Friday, March 30, 2012

Miss A - "A Class" Album Review

Simplicity is bliss, and less is more. Those are two quotes I've always agreed with. For Miss A's first full length album "A Class", the group goes for a clean cut pop sound mixed with influences of R&B.

The album is first introduced with "One to Ten", which opens with a pretty piano melody. The piano keeps its presence throughout the entire song by blending with synth beats and the girl's sweet and strong vocals. The result is a soothing and lovely song that's neither too fast or too slow, but instead maintains a pace and melody of its own. One of my personal favorites.

The album then moves onto "Goodbye Baby", the lead single. Of course, it's very catchy. Besides that though, the song is also sleek and well done. The girls have a wonderful harmony. It's message is simple (saying goodbye to a bad lover), but done in a stylish and hip fashion.

"Help Me" is an extra special treat. It is a R&B influenced song, and Miss A pulls it off fantastically. It possesses a great beat and soulful vocals. In this case, their experimentation was a success.

"Break It" is the first rough spot "A Class" hits. The intro makes for a good thing to get pumped up to. The part where they yell "Break it!" is what kills the song for me, as it sounds childish and cheesy. Some of the vocals are auto tuned too, creating a bad effect. It has it's good parts, but "Break It" overall is a weak song and the closest to being a filler.

"Mr. Johnny" carries a simple yet great hook. The techno influence makes it fun and upbeat yet edgy. They sound mature yet fierce. Jia's English rap is wicked! I especially love the first line of the rap "I'm a fool for your love but want nothing to do with your company".

Another rough spot is hit with"Play the Music DJ". It isn't actually a weak song, just not nearly as good the rest of the album. The intro sounds a bit immature, which is not fitting of Miss A's image. Fei does get to show off her vocals with the lines "Hey DJ", which is great, but it gets repetitive.

"Step Up" is similar to "Breathe" in terms of carrying the same exotic feel, but "Breathe" is much more memorable. A decent song, but not one I listen to often.

"Breathe" is a new type of upbeat. I love Miss A's mature and edgy image, but the cute and more girly image is a nice change for this particular song. The sound is refreshing and exotic. It is unique and whole lot of fun. The "Uh oh" really knows how to get stuck in your head.

For anyone who ever doubted Miss A's solid vocal abilities, the ballad "Blankly" will blow you away. The song is beautiful and stunning. All four girls put so much emotion and power into the song. They each get a chance to showcase their vocals, particularly Fei and Suzy.

Next up is "Love Again", which was Miss A's unofficial debut song before Min joined. It is an outstanding track because while it's fun and upbeat, it brings something fresh and doesn't feel like your typical K-Pop dance song. The girl's vocals are sweet and unlike most of their songs where Jia has one solo rap, her rapping is finely intertwined in between the verses here.

"Love Alone" is one of my personal favorites from Miss A as it is a simple yet solid song. The song sounds sleek yet clean cut. It has a great beat and the girls get to show their strong vocals here with individual solos. The theme is empowering and meaningful as it deals with unrequited love and not wanting to "love alone". Also, "Love Alone" is sung completely in English, and it's refreshing.

For once, an English K-Pop song actually sounds like it could pose as an American or European song instead of a bad attempt at singing English! (I actually think this song is reminiscent of Europop.). Perhaps this is just because the song was originally composed in English instead of being translated from Korean, but it flows very well and smoothly.

Their debut track "Bad Girl Good Girl" is also included on their first full length album, which remains one of their best songs ever. The repeated "You don't know me"s and "So shut up boy"s is unique, effortlessly catchy and in your face. The harmony and solos of each girl is solid. The composition of the whole song is empowering and seems to give off girl power. Hearing this song always makes me want to get up and move.

"A Class" closes with the Silver remix of "Goodbye Baby". It is a decent remix, but like movies where the original is always better than the sequel, the original is always better than the remix.

Highlights: "One to Ten", "Goodbye Baby", "Help Me", "Mr. Johnny", "Breathe", "Blankly", "Love Alone" (Not including "Bad Girl Good Girl" and "Love Again", which were previously released.

