The official status of Core Content Media’s hybrid group Co-ed has been shrouded in mystery ever since they abruptly halted all promotions in late 2010. This was surprising as they were just months removed from their official debut. Although CCM has maintained their official stance that Co-ed stepped down so that they could focus on T-ara’s Temptastic comeback, I always found this a bit of a stretch. In my opinion, promotions were halted in order for Co-ed to lay low and recover from the myriad of rumors/scandals that emerged around original member Kangho during their promotions. Although many of these rumors were addressed and cleared, Co-ed had no concrete plans in place for a comeback. Instead, CCM chose to debut their female sub-group within Co-ed named 5dolls.
By late 2011, Kangho officially withdrew from Co-ed in order to focus on his acting career and was replaced by ‘Superstar K3’ finalist Shin Jong Gook. With these changes in place, Co-ed’s male sub unit SPEED finally released their first cover song through a remake of fellow label mate T-ara’s hit track Lovey-Dovey. Promos leading up to their release claimed that SPEED would exhibit a more masculine performance while incorporating concepts influenced from Michael Jackson’s ‘Billie Jean’. CCM’s famous twins T-ara’s Hwayoung and 5dolls Hyoyoung also generated ample fan anticipation by agreeing to cameo together in their music video. T-ara’s ‘Lovey-Dovey’ had been a personal favorite of mine so I was looking forward to their performance as well. So onto the review!
Credit: Han/Rom: kpopparazzi Eng: pop!gasa
As a remake cover song, there were a lot of things I liked about SPEED’s interpretation of T-ara’s track on an acoustic level. I really enjoyed their change in initial tempo and beat that led into their first rap lyrics. I actually thought that all their rap lyrics meshed flawlessly with the song as a whole. However, I was a bit disappointed that they left the chorus lyrics virtually untouched. It would have been nice to hear a true reinterpretation of T-ara’s popular chorus with their own original style. Although I have no live performance to truly judge their voices, I felt that their vocal ability had improved nicely during their time off. I had low expectations for their song going in so I was surprised by how much I actually enjoyed it. It’s definitely a song I wouldn’t mind listening again.
Now we move onto the more unpleasant parts about their performance. I had plenty of issues with this track as a music video. I think that many fans were excited for this cover because they wanted to see Hwayoung and Hyoyoung perform together for the first time. Instead CCM had Hyoyoung cut her hair short like Hwayoung and dressed them up in the exact same outfit. What made this worse was that they kept interchanging the two between shots so I spent more time trying to tell them apart instead of focusing on SPEED. The camera also made the twins the focal point of their shots to the point that SPEED looked more like their backup dancers. I think they might’ve benefited if they placed more emphasis on equally distributing camera time on close-ups of the other SPEED member’s singing their lines.
Another distracting issue for me was how the camera kept moving between close shots and distant shots of the group at a dizzying speed. They succeeded if they were trying to induce a seizure. As far as their ‘Billie Jean’ interpretation, their outfits seemed to be in line with the concept. However, any positive comparisons to the former classic would end there. While I found their dance moderately appealing, it would be an insult to the late King of Pop to imply that they captured his same emotion through dance in any way. That may sound like a harsh assessment, but those are the expectations that are raised when you choose to mimic the concept of a Pop legend! I still enjoyed listening to their song. The problem was that I had to close my eyes during their music video in order to realize as much.
Do I need to even evaluate ‘Lovey-Dovey Plus’ ver. 2? Sure I find Hwayoung/Hyoyoung’s haughty expression sexy, but why am I seeing a close up of her face for almost two minutes before I see my first SPEED member? Although SPEED claimed they asked permission to remake ‘Lovey-Dovey’, part of me has little doubt that CCM forced this sort of project on the group. Time and time again CCM has shamelessly tossed around various T-ara members’ either in voice or image in order to boost the popularity of other groups in their company. It’s a shame that SPEED could not release an original song of their own that would better represent their true personality to the public. Still, they surprised and impressed me with their level of rap and vocals in this reinterpretation of ‘Lovey-Dovey’. I’ll be anticipating their real comeback when they make their official debut performance as SPEED.
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