“Starts out like Hairspray, immediately moves in a wildly different direction.”
Tom: PSY’s got a new album. As usual, he’s released two singles at the same time. And while K-pop isn’t usually what we cover, I want to talk about the second one, same as last time. Why?…
Tom: …because, seriously, that’s a BANGER.
Tim: Hmm – starts out like Hairspray, immediately moves in a wildly different direction.
Tom: I’d ignore those translated lyrics in favour of two things: one, just how good that chorus is, and second, that cinematography.
Tim: Good? Really? But okay, let’s talk about the filming.
Tom: I have never seen an effect like that: for a while, I thought it was hyperactive CG, but no: at the end of this making-of video you can just see it’s an actual crane doing ridiculously fast and controlled camera moves (although sped up in post). That is such a brilliant effect, and I expect to see it ripped off by everyone for the rest of the year. I’d rip it off if I had a budget and a possible use for it.
Tim: See, you say brilliant, but I’d say disorientating and a bit unpleasant. It leaves me feeling more queasy than impressed. Please don’t rip it off.
Tim: Good, because that one’s almost entirely terrible.
Tom: This is his other new song. I don’t know why he’s released two singles at the same time, but he has. And yes, the other one might be getting the press because it’s weird and what the Western world expects from him, but this track? It’s much better.
Tim: Okay. Anything else?
Tom: All you need to know is that “napal baji” means “flares”. As in, trousers.
Tim: Oh that really is much better.
Tom: That is FLAWLESS modern funk-disco pop. That backing guiat riff is straight from Daft Punk. That first verse has an “Uptown Funk” rhythm to it. And yes, that’s because they’re all drawing off the same influences from decades ago and updating them — but it’s so rare to hear it done this well.
Tim: Do you know, halfway through I started thinking “this’d be a really good Fleur East song” – obviously you’d need different lyrics and a few other tweaks here and there, but it’d fit very well stylistically, and be a damn sight less annoying than Sax.
Tom: Plus, an incredibly high-budget music video helps. This doesn’t deserve to be overshadowed by the “ha, the Gangnam Style guy’s done another weird song” — this is just a great track.