SNSD and SONE

Yesterday was Girls’ Generation’s 7th Anniversary as a group. I might not be a fan of them since their debut seven years ago, when they were still innocent girls who stunned the whole South Korea with Into the New World’s kick. It might not even be a year yet for me to be their fan, but despite of my lack of emotional ties with the girls but I’m going to take this chance to reflect on what SONEs have been doing so far.

As I’ve mentioned here and many times before, it hasn’t been that long since I’ve been a fan of Girls’ Generation (GG). That’s why even though I’m cherishing their anniversary, I’m not as emotional as other SONEs, who cried yesterday when they watched videos of GG’s debut stage in Inkigayo seven years ago; reminiscing about the memories they’ve had all these years.

A lot of people (by people I mean senior SONEs) have admitted that 2014 is a year of trial for GG. The year started when Yoona’s dating news with Lee SeungGi broke out, and in mere days, it was followed by Sooyoung’s dating news with Jo Kyung Ho. Not long after that, a shocking statement from the company’s CEO saying that SNSD will be replaced by a new group came out. As if the statement was not discouraging enough, other dating news came out, stating that Tiffany has been dating Nichkhun (a member of 2PM) and Taeyeon dating Baekhyun (a member of EXO). All of those shocking news came out when 2014 was still halfway through, and who knows what kind of news SONEs will have to overcome the rest of the year.

Some SONEs were very disappointed that the news came out that they reacted in ways that I think was quite, sorry to say this, reckless or even stupid. Some fanfic writers stopped writing because the couples they shipped were broken because the member was dating. A girl was cutting her own hand because she was really disappointed that the couple she was shipping was dating other guys instead of each other. A fan was spamming on one of the guy’s Twitter account because s/he doesn’t approve him dating one of the members.

To those people, I say: what the frack are you doing?

As silly as this might sound, those news didn’t have as much impact on me as it was on the other SONEs. Call me ignorant or anything, but for me the news were mere strategies by SM to gain something, like, I don’t know, some profits? I might be a bit down when the news came out, but not because the members were dating, but because (some of them) are dating the wrong person. But even that doesn’t change the fact that I’m still fangirling over Taeyeon’s dorky pictures or Fany’s eye-smile.

Since when do fans dictate what the idols have to do? Yes, one of the reasons why idols are successful was because of the fans, but does that make us their God? Does that give us the right to dictate their lives?

In some interviews, some of the members have voiced their concerns about them dating. As young girls in the peak of their beauty, of course they want to go on dates. They are more than ready, but they have to hold back because they know the fans couldn’t accept that. Even after the news came out, the dating couples couldn’t go out on dates because the spotlights are on them. They would rather stay in their dorm, ordering food, instead of going on real dates like what couples their age supposed to do.

Doesn’t it hurt you that the people you care about have to sacrifice their own well-beings because of your selfish needs for them to stay single forever, just to give you that little spark of hope that by some sort of miracle you could have your idols to yourself and run towards the sunset together?

In all honesty, I was quite broken when Taeyeon’s dating news came out, with Baekhyun of all people. She was the reason why I was into SNSD in the first place, and the news crushed me. Even if now I’m more of a Sunshiner (Sunny’s fan) than a Taeganger (Taeyeon’s fan), the news still brought me down.

No, it’s not because she’s “dating” an EXO member, but because of the consequence she has to endure. A few hours after the news was out, her Instagram account was flooded with harsh comments like “f*ck you”, and people saying that she’s a wh*re and all that. Regardless of the news was real or not, she doesn’t deserve that kind of treatment. For years of her building her singing career, her fans were praising her voice and her beautiful face, saying that she’s a Korean Diva. Then her “dating” news came out and BOOM, she’s a whore.

I know a lot of Taeganger and Baekhyun fans were disappointed. I think I would be too if the day comes when Sunny’s dating news came out, and the guy doesn’t deserve her. But who are we to decide who are good for them or not? It’s their lives, not ours. Yes, we would kill the guys who have broken our girls’ hearts, but that doesn’t make it okay for us to just bash the guys who date them. It’s their choice, and the best thing we can do is just congratulate them and hope that the guy was not a douche.

