Saturday, February 20, 2010

Hwaiting!

Gaah! I'm really bad in sorting out my priorities. Piles of work with looming deadlines should see me working my butt off and trembling with anxiety. But still, here I am, engrossed in the wonderful world of Youtube and Google (which I think are two of the greatest inventions of the internet).

It's been a while. I don't actually have any 'random thoughts' to write about. But after some heavy doses of my dad's "Why don't you write anymore?", I guess I could put this entry here. Besides, I got bored of writing about fiduciary duty in a partnership.

I previously wrote something about not liking the latest hits and all that, and I still stand by that. But now I have a new fascination (some might call it obsession) towards this super amazing Korean group. That's right, I just caught the K-Pop fever. Before proceeding, feel free to listen to this very soothing song.



The K-Pop fever has been raging throughout Asia and I believe everywhere else too. The market is largely filled with boybands and girlbands, usually with quite a lot of members. This kind of groups are more successful than most solo artists in breaking through geographically different markets, even the States and Europe.

Physical appeal and good marketing generally determine the continuous success of the groups, while talent takes the third place. From my observation, a lot of groups digitally enhance their voices in their recordings, and most sound terrible live (which is why most live performances are actually lip-sync). Yup, some of them can't really sing that well. The girls especially thrive on catchy/cute tunes with cute dance routine.

However, there are a few bunch of genuinely talented groups out there. One exceptionally amazing boyband is DBSK. But that's not the one I fell for. My favourite Korean group is... [drum roll]

SUPER JUNIOR!


WARNING – fangirl mode: ON

Equipped with large collections of K-Pop videos and songs, my housemates introduced me to this awesome group (and other Korean acts) not so long ago. I liked their very popular song, Sorry Sorry immediately, though I don't usually enjoy songs with repetitive tune/lyrics. My housemates fed me with enough of SJ's videos and songs to make me curious about the group. A few Youtube and Google searches later, I became a huge fan.

Super Junior (aka SuJu) is literally the largest boyband in the planet with 13 members (is it a bad sign that I know all of their names?). The songs are mostly typical pop songs; either with addictive tune that makes you want to dance the choreography too, or great to sing-along to. Of course, with that many members, everyone get to sing, like, 2 lines only. But I was surprised that I can put the names to different voices in the songs, showing the distinctive styles of the members.

There are 4 non-exclusive subgroups within the main group targeted to please different audience. My personal favourite is Super Junior M (SJM) which focuses on the Chinese audience. Their songs are very much similar to the main SJ, but in Mandarin. Two Chinese members are added to the particular unit (with 5 members from SJ), which sparked a big controversy and great debate. The controversy is not because of their nationality (they have a Chinese member in the original group) but because the fans don't want any new members to enter. Some fans (or so they claimed themselves to be) keep putting up banners and chanting "13 only" when they perform. Yeah I think that's ridiculous as well (not to mention very rude). It's not like the old members will be kicked out or anything. I mean, the more the merrier isn't it? And they are both super talented.



ZhouMi (left) wrote some of their songs and is one of what they call the 'power vocals' in the group. Besides singing and dancing, Henry (right) plays the violin and piano. He already received several awards and prizes for his dancing (he learns ballet and hip-hop), piano and violin playing. And he's totally adorable (that's my fangirl side talking). How could anyone hate him? With him in SJM, a lot of their songs feature his violin solos. This next video is one of their popular ones, U. Note Henry's violin part at 2:33.




One surprising fact (at least to me) is that Super Junior produces great ballads as well. But most are from the subgroup Super Junior K.R.Y. (another personal fav) which stands for Kyuhyun, Ryeowook and Yesung. The song in the first video is sung by my favourite SJ member, Kyuhyun (he's the one in the middle). K.R.Y. consists of the best singers in the group, aimed to attract more mature audience. They don't normally sing jazz though.

Super Junior is currently having a bit of a situation due to a lawsuit made by one of the members against their record label regarding unfairness in his contract. If that person wins, he could immediately withdraw from the contract, i.e. out from SJ. All the fans (me included) are fervently hoping the two parties will be able to compromise and SJ would not lose a member. They will not disband regardless of the outcome, but still, it will never be the same.

So I guess that's all I can say about the super amazing Super Junior (quite a lengthy one isn't it?). I can write more, but I need to find out what the heck is joint tenancy. Though I might sound a little too interested with this group, it is nothing compared to what most people go through in the name of SuJu love. I myself has turned into an ELF (Ever-lasting Friend, title for SJ's fans), and am glad for it. I intend to share the wonderful experience all around.

Super Junior hwaiting!

By the way, hwaiting is the usual term used to cheer someone. I didn't misspell.