Weak Links: "Break It, Play the Music DJ", and "Step Up".

"A Class" is a strong debut and strong album in general. It does have its weak links, but strays away from having actual filler and consists of several highlights. The album does a fantastic job of showcasing what Miss A's musical style and what they have to offer. It shows their great promise and potential. If they continue their efforts, no doubt that in the future, Miss A will emerge as one of the top groups as well as one that is well respected and praised.

Rating: 4.25 Stars


Author's Note: First an artist critique, then a review of their recent EP, and now a review of their debut album!  Am I showing bias yet?  :P  I genuinely love Miss A though and it didn't take long for them to become my favorite girl group, even though I've been giving other groups a try too.  Something about them is so different and much more my taste.  I enjoyed writing this in depth album review and hope it wasn't too long or boring.  This concludes my series of Miss A posts for now, but I will definitely be writing more about them.

Featured artists in my upcoming K-Pop related posts will be my other two favorites, Younha and ALi.  I will be doing some posts on more mainstream K-Pop as well.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Song Review: Eric Suen's "Here I Go"

Embedding of the video has been disabled by Universal, watch here: http://youtu.b/DQ4P9kwHWWY

Released as the lead single off of his album "In the Name of...Love" in 2007, this remains one of my favorite songs from Eric for its musical style and composition.

"Here I Go" is a mellow song with a hint of sadness.   It incorporates Eric's signature emotional vocals, but instead of being a ballad, it is a mid tempo song heavily influenced with R&B.  He proves that his emotional voice is very fitting for the genre.  It is experimentation on his part that was executed extremely well. The track has a great rhythm and beat.  "Here I Go" feels laid back but soulful at the same time, creating a sound that is very pleasing to the ears.  It is simplistic yet well produced.   The result?  A memorable and catchy song that officially secured Eric's place in the Cantopop music industry again after having staged his comeback earlier on in the year.

In general, I'm not fond of any of the MVs that were released under the album "In the Name of...Love".  They are all relatively plain and bleak, and fail to offer anything special.  The MV for "Here I Go" isn't terrible and is a simple backdrop for the great song, but far from his best music video.  As he gained more creative control of his music, his MVs got better and better.

"Here I Go" is a memorable song to me for many reasons.  Its musical style is fantastic and fresh for Cantopop, but it's also the song that first made me a fan of Eric's music as well as the beginning of a deep interest in the musical genre.

Also, listen to the English version here:

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Song Review: Big Bang's "Fantastic Baby"

Big Bang makes a comeback with their new 5th mini album "Alive." In this album there are a total of 7 songs. The 7 songs are Alive as the intro, Blue, Bad Boy, Love dust, It Ain't Fun, Wings a solo sung by Daesung, and my favorite Fantastic Baby. ^^

The song:
This song is very catchy and upbeat. This song makes me want to get up let go and start dancing which is the main point of this energetic song. The first time when I heard this song I thought it was a bit "out there" for me. Then later I realized it was one of those songs that are annoying at first but as you listen to it more you start to fall in love with it. Now I absolutely adore this song and can't stop listening to it.

The MV:
The music video for Fantastic Baby is very ummm... interesting I guess. Don't get me wrong I extremely love the video and I also love the story behind it. It starts with an owl the you see G-dragon sitting on this stone throne. The main feature that stood out at me was his long and orange hair. What did they do to his hair? I am not shocked about it. I know this is G-dragon's usual "fantastic" self and he is known for his sense of fashion but this one stood out to me, I still think he is adorable. Another thing that stood out at me was the wardrobe and of course their shirtless bodies. ^^ Being a girl how can I not notice this. Anyways back to the MV I love the concept to this MV and all the scenes. I really think it fits the song well, also gives it life, and all of the five guys rock in this song.
This MV is "Wow, Fantastic baby!"

Niki: This MV is indeed very special. The style of it is different from the usual k-pop MV, some of the scenes are a bit surprising and definitely raises ones eyebrows. Nonetheless it's one of the most well done K-pop MV. It has a simple enough story outline; breaking free of restrictions and following your heart (or in this case following the music). The different characterization given to each member truly describes their personality. G-Dragon with his ever confident expression and rebellious nature, T.O.P. with his classy and calm, yet powerful look, Taeyang with his raw and rough hip hop style, etc. 

