Every time I see articles about young Asian actors leaving behind their “flower boy” roles for more “manly” characters, I feel some kind of way. Such articles act like attractiveness and masculinity cannot go hand it hand. They might if their authors were watching what I watch.
Ever so often, I like to share what’s on heavy rotation on my iPod. It isn’t always the newest thing, or the most popular thing, but for some reason this is the stuff that I’m grooving to. It’s just what I like, and some info about it. Maybe you might like it too. Today, it’s “Rally Go Round” by Lisa.
What I’m Listening To
Why I Like It
This song fits the frenetic pace of the anime Nisekoi! One boy, several girls and a mysterious locket.
Ever so often, I like to share what’s on heavy rotation on my iPod. It isn’t always the newest thing, or the most popular thing, but for some reason this is the stuff that I’m grooving to. I make no distinction between idol and non-idol K-pop, popular and obscure, mainstream and indie. It’s just what I like, and some info about it. Maybe you might like it too. Today, it’s “결혼하지마 [Don’t Marry]” by Fly to the Sky.
What I’m Listening To
Who Does It
Fly to the Sky is a veteran K-pop duo. While the group began as an idol group which played on the good looks of its members, it developed into a group that showcased the talented vocals of Hwanhee and Brian Joo. This track comes from the duo’s 2007 album, No Limitations.
Why I Like It
This song is Exhibit A for why a lot of fans like K-pop: the music. Without even knowing the lyrics, and even the title, the emotional energy of the vocals is clear, and complemented by the sparse instrumentation.
Sometimes when you start an Asian drama, it is love at first sight. You start marathoning it with no problem, eager to see what happens in the next episode. Then, there are other times when you start a drama, and you let those unwatched episodes languish in your queue. Here are some of mine!
Anime series can be a frenetic experience with complex relationships, but some low-key anime series represent very sweet relationships between siblings.
Asian historical dramas are replete with queens, empresses and court ladies duking it out behind the scenes while kings rule the country. Some might think they are something akin to Disney princesses with no agency and little power, but the Korean drama Empress Ki and the Chinese drama Virtuous Queen of Han both show that women are running things.
If you have been watching the KBS2 show The Return of Superman, you have been hit with the overwhelming cuteness of the toddlers. However, the show also shows another side of Korean masculinity through the interaction between the kids and their dads.
“평화의 날/Peace Day” is from Epik High’s 2004 album High Society.
The melodrama genre of K-drama has its share of improbable plots, shocking twists and selfish characters. These things take on even greater significance when the person involved are siblings. Sibling rivalry takes on new meaning in Baker King Kim Tak Goo and Five Fingers. Both of these Kdramas explore loyalty and love and question what it means to be “true” brothers.
Come Back to My Life is from Shinhwa’s 2002 album, Perfect Man
직감 (Jikgam)/Intuition is from CN Blue’s 2011 album, First Step.
“Hey Girl” is from TVXQ’s 2006 album O.
사랑의 미학 (Art of Love) is from Dynamic Duo’s 2012 album, Digilog 2/2.
While K-pop remains a subculture in many places, it tends to attract a wide variety of fans. One of the reasons for such appeal is that K-pop provides a sense of nostalgia on several levels, a feat not easily achieved in the pop music world.