165 COMMENTS

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!

 

ToFebruary
  1. Both Timberlake and MBLAQ are channeling Sinatra-era class in the above videos.
    ‘Nuff said.

  2. loooooll i wish this was longer

  3. Why didn’t you give credit to cute, adorable and sexy world-wide idol Rain? He is their daddy and founder! I am really disappointed in you elders, Eat Your Kimchi. My Oppa is so talented that Smoky Girl would not exist without him and without the way he rubs his sexy muscles. Have you even seen ‘Love Song?’. That, my friends, is the best KPOP song of eternity. Don’t even get me started with Rainism. He’s gonna be a bad boy.. and guess what? He’s back from the army because all work and no play makes Johnny a dull boy. ^^ And we know Rain is never a dull boy. ;)

  4. love love love u-kiss and I think they really do their best and always push themselves to do as manyy events and videos as they can. U-kiss fighting~ :)

  5. It’s a great song and the mini album is really solid ! they really stand out from all the eurovision songs in Kpop or the samples of music mashed together…

  6. Thanks a lot for doing a review guys, I love you so much!!!! >.<!!

  7. I must say, I love the dance break in the beginning. A lot. My siblings have come to hate this song, however, because it is quite easy to mindlessly repeat the chorus forever (which I find myself doing quite often… completely inadvertently). Very happy with MBLAQ’s new song- their best song to date.

  8. I didn’t know Martina had voice problems :(…. take care of yourselves guise!!

    “As for the name of the song itself, we’re not really sure what Smoky Girl is supposed to mean.” I think they got it from Jim Carey in “The Mask” when he says “smoooo….key” while wearing that green mask on. No?

    Thank you for the review!!

    ♥♥♥♥♥♥

  9. I think Spudgy’s version of the song should be “fluffy Spudge, fluffy Spudge, fluffy Spudge…” :3

  10. All in all, I like the song, and agreed with the review, except in two key parts.

    1) I don’t agree that it’s the best Kpop song of the year. I think both Psy’s “Gentleman” and EXO-K’s “Baby Don’t Cry” (which hasn’t yet been released as a single, I realize) both beat it out. While it feels mature, sexy, and was a great listen, I found the repetitive chorus grating and the kind of “catchy” that is annoying (compare with “rippado flippado supa-slow motion”, which is repetitive but you come to love in your own special way).

    SITE NOTE: Anyone saying that I’m obviously an EXO fanboy and am tearing MBLAQ down so I can praise EXO, I liked this song more than “Wolf,” as much as I love “Wolf.” (For whatever reason, the discordant beats/rhythms/harmonies/etc. really work for me. Not sure why).

    2) I don’t agree with Simon’s praise of their use of English in the song. Yes, the English they use is clear and correct, even if the way one sentence is structured is a bit ambiguous. But praising them for an entirely English chorus is going quite a bit too far considering the entire chorus is two English words repeated over and over again ad nauseum.

    Again, I liked the song, and it’s making me want to check out more MBLAQ, but I think it’s getting a bit more praise than it deserves.

  11. Love it.

    Some side info: I apologize if this was already brought up, but since I didn’t see anything in the first fifty comments I figured I’ll take a risk – regarding the dance move Martina found disturbing and “random”, it is actually a legit dance move (a variation of a shoulder roll) and is very popular for team dances as it looks impressive if everyone does it on the same beat and keeps their legs fully extended (as *cough* not to be rude, but Martina did not do). From elementary school to now (college grad) this is one of my absolute favorite moves, and I still love doing it randomly if I have to move across a room but don’t want to stand up… Anyways I will defend this move until I die. I could go on, but will restrain myself til someone actually replies/requests more info. ;)

  12. Hahaha :D
    Thank you guise for making this KMM ^-^
    Not only the song was the best but the whole Viedo made me laugh so hard and it made my day C:
    Thanks ^-^
    PS I started holidays today! YAY! :D

  13. Hahahaha! That text from “Taken” was AWESOMEEE!
    *High five* for those who think this film is the best :>
    *clap!*

  14. Wait a second!
    Does Martina have lenses?

  15. I was really glad to hear a good chunk of solid opinion from Simon this week. I like the skits you guys do when they’re reinforcing the points you make as reviewers however, it kind of feels like they’ve taken over lately – like you feel you have to do certain characters or get a certain number in. I love your videos because you give really great, insightful reviews which you then back up with humour, and it feels like that content has been taking a back seat. The thing that made me laugh the most in this was Martina’s lemon juice face – even though Simon had made the point already it was a far funnier way of showing it – kind of the moving image equivalent of a picture being worth a thousand words, which is how all of your skits used to be.

