Song of the Day: As If It’s Your Last (by Blackpink)


Blackpink

It would be impossible to talk about K-pop without putting up as a “Song of the Day” a track by one of the most popular K-pop girl group of the last couple years. I am talking about YG Entertainment’s quartet known as Blackpink.

The group made their debut on the K-pop scene on August of 2016. The quartet are seen as taking up the YG Entertainment K-pop legacy with the disbandment of the ultra-popular quartet girl group 2NE1. Even their stylistic choices have been compared to their predecessors who were able to combine both the cutesy image seen by many as K-pop with the edgier sound of hip-hop and R&B.

For the most part, most of their singles since their debut in 2016 have what the group itself call as their “Black” concept which leans heavily on hip-hop, drum and bass and R&B influences. The choice for today’s Song of the Day is the group’s first foray into introducing their “Pink” side.

“As If It’s Your Last” still retains the highly-energetic beats and tempo of their previous releases, but also incorporates the more traditional dancepop influence in K-pop. While it helps showcase their cute side both in their vocal deliveries and the music video, the song still manages to mix in some reggae and moombahton influences.

This gives “As If It’s Your Last” not just a dance house edge but the familiar catchy hooks of traditional bubblepop K-pop.

Merry Christmas and a Happy Treevenge to One and All!


Treevenge

It wouldn’t be a Christmas here at Through the Shattered Lens without our yearly viewing of that most Christmas-y of all Christmas films: Treevenge.

I wouldn’t be out of place to say that this is the greatest film ever developed, put on celluloid and released for the world to see. We here at Through the Shattered Lens always wait for Christmas morning to see if the Christmas trees will make an appearance on the site and, lo and behold, they haven’t missed a Christmas morning since 2009.

Treevenge is a film that is full of Chrstmas joy. From it’s nostalgic opening music to the joy of families and friends enjoying their Christmas Eve with their new, hand picked Christmas tree.

Merry Christmas, One and all!

Song of the Day: Ice Cream Cake (by Red Velvet)


Red Velvet Ice Cream Cake

For the most part all the K-pop I’ve shared have been on the more mature sounding side of the spectrum. As I mentioned before, for some this side of K-pop is more to their liking while others prefer the more cute and bouncy side of the genre.

Pantsukudasai56 has made it known that he is into K-pop and, for the most part, also J-pop (though from what I could gather it’s more the latter than the former). I can see why he’s more drawn to the cute and bouncy side of K-pop since J-pop has made that type of pop a cottage industry in Japan’s music scene.

So, just to show that K-pop is not just what I enjoy listening to, but what others have come to find entertaining and interesting, I give you Red Velvet’s “Ice Cream Cake” from the mini-album of the same name which came out right after their first debut singles, “Happiness” and “Be Natural.”

The song is a far cry from the R&B and jazzy sound of “Be Natural” but instead has a blend of drum and bass and dance pop that’s the staple of what non-fans think K-pop sound is all about. While the song does have that cute and bouncy sound, not to mention a video with visuals to match it, there’s also a subtle discordant layer to the proceedings. Whether it’s the group doing a haunting harmony that helps start off the song and returns throughout the song right up to some discordant chords.

Even the lyrics of the song could be mistaken for just your typical K-pop song about young love, or as some have mistaken just about ice cream cake. Yet, at further listening and understanding of the song’s translated lyrics there’s more than a hint and level of double entendre and innuendoes to the song’s wordplay.

So, for those who like their K-pop visually popping and bouncy with the vocals to match then Red Velvet’s “Ice Cream Cake” is a nice starter.

AMV of the Day: Carry a Big Fist (One Punch Man)


One Punch Man

The latest AMV of the Day comes courtesy of one of the AMV scene’s top creators. I am talking about Rider4Z. It was his Best Drama-winning entry at Anime Expo 2010 that got me into anime music videos. That video was “Alchanum” and is still one of my favorite AMV’s despite the hundreds I’ve watched since.

This time around the video was one Rider4Z created in 2015 for Akross2015. “Carry a Big Fist” showcases the over-the-top anime One Punch Man paired with Rob Zombie’s equally hectic track, “Dragula.” Both song and anime fit each other like glove and hand.