In a recent show, one of Sunny’s statements ‘enlightened’ me. In that show she was asked by the MC what kind of future does she want to go, not as Sunny, but as Lee SoonGyu (her real name). Her answer slapped me hard in the face.

“That’s hard question. Even I don’t know how Lee SoonGyu will live. I don’t remember living as Lee SoonGyu very well. I don’t even know very well yet what Lee SoonGyu likes or what she should do. That day will come, right, when I’ll need to live as Lee SoonGyu again. I think when that time comes I’ll need to search from then on what Lee SoonGyu likes and is good at. I probably won’t be able to return to that. I’ll be remembered and known as Sunny, so I can’t go back. However, once in a while, I miss Lee SoonGyu.”

Most of her life, she “acted” as Sunny, that she started to forgot who she really is. She’s not even sure if she knows what she really likes and dislikes. For me, it’s quite sad to know that an idol would go that far to please the fan, to be the figure that the fans could admire. I think this applies to the other members, not only Sunny.

Seven years is not a short time for a K-Pop idol, especially for a girl group. Of course we should congratulate and thank them for keeping the group for so long, and for being such hard-workers for us fans. But more than that, I think SONEs also need to reflect on themselves more as fans. Have we been good to them? Knowing that our idol would go that far for us, the least we can do as a fan is to support them no matter what. That would be a good start, and more than any gifts, our idols would appreciate that more.

This kind of reminder also applies to me, though. I have been learning to accept the fact that one day Sunny and Taeyeon would get married. Truthfully speaking, I’m still not ready yet if it would happen, say, next year. But I do sincerely hope that no matter what happens the group would still be there, performing their songs in front of their fans, creating more albums even with the increasing numbers of their individual activities.

Above anything else, that’s my wish as a SONE. I hope that’s not too much to ask. After all, all SONEs want to dream forever with GG right?

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Girls’ Generation’s Best Songs

In all the years of me writing a blogpost, this one is by far the most exhausting one to prepare. Not only did I take hours to listen to ALL the songs, I also have to list based on favoritism. If I have to list it based on SONE’s favoritism, I think it would be much easier, but not this one. Being a SONE noob, this one’s based on me.

In this post, I chose twenty of my most favorite SNSD songs. Since it’s the girls’ seven years of anniversary, I only chose SNSD songs, so that doesn’t include SNSD-TaeTiSeo (even though there are some songs that would definitely make the top five on this list) because it’s a sub-unit and they have their own EP already, and also SJJD (Shoujo Jidai) since, well, it’s SNSD’s anniversary!

It should make my job that much easier, right?

Right?

…not at the slightest. So after hours and hours of listening and comparing each song, here are twenty of my most favorite SNSD songs. I will only give comments to the top ten songs, but that doesn’t mean the rest are not good. The top ten are definitely better.

Firstly, the 11th to 20th place goes to:

20. Gee
19. Chocolate Love
18. Lost in Love
17. Visual Dreams (Pop! Pop!)
16. Sunflower
15. Snowy Wish
14. Promise
13. Wait a Minute
12. Back Hug
11. Mistake

Heh, didn’t thought that Gee would be in ‘last’ place, did you? I bet you didn’t even recall some of the songs above because they’re not exactly ‘hit songs’. But they were included in the albums, except for Visual Dreams. Then again, it was a group project, so it’s fine to be included, since all members were in it. And if you can see there, Taeyeon and Tiffany’s duet is in 18th place! It’s a bit unfair, but you see, it’s one of the track in I Got a Boy album, and you can’t deny that’s it’s not a bad duet to listen to, right?

Phew, ten songs to go! But before that, here’s the 6th to 10th place.

10. Dear Mom
9. One Year Later
8. Kissing You
7. Complete
6. Romantic St.

I might be stoned to death for placing Complete to be in seventh place, considering how important that song is for SONEs and SNSD itself. But memories aside, for me the songs were lacking in ‘oomph!’. Yes, the lyrics are good, but in the top five there’s a song similar to Complete which I think has a stronger ‘oomph!’ factor for me.

Oh and don’t hate on me for liking Jessica and Onew’s duet more than Taeyeon and Tiffany’s. TaeNy shippers might disagree with me, but in a duet you need harmony, right? There’s almost no harmony in Lost in Love, compared to One Year Later. I think a duet will be more meaningful if there are beautiful harmonies involved, not only two great voices in one song.

