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Friday, June 5, 2015

They Do Things Differently In Korea


Big doings in The Republic of Korea as a much hyped boy band releases its first single and mini-album.  Those of us who are secretly twelve-year-old girls and followed the progress of One Direction on The X Factor may recall the excitement leading up to the premiere of their long-awaited single. (Full disclosure, I set an alarm for the middle of the night so I could be awake to listen to the live BBC broadcast of What Makes You Beautiful's unveiling. I didn't regret it.) That excitement is exactly what millions of K-Pop fans must have felt when a group called Seventeen burst forth into the world in the past week.  That's mostly where the similarity ends. Mostly.  

Whereas American and European boy bands usually top on at about five members, Seventeen (세븐틴) consists of thirteen young men (thirteen!) from Korea, China, and America between the ages of seventeen and twentyone . They are Josua, Dino, Jun, Seungkwan, Wonwoo, DK, Mingyu, Woozi (who wrote and produced the song), The8 (really), Vernon, Jeonghan, Hoshi (who also their in-house choreographer) and S. Coups.  Sneezey, Grumpy and Doc can't be too far off. Believe it or not, at one point the band had fifteen members.  For all I know they may have had seventeen members; it would just make sense.

Seventeen has been in developement for three years,  but not just that, they have been promoted to the public for three years.  They have videos on their YouTube chanel dating from December of 2012.  Most recently they have been the subject of a TV series called The Seventeen Project.  Putting that into perspective, it was almost only a year between the time 1D as individiuals showed up on The X Factor and when their first record was released.

So here's their first official music video, Adore U, and I have to say it has everything one could ask for from a K-Pop video: matching outfits, bleach blond hair, hot nerd glasses, tight choreography, slo-mo horseplay, random use of English (in fact, completely random everything) boys who weigh no more than ninety-eight pounds trying to appear badass and urban while wearing more makeup than a pageant contestant.   All these things make me happy. The song is a real earworm. And the boys are beautiful. And there are a lot of them.  Who could ask for anything more?

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