[kpop] Taemin and piano. and SM.

On the old side, but still.

Terrible, just terrible.

The easiest thing that tips you off that this is not a live performance is the closed piano. A piano of that size can easily project in a performance hall, provided that the top is open.

Second, the limited views of his hands. We see Taemin’s hands twice up close, and even then, they are not shots from above. If you watch any concert pianist’s videos, you will always be able to see their hands from above, and if concert hall videocameras can do that, I refuse to say that fancy South Korean cameras are not tricked out enough for those high angles. Moreover, S.M. is a company that would want to show every strength that their performers have– for example, their parading of Super Junior M’s Henry and his violin, which I find increasingly horrifying and kitschy nowadays. Call me old-fashioned, but I would rather have Henry sequestered in New England Conservatory playing first violin in Shostakovich quartets than playing corny arrangements of Jason Mraz. Henry has got serious skillz, and just to have them showcased before an audience that will only remember it for a fleeting second and move onto the next anomaly and cute freak, breaks a vein in my stone-cold body.

In the end, to just have these two sketchy shots of Taemin’s hands after a lot of artistic (BS) shots of Taemin with a revolving camera, screams to me that something is not totally right.

Third, I am not completely convinced that his body movements are fitting the piece, minimal as it is. Like any cheesy pianist, I have played “River Flows Into You”, and I know the parts that he is playing, and what beat his body should be feeling, and sometimes watching his body and his arms especially feels off even though the piano track itself is so steady. Suspicious.

At 1.34s, where he starts playing the piano for 8ight, we see two sheets of music, the left one full of complicated notes and the other sheet with simple chords. The left page looks rather impressive, no? Yet, Taemin is only playing chords, you can tell because he is just jolting to the beat and his right hand and arm are not moving at all, which you can see in passing at 1.42s.

Extremely deceptive.

I die a little bit every time I read comments underneath the video that Taemin is so good at piano, he is an angel, he inspires me to play the piano. Goodness gracious, this is not who inspires you to play the piano, this is who inspires you to play the piano!

I do not mean any ill-will towards Taemin, but everyone has a right to know that this is not the touching live performance that is portrayed to be, as S.M. has modeled it to be. Taemin also did not play the entire piece, i.e. he never touched the especially hairy technical parts. His piano-playing is passing and mechanical, but sometimes I weep for the generation that thinks of him as a veritable example of a good pianist.

Sometimes I weep for the generation that thinks of classical music for the elderly, for the generation in which the piano only becomes relevant when a pretty boy plays it, and for the generation that trusts the image that S.M. puts forth.


5 thoughts on “[kpop] Taemin and piano. and SM.

  1. wow lol, this is the first time i finally decided to watch it all. *watches* i know there is such thing as artistic license, but DDD: the tempo is sooo slow (compared to yiruma) i want to cringe (maybe thats why i never watched the full thing).
    id like to say the piano top is down cause later the dude sings and he’s an accompaniment but not sure.
    and this sounds odd, but even most grand pianos have a mic when in a large concert hall. i beg to wonder why he doesn’t have one. not even a tiny clipped to the side.
    omg you’re right at 1:42.
    btw, do you have any comments on the singing of the rapper?
    i slightly feel sorry for the girl, she seems like she’s singing strongly, but her mic isn’t quite picking everything up(?)

    • I don’t have a problem with the slow tempo, per se, I just have a problem that it is not really a truthful performance =.= I think the speed is actually okay. I play everything really slowly too when I’m unsure but I want to make a splashy performance anyway (ha. ha.).

      good point about the mic in piano!

      er.. I think the rapper got totally overpowered by the backing track.. =.= but he *seems* like a good singer, but for some reason, he can’t project well? I don’t know, maybe it was just a problem with that day or that song.. I think 8ight is actually one of the stronger vocal / talented group in kpop, though I never thought any of their stuff was too revelatory (case in point, they used Pachelbel for this song, ugh)


  2. I agree with you here. Once again thanks for being straightforward about SM, I’m sure some fangirls will get defensive about what you’ve written here and what you wrote in your review of SHINee’s “The First” but it’s important that people realize the truth. (:

  3. Pingback: [SHINee/piano] and yet again, Taemin no plays piano live. Michelle so irritated | the innocent lam

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