That aside, we’ve finally come to this… the best five! These five will forever have a precious memory for me, which is the reason why each song will have a brief explanation why they are chosen as the best SNSD songs for me 🙂

5. Into the New World
The first song that started it all… I included this song, since this song was somehow destined to be sung by SNSD. Even though at that time their vocal skills were still not praise-worthy, but that itself was one of the factor why this song is still good, even until now. The poetic lyrics paired by an uplifting music made this song good, but not complete, which was why the song had trouble finding its ‘owner’, until it finally found SNSD. Maybe even after SNSD’s 20th anniversary, I think I would still prefer the original and innocent voices over their mature and honed vocals.

4. Vitamin
I would say that this song is the dark horse in this list. Unless you’re a SONE or you live in South Korea, it’s very unlikely that you will know this song. I chose this song because this song is my energy pill. Every time I get pissed or sad about something, this cheery song is always able to lift my mood up instantly. Let’s face it, SNSD has recorded many uplifting songs like HaHaHa or Himnae!. But, compared to those two, this song never fails to lift my shitty mood, which, in a way is what SNSD means to me.

3. Mr. Mr.
No, I didn’t choose this song because it was SNSD’s latest single. Some people (even SONEs) said that this song failed, compared to the previous hits. I have to disagree with that. For me, this song really builds. It’s not really exciting in the beginning, but it got really, REALLY good towards the end, and you can’t help but want to listen to it again and again, just to listen to Taeyeon hitting the perfect falsetto.

2. Forever
If I have to pick one song to describe the relationship between SNSD and SONEs, this song is the perfect one. Not Promise, not Complete, but this one. Not only did the lyrics were really meaningful, you could also feel each member’s feelings. The best part about this song is definitely this part: even if a very long time passes, even if you and I become a bit different, I want to dream forever with you like this. Now do you see why I prefer this song to Complete?

1. I Got a Boy
If this song is a basketball player, it would be an all-rounder. It has everything I love in a song! I don’t understand it when people said it was confusing. For me, in the seven years of SNSD’s existence so far, this song is definitely the best proof as to why SNSD is the best girl group. I won’t get tired of this song, because of how colorful this song is. No matter how many times I’ve ‘drifted’ to other girl groups, this song really reminds me why Soshi is the best. In my opinion, the reason why the MV won a YouTube award is because the song itself is already good! You won’t get tired of hearing it over and over again. That’s how awesome this song is.

Aaand that’s the list for you! If you’ve read my post about the best SNSD MV, I Got a Boy also took the first place. Remember that I listened to each track (sometimes more than once) before deciding on the standings, and it has nothing to do with the previous list.

How about you? Have any SNSD songs that you like or maybe familiar with?

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Girls’ Generation’s Ten Best Music Videos (PART 2)

Before you continue reading this, please read the first part of the list here.

Okay, are you ready for the best five? Here they are!

5. Tell Me Your Wish (Genie) (2009)

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After the success of Gee, of course people wanted something more, and out came Genie! They have exceeded people’s expectations with this MV, showing how good they look with military outfits! Because of this particular video, Girls’ Generation became somewhat a religion for Korean soldiers during their service, and you can’t blame them. Out of all the earlier concepts, this concept is my favorite. After all, you can’t say no to girls in hot pants and blazers. The girls have proven that you only need form-fitting outfit and beautiful legs to look sexy. Forget the Japanese version that came out a year after, the original video is much better!

4. The Boys (2011)

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Just when the Koreans thought that Girl’s Generation belonged in Japanese and had no desire to come back, the girls were back with a bang! Forget group outfits! Each member had the chance to wear their own styles and boy did they deliver. There’s a reason why they are fashion icons, and their individual styles were shown here. And don’t forget their powerful dance here! If you like the song, then this MV is a must-see. It has a more powerful impact if you see the video yourself. There are two versions of this MV, the Korean and the English version, but there’s not much of a difference between the two of them.

