Pop Song Reviews - Gangnam Style by Psy

(711 votes, average 4.90 out of 5)
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Comments (241)
  • Space_man20
    you tought me more about Korea than school ever will...
  • navvyshanekar
    I know right? Who new the Ganam style song was the climax of a concept album that tells the entirety of Korean history since the start of the 3 kingdoms period. Really insightful & just a little moving.
  • navvyshanekar
    Hey numb nuts, if you're going to post snarky douchey comments at least check your spelling (Yes I am replying to myself).
  • Mattteus
    the most any American knows of Korea is the Korean war and Kim Jong-Il. You know it's sad but true ( ._.)
  • Damonashu
    I think you're being unfair to that person. Franky, the schools I've attended have never taught us anything about South Korea, or even North Korea for that matter. The only time I can remember a social studies class of mine talking about any place other than America was seventh grade, and even then N. Korea and S. Korea were never lessons.
  • poisontongue
    I know mine didn't. American institutions kinda thrive on ignorance.

    Schools can't do too much with limited budgets and pointless test protocols.
  • Sewblon
    The U.S. has the fourth highest educational expenditures per-student in the world at the elementary and secondary levels.
  • Superchops
    This is truly one of the only meme songs I can't bring myself to hate.
  • Taxrenn
    Funny, I can. I hate to say it, but I miss the era of Call Me Maybe.
  • AutoAxpert
    Ahah, no. I would listen to a Korean rapper, or even Never Gonna Give You Up, ten times in a row rather than seeing another obnoxious Call Me Maybe video or the goddamn song itself.
  • Punky
    i'm with ya. It's just too catchy and fun. Also Psy is pretty huge in South Korea, he's pretty much what Ricky Martin is in Puerto Rico
  • Shadowflame66
    He's just... so... likable! Watch that video and try not to like Psy, I dare you.
  • HankMan
    Tod released a neutral review of Gangnam Style?
    Well that was a nice career he had.
  • Kryss LaBryn
    I agree absolutely. I unironically adore the shit out of both the song and the video. No, I don't get the cultural context or understand 99.8% of the lyrics (I'm Canadian, not Korean) but it just makes me grin and makes me happy. Plus Psy actually has a pretty good voice, IMO.

    Sooner or later it will drop back off the radar and we won't be coming across it all over the place, and the world will be a slightly emptier place, I think, because it's pretty damned cool to have a song that shops full of strangers will all stop and dance to when it comes on.

    Well, it'll be on my playlist, still, at least.

    Wopah Gangnam Style!
  • mtue98
    Yay. Todd Reviews are always awesome. You are definitely for me at least the most funny reviewer on the site. I just wish we got more then one a month.
  • Hinatachan360
    I had to laugh when Todd started carameldancin' at the end of the review.
  • TragicGuineaPig
    Isn't Gangnam Style supposed to be about giant battle robots?
  • Slowking
    That would be Gundam Style.
    But good one. :)
  • ShadowWing Tronix
    I know I'd watch a Gundam dance contest. Like G-Fighter without the weird stuff that came in the second half and made me lose interest.
  • PlasticFrogCG
    I can't stand this song, but I'd watch 30 seconds of Gundams dancing!
    30 seconds is about all I can stand before getting driven completely insane by K-Pop.
  • Steve the Pocket
    Please somebody tell me someone has already written that parody. And that it's good and not ... you know, typical Internet fan parody quality.
  • CronoT

    If that troll bait was any more obvious it would have been bought by Wile E. Coyote from the Acme Corporation.

  • MegAnimefreakx3
    that is Gundam but I just keep on hearing as Gundam not Gangnam
  • alexvonrass
    Psy is fully aware of how cheesy this is, in an interview he said "I wanted to make the song delibirately catchy, i also used the concept of "dress classy, dance cheesy" to make the video funny or atleast memorable"
    I kinda enjoy it even though it's the shallowest shit ever
  • Zax
    Plus, add on the fact that he studied at the Berklee College of Music, and it becomes even more clear that this video was just him goofing around and having fun.

    He's also said that the song is about how, in Gangnam (a district in Korea), they have this strange juxtaposition of being classy in the day and throwing crazy parties at night.

