Korean Pop has taken off exponentially in the past few years in the west thanks to the global phenomenon that is Psy and other catchy tunes. Instead of ignoring this potential fad, I decided to investigate what it was all about. Soon, I learned that my appraisal of a potential new (credible) music genre was to be no easy feat. Here are some of the things I have learned from a preliminary glance down the rabbit-hole.
- EVERYTHING TAKES PLACE IN A PSEUDO-REALITY WORLD – from the conglomeration of videos which have graced my computer screen I have gathered that every video either takes place in a totally different post-apocalyptic minimalist hell-hole, or the inside of Hello Kitty’s vagina. Obviously this depends on the tone of the song itself, or in some cases, has absolutely nothing to do with anything.
- GENDER ROLES ARE PREDOMINANT – men are always portrayed as ‘modern warrior’ types that are basically hipsters, and women can be either leather-clad dominatrices or the Korean version of Japanese street fashion. Either way, expect (a) a lot of pink, or (b) just monochrome. The segregation of genders is obvious, as bands with male and female are few and far between. K-POP is the metaphorical arena where boy and girl bands go to grand-slam for the title of cringiest song.
- IT’S SURPRISINGLY TASTEFUL – once you get the ‘tutti-frutti’ taste out of your mouth and become obtuse to the fact that there is absolutely no depth to the music, you’ll realise that all the dance moves are so meticulous that everyone might as well be robots. Apart from the appearance of some questionably short skirts, Korean women do not show much of their breasts or mid-drifts. They are sexualised in a totally different way to the west – with their clothes on. None o’ this ‘bralet’ business. ALSO – WHITE SUITS EVERYWHERE.
- HAIR IS EVERYTHING – we’ve got nothing on their coiffure. Seriously, I’m jealous. All you have to do is Google ‘Kpop hair’ and it’ll reveal their *interesting* style.
- SUDDEN ONSET MASS GYRATION IS THE NORM – I wouldn’t be surprised if the singers wake up already rippling their bodies to the strange catchy beat….
- Which reminds me – YOU’LL BE ADDICTED – not enough to swear off all other forms of music, as most of it is just overly saccharine syrupy siren song, but occasionally you find a contagious beat that convinces you that you really want to cut your hair with severely graduated bangs on one side.
- ITS LIKE A DRUG – again, so sweet that you’ll be happy as a clam whilst you’re watching music videos and bopping along, but afterwards, reality drifts back. No longer am I immersed in the glitter and hair gel from five minutes ago, I’m actually in my room, it’s 3am, and I genuinely feel like I’ve been on some class A shit for the past hour.
- YOU’LL HAVE THE STRANGEST DREAMS –nsfw.
If you have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about then check out this video from YouTube by Tessa vd B: