K-pop essentials for Tokyoites and the international market
Michel Lebon and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
Korean Pop (K-pop) is growing in international esteem but for new people who are following this music scene then Modern Tokyo Times created an essential mix. Of course k-pop fans will either support or disagree with the reasons given but this is the nature of music. However, one thing that everyone will agree with who adores K-pop, is that this music scene is in the news and big time.
The order given does not denote preference because each song selected is deemed to be “essential” for newcomers to K-pop because lovers of this music scene will already have deep knowledge. However, the first track selected isn’t released until December 7 and this adds more spice.
Therefore, the first essential buy applies to BoA who is well known in Japan and her new track released on December 7 called “Milestone” is a classic track which plays to the strengths of this elegant lady. “Milestone” hits the heart because you can feel the passion of BoA and the lovely melody and exquisite voice works fantastically.
BoA hits every height with this track and shows the richness of such a talented lady and her avid followers are rewarded by this lovely tune. A must buy for people who want to feel the passion of K-pop and listen to a lady with a rich history.
The next essential tune is “Step” by Kara and clearly this group is loved in Tokyo and throughout Japan. How could you keep Kara out of any essential mix? Simply put, when you listen to Kara you can feel their international dimension. Kara, therefore, is a must for all individuals who want to feel the real vibrancy of K-pop.
Girls’ Generation consist of nine exquisite and elegant members and Taeyeon, Tiffany, Yuri, Jessica, Hyoyeon, Sunny, Sooyoung, Seohyun and Yoona, are highly loved in Japan just like Kara. The track called “Mr. Taxi” sums up the catchy and sultry nature of this K-pop group because they have style in abundance and this track is a must for all K-pop lovers in Japan.
Another essential buy is “Shanghai Romance” by Orange Caramel (a sub unit from After School) because Raina (Oh Hye Rin), Nana (Im Jin Ah) and Lizzy (Park Soo Young) look so stylish and natural together. They have a lovely sex appeal which is natural and charming and each individual plays to their strengths.
“Shanghai Romance” is a catchy tune and the singing, dancing, and image is truly wholesome. After School and Orange Caramel clearly have a bright future and the three stunning ladies who represent Orange Caramel have their own unique vibe and sound and highlight the diversity of K-pop.
The next essential tune is “Like The First Time” by T-ara because the adorable 7 girl group members are working their special charms in Japan. In truth, T-ara have played it gently on entering the Japanese market and older tracks highlight a different vibe and in time they will cross over their earlier work and create a new formula.
T-ara have evolved from five members to seven and these ravishing ladies will continue to win new hearts throughout South Korea, Japan, and internationally. They are certainly adding to the “Korean Cool” image.
Another essential tune is “I Remember” by Bang Yong Guk which is extremely powerful and appeals internationally. The video was over dramatic near the end but the track was fantastic and many new paths should open for Bang Yong Guk.
Future tracks by Bang Yong Guk will find it hard to surpass “I Remember” because it is that good. However, in saying this, his high octane nature and spirit may build on such a powerful tune. It will be interesting to see how he develops because all the signs look promising.
“Top Girl” by G.na is another essential buy because while the lyrics are so-so this extremely talented lady still pulls it out of the fire and creates a lovely track. This in itself shows the elegance and style of G.na because her individualistic style hits a positive nerve.
G.na appeals internationally because of her style, lovely image, interactive nature of her performance and other fine qualities. Therefore, “Top Girl” is a great tune which highlights the fine qualities of this exquisite lady.
The next group is Chocolat who have a bright future and “Syndrome” was selected because these beautiful ladies have a highly promising career and would work a treat in Japan. Therefore, this track was highlighted with an eye on the future and surely this group will grow and prosper.
“So Cool” by Sistar is another catchy tune to listen to but the video was a little negative and didn’t highlight their strengths. Despite this, these stunning ladies have a real buzz about them and clearly they work well together and Sistar have talent in abundance.
A Pink is a new group which is just reaching out but they have many fine qualities and their track “Wishlist” highlighted their individualistic talents. In truth, both writers of K-pop at Modern Tokyo Times are expecting a lot from A Pink because they have “elegance, poise, refinement and the glories of youth.”
Finally, but not least, is the lovely and delightful Kan Mi Youn whom both writers have a mega soft-spot. Kan Mi Youn never lets you down and if you are new to K-pop then you are spoilt for choice because all her latest tracks have been fantastic.
“Paparazzi” is a lovely track and Kan Mi Youn is one of the classiest K-pop singers and like BoA both soloists are pure class. Therefore, “Paparazzi” is a must buy because Kan Mi Youn is an amazing singer and she is so talented.
The records selected were not based on order but seemed like a natural order and A Pink and Kan Mi Youn were chosen near the end for obvious reasons. Kan Mi Youn was selected like BoA to start because both ladies have hit the heights many times in the past and will continue to do so. Meanwhile, A Pink is just starting on their path and show great prospects.
Overall, if you are new to K-pop then check the many great South Korean websites online for latest news. After all, the vibes coming from South Korea are reaching out to new people every day.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9J6zsvcvhaU BoA – “Milestone”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOcCNpdkjG4 Kan Mi Youn – “Paparazzi
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhseD2tRLUY Girls’ Generation – Mr. Taxi
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxxoq7uqnbU Orange Caramel – “Shanghai Romance”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bPhbYl7rV0 T-ara – “Like The First Time”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHrx5dWxcJ4 Bang Yong Guk – I Remember
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nli8waw_5vY G.na – “Top Girl”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUVbf_aqU5k&ob=av2n Sistar – “So Cool”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYoYoBtLqOY&ob=av2n Kara – “Step”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bD3LzPp6KDs A Pink – “Wishlist”