3. Paparazzi (2012)

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In third place, we have Paparazzi, yet another Japanese MV in this list. I know that they’re a Korean girl group, but seriously, you have to see the MV to why it’s good. It’s the longest video the girls have so far and the intro might be a bit too long, but trust me, it will be worth it! First point is of course the dress! Each member was given different design, but each dress accentuated their personality perfectly. This MV is somehow similar to The Boys, but with more glamour thrown in. Second point is of course the dance! You won’t get enough of “itsu datte anata ga BOOM BOOM BOOM!” part of the MV no matter how many times you watch it. It really helps that there’s a dance version of this MV, even though it mainly shows the girls in sexy tuxedos instead.

2. Flower Power (2012)

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Let me just say that I’m a sucker for futuristic and simplistic concept, and this video had me, and boy it had me good. It’s unclear about what this MV is really about. I mean, I still don’t understand the correlation between futuristic stewardesses, badass biker-outfit girls, and clubber girls (since Hyoyeon and Yoona were dancing by the colorful-wall-thingy so I assume that they are…). But I love the set, love the dance, and I absolutely love their outfits! You can’t go wrong with black and red leather outfit that accentuates your body figure, really.

1. I Got a Boy (2013)

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You gotta admit that this MV is definitely the best out of all SNSD MVs. Forget badass SNSD like the ones you’ve seen in Run Devil Run, The Boys, or Bad Girl; I Got a Boy kicked them all in the ass! Even though the concept might not be as strong as the other “badass” MVs, but the hip hop concept really came through really well. You wouldn’t expect that the girls could pull it through, but they did. Months of their hard work really paid off, what with them winning a YouTube award, and the MV hit more than 100 million views in the site. So far I haven’t seen other MV that is nearly as good as this one, even from another girl groups, proving once more that SNSD is the best girl group of the century.

Don’t you think it’s quite obvious that I Got a Boy is in first place? I dunno about you, but it was really obvious to me. Of course, my opinion might differ to other SONEs. For example, you might think that Day by Day is better than Gee because the girls kissed the screen in the end (I kid you not with this one), or Run Devil Run is more badass than Flower Power, etc. Then again, I really enjoyed watching these ten MVs, and regarded them as the best so far.

And of course there are some MVs that were originally in Korean, but they made the Japanese version, like Gee, Genie, Oh!, and Run Devil Run. Honestly speaking, I prefer the Korean MVs better. Although, I have to admit, that the Japanese MV for Oh! is better. However, I still prefer the Korean version of the song, which lessen the joy of watching the Japanese MV, even though it was slightly better.

Lastly, it might be a little confusing why Mr. Mr. is not included in this list, considering the love I’ve shown for the MV in this post. Well…these other ten are simply better for me. I understand that Korean fashion can be really hard to understand sometimes, but I simply prefer these other concepts than the nurse look on the girls. I LOVE their suits though, even though they don’t show it a lot in the MV. Now that I think about it, I kinda wish that they have the dance version of the MV, focusing only on their suits!

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Girls’ Generation’s Ten Best Music Videos (Part 1)

In a matter of days, it will be Girls’ Generation’s 7th anniversary as a group. So far they are the longest-lasting girl group in Korea, and the second-longest lasting group after Shinhwa (male group from SM Entertainment which debuted in 1998). For someone who has just been into K-Pop in less than a year, at first it was not such a big deal for me, but knowing that some other famous girl groups like Fin K.L., Baby V.O.X, Wonder Girls, and KARA have disbanded or don’t have their original members anymore, it just awed me that a group consisting nine girls could stay intact for such a long time.

Thus, it’s only natural that as a fan I give something to commemorate this occasion by dedicating my next blog posts for them, one post every day before their anniversary. In this post I’m listing the ten best Girls’ Generation music videos (MVs)! Of course, to say that it’s their best is a little overboard, since they will have more awesome music videos in the future so the ten MVs that I’m listing here are my absolute favorite, the ones that brought me down to my knees for them!

…okay that’s a little too much fangirling there, but you know what I mean.

Well, that aside, let’s get on with this list, shall we? You can click on the title to see the MV 🙂

10. Mr. Taxi (2011)

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The main point about this MV is the outfit! Oh my God, those yellow-black-white outfits are really cute and sexy! The outfits look similar, but they are different from one member to another! Don’t get me started on their sexy jet-black leather outfits. Those awesome outfits, combined with harmonious dance from the group really made this Japanese MV! Don’t you wish you have sexy taxi drivers like them?

