After Gentleman (which stood out to me just for the ridiculous misheard lyrics you can do with it in Italian) and exorcist-worthy Hangover I had lost hope on Psy’s ability to reach Gangnam Style‘s heights again and thought that the best thing for him would have been to stop trying to woo Western audiences and concentrate on doing the silly songs Koreans love him for as if Gangnam Style never happened, because that song’s rise to most watched YouTube video ever was more due to it fitting and perpetrating the “weird Asians” stereotype to a T than to the song’s own merits—hey, it was a hilarious well-executed attempt at LMFAO with awesome dance attached, but it’s still just an attempt at LMFAO. That’s why I had a sigh of relief when I saw him doing exactly that (seriously, Napal Baji should get just as much attention, I loved seeing him having fun with brass and funk guitars), but it still didn’t prevent him to try capturing the West’s attention again on the side with this song.
AND THANK GOD HE TRIED. This is what Gentleman should have been. It starts thundery and big with a ridiculously badass Big Bang worthy Eurodance riff, segue into a neat combination of Gentleman’s bassline with a Gangnam Style reminiscing gliding figure (here courtesy of an oh–so–current vocal sample), Gangnam Style’s synth fill gets an awesome successor, then the song sends you back in Eurodance territory and you start realizing that South Korea should get into Eurovision as soon as possible and send Psy there to loot their houses and violate their wives. After CL gets a timely cameo as part of Korea’s world domination plot, the drop arrives and you’re grounded. Where you would expect a stuttery statement Psy instead dons his best sexy (?) voice over a super slick EDM beat before destroying you in hilarity when he pitches up and down the “I got it from my daddy” line you were expecting from the beginning but never arrived and you had kinda forgot about. THIS. IS. A. FUCKING. BANGER.
Still wondering about the sense of the “my papa was a superman” section, though. A CL verse would have been fantastic there. But there’s no reason to complain when the song overall stands out beyond its novelty element. This is just as good as Gangnam Style if not better, and I’m now more convinced than ever that YG should give Teddy some rest and let Psy produce songs for 2NE1 and Big Bang. And maybe CL’s American debut, who has by now reached Duke Nukem Forever status. Yeah, Hello Bitches didn’t speak to me (introducing a Korean “rapper”* to the world with a Middle Eastern beat? I get it’s a reference to I Am The Best and MTBD, but it’s been a little overdone for her now) and I’m worried that Skrillex and Diplo are leaving her the scraps while another Scooter Braun-managed dude reaps all the hip benefits.
*reading MTBD’s lyrics made me cringe and almost ruined the song for me. Then well, if Iggy Azalea managed to be relevant I guess CL can too.