I have a feeling I’m going to instigate a good debate…please? I argue with myself enough on this blog. Give me some challenges here, folks! It gets quite lonely =[
So anywho, like a bad fan, I got a sneak peak of the tracks on 2PM’s latest mini album, 2:ooPM Time for Change. After hearing each track thoroughly, one thought was racing through my mind: JYP sent the wrong group to America. *gets shot* Hear me out.
You’ve heard my schpeel about how I disagree with the Wonder Girls being sent straight to America without trying to branch out to the rest of Asia first. You understand that I dislike this. You know I find this irrational. If you’ve been on the Wonder Girls’ Myspace recently, you’ve noticed that their supposed American debut date of May 5, 2009 is no longer even there. It’s gone from a specific date to a vague “some time this year.” While I’m sure the delay is for good reasons, it leaves me feeling quite uneasy. Hearing nothing about their new projects in America leaves me very restless. A hint or two would be great, but we’re not getting that on their myspace, facebook, twitters, nor their blogs on ningin or MTV Iggy.
Gah, sorry for that rant up there. Anyway, back on track, while I do believe that the Wonder Girls and their “Nobody” image will allow them to most definitely stand out (and not necessarily in the good way), I still feel that Nobody isn’t a strong enough track to stand alone and make an impression on the American public. It’s just too different from what we’re used to. Different can be a good thing, but how are we so sure that the Wonder Girls’ version of “different” will be so readily embraced?
So you can imagine my surprise when I heard 2PM’s new mini album. Actually no, even earlier than that. When they debuted with “10 Points Out of 10” I was on the floor. Bangin’ dance moves were the eye catcher. If JYP were to debut these boys in America, he would have more than just one option. Because unlike the Wonder Girls, 2PM can function as a dance crew (America’s Best Dance Crew, anyone?) or as a singing performance group. It’s better to have more than one marketable option when you’re looking to gain status and profit for the company.
The dance crew option needs no explanation. The boys are great performers in the field of dance. No question about it. However, the routines will need to be improved and they need to start thinking outside the box if ever an opportunity like this occurs.
Now for the boy group option. Both the Wonder Girls and 2PM have pros and cons with their types of music. The Wonder Girls possess very catchy tunes that can appeal to…er, I hate to admit it, but teenyboppers in America. They offer an image that isn’t used very often, so they keep it fresh. However, their image can also force an older teenage/early adult group away with the cuteness. FYI, cute only works if you’re with Disney. And we all know how those stars turn out. For crying out loud, Miley Cyrus single-handedly pissed off the Asian American community with her sheer stupidity, among other things. Likewise with Joe Jonas. Disney sure knows how to raise ’em right.
2PM offers an image that would heavily appeal to the teenage/early adult consumer. While the Wonder Girls and their image can garner more profit, as it *should* appeal to the younger generation (leading to annoying little brats begging their parents to buy them this and that), 2PM still has a more marketable image as it is something Americans are used to. However, their advantage is also their disadvantage. Familiar can sometimes be ignored as it is something we’ve grown accustomed to. Yes, the boys are a lot different from other groups in Korea, but they’re the familiar here in America.
Also, after hearing their new mini album, I was convinced that if JYP were to make the lyrics English and ship the boys off to America at this very moment, BAM (!) they’d be embraced. Their music is something American’s are used to. If you haven’t heard the new album, I encourage you to go buy it! It’s got a very nice R&B tone to it and Americans love their R&B. Their songs are the kind of songs you’d hear on your radio stations.
And if you want to get technical, let’s think about the actual group members. 3 out of the 7 members of 2PM can speak fluent English. None of the Wonder Girls speak fluently. They’re working on it, but it’s still broken. Still, having an accent in America almost immediately garners criticism of any sort. It will not be a good thing for the girls whenever they choose to debut and get interviewed. 2PM will be more approachable for the media as they can at least communicate without hesitation. Their 3 main men have all lived in the states at some point in their lives, so they’re familiar with how we roll here. The Wonder Girls have Yoobin, but she isn’t as better off as the other guys. Need I remind you of their Grammy interview? Because they’re all debuting, they really can’t rely on just YeEun to speak on their behalf. She’s not even the leader. It will mislead the public.
Well, I guess it’s too late to do anything now. The girls are here to stay for the time being and all we can do is wait patiently. And as I wait patiently, I’ll be praying earnestly for a new Korean album when they come back. PLEASE!