Amber, of f(x) fame, has made her solo debut with her mini album Beautiful, and its title track Shake That Brass.
The name Shake That Brass is an unusual one. The lyrics leave us in no doubt that brass is substitute for ‘ass’ or ‘body’ at best, and it simply feels like it was the next best option given the young age of Kpop fans and Megan Trainor essentially setting a musical theme through the use of ‘bass‘.
It is unfortunate that in British English particularly the use of the word Brass could cause some unwanted connections. In Cockney Rhyming Slang brass means tail, fitting right? Not exactly, tail itself is slang for prostitute, along with a group of other brass related Cockney phrases. [Brass Nail: Tail. Brass Door: Whore. Brass Flute: Prostitute. Brass Dart: Tart]
Title aside, Shake That Brass, is gaining a lot of attention on YouTube, despite its lack of impact on the MelOn Chart.
The mv features a whole host of other idols, many known to be friends of Amber’s. As well as this connection many of the guest stars you see were also born or raised in America, as Amber was.
g.o.d’s Joon, GOT7’s Jackson, Busker Busker drummer Brad Moore and Min of Miss A.
The group of idols all play instruments, in majority classified as brass, there are a couple of exceptions, such as the saxophone and accordion. All however are aerophones however, instruments which produce sound by vibrating columns of air, by the Hornbostel-Sachs classification system.
Gender roles are blurred in Kpop, though mainly for males, rarely for females. Amber is flying the flag alone for gender-neutral females in the Kpop genre.
Amber does identify as female, though one doubts that if she did herself identify as male she would admit it considering the genre and country her music is based in, she simply states she feels more comfortable wearing male style.
It is a possibility though, that Amber’s stark difference from the 99.9% of ultra-feminine Kpop females that sees her struggle to make waves with her realise.
Given the chance to debut a western targeted track it seems fair to say not many would bat an eyelid at the gender-neutral female, utilising a slightly lower vocal range and a troupe of super-masculine dancers to set her identity.
Much like the majority of f(x)’s music, Shake That Brass sounds different to anything else being released via SM of late. Almost like the girls are female group they use to experiment with, this has extended into Amber’s solo, though it is an impressive, and successful experiment nevertheless.
Beautiful is a great solo debut, and even features an impressive English language track alongside Eric Nam.
This is a debut not to be missed.