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Month: January, 2013

The Never-ending Obsession, Obligation & Oogling

I solemnly swear that this will be my last post about Girls’ Generation.

For the time being.

I apologize, but I can’t seem to stop blabbering about them. Couple that with my furious passion to rank everything within my reach, & here you have an entry where I will, in my most immature, child-like, shallow, judgmental review, rank the best-looking (& mention the worse-looking one too) Girl in 15 of their more noteworthy music videos through the years, from the very beginning. Why? Because it’s fun. Is it useful? Nope. Then why do I still do it? Because it gives me bliss, word.

1. “Into The New World” – The good days when the girls were at their most natural, with almost zero noticeable makeup (gasp! checkout Seohyun’s eyebags!). While my favourite Taeyeon looks farkingadorable & so awesome with aviation goggles working on an airplane’s internal components & then piloting it, Tiffany edges ahead with that outrageous eye-smile, lip-smile & that innocent short hairdo.

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2. “Girls’ Generation”Taeyeon, hands-down. This was her prime era, anyone thinks otherwise is retarded. Yoona, a distant second.

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3. “Kissing You” – Lollipops! This is a tough one because it was an overdose of cuteness (which becomes tiresome quickly), truth be told I can’t single out the best-looking one, but I know who was the most agonizingly horrendous one. Someone should fire the person in charge of Hyoyeon’s makeover.

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4. “Day By Day” – Okay, this is not actually a music video, rather the screensaver by Daum in which all of the girls look endearing. While I liked how Yuri “wipes clean” your screen, a flirty Taeyeon just about redefines the significance of a simple scoop of ice cream.

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5. “HaHaHa” – Cute outfits, cute colours. & when you see the word cute, you know who wins. Uh oh, she’s clearly leading the pack…

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6. “Gee” – The Holy Grail song that launched them into superstardom. It’s a close tie between the cute-as-a-button Sunny & sweet Yoona, but I do not know why I feel obliged to award Yoona not only for this but for her overall consistency.

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7. “Genie” – & the winner is…all of their legs. This is for me the definitive tune for SNSD, & the track that introduced me to their heaven-thy-kingdom-come legs. But if I were to choose one face & am barred from choosing Taeyeon again, I would vote for Sunny, whom I almost forgot does long locks very very well.

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8. “Oh!” – Another complicated one. While a highschool cheerleader theme for these 9 girls seem like a sure-overkill, I don’t quite dig the pink+big curly hair section. But enter the next pompons-with-blue-singlets section & Sunny just knocks it out of the park with her desirability!

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9. “Run Devil Run” – Outstanding Taeyeon rampages over to the hot-vixen era, leaving behind the cute era. Absolutely explosive stuff. This is probably the easiest win.

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10. “Hoot!” – The Bond-girl theme was good stuff, & Sooyoung (who has the strongest cheekbones that complement her very beautiful face structure) rocks the look especially with that perfect hairdo.

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11. “The Boys” – Hmmm, wanted to give this to Jessica until I was reminded of Sunny‘s absolutely smashing short hairdo. Her transformation into this hot-blooded-sassy version of her was so enigmatic I almost wanted the other 8 girls to stay out of the picture. Well okay that’s harsh, at least Jessica & Yoona were worthy equals during the intro scene.

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12. “Mr. Taxi” – This marked the arrival of Sooyoung who before this started a lil’ rough but has matured into a full-bloomed porcelain beauty.

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13. “Bad Girl” – Love the song, love even more the choreography. But truth be told none of the girls truly rocked the bad girl look, so I’ll hand it over to young Seohyun as she made the most improvement & looked most convincing here.

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14. “All My Love Is For You” – While I missed Tiffany‘s all-natural look in the beginning & generally detest her recent increase in makeup & hair colour, I have to say, she looks incredibly perfect from every single camera angle in this gorgeous video.

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15. “I Got A Boy” –  A clear winner in Yuri! Whoever did her makeover & clothes absolutely hit a homerun. From the aviators, to the blue highlights of her hair, a smoking Yuri takes away the winner’s cheque away from the very consistently good-looking Yoona, whom I have noticed have been placed 2nd many times in my rankings.

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Final score:

1. Taeyeon – 4 wins
2. Sunny – 3 wins
3. Tiffany – 2 wins
4. Sooyoung – 2 wins
5. Yoona – 1 win
6. Yuri – 1 win
7. Seohyun – 1 win
8. Jessica – Nada
9. Hyoyeon – Negative 1
 

So in a surprising twist, Jessica Jung, voted world no. 5 most beautiful face in the recent 23rd Annual Independent Critics List of the 100 Most Beautiful Faces, gets no wins. Unsurprisingly of course, Kim Taeyeon wins everything as always :p.

