Welcome back to the Best of Weekly Music Shows! There was a slowing in the onslaught of new acts, though we did see the debut of new boy band KNK and the comeback of Lee Jung-hee. In terms of the winners, Taemin nearly made a clean sweep with victories on Show Champion, The Show, M!Countdown, and Music Bank, but Mamamoo gained their first music show win on Inkigayo. These are some of my favorites of the week, though it was not an easy selection.[youtube www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7WATL304HA]
4Ten’s “Severely,” MBC Show Champion, March 2, 2016
4Ten is one of those groups that is constantly forgotten, which is a real tragedy as these girls got game. “Severely” is, genre-ly speaking, an 80s hard rock song disguised as pop music. Those synths, that guitar, and the way it resonates with power would easily fit between “Barracuda” and “Heartbreaker” — the Pat Benatar one — on a playlist. More impressively, the instrumentals are overpowered by the vocals of 4Ten, drawing on the emotional delivery and serious belting abilities of each member.[youtube www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EeEJb-n4o0]
Mamamoo’s “You’re The Best,” SBS MTV The Show, March 1, 2016
This performance of “You’re The Best” may have finally nailed down what makes Mamamoo so irresistible to for the Best of Weekly Music Show writers. Many groups are either talented technicians or talented performers, using skills in one to cover for weaknesses in the other. Mamamoo are both. They have killer vocal technique, sliding up and down the treble clef with no apparent effort, something only made more impressive when coupled with their energy and sass on-stage. There is nothing these girls can’t do without making it look easy. The French hipster styling was just the cherry on top.[youtube www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnd8ymkD_n0]
B.A.P‘s “Feel So Good,” Mnet M!Countdown, March 3, 2016
“Feel So Good” isn’t the first bright, poppy song that B.A.P’s released, but it is the first I’ve liked. It hits the sweet spot of being mellow and laid-back without fading into the background or becoming overly sugary. It is the perfect low-key song for driving, enjoying spring, or just feeling good. This stage stuck out from the rest by abandoning the crazy sets in favor of just letting B.A.P sing, mirroring the chill vibe of “Feel So Good” with a stage as mellow as the song.[youtube www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZ5bZ4Xxoi8]
Nu’est‘s “Overcome,” KBS Music Bank, March 4, 2016
“Overcome” is probably the best track that Nu’est has released, but it is without question the smoothest. The R&B influences are a huge help in that department, but it’s really Nu’est’s vocal abilities that elevate it from a guy trying to protect a girl into a musical pick-up line in the best way possible. The choreography is equally smooth, full of pops that meld into the next moves and some very classy body rolls. To describe this performance of “Overcome” with one word: silken.[youtube www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVfDK29kMmQ]
Taemin’s “Press You Number,” MBC Show! Music Core, March 5, 2016
Taemin has long been my favorite dancer in all of K-pop, and “Press Your Number” is here based primarily on his dance performance. That’s not to say his vocals are bad; they’re sweet with a bit of bite and filled with longing. But his dancing is on a whole ‘nother level. The choreography is much more liquid than Taemin usually does, flowing from one move to another, never really stopping. Yet even then, Taemin still refines his signature crisp style, squarely hitting every move for a fraction of a second with a precision that most dancers can only dream of.
Those are my favorite performances of the week. Any you think I missed? Leave them in the comments!