    Plus, the video is clearly a comedy act. The guy dancing over him in the elevator and the other guy having a dance-off with him near the red convertible? Both are popular comedians in Korea.
  • Vismutti
    Apparently he's himself originally from Gangnam too. I get the impression he doesn't really appreciate his home district.
  • maddogpony
    I don't really listen to Gangnam Style at all. However, as a huge k-pop fan, Psy is a breath of fresh air because a lot of other artists go for a super sexy or ridiculously cute image. As "catchy" as Gangman Style is, his other songs are much better and the guy does have talent. Thank you Todd for reviewing this - I have been waiting for this one :)
  • The Movie Explorer
    On their first English-language album (Photos of Ghosts) the Italian band PFM included one song in their native tongue ("Il Banchetto"). Rather than including a full translation of the lyrics, they offered a synopsis of the song’s premise. In fact, recently on a prog-rock message board, some folks were way over-analyzing the song (it's a prog-rock message board, folks tend to do that).

    My point is that you can enjoy music even if you don’t speak the language. I personally prefer to listen to PFM in the original Italian as opposed to those travesties Pete Sinfield saddled them with (which they clearly learned phonetically).

    That said, the appeal of “Gangnam Style” is obviously “OMGASIANSLOL!!!!1!!111! eleven” It’s the new “Tunak Tunak Tun,” but at least that had a decent song to go with it.
  • trlkly
    I don't think people enjoy it as a song by itself, even when it's on radio. I think they just enjoy being reminded of a video they found funny.
  • Chaos15
    I actually liked the song before I saw the video. XD
  • baticus_moronicus
    Same. Also, I first heard it on Radio 1 (biggest pop station in the UK), and the DJ liked it so much he played it twice, back to back. He must have liked it for the music to do that, he never mentioned the video either.
  • ToruKun1
    Yeah, I heard the song on my friends iPhone before I ever watched the video. XD
  • Veran
    Yeah... I was rather surprized when I heard that song on the radio. I thought it was an Internet only thing, and a joke at that.

    Compared with normal korean pop... yes, the video is better, by far. Normally it's just 6-10 girls in colourful clothes walking back and forth on a shiney stage.

    I prefer Japanese pop. It is far weirder.

    No. I still refuse to listen to the radio when it's not a weekend.
  • zepolmas  - re; gangnam style
    I confess, I did not know this was a parody of anything.
    I thought it was something along the lines of... I'll say the B 52's. Meant to be silly and fun, but still a "legit" song.
    And considering what our videos look like, I don't consider myself in a position to judge.
    Side note: Great job as usual Todd, but I(for the record,) could've lived without this.
  • Sandvik83
    I find it kind of odd that you liked the concept of"Good girls go bad" so much, but don't get the same reaction out of this. If you read interviews with the man, he is very clearly a monster-level geek who makes stupid pop music for 2 reasons; to get girls and to make fun of all the vapid idiots of popular culture. It is, as you put it in your top 10 list, Geek Wish Fulfillment.
    It may be that me growing up with euro-dance and living with a roommate who just last weekend went to a Vengaboys concert, but I get the same feeling from this song as I do from those. It's not revolutionary. It's not particularly clever, but is is just good fun. Does it deserve its place in the charts? No. But neither does any of the other crap you review.
  • CinemaKid
    I could never really get into Gangnam Style. Just didn't find it that funny. Ah well, good review.
  • Moomoof
    I love the video without the song its amazing

    Yes its a weird thing and yes im glad that pitbull is not hte only international man on the scene fuck sakes Dx
  • Canis Minor
    "First Asian artist to break through in America"? Um... Well, Pink Lady had some popularity in the seventies or something if I understand correctly. Puffy was pretty popular stateside for a while. And wasn't there that one song, 'Sukiyaki' or something, waaay back when?
  • sophronia_chaos
    Todd mentioned "Sukiyaki" in his "Like a G6" review. Also, yes Puffy AmiYumi was quite popular in the USA for a while; they had a TV show on Cartoon Network, and both my sister and I had a bunch of their CDs. (I think this partly happened because they were getting recognition for singing the Teen Titans theme song.) However...I don't know if they ever made it into Billboard's top 100, which is Todd's usual litmus test.
  • Technous285
    Ahh, HiHi Puffy AmiYumi Show. Puffy AmiYumi also did the theme for Teen Titans Animated, which was probably why they got their own show on CN back in the day.
  • Romanticide
    Didn't Cibo Matto and Pizzicato 5 had at least some sucess on the USA? O.o
  • Bomby von Bombsville
    Cibo Matto don't count at all. Miho and Yuka had already lived in New York for some time before they met and formed the group, and they remained New York based through the group's run. Not to mention that by their second album, Sean Ono Lennon and Timo Ellis were officially members of the band. When they did try to make it Japan, Japan didn't get it.

