Codes for Reviews

First Initial (Overall Rating):
E = Exceptional
VG = Very Good
G = Good
F = Fair
NR = Not Recommended

Second Initital (Reading Level):
A = Average Reading Level
E = Easy
M = Mature

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

K-Pop Now! The Korean music Revolution

Adult/YA Average Reading Level

VG/A Russell, Mark James. K-Pop Now! The Korean music Revolution. Rutland, VT: Tuttle, 2014.

Russell has put together a fantastic volume of information regarding the K-Pop history and industry. This is relevant to the current K-Pop craze phenomena and interest to those who are reading it for the first time or have a deep concern about their favorite groups. It will also make a great complementary addition to any classroom curriculum on the topic of Korean Culture. The layout of the book is divided into chapters that span the coverage of the land, the history, definition of K-Pop and most importantly the groups that make up K-Pop.

I am quite impressed with the book starting out describing the land of Korea and the history of the K-Pop culture. It is important for readers to know where and how K-Pop all started. Thank you for referencing to the first generation of K-Pop groups such as H.O.T, g.o.d, FINKL, S.E.S, and Shinhwa. It is also important to explain the Hallyu trend that helps shape the K-Pop culture and correlation between K-Drama and the music industry because they do go hand-in-hand. The coverage on the big three or four (SM, JYP, YG, CUBE) entertainments is a must in any book now because they practically dominated the entire K-Pop business with their artists.

The coverage of each idol groups is very uneven. Most groups have only two-page coverage. However groups like Super Junior, Big Bag, TVXQ, Girls Generations, 2NE1, and Wonder Girls have more coverage than others. Since these groups are already popular, one would really want to know more about the other groups. However, JYJ was not mentioned at all. Not sure if there is any legal issue that they cannot be mention here or why they were not mentioned as original members of the TVXQ and later they break off from the group TVXQ and became JYJ. In addition, I fail to see the mention of B1A4, Lunafly, LedApple, U-Kiss, Boyfriend, MyName, Eric Nam and Tasty. These are also popular in the K-Pop arena, especially when U-Kiss just had a tour of concerts in the United States.

In conclusion, it is good to see such thorough coverage of the K-Pop industry in this book and it is especially refreshing to see the mentioning of future stars such as BtoB, VIXX, Boys Republic, History, Lee Li, and Roy Kim.

The only thing that I can see as an improvement is that more attractive photos of the idol groups should be selected for this book especially in the cases of MBLAQ, SHINee, Super Junior and Infinite. (Maybe this is a personal Bias -- Sorry I am a big fan of all of these groups.)

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