Artist: Wonder Girls
Album: “Wonder Party” EP
Label: JYP Entertainment
2012 was a prosperous year for KPop music and culture. Many of the most popular artists were starting to have a foothold in the West. Wonder Girls were one of the first acts to start doing promotions in the U.S. especially songs in English, having their own movie on Nickelodeon, and could communicate with Western fans. The summer season was the perfect time to strike when the iron is hot.
As much as it was a refreshing feel to have a retro sound when no one else was doing it for the previous two years, it was time for Wonder Girls to embrace the now and the future by modernizing their sound. This time, they’ve embraced the hip-hop dance beats that more groups were starting to steer towards.
Although they didn’t forget that they’re a KPop group, they also realized that in order to start thinking about expanding to the West, they had to have songs in English which is where “The DJ is Mine” comes into play.
Some of the best songs were actually written by the members. My favorite song is the b-side track called “Hey Boy” written by Yubin with that urban feel. “Girlfriend” was written by Yeeun, and that was an underrated song. Yeeun also wrote the third single off this EP called “R.E.A.L.”.
I feel that starting to cater to the West, it was beneficial and detrimental at the same time. The good thing was that they could be one of the first Korean artists to be successful in America, but by doing that, they were getting away from what made them popular in Korea. They also in a way were abandoning their quest to have a foothold in China as they weren’t doing songs in Chinese anymore. It would be a problem until other artists years later would be able to double-dip successfully into various other markets.
This EP would mark the final time that this specific lineup would be together for an album release as each member started doing their own thing. This group would come back later with lineup changes. It is sad especially for me since they were one of the first groups I started to like during my personal KPop boom in that same year as this release.
Their aspirations to go to the West this particular year would pave the way to work with Western acts like Akon. This EP definitely paved the way for that.
Overall rating: 4/5
Reviewed by: Timtastic