Category Archives: Pop

Pop/K-Pop Workout Playlist #1

Believe it or not, I do do things besides reading and pondering pointless subjects such as “gesturing” vs. “gesticulating” and Key’s hotness. One of those things is exercise.

I’m not a serious athlete, but I do like to play tennis or run every day to keep myself from becoming morbidly obese. While I’m running on my treadmill or utilizing other calorie-burning equipment at the gym, I always listen to pop music and sometimes study SAT vocab. As a result, I’ve decided to compile a list of ten songs that I’ve been working out to lately or songs that I find energizing and upbeat.

Half of the songs are English pop while the other half is K-Pop. For the sake of clarity the odd numbered songs are in English and the even numbered songs are in Korean. I’m considering making more than one of these but we’ll see how it goes.

Here’s the list:
1. “You Make Me Feel” by Cobra Starship (feat. Sabi)
2. “Good-bye Baby” by Miss A (skip to 1:35 for the music)
3. “Where Them Girls At” by David Guetta (feat. Nicki Minaj, Flo Rida)
4. “I Am The Best” by 2NE1
5. “Super Bass” by Nicki Minaj
6. “Banana” by G.NA
7. “Til The World Ends” by Britney Spears
8. “Mr. Simple” by Super Junior
9. “Promiscuous” by Nelly Furtado (feat. Timbaland)
10. “Nu ABO” by f(x)

Overall the list is comprised of some songs with more than one contributing artist and songs by mostly female singers. You can’t blame me, the pop industry has been dominated by women lately… now for thoughts on each individual song and images!

1. “You Make Me Feel” by Cobra Starship (feat. Sabi) – when I first heard this song on the radio I knew I would be running to it. It’s a catchy club song that actually doesn’t contain any curse words or overt dirty innuendos, how surprising (in a good way)!

I really liked Miss A's video for "Good-bye Baby"... and their awesome fish flop, leg flailing dance move.

2. “Good-bye Baby” by Miss A – As of this moment “Good-bye Baby” is number six on the top 25 most-played songs on my IPod. It has a strong rhythm and smooth transitions that make it easy to listen to. I ran to this song a lot while on my cruise this summer.

3. “Where Them Girls At” by David Guetta (feat. Nicki Minaj, Flo Rida) – Another club song with a male and female artist. Just like “Sexy Chick”, Guetta creates an irresistible song to dance and move to with “Where Them Girls At”. Also, you have to love Nicki Minaj’s unintelligible noises near the end of the song.

4. “I Am The Best” by 2NE1 – Bam ratatatata tatatata… Naega jeil jal naga, jeil jeil jeil jal naga. What a hook, need I say more?

5. “Super Bass” by Nicki Minaj – I admit that I’ve been harsh on Nicki Minaj on the past, but the censored version of “Super Bass” and “Fly” (feat. Rihanna) impress me. Maybe because they lean more toward pop/dance than rap.

I hope they're still releasing the video for "Banana" despite it being banned from live performance.

6. “Banana” by G.NA – “Banana” possesses a mellifluous melody coupled with an exotic feel. I’m looking forward to writing a post about the song and its music video so I can rant discuss the differences between Eastern and Western pop music censoring. Lipstick chicken butter roll.

"Til The World Ends" won Best Pop Video at the 2011 VMAs. Do you think the video deserves the award?

7. “Til The World Ends” by Britney Spears – Slick and sexy, this song and its remix are fantastic to run to.

Siwon's bulge, I mean abs, serve as good motivation to exercise. (image via mithunonthe.net)

8. “Mr. Simple” by Super Junior – Oh, how I love “Sorry Sorry 2.0” Mr. Simple. While not the perfect song on its own, it does offer a mix of catchy components that can satisfy one’s craving for K-Pop while working out.

9. “Promiscuous” by Nelly Furtado (feat. Timbaland) – I rediscovered this song a few weeks ago at my friend’s house. I love the banter between the two, their allusions, and the overall feel of the song. Not to mention that I learned the meaning of “promiscuous” from it. Maybe I shouldn’t be so thankful for that…

I love the dance to this song... when I saw Key perform it I almost screamed. Anyway...

10. “Nu ABO” by f(x) – Introducing the number one most-played song on my IPod, “Nu ABO” packs a punch with its powerful chorus and charming chant of “na na na na na na na na na na na”. F(x) fighting!

What are your thoughts on this playlist? Any songs you workout to yourself or any songs you would like to add? Let me know!

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Taylor Swift and “Sparks Fly”… Why Am I Single?

