It’s about time we finally came across some k-pop on this challenge! Even though I don’t know very much about k-pop, I have enjoyed pretty much all of what I have heard of the genre. Although, while I can’t imagine myself really taking much time and effort to listen to a lot of this music on my free time, it certainly sounds best when accompanied by their corresponding music video. Usually made with a relatively high budget, these videos are coated with the most vibrant of colors, lighting, choreography, and pretty much all over aspects of it. The result is a colorful little slice of entertainment that is usually pretty corny and over-the-top, but almost always a whole lot of fun.
NC.A is one of the newest artists that I’ve come across on this challenge. She only just started recording music in 2013 and as of the date of this post, she only has one album under her belt, which was released in 2016. As of today, she hasn’t had much profound success in the South Korean charts; her most successful output so far is her first EP, which did get all the way up to the top 20. Still, there’s no reason to believe that she doesn’t have the potential for future prosperity as her career furthers onward. From this single, adorably titled “Hoo Hoo Hoo”, she certainly demonstrates some pretty decent talent in her singing performance. I’m still not at the point where I can tell a lot of these k-pop artists apart (I could only imagine how foreign audiences view our music industry in the states…), but the least I could say is that she certainly makes the listen an interesting one from start to finish.
The song begins with a delicate calypso guitar riff, which is a nice touch and instantly grabs one’s attention. This is soon replaced by a production style more typical of the k-pop genre: electronic synths, booming bass, and just a more synthetic sound overall. I will admit that this type of production was what turned me off of k-pop initially, but the more that I appreciated pop music in general, the more I was able to seek out some of k-pop’s own merits. The music is always so endlessly catchy, and the cheesiness of it all definitely lends its own charm factor into the whole mix. Lyrically, this is a breakup song, specifically one where the speaker is missing her ex-lover and may have regretted her decision. I knew this from the bridge that is decidedly in English instead of Korean (“Baby, missing you… / Baby, still loving you”). After running the rest of the lyrics through a translator, the prevailing emotion that runs through these lines is one of sadness – which definitely contradicts the totally upbeat, fun, over-the-top mood that the song’s production implies. And in case you’re wondering, the “hoo hoo hoo” of the song’s namesake refers to the sound of the wind blowing by as seasons change along with the ex’s heart. That’s just… adorable, but also sad.
I guess this could just be written down as yet another inclusion to my “happy-sad” canon – songs that deal with such morose issues as sadness, heartbreak, depression, loneliness, and others, but with more pronounced elements of the recording being decidedly happier and buoyant. There’s nothing really wrong with this – some of the best songs ever written are happy-sad affairs, including a lot of very modern pop music. I guess there’s not really much to complain about when there’s hope enough to keep on dancing the pain away.