Back in August I mentioned my new musical obsession: a brilliant new girl group hailing from South Korea called 4Minute. If you’d told me at the start of the year that the music I’d be listening to the most this year will be in a language I don’t even understand then I would clearly have thought you a fool. Shame on me. *sombre face* My name’s Elliot and I’m a K-Pop addict (Korean Pop for the uninitiated).
This obsession is very much focussed around this fantastic 5-piece, 4Minute, whose EP Hit Your Heart has already broken the 1,000 plays by me, mainly thanks to the ridiculously brilliant track “Huh“; they’re also already my fifth most played artist according to my Last FM page. Mind you, I’ve always been a sucker for a girl group.
Having thoroughly loved Hit Your Heart, I was glad to hear they had released their first official album, 4Minute Left, but also slightly worried. There’s always that element of trepidation after you’ve found an artist who you seriously love, as any new material is always met with high expectations.
Fortunately, having recently managed to acquire a copy of said début album, I was pleased to find that the standard was just as brilliant. With a running time of a mere 35 minutes, similar to Lily Allen’s equally excellent début, Alright Still, it’s a short but sweet affair. Particular highlights for me are the singles “거울아 거울아” (or “Mirror Mirror” in English – I seriously love this track!) and “First”, both of which I’ve embedded below.
거울아 거울아 / Mirror Mirror:
I’ve previously wondered how non-English speaking people in different countries around the world can love some of the massively popular and successful English speaking artists we all know and love. I failed to consider that awesome music is just awesome music. While my efforts to sing along with 4Minute are probably best described as ropey, it doesn’t detract from my enjoyment of listening.
Stumble across any 4Minute video on YouTube and you’ll quickly notice that Hyuna seems to be a firm fan favourite, though this naturally prompts many bitch-fights among fans. Even though 4Minute are arguably still finding their feet, having made their début back in the Summer of 2009 and only recently releasing their first full-length album, already Hyuna appears to be branching out on her own.
As a newcomer to the world of K-Pop, perhaps this is fairly standard practice. Alongside three EPs and an album with 4Minute, Hyuna has also released solo material. A particular favourite of mine is her recent collaboration with Hyun Seung, a member of K-Pop boyband Beast (or B2ST), forming the duo called Trouble Maker, their first single being of the same name.
The song is insanely catchy. While it incorporates a whistling element suggestive of that recent mega-hit “Moves Like Jagger“, by Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera, the sound of the song as a whole is more in the ball park of “Love Sex Magic” by Ciara featuring Justin Timberlake. Have a watch and a listen below.
If these assortment of singles, EPs and albums are anything to go by, my current love of Korean Pop is very much here to stay. 저는 한국 팝을 사랑!