Monday, July 9, 2012

First Take: JYPE Showdown of Wooyoung vs Jo Kwon

As most of you K-pop lovers out there, you'd know that two members of the JYPE* team, Wooyoung from 2PM and Jo Kwon from 2AM are currently going through their solo rounds these weeks. It's a bit of an odd move from the company to make these two go head to head in the solo game. But nonetheless, this just means we have to do a bit of a showdown. It's brother versus brother; Wooyoung against Jo Kwon. Who will come out on top?

We'll start with Jo Kwon's 'I'm Da One' which came out on June 24th. Jo Kwon came from 2AM which is a vocal group, so their main arsenal is their sweet sweet voices. I'm definitely happy Jo Kwon gets to stretch his boy band muscles in this single. He wasn't just standing there being somber, but he was energetically dancing and reflects the happy soul that he is. I'm not exactly crazy about the song, but I see the possibility of it being a song stuck on my head. It's good and showcases his singing abilities well in a bubblegum pop-esque song.

I am pretty dumbfounded with the video, though. Apparently he is a king who somehow got his throne taken away from him then after meditating in a pretty girl's mansion, he was able to get it back. I get the concept; he was trying to show that, well, he's "da one". But I felt like the video was too much or not enough. Sometimes I feel like a plot is unnecessary, or didn't need to be written out too much. Or I felt like there wasn't enough story line and the story was abruptly cut. In the end, I did feel that the plot is completely unnecessary.

The dance wasn't amazing but it wasn't horrible either. I think the main point of this song is something fun and upbeat. Something everyone can dance to, thus the choreography not so difficult.

Now we get on to Wooyoung. 'Sexy Lady' was released on July 7th which is just two days ago. I feel really bad for saying this but I'm disappointed. Unlike Jo Kwon who was separating him from 2AM and their musical image, Wooyoung sounds and feels like just another 2PM song except he's doing it by himself. I wasn't expecting something terribly different, but definitely not this. At first I thought that it felt very JYP, but then again all JYP songs have some similarities in them. But it wasn't the JYP feel, but rather the 2PM feel.

This may not be such a bad thing. He is from 2PM after all. But isn't the point of doing a solo song to create  a whole new image for yourself? Jo Kwon definitely succeeded, but sadly Wooyoung didn't. Again, I don't expect him to do anything totally different, like doing reggae or rock or anything like that. But everything felt similar; from the sound to the choreo, even the set and the costumes have a strange 2PM vibe.

But it's not all bad. Although the choreography was of the same wavelength, I do feel like it is at least one step above 2PM usual fare. That's not too unexpected, considering Wooyoung is the dancer of the group. That dance break was slick. They should've had more of that in the main choreography.

I think you'd know who wins in my book: Jo Kwon. He was able to create a whole new image for himself away from his band mates and to me that's the point of solos in the first place. I also think Jo Kwon was more ready jumping into the solo train compared to Wooyoung mostly in terms of energy and stage presence.

Who do you think wins the battle of the solo brothers? Jo Kwon and his kingly self or Wooyoung and his sleek and cool self?

*Technically 2AM and Jo Kwon are under Big Hit Entertainment, but they are the subsidiary of JYPE.

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