9. Gee (2009)

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If you’re talking about Girls’ Generation, then of course you have to see this MV! This video went viral for a reason, and it’s because of the freshness that the girls brought. Their concept was really simple but really cute, and marked a new fashion era in Korea, and possibly in all of Asia. Colorful skinny jeans became a staple fashion item for girls because of GG, for its simplicity and yet femininity. Fashion aside, the dance and the song really completes this video, don’t you think so? You can’t not love the song after you watch the MV.

8. Kissing You (2008)

Kissing you

Doo doo do do do do, Kissing You baby! Ah, this MV might be too girly for some people, but I personally love the concept and the video. This video was out less than a year after the girls’ debut, so innocence was still the main point that they have to show. However, in this video, the girls also have shown the playful and funny side to them, that you can’t see the first time you see this MV. The more you see this video, the more you’ll see how much of a prankster they really are, and will love them more after you’ve finished watching. Oh, and have I mentioned about the dance and the outfit? Cute!

7. Time Machine (2012)

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Don’t expect any easy-to-follow dance in this Japanese MV. In this video, you’ll see a more mature side of the girls, as well as their acting skills. Each girl had their own story but they all have one wish: to hop on a time machine and re-do everything. This video is really beautiful and heart-breaking, and I kinda wish there are nine different MV for each member so their stories are shown more.

6. Love & Girls (2013)

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In sixth place, we have Love & Girls! This MV was released in summer 2013 and is a really fun MV to watch! The MV itself was a major scale MV which involved hundreds of Japanese SONEs. I think I will say fun more than I should here because, well, it IS a fun video! The girls have admitted that Love & Girls were one of their most enjoyable and fun MV to shoot because they could dance together with their fans, which explains why their faces are naturally happy. Make sure to watch the dance version of this MV to see how to do the shampoo dance correctly!

And that’s it for the first part! The second part will be posted tomorrow, but in the mean time, can you guess which MV is in first place?

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The Hollies – He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother

The road is long, with many a-winding turn
That leads us to who knows where, who knows when
But I’m strong, strong enough to carry him
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother

So on we go, his welfare is of my concern
No burden is he to bear, we’ll get there
For I know, he would not encumber me
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother

If I’m laden at all, I’m laden with sadness
That everyone’s heart isn’t filled with the gladness
Of love for one another

It’s a long long road, from which there is no return
While we’re on the way to there, why not share?
And the load doesn’t weigh me down at all
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother

He’s my brother
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother…

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Girls’ Generation – Mr.Mr. Mini Album and Music Video Review

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The ‘me’ a year ago won’t believe that I’m actually going to write a review for a Girls’ Generation album and MV, but here I am, after spazzing out on their newest music video Mr.Mr. while I’m having my dinner with some colleagues, on my bed typing my review. Since I’m a newbie SONE*, I might have different opinions about this album than my SONE sunbae-nims**, but still might not sound so objective from a general POV.

Mind you, I’ve listened to all their album, both Japanese and Korean, except their first Japanese album, so this review is based on what I heard on their previous albums compared with this mini album. So, Without further ado, let’s start with the album, shall we?

Here’s my review for each tracks:

Mr.Mr.
When I first heard this song, my first thought was, “Wow, the girls have matured a lot.” Their voices sound better than their previous albums, since this song leans heavily on the singing technique than their dancing ability. In I Got a Boy, the girls did a great job on making a surprising comeback with their funky and unique music, but this song it only has a short dance break, and the rest are pure magic on their improving singing technique. You might be surprised (and possibly disappointed), but for SONEs, this song showed the mature side of Girls’ Generation.

Goodbye
The first thing I noticed was Hyoyeon’s beautiful voice. In their previous albums, the Dancing Queen always had the least part in the song, but in this song she really shines with her sexy alto voice. And forget Sunny’s cutesy voice in the previous albums. She sounds grrreat in this song, without losing her familiar singing voice. This track is yet another proof that the girls have improved a lot in their singing.

Europa
If you have listened to their Love & Peace Japanese album, this track might remind you a bit with ‘Do the Catwalk’. This song is showcasing their falsetto voice, which I think will be such delight to listen to while you’re walking around and having fun with your loved one. Sunny and Jessica’s soprano voices I think is the highlight of this song, so for fans of both the girls, this song will make you proud of the Aegyo Queen and the Ice Princess.

