Step aside, Taylor Swift. Look out, Drake. Adele, go ahead and get out of the way. You're some of the biggest names in pop music the Western world has ever heard, but there's a right sugary fierceness coming from the East, and American tweens are looking for love in all-new faces.
OK, so Korean pop music isn't cracking the Billboard Hot 10 charts just yet, but some groups have already infiltrated the Top 100. K-pop is huge, and it's only growing. Annual conventions in Los Angeles and Toronto are already dedicated to Korean pop culture. And once you get past the language barrier, you'll see that K-pop is in many ways just as good if not superior to our American brand of earworms. One of the most popular groups on the international front is Got7, and it's coming in for a hot landing at the Fillmore this Saturday.
The "7" in the name represents the seven hunky young men who make up the group. Some of them are Korean and one is American-born. They're a boy band like all the boy bands you've ever known, with the same moves, sweet lyrics, and hook-laden productions as the Backstreet Boys or *Nsync. The only difference is they sing in a mix of Korean and English, and their haircuts are way better. Half pop crooners, half rappers, these guys are hyperstylish, rockin' bright colors in urban fashion. But they're not getting on the mike to put women down or even oversexualize them. Take, for instance, "Just Right," where the boys tell a girl she doesn't need makeup to look pretty, no. Have we heard that message before? Sure. Has that made it less appealing? Of course not.
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Not that Got7 can't get hard. One of the group's biggest singles is called "Hard Carry," set to an electro-trap-style beat not unlike DJ Snake's biggest hits. They're still singing about posi vibes like working hard, staying focused, and being there for your friends no matter what, but there's some real American-style braggadocio too.
Sometimes they're cooing over future bass, sometimes they get intimate over '80s-inspired synth waves, but whatever the case, you can bet they're some well-mannered romantics who never give up hope. It's pop music with a positive message and almost entirely sexually benign, something the United States hasn't seen in quite a while.
So you might want to bring earplugs to Got7's Flight Log: Turbulence tour date at the Fillmore Miami Beach. There'll be a lot of high-pitched screams from beginning to end, especially when the guys work that English in to tell Miami's girls just how beautiful they really are.
Got7 Flight Log: Turbulence
7 p.m. Saturday, January 21, at the Fillmore Miami Beach, 1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 305-673-7300; fillmoremb.com. Tickets cost $67.50 to $207.50.