Welcome back to the Best of Weekly Music Shows! This week was relatively busy, with comebacks from Snuper and Varsity, plus a comeback from first-generation K-pop act Sechkies. IU has started her comeback off with a bang, taking the top spot on M!Countdown, Show! Music Core and Inkigayo. EXID, meanwhile, won on Show Champion,and The Show, plus, I’d like to offer a special congratulations to Laboum for their first win on Music Bank! Without further ado, my favorite stages of the week.
“The Man Bothers The Woman”, Seol Ha-yoon, The Show, SBS MTV, April 25, 2017
Former I See Your Voice contestant Seol Ha-yoon debuted as a trot singer last year, but this is the first time she really caught my ear. “The Man Bothers The Woman” is, at it’s core, still a traditional trot song, but it’s blended with influences from a Spanish tango of all things. While this seems weird, the two styles blend very well, crafting a wholly unique sound. The Spanish guitar adds warmer tones to the song that lift and compliment Ha-yoon’s voice, and the staccato riffs add a subtle sensuality.
“Pick Me” , Produce 101 Level A, M!Countdown, Mnet, April 27
Oh, lord. I don’t even know where to start on this. Once again, the contestants of “Produce 101” have appeared on M!Countdown, and all you can do is stare at the trainwreck. Those god-awful gym outfits are the most obvious sin, but it’s the first among equals. There’s angsty tropical house, the choreography trying to bring the running man back, and the build-up to last years iconic drop right at the end– but the drop never comes and you feel cheated. And yet, I’d still say it’s better than the original “Pick Me”.
“Love Is?‘, Teen Top, Show! Music Core, MBC, April 29, 2017
It appears Teen Top will have no problems going forward, despite the loss of L.joe. “Love Is?” is a fantastically moody piece that suits their vocals quite well. But let’s be real, they’re here for the choreography. Everything is quick, small, and precise, which means any mistakes become immediately noticeable. However, there are no mistakes. There is only footwork so fluid and so in sync, it’s almost hypnotizing. Even with the jumps, everyone remains on beat, which is no mean feat. This is slick, smooth, and more than a little magnificent.
“Hwi Hwi”, Laboum, Simply K-pop, Arirang, April 28, 2017
There are three certainties in life: death, taxes, and a good bassline making a song. Case in point: Laboum. “Hwi Hwi” is a fun little number, but the truly great thing about it is that killer usage of bass. It’s provides a solid foundation for the synths and lighter vocals, while being sticky and powerful in it’s own right. The bass gives “Hwi Hwi” some much-needed “oomph” and propelled to their first music show win. It is what pushes “Hwi Hwi” from ‘cute but forgettable” to “infectious pop song”. That, and the outfits, which are so darn cute!
“Really Really”, Winner, Inkigayo, SBS, April 30, 2017
There is nothing like good house to remind me of why I hate bad house, and “Really Really” is some good tropical house. It’s captured the laid-back feeling of the genre, but doesn’t play to the typical minimalism. It is the sound of a house party after two hours and three drinks, when everyone is just chilled out and happy to be there. The aesthetics of this stage only enhance that feeling. The loosened ties and unbuttoned jackets really pick up the casually, sexy tone of the song, as do the backup dancers. I normally find the consummate professionalism of Korean back-up dancers to be endearing and hilarious, but here, it wouldn’t fit. Instead, they’re just as flirty as the boys, equally into the scene and the boys.
Any performances you think I missed? Link them in the comments!