Pop Cult: Nine Muses, Mariah Carey, Seiho

Allen Huang / May 16, 2013

Pop Cult: #Goddess

From Nine Muses "Wild" MV
From Nine Muses “Wild” MV

Nine Muses – “Wild” : A-

Nine Muses, forever the other nine-member girl K-Pop group, is actually making pretty good ground in 2013, releasing their second single of the year with “Wild.” More important than the group’s amping up of the sex-factor are the strides that producers SweeTune have made with this single. Nine Muses have always been the recipients of their edgier, more forward looking compositions and “Wild” fits the bill perfectly. The song still has the trademark foundation of pristine and sharp new wave tendencies, but the hits are laced with traces of the complex electronica coming out of Japan. “Wild” also doesn’t stop. Whether it’s verse, chorus, or rap breakdown, the tempo stays turbo-fast throughout, and allows the band to succeed in new ways.

Mariah Carey – “#Beautiful” ft. Miguel : A-

I enjoyed Mariah’s ride with The-Dream. I really did. “H.A.T.E.U” is a hell of a song. But Memoirs of An Imperfect Angel felt like a stalling point, concerned with all the small things that Terius Nash is concerned with. But while Nash’s records are unwittingly self-reflective, Carey’s are simply honest, and being honest about nothing in particular doesn’t make a compelling launching point.

“#Beautiful” rectors the personal nature of Memoirs and puts Mariah in the role she loves best: benevolent, half-deity. When she experiences feelings, it’s like Zeus getting angry or Hera getting jealous, a whirlwind of emotion that is more for theater than for empathy. Miguel serves as her Perseus, invited to be a hero but never a god. And it’s in this surreal kind of theater that Mariah breathes most naturally.

Seiho – “I Feel Rave” : B+

Osaka producer and head of Day Tripper Records, Seiho is a huge figure in the burgeoning Japanese beatmaker scene. “I Feel Rave” is the hypest song ever made by the producer, transforming from half-italo, half-trap melodic jam into dancefloor rave-up in a seamless manner. Seiho’s tracks have never lacked for ideas, and he does his best to fit them all in at once. “I Feel Rave” works better than many of his other songs because the mixing isn’t so haphazard, there’s a narrative here, and the progression works. One to keep an eye on for sure.

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