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MBLAQ “Smoky Girl” – Kpop Music Monday

June 25, 2013

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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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MBLAQ “Smoky Girl” – Kpop Music Monday

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  1. Okay, I just have to spazz for a moment. Thank you guys for reviewing Smoky Girl this week. Even though the video didn’t have lots to offer in the way of making skits the song is so great that I believe it needs to be shared more and more and more. Why did I hear more and more and more in the beat of Smoky Girl? Was I the only one? Okay sorry, it’s so stuck in my head. Just really wanted to thank you guys for reviewing Smoky Girl on the sheer awesomeness of the song.

    And Martina, every time I see those girl do that roll over on stage I still the WTF! Plus it ends with one girl in front of Mir’s crotch and another at his arse….OOOooooo YOU SO NASTY!

    3 years ago
  2. YAY! you mentioned the chess piece!!! lol

    3 years ago
  3. I giggled at the 30 sec to “disagree” part
    Martina, “I agree” *Simon confused face*

    3 years ago
  4. I wanted them so badly to review Henry´s “Trap”. I can even imagine Simon joking about TAEMAN. But yeah…

    3 years ago
  5. Fangurilla, MBLAQ’s faces gorgeous faces may have been hidden away in the smoky shadows but how could you not notice how wonderfully it highlighted their manly hip thrusting and swaying. Not to mention Joon’s sexy back showing through his corset lace up jacket.

    3 years ago
  6. OMG SIMON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I HAVE THE SAME EXACT HEART BOX THAT IS HOLDING UP THE LAPTOP!!!! SAME EXACT SIZE AND EVERYTHING!!!! heehee

    3 years ago
  7. Well MBLAQ said in an interview that the girl is smoky because she is fading away …like she is really sad and she gave up life…but I don’t really know if smoky could be used for that meaning…anyway I looooooveeeeeee the fangurling with Seungrilla XD like I can’t wait to see her XD I wonder if you would make a fanboy segment? I’m sure there are some boys who would associate with it XD

    3 years ago
  8. Is Martina wearing fancy contacts, or have I just never looked at her eyes before?

    3 years ago
  9. Personally Martina’s news caster skit is my favorite.

    3 years ago
  10. I guess Batoost has a new song but it doesn’t have a MV… Which makes me sad since I love thier new songs.

    3 years ago
  11. I totally predicted that you would pull out Mr. Brohoho for the chess piece!!!! :D

    3 years ago
  12. Why no mention of the female hygiene shout out in the rap bridge? Thunder is clearly upset that this woman is not spring fresh and is suggesting a product that brings back freshness every time. SIdenote: my 8-year old daughter and fellow nasty (that sounds horrible) spotted the horse head chess piece this weekend all on her own.

    3 years ago
  13. I must be the only person who just doesn’t get the appeal of this song. It’s… fine, I guess, but that’s about it.

    I did enjoy KMM, though, as always – thanks for your hard work! :)

    (PS. Perhaps you could put up a rant/vent page, for those of us whose favourite song did *not* get reviewed, because, well, it’s surely better than posting it as a comment on the video that *did*, right?)

    3 years ago
    • if you don’t have wide experience in music I can understand your not understanding this song.. but this song is seriously MASTERPIECE. with amazing classy feel, changing vibe god catchy beat different vocals sensual atmosphere, jazzy with r&b mode. also dance is sexy and delicate. this song gives you many expressions from sexy, relaxing catchy dancy to refreshing light but heavy song.
      younger ones like something with much sound and sci-fi effects, and this one is totally oposite, which for me personally bring out old k-pop vibe of great k-pop oldies time, and I love it

      3 years ago
    • Yeah I wasn’t a big fan. I see what it’s going for and can appreciate the mature sound but I just found it didn’t have quite enough for me. It was a bit repetitive- there’s only so many times you can say “smokey girl”. I was looking for a bit energy to it. Reminded me of Jamiroquai.

      3 years ago
    • hmm i’d have to agree with you… i normally like MBLAQ’s songs, but this one feels like the kind of song i can put in the background and not really pay attention to it. It’s one of those songs to me that kind of fade of into the distance
      i guess i was waiting for it to build up into a really catchy loud chorus, in which case, it disappointed me

      3 years ago
    • I actually have to agree. Although it’s a nice song, it’s not one that really stood out for me. I can see how it’s different from what’s been coming out lately, and teh appeal that has, but I also really like what has been coming out. But it is a nice song.