    I don't remember Pizzicato 5 getting that popular, but I do remember them being spectacular.
  • CaptainCanada
    Everyone was just waiting for this video to arrive.
  • bagheerita
    I avoid pop music, and pop culture fads, whenever possible, so when the girl I work with turned the radio to her favorite station and this song came on, my first thought was: WTF is "Gundam style," and since when do they play anime music on the radio?? But my second thought was, Todd will explain it to me...
  • moonlitcat131
    I don't want to start a fight but, this is not anime music because for one this is not Japanese, this is Korean and not all Asian music is in anime. Not to mention there are plenty of Japanese artist who do not have their music in anime.
  • TOP2NE1
    If you're looking for the best of K-Pop check out Epik High. They even do some of their stuff wholly in English.


    Todd likes Lupe Fiasco, so he would probably like these guys.
  • Redninetailfox
    Is it just me but if todd isn't in the shadows he just has a troll face. Because I felt like half of the jokes in this review he might as well went "you mad bro" after the punchline.
  • Hakajin
    Ah, I'd been waiting for this!

    I kinda hate Gangam Style. It's just... grating and unpleasant. I think most Americans do get that it's a joke, though. Honestly, I think the reason that Gangam style got popular was the same reason that "Call Me Maybe" got popular- people were familiar with the meme/viral video first, and then they felt like they were in a on a joke, in-the-know, something like that. "Gangam Style" has the added bonus of making people feel multi-cultural or something... although of course the fact that it's Korean does put it at a disadvantage, too.

    Interesting commentary on the song, though. Although I thought you were a little hard on K-pop. What (very little) I've heard of it does seem to be pretty vapid, but also catchy as hell, very infectious and enjoyable to listen to (I'm thinking specifically of "Say Huh" by 4 Minute and "Keep Your Head Down" by TVXQ). I think that counts for something. I really can't believe that out of all the K-Pop out there, "Gangam Style" is what got popular in the US. Anyway, no one produces idols like the South Koreans Koreans. They're great at creating sleek, shiny, flawless images for the rest of us to adore. That being said, though, becoming an idol does require some talent. And there have to be some artists who have songs with substance. I know Japan does, and they're just behind Korea when it comes to producing idols.

    Also... did I just see Todd Caramelldansing?

    Oh, as for the next video, I'm hoping for Taylor Swift's "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together." If it's not too late for that one. Not a fan.
  • AnvilPro
    I wanted to hear you talk about Maroon 5
  • Larry  - Opera
    But what about opera? People listen to that as well without understanding Italian or whatever language it is in and only knowing what message it is trying to transmit (or other suitable synonym).
  • TequilaFlavor  - Boring ?
    I just heard about this meme recently and didn't pay any attention to it intially.

    But as more and more people kept using it, I had to find out what the fuzz was all about.

    And . . . I was severly disappointed.

    I found it boring, both the song and the video.

    Not especially good or bad or whacky, just plain boring.

    With a lot of other memes, I atleast get why they're supposed to be funny, but this one leaves me scratching my head ?

    Is it because the singer makes a fool of himself, is it because it's in Korean ?

    Is it the silly dance or is it the "heyyy, sexy ladies !" line ?

    It just feels so done and old and uninteresting to me.

    Now, I have to thank this song for one parody, though:

    Mitt Romney Style, now that's something and genuinely funny !
  • moonlitcat131
    The reason I LOVE Gangnam Style is not because of the music video at all. I heard the song before I saw the music video.I love the song because it is just a happy beat that makes me want to dance to it. And then I found the music video funny but I never really watch it anymore, I just listen to the song.

    Also I saw that you put 2NE1s "I AM THE BEST" as a reference to K Pop being brainless and vapid. That is one of my most favorite K Pop songs I have ever heard, and it's from my favorite K Pop group. Obviously we all have differences which is fine, whatever. But saying that K Pop is one of the most brainless genres of music kind of offended me. I'm not saying it's any better then American Pop music but I definitely do not see it being any worse.

    As you said, Gangnam Style is pretty much Party Rock Anthem...

    I would really like if you looked more into other K Pop groups like, listen to more 2NE1 listen to G-Dragon or I don't know... just become more exposed to it.

    Honestly you have lots of knowledge on other stuff you review on here, I don't know if you were playing or if you were serious in the fact that you just didn't know much about K Pop. Give it a chance, if anything it's fun.
  • Bomby von Bombsville
    Gotta agree with moonlitcat here. I'm not a big fan of K-pop myself (though having lived with Korean roommates for a few years I did like a handful of the songs I was exposed to), but your assessment of the genre - despite admitting you know little about it yourself - came off as very close-minded.

