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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014

Psy back in saddle with Gentleman

AFP  Seoul, April 12, 2013
First Published: 10:47 IST(12/4/2013) | Last Updated: 13:21 IST(12/4/2013)

Gangnam Style star Psy unveiled Friday the follow-up to his global hit with another catchy dance tune infused with his signature self-mocking humour -- but fans had to wait for the all-important video.

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Even Kim Jong-Un's threats of nuclear war couldn't divert world attention from the main event on the Korean peninsula as Gentleman hit online music stores in a midnight rolling release across 119 nations.

With fans and critics waiting to see whether the Gangnam Style singer and his invisible horse-riding dance are more than just a one-hit wonder, the new electro-dance song offers an equally simple and catchy melody.

The song -- a satire of a self-proclaimed Gentleman trying to woo women at a party -- contains more English lyrics than Gangnam Style in a clear nod to the singer's newfound global audience.

"Let me tell you about myself. I'm such a charmer with guts, vigour and humour," Psy sings in Korean before launching into the song's English catch-line: "I'm a mother-father gentleman."

"Gonna make you sweat. Gonna make you wet. You know who I am? Wet Psy!" he sings in English.

 

Banners advertising a concert by Psy are displayed outside the World Cup Stadium in Seoul. AFP


The song went straight to the top of the download charts on half-a-dozen South Korean online music sites, but the critical reaction on social network sites was mixed.

A snap poll of 2,000 users on Daum.net, a leading South Korean news portal, saw 38.9% rate the song as either good or very good, but 48.3% opted for mediocre or dull.

"I can't see this getting quite as big as Gangnam Style... but it is still irritatingly catchy," tweeted @joe_thomas25.

But Ahn Jae-Hee, a CD shop owner in Seoul, predicted that Gentleman would be "just as big a hit" as its predecessor.

Many fans voiced frustration at having to wait for the accompanying video which will reveal Psy's new dance moves.

"This is too similar to 'Gangnam Style' but far less fun.... I think I'll wait until I see how good the music video is," tweeted @dark_serika.


The video is expected to be unveiled around the time of a promotional concert at Seoul's World Cup Stadium on Saturday which will be streamed live on YouTube.

The 35-year-old rapper offered a possible dance preview in a teasing video message showing off some new moves

It was the video of Gangnam Style, and in particular Psy's signature horse-riding dance, that pushed him to global stardom last year after it was posted on YouTube and turned into a viral sensation.

A satire on the luxury lifestyle of Seoul's upscale Gangnam district, it has become the most-watched YouTube video of all time, registering more than 1.5 billion views since it debuted last July.

The song topped charts around the world, and inspired a horde of online tributes and parodies, as well as flash mobs of thousands of dancing fans in cities such as Paris and Milan.

Psy has promised a "Psy style" take on a traditional Korean dance for the new video.

"The dance is one known to all Koreans but new to foreigners. This will be presented in Psy style," he told a South Korean TV news programme earlier this month.



The big release comes at a delicate time, with military tensions soaring on the Korean peninsula, and North Korea expected to carry out a provocative missile launch at any moment.

The North has even advised foreigners living in South Korea to consider leaving the country, to avoid being caught in a "thermo-nuclear war".

South Koreans who have lived with the North's hostile rhetoric for decades have remained largely unfazed by the crisis, and discussion of Psy's new single completely overshadowed Pyongyang's threats on news portals and chat rooms.

Gangnam Style was always going to be a hard act to follow, and some Psy fans on Friday were urging patience.

"People complaining about the song need to relax," flyingkirby posted on the website allkpop.com.

"This is the result of getting lucky, and then having the entire world put pressure on you to do the impossible."

Already an established artist in South Korea with six albums under his belt, Psy has been building and polishing his own style of quirky, explosive music and flamboyant stage persona since his debut in 2001.

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