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4Minute – Volume Up: Kpop Music Mondays

April 17, 2012


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OH oh oh OH OH!

4minute is back and they finally released a new song that we love! We really weren’t into their last two singles, “Mirror Mirror” and “Heart to Heart” so we were beginning to worry that their label might be taking them down a new path that we weren’t really digging, but their new song “Volume Up” has renewed our hope. We’ve always liked 4minute for their really loud, energetic, GO!GO!GO! kind of songs for the same reason we like T-ara, except T-ara has more ridiculously-fun-disco-ey-upbeat songs while 4minute has more fist-pumping-dance-crazy songs.

I think 4minute surprised us this time around with their range of singing, and I don’t mean this in a snippy offended way when I say this, but I never really thought of 4minute as a group of great singers, since most of their music involved a lot of angsty sounding rapping, or yelling or shouting out lines with short bursts of simple singing as a group. This time around, I was really impressed to hear Gayoon and Jihyun’s vocals, although I wish I could have heard more than 10 seconds from Jihyun because her part sounded really pretty. This song was pretty ridiculously catchy with all it’s “AH-ah-ah-ah-ah” and “OH-oh-oh-oh-oh’s” but I do have to say the “oh oh oh oh oh” sounded a lot, and I mean, A LOT like the OH OH OH OH from Hyuna’s solo song “Bubble Pop“. *I stroke my beard suspiciously* But nonetheless, both songs were still ridiculously awesome and catchy.

*Simon interjects* Why is Martina stroking her beard? Girls don’t have beards *Simon disappears again, but continues to lurk and edit this post for potential grammar mistakes*

When it comes to the video, a lot of people have been comparing it to Brown Eyed Girls “Abracadabra,” especially with the scenes of Hyuna and Ga-in being groped by a group of girls. Also the whole dark vampire theme in 4Minute vs. the pleather clad dark outfits in Brown Eyed Girls do resemble each other. However, I feel like “Abracadabra” has more of a interesting plot, with the spliced scenes of Ga-in and her lover, which dabbles in possible concepts such as S&M gone wrong (and I don’t mean Simon & Martina) from the imagery of the guy with the horse whip, and Ga-in’s exposed back, the rough makeout sessions, and the final surprise ending. Besides Ga-in’s erotic scenes, the other members of the band are all doing different things as well, from being trapped behind bars to sitting confidently in a chair in a suit with cane. That video has a lot of scenes to work with regarding symbolism which all lead up to the moment of Gain being groped, but by that point the videos is both erotic and sexy, rather than just sexy for the sake of sexy. If that scene with Ga-in getting groped came right at the beginning of the music video, it wouldn’t have had the same effect. It would have just been a plain old sexy dance.

Now, when I heard the comparisons of Brown Eyed Girls to this new 4Minute video, I really struggled to dig out a deeper plot that was clearly accessible through the video itself. The video really doesn’t lend itself to interpreting anything very deep. It’s really important to look at the video as it’s own entity, because that’s how analysis of symbols should work: you can’t bring in all the other information you know about 4Minute as a fan, or from the teaser photos, and so on. You have to look at the video as its own complete piece of work that can stand up on its own. It’s up to the director to have vision, and to make that vision come to fruition. It’s the same with a book: you can’t read it and analyze it based on what you personally know about the author’s life, or based on their other stories. You have to look at what they’ve given you and see it if it has anything you can delve from it.

The point of this talk about how to analyze stuff: 4Minute’s video doesn’t have anything we can really analyze. People have given the video a lot of meaning because of 4Minute’s history or past drama, but all of the interpretations we’ve read really seem like stretches. A white dress doesn’t represent innocence, for example, unless there’s something in the work of art to suggest that it means something else. Sometimes a dress is just a dress, and a cigar is just a cigar.

Long story short: we’re not buying the different interpretations of this song and video. To us, it’s not deep or profound or sends any message (and this is coming from the people who love finding deep messages in videos).

Ok, enough talk about artsy-fartsiness or lack thereof. If you’re a fan of the song the way we are, you can buy it and get it shipped to you via YesAsia. Not sure why it’s not on iTunes yet, oddly. Hrrm.

Otherwise, pretty cool announcement here: we’re going to start doing Live Broadcasting! Now, we’re not too fond of that phrase, because it sounds so important. We just want to do video chats with you, live. We sometimes have Twitter chats, or respond to comments on YouTube or Facebook, but those aren’t really good ways to get in touch with people, we think. It’s not too real time, or – in cases like Twitter – it’s too real time, and we can barely answer all of the questions coming at us.

So, tomorrow, 1PM Korean time, we’re going to Broadcast on Kondoot. We’ve read cool things about it, and we like to be cutting edge as much as possible, you know! It seems like a cool service, because it’s live streaming, but it’s also very social, and we like that. If you want to leave us questions or comments during the live chat you have to sign up for an account, but if you just want to watch the live streaming, you don’t have to do anything. It works exactly like YouTube that way. Anyhow, we’re gonna give it a shot and see how it goes. If you guise like it, then we’ll do it again and also we can take you to some cool places with us around Korea. Yeah!

And lastly, time for something silly! We’ve got bloopers this week, as always. Today is, probably, the first time you’ll ever hear Martina swear! Your virgin ears! Oh noes!



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Kpop Music Mondays