    Todd, you're my favorite reviewer on this site, but this was not your best moment.
  • BrockLobster  - Agreed.
    I live in Korea, know the culture, and I hate this song, but Todd's review of it kind of felt like a lashing as opposed to a remotely objective view of the song itself. He kind of threw the song into the what-bad-things-can-I- say-about-it-and-be-done- with-it mechanism, and this is what he got. I can't help but think this review was actually kind of tasteless in presentation. He didn't make the review entertaining. It felt like a rant throughout.
  • RainingMadness  - Agree with Moonlitcat
    I was never really big on foreign music. I would every once in a while run across a catchy jpop love ballad on youtube, but that was the most exposure I got to foreign pop music. My brother and his friend were the first ones to play kpop for me and oh man they were catchy as hell.
    I understand that not everyone would automatically enjoy it like moonlitcat said, which is fine. I won't argue that, but if you are basing kpop from only a couple of songs I would strongly suggest these songs just from personal experience as a starting point.
    big bang - gara gara go
    g-dragon - heartbreaker
    big bang/2NE1 - Lolipop
    Those three songs alone really got me into the kpop genre. Just my 2 cents.
  • InfamousLP  - Yea...
    Sorry, but those examples that you gave really imo, just re-enforced the gripes that Todd had with the genre. And personally, I agree with Todd (and ive had this opinion LONG before this video).

    K-pop (and lot of asian pop music im beginning to notice) just feels soooooo plastic and manufactured. To the point where it DOESN'T feel genuine.

    I feel that this is the kind of music that you would hear if Record Labels had 100% control over their artists and dictated EVERYTHING about their being. = /

    It feels like the music that you would hear from "artists" from Disney Channel, expect done 100x to the extreme and MUCH LESS self-contained.

    Really, American pop makes me facepalm enough, but K-pop just takes it to another level to where I just feel physical pain listening and watching it.....x-x....

    .....but oh well, all this is just MY opinion. If you guys like....whatever. >__>

    *Sidenote*: Now J or K rock on the other hand, that I can actually get into. Those have their stinkers too, but more tolerable and usually more genuine feeling, IMO.
  • sharonlovesgoodmusic
    2ne1 is a hundred times better than One Direction and other Western shit.
  • Rue_Ryuzaki2  - ..
    Oh man Todd now I know you have a difficult time doing your job especially when you have to make sense of something that you off the bat is already having a hard time understanding to the rest of us. For that well I would toss you a beer but I can't oh well. good job as always.
    Also you got people filling in Linkara's inbox, and your calling to get bad songs stuck in his head. hmm maybe you are the intruder causing mayhem at his place. haha but no it can't be you.
  • armagod679
    Considering no one's supposed to be able to communicate with Linkara right now, the theory that Todd's behind it all makes more and more sense.
  • TheTannedOtaku
    The song and video are too much fun to dislike...
  • PlayMp1
    I don't like pop music 99% of the time (the only pop song in recent memory I've liked is Fuck You, and it's a 60s soul song that got popular in 2011). I don't particularly like Gangnam Style's music, but it's incredibly catchy.

    The reason that LMFAO sucked so hard is because they only had one joke (butts!), and they had terrible lyrics to go with their terrible music. Gangnam Style, like Todd said, is Party Rock Anthem with lyrics that are non-sense to most Americans. Therefore, all that's left is a hilarious video, a funny dance, and some buzzwords (like Todd said, again).

    However, I will say it's awesomely fun to do the dance with a bunch of friends, especially at a marching band competition. It's like when Psy chases that girl while dancing, except there's about 20 people all doing it in a row.
  • Airanuva
    I view Gangnam style the same way I view Dschinghis Khan, or tunak tunak tun; it's foreign, I don't understand it, but it is fun. Hell, not understanding it actually makes it better to me, since the singing becomes another instrument in the song, rather than just words slapped on a melody.
  • Ative
    When you said he isn't Voltaire, and then added in the subtitles "either of them" you just made me love you more.
    I don't really agree that knowing more about a thing doesn't make it better (I hope you didn't mean it generally). Great review though, the ending was awesome xD
  • Ankai
    I don't like the song much, but I don't really mind it. The same with the video. I have nothing really against Psy for making this goofy song; he had little to do with this viral thing and is simply using it to his advantage. It's not his fault that people think that it is funny to do the horsey dance at me just because of my Asian background, and it is not as if him telling people to stop is going to do anything.

    The phenomenon around it really annoys me, especially when fans of the video try to involve me in it. Yeah, fans of the VIDEO. They don't care about Psy, let alone music from Korea or other parts of Asia. They tell me to chill out when I tell them to stop bothering me about the video, but then they get belligerent when I even try to suggest other music by Asian acts. That is not even laziness, that is aggressive ignorance.
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