After Jean introduced us to Heart2Heart a little while ago, an “American group with obvious Kpop influences,” we finally get to see these boys in action and what exactly Kpop looks like in an American context.
God bless you, Heart2Heart, God bless you.
“Facebook Official” is simple, but catchy in traditional pop fashion. The song is introduced with an orchestral phrase that climaxes into a steady set of synthesized, electric, bubbly sounds accented by a constant base. While it is not the most innovative track on the planet, it contains pleasant sounds that are well mastered and engineered together. But then there are those lyrics. While a song chronicling a romance in the era of Facebook is a clever idea, this track spams this frame of reference so much that it can be nothing but a LOLathon. I mean am I supposed to be turned on by lyrics like “Checking your page and your butt” to “I like your status, two thumbs up” seriously?
With the exception of the flip and the opening move of the chorus, the dance is simple. While I might have been able to let that one go, the fact that the dance is executed with such dramatics exacerbates the simplicity and dumps it in loads upon loads of cheese. And no other moment during the MV exemplifies this more than that “dance break”. Chad comes in with an announcement that precedes a cohesive airplane position with arms moving in a couple of directions and angles. What a dance break, fellas, what a dance break.
As individuals and as a group, again, while you guys have some potential, I’m not sold. Chad Future: Dude, you totally creep me out. Your opening monologue just reminds me of an old man soliciting little children from a playground. While your talents and skills get the job done, your charisma is so painfully forced that I just can’t watch. You’re trying to seduce me, Chad, but it’s not working. It’s like really, really not working. Pretty Boi Pete: You’re hot. Like really, really hot. The moment where you were standing in nothing but a vest made the total music video worth watching. Beyond that though, you’re not offering much to this group. You can’t dance and you can’t sing. But you can father my chidren. That’s okay. Brayden: You’re cute too but I’m just not getting why you’re here. While your “baby” note may show some potential in the vocal area, I have no hope for your dancing after seeing your awful attempt to dougie. They should stick you in the back with Pete. Nico: While you may be the youngest, you have the most potential out of your fellow band mates. You sing throughout the track and in perfect frankness, you’re not bad. You could improve in stamina, tone, and diction, but besides that, I see a lot of shining potential in you. And let’s be honest, that flip was pretty damn impressive. Excellent job, my friend. KX: Just like with Nico, I see potential. And while you are responsible for that sham of choreography, you make it look good. And your singing is pretty decent. But I think something else that gives you an edge is your charisma. You know how to flirt with the camera and you have an interesting look. Now go give Chad some lessons.
While I admit that I’m being pretty harsh, the Korean pop fandom is being harsher. They go above and beyond humorous criticism, attacking everything from their race, to their sexuality, to their humanity and all because these boys cited Korean Pop as an influence on their music, concept, and style.
Firstly, you have to admit that the set up is very similar. The group consists of five members, each with their specific role within the group. And they are highly stylized, with eyeliner, dye jobs, and coordinated outfits. They’re also employing typical pop conventions via music and video. They are dancing against two backdrops with individual shots cross-cut in between along with some shots of girls dancing. The Korean Pop schema is not that different.
But that’s not the problem, now is it? It’s the execution. After all, how could anyone stand this superficial, quick, and easy entertainment that features guys who can’t sing and can’t dance?
Hey, doesn’t this sound familiar?
Ladies and gentlemen, get ready for a wake up call because while most of our claims are valid, everything negative comment we have to say about Heart2Heart could easily also be said about most of Kpop. And just because it’s not your favorite oppa or noona on that screen, does not make it any better because I would bet my life that if your average Kpop group performed this song with the same execution, a thousand fans would praise it away.
If anything, seeing Kpop in an American context is eye opening because let’s be honest, are we really following Kpop for it’s talent, it’s quality, and it’s deeper meaning? No, we’re not. We’re following Kpop because it’s entertaining. Because we see good looking people singing and dancing to catchy songs. We don’t take it too seriously and we appreciate it for it’s fun, catchy, and easy entertainment. While I will admit that Heart2Heart and “Facebook Official” are pretty damn awful, I will also admit that they’re very catchy and eye-catching and they’re very similar to Kpop. If you’re going to give Kpop the time of day, you might as well extend the same courtesy to these folks.
You might as well as put this on replay with “Alive,” “Lucifer” (Japanese Version), and “A-Cha.”