second chorus is MAMA was painful beyond words. Whoever did that should be sent back to SME bootcamp. It was even more painful than Changmin's wail during their performance of Mideoyo back in 2004, because at least that had some semblance of a note. The problem is that by themselves they're not exactly brilliant live performers, so when you put them together, it's not enough that you put six new vocals together, they also have little group dynamic, and they don't have a concept of just standing back and letting someone else bask in the spotlight. They have to learn that they're now in a group with five other guys -- they can't go prancing around like the "star trainees" they used to be, because the most important thing now is not standing alone, but helping other guys stand. It's like a human pyramid, if the guys below are shaky, everything else becomes a total disaster.

If there's something Pledis has done right, it's giving NU'EST this song. From the performances you can tell that they're not the world's best singers, and if they sang something from more vocally capable bands they'd probably sound like dying chickens too (I'm looking at you BTOB), but they got the right song for their vocals, so they actually sound pretty good. A few slips here and there, but over-all they've gotten to a point where they can all pull this song off well. I'm keeping my eyes on you, NU'EST.

Spica - "Painkiller"
I should really get to listening to their album. After the show, I will. That said, it's another strong performance today, but I think I know why that's all I ever say about them. The song itself is not really made for performance, even if it's an okay song when you think about it. Therefore, although they do a really confident and consistent job at pulling it off, and they themselves have wow factors of their own, the song is pretty flat when performed in front of a live audience, and goes right through us.

B1A4, you're slowly inching back into my good books. Today's performance was strong, and even if I was in the middle of writing my EXO comment when they came on, I stopped to watch and I definitely wasn't disappointed. The vocals were consistently strong, and they're beginning to show that attitude of holding the audience in their hands. Good job, B1A4, good job.

Nine Muses - "Ticket"
Everyone sounds pretty okay today, surprise surprise, and it's a solid performance over-all, they have presence and all that, but that's all this will every be -- just okay at best. And that's what bores me, because it's the same thing every week and they're not good enough to draw us in every single time.

Seo In Guk - "Tease Me"
I usually only recap idols, but I was really drawn in with Seo In Guk's performance today. I was aware that he does have a voice, but this song reminds me so much of the Hwanhee songs I adore. It has groove, and despite not hearing the recording before today's show, it drew me in amidst writing comments for Spica -- I had to stop and watch. Well-sung, well-performed, amazing song.

SISTAR - "Lead Me" + "Alone"
I, once, again, predicted the accompanying song. What can I say, it's a talent. Will this get me hired as an A&R person now? (;D) Lead Me was done pretty well, and I liked the cute set design, plus, it's a good thing they didn't make tutu girl (who I see is still wearing frilly skirts) sing live, because that would ruin everything. Let her hide behind her backing track, that would be less painful, thank you. Now, Alone. I love the set, but hate the outfits and the choreography. And, why, may I ask, are you girls lip-synching? You can try hiding it, but you're forgetting that I have ears. Someone turn on their mics or face death! NOW!

CN Blue - "Hey You"
Aaaaand they pushed the drummer back again. Just when we were beginning to get along about this matter, Korea! I'm disappointed. And also, while you're at it, please plug in their instruments. Thanks!

4Minute - "Dream Racer" + "Volume Up"
Guess who predicted their second song? Me! It's a performance song, and even if the verses are kind of meh, I genuinely like the melody of the chorus. Volume Up was how I expected it to be, and while Hyun A sounded whiny and the leader's voice was non-existent, the magnae did a pretty decent job, Gayoon was consistent as always, and Jiyoon hit those notes pretty well considering that they're pretty high to be doing more than one or two times. Not bad at all, 4Minute.

Shinhwa - "Venus"
Now I'm sure we've pretty much acknowledged that Shinhwa are not exactly the most amazing live vocalists, but what they do in spite of that fact is what makes them such amazing performers. No one's perfect, and there were slips with the vocals today, but as a whole it was really a show. And note, they're using the standard-issue KBS handsfree mics that everyone but DBSK seems to sound horrible with. The stage presence they have, the fact that when they all sing together they sound like a whole (take notes, EXO), and how they confidently carry their not really amazing live vocals -- that's what makes the performance a pleasure to watch.

SHINee - "Sherlock"(WINNER)
It's good to know that after last Sunday's meh performance, SHINee haven't entirely lost it. Everyone was much better today, and the intensity of their presence is back with a vengeance. Always a good thing, SHINee, always a good thing.


  1. Exo's MAMA debut has rather been a big disappointment- from the lipsyncing to the poor live vocal. SM should stop getting people hype up then disappoint them. My ears hurt while listening to History so I'm just going to ignore MAMA.
    Love Spica, but Painkiller isn't my cup of tea. You should listen to Russian Silhouette and Potently.
    I love "Face" though the rapping is out of place.

  2. nu'est's face so addictive.

  3. ha ha ha, so agree 100% with exo's review. i'm disappointed with exo. i remember how i felt when fx debuted, has so much expectations then well, only 1 or 2 can sing (the backtrack they use has recorded voices).

    with shinhwa, not the best live vocals but amazing performaers.

    from Shinhwa to Dbsk5, i added BEG, then The Boss, and latest Spica.

    glad you're back recapping music shows. i missed it so much. thank you.

  4. Exo's 'History' was definitely disappointing. 'MAMA' wasn't that bad, in my opinion.

    But yes, they need to harmonize their sound with the others. It's all over the place.

  5. I've never liked Hi Ya Ya so I'm not even going to watch that vid haha XD I applaud EXO for at least singing the whole chorus but each of them didn't have to do it at the same time. And all of them lacked confidence and stage presence. I mean Zelo of B.A.P has more of that than all of EXO-K combined. At the least they should have enjoyed the stage but only Suho seemed to do that. Oh well, I hope they improve more on their next perfs.

  6. When that chorus hit in History I stopped listening. It was painful.

  7. Oh give Sistar a break. Hyorin had influenza and food poisoning for pete's sake.

  8. Oh geez. The chorus for History was bad. And then MAMA starts and it's just messy, especially those high notes. I actually like both of the songs, but the performances are...terrible. Aside from the vocals, they just seem so lifeless.

    I definitely agree about NU'EST; they sound so much better now than they did a few weeks ago. Plus FACE is probably my favorite debut song so far this year. (Mostly because Warrior, although awesome, is not so much my style.)

    Dream Racer is my (current) favorite song from the mini (then again, the only other song really worth listening to is Volume Up), so I'm glad that they'll perform it at least a few times. And...was Hyuna even singing/moving her lips at the beginning/at all during Volume Up?



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