South Korean pop sensation Psy released his new single ‘Gentleman’ over the weekend. Media reviews have been not that favorable so far, but the YouTube count tells a story of its own with over 80 million views. It has already broken records, with over 50 million views in the first 40 hours.
I personally noticed how some people, though saying they were bit disappointed, were sharing lots of Psy-related articles on social media. Another mega-hit is a tall order, of course, but it is addictive enough to keep everyone talking and hitting play multiple times. Well done, Psy. He has delivered again despite enormous pressure.
When I first blogged about it on my K-pop blog, only about 24 hours had passed since the music video’s YouTube upload, and it had already garnered 19 million. There was even a brief time period on Sunday (about six hours after the release), the YouTube hit count just could not keep up. Now as of early Tuesday, it has surpassed 81 million hits.
1) Sarcasm and Irony : The beauty of Gangnam Style music video was in its irony, and so it is with Gentleman – at least that is what it is aiming for. Psy explained in previous interviews that the Gangnam Style video shows how un-Gangnam Psy’s character is, but he claims to be a sleek, cool guy from Gangnam (poshest area of Seoul). In the Gentleman music video, scenes of pulling pranks on women were clearly meant to show how un-gentlemanly Psy’s character is though he kept saying “mother father gentleman” (and yes, “father” was used instead of “f**cker” to keep it clean).
What people found it bit disappointing were that some scenes, which were supposed to be hilarious, were not that funny at all, but rather stale, unlike Gangnam which made even the most bored Internet addicts hit replay multiple times.
2) Reviving Sexy Abracadabra: Psy explained [ko] at his latest concert ‘Happening’ that he adopted the dance routine of Abracadabra and reinterpreted it in his own way. Many South Korean net users were bit taken aback when they first saw this familiar dance routine by the Brown Eyed Girls which rocked the whole country back in 2010, but now welcome Psy’s decision since it gives tremendous international attention to Korean dance moves.
Gain rose to stardom for rocking this super sexy, signature dance move back in 2010 and she now appears in Psy’s video (read more about the dance).
3) Keeping The Faith: Fans found it adorable that he debuted his new single in Seoul during the concert, rather than somewhere in the United States, and Koreans seem to really appreciate this gesture, although critics would not call it an entirely clever move. Psy knows that whether he makes another hit or winds up becoming the one-hit wonder (on an international scalee), he cannot just throw away his loyal fan base who loves his music for years.
From his debut back in 2001, Psy has kept his color and uniqueness– his songs, mostly electro, club music, were always racy, explicit, yet fun to the point that most of his songs were labeled as “inappropriate for young audience” and his hilarious dance routines were, and still are, something that you cannot find elsewhere. It is still too early to call Gentleman a hit or a failture, but surely his fans would never call him one-hit wonder. Gentleman is just another Psy song that sounds just like Psy.