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[V-Pop] HKT Band - Nàng kiều lỡ bước [Released: April 2011]

From the HKT Band photoshoot. Left-Right: Kiet, TiTi, Hung
Title: Nàng kiều lỡ bước
Artist(s): HKT Band
Released: Early-April 2011
Language: Vietnamese

This is an exciting moment, everyone~ My first Asian music post that's not about either Japanese or Korean-related things... This time, we're moving into Vietnamese pop music. It's actually pretty risky even writing this article, because it seems that HKT Band are notoriously hated among both Vietnamese and other nationalities. I, personally, don't quite understand why... But, I understand that people feel differently about different people, so... Let's not spend too long talking about that. xD Let's just say... HKT Band is a very controversial group to enjoy listening to, haha~ It has a lot of arguments~!

Now, let's move on to the actual song~

There's actually no English translation of this song anywhere online, and using a translator to translate the original Vietnamese lyrics probably isn't the most accurate... e.e Luckily for me, I have friends in Vietnam that are able to speak English... And one of them kindly translated it all for me. ^w^ So now I can understand the lyrics, yaay~ (Thank you, Tôn Thất!) 
Sooo... I'll firstly post a link to the video so that people can hear the song for themselves, and watch the video, because it tells a story and it's pretty important~ 


At first, I stumbled across this video online over a year ago at about 3AM, and I sat there listening to it thinking 'What the Hell am I doing?'. Everything was new to me, the language, the style of video, the dancing... Definitely the dancing. HKT Band aren't exactly known for being the world's best dancers... But, after listening to it once, I found myself listening to it again... And again... And again... 
To the point where I've actually added one of the members of HKT Band to my bias list! *o*
I don't know, I just really like the band. Of course, it helps that I have friends to translate the songs for me, since there are no online translations, but I feel that even without the translations the songs speak for themselves. I think... haha~

Story (mostly MV-related)

So, let's start with the story behind the song... 
In this song, it tells the story of a girl who feels unwanted and betrayed by life, so she continues to go from day to day, essentially throwing her life away. She's into drugs, one-night-stands, drinking, etc. This is all shown very clearly in the music video. The song shows her struggle to find acceptance in society, as the harder she tries and fails, the more she does to become more socially unacceptable... It's actually a pretty sad story. T-T

There's one section of the music video which makes you think she'll get a happy ending because she meets a guy (about 20 years her senior, but hey~) and they look like they'll become a happy couple because he cares about her a lot... But then she cheats on him and he leaves her. -.-' 
This song itself isn't overly clear on the story, so I rely on the video a lot for explanations... 
The video actually has a lot of symbolism. For example, the tombstones that say 'Eternal Life' on them, these are very symbolic because it suggests that the girl is eternally stuck in the life she has now. This emphasizes her struggle. Poor thing. TAT
Also, the 'eternal life' ties in with the fact that the girl ends up pregnant and aborts the child. Because she's brought an end to that child's life. Yeah... I like symbolism xD

Tune

Now we're moving into dodgy territory... Because actually, the tune behind this song doesn't belong to HKT Band at all... It's actually a slightly modified version of the backing track of 'Change' by hyun_A. Sooo... Yeah... Tune-wise, they're far from being original. They're actually kinda known for stealing the tunes of other songs. For example, another song of theirs, 'Oh! My Baby', uses the track from 'Crazy Loop' by Crazy Loop. Y'know? That really annoying-yet-catchy song that was all over the radio and internet a few years ago? No? Okay... Let me remind you... Thank me later ;)


Lyrics

This only relates to what I could understand from the translated version, which probably wouldn't be a literal word-for-word translation of the original lyrics. Buuut, from what I can tell, the lyrics are actually pretty meaningful. They're very repetitive, very, very repetitive. In fact, the chorus occurs so many times during the song that you start to wonder if there are even verses. However, over-all I think the songwriter worked hard on the lyrics. I have no idea who said songwriter is... But, he's quite sentimental in his own little way, so that's nice. I say I don't know who the lyricist is because it's a pretty basic assumption that HKT Band didn't write the song themselves. xD 
They're a nice band, but when it comes to talent, they're not exactly number 1 in that department. 

Vocals

I'll admit, I didn't ever see myself listening to a Vietnamese group and enjoying it. I have nothing against Vietnamese people, their language, anything like that. But it just wasn't the kind of music I saw myself enjoying. However, I've actually been pleasantly surprised by this group. Yes, it's taken me a long time to get around to writing this review... Because I wasn't sure whether or not I wanted to write it. However, now that I'm writing I don't really regret my decision... More people should at least know that this group exists, even if they don't become a fan. Because HKT Band is still active, they released a song earlier this year, which I was really pleased about. I'm hoping for another one soon... 

BACK TO TOPIC. Vocals... Um, I'm actually not too sure. 
I feel that each of the members are quite able vocally. Even Kiet, though I may not like him. I must admit, he has quite an impressive range on him. However, I was saddened to see that this song doesn't really give the guys a chance to demonstrate their strong vocals. Because they all are very strong. 

