It was the double whammy comeback that had fans bustling, “Wonderbang, Wonderbang!” The last time these two mega kpop groups took the stage to reduce fans to a puddle of tears and fan feels was back in ’08. Today, however, the groups dropped the MVs to their comeback tracks and has fans worldwide all riled up and ready for their returns!
I think I stand alone today when I say that neither group really had me antsy and itching for their respective MVs to drop. And long after the releases, I’m willing to bet I’m still the lone representative in the minority that’s saying “Whatever.” Oh well.
So first off, here’s the Wonder Girls‘ comeback MV for their return single “Like This.”
Within the first five seconds of listening to the track, I was wondering “Where’s that signature ‘JYP‘ whisper?” But in all seriousness, the track itself is very infectious, with a catchy hook and a beat that takes on something a bit more hip hop meets crunk jam. It’s very fun and perfect for the summer laid-back kind of feel. Well, if your definition of ‘laid-back’ happens to be breaking it down in the middle of a public shopping venue.
Nothing particularly vocally demanding about the song, and the arrangement tends to keep a monotonous sort of tone (and yet, still manages to be freakin’ catchy. Blows my mind). At first listen, I immediately thought of JYP’s new duo group JJ and their debut single Bounce. There are a lot of familiar elements in both songs, which doesn’t surprise me. The most exciting part is the chorus, which happens to get me screaming “dagachi Stop ja heundeureobwah” in broken Korean every damn time.
The MV was fun and cute. No weird outfits (sans member Hye Lim‘s blue hair, but she manages to rock it), no quirky plot lines, just straight up crunk. The whole MV basically consists of the girls breaking it down and that somehow escalates into a venue-wide flashmob sort of scene, with even the ahjummas getting down with their bad selves. It’s simple, and it’s fun enough to match the feel of the song, but aside from that, not much else to see here, folks.
And then we’ve got the other half the dynamic comeback duo groups: Big Bang. Check out their MV for their comeback track “Monster.”
The song starts off with a simply haunting piano melody, accented with a lovely string arrangement, eventually working its way to familiar dance beats and hooks left and right once you hit the chorus. As far as Big Bang songs go, I’m surprised I didn’t love it from the get-go, especially with that piano/strings combo at the beginning. I thought that would for sure suck me in. However, it’s not the best I’ve heard, and the boys are capable of producing better hits. I’ll sit back and wait until the next one, boys. Monster for the most part remains uninspiring.
As for the MV, the intro sequence had me feeling like I was playing some sort of 1st person shooter or Resident Evil or something. Even I have to admit I was impressed with that bit. But the wonderful first impressions died down once I saw the outfits and hair. Call me shallow, but my god could they look any more ridiculous? I’m as much of a fan of Big Bang as everyone else out there, but you can’t honestly tell me that you approve of Seungri’s Frankenstein haircut (which for some reason never bothered me before as much as it did with Monster), TOP‘s odd women’s sun hat, Taeyang‘s I-don’t-even-know-what-the-fuck-that-is on his head, and G-Dragon‘s everything. If that makes me a hater, fine, but at least I’m not fake-squealing over “my oppas” looking “hot” when they obviously could do a little better. Haters gon’ hate.
So in conclusion? I’m pretty lukewarm when it comes to both (though, taking a look at that Monster MV again might make me like the boys a little less…), but still excited to see both groups take the stage in ways only they know how. I haven’t taken the time to purchase and listen to either group’s other new tracks, and I don’t think I will anytime soon. However, as seemingly negative as this review is (you should know by now to expect nothing less than honest from me), I am very stoked to see their live comeback performances. I’ve always felt that in order to appreciate either group, you had to watch their live stages. They both know how to work it and they both definitely know how to get you riled up, no matter how little you actually care. Using myself as an example, I hated the bloody crap out of Fantastic Baby, but then I saw the live stages and BAM, I ate my words for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
As always, be sure to purchase and support your artists via iTunes or other certified music retailers. And to continue on my spree of negative energy, rather than mashing these two kpop heavyweights together to form a Wonderbang fiasco again, I’ll leave you with one final question: Will the Wonder Girls crunk their way to the top with their infectious summer beats, or will Big Bang prove to be too much of a juggernaut Monster and knock the girls out of the competition? We’ll just have to wait and see.
It seems as though the new tracks on Big Bang’s new album are just Korean remakes of EGO and FEELING, a full version of Still Alive, and two new tracks Monster and Bingeul Bingeul. I quite liked what little I heard of Still Alive, so I’m sure the full version is quite alright. I loved everything about FEELING and EGO, but it’s going to be strange hearing those songs in Korean instead of Japanese. I’ll most likely stick to the latter. And Bingeul Bingeul is surprisingly more of my cup of tea than Monster. It’s back to the dance beats and cheesy English one-liners from GD, and that suits me just fine.
As for the Wonder Girls’ mini, we’ve got nothing but new tracks. From what I’ve listened to so far, here’s a quicky break down of my first impressions:
R.E.A.L. – Back to those crunk tunes again. I dig it. Especially love the speed dynamic and contrast when it goes from verses to chorus, lather, rinse and repeat.
Hey Boy – Love it. I didn’t even need to listen to the full 30 second snippet to know I loved it. Yubin seems to have the magic composition touch, because I just love every damn thing about it. Sweet vocals, sweet lyrics easing straight into a funky little guitar riff. I don’t think I’ll find anything wrong with the track once I purchase the full thing.
Girlfriend – another YeEun composition, and oh sweet God, I hear that sexy guitar riff interlude and I’m sold. Take all my damn money and my firstborn, gosh darnit!
Sorry – a quintessential Wonder Girls ballad. It’s like a modern twist to the kind of song you’d hear in one of those old school black and white films. And though I’m not usually one to praise ballads, I can’t quite shoot this one down without giving it a full listen. I think a “not bad” will suffice.
The DJ is Mine - I’ll just walk away before I get jumped.