Friday, December 13th, 2013

AMNESTY 2013: EvoL – Get Up

And now we turn our attention to the realm of K-Pop groups your editor can’t definitively say weren’t named after Sonic Youth albums…


Cédric Le Merrer: One of the things I love about K-Pop is its love of songs. Most of the time even club bangers will have time for few seconds of pretty harmonized vocals and acoustic strumming. But I adore “Get Up” because it doesn’t. Even the harmonized beat is corrupted by the neptunian acoustic guitar and evil synth presets playing descending arpeggios. Evol’s whole schtick is to be a bit different (an insight gleaned from the title of their first single “We Are a Bit Different”), which until this song meant sounding and acting like 2NE1. But since “I Love You,” 2NE1 has moved away from the less melodic territories of “I Am The Best,” releasing songs that were prettier, sadder, or cuter than their definitive ode to badassness, keeping that side of them for CL’s disapointing solo single. 2NE1 never was as minimalistic and sexy as this anyway.

Patrick St. Michel: “Don’t try to copy me/we are different, the feeling’s different.” Yeah yeah, sure, says the group taking ideas from old 2NE1 videos and whose entire sonic vibe is just like… every other K-Pop group splitting the difference between gooey pop hooks and rap verses. Nothing wrong with that approach, but at least do something interesting with it, and definitely don’t let the plinky-plonk synths steal the show.

Iain Mew: With its R&B-pop that matches commands to get up and dance to its own state of perpetual motion, the appeal of “Get Up” is a similar to one to Little Mix’s “Move.” The unique spin is that between the big top melody over the verses and J-DA’s barking ringmaster act, EvoL sound as much circus as club.

Brad Shoup: They really pushed the limits of that nylon guitar. That, and the bass, dancing like a drunk giant, shoulder the burden of the production. The calliope-imitating line would be annoying until I remembered that no one makes circus music anymore. But it’s still one more dainty element on a mincing track. J-Da fares the best. Her husky pipes preclude coyness; they’re as blunt as the bass. She’s the only one who sounds like she’s got a legit gripe.

Daniel Montesinos-Donaghy: The acoustic guitar lick that opens “Get Up” is at first a comfort, something palpable, a little funky, a little rooty. By the time EvoL reach the first chorus and slither into nonsense singing, the incessant loop has turned it into an electric raga: endless, its sound evolving under different contexts, a sign of sonic focus. Member Jucy points to a “new world” in her opening verse, rapping over fairground synth and back-up moans, and the members never find their way there. Something this odd deserves more gusto.

Alfred Soto: It boasts a delight in what it can get away with: the nagging guitar hook, the girls’ voices, the simplest of presets.

Madeleine Lee: An appealing sonic puzzle, unfurled just slowly enough to snag the ear (even if all it reveals in the end is a YouTube DJ’s clever stitching together of decontextualized Beyoncé samples over a clap track).

Anthony Easton: The bubbling introduction, how she spits in some places, that “i” sound repeating in the word “like,” all those sibilant esses — it’s winking and kidding, as evil as Eartha Kitt in “I Want to Be Evil” and almost as charming. 

Zach Lyon: I refuse to watch the video because they probably got it all wrong. Probably the camera isn’t doing a single backwards tracking shot while looking up from the ground as EvoL slowly walk forward in rhythm, fuck around and push each other out of the way while making exaggerated rap hands at it. Bonus points not granted because this hypothetical video probably wasn’t filmed backwards. A video director should never misunderstand a song so immensely.

Reader average: [7.5] (2 votes)

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