      3 years ago
    • As much as a venting page sounds good for blowing off steam, I think it directly clashes with the kind of environment S&M are trying to make for the site. That is, a site that doesn’t promote hateful speech, or fanwars. As much as it seems like such a page would be a nice space to calmly state their disappointment, I think we all know that it would break down too quickly into angry rants, hurtful words and a LOT of trolls trying to mess it up for everyone. I think S&M want this to be a safe place for their viewers, and a page like that would make it too easy for that vibe to get warped.

      3 years ago
      • I can see how a ‘venting’ page could become more destructive than constructive, but… okay, I think this is the biggest problem with the ‘new’ KMM system – we can all do our best to vote our favourite song into the number one spot… only to have S&M choose a different song entirely.

        Before, if your favourite song wasn’t chosen, it was easier to shrug it off because, well, it wasn’t the number one song and that’s that. But now it feels as though each person’s vote has no meaning.

        I don’t think there’s an easy solution, either, because obviously we want S&M to enjoy KMM (as we, y’know, *like* them – we wouldn’t be watching their vids otherwise) and we know they can’t please everyone; there are always going to be people who’re upset with their choice. Thus the page for venting. Perhaps instead of a continuous bitch-fest, it could be open for one day only (the Tuesday after KMM?) and then all posts deleted. It isn’t a page S&M need to visit, necessarily, but moderation would probably be a good idea.

        Anyway, it’s just a thought and if S&M believe it would create too negative an environment, that’s perfectly understandable. :)

        As a side-note (or perhaps it should instead be an on-topic note?), I do really enjoy S&M’s newscaster skits in KMM, in which they poke fun at the bizarre choices made in so many MV’s. They never fail to make me laugh. :D

        3 years ago
  14. This review was awesome as usual!! :D
    I noticed that you get lots of complaints about you not giving “a chance” to rookie groups, although you’re really doing everything to satisfy everyone.. but can I suggest a new small segment for “debut review”? just a short weekly review for newer bands, kinda like your k-indie segment, without skits and time-consuming scripts : 3

    3 years ago
  15. Oh my God, this song frustrates me so much! I really liked the intro/verse etc., felt like it was building up to something awesome… but then that chorus. My lord is it repetitive! I just can’t get past it. It’s so frustrating because I feel like this song had potential to be my favourite so far this year… shame…

    3 years ago
  16. So when are there going to be fangurilla shirts?

    3 years ago
  17. I just wanna say that lemon juice is good for detoxing your body. Maybe she’s a smoker and tries to drink lemon juice to get rid of the toxins out of her body! XD :) Great review. Love Fangurilla

    3 years ago
  18. Vocal wise, I love this song, It’s a classic I think. but now that you mention it it does kind of sound like Timberlake’s Suit and Tie

    3 years ago
  19. I thought It’s War was better. Then, again I tend to like music videos better if there is some kind of story. There is no story here. It’s just them in a club singing about a girl, and who knows who she is because she’s not really in it until the end. Plus I felt like the music video was forced by the label and MBLAQ didn’t really like the concept that much. That’s just me. I was disappointed by this video.

    3 years ago
  20. Yes!! Review Bangtan!! Please~ *hopes that’s what you meant at the end and hopes it gets in the top three*

    3 years ago
  21. I love the colored rain part of that video. The color is a nice change of pace after all the black and white scenes leading up to it. Not quite a good as the similar scene in Sean Kingston’s “Rum and Raybans”, but still very enjoyable. :)

    3 years ago
  22. Martina’s lemon juice face was so adorable~! Aww… -gushes-

    3 years ago
  23. Fantastic review! I was wondering how you’d pull it off, since there wasn’t a whole lot going on in the video. But once again, you made an amazingly fun, interesting video. Thanks for all the hard work!

    And, yeah, this song DEFINITELY stands out to me. There are times when I want to listen to Kpop, other times that I want to listen to all the other styles I like, and this song actually falls into both categories. There’s something about the way it sounds, and I felt like I understood what they were saying, even though my knowledge of Korean is so, so poor. ^^; And the video, whoa, it was a cool video and really classy and I liked watching it, but what you said makes a lot of sense to me. When I think about other Kpop songs, I instantly tend to see clear images in my head of all the things in the video. But when I think about Smoky Girl, I hear the song and the only thing I “see” is more of a general feeling of the mood of the video (was it just me or was that sentence super confusing? It makes sense in my brain)

    I like both styles of music videos, but I think this style just really fit the song. If they had cluttered up the video, I think it would have taken too much focus away from the music.

