SPICA's a group that's been hanging around the K-pop scene for a couple of years now, but have never quite been able to take things to the next level. They've got almost all the ingredients to become successful --great vocals, catchy songs, good looks-- but they're still missing an original image to sell it all with.
They've recently tried to rectify this by hooking up with K-pop Queen, Lee Hyori, who's been trying to turn SPICA into stars since last year -- even going as far as to become the group's mentor for a reality show. Last year she turned the girls into Instagram-filtered hipsters for their single "Tonight," but now she's gone one step further by serving as both the writer and the producer of their new single, "You Don't Love Me."
As expected, Hyori's mark is all over this comeback. The song's retro pop-soul sound is something the "Miss Korea" songstress thoroughly explored on last year's Monochrome, and the camp and sexy '60s concept is exactly the kind of thing you'd expect to see Hyori doing.
It's by far the best video SPICA's ever done, and the song is a lot better than similar-sounding K-pop hits, like Girls' Generation's "Dancing Queen" and Lee Hi's "1,2,3,4," but at the end of the day it still looks and sounds too much like an obvious extension of Hyori.
SPICA definitely delivered with this comeback and it may even become a minor hit, but they're never really going to make it big unless they find their own identity and stop riding off of Hyori's coattails.
Bandcamp is waiving revenue shares today, and you should support POC artists.
Today is another Bandcamp Friday, meaning until midnight tonight, the platform will be waiving revenue shares and letting artists take 100 percent of profits.
Now more than ever, as Black Lives Matter protests occur around the world, it's extremely important to lift marginalized voices. The music industry has repeatedly erased Black voices throughout history, despite the fact that most mainstream genres were invented by Black people.
After more than a year away from the spotlight, miss A is finally set to make their K-pop comeback on November 6 with the release of their second studio studio album, Hush. On top of that, their new single will mark the first time that they haven't used J.Y. Park as their main producer. Instead, they've worked with E-Tribe, who is one of the most well-known K-pop hitmakers in the game.
We're a little nervous to see the girls work with something new since JYP produced their biggest hits, like "Good-bye Baby" and "Bad Girl Good Girl," but on the other hand, some of their best material that never received single status, like "Lips" and "Help Me," was the work of outside producers, so we're also excited.
To celebrate miss A's impending return, we've ranked the top five best E-Tribe hits. With any luck, we'll see miss A on an updated version of this list next year!
5. Lee Hyori - U-Go-Girl
Definitely not my personal favourite from either Hyori or E-Tribe, but the impact of "U-Go-Girl" can't be denied. This bonkers urban-pop banger bagged three triple crown wins and topped the charts, easily ranking as one of the biggest singles of Hyori's hit-heavy career.
4. T-ara - Yayaya
"Yayaya" has a pretty bad reputation among K-pop fans. It's seen by most as one of T-ara's few flops and musical missteps, and was embroiled in a racism scandal upon its release for being culturally insensitive to Native Americans. However, I think it's massively misunderstood and consider it an underrated gem -- it's like the ugly bastard child of "Bo Peep Bo Peep" and Girls' Generation's "Gee"! Seeing T-ara bounce around like Indians spelling out words and chanting ridiculous lyrics that barely even make sense in Korean is so bad it's amazing, and the official remix version found on the group's John Travolta Wannabe album improves the track even further with some added dance beats.
3. Super Junior - It's You
After shutting down the K-pop charts with "Sorry Sorry" -- also known as the earworm to end all earworms-- Super Junior returned with this emotional dance-pop ballad. Dance ballads are big business in K-pop, but few have ever been as catchy as this addictive ditty.
2. Dal Shabet - Hit U
This hugely underrated song could've been massive if a bigger artist had released it. Dal Shabet, a girl group known for being saccharine and unsubtle to the point of so-bad-it's-good tackiness, turned their completely over-the-top style to the dark side with this revenge anthem about murdering an indecisive boyfriend. From the aggressive bouncing ball beat to the opening and closing refrain of "I'll hit u! I'll never never want you again!," everything in this song just screams EXCESS in the best way possible. Considering that Dal Shabet was actually created by E-Tribe, it's no wonder that the duo gave the girls one of the best tracks they've ever produced.
1. Girls' Generation - Gee
There's no way that any other song other than "Gee" could be No. 1 on this list. It's one of the most definitive K-pop songs of all time, breaking multiple records in Korea after its initial release and turning Girls' Generation into Asian megastars overnight. It was Youtube's most-viewed K-pop video of all time until "Gangnam Style" came along, and it's solely responsible for starting Girls' Generation's journey to become the single biggest girl group in the world today. If mankind dies out and aliens touch down on earth in a thousand years time, they'll be able to listen to "Gee" and understand exactly what a perfect pop song sounded like before humans became extinct.