Wait a Minute
Being one of my favorite track in the album, I kinda hope that they will make a video for this song. The song might not be easy to hum with, but the song itself is so catchy that you can’t help but hum “Oh my Gosh” with Tiffany (she’s the lead vocal in this song). I think this song portrays the exact feeling of a girl who’s flustered with her own feelings.

Back Hug
My absolute favorite track of the album! I instantly fell in love with this ballad song the first time I heard it, and can’t help but blush hearing the girls sing it! Even now, I still find myself smiling to myself once the intro for this song is played. This song is really fluffy, that if you have a Soshi couple you ship you will instantly imagine them back-hug each other! Seriously though, I thought I’m the only one, but a lot of people have been telling me the same thing. That’s how good this song sounds! And with a warm ending by Taeyeon’s ‘Please cover my heart’, you can’t help but say “Awww!” the first time you hear it.

Soul
This is a remake version of their chinese track entitled Find Your Soul. A lot of SONEs have been expressing their disappointment since the final track of the album is not a new song. But that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing to look up to from this track. Look forward to hearing Tiffany and Hyoyeon’s rapping in this track, which made a lot of people love this track.

Overall Album Review
As I’ve mentioned a lot above, the girls have matured a lot in their singing technique. Before this album, people know Soshi as the girl group dancing in sync, with easy-to- follow dance moves and familiar songs, but not this one. You hear them showing off their singing abilities, and some people might find it disappointing because it seemed like a decline from the ever-lovable Gee or powerful I Got a Boy. But at the same time, you can’t hate this album and can’t stop listening to it! And before you know it, you’re anxiously waiting for the music video.

And now, the exciting part and most-awaited part of Mr.Mr.:

The music video.

When the very first teaser came out during Marchen Fantasy concert last December, it showed a masculine concept from the girls, with black and white video, but nothing else. And then there was another image teaser by SM early February, teasing the desperate SONEs showing what looked like a cross-over between the famous slasher movie Saw and the mysterious-Soshi concept, with the girls donned in pink nurse clothes.

Confused with my description? So did SONEs, but the 40 second teaser was more than enough to spark our curiosity since SM already informed about their masculine concept, and the latest teaser was nothing close to masculine.

After all the ‘mishap’ from SM (which I think was just a marketing strategy) and making all SONEs desperately waiting for any information on their newest MV, at February 28th 2014, at exactly 10 pm KST the girls are back with their long-awaited music video.

I have to be honest that I’ve only watched the video once and my jaw literally dropped. I have mentioned that I watched the video while I was having dinner with my colleagues? Yeah well they were so intrigued since I said “Daebak!***” a lot, especially during the dance break.

They did have that Saw-Mysterious Soshi crossover, AND their masculine concept during the dance break. It’s like the puzzle pieces showed the big image we’ve all been waiting for anxiously. It’s just…awesome.

I mean, currently a lot of Korean girl groups have been using sexy concept for their 2014 comeback, and Soshi confidently use a sexy-masculine concept, and they’re rocking it, clearly showing their class as the nation’s best girl group without showing their cleavage as the bait to make people curious! I don’t think the word ‘Daebak” cuts it.

It calls for a “Heol, daebak sagun!****”

Phew.

Now that the digital and physical album came out, and their MV too, what’s next?

Promotional activities of course! The girls will be making their comeback on M! Countdown on 6th of March so expect a lot of TV appearances after that!

Notes:
*SONE: fanbase for Girls’ Generation. It’s read “so-won”, means “wish” in Korean. It also have different meaning, which is “Soshi (a nickname for Girls’ Generation) and fans are ONE”
**sunbae-nim: in Korean “sunbae” means “senior”, and “-nim” is a Korean suffix to show respect to someone older or have more experience in something.
***daebak: in Korean it means “amazing” or “awesome”
****heol, daebak sagun: in Korean it means “Gasp/Wow, how epic!”

