May 23, 2012

Kim Kwang Soo‘s new girl group Gangkiz (VIDEO)

Kim Kwang Soo‘s new girl group Gangkiz has had one of the messiest debuts of the year because of their similarities to the popular T-ara, but behind all the drama, there’s actually some pretty good K-Pop to be found.

Many people may see Gangkiz as destined to join the pile of failed girl groups right next to Stellar and April Kiss, but their debut mini-album, the hilariously-titled ‘We Became Gang‘, is every bit as good as you’d expect from a group created by the same man behind T-ara (I’m pretending that 5dolls never existed, okay?).

Gangkiz has already been getting a lot of hate for ripping off T-ara’s “Lovey-Dovey” with their Shinsadong Tiger-produced debut single “Honey Honey“, but there’s enough differences between the T-ara chart-topper and Gangkiz’s groovy jam to appreciate both tunes.

While “Lovey-Dovey” was a Top Forty dance-pop record done T-ara style, “Honey Honey” is polka-influenced eurodance track with more instrumental breaks and less structure than a typical pop song. Shinsadong Tiger clearly looked towards French and Italian dance music for “Honey Honey”, which is reminiscent of international club hits like IN-GRID‘s “Tu Es Fouto” and Yolanda Be Cool‘s Italian-flavored “We No Speak Americano” (the latter was actually covered last year by Korean group LPG). The instrumental sound of “Honey Honey” may even remind some people of trot, which adds a slight Korean sensibility to the euro sound.

Lyrically, “Honey Honey” is pretty flirty and sexy, but that was to be expected from a mature group like Gangkiz, whose oldest member is 29.

Gangkiz switches styles for its second track “Tonight“, a midtempo song in the genre of Italo-disco (for those who don’t know, Italo-disco is a genre of electronic music that was popular in the late 1970s and early 1980s). Although it uses a completely different style of disco to SISTAR‘s hit “Alone“, in essence both songs are very similar with their dark retro production and lyrical content, both of which talk about being alone, miserable, and getting drunk after a breakup.

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