As Pinki said the most surprising thing is G-Dragon's new look. To me there was a hint of Tim Burton's style in there. From his long side bangs and his throne to his makeup and wardrobe, everything had a dark and gothic style, but it still gave off a whimsical and playful feeling. The masked army also stood out to me, it was as if the mask was a symbol of their restrictions. The masks stripped them of their individuality and  limited what they could say (ergo the exaggerated mouth piece). Then at the end when they finally broke free and was rocking out with Big Bang *fan girl moment here*, they start to take their masks off and let them selves free.  

Commenter's Note (Niki): Please excuse my rambling on and on about the mv. I just had a lot to say and I still have a lot to say about it. I'll talk more about it in my upcoming album review of "Alive" and shut up here so I don't flood Pinki's post. BTW congratulations on your first music review ^^

Song Review - Ella Chen's "Bad Girl"

On March 30, Ella Chen will become the final member of popular Taiwanese girl group S.H.E to release a solo EP/album.  "Bad Girl" is her first single off the EP, titled "I Am...Ella Chen Jia Hua", as well as her debut track as a solo singer.

For her solo debut, Ella is given a new image and musical style that is very fitting for her.  "Bad Girl" is catchy and refreshing.  It possesses a great hook, and is fresh and fun without being too girly.  Known for her tomboy personality, Ella is given a look that is feminine yet edgy, which is also reflected in the song and music video.  What is best about this solo debut is how it's different from the sweet music of S.H.E., yet doesn't sound like too much of a shock.  The song maintains youthfulness and freshness while introducing a more mature and edgy concept for Ella.

"Bad Girl" is a solid debut track that easily gets stuck in your head.  It finds balance between being too girly or too edgy.  Ella definitely pulls off this new musical style and image well!  The song is a very promising preview of what's to come from her.  If the rest of the EP is anything like this, then she has a bright future as a solo artist.
Author's Note: I will be posting a lot of song reviews from now on.  They're easy to do, brief, and allows me to cover a lot of different songs.  It'll also give some more variety in AE Experience's posts in terms of length.  Hope you enjoy!

P.S. Niki, a loyal S.H.E. fan, is the one who showed me this song.  I was going to have her comment on it as well, but she declined as I've already said everything she wanted to. :P

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Miss A: "Touch" EP/Album Review

In Miss A's newest extended play "Touch", the rising girl group further proves their talent and finds a balance between being mainstream yet maintaining their own unique style.  From their beginning, they've possessed an air of simplicity, femininity, and maturity that set them apart from other girl groups.  For "Touch", they kick things up a notch by building on the image that they've created and millions have fallen for.

Perhaps it is because of the shorter length of extended plays (EP's), but "Touch" manages to be a very consistent and solid album.  Each track is distinctive. There are no fillers here.

The album starts with the title track "Touch", which was met with mixed reception. I admit, I wasn't crazy about it at first.  However, it didn't take long for it to grow on me.  "Touch" offers something very different from usual mainstream K-Pop.  It's not groundbreaking, but slightly unconventional and a break from the typical upbeat songs K-Pop is known for.  Becoming an instant success, it proved you don't have to be a fast dance song to be catchy and a hit.  "Touch" is mysterious, slightly haunting, and different. I was surprised Jia's rapping was featured here, but liked it and it still fit the song. The choreography for the single is also something I haven't seen before.

Next on the album is "Lips", which is hands down my favorite track on the EP. It is ridiculous how catchy this song is. The verses are edgy and the chorus is incredibly infectious. It just makes you want to get up, move, and sing along. Despite the amazing musical production of the song, it never overshadows or drowns out the girl's vocals, which remain the anchor and what makes the chorus so stunning. Whenever I listen to the song, I always end up with it stuck in my head. It is extremely addictive.

After "Lips" comes "Rock N Rule", which is a club friendly track that takes a much more lighter approach than "Lips". The girl's vocals are sweeter and show some high notes. The chorus is just upbeat and fun, as is the dance breakdown portion.

