CNBLUE: My New Favorite Band

My musical tastes typically tend toward the Barbra Streisand / Cher / Broadway show tunes types or toward the singer/songwriter types like Ani DiFranco and Dar Williams, who often perform with nothing more than an acoustic guitar. Thus, I haven’t had a lot of favorite bands. I listened to some Hot Hot Heat and Flogging Molly back in high school, but I’d suppose that my favorite band was arguably not actually a band at all – the K-pop group Shinhwa, of the singer/dancer boy band style . And now I’ve discovered CNBLUE, an actual rock band – electric guitars and drums and everything – and I adore them.

I first heard of CNBLUE while watching the Korean drama Heartstrings, as the male lead in the drama is played by CNBLUE ‘s leader, lead singer, and rhythm guitarist, Jung Yong-hwa (and CNBLUE’s drummer, Kang Min-hyuk, also had a role in the drama). Because I thought Jung Yong-hwa was pretty, and I liked his voice, I continued on to his previous drama, You’re Beautiful (미남이시네요), utterly loved it, and then moved on to YouTube for CNBLUE music videos.

And then I couldn’t get enough of CNBLUE’s music. The songs are really catchy, and they write most of their music (particularly Jung Yong-hwa). Also, they all play instruments, which I generally prefer to dancing, and they’re still so pretty and charismatic. Seriously, this is pretty much the cutest dang thing (the song is the theme from Heartstrings, and Lee Jung Shin – the person who sings first – is mimicking Jung Yong-hwa):

Of course, it also makes it hard to take them seriously as “bad boys.” They pretend to be all tough – breaking into buildings and spraying graffiti on walls – in the “Intuition (직감)” music video, and my reaction is just, “Aw, you’re so cute.” Which is probably not what they’re going for, but it’s not my fault they’re as adorable as a basket of puppies. Of course, they’re also really attractive, so maybe the puppy simile doesn’t really work.

They’ve also turned me into a fan of electric guitar. Previously, I was definitely partial to acoustic (again, Ani and Dar and the like), but the boys of CNBLUE have changed my mind. To be completely honest, it was actually this clip from Heartstrings that tipped the balance, but CNBLUE confirmed that it wasn’t a fluke:

P.S. I double-checked some of my information on Wikipedia for this and just discovered that they’re all between one and three years younger than I am, which makes me feel old. I’d assumed they were all in their mid- to late-twenties, like Jang Geun Suk and the guys in SS501. I’m not used to being older than the idols (And F.T. Island is even younger! They were all born in the ’90s – and they debuted in 2007). All of the guys in Shinhwa, for example, are in their thirties now (of course, they debuted in 1998, although they’re still performing). Ah, well, the music is still awesome.

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