Kiet is very nice with the endings of his notes, and I respect that. He's usually the dominant voice during the choruses, and he's almost always the first to sing in each song. But then again, that may just be because he's the group's leader, and it may have nothing to do with vocal abilities! haha~~

[Edit: Thanks to Giang Duong for the information, but the leader of HKT Band is in fact not Kiet, but Ti Ti. That's right, ladies and gentlemen, my darling Ti Ti is actually the leader after all!] 

Hung is normally used for higher parts, because his range is quite high, he's not so good with the lower parts of songs I've noticed. And when you hear him speaking during interviews, it's not exactly difficult to see why he struggles. His voice is pretty high! xD

Ti Ti, I was actually quite surprised that he was used for the final line, 'Em đã ra đi tuổi còn xanh...' in this song. It was actually an opportunity for him to showcase the fact that he also has a very varied range, and can sing both highs and lows. Also, that he can hold his notes, because damn can that boy hold his notes. DAYUM. xD xD xD
I was really happy when he was given the ending line, because I feel that's where the majority of the emphasis of the entire song was placed, and it was my little darling Ti Ti that got to sing it~ yay~
Although, now it makes more sense that he was allowed to sing it, as he is the group's leader. haha~

Dancing (MV-related)

My absolute favourite part of all the MVs for HKT Band songs is their really badly choreographed dancing. It's so dorky and awkward, and they look like they're having spasms, but I somehow still enjoy every second of it. This video was no different. 

The leader of the group, Kiet (black hair), uses arm gestures A LOT in his dancing. And when I say 'a lot' I mean it's pretty much the only thing he ever does, flicking his arm away from his head, over and over. xD This is somewhat irritating enough for the first few music videos, but when you realize that it occurs in every single one, you start to wonder what's up with the guy. Does he have twitches, or..? (Ladies and Gentlemen, I apologize but I'm pretty biased against Kiet...) haha.

Hung (brown hair) is slightly better, he has more rhythm and doesn't limit himself to only one dance move repeated. However, that's not to say that he's a good dancer... One comment I have to make about Hung is that, although his dancing is really cute in its failure, he has the potential to be a good dancer, but he's actually really stiff. If he was able to loosen up more, I feel that he could easily become the best dancer in the group. But, like I said, his bad dancing is adorable so I'm not sure if I'd want it to go away, anyway xD xD

Finally, the group's leader, Ti Ti (blond hair)... Ah, Ti Ti~ There's not really anything negative I could say about Ti Ti. As you've probably guessed, he's my bias from this group (although I do think Hung is cute, too!) I have to say, despite the whole group getting a bad rep for bad dancing, Ti Ti isn't actually that shabby. Unlike the others, he looks very relaxed and in his element during the dance routines, not stiff like Hung. Also, I've noticed that he seems very passionate in his dancing, even though it isn't perfect, it's clear to see that he really tries his hardest and that's what matters to me. Putting the effort in. Being original enough to not limit yourself to few moves (*cough* Kiet *cough*) 

I think they all have potential, so their management should get them a dance teacher and a better choreographer for their music videos. I think they're left to freestyle through most of it, which is when Kiet's little arm-twitch move comes into play. So, I think... No more freestyle. 

Outfits and Styling (MV-related)

Actually, I liked their outfits. I felt it was kinda Ninja-ish because of the black mesh they were wearing, meets city-slick, with the fresh whites and the stylish trousers. I can appreciate their clothes. I think they were pretty good, except the capes... I don't understand why they had capes. At all. 
Completely irrelevant to absolutely everything and they just had random capes.
I personally feel like that ruined their image a little for this song, because you're starting to look at the outfits like "yeah, they're pretty nice" and suddenly, one member'll flip around and CAPE. 
No stylist, no no. 

As for their hair. THEIR HAIR. Now, I'm not exactly a style expert on hair but Jesus C. 
Their hair is so big, airplanes probably had to swerve to avoid hitting it. 
In a way, it kinda worked for Hung because his hair is shorter so it didn't stand as high...
But TiTi has really long hair, so his was waaaaay up there. I think it looked a bit silly. ^w^

Shoe-wise, I'm glad they kept it simple. So very glad. Seriously. Well done. x3

Conclusion

If you want to listen to something different, with a sentimental meaning you won't understand unless you speak Vietnamese or get someone to translate it for you, then this group is for you~ 

HKT Band actually have some god-damn-awful songs, but they have some nice ones too. I personally like this song, 'Oh! My Baby', 'Mặt Trái Của Sự Thật' and the sequel 'Them mot lan dau'. Also, they collaborated with Chấn Hào to produce 'Lòng Đau Tình Phai' which I will link the video below, because it's funny~ 


That concludes my HKT Band review~ Also, have a picture of Ti Ti because DAMN.