Taylor Swift and sparks flying... literally. Image via allthingscountrymusic.blogspot.com.

Ah, Taylor Swift. The princess of conventional country-pop music that everyone loves to hate. She’s applauded for being ordinary and plain, which actually helps her image – her normalcy sets her apart from Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Ke$ha, etc. No one can accuse her of plagiarizing other artists because not only is her style solely hers, but she writes all of her own songs, too.

Not to say that she doesn’t use other celebrities to her advantage. Just look at Taylor Lautner and John Mayer. Those two acrid relationships resulted in two songs (“Back to December” and “Dear John”) that ameliorated the track list of Speak Now. And I doubt anyone could forget the ignominious Kanye West incident, which backfired badly and even bolstered Swift’s popularity.

So am I a Taylor Swift fan? I’d say yes, because she’s a respectable artist and her songs can be pretty darn catchy. Though some of her songs, like “You Belong With Me”, and most recently, “Sparks Fly”, really make me regret not being in a relationship so I could make everyone feel completely jealous of my hot partner truly comprehend the depth of her soulful singing.

“Drop everything now, meet me in the pouring rain
Kiss me no the sidewalk, take away the pain
‘Cause I see sparks fly
Whenever you smile”

In my opinion this is one of Swift’s best songs to date. Maybe not her best music video, but the song is great. It’s upbeat and commanding, sweeping you into Swift’s sentiment over a particularly pleasant guy. The lyrics are convincing and cute (Swift’s pronunciation of “sidewalk” gets me every time) and the song supplies a chance for her vocals to shine. The video, on the other hand…

She whips her hair back and forth, she whips her hair back and forth... a lot.

It disappointed me. I’ve listened to “Sparks Fly” a decent amount of times since the album’s release and have come to love it, so I expected something more. Don’t get me wrong, the video is decent, but not as amazing as her previous productions. There was an inundation of cliche close-ups, pauses, etc. that caused the video to appear almost… sophomoric.

Ha, fireworks. Just like in the lyrics. How literal.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who would have preferred a poignant music video as opposed to one showing the concert experience. I’ve never been to a Taylor Swift concert so I can’t judge, but this lady found it lukewarm. Either way it would’ve been nice to see a more “Mine”-like concept due to the song’s strength and compelling quality.

But, I still like Taylor Swift and one average video definitely won’t hurt her in the long run. I think I’m going to go fantasize about my future partner study now…

What do you think of “Sparks Fly” (the song or the video) and Taylor Swift in general?

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Enrique Iglesias in “Ayer”: Much Better

Enrique appearing quite attractive at the beginning of "Ayer"

I admit that I’ve been harsh on Enrique Iglesias lately, due to his lukewarm songs “Tonight” and “Dirty Dancer”. But “Ayer” is much, much better.

Don’t get me wrong, I still have slight issues with this music video. He’s not really doing anything nor does it look like he’s actually singing, but hey, that’s what it’s been like for the past two music videos – at least this time he’s not surrounded by half-naked individuals of the female sex. (here’s a link to the video)

Those are my only complaints about “Ayer” though. As many people said on Youtube, it seems like he’s returning to his roots as an artist. I can’t comprehend the song on my own (Spanish 1 wasn’t that helpful in the long run) but even without utilizing a translator I’m able to discern that this song is coming from his heart, and not another part of his body. The music video enhances this effect as it focuses on him somewhat singing with the candles adding a nice visual background.

Overall, “Ayer” is a step in the right direction for Enrique Iglesias. I hope he continues producing this type of song as opposed to trash his previous two singles – maybe then he’ll recapture his success from ten years ago.

Enrique Iglesias appearing quite attractive (in the same position) at the end of "Ayer"

What do you think of “Ayer”? Is he making progress? Or are you not impressed?

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“Dirty Dancer” – Why Enrique Iglesias, Why?

Even his hotness can't hide his lackluster songs... (image via hdmusicvids.com)

I think I’ve lost my respect for Enrique Iglesias.

As I posted in my thoughts on his song “Tonight”, Iglesias used to produce such great songs. Who can forget this?

Something went terribly wrong. Ten years later, he’s resorting to saturating his songs with sex to appeal to the mainstream music crowd. I’m not a pop music aficionado, but at least I think that’s what he’s attempting to do – otherwise, why would he bring himself down to that level when he has the potential to do so much more?

“Dirty Dancer” is, well, dirty. The lyrics can be summarized as him singing about a dancer (see, stripper) who really wants “it”. I know, such deep and meaningful stuff. I suppose that the song itself can be catchy, as I’ve had friends and acquaintances who have gotten the song stuck in their heads, but I can’t bring myself to like it at all.