One thing which I’ve admired with Rider4Z’s work has been his ability to really time his edits with not just the tempo of the song he’s chosen for the video but making sure that there’s a certain narrative flow to the chosen sequences paired with the lyrics of the song.

Anime: One Punch Man

Song: “Dragula” by Rob Zombie

Creator: Rider4Z

Past AMVs of the Day

Trailer: Men In Black International


MIB International

It looks like we have a set of new agents donning the black suits this time around.

Seems Thor and Valkyrie are doing a side gig for the Men In Black. There’s no Agent K or Agent J to save the world from otherworldly dangers. We now have Agent H and Agent M to take up the mantle of protecting the world. The trailer also shows us that the MIB is a global organization and no more New York as the stomping ground, but we also have London and it’s branch of the MIB.

Men In Black International was a sequel that didn’t garner too much excitement when first announced, but as the cast was finalized and announced the excitement began to rise. And it is quite a cast when one really looks at it: Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Liam Neeson, Emma Thompson, Kumail Nanjiani, Rafe Spall and Rebecca Ferguson.

Men In Black International will be out June 14, 2019. A release date with enough time between it and the juggernaut that will be Avengers: Endgame.

Song of the Day: Miniskirt (by AOA)


AOA Miniskirt

We may be seeing a pattern now when it comes to the K-Pop Edition of the Song of the Day feature. While K-Pop has been typically known for the cutesy and bubblegum pop that has made them a worldwide sensation, it’s worth noting that K-Pop girl groups have been expressing their sexier and more mature side.

This side of the K-Pop scene has it’s own followers and fans just as the high-energy and cute side has it’s legions. I will even suggest that some contributors to this site have a personal preference for the latter. I, for one, prefer the sexier, sultry side of K-Pop though I’m not averse for some sugar-high once in awhile.

The group AOA, consisting of 8 members (Choa, Jimin, Chanmi, Youkyung, Yuna, Hyejeong, Seolhyun and Mina), and their 2016 release, “Miniskirt,” is today’s latest Song of the Day. It’s a good combination of sexiness and enough uptempo to the song’s melody that it should appeal to the dancepop crowd. While it doesn’t have that bubblegum pop energy it showcases a much more flirtatious mood with the theme of high-heels and thigh-high stockings.

Even my fellow co-founder, who is probably learning about K-Pop through these K-Pop postings, will enjoy this song and video if just for the sultry dance choreography, the fashion and, most especially, the surprise star of the video who appears in the end.

Song of the Day: Poison (by Secret)


Secret Poison

This is definitely not your “Poison” of the early 1990’s BBD (Bell Biv Deveo) days. This time it’s the 2012 mini-album release for the South Korean girl group Secret. The quartet took a year off before launching a comeback which saw the mini-album’s release and a new sexy and feminine look. It was a far cry from their previous cutesy image.

The song is a combination of many influences from jazz (a repeating saxophone section) to pop R&B (reminiscent of late 90’s and early 2000’s) to hip-hop with it’s layered beats. All of these influences make for a nice uptempo beat that the video is still able to mine for a nice sexy, sultry concept video that shows the quartet unleashing their femme fatale aspects.

The video itself is a more story driven than most K-pop videos of the time. With the girls (or should I say ladies) decked out in British women’s spy fashion mixed in with detective film noir femme attire. While the theme calls to mind Spillane, Hammett and Cain, the dance choreography screams R&B and Hip-Hop. From the choreo matching the song’s percussive beats to the body rolls and get-low moves.

While all four ladies of Secret gets a chance to shine in the song, the video itself is taken over by the visuals of group Leader Hyosung and group Visual and Maknae (youngest in the group) Sunhwa. Both Hana (rapper) and Jieun (Main Vocalist) don’t shrink from their own roles despite the first two having a much more visual impact and presence in the video.

I must agree with all who have seen the video and some of their stage live performances of the song, Hyonsung plus thigh-highs stockings were and, still are, a killer look. A visual good enough to kill for.