Infinite – Last Romeo

Visual-kei done Korean style. Seven androgynous men in lipstick and black vinyl/tighty-whitey suits, each one to the tastes of a teenage girl out there somewhere. Lots of choreographed set pieces and even more moody stares and passionate reaches toward the lens. The song itself has some moments with punchy brass riffs but in every other way is utterly cliche.

G’NA – G’NA’s Secret

Cutesy girl-chicks in slips gyrating sexily in front of handsome boy-guys and a giant bunny rabbit. Sets and wardrobe in exclusively pastel candy colours to match the bland, saccharine backing track. There’s even a gratuitous bra-shopping scene to emphasise the obviously assisted assets and throw age depictions even farther into question.

Exo-K – Overdose

Hollywood cues abound as Bowie wannabes in a concrete Labyrinth punch through forcefields like Donnie Darko to a Matrix rave soundtrack. Korea continues to single-handedly keep the boy band concept alive. They may not be inventing anything musically but there are some new dance moves in here.

Block B – Jackpot

An ordinary girl finds herself amongst creepy vaudeville clowns who turn out to be dance/hip-hop K-boys channeling Aguilera on acid. Not even close to a good enough excuse for cramming at least 5 disjointed songs together into this nightmare. Of course the girl submits and joins the crew by the end, but they didn’t have me.

Eddy Kim – The Manual

A mellow, visually attractive travelogue through the canals and tramways of Amsterdam, and a likeable composition deftly delivered with accomplished vocal and finger-picked guitar. Nothing is overdone nor entirely obvious – dare I say it, there’s something about Eddy.

Lim Chang Lung – Ordinary Song

Misty lens, glaring sunlight in dusty rooms, antique furnishings and crumpled sheet music, teary close-ups against white sheets on cast-iron bedframes. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, my love. Gentle verse with strings building to soaring chorus. Textbook K-wist by the numbers, effective and largely inoffensive. The title is appropriate.

Akdong Musician (AKMU) – 200%

Korean tween hip-hop-pop. The girl seems to enjoy providing the cutesy riffs while her boy seems more conflicted, understandably preferring his Will Smith moments over the goofier scenes. Takes a turn for the pulp-pop as a third player is introduced, bringing a nascent courtship to a sudden halt – probably for the best, considering the leads are actually brother and sister.