말하지 말걸 [I Shouldn’t Speak] was the first MBLAQ ballad I completely fell in love with when I began my journey as an A+. You have to remember, I came to the party late and thus began purchasing their albums all out of sync relative to their release. I recall being captivated by the Mona Lisa concept with my newly established bias paying homage to one of my favorite actors, James Dean. I was quite intrigued. Mona Lisa was one of the first albums I purchased both physically and digitally. 말하지 말걸 [I Shouldn’t Speak] was the lone ballad on the album and it caught my special attention. Even though a solid group effort, G.O’s vocals tear at my heart. His voice in the studio version is perfection, filled with all the of longing, pain, and sadness that accompanies the end of a relationship. Hearing and watching G.O sing this song live however deepens the poignancy of the regret-laced lyrics that he brings to heart-wrenching life with every note. A Vocal Virtuosity moment today from the Curtain Call stage back on 30 November 2014. Sigh . . .
Today I reflect on the release of MBLAQ’s wonderful Mirror. It is the anniversary of the release of the group’s 8th mini album, but their first as a trio. As such, it will forever remain special, a memento and turning point marking a new chapter for the handsome young men carrying on the name and tradition of MBLAQ. I don’t know if G.O being away in the Army has made me extra special nostalgic or if it is simply a by-product of this series as I continue to pull moments and memories of G.O’s journey. On 9 June 2015, MBLAQ released Mirror, met the press, and met ever briefly with their loving fans. For today’s Fan-Camming Friday, I will rely on thegopygmalion who captured about two minutes of G.O-focused cam during the showcase held that warm Tuesday evening in June.
There was a reason MBLAQ titled their fifth mini album Sexy Beat. When you look at all of the visuals that exploded from print to video, to live stage performances throughout promotion and beyond, everything about that album (and era) oozed sexy. The men were maturing and settling into their masculinity and with Sexy Beat, it showed. For the G.O One Shot today, I take a shot from the Sexy Beat era offered in .gif form.
I often wonder when G.O became MBLAQ’s official main vocal if he realized how much dancing he was going to be required to do. Choreography is part of the Korean pop idol package but he is primarily a romantic balladeer. As we all know, ballads do not really require choreography. I can only hope G.O surprised himself with how well he could . . . move. I pretty much view dancing as a sport, and much of MBLAQ’s choreography was quite athletic, especially in aggressively intense dance tracks like Run. Along with its searing vocals and powerful rap, Run was designed to be visually spectacular. And indeed it was when our gorgeous men in black brought their fierce martial arts themed performance to the K-Collection Fashion Concert stage back on 11 March 2012.
I think it is true that many of G.O’s most playful moments probably happen during fan meetings and fan signs. I know that G.O has shown us playful moments during variety programs, and even in the closing moments on the concert stage where often times a sort of playful chaos and mayhem break out. But the fan signs . . . well, they breed a special kind of playful.
There was a time when G.O walked on US soil and yes, I missed it. Had I been dialed in to MBLAQ and all of their activities, I would have probably found my way to Los Angeles in April 2012 to experience a little slice of G.O’s genuine fan appreciation when a mini fan sign of sorts took place and he met with fans for a little one-on-one autograph session.
And with a long and satisfying sigh . . . I can officially say that G.O has completed one full year of his two year military obligation and that he has exactly 365 days remaining. It has been an absolute honor celebrating this incredible young man every day since he entered training camp back on 18 February 2016. In its own little way, each day has almost been like a prayer of gratitude for me. Each day a small way to be thankful that G.O has shared his artistry, his kindness, his charm and his own humble graciousness so very generously with all of us. For today’s very meaningful celebration, I just want to share a little bit of G.O’s angelic presence from MNet’s July 2011 Wide Open Studio on this celebratory Fan-Camming Friday day.