You can take the girl out of Hello!Project...

…but you can’t take the H!P out of the girl. Former ℃-ute member Erika Umeda has a solo album coming out.

Erika Umeda solo album

It’s, um, not going on my wishlist. Not because her new wranglers are obviously short on feathers, rhinestones, flair, and clashing fabrics, or because her grin appears to have been borrowed from the Joker; no, I just think it’s going to be a terrible album. Now, if she’d released a bikini DVD like fellow former member Kanna Arihara, I’d consider it; their music does nothing for me, but as they’ve grown up, the girls of ℃-ute have become quite attractive women.

Ruined by rap

The album version of this song from Younha’s new album has a rapper in it. I cannot for the life of me understand why.

I’ll be ripping the audio from this acoustic version, thanksverymuch.

Younha - Subsonic

Younha - Subsonic EP

After several months of teasing, a new EP from Younha. The only real disappointment is that track 3 “features” a rapper, which is invariably the same as pouring used motor oil onto a fine steak, but the music business continues with the odd belief that rap is the perfect accompaniment to any genre. Truth is, most rap doesn’t even go well with other rap, much less the sort of pop that’s focused around someone with a good voice and the training to use it.

Stylistically, her performances suffer a bit from her time belting out showstoppers on the I Am a Singer TV series, as well as a few rather busy arrangements, but only the ruined-by-rap track is a waste of time. Pre-release track Home is pretty good:

(oh, and thanks to her label for making the album available online in multiple countries on release day)

Unrelated video fun

Two videos that brightened my week…

Do you want tea?

More k-pop cuteness, from HelloVenus; must be something in the air:

Secret Yoohoo

You’re welcome. Or I’m sorry, depending on what effect cute Korean girls and earbugs have on you.

Instant Retro

Apparently, Girls Generation was set to release this video over four years ago, and ran into trouble getting the rights for the song. When they finally got that cleared up, they made it a surprise gift for the fans and a teaser for their next album. The styling at the end is pretty awful, but fortunately the previous few minutes of unadulterated cuteness softens the blow.

Also, Sooyoung/Seohyun pillow fight; not nearly as exciting as it sounds, but still good clean fun.

Fear the cute ones, heLOVEnus edition

Sending a bit of a mixed message here, girls?

Lime gets the point across

“Need a clue, take a clue,
 got a clue, leave a clue”