The 10 best Korean music videos of the week: The (mostly) retro edition
It’s been a very vintage week for releases with music videos harking back to virtually every era from the 60s onwards being released by both mainstream and alternative artists. Of course the Wonder Girls have been the ones capturing all the attention with their latest 80s pop gem but plenty of other artists have been releasing nostalgia-fuelled videos this week. (But there are also a few stuck firmly in the present just to balance things out.)
1. Wonder Girls – I Feel You
The Wonder Girls are BACK (along with that whisper). It’s a great effort from the group finding a balance between being an actual instrument-playing band and their idol image which actually works. Most importantly they achieved something almost unheard of in K-pop: a pitch perfect throwback concept. That eighties electro riff is spot on.
2. Nunco Band – Encyclopedia of Transforming Robots
Retro videos are a reoccuring theme this week and this super lo-fi video is probably my favourite on this list. Something about that cardboard box robot prancing around the park tickles me even if the underlying theme of the video is a little melancholy.
3. BIGBANG (GD&TOP) – ZUTTER
After all this time, G-Dragon and TOP are finally back working as a duo. Both these guys have a bit of a tendency to disappear up their own rear ends – GD with his swaggier than thou stuff and TOP’s preponderance for obscure art and film references that goes straight over most people’s heads. But there’s just something about this pairing that softens both of their edges. The result is a video and song that can make fun of itself while still allowing both of them to express themselves. (Nobody but TOP would use the line “Francis Bacon in the kitchen” in a rap.)
The song itself is a bit of a let down though, it doesn’t feel like they’ve moved forward musically since Knock Out.
4. Galaxy Express – Time Keeps Rollin’ By
One of Korea’s biggest rock bands, Galaxy Express is finally back releasing two years after lead singer Lee Ju-hyun’s marijuana scandal. “It’s a shame but time keeps rollin’ by” is the message of the song and it’s conveyed through a simple but effective video that takes the viewer on a journey through the streets. It doesn’t have the energy and immediacy of some other Galaxy Express tracks like Horongbul and Oh Yeah! but it’s a nice listen nonetheless.
5. B1A4 – Sweet Girl
Another group on a retro kick are B1A4 for with nice little mid-tempo RnB track. It’s not ground breaking by any means but it has that sugary pop edge mixed with just enough sincerity to make it palatable that is what B1A4 fans have come to expect from the group.
6. Baechigi feat. Solji – Shut Up
Yet another throwback concept – this time it’s got a cabaret feel. It’s got basically everything you would expect from both acts with Solji’s showing off her powerhouse vocals and Baechigi sticking with their quirky performances.
7. Le MeryMos – Instant Love
Unlike most of the rest of this list this music video is very much in the hear and now. I have to say, the song’s not the best but it’s a fun video that playfully points out some of the pitfalls of modern dating,
8. MONKEYZ – I Have A Feeling
This is a nice little chill out summer from Monkeyz. Unfortunately the video doesn’t do justice to the band’s live performances despite being basically a live video performance. On stage they’re much more energetic and upbeat and the lead singer has an infectious happiness that is difficult to ignore (especially with these dance moves).
9. parasol – Your Posture
Another one with a retro feel but this time it’s more of a late 60s vibe. The lyrics have a slight surreality to them because they focus on tiny insignificant details of a long relationship which is all enhanced by the simple repetitiveness of the melody.
10. Lang Lee – Propeller
Here’s another lo-fi video just to round off this week’s very old school list. It’s a simple video featuring a modern dance performance which may not be to everyone’s taste but I quite enjoyed it.
That’s it for this week. As always, feel free to leave your feedback and suggestions in the comments.