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Review: Dal Shabet Continue K-Pop Girl Groups' Current Trend Towards The Eclectic On 'Joker' [VIDEO]

By Jesse Lent | April 17, 2015 06:37 PM EDT


Everywhere you turn in lately, it seems, from miss A to Minah of Girl's Day, from Red Velvet to Brown Eyed Girls, K-pop girl groups are mixing it up more than ever.

Hallyu may have attracted an international audience in recent years by mixing 1980s R&B with 1990s electronic music and the production of the boy bands of the 2000s. But this year, South Korean producers seem to be incorporating increasing shades of 1950s cool jazz, 1960s soul, 1970s funk and 1980s electro. Disco, rock and electric blues are playing a bigger role than ever.

One prime example of a K-pop act that's never been afraid of a little genre bending is the six-member girl group Dal Shabet.

The group's new single "Joker," released Wednesday as part of the "Joker Is Alive" album (said to be inspired by Batman foe and Joker compatriate Harley Quinn), blends a burningly in-sync, retro-sounding horn section with Britney Spears-style crooning, Katy Perry-esque piercing high notes and a programmed drum part that would make 1990s dance diva Lady Miss Kier of Deee-Lite stand up and hit the dance floor.

But the influences in play on "Joker," co-written by band member Subin, are certainly not strictly of the Western persuasion. There are aspects of numerous boundary-breaking K-pop groups that have come before them in Dal Shabet's sound.

Lee Hyori's fetishistic love of the golden era of Hollywood and the classic era of swing jazz, 4Minute's unabashed authority on the mic, even the innovative backing vocal techniques of Girls' Generation are all reflected in the sound of Dal Shabet.

But there is something more going on here as well.

Maybe it's the group and their production and songwriting team's willingness to throw in whatever works from the genres above, with no regard to whether it's too jazzy or funky or bluesy.

Or, maybe it's just that the list of acceptable mainstream K-pop influences just got a little bit longer.

Watch the music video for K-pop girl group Dal Shabet's latest single "Joker" RIGHT HERE

Tagged :  Dal Shabet, Joker Is Alive, Joker


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