Sandeul – Smile Box

Sandeul excels at many things, and with this song, he’s the Maestro of Mellow. If you can resist the urge to dance around your house/office/street singing “Bababa” then you’re a better person than I.

He’s rolling out his smoothest, sweetest, vocals here, with an absolute minimum of instrumental backing, letting that glorious voice shine.

Videos after the jump
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Still Not Dead…

Absolutely, definitely, completely not zombies. I guarantee it.

Sorry about the extended hiatus – life has gone a bit pear-shaped.

Service will be resumed as soon as we’re sure what is normal anyway (h/t Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy).

I’ll be back once I’ve dealt with some zombies.

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Onew – Nessun Dorma

Random person: K-pop singers are just pretty faces, they can’t really sing.

Onew: Nessun Dorma.

Me: And there’s plenty more where that came from, mate.

Note that this was *after* he had surgery on his vocal chords and wasn’t sure whether he’d even be able to sing again.

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TV Review – Something In The Rain

Co-posted at Heroic Cinema

TV drama – 16 episodes

This is the hair shirt and barbed wire pants of K-drama – if you can get through all 16 episodes, you’re a better person than me.

The first kazoo in the dramatic symphony comes early on, when our heroine, after being cruelly dumped by her boyfriend, says plaintively “Am I so unattractive?” I’m sorry sister, but no amount of baggy clothing can convince us that you don’t have men lined up to win your favours. Either the casting director or the scriptwriter or both needed a good talking to, and perhaps a good slap, in order to win back their lost credibility.

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B1A4 – Lonely

Most Beautiful Songwriter On The Planet demonstrates the fine art of levitation, as the boys try not to freeze their bits off while filming outdoors in a Korean winter.

If talents were apportioned fairly, Jinyoung would just be a pretty face, but alas, that’s not the case – he also wrote and produced this song. I take some comfort from the fact that his fellow members nicknamed him Halbae (Grandpa) because they thought he danced like a grandpa and because he could be quite clumsy (examples to come, gentle readers).

Videos after the jump
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Siusin And Heechul

Siusin is bored with X-Men, and is now fascinated with K-pop. Maybe it’s the faces, maybe it’s the voices. Maybe she’s just humouring me to ensure an ongoing supply of tuna. Who knows, but it does play merry hell with my viewing.

She seems to have a fondness for Heechul, particularly singing Hanryang, although he doesn’t always return the favour…

Telly, telly, on the wall,
Who’s the prettiest one of all?
Heechul, man, stop crowding me. It’s not cool.
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Ryeowook’s Hair and Shrieking At Siwon

This hair – I haz it

I now have Ryeowook’s lavender hair, and expect to acquire the matching angelic face and sublime voice imminently.

Any. Minute. Now.

At the moment, though, I’ve got a face for radio, and my vocal abilities can best be summed up thus:

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TV Review – Itaewon Class

Co-posted at Heroic Cinema

TV Series – 16 episodes

Itaewon Class –
Kim Da-mi and Park Seo-jun

I really didn’t want to love this so much. I didn’t even want to watch it. Let me explain…

It started with a song. I’d never liked Park Seo-jun, but a friend recommended the series, so I finally watched the ad. And man, that song is powerful – in about 30 seconds it had me half-convinced I wanted to start a bar and take over the world.

So I started watching. The effect is like swimming on a beach with a rip tide – it looks calm on the surface, but before you know it, you’ve been dragged into deep water and you can’t get free.

If you put the story into words, it sounds pretty trite: schoolboy stands up against rich bully and his even worse father, drama ensues, boy spends next 15 years enacting a special kind of vengeance. Yah, yah, yah, yawn. But I’m not writing the script, or acting it. And the people who did so, did it brilliantly. The series is based on a webtoon by Jo Gwang Jin, who also wrote the script (as well as the lyrics for the song Diamond in the OST).

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Gaho, Ha Hyun-woo – Itaewon Class OST

30 seconds of this song made me watch a 19 hour TV series. That’s a pretty good ROI, don’t you think?

This first song is so damn inspiring, it could make you stride out into the street to lead a revolution, much less start your own business.

Videos after the jump
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Taemin – Criminal

Taemin’s back in the bondage closet, being dark, dangerous, and ever so enticing.

In this MV Taemin becomes the poster boy for the B&D community, and possibly the S&M community as well. It does make you wonder what was going on in his life that he’s diving right into the dungeon. And since he’s going public with this much, what on earth is he keeping secret?

Once again, it’s dark, musically, lyrically, and visually. Taemin keeps returning to themes of love, lust, and obsession, appropriate for a man who’s the living incarnation of at least one of the 7 deadly sins. I’d say it’s odd for a Catholic to be so overt about all this, except that I’ve known too many Catholics to be able to say that with a straight face.

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