01 Countryside Life (Feat. 이단옆차기, 태운)
02. Can We Love (feat. 이단옆차기)
03. Countryside Life (Electronic) (Feat. 이단옆차기, 태운)
04. Countryside Life (inst.)
05. Can We Love (inst.)
Sophie: Okay, so first things first, why is this the year of K-pop subgroups?
TOZ: It’s almost like all the companies got together and decided, “Let’s do something CRAZY!” then ended up at the same idea but my analogy fails because they were at the meeting…
Sophie: I’m not sure it makes economic sense, like the groups aren’t releasing at a quicker pace. And it’s basically a giant banner saying “Half of our members are worthless”
TOZ: T-ara specifically; its been the not-so-secret that Hyomin, Jiyeon and Eunjung are more popular and now to put them all in a group? its like they arent even trying now.
Sophie: And they are shipping three less popular members to form a Japanese subgroup, which should go down well. What do you think of Areum?
TOZ: She’s cool. Lol. Don’t really have a strong opinion on way or another
Sophie: Yeah, she seemed to be inciting a lot of controversy BEFORE her debut, but given the situation she debuted in, she’s maybe gained the wisdom to keep her mouth shut
TOZ: Or she was told to chill.
Sophie: So, are we in agreement that Korea is still not over T-ara’s scandal from a year ago?
TOZ: They aren’t harping on it as much
Sophie: So you don’t think the subgroup was a way of releasing a Korean song without releasing under the name T-ara?
TOZ: If that was the plan, calling the group T-ara N4 isn’t the way to go
Sophie: Fair enough. Then what do you think of the name?
TOZ: It’s lazy, but when have group names been good? [Actually] Wu-Tang Clan is a pretty good name. In kpop I can’t think of a name that I thought was good. At least initially.
Sophie: Good point. Though I like the name 2Yoon, and at least DASONI was an interesting name, but there are some that are hilariously bad (SHINee’s…Back!)
TOZ: Girl’s Day isn’t bad, but it sets themselves up for SNSD fans to knock them. “A generation lasts longer than a day.” Full disclosure: It’s a joke I’ve made.
Sophie: (Gosh, their LAST album was just awful. White Day is my least favorite release of the year to date, The only redeemable track is “Easy go.”)
TOZ: (Never really got into their music, will check that out)
Sophie: So N4 are setting themselves up to potentially have one of those groups where the number in the name and the actual number of members don’t add up
TOZ: How so? Is Areum gonna get kicked out?
Sophie: Well, I’d say that T-ara has an above average rate of turnover for a K-pop group, and that given their sales record this year, the company may want to make a change. That said, there are so many groups whose numbers don’t match, it might not be a big deal anymore
TOZ: It probably isn’t.
Sophie: So, have you watched both PVs? Err…MVs
TOZ: Quite a few times. Let’s start with the drama version first.
Sophie: So…is it just me or is there this musical movement towards “country life”…not just in Korea, but in Japan and in the twee folk movement in the US?
TOZ: I feel like that’s been the play for a bit now.
TOZ: When Areum and Jiyeon try to square up and fight each other. Not sure if that’s just a wink to last year?
Sophie: I like the bad-ass DaVichi cameo
TOZ: That was sweet. One thing I didnt like: the rapper. Not because it is a dude in a female pv, but I just think it doesnt quite work (Also, the SPEED thing will never work with me)
Sophie: It was definitely a musical departure mid-song.
TOZ: However, there’s enough Invincible Youth Hyomin in that video for me to forgive it. I miss that show…
Sophie: Speaking of shows, have you watched the titular drama? I haven’t, but I’m curious as to how well it suits/inspires the song?
TOZ: Neither have I. Here’s a question: I’m trying to figure out the leg straps eunjung wears once they make to the city
Sophie: Which outfit is this?
TOZ: With the shorts. She’s the only one with an alien like object on her…
Sophie: My dog has an implement that looks like that. She pulls on the leash if she doesn’t wear it. That’s the only insight I can offer.
TOZ: You heard it here first: next T-ara video involves dogs. EXCLUSIVE!
