Roughly two weeks ago, one of my anonymous followers on my Tumblr asked me what my thoughts are on Psy’s new single, “Gentleman.” I’ve decided to take what I said in my response and expand on it here:
I actually hadn’t seen the music video nor heard the song by the time my anonymous follower asked me what I thought. I had heard that Psy did have a new single, but never had the urge to check it out because I knew it wouldn’t be as memorable as “Gangnam Style” (in a similar fashion to how Rebecca Black’s second single was nowhere near as popular as “Friday”). He already set the bar too high with “Gangnam Style.” There was no way “Gentleman” was going to be as popular and it was definitely going to disappoint people no matter what.
I don’t find the song to be particularly catchy. It doesn’t have that much energy and it has this annoying beat in the background. I honestly didn’t get into it and I could have gone without ever listening to it. And this is coming from someone who actually listens to and enjoys Korean Pop. Unfortunately, I can’t say much about the lyrics, since I do not understand Korean.
The video is trying way to hard to replicate the randomness and humor of “Gangnam Style.” The director to the music video is Jo Soo-hyun, the same director of the “Gangnam Style” video, and it shows. I think Soo-hyun was trying to recreate what made “Gangnam Style”’s video the hit that it is, because they both have similar elements: Psy doing weird things in front of strangers, the primary dance, and shots that take place throughout the Gangnam District in South Korea. It even has some of the same characters from “Gangnam Style,” Yoo Jae-suk (guy in yellow suit) and Noh Hong-chul (hip thrust guy). This is something that viewers have all seen before, so none of this is shocking anymore. I also found the video to be cliched. Psy’s singing about how he’s such a gentleman, yet in the video he’s doing non-gentlemanly things. Hur hur, get it? Though knowing Psy and his sense of humor, this is kinda expected.
The primary dance used for “Gentleman,” from what I’ve read, originated from a different KPop group, Brown Eyed Girls, in 2009. According to Psy, this dance is well known to the Korean populous. As an American, I have never seen this dance, nor do I find it all that interesting. I preferred “Gangnam Style”‘s dance, and how it resembled riding a horse. This dance is a simple swaying of the hips, which isn’t all that energetic or interesting.
The problem is that everyone has already seen Psy and his antics, so it’s not as much as a shock as it was last time. It’s still going to get millions of views, cause people are curious to see what Psy will do next. Problem is, it’s the exact same thing he’s shown us before, and it’s not as entertaining the second time around. I still respect Psy and his style of music. He’s been a performer for 12 years now and he’s still going strong, internet fame or no. It’s unfortunate that most of America sees him as a one-hit-wonder.