Album review: Bada #3 — Made in Sea

(CJ Music, January 2006) After her lively second album, Bada’s third is a big let-down. Gone are the catchy pop tunes which show off her vocal range and bring a smile to the face. Instead we are faced with a run-of-the-mill R&B and dance collection, which could have been put together by anyone. The voice […]

In defence of Bada

Monitoring my traffic statistics recently I noticed that Bada is surging in the popularity rankings. I approve of that, because her second album is my favourite mainstream K-pop album of all time (or, at least, in my rather small collection). So, in my semi-regular round-up of celebrity news and pictures which have caught my eye […]

S. Korea’s birth rate inches up

Whether it’s the auspicious influence of the year of the Golden Pig, the outcome of Bada’s awareness-raising concert, the result of Shin Dong-jin’s efforts as head of the birth-boosting campaign, or a combination of all the above, Yonhap announces an increase in the birthrate in 2006. KBS gets all technical about the potential astrological reasons: […]

Rain #1: Bad Guy

Rain’s first album displays his vocal qualities (it’s a good voice), and the range of stuff he’s prepared to sing. There’s a problem though. The music isn’t really distinctive. The ballads he sings are the sort of ballads which lots of K-pop stars are singing. The same key-shifts, the same use of that infuriating tingly […]

Bada #2: Aurora

(Released: September 2004) A ridiculously good album. Pop perfection. This is the sort of unpretentious music which has me bopping around the kitchen as I cook. If I were to have a criticism, there’s rather too much synthesizer and computer-generated beats – particularly in the numbers produced by the Japanese team – and not enough […]

Bada and the birthrate

I wish I was in Seoul today. I recently posted about Anna Fifield’s article on Korean family planning, and in particular the government’s plan to spend $30 billion over the next 5 years to try to boost the birthrate. Here’s a story about how some of that $30 billion is going to be spent: a […]