Welcome back to Best of Weekly Music Shows! Of the regular weekly shows, Music Bank, Show! Music Core and Inkigayo were cancelled due to the Lunar New Year holiday. Kevin Oh held his debut stage on M! Countdown and Seohyun also won first place on M! Countdown.
Without further ado, here are the performances that stood out to me this week.
Dreamcatcher’s “Chase Me,” Mnet M! Countdown, January 26, 2017
Dreamcatcher is such a smart revamp. Minx’s re-debut adds two members and some dynamic choreography. They also use an incredibly upbeat J-rock influenced sound that stands out from the current K-pop soundscape. If they continue to pair quality music with stunning concepts, Dreamcatcher is primed to have a larger following in the future.
CLC’s “Hobgoblin,” Arirang Simply K-pop, January 27, 2017
I would be remiss not to include CLC in this week’s picks. Their complete change in image seems in part a response to the market and also positions them in a bolder yet quieter quarter of female group concepts. The group seems primed to own this image as many of the senior groups who have this bolder image have disbanded. While CLC seemed a bit tentative in their earlier “Hobgoblin” stages, these recent ones have shown a confident charisma in the members. This isn’t just about growth but also about finding their own place in the industry and “Hobgoblin” makes some loud noise that hopefully won’t go unnoticed for the group.
Kang Si-ra’s “Don’t Wanna Forget,” Arirang Simply K-pop, January 27, 2017
A previous Produce 101 contestant, Kang Si-ra was definitely someone who stood out for her vocal quality. While the editing gave other contestants more air time, Kang Si-ra deserves to be lauded for her voice. In “Don’t Wanna Forget,” she shows off her expressive range. Her vocals are quite florid and sonorous, and any singer who can make a standard ballad compelling and powerful gets major kudos from me.
NCT 127’s “Limitless,” Mnet M! Countdown, January 26, 2017
NCT 127 are a group that I’ve slowly warmed up to. At first the SM boy group seemed like a high-brow project that was more confounding than well-executed. However, my plebian brain has finally got most of it figured out. Like any great SM group, the foundation is solid, and there is a wealth of interesting content waiting for the unassuming consumer to devour. Along with their other units who have debuted so far, NCT U and NCT Dream, NCT 127 seem to be making a lot of efforts to build brand equity. Their songs are catchy, their members seem to all have various talents and charms, and their stages are powerful. While they haven’t had the breakout hit to elevate them to the top tier, they already seem ready to bubble to the top. If their company’s worldly ambitions are executed well, they are poised to be a global phenomenon.
Luna [f(x)] and Park Jin-young’s cover of Insooni’s “Father,” Immortal Song 2, January 28, 2017
Not to be mistaken with a rival company’s whispering CEO, Park Jin-young is the twin sister to f(x)’s Luna. Jin-young is an opera performer and her deeper, resonating voice was more than complementary to Luna’s lighter sounding timbre. It was a special performance that was dedicated to their father, and the talent level running through their family’s blood is mind-boggling. These two definitely share a connection on stage, and their vocal prowess allowed for the orchestration of sound which transcends the emotional premise of the performance to become something that feels timeless.