Sophie: They seemed less than comfortably with the dog in this MV…also, once they free it do we see it again?
TOZ: It comes back in the next video. Way to connect the dots.
Sophie: And while we are on the subject of animals…the bunny. After the awkwardness of Bunny Style…
TOZ: Oh man, I forgot they did that.
Sophie: Yeah, this is the second T-ara MV to have an awkward dancing bunny head
TOZ: Awkward in a good way I think
Sophie: (Also, the chorus to Bunny Style was identical to Come on Eileen and I’m not sure what I think of that.)
TOZ: (Its best not to think about it.)
Sophie: That said, compared to Bunny Style and whatever the horrible Fall 2012 release was, I think T-ara’s N4 release is good, but it isn’t Day by Day and it isn’t “Roly Poly.” You throughts?
TOZ: I agree. Everything from IGCBOY to Day By Day was awesome. I wasn’t a fan of Sexy Love.
Sophie: Day by Day was probably my favorite K-pop release of 2012. So the dance version…was that an Aha reference at the beginning? Or, rather, a conscious Aha reference?
TOZ: I don’t even know what you’re referencing.
Sophie: yes you do…
TOZ: Oh. lets believe it was conscious.
Sophie: Somehow the animation was better in the Aha video… so, do you like the dance or drama version better?
TOZ: I prefer the drama version. It is more ridiculous. I want my T-ara drama videos to be a bit out there
Sophie: I think the dance version fits better with the song (not considering the lyrics), but the drama version is more unique
TOZ: I wish they maintained what they did up to the first chorus was the entire song: a 4 minute Hyomin display of hot fire
Sophie: What about the song itself? Do you like this trend of “let’s make an original song by mashing three songs together”
TOZ: Oh you mean the “I got a Boy” syndrome?
Sophie: Yes, there seems to be an outbreak in K-pop hits these days
TOZ: Why not break it up to make 3 unique songs? Call me old fashioned, but I still appreciate sequencing
Sophie: I think the idea is you take three songs that sound identical to other songs then mix them together and call them a new song. However, SHINee’s new hit…had three different producers that worked on three different parts of the song…and it sounds like it.
TOZ: Too many people. I don’t like the practice, but I actually like the song. Not as much as Day By Day, but I do like it. I don’t think it is as jarring.
Sophie: Certainly not as jarring as I got a Boy. Final question about the dance version: giant gold pimp coat: are you for or against it?
TOZ: Completely for it. It’s Master P’s Gold Tank
Sophie: Going to have to disagree with you on that one. So T-ara N4 are debuting along with 4Minute and Secret…and they could not be 3 more different songs. How do you think their chances are in this crowded field?
TOZ: Putting me on the spot like that. I think T-ara might actually get a couple of wins.
Sophie: I honestly think it will depend on the weather the next few days. If it’s getting noticeably warmer in Korea, I think Secret may take it. Though 4minute are strong competitors too. But it doesn’t scream summer like YooHoo.
TOZ: Hyomin could wear her outfit in the good weather too. Though, YooHoo literally screams summer. Well maybe not lyrically, but you get what im saying
Sophie: Yeah, it sounds like a summer J-pop song.
TOZ: What happened with Secret? I wanted a Poison like evolution of music. I LOVE Poison
Sophie: Live Performance. At least some members are singing live, unlike 4minute
TOZ: I think the girls came out one time and said they would forever sing live. after some weird dustup with not singing live once. Whats wrong with the gold jacket?
Sophie: It looks like a graphic design project gone wrong. I think Secret are stuck in the 2nd tier idol shuffle and are trying to break through.
TOZ: T-ara and Secret were neck and neck for me personally for the past 2-3 years. Although I picked a Wonder Girls song as my favorite of last year musically.
Sophie: I’m still rooting for missA and I love SISTAR
TOZ: I’ve recently been on board with Miss A, both versions of Touch are great. I dont care for SISTAR
Sophie: I love it when they say “Mighty Sistar” I know they got it out of the 1993 issue of Cosmo from which all K-pop Engrish comes, but it’s a fun idea.