"No Mercy" is probably the most distinctive song on the album with the unique beats and slight edginess. Somehow, it has this vintage feel and feels like a throwback to older music, yet still feels very fresh.

"Over U", which has already become popular from live performances, brings a twist to the song about getting over someone. The concept has been done to death, yet they make it their own. The verses tell of the pain they've experienced from getting hurt, then flows into a catchy chorus with a great hook that simply says "I'm so over you". Jia is a crazy good rapper, which isn't as prominently shown on this album. However, her rapping skills get to shine here. From the verse, to the chorus, to Jia's rap, the whole song says "in your face"! This is such a fun song to see Miss A perform live!

The album closes with the Newport remix of "Touch", which offers a R&B alternative to the single. I love both versions, but can see why some would like this remix better.

Although still relatively new to the music scene, Miss A proves they're not amateurs and have what it takes to be a huge success. They're feminine, sexy, and edgy, which is showcased here more than anything they've released yet. They know what they're doing and have their own style, which is fresh yet mature. "Touch" is an album that shows off all their strengths by themselves and as a group, as well as a preview of what's to come of Miss A's sure to be hot future. The vocals, beats, and musical production on this EP are just superb. Everything ties together well. Highly recommended, I don't know how many times I've listened to this album!

Rating: 4.25 stars

Saturday, March 17, 2012

"Playful Kiss" Review


Playful Kiss is a south Korean drama based on a popular Japanese manga Itazura Na Kiss. This drama takes place in a high school. Oh Ha Ni is a clumsy girl who is at the bottom of her class, but she has a crush on a very popular and genius guy named Baek Seung Jo ever since the first day she saw him. Ha Ni confesses her love to him by sending him a love letter. However instead of saying his answer, Seung Jo points out her grammatical errors, grades her letter, rejects her love and says that he hates stupid girls. When Ha Ni's house unexpectedly collapses she and her father has to move into her father's long-time friend's house. It just so turns out that Baek Seung Jo lives in the same house as well. Will Ha Ni make Seung Jo fall for her?

Lead Cast:

Kim Hyun Joong - Baek Seung Jo

The character of Baek Seung Jo is played by Kim Hyun Joong. In this drama Seung Jo is a very intelligent guy. He is blessed with good looks and skills. He is in Class A which is fro ittlegent students with the highest grades. He is also born in a wealthy family. He has everything for a perfect life. However one thing he doesn't have is a dream. To him Life is just very dull.

Niki: Kim Hyun Joong's performance as Baek Sung Jo was average and tolerable. To me, he did not showcase any significance in his acting. Hyun Joong was able to show the basic characteristics of Sung Jo, but could further be developed. His acting did not differ much from when he portrayed Ji Hoo in Boys Over Flower.

Jung So Min - Oh Ha Ni

Oh Ha Ni is a very bubbly and cheerful girl. She belongs to the F Class which consists of the students with the lowest grades in the entire school. Her father, a noddle shop owner raised her since her mother passed away. She is deeply and madly in love with Seung Jo ever since the very first day she saw him.

Niki: At first I feared that the character of Oh Ha Ni would quickly become annoying and hard to bear. Fortunately Jung So Min was able to play an Oh Ha Ni who was cute and bearable. I also liked the difference in Oh Hai Ni's character versus the original Kotoko. Oh Hai Ni seem much stronger and a bit more independent than the other versions. She wasn't hopelessly incompetent as she seemed to me in the Taiwanese version. The pun of her name is also very cute ;D (Oh Ha Ni - Oh Honey)

Extended Cast:

Lee Tae-sung- Bong Jun-gu

Bong Jun-gu is a very simple hearted guy. In the drama is is very loyal to Ha Ni because he loves Ha Ni.

Niki: Lee Tae Sung did a great job as Bong Jun-gu, from capturing the spirit of the character to converting it into his own style. Jun-gu was adorable with his quirky expressions and exaggerated actions. He was perhaps my favorite character in the drama despite being a minor character.

