LKL 2008 Quiz of the year – the answers

The answers to the teasers posed just before the New Year. 1 Stressful times What does the current credit crunch and the most recent DPRK nuclear test have in common? a) the media blame them on an incompetent government who should have seen it coming and somehow prevented it b) they would both cause a […]

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 […]