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Cinta (Tidak Harus) Mati – a book by Henry Manampiring

Honestly, I never thought that I would find this book, because I couldn’t find it in my usual bookstore. However, I found it unexpectedly when I was looking for another book. When I read the first chapter, I instantly loved it 😀

The first thing I noticed about the book is how colorful it is! With the shades or red, green, orange, and purple, this book managed to mask its seriousness with fun colors. The first two chapters are the results of the two surveys that @newsplatter did previously on Twitter: Survei Jomblo Nasional and Survei Gebet Nasional. @newsplatter, also known as Om Piring, also gave analysis and comments on the results, which makes the book very fun to read. At first.

When you read the remaining chapters, they are all opinions (or, in his words: “reflections”) about love, life, and self-discoveries, and most of them are already published on his blog. What’s interesting about those chapters, is that it doesn’t only contain his opinions, but also interesting facts and previous research about the issue! For me, it’s like reading a social science journal, only funner 😀

Unfortunately, there are some things that I regret about the book. First, about the “quotes” that started each chapter. For quotes, it’s not memorable enough. They are only bits that started a sentence, and not the best part about the chapter.

And lastly, about the length of each chapter. I like Om Piring’s writing style, and how he can convey his opinions, and add some facts with it. However, some of his chapters are not long enough! In some chapters I feel like he can explore more about the issue, but then he just stopped unexpectedly. I mean, come on 😦

In conclusion, do I think this book is worth buying? Definitely. This book can make you laugh, and make you think about your surroundings. If you want a book that can entertain and educate you at the same time, this is the book for you.

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About Death

If there’s anything that I hate the most, is death. All in all, I hate goodbyes, and death is that inevitable goodbye that couldn’t be undone. This is why I hate funerals, obituaries, or even the simplest goodbye like taking someone to the airport. I hate the idea of seeing someone for the last time and not meet them again ever, because deep down you know that death is always lurking and hit you when you least expect it.

I don’t consider myself to be a devout Catholic, but I believe that God created us for a reason. We live for that reason, and as long as we haven’t finish it, we’re “stuck” here on earth. Some people live for 100 years for that, and some die in a matter of minutes. I think their life span means something, sometimes even they don’t know what it is, and it’s up to us to understand what it means.

I believe in the saying “only the good die young”. I believe that if someone is so good, or even angel-like, she/he won’t live long, because God doesn’t want them to be contaminated with sins. So far, friends my age that have died has always been good people. They were all kind-hearted, impossible to hate, and loved my many. Their death has always been very sudden, and all died a peaceful death, surrounded by their family and close friends, who cried their heart out.

If there’s any good thing about death, it’s a reminder about time.

It reminds us that us humans don’t live long, and that sooner or later we will perish under any circumstances.

It reminds us that moments with our family and friends will not last forever, because they, too, will pass away, and become mere memories.

It reminds us of what we’ve done so far in our lives, whether we’ve been good or bad to those around us.

But lastly, and most importantly, it’s a reminder of what we have in our lives, and if we’ve been taking it for granted. We never know what we have in our lives until they’re gone, and in the end death will remind us in the cruelest way possible: by taking them away from us.

And you know what, even after all that “reminder” things above, I still don’t consider death “a beautiful thing”. Not even for a bit.

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Owl City – The Midsummer Station (Acoustic EP) Album Review

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Less than a week ago, Owl City released a new extended play (EP) entitled The Midsummer Station Acoustic. By now, you must’ve known that I’m a fan of Adam, so when the EP came out, I just had to have it, and I did.

As you can see, the cover of the EP looks “dark”, but the EP itself is actually a mini version of The Midsummer Station (TMS) (which I’ve already reviewed here). However, because this is just an EP, Adam only made three acoustic versions of Good Time, Shooting Star, and Gold from TMS album. That, and two additional songs entitled Hey Anna and I Hope You Think of Me.

Acoustic Versions of Good Time, Shooting Star, and Gold
Although Adam called this an acoustic EP, it doesn’t literally means “acoustic” as in only vocal and acoustic guitar, but “acoustic”, Adam Young style: with chamber strings, upright piano, mellotron, organic loops, and laid-back synth pads. The results? Well for me the acoustics versions are the lullaby version of the three upbeat songs from TMS. The acoustic version is a good reimagination of the three predecessor songs. Quite interesting, really. I might even say that the “acoustic” versions are better.

