Monday, April 28th, 2014

Akdong Musician – 200%

Ladies and gentlemen, your K-pop Star season two champions…

Brad Shoup: They’ve got a name straight out of a Smithsonian Folkways lyrics sheet, and a sound ripped from your trad-pop dreams. Rodgers guitar continues to find unworthies, but the summer-day horn chart is for everyone. This is the McGrath/Twain duet we deserve.

Iain Mew: The treacly half-funk backing the verses is almost as awkward as Lee Chan-hyuk’s rapping, which in turn isn’t quite as bad as the record scratching bit. Still, at least they provide textural variation, and I can accept them if they’re the product of a process that also comes up with the sunbursts of joy provided by the brass and Soo-hyun’s sections.

Patrick St. Michel: Easy-breezy as a Sunday picnic, the pair of siblings making up Akdong Musician tag-teaming up for an absolute stroll of a song. Its punctured by a few jolting moments — a gun being cocked when Lee Chan Hyuk sings about being “a soldier for you,” some changes in percussion, silly ad-libs — but is always focused on being as easygoing as possible.

Daniel Montesinos-Donaghy: Cuteness for nincompoops — cloying and aimless and unreal.

Will Adams: The vocals are as unctuous as the Kidz Bop-funk. That means that it’s passable — and contest-winning — but not much more.

Alfred Soto: The generic name is kind of charming, the guitar licks genial, the vocal friendly. I thought of this song, a staple of my senior year in high school: an exercise whose fidelity to genre constraints allows a space to play.

Cedric Le Merrer: Nice lite funk groove, banking on vocal charisma to get by an being mostly right to do so. Unsurprisingly, it turns out that the weaker male voice is also that of the musician/composer bigger brother (why else would he be there). He fortunately doesn’t get too much on the way of her performance. However, as much as I love his sister’s voice, she doesn’t have any real material to work the wonders she presumably is capable of. So “200%” is a particularly unfit title for a song where nothing seems dialed past a safe 6.

Reader average: [6] (2 votes)

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6 Responses to “Akdong Musician – 200%”

  1. Glad to finally see some folk not losing their minds over this overrated song. Totally agree with these reviews.

  2. This has to be seen in the context of being the biggest hit of the year in Korea.

  3. You all stay reviewing the wrong songs

  4. (Still love ya though.)

  5. @mat

    The biggest of the year is still Soyou and JungGigo’s “Some.”

  6. This one opened to much bigger first week numbers, so even if it doesn’t have quite the tail, and we’ll see about that, it should probably finish above Some.