Hey, it’s just pop music, right? Who cares as long as this is confined to the clubs?

If that was the case and “Dirty Dancer” was restricted from being aired on the radio, I wouldn’t mind it as much. However, the other day my nine-year-old cousin heard this song and started singing along. Thank goodness she didn’t understand what she was saying. Unfortunately, there are pre-teens who can grasp what a “dirty dancer” is or use Google to find out. That isn’t that bad because they’re going to find out about those things when they’re older anyway, right?

Wrong. My main issue with “Dirty Dancer” is the way Enrique Iglesias presents women within the context of the lyrics and the video. He makes it seem like they’re crazed sex fiends when they’re really not – he’s just imagining them to be that way, or utilizing them in that sense for his music video. Essentially, it’s demoralizing to the female gender and that type of message should not be allowed to influence people.

I can see the slight double standard here. Why can Katy Perry and Rihanna include sexual themes in their music but not Enrique Iglesias? Isn’t that sexist in itself?

Not really, because while Katy Perry and Rihanna are singing about melting popsicles and S&M, Iglesias is doing more than that – he’s undermining women and beguiling people to believe that they can be taken advantage of. Which is clearly incorrect.

He's not doing much in the video besides sitting around and acting amused... I've seen better.

Oh, here’s the link to the video. It’s extraordinarily explicit. You’ve been warned.

What are your thoughts on “Dirty Dancer” and the degradation of Enrique Iglesias? Or do you think what he’s doing is just fine?

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“I’m Into You” – J-Lo’s Got It

“When I look into your eyes it’s over, you got me hooked with your love controller…”

Jennifer Lopez’s song “I’m Into You” is much better than her previous single, “On the Floor”. Besides being catchy, it has a unique feel and stands out as something other than a club song. “I’m Into You” shows that successful pop stars can continue to be successful pop stars into their 40’s. There are some things that could be changed about it but more on that later.

I mean, did you see her body? I suppose most males would think that it is quite aesthetically appealing. (aka, they think she’s hot)

No, I'm not jealous of J-Lo's body or her dancing ability... not jealous at all...

William Levy doesn’t hurt either. His presence adds an inviting impetus for females and other individuals such as I to watch the video. (aka, he’s hot too)

His bulging muscles reminded me of that boxer from Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream" video... though I don't mind Levy's muscles, if you know what I mean.

I much preferred seeing William Levy in the music video as opposed to Lil’ Wayne, whose rap contributes essentially nothing to the song. I don’t know what’s the big deal with pop songs by female artists featuring rappers lately, but in a lot of songs it hasn’t benefited either party (“E.T.”, anyone?) The only line that kind of works is “every finish line is the beginning of a new race” – though it doesn’t fit the song itself, like the rest of his rap, it does serve as a good transition into Lopez’s part.

Some of the lyrics confused me as well. First and foremost, what is a love controller? I’m assuming it’s not like a disco stick or anything of that sort, but it’s still up in the air. Also, what is “the cyon”? Lopez sings “sharp shooter you can call me the cyon”, and while I originally thought she said “you can call me desire”, I was proved wrong after researching the lyrics. But when I googled “cyon”, the only notable results pertained to a phone. Is she blatantly advertising through this song, or is this some allusion I’m unaware of?

The random tribal dance scene is a little out of place, but it doesn't detract too much from the video.

I watched this video for the first time a few days after it came out in May, and I didn’t think it was too noteworthy – I decided to write this post because of the song’s recent popularity. Overall, it’s a good song that will climb the charts and the music video offers attractive models posing/frolicking in an enticing setting.

Is there a reason why William Levy is running up and down the beach? Probably not. Do people seem to care? Nope. Just look at those back muscles...

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Embracing Cannibalism with Ke$ha

“I eat boys up, breakfast and lunch…”

Cannibalism. Such a repugnant concept. In history, cannibalism was caused by overpopulation and lack of sustenance – thus, people resorted to eating each other. In Ke$ha’s song “Cannibal”, she eats boys up because they’re sweet and they call her pretty. Well then…

We all know Ke$ha isn’t the best singer in the music industry. However, many of her songs have that catchy quality that makes them irresistible. “Cannibal” is one of those songs. Despite the abundant use of auto-tune and lack of actual singing (unless you count the oh-oh-oh-oh bridge borrowed from “Tik Tok”), it’s infectious and brings out the best of Ke$ha as an artist.

It's too bad "Cannibal" probably won't be released as a single - it's definitely one of, if not the best song on the album in terms of mainstream potential.

