Sunday, May 2, 2010

Will 2PM still be the hottest time of the day?

Together with Rain and Lee Hyori, 2PM made an official comeback on stage. This time it seems that the group is package as more manly/beasty and sexier group than before. A news article in Korea Times asked 
whether its charisma could excite fans like it did last year.

The six-member band returned to the stage last weekend through cable music channel Mnet's ``M Countdown'' and performed two new singles ― ``Don't Stop Can't Stop'' and ``Without You.'' Fans and critics have expressed mixed opinions, and it's time to wait and see what the group has in store this year.
Music and Moves

The dance moves were definitely restrained compared with last year. Created by producer Park Jin-young, also known as JYP, a singer and dancer himself, the sixtet proves that it's a dance group, true to its form. Instead of the acrobatic moves and group choreography formed in perfect harmony, the members move to the beat in more controlled movements.

``I was expecting difficult moves like last time, but they kept it clean and simple. I was disappointed at first, but then it helped me listen closer to the music,'' Lee Su-jeong, a fan of 2PM, said.

The song ``Don't Stop Can't Stop'' is a dance number with strong drum beats, and the members appeared on stage in oversized hoodies and white bands on their wrists, dressed like boxers.

The lyrics, written by JYP, also send out a strong message.

The group went through a difficult time after its agency JYP Entertainment decided to kick out its leader Park Jae-beom, also known as Jay Park, permanently, citing that he admitted that he had ``done something wrong'' during the promotion of the group's first single ``Again and Again.'' Fans, feeling betrayed and frustrated for not knowing the exact reason for his removal, demanded the agency withdraw its decision to fire him or that they would boycott the six-member group altogether.

"Don't Stop Can't Stop" responds directly to the criticism. ``You wanna see me fall right? Haters. Like a candle on a windy night, yeah right. Just watch me do this, take a deep breath, hold tight. I'm never going down without a fight,'' the lyrics go.

While members have moved on and started to branch out in different areas, including acting and co-hosting entertainment programs, the decision to return with such a song proves that they are serious in continuing as the group 2PM, even after tough decisions and consequences were made.


The first impression of 2PM's overall look is simplicity. The group shed their smoky makeup and dark suits of last year, returning with a more composed look.

``Overall, the concept is modern chic. We avoided using too much makeup or shiny accessories, and switched to a more casual look. We didn't want the members to look too serious and dark, but more modern and simple,'' Mei Han, the agency's publicist, told The Korea Times.

``We wanted them to look a bit cold and chic. If you look closely, they are all wearing different outfits, but because of the color and the overall tone, they work as a team,'' she said.

``Without You'' is a house number featuring a man expressing his feelings, heartbroken by his lover's betrayal. Dressed in tight black sweatshirts and dress pants, the members didn't have to tear or pull up their shirts to be sexy. The black clothing did all the work, highlighting their nicely toned and tanned arms. Male groups and singers have been showing skin like it's a trend these days, and it seems the classy move of showing just a little will work as an advantage.

The Future?

Currently, the group's single ``Without You'' has reached the top 10 in major online charts, including, and as of Tuesday, but it will take some time to see if their popularity will reach expectations.

JYP had been going through a divorce battle with his former wife, and news that they had finally separated made headlines last week. The producer may not be involved in all of the group's activities, but having too much on your mind is never a good thing, especially when fans are closely watching the moves of former 2PM leader, Jay Park.

After leaving the group and the country last year, the 23-year-old managed to make a name for himself in the United States through his dancing and singing talent. News that he was returning to Korea to shoot the b-boy film ``Hype Nation'' and that he was working with U.S. hip hop musician, Dumbfoundead, instantly made headlines. Some have pointed out that the dancer should clear his name before starting over, but the decision will be made by Park himself.

He may have left the group, whether voluntarily or not, but it will certainly be hard for fans to distance the image of him from the group altogether ― a factor that could work in 2PM's favor.


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