The Journey Into The Ears

This is a tale about how I got my in-ears.

When these started to feel old & insufficient

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I wanted to have a new pair of these

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Because I was heavily influenced by the national treasure of Korea

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Then I got distracted by these

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& also liked these after testing

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In the end I went to the audio headphones store to get these

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But ended up with a pair of these!

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Simply because, for an entry-level in-ears for daily commute heavy usage, coming from a manufacturer of such repute, I have yet to find a pair that is as impressive. value-for-money & feels as properly-built as these.

Happy New Year – The Koreans Invade Again, & This Time They’ve Gone Mad

Okay, I’m wading waaa-a-a-y deep into dangerous territory here – I actually feel the need to produce a review on a Korean album.

I think it’s time you & I accepted the fact that the previous post was not a fling, it has now grown into a full-bloomed relationship based on commitment & faith. The Mayans did not help me by ending this phase (& the universe as we know it) for me, so hope of salvaging what dignity of mine that is left is lost. I’m officially a new fan of SNSD.

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Which can only mean, you can hate the noise of K-pop, but you can’t help but love the Girls. & you sure as hell can’t help loving Taeyeon.

How much more wonderful can this immature misguided child within me feel knowing that 2013 will start with SNSD releasing “I Got A Boy” the single, the music video, & the long-awaited album. Well okay, long for the other crazed fans – I just embraced this freak of nature phase a couple of months ago.

& it’s complete bonkers. The craziest irregular doped-up shit I’ve heard since…“Bohemian Rhapsody”. Yea, so shoot me for sinfully mentioning Queen in the same breath as SNSD.

I’ve seen this more times than I dare to admit. It’s got all the ingredients I generally despise – electro dance, hip-hop, dub steps, that annoying buzzing tiuuutiititiitititiiuuuu tune scattered all around, the ending that should have probably come a full minute earlier. It’s messy, it’s too colourful, it’s overblown.

But not everything can be deduced by science, because the end result of all this concoction & hybrid of, what…5-6 songs perhaps? I absolutely LOVE IT.

It’s beyond crazy, chaotic, confusing, & it sounds like the writers & the Girls are both high & drunk. It is sublimely FEROCIOUS.

I love the out-of-their-comfort-zone zest & ambition. I love the girls’ relentless swagger & confidence. I love how Taeyeon is totally – majestically – owning it from 1:06 to 1:19. Heck, I even love the amateur rapping (Yoona, seriously? How adorable!). & Yuri, goodness she looks terrific! (those Aviators are killing it) That opening show-tunes-like sequence (right up till Tiffany launches them into overblown hip-hop mode) is quite brilliant. & the more energetic choreography is the best I’ve seen since their all-time-greatest, the powerful “Into the New World” & the Swiss-like-precision “Genie”.

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Good luck to the rest if anyone’s gonna top this madhouse. What a way to blaze into 2013.

So it is just too rather unfortunate that the rest of the 9 songs in the album fizzles out & does not match the ambition & unexpectedly glorious mess of the first track. Notable ones are scarce – “Express 999” comes closest. Before long I found myself cutting back to track no.1 & replaying that many many many times.

This brings me back to the Japanese album they released just a couple of months back in November 2012, “Girls’ Generation II – Girls & Peace”. Now that was a pretty decent pop album.

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More importantly, amongst the good tracks – from the eclectic “Flower Power”, the cool “T.O.P.”, the catchy “Girls & Peace”, the sweeping cheesy ballads of “All My Is Love For You” & “Not Alone”, lies a hidden gem which I think ranks among the best from the 9 girls. That song, ladies & gentlemen, is called “Stay Girls”.

Now why this did not get released as a single would boggle me (just like the other hidden gem from TTS – “Baby Steps”), but “Stay Girls” rounds up the whole Girls’ Generation music style, theme & journey pretty well. It’s radio-friendly, catchy, & has that anthem-like feel, the kind of song you want them to sing as a final encore in their concerts, & the kind of song you definitely want to hear on the last day of Earth (or the last day before Girls’ Generation decides to retire).

No single? No video? No problem…leave it to the fans. Surely this is a befitting fan-made video for the lovely track.

In any case, “Girls & Peace” might have been the better album compared to “I Got A Boy”, but I will be last person to complain about SNSD. Is one leading single, a quite stunning one at that, enough to save the album & sustain the Girls’ all-conquering hold? I don’t know, but if there’s one thing I’m absolutely sure about, is that I’m damned well pleased to see them return. Welcome back girls!

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