20160229_seoulbeats_tts_taeyeonWelcome back to another edition of Comments of the Week, where we showcase the best comments from the past week. Or, in this case, the past two weeks. A lot has happened during this timeframe, so let’s start with a brief recap of everything that was published on Seoulbeats.

In music, the music videos from AOA‘s Jimin and EXO‘s Xiumin‘s “Call You Bae,” Mamamoo‘s “You’re the Best,” Cosmic Girl‘s “Would You Like?,” ASTRO‘s “Spring Up,” Ladies Code‘s “Galaxy,” Taemin‘s “Press Your Number,” Brave Girls “Deepened,” Nu’est‘s “Overcame” were reviewed. In albums, B.A.P‘s Carnival, Nu’est’s Q, and Taemin’s Press It were reviewed.

Meanwhile, in tv-land, there were reviews of episodes 1-2 of Descendants of the Sun, episodes 1-3 and 4-6 of Neighborhood Hero, episodes 9-12 of Signal, episode 1-8 and 9-12 of One More Happy Ending, episodes 1-4 of Madam Antoine, episodes 9-10 of Moorim School, and episodes 9-12 and 13-14 of Cheese in the Trap. And in the world of variety, episodes 1-4 of Celebrity Bromance were reviewed.

Madi also went to the EXO’luXion concert and shared her experience with us.

20160226_seoulbeats_luciaWe also covered Twice‘s Nayeon‘s Soundcloud incident and talked about the role of the digital market in K-pop, a counterpoint on airport fashion, the ugliness of Infinity Challenge‘s Ugly Friend Festival, the modern spin on Mamamoo’s retro concept, the evolution of the diss song, K-pop and doppelgängers, and the deal with sponsorships.

Finally, in regular Seoulbeats Segments, For Your Viewing Pleasure concentrated on picture perfect parties and bold background colors, The Sunday Social coincided with the Oscars, K-pop Indie Gem on Lucia, an SB Mixtape on overlooked title tracks, and there was the Best of Weekly Music Shows for the weeks of 2/15 and 2/28.

And now, onto the comments!

severely on Ladies Code Charm Their Way Back Into the “Galaxy”

Ladies’ Code was in such a hard place with this… Just a lot of little things where other groups with turmoil would have had options, and they really don’t.

With other groups, members who leave can be replaced, and while you might be annoyed, most of the time, the new member(s) will eventually be accepted (ex: FTI, UKISS). I don’t think there’s any way in hell Ladies’ Code could come back as anything other than a trio. Paying homage to Rise and EunB in the video: sweet. Replacing their deceased coworkers: unacceptable.

Or coming back with a dance/pop/upbeat song. I know a lot of people were super nervous they’d come back with something frivolous.

And then you add on that people who aren’t even their fans have been given a reason to watch out for and judge their every move… I think a lot of other companies might have, very reasonably, opted to disband entirely, rather than risking making a misstep in a field with so many hidden landmines. But I think Ladies’ Code had it working for them that they are legitimately talented, they were a rising girl group on their own terms, and they weren’t known for being scandalous or inappropriate. That they came back with an appropriately subdued song, MV, and styling as a trio was a win unto itself… that they came back and all of it’s good so you can support without people saying they’re just garnering pity… just exceptional of them, really.

Lucids on Mamamoo’s Jazzy Return in “You’re the Best”

I think they are an empowering group that give off a message of girl power and feminism, even if it does come in a somewhat subdued format at times. I time I would love to see them becoming posterchildren for girl power and that being curvy can be just as sexy as being skinny (I’m looking at you Hwasa).

As to their “style” I am really digging the throwback music they put out. They have had consistently great track from the beginning, and I do like they experiment with different genres and that they do not become to locked into the jazzy music they have produced so far. An artist without experimentation is usually somewhat dull, so I get what they are doing.

20160227_seoulbeats_taemin_press_itnamita sankar on Taemin Pushes All the Right Buttons in “Press Your Number”

I really like the direction SHINee is going at the moment. Since their releases last year, I have been noticing that SM is giving them more freedom with their music and I am loving that. Even with this song, it’s so completely Taemin-ish but with a little something that reminds me of something SHINee too, and that’s a theme which has been maintained throughout the album.

The MV does seem like it’s pretty complex, but as I see it, it’s a bit narcissistic. Taemin sings about someone he can’t have even though he wants it, in the MV that someone is Taemin himself. There is a good Tae and a Bad Tae. The good one is shown to be a girl, all pure and innocent, while the bad one is a total bad-ass. He tries to tie up his good self, but then finds himself lost when he does that. The blue rose signifies royalty and also something that cannot be attained. Which explains why they were in that beautiful palace from the MV and the switches between the two Taemin’s. Throughout the MV you can see he looks sort of troubled with himself. In the end he burns the car, which is what he sees as the source of his trouble, since it’s been there since the beginning and he’s often tied up in it.

RinB on Sponsorships: Just Another Word for Prostitution?

I find nothing wrong with sponsorship if it is between two consenting adults. If a man or woman is willing to trade sex for career advancement or other favors, that is their business, not mine. What I do have a problem with is the fact that it has become so institutionalized in the Korean entertainment industry that it is not only expected but also forced upon unwilling participants. These sponsors have enough power, political clout, and people willing to engage in sponsorship, that it’s heartbreaking to see that power being used to make it the only way. If someone wants to use sex to get to the top, and if someone else will “help” them in exchange, then so be it. But don’t punish and blacklist the people who don’t want to participate and want to make it on their own. Keep it between willing, consensual, adult participants, and let it end there too.

And that was it for these weeks! Thanks for reading and commenting!