Lee Si Young-Yoon Hye Ra
Yoon Hye Ra is a rival of Ha Ni. She is very beautiful and intelligent girl with a interest for Seung Jo.

Choi Won Hong- Baek Eun Jo

Baek Eun Jo is Seung Jo's little brother. Just like his big brother he is not so fond of Ha Ni.

Jung Hye Young-Hwang Geum Hee
Baek Seung Jo's mom.

Oh Kyung Soo-Baek Soo Chang
Baek Seung Jo's dad.

Kang Nam Gil-Oh Ki Dong
Ha Ni's dad.

Pinki's thoughts:
I really like this drama, but it isn't my all time favorite. Don't get me wrong this is a very fun drama to watch but for me is wasn't my favorite, but that's my opinion. I enjoyed a lot of scenes in this drama, even though the way the drama stared was a bit fictional and amusing. The chemistry between the lead actors is very playful and funny to watch. I think this drama has more of a comedic feel to it. I recommend this drama to anyone who is looking for a good laugh. ^^

Niki's Critique:
My feelings for this drama can be traced back several years. I had watched both the anime and the Taiwanese version of Playful Kiss. Therefore I had high hopes for this Korean version. The characters were portrayed very well and there were great chemistry between the cast and characters. However the series felt a bit rushed and compacted due to the amount of episodes. Besides that the drama was a very cute, light-hearted, and fun drama.
(Personal Note: This is mainly Pinki's post, however since I've watched this drama myself I thought I would contribute some of my opinion as well^^)

New Banner: Taiwanese Divas

We're back with a new banner and completely new layout! This time the featured stars are the shining stars of Taiwan. These ladies are some of my favorite idols in Taiwan. The stars are (from left to right) Rainie Yang, Jolin Tsai, Elva Hsiao, and Cyndi Wang.
Rainie is known for her acting skills and her cute image as a singer.
Cyndi is a singer also known for her cute and innocent image, but she also does some acting.
Elva is an amazing singer who has a deep and soothing voice. She has a classy and confident image to her that I love.
Last but not least is Jolin! She is known as Taiwan's pop diva. She's been in the industry for over 10 years and has great talents. 
Hope you guys like the new look and banner!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Instant Japanese Candy and Toy: Popin' Cookin'

Popin' Cookin' is a popular Japanese candy making kit. The kits comes in a colorful boxes and includes the materials and directions on how to make the candies. There are two main types of Popin' Cookin', an edible kind and a non-edible kind. Both kinds involve mixing different ingredients (usually powders or liquids) that slowly forms into the candy. The non-edible however, will decompose after a period of time.

This creative toy kit was developed in 1978 and has slowly been changing and improving. The first product that came out was called Neruneru-nerune. The product was fairly simple to make, by simply mixing the ingredients together the candy will change its consistency and color. After a couple of minutes, the treat was ready for your enjoyment. Today the kits have branched off to many different products. This includes the pizza, ice cream, and sushi making kits. In these kits the given materials are designed to form the candy into the dishes indicated on the box. The dishes that come out are rather small, but still tastes very good (or so I've heard). The candies and ingredients are also health conscious, as they are made from natural food coloring. These kits are sold mostly in Japan, but are also available online and in several other countries.


This is a popular Popin' Cookin' kit. You can mold the candy into different types of sushi. (I'm personally impressed with the rice! It looks very real.)

These are some of the materials that are included in the sushi making kit. The other kits provide similar materials, but it depends on what type of candy you're making.

The possible product of the kit. Very realistic and appetizing don't you think?

Here are some pictures of the non-edible kits:

                                                Can't believe I can't eat you...*sniff sniff*

There are also videos on YouTube of users making the candy!

Author's Note: 
Hey guys! It's been a while since I've written on the blog. I had been feeling a bit overwhelmed lately with homework and other problems. So I was a bit lazy and unmotivated about writing on the blog. I want to take this chance to apologize. I also want to thank Iris and you guys (readers) for continuing to supporting the blog despite my absence. This post was really fun to write and has really gotten me back on my feet. I was infatuated with these kits when I first found out about them. I remember just clicking on an endless chain of videos wanting to see more. I've never tried them before, but would love to.

