Sunday, May 20, 2012

[May 20, 2012] SBS Inkigayo Highlights + Commentary

Did KBS and SBS switch sound guys or something? For the first time in forever (or at least since I started music show recaps, which was a long time ago), SBS had better sound than KBS this week! Which I hope doesn't happen again next week, because MuBank is the only music show I can actually watch on an actual TV, and it might as well be the one with the best sound. But moving on, today's line-up is pretty much the same, with the exception of EXO-M joining EXO-K on their performance, which I assume was pre-recorded because SM TOWN is in LA right now.

Hello Venus - "Venus"
One of the things I like about Hello Venus is that their rapper can sing. What's her name again? Lime? Kiwi? I just know it's a fruit. But yeah, she can sing, which is always good. Today's performance was consistent with the previous ones -- the vocals are pretty much all there, the stage presence is getting a bit stronger, but their group dynamics are still off.

Excuse me while I cry over the fact that this was lip-synched again, so now I have to spend the entire time complaining about it. Ever since I found out from Ree that EXO-M were going to join in a couple of music show performances, I've been really excited because now I can actually gauge who the better group is. I haven't seen the other performances, but just with this alone, all that has gone down the drain. But I must say, I like EXO-M's group dynamic and stage deportment much, much better than EXO-K's. M already has the foundations of a good group dynamic, and they move with much more effortlessness and less of that Lee Joon "I'm so great, I'll exaggerate everything I do on stage" complex that I hate so much.

B.A.P. - "Power"
In terms of what I think of them, B.A.P. are slowly turning into a Big Bang. I've said this before -- there are basically two types of groups I like. The first is obviously, the DBSKs of the world, the bands who I really like for everything they are -- material, performance, vocals, the works. The second, however, are the Big Bangs -- the bands who I don't necessarily like material-wise, but who have my respect because they do put good material out, and above that, they are really talented individuals and a well-rounded group. That's what B.A.P. are. Their music isn't my taste, but seeing them perform today, and in the past few weeks, has made me admire them, at the very least. The stage presence is there, the group dynamics are good, and most of all, they know what they do well, and they stick to it. Respect is something else, but they're moving towards that. We'll see.

A Pink - "Hush"
Did A Cube somehow not get the memo that these retro-inspired songs were last year's thing? Or are they really just stuck in a time warp? Either way, "Hush" is the kind of song that needs really strong performers to be able to salvage whatever goodness is left in it, and while A Pink aren't horribly bad performers like they were when they debuted, they aren't exactly outstanding either. I liked their outfits today though, but that's it. Can we please just move on to whatever's next? Please?

Dalmatian - "ER"
Here we go again with the whispering during the verses, guys. Is that how you were taught to sing, or are you really that shy? The chorus is much better than the verse, and lightyears better than last Friday's performance, but I'm not really convinced. I hear some voices now, and they all pretty much have some kind of stage presence, but this sounds more like a filler track or an intermission number to me.

Infinite - "Only Tear" + "The Chaser"
I watched yesterday's performance (for my ill-fated MuCore recap, which will probably never see the light of being published), and their "Only Tear" performance today is definitely a lot better than the previous days. It's still pretty average, the unnecessary vibrato has pretty much been cleared out now, and the high notes are much clearer. Their performance of "The Chaster" today was my favorite of all their comeback stages, for a variety of reasons. First off, they used my favorite set and my favorite outfits from the video! So classy. Today's performance also made me realize why I like watching Infinite so much -- because even if they don't all have amazing vocals, they're all pretty stable, and even if their choreography is very heavy and they keep moving, they do so with a spring in their step, with a sense of effortlessness. They literally prance around stage. First, and probably only, round of goosebumps I got tonight. And the only performance I genuinely enjoyed watching from start to finish.

SISTAR - "Alone"
Oh SISTAR. I've tried to like you, time and time again, and Hyorin has a gorgeous voice, but whenever I think I'm about to like you, you put out a cheap song with a cheap performance and move with little grace. Being sophisticated isn't just about putting on these supposedly "expensive-looking" dresses, diamonds, pearls, and releasing a song with so-called "high instruments". It's not in what you do, it's in how you do it, and that's where you always fail. In all honesty, I'd much prefer it if they stopped trying to look sophisticated, because "Shady Girl" was my favorite single of theirs, and it was actually really good.

4Minute - "Volume Up"
What did I say? I knew it was goodbye week, I just knew it. If anything, Jiyoon and Gayoon have obviously gotten really comfortable with the song. I wish I could say the same for useless leader (whatever her name is) and HyunA, but I can't, because it wouldn't be true. In terms of performance though, I liked their auras today -- they were happy, and it's not just because they were all smiling, but the way they moved was very springy and bright, a nice contrast to the very dark sound of the song.

SNSD (Taeyeon, Tiffany, Seohyun) - "Twinkle"(WINNER)
I loved the outfits today -- the cut, the color, how they looked on the girls. Other than that, it was more of the usual. Competent vocals, competent presence, command of the audience -- the works.

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