As you've probably noticed, I've recently become quite enamoured with Korean pop culture. A lot of this piggy backs on my ~life decision~ to learn another language, but there is a fair amount of LOLZ involved as well. Natch.

Korean pop music - kpop if you're nasty - is. How do I say this...manufactured. Cheesy. Sweet. Amazingly produced. Different. On the curve. Off the curve. A million other adjectives that all lead to one acronym - and say it with me - LOL. It doesn't take its self seriously, which I like. And it's really, really pretty.

A good majority of kpop is shit, but under the crap are great examples of the Hallyu Wave, a cultural phenomenon that helps to highlight Korean pop culture as something more than just that stuff tweens buy. Genuinely interesting production and bubblepop-electric styling help kpop to stand out from the crowd - and I thought I'd make a little mixtape to showcase some of the music that is contributing to the Wave.

Some of it are the idols - miss A, TVXQ!, the YG Family, Brown Eyed Girls et al - some is K(orean)indie, some is undefinable. But these are the tracks that made me sit up and take notice of an industry that has its faults (and how!), but is trying to push the envelope in its own brightly coloured way.

You're not going to find a helluva lot of depth here. But you're sure going to have fun.





A BRAND NEW SCENE | Kpop For Discerning Adults





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COVERS
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Front | Back


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{1.}
MY AUNT MARY | Sweet

I love My Aunt Mary. Like, a lot. They're hard to explain - they've grown a lot since their first album, from middle-of-the-road to melodic pop-rock masters. This is from their third album, Drift, where you really began to see the band they've become. Just ace.


{2.}
MISS A | Breathe

The song equivalent of a lava lamp. Just watch the video.



I told you so.


{3.}
W&WHALE | Marilyn Monroe

Originally on the soundtrack for kdrama Que Sera Sera, 'Marilyn Monroe' is a cute, poppy, walkin' through Seoul track.


{4.}
TVXQ! | Keep Your Head Down

The new track from DBSK/TVXQ and the first after they (controversially) lost three of their five members due to contract disputes. The other three are doing songs with Kanye West while the other two have released one of the most elaborately packaged CDs EVER, with this as the lead single. It's one of those tracks that simultaneously makes you laugh in hysteria and want to kick people in the head with attitude. The filmclip's worth the price of admission alone. Dig those couch cover suits!


{5.}
PLAYGIRL/MOONSHINERS | 얘얘

So cute. Separately, these two bands hold up the Mod and Rockabilly flag for KIndie, and together they're magical.


{6.}
G-DRAGON/KUSH | She's Gone

G-Dragon. I love him and his hilarious hair. The filmclip was banned in the SK. What more can I say?


{7.}
EPIK HIGH | Daydream

The darlings of KHop (everything can be made into a word with 'K' in the front of it, life lesson), I chose this track over some of their more heavy hip-hop just to show how varied they are. Excellent stuff, and perfect for a bike ride with your honey bunny in the warm sunshine.


{8.}
BULNABANG STAR SAUSAGE CLUB | 싸이보그 여중생 Z

It's a song about a cyborg girl. Yes.


{9.}
NARSHA/SUNNY HILL | Mamma Mia

My obsession with this particular track is well known. Narsha is a member of Brown Eyed Girls, who'll you'll meet later on, and this was her second solo track, featuring label mates Sunny Hill. It's just a fucking awesome example of the legitimately good pop music that is coming out of Korea - and the filmclip is amazing.

I'm embedding this shit, it's so good:



I can't even. My favourite song of last year, hands down.


{10.}
AVOID TALE | 못다 핀 꽃들은 내 안에서 시들며

Pretty, pretty, pretty.


{11.}
GD & TOP | 뻑이가요 (Knock Out)

You may remember GD as G-Dragon from up above, and TOP is his band mate from Big Bang, a idol group you'll meet further down. Confused? Don't be. Why not have the two rappers of a boy band have their own album? Why not have a song about obsession and a filmclip where they pop bubble wrap and ride Segways? And why not have Diplo produce it? Why the fuck not.


{12.}
NO REPLY | Road

Pretty, pretty, pretty. I'm sensing a theme.


{13.}
BROWN EYED GIRLS | Abracadabra

Brown Eyed Girls are a part of the Nega Network - one of the few production houses that allows their idols to do things that perhaps could be viewed as "naughty" or "salacious". This song is a great example of tight production working with four talented singers/rappers - the filmclip is enough to make me doubt my sexual orientation and the whole package is just damn sexy. The unedited version of the clip is below - the original was banned as two of the members (Narsha, from above, and G.Na) shared a kiss that was possibly not fluffy and BFFy. SCANDAL.



The hip thing gets me every time. *swoon* (If you want to see the whole song with just the dancing, click here. Best.)


{14.}
2NE1 | 난 바빠

These mah gurls. I chose this over some of their more known tracks, mainly because it proves my point about interesting production mixing with genuine talent. 2NE1 and Big Bang are members of the YG Family, and are working their way towards debuting in America (with help from Will.i.am, randomly). I have no doubt they'll do well, mainly because YG seem to be more interested in pushing the envelope towards something different. They're a big part of why I'm into KPop and Korean pop culture, because they're just so damn cool.

And pretty. So pretty.


{15.}
MY AUNT MARY | 원

HAY GUYS I LOVE MY AUNT MARY CAN YOU TELL

Here, have them with other KIndie darlings, covering 'Beat It' on an iPhone.



Awesome.


{16.}
PEPPERTONES | 공원여행

Gorgeous, fun pop. One of my favourites for a sunny day on the tram.


{17.}
LEE HYORI | Scandal

Hyori's a good example of adultdols (yes, adult and idol smushed together) - she gets a lot of attention for being sexy, but she has the talent to back it up. This is from her latest album, H.Logic, which was the subject of great controversy when it was discovered the main songwriter was a big ol' plagiarist. He's in jail, natch, but "Scandal" is a nice, ass-shakin' pop song from a nice, ass-shakin' pop star. See also: 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' and 'U Go Girl'.


{18.}
NELL | It's Okay

Nell haven't grown on me, much, but I love this track. Simple, easy pop.


{19.}
BIG BANG/NO BRAIN | Oh My Friend

How could I not include the boy band versus the punk band? The LOLZ, they are strong. I kind of love the film clip for that reason alone:



Like, what. I can't even. The best.


{20. BONUS SO BAD IT'S GOOD}
SNSD | Genie

THE BIGGEST EARWORM ON THE FACE OF THE PLANET. Crank it, do yo' thang, and dance, dance, dance.


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DOWNLOAD
(MegaUpload, 143mb, MP3, zip)


---



Not deep, and probably not for discerning adults, but that's pop at its finest, right? Put it on your stereo, turn it up and have fun.

actiaslunaris: Ouran - Tamaki, hugging Kyouya with all his limbs - text: *glomp* (*glomp*)

From: [personal profile] actiaslunaris


Such gorgeous covers for this mix! I have a particular fondness for music a lot of people would find trashy pop, but I've never really been bothered by what people think of my listening choices. Besides, this type of music exists because it's enjoyable and it doesn't need much more reason than that. There's a lot on this mix I'd never heard before, but they've become favorites now. I like listening to this as an exercise mix or a getting-housework-done mix. Some of the songs don't work for me, but I still appreciate how they work in the mix themselves, especially some of the slower songs. I have to smile at how you describe "Genie," though, as it came up in my random playlist today, and it prompted me to come leave you feedback to say, "Hey, there's one person here who completely agrees with you!" Thank you so much for making this!
.

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