N-Train has got be another drop of rain that makes a little splash in the puddle they fell into called KPOP.
The mechanism of Kpop is actually so simple: dance tracks are a must, if the singing is of any good, it’s a plus point because you can branch out into ballads. N-Train debut with a more soulful song as compared to the usual dance tracks we are used to. Not surprisingly, this group did not do as well as expected. The sad thing about it is, the members of this group are actually really talented vocally. Check out their acoustic version of their debut song. 3 of them can even play the guitar decently.
I have no doubts that they did snag their fair share of fans, but i’m sure their lovely voices were quite quickly swept under the carpet of K-dance tracks.
With that, the boys are back with… a dance track this time around.
Their new dance track is the perfect catchy, electronic music Kpop song, and i’m sure they will pick up more fans with this round of promotions. And we can say hello to another typical kpop boy band, or at least i hope not totally. With vocal talent like theirs, i’m sure their company will be smart enough to do more than just produce dance tracks for the rest of their songs… if they even survive.
In the first place, the boys weren’t marketed as your typical dancing boy band because they obviously didn’t fit in that category. Sure, they still have got the vocals for that dance track, but they looked pretty awkward in their too-flashy outfits bouncing around on stage than them sitting around playing the guitar and singing for their worth. Trying to market these boys as another typical dance-track-dancing boy band is just going to fall flat on it’s face. There are obviously already MANY established boy bands who can dance and pull off a dance track with ease and are amazingly good-looking. On the other hand, N-Train have their fair share of good looks but these boys certainly don’t seem to fit into the party animals they are being forced into being. (as seen in the concept of their latest song)
It’s true that the typical Kpop formulae almost never fails, and companies are eager to earn some big bucks, but there are times when ‘no’ is just ‘no’. I would have preferred it very much if their company tried to slowly push these boys in their original direction. I’m sure it will take a longer time for them to reach a decent status (by doing slower tempo OSTs and their initial style of music) in the korean music industry compared to that extra fast track to stardom (when the kpop formula works), but at least the boys will be doing what they are good at. And i must say, i don’t see this group succeeding that much in the more competitive side of the korean music industry called KPOP.
This problem of turning to the fast track lies with the fact that smaller companies are also producing these boy bands. Smaller companies equals to lesser capital hence they need to earn money fast and don’t have the money to prolong a band’s original identity if it doesn’t work straight away. If only someone ultra rich came along and decided to invest in the whole kpop industry by sieving out bands with potential that belong to smaller companies and help support them so that they can grow ‘naturally’. As long as that doesn’t happen, the rest of kpop will still be as we know it, 5 years from now.