    There is also something I feel I’m not getting. I think ‘Fan Guerilla’ is a great pun and I understand the motive behind satirising that kind of fan (though really… every week?) but I don’t get what the joke in the tagline“I’m not ugly, I’m exotic” is. It just seems to be a really cheap shot. I don’t comment much but I watch a lot and I’m pretty up on my in jokes, so if there’s one in this, I’ve missed it. If there’s another level to it, I don’t see it. If it’s neither of those things and it is just a face-value joke of ‘and haha, they’re probably ugly too’ then I’m disappointed – you guys are clever, and are really good satirists. You are way better than a joke like that.

    I really love your reviews – please make sure you keep them as that, and don’t let it turn into a sketch show.

  16. I still believe that the smoky girl chorus is signed by Zion T…unless Thunder has the same voice with Zion T…but then again I might be wrong.

  17. I seriously think this song is annoying! It’s so repetitive that it makes me twitch. I wish you had talked more about why you liked the song because I don’t get it! The feel of the video is cool, but it still wasn’t impressive. I’m still voting for Vixx even though they’re totally off the charts :'( The kmm was AWESOME tho. Fangurilla makes my day brighter.

  18. This was a great review! As an A+ I am very pleased, and it was super funny. Oh yes, I LOL’d

  19. Hmmm, yeah this song is nice. I can agree with that.

    What troubles me more though is that this kpop music Monday, just like the last several, didn’t make me laugh. Not to say that Simon and Martina are here for my selfish amusement (clearly they are not, I mean, who the eff am I, right??). But I was talking to two other friends of mine who have been watching these videos since the very first How to Dance Kpop. We all agreed that… something is definitely off now. I can’t remember the last time I laughed at any of these videos. In comparison, there was a time when I looked forward to these posts because I just KNEW the likelihood of my laughing until I cried was suuuuuper high. Even the bloopers used to KILL me….. But now, every post is like… Meh. And hey, maybe it’s just me and my friends! I know there are legions of teen-something fans out there who would hunt me down and slaughter me mercilessly for even THINKING this way.

    My friends and I are all about the same age as Simon and Martina, so perhaps it’s that we’ve outgrown this. I don’t know. Somewhere along the way of EYK going from a fun, carefree and creative hobby for an endearing couple, and turning into an actual business for profit…. something’s missing now. :-( I hope it comes back… I should be more productive in my criticism and actually attempt to make a suggestion, but I can’t put my finger on it!

    ….Yours truly, Debbie Downer. Yeah I didn’t mean to trump in here and be a wet blanket, but I just wanted to share my opinion. But as always, I hope you guys prosper and EYK continues to be a HUGE success. Just don’t lose that carefree, jovial charm. Maybe that’s my point… I guess. :-)

  20. Hmm, I’ve never managed to listen to this song. I always get distracted and turn it off without thinking. This does not happen with Justin Timberlake’s “Suit and Tie,” So, I guess this one just isn’t my taste. (I don’t know any other MBLAQ songs: i notice them on variety shows, but I’ve no idea if I’ve heard their music in any playlist.)

  21. From 00:40 is “worse monkey girl” not “was smoky girl”

  22. Great video! :D
    I agree with the “selling” part of Kpop video’s!

  23. I totally agree with this review is awesome!
    MBLAQ are smoky awesome!!

  24. Zion.T worked on this song? Sweet!! I love his Red Light album. <3

    Everyone's gotta watch out for VV:D, man. It's a small label, but it has a quality crew.

  25. Great video! :]
    I love the song and video but I don’t think it’s the best all year ^^” I’ve found some that I like more :]

    Btw, laughed my ass off when Batoost was brought up cause BTS sounds like that when you pronounce it xD lol!

  26. Í love this song! I always imagine that I’m that smokey girl they’re talking about :D It totally is my soundtrack when I’m walking down the street :D
    http://love-your-ego.blogspot.de

  27. wait…, why would Psy not be ‘really’ kpop?

  28. For me, I think Mir’s rap fit this song way better then Jay-Z’s lazy rap fit Suit n Tie!! Sometimes the raps in kpop seems like they were snuck in at the last minute but this was perfect and so smooth sounding which fit this way smooth song! Mblaq’s dancing was really showcased here as well!! Who needs all the flashey videos and long stares when you have a wonderfully written song sung by people with talent and whose dance skills are solid enough to be all the focus you need in a video?!?!

