Hottests rejoice; this review is for the hottest time of the day! What time is it now? It’s 2PM, so put your ‘Hands Up’! (Is my bias showing yet?)
Just to clarify, in case I was being too subtle, this review will look at 2PM’s ‘Hands Up’ and assess its chances of success in the UK.
The concept for this song is pretty simple; a typical club song. The video fits in perfectly with the song as it is set in a club. Straight from the get-go this concept is going to appeal to a wide audience and is pretty non-exclusionary as clubs are something found all over the world, and are perhaps pretty uniform. For example, a club in Seoul is going to be pretty darn similar to one in London which should help non-Kpop fans look over any previous misconceptions about Asian music before actually listening to it.
A night out in a club is a relatable concept which has been done by many bands and artists, even the UK’s very own JLS. ‘Hands Up’ is similar to ‘The Club Is Alive’ by JLS which was popular in the UK, they sound nothing alike but they are both songs about going out to a club and are in almost identical settings.
The members wear different forms of light-up clothing throughout the video which is quite effective looking on a club dance floor (not to mention badass!). The style of clothing they wear is visually cool but it isn’t perhaps typical club clothing in the UK. One could argue that in music videos everything is always slightly exaggerated (e.g. Lady Gaga) but if we compare the outfits worn by 2PM to those worn by JLS in ‘The Club Is Alive’, 2PM’s clothing is a little excessive for a typical club scene, not to mention the fact that Taecyeon’s hairstyle makes him look a little like a windswept Super Saiyen, but apart from that their style isn’t too out there.
On the other hand JLS wear a more usual UK/general Western style which is more relaxed but still trendy, therefore more relatable and acceptable to the UK market.
Score – 4/5
The choreography to this song matches well with the simple concept as it consists of a fairly easy and basic dance. While being a reasonably basic dance it has cool moments throughout the routine, such as one of the members suddenly standing on two other members and delivering part of his lines from there before jumping down again.
Simple doesn’t automatically mean boring, as this dance shows. The routine doesn’t contain anything too complicated, and highlights the fact that everyone is just having a good time. This is also quite realistic to a real club environment, seeing as most people going to a club wouldn’t start busting complex and difficult dance moves!
Again, despite calling this a ‘simple club song’ this by no measure means that it’s boring, on the contrary it has a really great melody with a catchy beat to dance to. In some ways the beat reminds me a little of ‘Like A G6’ by Far East Movement; they are both immense party tunes.
For the UK audience, I think you can’t go wrong with a great dance song that is made for a club and this is the kind of song that will have people running to the dance floor! This shows that if nothing else, the title is accurate as this song just makes you want to dance along.
Not forgetting to point out the simple English lyrics scattered through the song, but are mainly in the chorus which is easy to sing along with.
For those of you unfamiliar with 2PM, two of the members are American born and as such speak fluent English. These two member’s English skills aren’t really used in this song, but it does allow the other members to show that their pronunciation of English words is good.
The English is impressive in this song, which you’d expect from a band with two members who speak English fluently, and this will help bridge gaps between K-pop and non K-pop fans. I also must comment that the English used in this song consists of natural sounding phrases to be found in a club (‘Put your hands up’ and ‘Get your drinks up’) and at no point does it sound awkward. The English is relevant to the song and always makes sense, which isn’t always the case in K-pop songs.
All aspects of this song and its concept also have similarities to Jennifer Lopez’s ‘On The Floor’ which is another song purely about dancing in a club.
Both ‘On The Floor’ and ‘The Club Is Alive’ are songs that have been very popular in the UK and have been played on the radio and in clubs often, and as such this shows that songs that may be seen as ‘club anthems’ can be extremely successful in the UK and there is a good chance that ‘Hands Up’ could be successful too.
Overall score: 11.5/15 – A fairly high score, but with a simple, relatable concept and effective use of English, this song stands a very good chance of being a hit in the UK.
I’ve been as objective as I can throughout this review, but what do you guys think? Do you agree with the outcome, or are you not convinced this song would be successful? Post your thoughts below!