Eric Suen - "Never Said Goodbye" Album Review

With Eric Suen's latest album "Never Said Goodbye", the singer finally returns to Taiwan and releases his first Mandarin album in 9 years.  While not as creative and fresh as 2010's critical and commercial success "Man in the Mirror", "Never Said Goodbye" is a great collection of the emotional ballads he's come to be known for as well as some fun and experimental tracks.

A more in-depth look...

The album opens with the upbeat and fun "Count On Me", where Eric is rocking out with a soft rock sound.  It's refreshing to see this youthful side of him and experimenting with different styles.  The song shows his vocal range while being catchy.  In the music video, Eric looks very cute with the "rocker" look despite being nearly 40 years old.  He looks like he's having so much fun!

The title track "沒有說再見/Never Said Goodbye" starts off on a lighter tone, and is representative of the overall feel of the entire album. The verses sound sweet and gentle. As it moves into the chorus, it speeds up and becomes more emotional and feels rather bittersweet. It develops into a fast ballad. I'm very fond of the music in the verses as it possesses a serene and sweet feel. It is a moving track and I love how it builds up.

"You and I"
finds a wonderful balance between the emotional ballads Eric is most known and fitted for and the fast paced songs he likes to record every now and then.  The song is about love and how he's found that special person.  It is sweet, uplifting, and mellow, and unlike any song he's released before.  The atmosphere the song creates is so light and airy, resulting in a very relaxing and serene song.  (Side note: I wonder if Eric wrote this song about girlfriend Macy Chan?)

In my opinion, "不屬於我的淚/Not Part of My Tears" is the most touching song on the album. Eric always sings with so much emotion, but it is most evident here and you can feel the pain in his voice as he sings the lyrics. The music and emotions here are just beautiful and full of sadness.

With the presence of an electric guitar and just a hint of angst, "When I See Your Face" is the rock ballad of the album. Eric hits several high notes through out the chorus well, creating a pleasant vocal sound. Out of the non-singles of the album, "When I See Your Face" is my favorite.

"最好的安排/The Best Arrangement" is another ballad gushing with emotion, but does not feel as sad as "Not Part of My Tears".  As a result, it's not as "heavy" but still retains Eric's trademark emotional vocals.

After "Not Part of My Tears" and "The Best Arrangement", the album transitions into "真的真的/Really, Really", the fastest and most upbeat song on the album.  This gives listeners a nice break from the slow song and ballad dominated record.  The intro with the main speaking is whimsical and amusing.  The production behind the song with the upbeat piano and drums and Eric's happy vocals creates such a playful and fun sound!  Eric's best music is still definitely his emotional ballads, but this is one of his much better upbeat songs and a whole lot of fun to listen to.

"你變了沒有/Have You Changed" is another slower song that transitions into more of a mid tempo and uplifting feel.  The chorus flows very nicely, and boots a hint of optimism.

With a mid tempo, "失落的輝煌/Loss of Glory" is more upbeat and instrument heavy. The song is a good break from the slow ballads of the album and brings something a bit different to the table without becoming too fast.

"Never Said Goodbye" closes with "愛的下一頁 /Under a Page of Treasures", which sets itself apart from the other slow songs beautifully. It starts off with a soft and comforting piano intro before flowing into the first verse with Eric's soothing vocals. With its musical composition, the closing track achieves a stunning sound. This is shown most at the end of the chorus, where he gently sings a long high note. It gradually speeds up, then slows down with a repeat of the verse. It then quietly drifts away with the piano, closing the album nicely.