The lyrics are coarse and darkly humorous: “Whenever you tell me that I’m pretty – that’s when the hunger really hits me – your little heart goes pitter patter – I want your liver on a platter”. She even references Jeffrey Dahmer, who I learned was quite the creepy serial killer, thanks to Wikipedia. *shivers*

“Cannibal” is one of the stronger songs on Ke$ha’s album (also titled “Cannibal”). I heard it on So You Think You Can Dance, and have been listening to it on the treadmill ever since. Though its best attribute is its addictive beat, “Cannibal” offers a somewhat metaphor to how a girl can become so obsessed with a guy that she literally wants to eat him – allowing Ke$ha to display her ability to go beyond her self-indulgent song “Tik Tok” and her song crafted for the clubs, “Blow”.

What do you think of “Cannibal”? Is it better or worse than the other songs on her latest album?

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“Right There” – Me Don’t Like It

Image via aceshowbiz.com

The only thing I knew about Nicole Scherzinger before listening to “Right There” was that she used to be the leader of the Pussycat Dolls. I suppose she had a good enough voice, but these days you never know because of auto-tune…

Anyway, the first thing I picked up on about “Right There” was the grotesque grammar. “Me Like It”? Really? This is what I’m talking about:

“Me like the way that you hold my body
Me like the way that you touch my body
Me like the way that you kiss my yeah yeah yeah yeah me like it
Me like the way that he put it on me
Me like the way that he push up on me
Me like the way that he goin’ down down down down down”

Almost as bad as “Friday”. Almost.

50 Cent doesn’t add anything to the song either in my opinion – unless his part’s purpose was solely to attract fans of his. It almost seems as if Scherzinger has not fully gone solo yet, because of 50 Cent’s feature and her constant employment of backup dancers in the music video.

Many people have stated that “Right There” is too similar to other pop songs – if I had listened to it a couple of months ago, I might have said the same thing. However, I’ve realized that with pop music each song is bound to sound like another song, so it’s not being too similar, just not different enough. And Scherzinger needs to stand out with more than just her toned tummy and killer outfits.

I like the new direction Scherzinger is taking with her album “Killer Love” as opposed to the poppy songs she’s done with PCD, but “Right There” was a weak single to release first. She’s going to have to work hard to gain popularity in this genre with other artists like Jennifer Lopez climbing the charts, but if she utilizes the strength of her voice and her co-host position on “The X-Factor”, then she has a chance of succeeding.

What do you think of “Right There”? Like it, love it, hate it?

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Gaga is Back With “Judas”

This is much better than “Born This Way”. Much better.

Gaga released this song early – the original release date was April 19. I wasn’t even aware of this upcoming single. She’s almost done no promoting for it, as opposed to “Born This Way”. It’s truly spectacular though. The chorus is especially catchy and the lyrics are gruesomely great.

I’m not a religious person, so I admit to googling “Judas” when first hearing about this song. I don’t want to go too much into the religious aspect because even after scanning the Wikipedia page for the apostle and betrayer of Jesus, I might misinterpret something or say an offensive comment unintentionally. I would like to state, however, that one should not judge this song solely based on its religious connotations – she’s not a devil worshiper or anything. Jeez.

Now to post some of my favorite lyrics:

“When he comes to me, I am ready
I’ll wash his feet with my hair if he needs
Forgive him when his tongue lies through his brain
Even after three times, he betrays me”

Such unusual word choice – the image evoked by the second line (washing his feet with my hair) is raw and disturbing. Yet, it makes you think.

“I couldn’t love a man so purely
Even darkness forgave his crooked way
And I’ve learned our love is like a brick
Build a house or sink a dead body”

Love the simile about love – it can be beautiful and exquisite, or lead to utter destruction and, if taken to an extreme, death.

“In the most Biblical sense, I am beyond repentance
Fame hooker, prostitute wench, vomits her mind
But in the cultural sense I just speak in future tense
Judas kiss me if offenced, or wear an ear condom next time”

I wanna love you, but something’s pulling me away from you
Jesus is my virtue, Judas is the demon I cling to
I cling to”

This is brilliant. Dirty and disgusting, but dastardly genius. The exemplification of what I mean when I say: Gaga, the queen of pop, is back!

I would post the chorus, but then I’d just be blogging the entire song, something that I want to refrain from. It’s splendid – not only do the lyrics reveal a deeper meaning than the “I want to sleep with you” theme so prevalent in pop music these days, it’s catchy. Sounds like something you would hear in a rave. An African rave. Oh baby.