    Oh and it’s now official, I’ve stopped fighting the impulse. I resign myself to the knowledge that whenever I watch Fangurrila, no matter who else is in the room, I will say “I’m exotic!” when prompted at the end of the segment XD I don’t know why, but it’s really contagious!

    3 years ago
    • I almost forgot! That part where you talked about how weird it was to drink lemon juice plain just cracked me up. My dad and sister drink plain lemon juice! They don’t even make weird faces, they seriously like the taste and act like it’s orange juice or something! I can barely drink lemonade without puckering up >.<

      3 years ago
      • e.n

        Hahhahh I do it also!! :D I simply just love it. I can totally relate to your dad and sister. :DDD

        3 years ago
        • Oh wow! That really amazes me! hehe, you must be made of tougher stuff than me ;)

          3 years ago
  24. At the end with Fangurilla being confused… Were you talking about BTS? aka Bangtan? aka Bangtan Boys? aka Bangtansonyeo? aka Bulletproof Boyscouts? (wow holy crap they have a lot of names I didn’t realize). Yeah, definitely not Batoost. BUT YOU SHOULD STILL TOTALLY LOOK INTO THEM THEY ARE SO FREAKING AMAZING. THEY. WRITE. THEIR. OWN. SONGS. LIKE. WOW. WOOOOOOW. Okay that’s enough. I’m not biased AT ALL.

    3 years ago
  25. i keep thinking fanguirilla is the best segment so far XD she is hilarious, the moment “she” throw her ovaries i almost fell down of my bed laughing XD BTW i drink lime juice straight with a pinch of salt, is incredibly delicious… but to be honest, i love acid stuff… Here is completely common to eat a lime or a cas (sorry i think this fruit is only found here), or even a star fruit with a pinch of salt *_*

    3 years ago
  26. If you like Zion T so much, then you should mention him more for your K-indie segments <3

    3 years ago
  27. yesssssssssss

    3 years ago
  28. MOGEY GULLS MOGEY GULLS MOGEY GULLS.

    Shwee shwee wuz mogey gull.

    3 years ago
  29. I’m so glad this is finally reviewed! Ahh thank you ^ ^
    One thing I did realize from what Simon said. Yeah, who drinks lemon juice on clubs and bars? o.O
    You’re so right that they were only trying to focus on the song and dancing, not the idols. I need to listen to Zion T. more!
    Oh gosh, Fangurilla was hilarious! “I will look for you, I will find you and, I will kill you.” hahaha

    3 years ago
  30. I don’t know who you are.
    But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career.
    Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you.
    I will look for you, I will find you and, I will kill you.

    I AM CRYING! LOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!

    Woo! That was a good laugh.

    3 years ago
    • Simon’s face was priceless. I paused it and just laughed for a long time lol. ;)

      3 years ago
  31. I love how you comment the songs and videos.

    3 years ago
  32. I sadly don’t see what all the hype is about :(

    3 years ago
  33. Yay, thanks for the MBLAQ review. I agree this song is really amazing they should win with this. Anyway it was a really funny KMM, I love Fangurilla. xD

    3 years ago
  34. I’m happy you guys liked this song. I also think it’s really catchy and awesome! ^^ Fangurilla had me laughing so hard.:D I can imagine fangirls be like “Y U NO SHOW THEIR FACES?” … just because I’m a bit like that :D

    3 years ago
  35. I figured Smoky Girl is a girl that’s super hot; she’s smokin’! Anyway, I totally agree! Best Kpop song of the year! I was hooked on the first play. Psy’s Gentleman, I had to do a couple listens before actually liking it. Smoky Girl is just so smooth, and you guys are totally right about the MV becoming more about the song. It was all about the movement and the beats, which made the MV all the sexier!!! I’m so glad you chose Smoky Girl! I had a feeling you would, but you’ve dropped hints about being bias to your fellow Canadialand resident, Henry. Haha! But Smoky Girl… totally my favorite song! AND I LOVE ZION T, TOO, MARTINA!!! He’s a genius. It makes me love the song even more knowing that, although I should’ve expected it.

    3 years ago
  36. THANK YOU FOR REVIEWING MBLAQ!!!

    3 years ago
  37. isn’t smoky girl like smoking hot? This was my first thought.

    3 years ago
  38. Was Martina actually drinking Lemon juice or…..

    3 years ago
  39. ERMURGURD IT WAS AMAZINGGGG

    3 years ago
  40. LUUUUURVED IT

    3 years ago