Polishing My Tiara, or What It’s Like Being An Orange Princess Today

Originally published on KPK: Kpop Kollective on June 22, 2011 by CeeFu

Yeah, I know all the cool kids are into SNSD and Super Junior and BigBang and SHINee. I like them too. You get to see them doing stuff nearly every day.   But it takes commitment to be a Changjo, a fan of Shinhwa, an Orange Princess.

Cassies always keep the faith and all, but try being an Orange Princess. It is no secret that I LOVE Shinhwa. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways: Andy, Eric, Dongwan, Minwoo, Hyesung, Jun Jin:

While I love the individual members of Shinhwa, you know there is always your bias.  You hear that, Andy? It’s you and me, baby, YOU and ME! It’s true, I have a thing for the maknaes:

Because Shinhwa is “inactive” and scattered across the Kpop universe, it takes a certain amount of determination to keep the love alive. Ok, not really, because there are so many reasons to love Shinhwa that are not affected by space and time. One of the reasons why I hold Shinhwa so dear (you know, other than the fact they are very attractive and talented men in THE legendary Kpop group) is the sheer diversity of musical styles they attempt.  Like most people, I have playlists on my IPod, and one of my playlists is Kpop, of course. It’s huge, but it never fails that when some song comes on I can’t place, the answer is ALWAYS Shinhwa.

Who is that with the gospel-esque track laced with some rap? Shinhwa! They get all revival-y with this one. My Everything is a song that always throws me, especially when I forget which playlist I’m on. Fo’ real? You go!

Who is that with the classical intro that turns into heavy metal that turns into a rap? Shinhwa!  All Your Dreams is the kind of song you want to blast on your boomin’ system in the car, just to see people’s faces when they pull up next to you at the light. Is that guitar AND Korean rap? The only thing better than this is the remix, which is heavier in all the best ways.

Who is that with the groovy dance track? Shinhwa!  Oh. this applies to so many songs, but one of my favorites is Thanks! I do wish there was some video for this, but it is one of my favorite songs by them, so enjoy!

Who is that with the dance-y dance track? Shinhwa!  I’m still trying to convince the rest of KPK to start a dance cover group so that we can get our own chair dance on like Shinhwa does in Wild Eyes!  Why are you looking at me like that? Look, I got a chair right over here…..Why do they think it’s such a weird idea?

Who is that just having a little chit-chat in Korean? Shinhwa! Who else would think they could get away with some conversation in Korean like the one on Tansaeng? Dudes, I don’t even KNOW Korean!!!! What are you talking about? Whatever it is, it seems awfully funny, and I’m steadily listening to whatever Shinhwa is putting down on that track!

This small sampling of Shinhwa offerings is not just representative of the wacky stuff on my IPod. It shows the sheer diversity of stuff Shinhwa did in their 13 (and counting) years. They literally hit every musical genre on the planet, except maybe for monk chants, and I’m not sure, there may be one tucked away on some Shinhwa album not in my heavy rotation. In a day and age where some groups are so careful to try to meet the expectations of listeners, Shinhwa reminds me of what it was like to set the expectation.

Oh yeah, and I’m waiting for my comeback, patiently waiting, but waiting nonetheless. My tiara is all ready.

So, Shinhwa, where you at?