Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

2PM – Ultra Lover

Korean boy band sings Japanese song, world fails to end.


Jer Fairall: Thin-voiced, blandly emotive, tepid dance pop of the Backstreet Boys variety, like travelling halfway across the world only to order a Big Mac.

Edward Okulicz: What a bunch of fops these boys are! Not just to look at, but to hear as well, and they match their hour right to the second — bright and sunny. Suspicions that this might be just a key change from brilliance, or at least glory if the long-promised Asiavision Song Contest ever gets up are confirmed when the last minute at least lights a few sparklers in lieu of being explosive. I guess if Super Junior had been too butch for the Japanese market this might have fit the bill.

Iain Mew: The second half of this, in which someone turns up the speed and pitch past reasonable limits and challenges 2PM to somehow keep pace, is great fun. I can’t find much to latch onto in the rest of it though, when they already sound a bit out of their depth but in a less enjoyable way.

Brad Shoup: This is standard, capital-letter Boy Band stuff: six boys waxing heroic in an egalitarian fashion. But once the backing singers stop cartoonishly echoing the lead’s phrases, the fun is lost. When the key modulation occurs, the earnestness becomes unbearable.

Jonathan Bogart: It would be highly presumptuous of me to make any blanket statement like “apparently pop in the Pacific Rim has the same gender inequality that US pop does, in that the ladies are exciting while the dudes are terminally bland.” So I won’t.

Katherine St Asaph: Let’s dissect “Ultra Lover,” because that’s the only way it’s going to make any sense to me. Piles of boy-band harmonies; equal piles of synths; a piano line and crystal-pillar synths that’d be lovely if they weren’t buried beneath piles; key change; a rap interlude and more goddamn dubstep, because you can’t even escape that in Japan. One of the boys keeps thinking he’s lead on “Marry the Night.” Hmm. Still doesn’t make sense. Would it be useful at all to keep picking at it?

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