(Released February 2007)
Every now and then in my somewhat random purchases of Korean pop music I hit upon a gem. By the law of averages, every now and then I have to come across a dud. This is one of them.
I’ve started investigating Trot, and perversely thought I’d start with its latest reincarnation and work backwards in time to the classics of the genre. I’m hoping that Super Junior T’s version of Trot bears as much relation to the real thing as Britney Spears does to Maria Callas, because I find it incredible that a proud nation with 5,000 years of history can produce such a monstrosity as this, or that millions of ajummas and ajossis would be happy listening to it.
The main track of this diabolical single is as irritating as (but less catchy than) the Crazy Frog ring tone, and with about as much musical content. It’s the sort of number an alcopop-fuelled 8-year-old might dance to while on an Ibiza holiday, and then cringe with embarrassment when reminded of it a few months later. Savour its spectacular awfulness:
The video looks like something out of a kiddies’ TV show, but at least the garish visuals distract your attention from how empty the music is. According to the blurb at YesAsia, Yoon Myung Sun, the writer responsible for this ditty, also wrote popular trot singer Jang Yoon Jeong’s “Oh My!” (어머나). He must be prone to the odd off day.
The other two vocal tracks are cover versions of other peoples’ irritating songs. The third track deserves special mention as a cover version of Chu Ga Yeol’s (shall we say?) homage to the last movement of Beethoven’s Op13 piano sonata. On the plus side, the writer can be commended for plagiarising something worthwhile (and by someone who’s in no position to sue), but surely if you’re going to steal a classic tune you should treat it with some respect and not combine it with some rather naff rapping.
The disk is rounded off by instrumental versions of the first three tracks, but the only instrument involved is a computer programmed by a hyperactive chipmunk. The only reason why this disk has half a gold star is because I didn’t want you to think I’d awarded five white ones.
Links: YouTubes of Yoon Myung Sun’s hits and misses:
- Miss: Super Junior T’s Rokkuko
- Hit: Eru’s Black Glasses: a performance on TV show Music Bank featuring Bae Seul Gi and some excitable teenagers in the background or a music video featuring Kim Hyun Joong
- Hit: Jang Yoon Jeong 어머나! video and live performance
Update 18 August 2007
I apologise to Yoon Myung Sun and to SuJu fans for doubting whether this single is part of the Trot tradition. Having listened recently to some Yi Paksa, King of Disco Ppongtchak, I can see where Rokkuko has possiby come from. If the mighty Yi can be thought of as being part of the Trot tradition (which must be a pretty broad church), then I see no reason which SuJu T can’t as well. That doesn’t mean I have to enjoy it though.