Gangnam Style: a critical appraisal

I am not a music critic. 

At first, I was less than enthused about the new Psy song that everyone seems to be talking about. Probably because I didn’t know Psy. Also probably because the first time I saw a performance of the song I was waiting for a Super Junior performance and wished he would just get on with it.

But the recent international fervour that Gangnam Style has generated (if people here are talking about it, then I’m fairly certain that even the rock-dwellers have heard) prompted me to take a second look. And the fact that my best friend gives me a dirty look every time I say I don’t like the song had absolutely nothing to do with it. Nothing.

Without further ado, I present my amateur critique.

PSY - GANGNAM STYLE (강남스타일) MV.mp4_000047589
I. Am. FABURROUS. (Photo credit: yonghokim)

Too much techno
The Gangnam Style beat  is the latest in the recent trend of techno. It is undeniably foot-tapping, but I didn’t like how closely it paralleled Western groups. At first glance, I though Psy was the Korean LMFAO. I have since altered my opinion. Despite the Western-ish beat, the song is distinctly Korean in its awkwardness and humour; it’s delivery is of the cult-quality I’ve come to expect from Korean superstars.

Catchy, very catchy
From the first, I though the song was catchy. It has the kind of lyrics that get stuck in your head, that you can put on a T-shirt (Unni Gangnam Style, anyone?). It’s hard to resist singing along and the dancing – oh, the dancing. Kpop has yet to fail me with its eclectic, adaptable, simply awesome dance moves. Gangnam Style is easy and identifiable – the perfect recipe for a dance craze. It actually reminds me of Super Junior’s Sorry Sorry a few years back with everyone and their mother rubbing their hands in a slow arc from left to right. But so much more socially inappropriate.

PSY - GANGNAM STYLE (강남스타일) MV.mp4_000034117
(Photo credit: yonghokim)

The MV is just ridiculous. . . but also hilarious
I eschew most things that don’t make sense, because people don’t generally know how to make inanity entertaining. I don’t know whether it is the choreography or just how cool Psy is but Gangnam Style ends up being really addictive. None of the scenes have any kind of logic to them; frankly the common theme is more along the lines of ‘how awkward can we make this situation’. But instead of detracting from its quality the  regular dance breaks and random outbursts of “Hey, sexy lady” are actually the song’s strengths.

And, let’s face it, that scene with him rising out of the water at 2:40 was so much more clever than anything Rihanna could come up with.

Psy is hotter than this.

2 thoughts on “Gangnam Style: a critical appraisal

  1. Ohhh. I had no idea that this was popular. :/ A friend just shared it with me when I posted it. Interesting.

    Your critique is cool. And funny! (Especially the last part!)


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