K-pop and the five reasons why Gangnam Style has become insanely popular
Alluring, talented, inspirational – these are just a few of the words I have never used to describe Korean pop sensation Psy, whose infamous pop video Gangnam Style has now reached over 500 million views, becoming the fastest spreading ever Youtube video and giving the singer international fame.
It is an understatement to say that Gangnam Style is a runaway success. With even our own po-faced politicians jumping on the band wagon, everybody wonders what exactly is catching the popular imagination.
The song and accompanying video from his sixth studio album, has been said to poke fun at people who are living in an affluent district called Gangnam in Seoul, South Korea. Many viewers describe it as a pop culture breakthrough which has helped Korea get right into the face of the world like never before, while others describe it as senseless fodder with dance moves that are unfathomably ridiculous.
There is no doubt that Gangnam Style’s catchy tune and surreal parody music video has contributed largely to its success. We can all relate to the humorous dance moves that resemble uninhibited dad-dancing at a family wedding, and automatically want to imitate it. However, not every dance-craze has been as brilliant and engaging. Remember Black Lace’s Agadoo? Yes you do, and like me, you wish you didn’t.
Analysing the video, we can surely highlight five that made it insanely viral:
1. Top image quality
Every single frame is extremely catchy, with very strong colours, polished cinematography and highest level of definition.
2. Three killer dance moves
Psy uses three very different but closely related dance moves: the gallop, the lasso and the cowboy. And he dances them with profound command and pride.
3. The challenge
In a video focused on the (ironic) dance mastery of the singer, what fits better than an epic challenge? The battle continues after the end of the video. Highly viral.
4. The girl
What popular video doesn’t feature a pretty girl? She comes out in the last part of the story, catching the attention of Psy and the public. She also gets her own spin-off video: perfect move.
5. Grand finale
Every great production worthy of the name comes to an end with a bang: a massive group dance carrying all the Gagnam Style moves. The icing on the cake.
There have always been pop songs which give a social commentary in a witty or humorous way. These often click with the listeners and result in a cult following, and Psy’s Gangnam Style is one of them. The song has an irresistible hook, sung mainly in Korean but with an English line to appeal the international audience: it did work.
In a world of technological advances and life-changing scientific discovery, the sight of a grown man breaking out into peculiar dance moves appears to still be as absurdly entertaining as ever.
Watch the video for Gangnam Style here: