AFTER nearly a year, girl group After School makes its Korean comeback with a fifth maxi-single album Flashback, reports allkpop.com.
This five-track album, which showcases a dark and sexy concept, marks the group’s first promotion sans former leader Kahi, who left to pursue a solo career. Definitely a bittersweet moment for the girls and fans. Nevertheless, making her first appearance with the group is its latest member Ga Eun.
Flashback includes the Korean version of Rip Off, a track from its debut Japanese album Playgirlz, a solo track by Nana (Eyeline) and Timeless, a duet by its two main vocalists Raina and Jungah, who’s also the new leader.
Check out the MV for the title track Flashback at www.youtube.com/user/pledisartist.
One of a kind
THE brainy and beautiful Seo Joo-hyun, better known by her stage name Seohyun of Girls’ Generation, turns 21 this Thursday. She recently made history in SBS’s 100 Million Quiz Show by becoming the first participant to get a perfect score.
Seohyun, who is mature beyond her years, trained for 6½ years before she debuted with the group in 2007. Despite being the youngest of the nine, she’s the most consistent and is very focused in everything she does.
An acting major at Dongguk University, Seohyun, who aspires to be a diplomat, looks up to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as her role model.
A health freak, who was once quoted as saying: “Unhealthy diets and junk food accumulate and eventually you’ll die”, she’s known for her love for sweet potatoes and self-improvement books.
Yes, the awkward girl who has blossomed into a confident young woman, is definitely one of a kind. Happy birthday, Seobaby!
All brains, no emotions
J-ACTOR Toma Ikuta will play the titular character in director Tomoyuki Takimoto’s new action movie Nou Otoko (Brain Man), reports tokyohive.com.
An adaptation of Urio Shudo’s award-winning book of the same name, it revolves around serial killer Ichiro Suzuki a.k.a. Nou Otoko (Ikuta) who kills in the name of justice. He’s said to be highly intelligent, with a photographic memory, but is devoid of human emotions.
To prepare for the role, Ikuta spent six months training in various forms of martial arts, including jeet kune do. He said: “It’s a new challenge and I want to go all out for this movie.”
Eggs keep going
AFTER releasing its second studio album Like in April, K-indie pop group Standing Egg is back with a new single titled Keep Going, reports koreaboo.com.
The multi-talented group comprises two composers and a lyricist who use the pseudonyms Egg, Egg1 and Egg2. They write, compose and produce their own music,
This single, which also includes an instrumental version, is a midtempo acoustic track that mixes reggae beat with the group’s signature soothing and relaxing sound.
Check out its MV, featuring animated figures that represent the group and friends at www.youtube.com/user/standingEGG.
From singer to actress
RISA Niigaki, the former leader of J-Pop girl group Morning Musume, has joined the cast of Tobidase Shinsengumi!, her first movie since leaving the group, reports nipponcinema.com. To be directed by Shou Nobushi, the comedy is an adaptation of Jotaro Kuwahara’s book of the same name.
It’s about how the original members of the Shinsengumi (from the Edo period, 1603-1863), appears abruptly on stage when the all-female theatre troupe is rehearsing for the musical Shinsengumi Makoto.
Niigaki takes on the role of Shinsengumi captain Okita Soji. Eventually, she and another troupe member Shunpei Takaoka develop a bizarre bonding with the real Okita.
Juniel’s first June
CHOI Jun-hee, better known by her stage name of Juniel, has become an overnight sensation in Korea despite having just debuted with the release of her mini album My First June, reports allkpop.com.
During her debut stages on various TV K-charts shows, not only did the song Stupid (which she duet with CN Blue’s Jung Yonghwa) top most music charts but her name was also the most searched subject on various portal sites.
The 18-year-old had debuted much earlier in Japan, as an indie singer before she went on to become a recording artiste after having won the Niji Iro Supernova, the Japanese version of American Idol, in 2010.
The talented singer-songwriter who’s known for her wide vocal range, co-composed three of the five tracks in this mini album.
Check out the MVs for the title track Illa Illa and Stupid at www.youtube.com/user/OfficialJUNIEL.
All about jazz
FANS of K-acoustic jazz should check out Bye, Lupita which recently released its full-length debut album Voyage, reports koreaboo.com. The quintet debuted in June 2010 with a self-title mini album and another mini album, The Night, a year later.
They wrote, composed and arranged all the tracks in this 10-song album, which also includes a remake of Love The Night, from last year’s album.
The title track Il lang Il lang is a sweet and easy listening track about two young lovers having fun together.
Check out its MV and that of the slow tempo number Cold, about the protagonist, played by Kim Jumyung, who strives to get through the pain of a failed relationship, at www.youtube.com/user/byelupita.