Category Music

K-Pop Now!

K-Pop Now!
By Mark James Russell
Tuttle Publishing – rowanm@tuttlepublishing.com
Retail Price $15.95
Amazon Price: $12.36

Book Description: 

K-Pop Now! […] features one hundred and twenty-eight glossy pages of Korean pop eye-candy.”—KpopStarz.com

“This is the book on K-pop everybody has been waiting for. It explains for westerners what K-pop music is really all about—a must-read!”—Charlotte Naudin, PR manager for Torpedo Productions

K-Pop Now! takes a fun look at Korea’s high-energy pop music, and is written for its growing legions of fans. It features all the famous groups and singers, and takes an insider’s look at how they have made it to the top.

In 2012, Psy’s song and music video “Gangnam Style” suddenly took the world by storm. But K-Pop, the music of Psy’s homeland of Korea has been winning fans for years with its infectious melodies and high-energy fun. Featuring incredibly attractive and talented singers and eye-popping visuals, K-Pop is the music of now.

Though K-Pop is a relatively young phenomenon in the West, it is rapidly gaining traction and reaching much larger audiences—thanks in large part to social media like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. Top K-Pop acts get ten million to thirty million hits for their videos—the Girls Generation single “Gee” has over a hundred million views!

In K-Pop Now! you’ll find:

  • Profiles of all the current K-Pop artists and their hits
  • A look at Seoul’s hippest hot spots and hangouts
  • Interviews with top artists like Kevin from Ze:A and Brian Joo
  • A look at the K-Pop idols of tomorrow

You’ll meet the biggest record producers, the hosts of the insanely popular “Eat Your Kimchi” website, and K-Pop groups like Big Bang, TVXQ, 2NE1, Girls Generation, HOT, SES, FinKL Busker Busker and The Koxx. The book also includes a guide for fans who plan to visit Seoul to explore K-Pop up close and personal.

Review

K-pop (an abbreviation of  Korean pop)  is a musical genre originating in South Korea that is characterized by a wide variety of audiovisual elements. Although it comprises all genres of “popular music” within South Korea, the term is more often used in a narrower sense to describe a modern form of South Korean pop music covering mostly dance-pop, pop ballad, electronic, rock, hip-hop, R&B, etc.As with any musical style or genre, K-Pop’s roots go way back. In this instance they originated in the 1950s and were influence by the likes of American artists such as Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry. The American GIs brought their music right along with them when they arrived in South Korea, an influence that evolved into the mega-popular K-Pop we’re listening to today. In spite of the fact that the “military government considered rock music immoral and banned it,” there were those who smuggled it in and continued to enjoy it. Shin Joong-hyun was one of them and he in turn became an influential musician, song writer, and performer in the 1960s.

The author did a great job talking about KPOP’s cultural background, its roots, its history and how the KPOP revolution evolved over time.This is an amazing glimpse at the history of K-Pop young fans will love. Following the history by watching videos on YouTube gives an even more vibrant picture of what this book is trying to impart.

~Reviewed by Dave H.

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