Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Heavy Rain Forecast. Rated R. (originally at NKB)

This was something I originally posted over at NUNAS KNOW BEST but I decided I should share this one, after all, I did already introduce you to Rain....
You'll have to forgive if you follow both blogs and you get irritated by repetition, but NKB gets a lot of my time these days, a shameless repost is better than nothing right?


A comeback in K-pop is not quite the same thing as a comeback in western music terms, you don't need to go away for any period of inactivity until people forget about you, all you have to do is finish promoting an album or a mini album and then go away for a month or two before you "come back". Its a fast paced world in K-pop with a set formula of : rumours, confirmation, a few images, video teasers, music videos, comeback stages, performances and goodbye stages and they sure know how to whip the fans up into a breathless, drooling, eagerly anticipating frenzy, EVERY SINGLE TIME. Now Rain is possibly the most popular K-pop idol of all, definitely the most famous Korean pop sensation outside of Korea, and he's just starred in a Hollywood film, and its been 2 years since his last album, so when Rain made his comeback this time (OK it was just over a month ago, but this has been on my to do list since then...), it was pretty much a big deal.

As well his singing, dancing, acting and entrepreneurial skill, Rain is the master of self referencing promotion, bordering on egomania. To be fair, he has a catchy name so why not make the most of it? "It's Raining" "Rain's World" "I'm coming" (who's coming? oh RAIN!) and then of course ... my personal favourite ... "RAINISM", Not gonna lie, I did LOL the first time I read that, and then he topped it off by calling his tour "Legend of Rainism" WOW. (and only a year later Lee Minwoo tried to get on the name game with MINNOVATION, its good but its no Rainism...)

This time the album is called "Back to the Basics" and apparently that means no self referencing name puns but a whole lot of under eye fake eyelashes...

For some unknown reason I was totally fine with this look from the start, maybe the hysteria was setting in, but I was just thinking, this is going to be amazing, Rain is amazing, Rainism was amazing, this new album is going to be amazing, fake eyelashes? amazing... then the teaser came out with a "club banger" beat and I thought AMAZING! and then my bloated heart deflated when I saw this:

"Love Song" I scoffed. Where was my "club banger"?? how were the eyelashes going to fit into this?? The K-pop fork in the road leads to two very different places, one way to hip bumping, club thumping, sexy Autotune Party Land where I spend my days frolicking with shirtless idols, mimicking cute dance routines and happily listening to radical KorEnglish raps and then the other way goes to dull dull old BalladsVille, where I rarely ever even raise my head. A moment of panic set in, how could I support Rain Oppa if he's going to BalladsVille?? Luckily for me, Rain has an answer for everything.

Witness the Love Song MV:

You should have just watched it so you might be thinking why the hell would I talk you through it? but you probably can't think straight right now so i'll just remind you. So, the first 1min50secs is pretty straightforward ballad video work with some extra eyelashes and the emo running down the middle of the road. Its just cuts between the happy times flashbacks in the matching white sweaters and then angsty ex boyfriend Rain haunting/stalking the pretty lady with some arm flailing, finger pointing and fist clenching, but after 1min50secs is when it really kicks in...

You see these glittery boots and then... its on...

Rain (like only Rain could) manages to fit a full on hip thrusting, body rolling dance routine into a ballad. Yet its not just any old dance routine, somehow its like the most "overtly sexual" solo slow dance / humping a microphone stand ever recorded on film (at least since the Rainism pole dance at the Korean Film Awards that time..) Maybe its because we all saw his body in Ninja Assassin and know that every muscle of that man is toned to perfection, maybe its because this is Rain and he can bust out the hotness for every occasion, maybe its because its so exaggerated its almost obscene and you think what the hell am I watching? but then you just can't look away and he just keeps going and OH GOD RAIN WHY ARE YOU LIKE THIS?! and also, WHY AM I LIKE THIS?? Seriously, I was never one for body worship, I never used to like buff guys, how come these days you have me squealing at the sight of your hipbone?? Thats some power you have. Back to the MV, after more grabbing and thrusting we cut to Rain standing on the bed (in boots, on white sheets no less..) watching her sleep and then a truly poetic thrusting lunge with double fist clench before he almost explodes with some chest beating and cut to rain on a rooftop, doing the amazing air traffic control arms dance, and the song is building up again, meanwhile Rain is straddling the girl whilst singing into her face and then he/we/everyone climaxes to a high note, with Rain stripping off his sparkling vest and hat and ripping off his wifebeater revealing that coveted golden torso, and now with his vest behind his head we get a few more body rolls, and fists pummeling thighs ...


... and then finally, when we can take no more, introspective shirtless Rain looks down, and is done.

Whilst we all smoke a post coital celebratory cigarette and cool ourselves down I'll share with you a great quote from the man himself:

“For me, as compared to the effect for singing a hundred or thousand songs, the effect with just ripping my shirt one time is bigger.” source

True to his word, the epic finish has been recreated in every single live performance he's done (sadly mostly censored with a sleeveless bolero vest, except on MNET where they don't take offense to nipples apparently, GO MNET!) . Anyway I wanted you to know that Rain delivers.... again and again and again and again and again...

and again.

I'm so exhausted by my Rain analysis I can't even bring myself to talk much about "Hip Song" the other song he's being promoting, except to say remember I heard the beats of a "club banger"? Well I almost got one, complete with Rain rapping and oversize sweatsuits... I still listen to this one, although his wolf howl in cringingly awful compared to GD's.

So Rain cameback, he sang, he ripped his shirt off and he won on the music show and kept doing his adorable smile which came of somehow sinister with the lashes and the brooding:

This is what my computer looks like mid "research"

Since then no one can get enough of Rain, and he's been gracefully popping up on all the variety shows to witness all kinds of "Love Song" gags and parodies. Like this from SuJu's Shindong (please watch!) and this from comedian Park MyungSoo (after the Lee Hyori impersonation..).

Without a doubt, my favourite thing to come of all of this was the body roll / dancing otter comparison from Strong Heart (I kept the GIF just long enough to keep in the reactions, thats how I felt too, LOL) :


Currently I'm enjoying Rain's relatively sedate and charming variety appearances, as we all know (or a least I know, and maybe Jess has noticed..) that what I like most in my K-idol boys is "the gap", shirtless and thrusting one minute, eye smiles and a nautical white suit with boat shoes the next, well played Rain, well played.


Jessica Jane said...

I am only too happy to see this blog post again. Thinking about it, I reckon it should be put onto bi-monthly rotations so that our mental images never have chance to fade.

As for the 'Dreamboats' tag, i really like it. I was considering making ones for Nunas, until I realised how pointless one would be - every post?

Bunny said...

I'm glad you enjoyed it second time around, I'm sure the image will never fade, I don't think Rain can keep his shirt on for long.

I think my tags on this blog have got a bit out of control, my content is so unspecific I keep making up new ones daily. A dreamboats tag on Nunas, ha , it really would be pointless!