The K-Pop 100: Idol Group Songs – #40~#31

[The K-Pop 100: Idol Group Songs]

Introduction
#100 – #91
#90 – #81
#80 – #71
#70 – #61
#60 – #51
#50 – #41
#40 – #31
#30 – #21
#20 – #11
#10 – #1

40. F(x) – 피노키오 (Pinocchio – Danger)

F(x) - Pinocchio

From Pinocchio (2011)
Label: SM Entertainment
Composition: Alex Cantrall, Jeff Hoeppner, Dwight Watson
Writing: Kenzie, Misfit
Arrangement: Hitchhiker
Links: music video, audio, live

We knew F(x) was weird, but “Pinocchio” showed us their weirdness could be coherent. The group’s utter disregard for narrative structure and sense continued here, but in a package that was more accessible than “NU ABO” and against much stronger musical backdrop. The lyrics could be interpreted to be unassuming, chilling or preferably both. Individual performances, like Luna‘s childish delight, brought the unlikely theme to life. This song was the first true glimpse at F(x)’s immense potential, and we haven’t been disappointed since.

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The K-Pop 100: Idol Group Songs – #90~#81

[The K-Pop 100: Idol Group Songs]

Introduction
#100 – #91
#90 – #81
#80 – #71
#70 – #61
#60 – #51
#50 – #41
#40 – #31
#30 – #21
#20 – #11
#10 – #1

90. FIN.K.L. – 영원 (Eternity)

FIN.K.L. - Eternity

From Eternity (2002)
Label: DSP Media
Composition/Arrangement: Yoo Jung-yeon
Writing: Lee Hyori (FIN.K.L.)
Links: music video, audio, live

FIN.K.L.’s final album (at least, to date) focused on maturation, and so a ballad was picked to be the lead single. With Ok Joo-hyun leading, the four members elegantly performed this easy-listening number that borrowed noticeably from Brown Eyes-style R&B pop. A soft melody and thoughtful arrangement later, we had the definitive FIN.K.L. ballad.

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Top 100 (Korean) Songs of the Decade: #50~41

Previous Entry (#60~51):

https://jdbae.wordpress.com/2011/01/01/top-100-korean-songs-of-the-decade-6051/

50. 싸이 (Psy) – 챔피언 (Champion)
Album: 3싸이 (3Psy)
Release: 9-19-2002

This tune here probably sounds familiar to you. It’s the famous “Axel F” track from Beverly Hills Cop; Psy was by no means the first artist to sample it, but he probably did put the weirdest spin on it. This reimagining is based on techno, with old-school synthesizer and analog drum machine filling the beat. The familiar melody is used as an intro and background, throughout and up to the chorus; the actual chorus and tune are original.

A majority of Psy’s songs have this in common: they are extremely danceable. That means they’re upbeat, energetic, vibrant, and entertaining, with a bit of the magic ingredient (whatever it may be) that completes the concoction. His greatest hits were all that way–“Bird”, “Celeb”, “We Are The One”, and the most recent “Right Now” all followed that formula. “Champion” is one of those songs as well: the supercharged beat is there, as described, and Psy’s signature entertaining, not-quite-virtuoso-but-good-to-the-ear rapping makes the rest of it. As a club anthem, it fits the bill; as a pick-me-up, it works equally well. But this one’s different from Psy’s other similar successes by way of a message. The lyrics are pretty funny, but this time they have an important empowerment theme. The titular “champion”, as Psy makes very clear about 400 times, is you. It’s you because you shout. It’s you because you rock to music. Because you enjoy life. Because it’s you. Because you’re you. And you’re a champ.

[As an aside,  this is a track perfectly suited to a concert, which Psy knows. Hence the remix of this song, which is breathtaking–full orchestra and band accompaniment, with scale befitting one of his year-end concerts. I almost consider it better than this version, but as far as I know there is only one location on the Internet where it is still publicly available, and it cannot be linked to.]

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