Justin Timberlake may be singing ``I'm bringing sexy back,'' but in the K-pop scene, it seems the ``sexy'' concept is still alive and kicking. Sultry pop stars led by Lee Hyo-lee and Ivy, as well as newcomers like Seo In-young have released new albums and music videos, designed to send the pulses of the male population racing.
While this sexy image helps attract attention, it also distracts people from determining if these singers are popular because of their good looks or real talent.
Recently, the stars' skimpy costumes and racy music videos may have proven too much for some audiences, creating a backlash against sexy singers.
Lee is widely credited with starting the sexy trend and is still undeniably one of the most popular stars for commercials. She has recently generated publicity with a racy photo spread appearing on W magazine and the Calvin Klein ad campaign, but it seems this has only distracted from her music.
Lee's new digital album received mixed reviews from fans, although her single ``Toc Toc Toc'' is racing up the charts. Lee may be trying to soften her image, but it seems fans still want her to stay sexy.
Another pop singer who became known for her sizzling dance moves is Ivy, who scored a hit with the single ``A-ha'' last year. Ivy seems to be distancing herself from the sexy image during promotions for her second album, ``A Sweet Moment.''
At a recent music show, Ivy performed ``Temptation Sonata" wearing a conservative but feminine suit, in sharp contrast to the hot pants she wore when she performed ``A-ha" last year.
With the image shift, Ivy seems to be focusing more on the music, rather than using her sex appeal to gain fans.
However, it is newcomer Seo who is generating the most controversy for her barely-there costumes and hot dance performances. A former member of the girl group Jewelry, Seo has just released her first solo album ``Elly Is So Hot.''
Her skimpy costumes have prompted three Korean broadcasting stations KBS, MBC and SBS to ask her to tone down her costumes for TV shows. Her costumes are one-piece outfits featuring cut outs that expose parts of her stomach and pelvis.
If this wasn't enough, Seo has also released a series of racy photos available for mobile phone downloads.
Other female singers are still expected to push through with the ``sexy'' concept by releasing dance tracks which allow them to show off their seductive dancing.
Chae Yeon is also planning to release her fourth album later this month. Her management agency Medialine said the title track of the album is a dance track, similar to her earlier song ``Two of Us,'' and will have a Latin dance version and electronic house version.
Mina, who is best known as the 2002 World Cup girl, will also come out with her fourth album in April. She has worked with Uptown member Jung Yun-joon on writing the title track, which is said to be similar to Lee's hit ``10 Minutes.''
Source: cathy @koreatimes