June 25, 2013
This week we’re talking about MBLAQ’s “Smoky Girl” which we would have talked about last week if Martina didn’t lose her voice. Thankfully (WOOHOO!) it was still in the top three at the end of this week, so now we have the chance to let you know how much we love it. If you haven’t heard it yet, check it out below:
Ok, seriously awesome song. Start to finish, this song wasn’t only consistently not bad (as in, it didn’t have random crappy parts in it, which many songs suffer lately), but it actually had random GREAT parts in it peppered throughout. That whole “WHY I I” right before the chorus is exceptionally catchy. The autotuned singing, followed up right afterwards with the rapping, is actually a great contrast. Even the way the song starts and evolves, from the first dreamy ethereal notes, to how it grows into a bass heavy song, is just awesome. Even the beginning of the song, where they stop singing and just let the beat do its thing while they dance: great! All of it – start to finish, just a really great song, and stands in stark contrast against a most of what Kpop has offered this year.
Also, we’re not trying to say that this song stole anything from Justin Timberlake’s “Suit and Tie,” but it definitely has that same vibe. Mature, confident men singing and doing their thing with class, no? Check it out and see if you can spot the similarities:
Back to Smoky Girl, it’s hard to even think of this as a Kpop song. It doesn’t have that sound to it, for some reason. It doesn’t have the aesthetic. Apart from the recycled Brohoho chess piece and the awkward dancers at the club, the rest of the song and video seem like it’s not trying to be Kpop. Kpop videos often are marketing heavy, you know? It’s hard to come up with a proper phrase for it, but – in a nutshell – a lot of the time Kpop seems like it’s trying to sell you something other than just music. It’s trying to lure you into idol-worshipping (not in the religious kind of way) by focusing more heavily on people’s faces as they seductively play with the camera. Or they product place the hell out of everything. Sometimes it feels like the members in a kpop band are wearing so many random name brand items they look like a katamari ball rolled through a high end department store. This music video didn’t try to aggressively sell MBLAQ; it just highlighted the song and the dance.
On that note, if you like this song, you might be interested in knowing that Zion T, who Martina has recently become obsessed with, had a hand in producing the song. Which could be a reason why we like it so much, because we’re big fans of Zion T’s music. We’ve talked about one of his tracks before for our Korean Indie Playlist, but his latest album Red Light is altogether really cool. Check some of those tracks out if you haven’t listened to him yet yet.
As for the name of the song itself, we’re not really sure what Smoky Girl is supposed to mean. We’re interpreting it as meaning that the girl is difficult to fully get a hold of, she’s mysterious. She’s beyond comprehension, beyond attainment. You can see her there, but she’s out of your league, in a way. But it could also mean she’s a disgusting chain smoker who needs to wash her clothing. Not sure why she drinks lemon juice, though. That’s awfully disgusting. I kinda wanted to bring it back to Infinite’s “WE GOT THE ORANGE JUIIIIICE YEAHHHH” but we didn’t have time to do so…
Anyhow, if you like it as much as we do, make sure you pick it up via YesAsia or iTunes. It’s worth it. It’s awesome. Otherwise, if you’re looking for more lols, you can see how we resolve our disagreements after the 30 second showdown is done, as well as checking out to see if you won the EXO CD from our last Kpop Music Monday, in the bloopers below!
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