This is yet another superb album from Eric.  It is a bit too heavy on the ballads, and to be honest they do start to blend together.  The slow pace of the majority of the songs makes them harder to distinguish them from each other.  Yet, each song is still wonderfully produced, lovely, and brings something a bit different.  The few more upbeat songs also divide the ballads nicely.  As his comeback to Taiwan, the album shows his vocal range and emotion in a collection of 10 beautifully produced, composed, and sung songs.  My personal favorites from the album are "You and I", "Never Said Goodbye", "Not Part of My Tears", "When I See Your Face", and "Under a Page of Treasures".   "Never Said Goodbye" though, is one of those rare instances where I love each of the tracks.  There are the tracks that stand out more, but none of them come close to being a "filler".   "Never Said Goodbye" is a beautiful and consistent album.  Not that I ever doubted it, but this album once again proves to me how talented of a singer, musician, and artist Eric is and justifies why he is my favorite singer.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Broadening the Horizons - Critique of Miss A

One of our goals for this blog is to broaden people's horizons by sharing and covering all types of Asian entertainment. For this feature, Niki and I will be sharing how we've broadened our own horizons by talking and critiquing about the new artists and music we've opened ourselves too. Many of these artists will be ones we've introduced each other to. ;)

Post formally starts here:

Other than hearing about K-Pop bands every now and then, Miss A was the first one I've actually started listening to and love.

How I was first introduced to them...
I was iffy about introducing myself to K-Pop. It all felt too cutesy for me, or at least the popular stuff. I hang out with Niki, Dani, and Pinki a lot after school, which is where I started getting exposed to quite a bit of Korean music. Most of it didn't make an impact on me though. It was catchy, but not my cup of tea. However, while listening to Miss A's "Bad Girl, Good Girl" and "Breathe" multiple times as the girls rehearsed the dance numbers, they got stuck in my head. I found myself singing parts of the song (and I don't even know the Korean!). I ended up downloading the two songs onto my iPod and checking out the band on YouTube. Next thing I know, I'm downloading all their songs and watching tons of videos of them!

In a short amount of time, I ended up becoming a big fan of Miss A. Their music is catchy like most Korean pop, yes, but they take it a step further with true talent and all the necessary keys to make up a great band.

Singing? Check. Dancing? Check. Those are the minimal requirements for an artist in the Korean music industry. Some are better at one than the other, some are mediocre at both. The girls of Miss A are skilled and superb at both. They have some fantastic choreography in their dances, and still manage to sing live well. Each of their voices is strong, and their dancing is both impressive and entertaining. Unlike most other singers, they don't do half baked moves in order to still sing decently or give horrible attempts to do both at the same time. Miss A delivers in both aspects without compensating one for the other, which is rare. Their choreography is more complex than the typical group, and their vocals are stable and strong. They are phenomenal live!

One thing I love about bands is getting to know each of the members, how their personalities and styles are all different and yet still compliment each other.

From left to right: Fei, Min, Jia, Suzy
The four girls, Min, Fei, Jia, and Suzy are all unique and bring something different to the group. They are all very talented and great singers and dancers, but each has their own individual strength and traits. Min is the most skilled dancer and possesses a tough and edgy aura despite being the smallest. Fei has the strongest vocals with the best voice control, and has a sophisticated and mature look. Jia is a crazy good rapper and has this awesome bad and kick ass appearance. Lastly, Suzy also has a strong voice while possessing youthfulness and sweetness. With the four girl's contrasting images and personal strengths, they come together to make one talented and lovable bunch that compliment each other so well. They all stand out and can hold their own, with and without each other. I love each of the girls for different reasons.

Their music is produced solidly and wonderfully. I personally love their music because it finds that balance between being too cutesy and being too different or edgy. While many girl groups come off as either too girly and cutesy or trying too hard, Miss A is fresh and fun without being too much of anything. They're feminine, yet not too juvenile or mature.

I've yet to fully warm up to K-Pop.  I'm still trying new things and experimenting.  At the same time, I know most K-Pop is not my cup of tea because of my mainly pop/rock taste.  Miss A is an exception as well as exceptional.  I'm very fond of the band and love their music.  With their talent, they have a very bright future ahead of them.  I wish more success to Miss A!


Author's Note: Here's my first "Broadening the Horizons" post as well as my first ever post about K-Pop!  Hope I've made you happy, Niki.  ;)  Was great to finally voice my opinion on my newfound love for these girls as well as writing about a different Asian culture for the first time.  This was my general opinion about Miss A and its members.  I will be writing more indepth album reviews for their first full length album "A Class" and their latest EP "Touch".  Stay tuned!