Wonder Girls – The DJ Is Mine (Watch)
Dubstep can definitely be considered a worldwide trend now. There was a dubstep song in this weekend’s Danish Eurovision qualifiers, and it’s even been incorporated into a K-pop song! The DJ Is Mine is taken from the Wonder Girls TV movie which premieres on Teen Nick in America in February. Although the song is very westernised, it’s not strong enough to compete with what’s in the charts now. It’s a good effort at trying to appeal to Americans, but I honestly think if any K-pop act is going to break through in English-speaking markets it won’t be by imitating what English-speaking acts already do well. Instead it will be by translating what’s great about K-pop into a form that western pop fans will love just as much. This track isn’t bad but I think they could have put themselves out of the race for crossover success. Now, when is 2NE1’s new English single coming?
Heyhihello – Nothing At All (Listen)
I recently discovered this American group and I love all their adorable catchy music. Although they are positioned as a pop-rock group the songs are pure smiley bouncy pop, and they’re not even annoyingly twee like similar groups such as Plain White Ts have been in the past. They’re just good clean fun! Nothing At All is their latest single and it’s a great introduction to the band as it’s very typical of their sound. It’s full of energy with a big sing-along chorus. I’d like to hear music along these lines from One Direction’s second album, as I think this would be the perfect direction for them if they want to carve a real niche for themselves within the UK music scene. There’s nothing around like this at the moment and I think we could do with a bit more jolliness in the charts!
Dappy – Rockstar (Watch)
Rockstar is so similar to No Regrets (with a bit of Spaceship thrown in for good luck) that I suspect in the future it will only be remembered as “Dappy’s second single”, if it’s remembered at all, but I actually think it’s quite good. While the chorus isn’t as strong as No Regrets, it’s a more consistent song overall. It’s a great example of the anthemic, rock-pop-rap sound which is what originally made N-Dubz, Tinie Tempah and Tinchy Stryder interesting within the UK urban genre. Their big sing-along choruses are suited to arenas, not dingy clubs, and the confidence these artists have in making music for a huge audience of all different ages and backgrounds shows how far the UK music scene has come. Genres are being combined and redefined constantly, not just for niche audiences but in the mainstream too, and songs like this are the product of that.
“if any K-pop act is going to break through in English-speaking markets it won't be by imitating what English-speaking acts already do well. Instead it will be by translating what's great about K-pop into a form that western pop fans will love just as much.” – agreed! I like “The DJ is Mine” but prefer “Be My Baby”. And I've just noticed “Irony” is on their first CD which I already have!