Confettis of words

the bits and sketches in life


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23 A Drop of Thought: TOP’s Doom Dada

In a span of a week, YGE released three solo MVs of BIGBANG members. With Ringa Linga, Taeyang shows that he’s still good at his genre, while G-Dragon came up with a smart and stylish MV Who You. However, it’s Doom Dada by TOP that excited me the most. We had been waiting for his solo material since 2010, and when the weird teaser photo was released, we were ecstatic. TOP finally came out from the cave to prove that Doom Dada is worth the long wait.

One thing to note is the MV helps me enjoy the song. When I first heard Doom Dada, I thought TOP was too big for the song. I always admire his amazing rap-skill and rough voice, and it seemed to me that the music couldn’t contain the greatness of Choi Seunghyun. Somehow it’s too ‘plain’ for a YGE production. But when the song is combined with the visualization, the result is fantastic.

Doom Dada is similar with Turn It Up, maybe the ‘tribal’ drum sound (I’m sorry I couldn’t find another word to describe it).  Still, Doom Dada is exciting for its arrogant lyric and super fast part, which is particularly my favourite bit from the song. The MV is visually fascinating too, showing TOP riding an artificial zebra, doing acrobat on a motorcycle, sporting a Dali-inspired moustache and just looking gorgeous as he always does. I enjoy the quirkiness of the MV without finding out what the message it wants deliver. Yet TOP stated that there’s a statement behind the peculiar MV. For example, it turns out the annoying creepy baby symbolizes the crying generation. Sounds clever to me!

TOP could just stand there and charm us, but to me he’s the most mesmerizing when he’s on stage. Just watch him performing Doom Dada at MAMA 2013 and I’m sure many would agree with me. Thus, we demand a full album from TOP, and that’s an order, YGE.


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22 Looking Back: 23, Male, Single by Jang Wooyoung

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When a few weeks ago Wooyoung changed his Instagram bio description into some kind of code, a rumour circulated right away that he’s going to release a new solo album. The fact that he stayed longer in Japan than other 2PM members also seemed to reinforce the speculation. It gave me the mixed feeling: there’s so much anticipation but at the same time I didn’t want to keep my hopes up high. Another thing this rumour brought was the desire to listen to 23, Male, Single again. Undoubtedly, the songs in the album are my daily dose, but this time I wanted to enjoy it as a unity. A year after its release, have I changed my mind about this album?

In terms of sales, I think 78,000+ isn’t a poor number, and the album also made Wooyoung win an award as Best Korean New Solo Artist in YinYueTai V-Chart Awards. However, many people said that 23, Male, Single was a flop since it didn’t win in any music chart. They also stated that Wooyoung could’ve done better, which I agree with. Despite the chart disappointment, in my opinion this album is a fruitful effort to show Wooyoung’s individual talent. In 2PM, his singing skill is probably outshined by Jun K and Junho, but his solo songs demonstrate that his voice actually could fit in various genres.

Speaking about the single, when I listened to Sexy Lady for the first time, I thought it was horrible. After a year, sadly I haven’t changed my mind. Despite the catchy reffrain, I feel the song is overall dull. As a first solo single, it did give the expected shocking effect by showing a totally different image of Wooyoung, but somehow it seems that he’s trying too much. 2NITE, the opening track, would deliver a better statement in my opinion. The song echoes JYP for its swing influence but most importantly, it presents enthusiasm and liveliness, Wooyoung’s side that his fans adore so much.

 

Meanwhile, other songs in the album are mostly suitable for Wooyoung’s soft and occasionally nasal voice (Except DJ Got Me Goin’ Crazy, in which he seems unable to keep up with the tempo). Be With You is a gentle song with some hints of sensuality. Wooyoung executed the track finely, including the rap part although it’s not his specialty. The up-beat track Could Not Even Start is another fine achievement, and the sweet Only Girl gives a chance for us to listen completely to Wooyoung’s velvety voice. But for me, the best track in 23, Male, Single is the underrated Falling Down. Expressing apology and hopelessness of the persona who regrets his decision to leave his lover, Wooyoung sounds so fragile, sincere and beautiful. I’ve been in love with this song since the very first time I heard it.

You know those kids in class who are not the best achievers but always show the best spirit? To me Wooyoung is that kind of student. I think in a way he realized that he hasn’t done his best for his debut album. Thus, when other members were busy with their solo activities, he spent time studying many things, including song composition and design. Through his composition This Is Love that he proudly performed in What Time Is It Tour Finale, he seems to have found his confidence back. Now we can only wish that JYPE will give a second chance for Wooyoung. Because The Man truly deserves it.


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21 A Drop of Thought: Junho in Cold Eyes

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There were only five people in the auditorium: me, two old Korean ladies, and two male office workers spending their Friday afternoon break. I kinda wished that the auditorium would be more full. However, it’s Friday afternoon so I shouldn’t expect that people would flood the cinema. The bright side was it felt that the auditorium belonged to me alone. A personal cinema where I could enjoy Junho’s acting in Cold Eyes without too many disturbing voices. I was really excited and full of anticipation to see how he would act as a detective. Since it’s his debut as a professional actor, it’s interesting to see the differences and the similarities between Lee Junho and Squirrel.

Cold Eyes is basically a film about surveillance that  focuses on the actions and the strategies. There are some characters’ emotional conflicts, but they’re all triggered by the major conflict, which is the mission to solve the crime. It began with two plots, a bank robbery and a test for a new police detective (code name Piglet, played by Han Hyo Joo). As the story rolled, the two plots collided into one. The team led by chief detective Hwang struggled to find the people involved in the robbery, with the leader given the code name The Shadow (Jung Woo Sung) as the main target.

Overall I think Cold Eyes is well-acted, well-cinematographed and thrilling. The film uses some close-ups and even extreme close-ups to intensify the plot tension. These two kinds of shot also support the characterization of Piglet who always raps her fingers when thinking and The Shadow’s inner conflict. And Junho? He acts well as Squirrel, the young detective! Despite his young age, Squirrel excels at what he does and seems to enjoy his job. Junho looks really young in this movie. He grinned boyishly most of the times, and I couldn’t help but giggling when his colleagues put him into a locker since he’s been annoying. His character didn’t get too many scenes actually. However, Junho did his job proportionally, and I’m sure many are impressed by his parts.

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Of course there were some traces of Junho in Squirrel, such as his cocky expression when giving a lecture to Piglet. But instead of ruining Squirrel’s characterization, I gotta say it strengthens it. So I guess kudos should also be given to the casting director for choosing a suitable actor for this role.

[SPOILER] I was shocked when Squirrel was killed by The Shadow in such a cruel way 😦 The cold-hearted gang leader sliced Squirrel’s neck and there’s so much blood scattered on the pavement I cringed. Squirrel’s death scene was unexpected and heartbreaking (credit goes to Junho and Han Hyo Joo’s acting). When he fell to the pavement, struggling for his life, I felt like jumping into the screen and consoling him.

The movie ended and I left the auditorium in pride. Junho is not my main bias in 2PM but I’m proud to see him taking part in such a world-class movie. Even prouder to see his great acting. What can I say? 2013 has been a terrific year for the singer/actor Lee Junho, hasn’t it?