Psy back in saddle with new single 'Gentleman'
Seoul: "Gangnam Style" star Psy unveiled on Friday the follow-up to his global hit with another catchy dance tune infused with his signature self-mocking humour -- but fans had to wait for the all-important video.
Even Kim Jong-Un's threats of nuclear war couldn't divert world attention from the main event on the Korean peninsula as "Gentleman" hit online music stores in a midnight rolling release across 119 nations.
With fans and critics waiting to see whether the "Gangnam Style" star and his invisible horse-riding dance are more than just a one-hit wonder, the new electro-dance song offers an equally simple and catchy melody.
The song -- a satire of a self-proclaimed "gentleman" trying to woo women at a party -- contains more English lyrics than "Gangnam Style" in a clear nod to the singer's newfound global audience.
"Let me tell you about myself. I'm such a charmer with guts, vigour and humour," Psy sings in Korean before launching into the song's English catch-line: "I'm a mother-father gentleman."
"Gonna make you sweat. Gonna make you wet. You know who I am? Wet Psy!" he sings in English.
The song went straight to the top of the download charts on half-a-dozen South Korean online music sites, but the critical reaction on social network sites was mixed.
A snap poll of 2,000 users on Daum.net, a leading South Korean news portal, saw 38.9 percent rate the song as either good or very good, but 48.3 percent opted for mediocre or dull.
"I can't see this getting quite as big as Gangnam Style... but it is still irritatingly catchy," tweeted @joe_thomas25.
Many fans voiced frustration at having to wait for the accompanying video which will reveal Psy's new dance moves.
"This is too similar to 'Gangnam Style' but far less fun.... I think I'll wait until I see how good the music video is," tweeted @dark_serika.
The video is expected to be unveiled around the time of a promotional concert at Seoul's World Cup Stadium on Saturday which will be streamed live on YouTube.
The 35-year-old rapper offered a possible dance preview in a teasing video message showing off some new moves.
It was the video of "Gangnam Style", and in particular Psy's signature horse-riding dance, that pushed him to global stardom last year after it was posted on YouTube and turned into a viral sensation.
A satire on the luxury lifestyle of Seoul's upscale Gangnam district, it has become the most-watched YouTube video of all time, registering more than 1.5 billion views since it debuted last July.
The song topped charts around the world, and inspired a horde of online tributes and parodies, as well as flash mobs of thousands of dancing fans in cities such as Paris and Milan.
Psy has promised a "Psy style" take on a traditional Korean dance for the new "Gentleman" video.
"The dance is one known to all Koreans but new to foreigners. This will be presented in Psy style," he told a South Korean TV news programme earlier this month.
The big release comes at a delicate time, with military tensions soaring on the Korean peninsula, and North Korea expected to carry out a provocative missile launch at any moment.
The North has even advised foreigners living in South Korea to consider leaving the country, to avoid being caught in a "thermo-nuclear war".
South Koreans who have lived with the North's hostile rhetoric for decades have remained largely unfazed by the crisis, and discussion of Psy's new single completely overshadowed Pyongyang's threats on news portals and chat rooms.
"At the first try, I thought this would be a global disappointment," said one Daum user. "But, having listened to it five times, I was hooked."
"Gangnam Style" was always going to be a hard act to follow, and many have forecast that the new single will inevitably fall flat.
But Psy is no novice, and Seoul music critic Gu Ja-Hyoung said the singer was capable of sustaining his global appeal.
Already an established artist in South Korea with six albums under his belt, Psy has been building and polishing his own style of quirky, explosive music and flamboyant stage persona since his debut in 2001.
"It will be hard to match the kind of success achieved by 'Gangnam Style' but the new song will let the world know again that he remains the brilliant showman he always was and always will be," Gu said.
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