Call Me Stormy

Finding righteous currents in turbulent times

Gangnam Style

South Korea’s fast-rising pop star, Psy, with his signature song and its hilarious dance moves. Gangnam, by the way, is the most affluent district in the city of Seoul, an entertainment hub and home to Seoul’s most upscale retail outlets. The song lampoons the materialistic style of Gangnam.

There have been many attempts to launch Korean pop, also known as K-Pop, stateside. Look for Psy to finally achieve that breakthrough. He’s currently the second most downloaded artist on iTunes — behind only Justin Bieber and just ahead of Katy Perry.

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And here’s Psy in a duet of the song with Hyuna, released last week and dubbed “Oppa Is Just My Style.”

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I have a confession. I’m a longtime, diehard K-Pop fan, but not because of Psy. The appeal for me: South Korea boasts the world’s sexiest all-girl bands, with the slickest dance moves and catchiest songs. Don’t believe me? Watch Korea’s After School taking Japan by storm, performing “Bang!”

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Girls’ Generation answered with a Japanese version of “Mr. Taxi.” Why Japanese versions? Japan is a huge music market, so K-Pop songs can be easily translated and become much more profitable. Not always, but sometimes the Japanese music videos are also steamier than the originals.

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More controversial has been Brown Eyed Girls with their hit “Abracadabra,” with its kinky overtures, including boob fondling and hints of a lesbian kiss.

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Finally, the K-Pop girl band that perhaps best embodies Psy’s flair for fun — the colorfully costumed and hot-stepping T-ara (shorthand for “Tiara”) with “Roly Poly.”

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2 thoughts on “Gangnam Style

  1. Is it common for them to mix in so much English?

    • A lot of the songs bounce back and forth between English and Korean, and sometimes Japanese. There’s not only a mix of languages, but the songs jump from one musical genre to another, all within a span of a couple of minutes, making them a lot of fun, and quite imaginative.

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