The K-Pop 100: Idol Group Songs – #70~#61

[The K-Pop 100: Idol Group Songs]

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

70. Cleo – Ready For Love

Cleo - Ready For Love

From Ready For Love (2000)
Label: Ho Entertainment
Composition/Arrangement: Kim Dong-young
Writing: Kim Tae-yoon
Links: music video, live

The melody has a bit of that 90s Korean ballad feel – like Star In My Heart stuff. The techno accompaniment that kicks in soon washes that away, but the song remains impossibly cheery. While I don’t think Cleo ever really got out of FIN.K.L.’s shadow, this one moment was fully their own.

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

Previous Entry (#60~51):

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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Really Early Morning Live

Today’s been hot like it should be illegal in Washington. If that sentence seemed grammatically broken to you, it’s either the heat getting to me or the heat getting to you (assuming you’re in the same general area as me and reading this within a couple days of posting. Or, I guess, assuming you’re in a totally different place and time than right here and right now but still just as hot. Never mind.) Yes, I understand that the sun doesn’t show itself to this state very often,  but that doesn’t mean it needs to get all temperamental and suddenly decide to cook the life out of everything. I’m happy with the milder, gentler, more reasonable and less b*tchy sun we get around autumn. Why can’t we just have that all year round?

But that’s the reason I’m up at 2:20am writing instead of sleeping my well-deserved sleep. Nothing like blogging to pass the time. That doesn’t mean I can write anything coherent at the moment–it’s been a couple months since the days where I’d stay up this late on a regular basis, so all I can pump out is a random mess. Not that what I usually post on here isn’t a random mess, but even more so tonight this morning. So I’m just going to write whatever comes to me until it feels okay to sleep.

1. I have about 12 different topics on queue to blog about, but unfortunately most of them are really bare-bones ideas right now. This time could probably be spent more usefully thinking about those.

2. They should really look into having a “lights out” button on more websites. Like the ones that Youtube used to have? (Do they still have them?) WordPress is really white and bright and it’s just not the best during the night.

3. Dr. Seuss, I think I just totally topped you with that just now. And I didn’t even notice it for a while.

4. I tried Googling this blog’s title to see if it would show up. No luck. Instead, it returned stuff like this and this. I guess I wasn’t so clever when I came up with my title. I wasn’t about to give up though, so I tried searching “Found in Translation wordpress”. Which found this. (By the way, they all seem to be fairly interesting blogs. Give them a try.)
I think Google’s trying to tell me something. Like I shouldn’t try to search for my blog on it when I’ve had one for maybe half a month, and there are much better-written and more well-known blogs under the same title. But you know what? I’m not a quitter. So I searched for “Found in translation wordpress jdbae”. Yes, I included part of the blog URL in the query. And there it was–sitting proudly as the second search result. (The first was a tag that I used in my accents post–“Kumon”. Can you get any more random?)
I win, Google. Suck it.

5. I saw Shutter Island earlier. I personally think it needed at least two more twists like the one it had at the end. I like my suspense films overdone. Also, Mr. DiCaprio looks exactly the same as he did in Aviator. And Body of Lies. And The Departed. And Revolutionary Road (okay, maybe the last one’s a stretch). No, that’s not all that weird for actors, but this particular case is simply too hard on the eyes to keep up. If you’re Emma Stone and you decided to appear exactly the same from Zombieland onwards (which she didn’t, I guess), that would be totally fine. (Absolutely no bias here. I don’t know what you’re talking about.) But maybe it’s a feat in itself that he managed to snag roles where he could do that and be era-appropriate every time.

6. What happens when you decide, at 2:20am in the morning, to write a blog post and at the same time do things like Google a blog title and look at senior party pictures? The answer: you get to #6 on a numbered list, of which only five actually say something, by 3:05am. I think it’s cool enough to sleep now, goodness.