    I hate when people discredit kpop artists for not writing their own songs! They still sing, and dance and bust their butts to perfect these songs to make them their own! And what about guys like Seung Ho who can truly sing, dance, and he plays the piano beautifully? Lee Joon dances ballet for crying out loud! They are super talented! Justin Timberlake got his start in a group that was put together by a company and other people wrote their songs…does that make J.T. less talented?! Im off the soapbox now, sorry!

  29. finally! a review on smoky girl! i was a bit sad that it might not get reviewed again this week since henry’s trap caught up on the first place in the last minute~ anyway, i ammmm really delighted that Simon and Martina enjoyed this song. I am an A+ and when i first watched this MV, my feels just exploded all over the place. i agree that this is not the MV where a lot of close ups and greasy gestures are found but i couldn’t love it much more, since they still exposed their hotness and charisma without the unnecessary close ups~

    music wise, it is really upbeat, i’d love to hear this in the disco. and i agree it’s not kpop-ish. more like if the lyrics wasn’t korean, anyone would think this is a western music. i think the combination of primary, zion t and the other producers who helped with this song, and of course MBLAQ, is a great teamup~ they produce great music. the album songs were not extraordinary but it is very catchy and good to listen to~ it’s just too ballad-y~ well i think that’s where MBLAQ goes great at~

    anyway, thanks a lot for appreciating MBLAQ’s song, Simon and Martina. and i hope MBLAQ gets all credited with their hardwork. indeed this is one great song and i hope it gets the credit it should deserve~

  30. BEST SONG OF THE YEAR!!!! XDD

  31. woohh!! I’m happy that simon and martina liked it! XD

  32. Guys you should totally tweet this review to G.O. He said that it’s MBLAQ’s fault (not fans fault) that they haven’t won any awards. Firstly winning an award isn’t everything, secondly it’s not MBLAQ’s fault, not the fans fault and definitely not this songs fault. I think MBLAQ should know how much you praise this song! :D And aren’t you like best buddies already (since G.O has watched your videos)… haha
    Anyway great review, I really like the fact that MBLAQ was MBLAQ and didn’t try to do a mishmash song like so many k-pop artists do nowadays… I also didn’t really thought of that it’s not a typical k-pop music video with the close ups but now that I think about it, that was the reason why it was so hard to gif a dp for myself. XD But it didn’t bother me, I didn’t need any face rubbing close ups anyway.

  33. When are you announcing the batoost winner?

  34. and their intro song SEXY BEAT
    is…Freaking…
    AWESOME!! it was a perfect tune and i loved seeing them perform it before they went onto Sexy Beat

  35. thank u so much for doing MBLAQ smoky girl on kpop music mondays… this song is the best song of 2013 till now atleast for me.. the beat, the choreo, the lyrics, the outfits, the MV, everything was just PERFECT… i can listen to this song all the time & the chorus is addictive.. i feel sorry for those who didn’t like it, ofcourse it’s your opinion but you are missing on some good music .. just saying

  36. I’ve been watching you guys forEVER and lately since I’ve been making plans to study in South Korea, I’ve been rewatching some of your older TL;DRs. My mom (who often hates everything I love, lolz) saw a couple that I was watching and actually asked me to play this week’s Kpop Music Monday for her so we could watch it together. So ACTUALLY on top of this being a fantastic video about one of my favorite groups, you guys are actually starting to resolve some of the tension between my mom and I, so thank you very very much <3

  37. out of both songs i like 2pm :D MARTINA I LOVED YOUR CONTACTS THEY REALLY REMIND ME OF THE AMAZING TEEN WOLF TV SERIES WEREWOLF EYES :D

  38. Me and Simon are on the same page!
    I also got that Justin Timberlake feel from this!
    As well as the RandB feel!
    They did a really great job with this song!
    And if you think dancing in kpop videos are awkward, you should see them in dramas, Oh my god, it’s embarrassing
    But I think that the extras aren’t actually dancing to any music. I saw it when I was watching the Drama Thorn Birds, and the lady was playing the character of an extra in the club, and the director told them to dance, but no music was playing….so I’m just making that assumption because it’s the only way not to feel embarrassed about them dancing so bad.

  39. First: Love your kpop music monday today. I don’t like Smoky girl as much as you both do, however I loved the segment.
    Second: The butt-hurt people below in the comments need to get over it. There’s a lot of videos I wish I could have been reviewed for KMM (Like that one Sunny Hill & Daybreak song “Love Actually” It was skit gold!!) Anyhoo they just need to get over it, it’s all your twos choices on this.
    Third: You really should make a fangurilla shirt. I’d buy it. In a hearttt beattt.

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