Wednesday, March 3, 2010
J-D Squared and...SHINee?
As the readers of this blog know, GM is notoriously critical and frank. She credits herself for being practical, realistic and above most of my “superficiality”.
So you can guess my reaction when out of the blue one day, she said: “I like SHINee.”
“What?! You.. like SHINee?” Mind you, her comment may seem un-obssessive to you, but knowing GM, that self-prompted admission alone signals how much she has latched onto this group.
“Yea, I like them…I mean, I like their music…and they can dance and sing well at the same time. They’re adorable.” Adorable? When did you ever like skinny, effeminate K-pop groups?
In order to protect my integrity, and defend myself against the implications stated above, I, GM, will first describe how I feel about Kpop. Unlike ROL, who thinks Kpop is similar to chocolate, the more the better, until you hit a threshold and it becomes sickening; I think chocolate is too kind a word to describe the world of Kpop. To me, it has been more of a plague. It spreads through multiple mediums, is highly contagious and dangerously detrimental to a person's health. Just look at all those symptoms – incessant screaming, foolish chanting (albeit, very organized and rhythmic), lack of cohesive thought when spending funds, strange tactics to win the affections of their idols, and the worst part is, these infectious victims don’t feel satisfied with just themselves being infected, they also want to drag everyone else down with them.
Therefore, I've treated this tumultuous and infectious disease with a sort of detached aloofness. I listen to Kpop...but never too much. I like Kpop idols...but never get close. To me, it's something that's inevitably there and if I'm in the mood, I enjoy it for what it is. Note: This does not include the indie, lesser mainstream and less popular K music/artists that I like.
In order to explain my "sudden" proclamation of liking for SHINee, I must go back to 9 years prior when I started watching K varieties. Shinhwa was the first Kpop group that I liked, not for their music, but for their member appearances in K varieties, and it was more of a positive opinion than true fandom. As the years passed, I moved from Shinhwa to Super Junior to 2AM, and inevitably to SHINee. But unlike before where it was personalities in varieties that appealed to me, or a few notably talented members that got my attention, I found myself impressed with the overall quality of this "boy" group; in terms of music selection, dance talent, singing capabilities, distinct individualism of each member, and group cohesiveness on live performances. It's the first time I'm attached and impressed by all members of a group, almost equally.
SHINee members, like their predecessors, DBSK, are each well-rounded in musical talent and dancing. Usually in a Kpop group, members are designated certain roles, often resulting in some being good singers but not great dancers, while others are rappers but can not sing, etc. An imbalance of skill, essentially. Therefore, I've been impressed with the range of talents of each member in SHINee - in comparison to the current crop of boy groups. SME may be known as a ruthless and perfidious company that imbibes upon and exhausts its artists, but one thing I must say is the training on all essentials of being an artist, and emphasis on differentiating and diversifying their artists' talents/images are exemplary.
So what makes SHINee different for me? Firstly, I did not discover SHINee through variety programs. I discovered them through a live Music Core performance, a random video sent to me by one of my many Kpop addicts. For once, I was more than slightly amused, I was actually impressed. I've seen many live performances of Kpop groups (hard to avoid when my Kpop-addicted net buddies are constantly trying to pull me under), but they mostly ranged from moderately interesting to distasteful. Only DBSK and BEG ever got more than "positive opinion" ratings for their live performances.
I'm still averse to immersing myself into the world of Kpop, but gradual influence from those around me have made me seen more of the silver linings. And if my ROL has any say, I'm sure to be converted one of these days.
Seriously, SHINee?! I mean, I can see GM liking a particular idol like Brian, Heechul, and Jo Kwon, through watching variety programs, but a whole idol group? Especially one she considers “baby-ish” and "girly"? But hey, whatever floats her boat. As long as I get her "infected," I don't care which group does it.
We may be quite polar opposites and bicker often, but there are several things that unite us.... SHINee!
P.S. OK, this was such a random post, but it at least proves what big dorks we are.