Hey Anna
Definitely my favorite song from the EP. I can’t just listen to this song once. I have to repeat it at least three times in one listening before I feel I have enough. The lyrics might be boring over time because it’s a repetition, but the melody covers it all up and make this a very addictive song to listen to. This song really remind of what Adam is capable of.

I Hope You Think of Me
I first listen to this song via YouTube when Owl City performed in Oklahoma City, not long after All Things Bright and Beautiful album came out (click here to see my review). At that time, I didn’t really pay attention to the song because I thought Adam will include the song in the TMS album, which he didn’t. When I REALLY listen to the track, I just thought, “Meh.” Personally I blame Hey Anna for raising the bar too high, making this track sounded dull then. But over time, I’m starting to like this track. Yet another example of a reminder of what Adam is capable of.

All in all, I love this EP. I love the fact that it’s very easy-listening. However, for some Owl City fans, this EP might be too boring and “soft”. To that, I say, “Move on from Ocean Eyes, dudes, it’s been four years since then.” If there’s anything I hate from the EP, is that there are only five tracks in it. I want more!

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Modus Anomali (2012)

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A man is on a holiday in the woods with his wife and two kids when they are surprised by the arrival of an uninvited guest. Suddenly, he experiences a time lapse. Before he understands what’s going on, he finds himself separated from his family. And when he starts finding several alarm clocks that seem to have been planted throughout the woods, he knows he has to race with time if he wants to see his family alive.

Basically that was sort of the synopsis of the movie from Rotten Tomatoes, and to be honest, I can’t tell you further or I’ll spoil the story. I’m guessing this review might not be spoiler-free too for some people, even though I WILL NOT reveal the ending here.

Last year I’d been waiting for this movie to be released in cinemas, because, well, I love Joko Anwar’s works (his movie “Pintu Terlarang” was good too, by the way, so make sure you check it out too). Unfortunately, when this movie came out, I was in Malaysia for a student exchange, so I couldn’t enjoy the cinematic experience. Thankfully, the DVD version of the movie came out, so I could still (sort of) enjoy it at home.

First of all, for a 86-minute-thriller, this movie is quite slow, so be patient. I was quite bored the first 30 minutes, but good things come to those who wait, and trust me, it was WORTH IT. There are many things to highlight about this movie, and I couldn’t list which one is the most important, so I’ll just list it in order of “appearance”.

1. The language. I know this is an Indonesian movie, but the movie is in English. Literally. I don’t know why, but somehow we have this understanding that if the movie is Indonesian, then the title and the language used in the movie must be Indonesian. Well not Modus Anomali. The title might be very Indonesian, but the language used is full-on English. Some might get annoyed with the Indonesian-accent or the English used in the movie (and all the props inside), but not me. I’m really happy with it.

2. The main actor, Rio Dewanto. His expressions throughout the movie really made the movie, and really made you question the clues you gather along the movie. Before Modus Anomali, I’ve seen his act on “Arisan 2” (where he acted as a gay guy, and trust me, he looked really gay then), and also on “?” (Tanda Tanya), and he is really, really good.

3. The make-ups and props. There’s nothing more satisfying than a thriller/gore movie with a decent and beliavable blood, scar, or wound, and Modus Anomali scored with flying colors.

4. The story. Most thriller movie ends with every questions and mysteries answered in the end, and you get out of the cinema with a certain satisfaction of knowing about it. For me, this doesn’t happen with Modus Anomali. You finish the movie with questions and doubts; you doubt whether the movie is good or not; whether your guess about the plot is the right one or not; or whether the clues you picked up along the way are real. In a way, this movie forces you to discuss it with people who watch it with you, and when you finally understand about the premise of the movie, you’ll actually think, “Damn, this is genius.”

I might be exageratting, but that’s what I felt after watching the movie. Before Modus Anomali, I watched The Conjuring, but I’m not satisfied with it. Sure, it’s quite scary, but in the end, it’s not that good compared to other horror movies I’ve watched. With Modus Anomali, I was not sure the movie was good or not, and I started having questions But after I found the answers, I was really satisfied, and understood what Joko Anwar want. This is a good movie.

But, if there’s any similarities between Modus Anomali with The Conjuring, is I wish it can go at least a step further. It can be better, this is why I give Modus Anomali 9 out of 10.

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