Pop Cult: G-Dragon, Ciara, Charli XCX

Allen Huang / April 25, 2013

Pop Cult: Ain’t No Party Like a Body Party

Image from "Body Party" music video
Image from “Body Party” music video

G-Dragon – “Michi GO” : B

2012 was the eccentric BIGBANG frontman’s biggest year ever. Not only did his group successfully surf the Hallyu wave to unprecedented success, but his solo album One Of A Kind vaulted him towards artistic credibility. No longer content with just being the rapscallion heartthrob, G-Dragon started taking cues from the fringes of the electronic world and sent his visual director game to the moon. “Crayon” was a bona fide K-Pop jam, and his sense of style and design sent visionistas into a tizzy.

“Michi GO” continues the trend, taking his Givenchy-meets-Tex Avery shtick even further. Big feet, cartoonish dances and an overall light-hearted vibe relegate the song to B-side status. “Michi GO” has G-Dragon exploring the carte blanche he’s been given, and when you give a guy artistic freedom and a bottomless budget there’s going to be a few missteps. And when the missteps are as interesting to look at as “Michi GO” it’s not a bad deal.

 

Ciara – “Body Party” : A-

Ciara and Future are just so damn cute together. “Body Party” wears like a love letter from Ciara to her new boo, but feels like a classic R&B slow jam. The single owes more to Jermaine Dupri than The-Dream, with Mike WiLL’s beats taking a backseat to Ciara’s wonderful vocal melody. On her end, the vocal isn’t dissimilar to “Ride,” cooing in a way that’s both intimate and loud like only Ciara can do. In any event, “Body Party” is primed for a good remixing on all fronts, and one can only hope the rest of the album follows suit.

PS: I hope Future’s songwriting credit on this song is purely for the gooey banter between the couple in the video.

 

Charli XCX – “What I Like” : B-

Can someone just loop the beginning 20 seconds and make that into a pop song? I was so excited there for a moment.

“What I Like” ends up being a twenty-something version of “Okay Cupid” with some awful auto-tune applied to what would be a very boring pre-chorus and not many other surprises. What I liked: the faint casio countermelody in the verses, the nervous tic cymbal rides. What I didn’t really like: the fake-out beginning, the way Charli XCX tries to seem super-cool while feeling the butterflies of puppy love, thus succeeding in conveying neither.

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