[musings] the state of kpop reviews

As Korean pop grows more and more popular with English speakers, there has been an explosion of reviews, both in written and video formats. This is a good and bad thing– there are many more insights, but sometimes it is hard to sort which reviews are the good ones.

Despite some Googling here and there, I always find myself returning to two reviewers: McRoth and Patricia. My criterion for good reviewers is simple: they have a clearly stated position, they argue for it, and they give you food for thought. Note that it is not important that I agree with the reviewer. The last condition is perhaps the most difficult– can they tell me something I haven’t heard or thought of before?

another summer, another series of concerts, let's not have another JongTae nosebleed, okay?

this reminds me– another summer, another series of concerts, let’s not have another JongTae nosebleed, okay?

The trouble with many upstart and even senior reviewers is that they often lack a clear position. I could probably incorporate the paragraphs they have written into one of my reviews and it would not affect the conclusion of my review. It is so bland. At the end of their review, I ask myself what I have learned from their ‘insights’ and the bottom line is, absolutely nothing.

McRoth and Patricia aren’t afraid to tell it like it is, no matter how unpopular their opinion. I can always read their writing and know that it is exactly what they are thinking. Their candor, along with a good measure of intelligence, makes reading their reviews very fascinating. Let’s face it, reading Korean pop reviews isn’t exactly something that will help us in life– most of us read reviews to see if our favorite idol group did well. Simply put, I just don’t want to spend my time reading the overly optimistic crap which can’t a stand on what’s crap and what’s not crap, which seems to be the trend nowadays.

Do you have any reviewers you enjoy reading regularly?


3 thoughts on “[musings] the state of kpop reviews

  1. wow, youve been putting a lot of posts just today alone o.O
    anyways, my favorite reviewers are patricia and you as well. linzerdinzertv used to be my favorite video reviewer, until she stopped. i myself tried and failed to make a practical review vlog once and have been trying (and failing) to get it started again. i rather dislike clueless reviewers, whether they are gleemingly irrational or very anti.
    what are your thoughts on simon and martina? or antikpopfangirl?

    • haha, it seems like that, but I’m in China so I actually posted some in the afternoon and then I posted some this morning.

      hmm, it is harder to do video reviews. One of the main reasons is time. If I were just to read out loud some of my reviews, they would take over 20 minutes. The average review is around 10 minutes, and then you need to do interesting theatrics on screen to make people interested. Simon and Martina are prime examples; they can be really funny and have good insights sometimes but they are constrained by time and they can never analyze further. Another thing is that Simon and Martina aren’t actually very knowledgeable about the mechanics of singing, so you can’t expect them to trash or praise the singing reliably. They’re all about how the mainstream Western audience perceives idols, which is a pretty limited scope. In the end, while they’re great for a laugh and to gauge general reaction, I wouldn’t go to them for in-depth analysis.

      antikpopfangirl is immature and uses way too much profanity. Is she thinking with her brain or her vagina? Granted McRoth also uses profanity, but it’s measured and doesn’t serve to impede the review. Sometimes I use profanity too, but I don’t litter.


  2. Pingback: [blog] some tactics to increase readership | the innocent lam

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