Pop culture of the 1980s and synth heavy dance music scene that was its soundtrack is something i fetishize the way in the same way a podiatrist may shoes. Aside from a small tip of the hat here and there, the 80s “sound” has been all but missing from the mainstream music scene since Nirvana and the grunge movement tacked the final nail excess culture’s coffin in 1991. The Korean pop music sensation Wonder Girls’ latest album “Reboot” continues the 80s tradition as grunge culture never came. The video for “I feel you”, the first single off “Reboot” is a retrohaulic’s wet dream. Its filled with enough Keytars, spandex leotards, neon lighting and coordinated instrument choreography to make you want to find your VHS copy of Madonna’s “The Virgin Tour” and cut some holes in your jeans.
For those scratching their head wondering who these slender spandex clad beauties are, allow me to familiarize you with the pop-culture phenomenon that is K-Pop. Far to the east in Korea, an alternate history of American music is happening, where grunge music never killed the boy/girlband-heavy pop music scene of late 1990s America. Where Napster didn’t totally kill CD’s sales and stadium tours still sell out. The Wonder Girls are just one of the many acts that dominate the music scene overseas. Merchandise of every imaginable kind featuring the perfect faces and bodies of these petite pop idols generate millions every year for a small collection of giant production companies that created these cultural giants. Just as like we saw the videos of “Spice Girls” and “NSYNC“, the music video is a high priced spectacle complete with all the well establish cliches of trendy fashion feature, complex dance routines and cute cut-aways of the idols to endlessly swoon over.
Its great to see people still making fun music videos. There is enough of the great 80s vibe to lift the spirits of any disillusioned thirty-something who can remember the 80s music scene and there is enough skin and suggestive choreography to keep the perverts happy and by extension the shareholders of Kleenex and moisturizer companies.