Review: Gangnam Style/Gungnam Style – PSY

If you haven’t already heard this song, then A) you must not know how to Internet, or B) you stay away from the dark corners of the Internet (like a fool!). For everyone else, I’m sure you all could recite Gangnam Style by heart, whether you speak Korean or not. After a two-year hiatus, the oh-so-hilarious PSY has return with THE song of the summer – it’s so popular, even Justin Bieber might be doing an English cover (and if he does, the world is dead to me. Someone make sure this doesn’t happen).

But really, does this song deserve the immense amount of love it’s getting? Is this the mega hit of year, or did it just happen to strike all of the right notes? Short answer is this song is perfect. But not entirely so, because even perfection has blemishes.

Here’s the original, unsubbed video. A video with the english lyrics can be found here.

So if there was ever a perfect video that mixed pure swag and awesome, along with comedy, and great music, it would be this. I will attribute my entire love of this song on this music video. It’s so fun and fancy-free and just matches the song so perfectly, you don’t even need to know what the song is even about. The visuals are just dead on in terms of hilarity and aesthetic beauty.

The song itself is about a guy who thinks he’s cooler than he is, looking for a very specific kind of girl and convincing her how cool and great he is. The title refers to the Gangnam District in Seoul, South Korea which is known as being super stylish and cool, so the song’s title is “Oppa (an older boy) is/has Gangnam Style.” In the end, the video conveys the message perfectly – a dude, who thinks he’s way cooler than his is, trying to pick up a girl with his weird, yet adorable style and it actually kind of working.

Because, really, who says no to this type of an entrance?

The song as a stand alone has a fantastic beat to dance to, with catchy lyrics that makes the song the father of hundreds upon thousands of parodies across the Internet and has become super popular internationally. The only real point of contention is that it might be way too weird for Western audiences at large which is a very, very sad thing, but that’s more the audience not getting the culture. Another possibility is that it’s a little over the top and I could see getting really sick of it of it was on the radio every single day.

Yes, then… then the marketing team took over…and then came HyunA.

...the horror?

Dear good K-Pop gods, the HyunA version. Here’s the thing – HyunA (a member of the group 4Minute) has a popular solo career, especially with her single Bubble Pop. However, this….this is like crying tears of blood for some fans. Some think it’s hilarious. But here, you can judge for yourself:

The title is “Oppa is Just My Style” (Gungnam Style)and is the same song, sung as a duet instead of just the guy singing. And yet…I both love and hate this version of the song. It’s a lot more complicated than my feelings on the previous version only because of HyunA herself. The video is a lot less exciting but it’s bright, there’s more fun, complex dancing, and I think it actually fits the theme of the song perfect. But the biggest problem, if you didn’t watch the video, is her singing voice.

My God, what are the noises coming from her mouth? That’s not her normal singing voice – it’s just so aegyo. So much so that it’s way too cutesy and makes everyone hate her. Don’t believe me? Go look at some of the hate comments she gets. When I first heard, I was in shock – after all, this was worse to my ears than a thousand nails on a chalkboard. I took it as a cheap marketing ploy to grab the crazy wota crowd and just thought it was ruining an amazing song. Her voice threw it all off and the concept of a girl singing it was just…silly…until then…

I realized it’s a joke. I’m serious. Just like the first video, the entire song was a huge joke. HyunA is supposed to be the male version of PSY. When you look at the video that way it’s a little better. The problem overall? She’s hot and has no apparent personality, which makes her seem like the typical girl, unlike PSY who is the opposite of almost all things K-Pop. So having “a girl version of PSY” like HyunA just doesn’t work as a joke. Especially when a key feature of said joke is in the voice , it makes it tough to listen to so you instantly lose a lot of people. But it’s really not a problem with HyunA herself, it’s with whoever thought of this concept. Where the first video was how to do strange, funny videos correctly, this version is how to completely fail at it. Still, I leave up to each viewer to decide if they like one or the other, or even both. I just happen to only like the original. Oh, and all its parodies. Gundam Style ftw, my friends.

PSY Version Rating: ★★★★½

HyunA Version: Rating: ★★½☆☆

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Starshine5050

As just a regular, hard-working work, often-stressing, procrastination-mastering history and journalism student, I often turn to the silver and small screens for relief, even though I'm only an average cinema-and-television loving viewer, commenting on what, and does not, makes good entertainment. I love horror everything - book, TV shows, games, movies - even though they frighten me terribly. I'm a long time believer of the old saying "When life gives you lemons, don't take life's lemons! Give the lemons back!" So, onward I go, returning lemons and logging an unhealthy amount of screen time for your enjoyment. So please be sure to read my stuff and let me know what you think, I'm alway looking to improve and be the best, most cynical critic I can be!

Latest posts by Starshine5050 (see all)

Starshine5050

As just a regular, hard-working work, often-stressing, procrastination-mastering history and journalism student, I often turn to the silver and small screens for relief, even though I'm only an average cinema-and-television loving viewer, commenting on what, and does not, makes good entertainment. I love horror everything - book, TV shows, games, movies - even though they frighten me terribly. I'm a long time believer of the old saying "When life gives you lemons, don't take life's lemons! Give the lemons back!" So, onward I go, returning lemons and logging an unhealthy amount of screen time for your enjoyment. So please be sure to read my stuff and let me know what you think, I'm alway looking to improve and be the best, most cynical critic I can be!

2 Comments:

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