Reviews

2NE1 Falls Flat With Snoozy Comeback Single, “Falling In Love” (Single Review)

2NE1 Falling In Love For her recent solo debut, "The Baddest Female," 2NE1 frontwoman CL pulled away from Korea's super safe hip-hop scene and took inspiration from the likes of A$AP Rocky and the non-RedOne Nicki Minaj. The result was a woozy, slow-burning rap track with an alien beat and a big money shot that doesn't show itself until the final act. Naturally, K-pop fans hated it and were confused by the nonlinear production, just as they had been by Girls' Generation's "I Got a Boy," 2PM's "A.D.T.O.Y.," EXO's "Wolf," and virtually every other song that dared to be part of the experimental trend that's been so big in K-pop this past year.

Once "The Baddest Female" flopped, CL was quick to announce that 2NE1's then-forthcoming new single would be "very 2NE1," and "very different" from her own solo work. She was right, and that's not a compliment.

Natalia Kills – Saturday Night (Single Review)

Natalia Kills Saturday Night Artwork Natalia Kills' 2011 debut, Perfectionist, is underrated. It's not without its flaws like the title suggests, and there's a faint whiff of The Fame running through some parts, but the GaGa comparisons were ultimately overblown and clouded people's judgement when it came to the actual music. Kills eventually put a nail through any lingering similarities to Mother Monster with follow-up singles like "Kill My Boyfriend" and "Problem," cementing her own identity as a chilly fashionista with a penchant for aggressive pop music in the process. But every bad girl has a back story, and Natalia Kills is finally ready to share hers with the release of her most personal single to date, "Saturday Night."

4minute – Is It Poppin’? (Single Review)

4minute Is It Poppin' Feature When I first started getting into K-pop, 4minute was one of the groups that I really latched onto. Like 2NE1, their commercial electro-pop and artificial ferocity appealed to a K-pop noob like me, who still wasn't quite ready to accept the less blatantly Western K-pop acts at that point. While I eventually grew tired of 2NE1's one-trick-pony shtick and moved on to more interesting artists, 4minute's always remained a favorite, so I was pretty disappointed when "What's Your Name?" became the group's first single that I didn't like.

Girl’s Day – Female President (Single Review)

Girl's Day Female President Artwork Girl's Day made a huge impact this year after they went all Girls Gone Wild on everyone with "Expectation." The song was an inescapable smash, and once the group's 19-year-old maknae was busted dating a 35-year-old K-pop veteran, Girl's Day went from being the "Twinkle Twinkle" has-beens to one of the most talked about girl groups in the game almost overnight.
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Azealia Banks – Yung Rapunxel (Single Review)

Azealia-Banks-Yung-Rapunxel Considering the amount of shit that she talks, it's incredibly fitting that the artwork for Azealia Banks' new single "Yung Rapunxel" depicts the rapstress with three screaming mouths attached to her head. The 21-year-old is the 2013 version of Spencer Pratt: a professional famewhore of the highest-order who will sink to the lowest of lows for publicity, and then happily revel in the chaos of their own destruction. And just like Pratt, there's a bit of a self-knowing, sly wink to Banks' bad behavior -- without it, her trouble-making would be unbearable.