Archive for the ‘Secret’ Category


Sexy – Secret

Oh god don’t listen to this. I can understand even more than yesterday’s song how unbearable this is to listen to. There’s an objective terribleness to it that i can’t deny, but it’s not enough to lift the greater spell K-pop has cast on me. It’s so embarrassing. And nauseating. The way the harmonies work, the rapping, the drum machine fills – it legitimately makes me uneasy hearing it. Yet i keep on playing it. Sexy. Always, sexy. It’s great that they feel so and assert themselves in this way, but who says “sexy” these days?. Maybe it’s the Westerner in me and the shields i’ve put up to such things. Maybe it’s the language difference. Maybe it’s never ever feeling sexy myself. Don’t listen to this.

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Shy Boy

Shy boy – Secret

Secret have two sides to them: The fun, independent, messy club hair side of Madonna, Magic, Love Is Move, etc. and the squeaky clean, sanguine, malt shop, dream boy conjuring of Starlight Moonlight and this song. Maybe it’s a want to exist between those two worlds, maybe it’s a scattergun approach to see what hits. It all hits, evidently. They do both better than anyone else and have definitely found a place of their own amongst the other groups. Not imitative, not outmoded, not a lesser anything. It was worrying at the beginning. This might say something about me, but this is the side of Secret i prefer. I can see how this is unbearable to listen to.

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Love is MOVE

Love is MOVE – Secret

It sure is. Wasn’t it very exciting a few weeks ago when both Secret and Girls’ Generation released their new albums in the same week? No? Oh. But what gall by Secret, going up against the biggest comeback the Korean pop world will see this year. Call them brave, call them foolish, call the whole effort doomed from the start, but they went ahead with it, and released the better of the two albums in my opinion (though not as good as their previous two oh so sweet singles).

Unlike the Girls’ Generation one, i actually payed for the Secret album. I don’t think my contribution is going to topple the SNSD colossus but I chose my side – an either/or decision that i feel silly making when they say things like:

“We are a little concerned, knowing what SNSD is capable of. However for the two years that we’ve been in the industry, we’ve never looked at it as competition or wanted to win against anyone. We simply want to confidently show our fans our new look, as well everything we’ve worked so hard to put together. That in and of itself is enough for us.”

Why take sides? There’s enough love and support to go around. It’s just sad that most of it will be funneled Girls’ Generation’s way, leaving Secret ever the runner up. And who remembers runners up? Buzz who? I didn’t make a difference. The charts were swept clean by Girls’ Generation and will be swept for weeks to come. Impossible though it was, it just would have been such a fantastic thing for Secret to have come out on top.

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Magic – Secret

Again on the hegemony of the English language in music. Korean pop is unashamedly and unavoidably influenced by American pop/r&b/urban/top 40 music, and as consequence English creeps into these songs frequently, with all transmitted sense of legitimacy and cool. And so we get lines like “let’s Secret time” and the pronunciation of “magic” as “masyic” (which doesn’t make sense to me because “ma” “ji” and a “ck” are all natural sounds in Korean, so my girlfriend says). Not that it’s a bad thing at all. It’s just a strange, affected and inescapable stamp of validity. A reminder and reinforcement that the pop language is ordainedly English-based. At least i can sing along to those parts.

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