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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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4Minute – Volume Up: Kpop Music Mondays

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  1. What happened to doing Nu’est – Face?

    4 years ago
  2. Rooftop Prince!!  I love that drama.  Se Na is so evil…but I really want her wardrobe & officetel. So, being evil gets you nice things & a hot prince? I should change my personality…

    LMAO about the facial expressions and trolls really need to stop complaining…I also agree about the video.  I’m not a 4 Minute fan but I like some of their songs.  I just felt watching this video I kept seeing Hyun Ah’s face more than the other members.

    Oh & Facebook is misspelled as “facebok” in the annotations at 11:14~

    4 years ago
  3. What happened to doing Nu’est – Face?

    4 years ago
  4. Lmao, I enjoyed this episode, it seems idols suffer from a lot of diseases. Anyways, I actually completely agree with u. The song was okay, but could have been better. The sax actually saved it. Like the video though, the images were great to see, but Hyuna’s sexiness is a bit….weird. She kinda makes weird faces, I wish she would stop that and see how silly it looks. 

    4 years ago
  5. Wai~? B.A.P should’ve won…….DX. DISSATISFACTION!!!!!!!

    4 years ago
  6. is that Rooftop Prince i see in the background? :D i love that show <3

    4 years ago
  7. i vote for T-ARA’s Lovey Dovey Zombie Version

    4 years ago
  8. I don’t understand why Cube Entertainment is making such a  fuss. They were saying that the meaning of the video was about the girls bands(In this case 4minute)dealing with the hateful comments brought against them.The snake represents the hateful comments. The song too : “When you first saw me you couldn’t take your eyes off of me”  ; “You talk about me and say you don’t like me behind my back because I’m too easy” .
    Well,the ENTIRELY fault is Cube Entertainment’s. Why?Because the 4minute isn’t anymore called 4minute. It’s called  “Hyuna and the others backdancers”.
    They are showing Hyuna so much,while the others members are in shadow.
    They are trying to make Hyuna looking like a stripper,porn actress (See Bubble Pop,Troublemaker) then blaming us for not liking her.
    They aren’t gonna get a good image with all the pornish mv’s.
    And finally of course, Cube Entertainment should let ALL the members of 4minute singing at least 40 seconds each other.

    4 years ago
    • just want to point out that, hyuna is actually popular in korea. they like her. it just most of the international fans that don’t like her.

      4 years ago
      •  Guess it is because of the body/figure/her looks … some guys droll over that XD  well, it helps in increasing her fan-base…that should be the only point XD

        4 years ago
  9. I too suffer from “FJS” …….when I see BIG BANG… 

    4 years ago
  10. Ah, Rooftop Prince! What a pity u can’t review it on MM, keke.

    Anyways, thanks for this week’s Music Monday – love the doctor part <3 Looking forward to seeing her again ^^

    4 years ago
  11. NOOOOOOOOOOOO BAP didn’t win :( next time, eyk, next time =_= lol

    4 years ago
  12. t-ara(b.a.p shouldve run)

    4 years ago
  13. Not as good as meeting you real life, but this is such an awesome gift too. YAY!

    Check out www.younow.com! The layout is the best I’ve seen, and the constant active interactions between the broadcaster and the viewers make it seem like a game. Viewer can give coins, thumbs up, put the broadcaster in jail, and other weird things.
    Lots of social media “become a fan” options too.

    4 years ago
  14. no offense i hate this song

    4 years ago
  15. love the Rooftop Prince in the background!!! XDDD

    4 years ago
  16. why are you guys always so YG biased? lol jk 

    4 years ago
  17. I wished you guys had compared EXO and B.A.P’s debut performances, but I know that would just start so many fan wars. T’is alright! Just never do that again!!! That was almost as bad as when you put TVXQ2 against JYJ that one time. 
    4Minute’s singing is good here, but I still feel like they screamed things too much. I didn’t like the chorus as much as the rest of the song. It sounds and looks sophisticated, but “turning the volume up” sounds like a club song. The saxophone weaved in nicely though.
    And btw, I spot Rooftop Prince on your laptop. ^__^ 

    4 years ago
  18. Woah, Martina! Those colored lenses make you look like a completely different person!
    By the waaaay, Simon, I like how you’ve been saying “go awaaaaay”.
    :D

    4 years ago
  19. If Mortney can teleport himself, why did he got on plane, when you went to Canda :DD

    4 years ago
  20. Totally love this song …but your comment on the sax, there’s just a hint of Moldova in it :-) …brought this to mind – http://youtu.be/KHy7DGLTt8g which is taken from the Moldova Eurovision song from 2010…http://youtu.be/8h_hN0xQYv4 – BUT LOVE Volume Up – it’s kick ass

    4 years ago
  21. Well… You know… Vocalwise… Jihyun is sort of the Yoona of 4minute… It’s limited so to speak… Not AS limited maybe but yeah… No one complains that Yooners don’t get all that much vocal time cause everyone understand that there’s a pretty good reason for it. So I don’t feel it’s any different with Jihyun. Heck I’m surprised she even got an entire interlude all for herself. I mean, she didn’t screw up, but still… Though that in itself is kind of a vote of confidence… Sohyun however… Not sure why she was overlooked, but she does more in other songs so yeah… Besides, Gayoon and Jiyoon are the vocal reserves of that group and they got that in spades so I don’t see why you wouldn’t utilize it as much as possible…

    Also, Mirror Mirror is freaking great… Just saying…

    4 years ago
    • Though I agree with the comparison, YoonA is the face of SNSD, so even if you don’t hear her, you definitely are aware of her presence in music videos, whereas in 4minute music videos, members are usually shafted for those singing (or HyunA, because she’s also “the face”) hence those who aren’t singing usually go unnoticed. This problem seems to be a Jihyun problem, as it’s happened multiple times already.

