Summer always signals top tier comebacks in K-pop, but it’s also a good time for new groups to debut. There’s tonnes of festivals to perform at and the weather is nice and warm (an important factor for scantily-clad girl groups), and those lucky enough to make it onto music programs can benefit from the exposure as more viewers tune in to check out all the big comebacks.
The group I’ve seen getting the most buzz online right now is Playback. It’s easy to see why they’re getting so much love from international fans: they’re neither cute nor trashy, they’ve got a decent visual and seem to possesses some talent, and there’s only four members. (Some folk seem to suffer a brain aneurysm if a K-pop group has more than four or five members. “I CANT TELL THEM APART THERE’S TOO MANY MEMBERS WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING OH MY GOD THIS IS TRIPPING ME THE FUCK OUT THEY’RE SHIT 2NE1 IS THE ONLY GOOD GIRL GROUP!!!)
Playback’s self-titled debut single is a nod back to the candy-coated urban-pop of the early to mid 2000s. SISTAR19 utterly perfected this sound with “Ma Boy,” but they also had a way bigger budget behind them. For a bunch of nobodies from a nothing agency, Playback’s “Playback” is a solid effort.
While everybody is stanning for Playback, I’m over in the corner getting my rocks off to Love Us (their name is surely a Lovelyz rip-off, right?).
The group has been on my radar for a while because they’ve got two members from the now defunct Bob Girls, Chrome Entertainment’s failed (but quite good!) follow up to Crayon Pop.
The synthesized R&B groove of their first single, “Tickle,” is far sexier and fresher than Playback’s much safer offering. It’s also nice to get a song that actually sounds sexy, as opposed to your typical top forty hook song with a sexy concept thrown on top for media play.
Here’s hoping Love Us lasts longer than Bob Girls did…
Bambino is one of the many sexy female dance groups in Korea that perform at tacky events and festivals across the country. Most just stick to dancing, but after having a handful of popular fancams online the foursome decided to officially debut as singers with “Oppa Oppa.”
“Oppa Oppa” is a pretty bad slice of low budget eurodance, but like all these songs there’s a cheap novelty factor to it that can be fun if you’re in the mood. And the fact that it’s a bad and blatant rip-off of the excellent late ’90s Greek dance hit “Opa Opa” makes me like it more than I would if it were an original production.
Still, they’re no Pocket Girls.
I’ve had my eye on Asha since their sexy golf concept photos dropped in May. How have no other girl groups done a porno golf concept yet? You can guarantee AOA will steal it for their next comeback.
Asha’s debut single, “Mr. Liar,” is strange because it’s hard to tell if it’s intentionally proggy and weird or if it just ended up like that because the production budget was so low. It’s a really odd record, with autotuned off-key vocals backed by unmastered brass and obtrusive handclaps. At one point it turns electro out of nowhere, and the rap break, which usually appears on the bridge in K-pop songs, suddenly arrives halfway through the second verse. And don’t get me started on the creepy pre-chorus, which is the kind of thing that should be chanted at Rosemary’s Baby’s christening (sataning?).
If you’re not impressed by the bizarre production, then you’ll love the whore-y choreography or the clown mask in the MV that they stole from Chocolat.