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When you think of Jazz, CNBLUE and Girls Generation are not the first names that pop to mind, since they are much more K-Pop than anything else. And yet, Lee Jong Hyun broke free from CNBLUE to do Moonlight Swing, a great upbeat Jazz track and one of the songs on his first solo album. Likewise, the 9 member Girls’ Generation begat Girls’ Generation-TTS, a subset of the band comprised of Taeyeon, Tiffany, and Seohyun. They produced an excellent EP comprised of jazz/rock ballads, of which my favorite track was Twinkle. These two songs are only a fraction of the excellent jazz South Korea has produced over the last century, so if you enjoy these be sure to explore its other wonderful offerings in this genre.

I couldn’t help it, this song was too much fun. I Kveld Med YLVIS isn’t a band, it is a Norwegian talk/variety show with an attitude, and they originally did this track as another comedy skit on their show. It went somewhat viral, pulling in 359,757,676 views (as of the last time I checked), the equivalent of every man, woman, and child in the US watching it. They brought it to the BBC Children In Need Special produced every year to aid kids who might otherwise not get a chance to grow up, and were joined by a bunch of singers you should recognize; how many of them can you name? And then someone mashed it up with 2013’s other runaway silly song, Gangnam Style from Psy. Just goes to show, sometimes when you get silly the world notices and sings along.

How can 2NE1, the band who did so many amazing songs and my favorite Korean Girl Group, have any doubts about themselves? But apparently they do, as the interview released earlier this week indicates. Of course, this amazing foursome also put out the song UGLY, which I assumed was a diatribe against the advertising companies who spend millions of dollars every week to convince women they will never be attractive if they don’t buy their sponsor’s products. But perhaps I misunderstood what was going on in that song; or perhaps this is all a ploy to get more votes in the current World Music Awards competition, for which they have been nominated in 4 categories including Best Band, Best Song, and Best Live Show. Or maybe they just want to sell more tickets for their AON World Tour. I don’t really care which choice turns out to be the real one, as long as they keep generating more incredible music for us to enjoy!