Sign of the Korean Wave ascendant? Or just Korean curio?
A little historical context, because America has sat up and gone "Huh?" in reaction to singular acts from Korea before.
And this is different how? I've talked about this before, but have to add this post since seeing Roboseyo (HT here) pull up that little piece of video from many decades ago. Here's Girls' Genersation causing about the same level of "huh?"in 2012 as the Kim sisters during the Cuban Missile Crisis:
Curio effect. Psy wasn't that. They were all Korean, but Psy came in riding a wave of linked and relevant musical context and considerably more talent and originality. The industry-pushed musical acts coming out of South Korea are the products of the same system and mentality -- and lack of originality -- that led to Android phones from Samsung. They are great at making copies of things in large amounts and on large scales, but they lack that key, crucial element -- virtuosity. These products -- and let's not forget that's what they are and not "artists" -- are going to be produced in this way as long as the productive process and mentality here in Korea stays the same; and it's about when a Samsung can invent a category of product and truly take a leading role aas no just cold, cynical manufacturer, but a truly inspiring level of artiste, that we will see Korean acts truly taking the world by storm on a level not already made inevitable by the sheer number of merely decent acts that are produced by simply having enough money and reasonably high production values.