      Members such as Hyuna aren’t the vocal prowess of the group, yet they still get their moments, there’s no reason for Jihyun to be put off.

      4 years ago
      • This is true… Even though I personally find Yoona sorta ordinary looking… Very cute definitely, but she doesn’t pop out that much to me really… But that’s obviously just my opinion and especially in Korea she much more revered for her looks…

        But yeah, we were talking Jihyun here… And I know, she tends to get the short stick… Even if the vocal ability is taken into account, her stick just seem to be shorter on average regardless… Which, that might not be fair of course…
        But, and I know I don’t really anything to substantiate this, but I just have the feeling that it doesn’t bother her that much, which really is the most important thing here. Would she like more exposure? Sure, cause you don’t get involved in this business if you don’t like attention. But at the same time she’s probably aware of her limitations vocally and I believe she has a very good standing within the group too, so I’d imagine she’s mostly content with the situation all things considered… Or maybe it’s just my hope… What do I know…

        4 years ago
  22. The lights (on the dishwasher?) during the vampire bit were quite distracting.

    4 years ago
  23. The saxophone part just makes me think of Epic Sax Guy. I can’t evening get past the sax part due to me laughing and missing everything else.
    http://youtu.be/KHy7DGLTt8g 

    To bad the video didn’t have someone playing the saxophone solo.

    4 years ago
  24. T-ara’s zombies.  (This is not because I’m in any way prejudiced against vampires.)

    Great review.
    How long did it take you to get all those photos for the Flaccid Jaw Syndrome?  That was brilliant!  I was already giggling when the ones of 4minute came up, but I nearly choked with laughter when I saw all the ones you’d found for the boy bands.

    4 years ago
  25. At least you finally got (took?) the chance to “review” Brown Eyed Girls’ Abracadabra…

    4 years ago
  26. I vote for T-Ara’s but only by a small margin because none of the members were really too “zombified” but its the same deal with 4minute. The vampire thing was just a little trendy touch, not meant to be taken literally. Which is sad for me because I feel like they could have taken it to something really interesting if they did an actual vampire storyline. But 4minute’s more a dance group than acting anyways. I feel like T-Ara really incorporated the zombie thing better.

    4 years ago
  27. Sobs Hyuna’s rap sequences are my favourite bit of the song and the only reason I grew to like it…I think they’re the best bit, not the worst.

    Also I think the chorus sounds like volume so I don’t know why you hear it as valium. I wonder if it’s an accent issue.

    lol the touching of the lips just reminded me of EXO…

    I vote T-ara. :D

    4 years ago
  28. vote for T-ara !

    4 years ago
  29. O.o 50 votes DANG   imagine when it comes time for rookie of the year, blood bath…

    4 years ago
  30. i agree with the Hyuna and her gang term XDD 

    Oh please do Shinhwa!
    Eventhough i really like the song i think i’d prefer Lovey Dovey for the scary act .-.

    4 years ago
  31. T-ARA’s zombie lovey-dovey was actually a scary in some parts. The song is more fun and the dancing is waaaay better.

    4 years ago
  32. omg simon & matina as vamps = EPIC WIN xD

    4 years ago
  33. nice song… but those SHOES!!!! TT_TT  (at 3:53 for example) i wannem’ ! *stomps foot*

    4 years ago
  34. i want a dog with a translator that has Spudgie’s voice. =D

    4 years ago
  35. I agree with everything :)
    especially the backup dancer part… i thought there were more fierce than 4Minute themselves… ;)

    4 years ago
  36. Roof Top Prince on the laptop in the background :D Creepy because I was just watching that and then decided to pause it to watch this :’)
    Well Done and Roof Top Prince is SO FUNNY!!!!

    4 years ago
  37. Bya

    CUBE is always Hyuna biased…

    4 years ago
  38. If Martina were a doctor, I’d totally go to her clinic.  She sounded pretty dead-on with her diagnosis to me!

    4 years ago
  39. I see Rooftop Prince in the background!!!!^^

    4 years ago
  40. I agree quite a lot with the review~ ;3  Great song, catchy, a little Hyuna biased, and some of the members needed a bit more parts, but over all I freaking LOVE the song so much~  And by the way Martina, I love your overall look today~  You look freaking gorgeous!  Hope Sistar is next week!  Alone is such a fantastic song in my opinion!

    4 years ago
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