What do you think of “Judas” by Lady Gaga? Do you agree that it’s better than “Born This Way”? I’m eagerly anticipating the music video, are you?

PS: Today was such a great day for me. I went to a Writers’ Conference and now feel tremendously inspired to write, played tennis in magnificent weather, and heard this song on my way to buy a smoothie.

PPS: No, I don’t know the difference between an African rave and a regular rave. I’ve never been to a rave, to be honest…

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“Tonight”: Enrique Iglesias Transformed

He's hot, I'm aware.

Enrique Iglesias epitomizes today’s pop music trend: Sex Sells.

Ten years ago, “Hero” was one of the hugest hits in the country. It peaked at number three on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, and number one on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. Its soulful lyrics and beautiful melody are still remembered today – heck, my uncle has it as his ring tone, and many other men who want to be ‘heroes’ probably do too. Same idea with the women who wish to be whisked away by the ‘hero’ type. This song isn’t about sex, or clubbing, or going wild at strip clubs: it’s a love song. If you don’t believe me, here’s part of the chorus:

“I can be your hero baby
I can kiss away the pain
I will stand by you forever
You can take my breath away”

Isn’t that something you want your boyfriend to say to you?

Now, ten years later, he’s utilizing heavily synthesized beats and electronically modified vocals to escalate the popularity of his songs. I’m going to focus on “Tonight”, his latest single.

“Tonight (I’m Fu***** You)”, better known as “Tonight (I’m Lovin’ You)”, has achieved notable status within the United States – on Billboard, its reached number three on the Hot 100 chart, and number one on the Hot Club Dance, Pop, and Radio song charts. The good thing about the song is that it’s catchy. Plain and simple. Pop-lovers, party-goers, and club-frequenters probably love this song, or at least its beat.

Then you get into the nitty gritty. The lyrics. You can infer by reading the title that this song isn’t about holding hands or counting flower petals. No, it’s about – well, you know what it’s about. I’ve already mentioned what it’s about in this post one time too many, and if you still can’t figure it out, it’s essentially everything “Hero” is not.

Here are the lyrics of the chorus to further my point:

“But tonight I’m loving you
Ohh you know
That tonight I’m loving you
Ohh you know
That tonight I’m loving you
Ohh you know
That tonight I’m loving you ”

I’m aware of the lack of variation within those lines. And yet this song is still being played on the radio ten times a day. Don’t get me started on the music video – that thing should be blocked from teens and children under the age of 16 (or banned in general).

No, I don’t hate Enrique Iglesias. I’m actually a fan of him and his music. I just cannot stand “Tonight”: it’s completely processed, ostentatiously sexual… does he even sing?

Image via mp3lyricsmania.com

Image via sheetmusicplus.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He doesn’t look like he’s aged – it almost seems as if he’s gotten younger. As they say, some men become more attractive with time… the funny thing is that he’s old enough to be the father of some of his teenage fans (he’s 31!).

What are your thoughts on Enrique Iglesias or “Tonight”?

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Kanye Ruins Katy Perry’s Song “E.T.”

I listened to this song around the time “Firework” was becoming popular, when Kanye West wasn’t featured yet. I thought it was pretty good – strange, surreal, seductive. The idea behind it is original and captivating, though I can see why it’s creepy to some. It also wasn’t overtly sexual, a big plus when songs like “S&M” by Rihanna and “Tonight” by Enrique Iglesias have been climbing the charts.

Here’s the video:

I had mixed reactions after viewing the video. I liked it because the song actually warranted weirdness – I mean, how can you make a ‘normal’ video about aliens? Hm. But the parts with Kanye West killed it. He doesn’t add anything to the song or the video. Here’s some of his rap:

“Cop a Prada spacesuit about the stars
Getting stupid a** straight out the jar
Pockets on Shrek, Rockets on deck
Tell me what’s next, alien s**
I’ma disrobe you, than I’mma probe you
See I abducted you, so I tell ya what to do
I tell ya what to do, what to do, what to do.”

Wow, talk about completely unnecessary. The song was going so well until West had to include direct sexual profanity. It detracted from the mythical, mesmerizing appeal of “E.T.”, making it all too similar to songs about sex, bars, etc. Also, in the video, he just stands (revolves?) there and, well, raps. Boring…

Overall, not a bad song from Katy Perry, minus the parts with Kanye West. His pretentious lyrics pain me to the point where I have to skip over sections of the song while watching the video or while listening to it on the radio.

What do you think of “E.T.”? Do you think Kanye’s rap contributes anything to the song?

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