20130817_seoulbeats_sori2With K-pop becoming increasingly saturated with a case of “More of the same, only better/worse”, it seems to take increasingly interesting antics to get noticed. Of late, we have seen Crayon Pop gone viral with a song that featured a dance not unlike that of playing with an imaginary bar.

And now, we have soloist Kim Sori with a new single, titled “Bikini”. The release is rather seasonal by nature, since most people would really only associate beach wear with the summer.

At first glance, this video might not be too big a deal. After all, pop is no stranger to bikinis being used to represent summer fun, judging from the beach party singles released annually, and even K-pop has gotten in on the action. Witness the latest T-ara summer release as a good example.

However, where Sori’s release differs from the rest is how she has chosen to be the one in the bikini for her music video. While some might grumble about “how much things have changed”, I am all for progressive attitude changes in K-pop. Besides, as the old adage goes, if you have it, you should be flaunting it.

In a previous review, I called Sori a decent performer in search of a better song/true niche. So in this case, the niche is definitely there, but what about the song?

While the song does have the hard-edged and dance-friendly sound we have all come to expect from a throwaway summer single, 20130817_seoulbeats_sori1there really is not too much else that seems to stand out about the song. At the end of the day, the whole thing sounds like some breathy singing layered atop a layer of electronic drones and synth beats. That and a cringe/laugh-worthy (depending on your point of view) appropriation of this Brian Hyland single.

If not much could be said about the song, then a fair bit more could be said about the music video. Basically, its just Sori and two other models looking very sexy in bikinis, as they frolic on a boat, and enjoy riding a jet ski at the sea side. The bulk of the time though is largely Sori dancing freestyle, apparently to the music, and some headbanging on the beach. After all, when the main draw is the bikini, who really needs choreography?

Thing is, while there is a fair amount of skin shown, the whole thing does not particularly come across as fun, if because the scenes repeat themselves after the first minute (not that the song is particularly long), and the backgrounds seem to have a dull tint 20130817_seoulbeats_soriwatercraftto them, showing that the music video was possibly shot on a small budget.

What if you were planning to watch it as a “primer to female two piece swimsuit fashion”? Um, maybe not. I did not find the bikinis particularly appealing, either in terms of design or colour scheme, especially compared to what’s usually seen in a Japanese Pop music video.

Then how about as an exercise in showing sexiness? While the music video has been rated 19, most of the displays of sexy come across as clichéd and blatant, as if the whole thing was geared toward hitting that rating without breaching broadcast guidelines.

The only way this music video could really work, is as a guilty pleasure of sorts, if you really enjoy gratuitous displays of skin, plus an awkward shot or two.

To sum it up, while I applaud a genuinely unique concept, as well as trying to change people’s perceptions of bikinis in Korean pop music videos, the song and video both came across as rather uninspired, resulting in a score of 2.0/5.

And as for Sori, I would probably end the review the same way I ended the last one – a decent performer in search of a genuinely good concept.

(JS Prime Entertainment, YouTube [1])