I've pretty much been following Dalmatian since the beginning since I've been a fan of MC Mong. Of course Dalmatian wasn't performing nor had they been formally debuted when the song Dalmatian Love was released, but it was and still is one of my all-time favorite songs. There was something about that track off of MC Mong's Humanimal album that just rooted itself in my heart. I have to admit that I, too, am a shallow person and once I saw Simon it was pretty much over--instant adoration. However, while watching Dalmatian's show which documented their road to debut through self-promotion I was disappointed at disappearance of Simon, but found myself liking the other members (especially Inati). Dalmatian's debut song Round 1 is a fun, upbeat track that announced their arrival to the mainstream music stage. Unfortunately the Korean pop scene wasn't as welcoming to them due to the heavy influx of bubblegum pop groups which gained popularity. From what I've learned being a listener to Korean music is that the Korean audience (consisting predominantly of younger audiences) are more open to pop music than to rap. Pop music with a rap verse or two in there is fine, but one that is literally half the song...not so much. Koreans love the cutesy image too which I can sort of understand (but honestly, it gets old after a while and it's a bit odd to have a twenty-something doing cutesy things 24/7). Anywho, Dalmatian didn't gain much popularity with their debut, but their follow up release, Dalmatian's 1st Mini Album, catered more towards that pop music audience. While the song The Man Opposed is good, cute, and catchy, it isn't necessarily the Dalmatian I had come to love, but I'm fine with it--it shows versatility. Since they were also promoting Lover Cop, an electronic song, I didn't have much of an issue with the cutesy ..then MC Mong's scandal broke out and they pretty much disappeared from the mainstream music scene.
However, it was quietly announced at the end of 2011 that they would be making a comebacky and since their second mini album, State of Emergency, was released on May 16 of this year, I've been listening to it daily. Although there are only 5 songs (1 is an instrumental), the songs are all amazing. This is the type of music I absolutely adore--a mix of R&B, a touch of rap, and great vocals. I swear Dalmatian never completely disappoints me and, for a new group, that's a HUGE deal. I'm glad that Dalmatian kept to the manly image because, honestly, it suites them best considering Intae is in his 30s and Simon is in his mid twenties. A member switch also took place with David (DayDay) being replaced by original member Simon--no reason was given for David's withdrawal from the group...but he is missed. Dari is also MIA as he is serving his mandatory 2 year military service.
Members (past & present)
Inati (31) - Jang Intae - Leader, Lead Rapper
Day Day (28) - David Kim - Lead Rapper
Dari (27) - Lee Dari - Main Rapper
Simon (25) - Vocalist, Rapper
Youngwon (22) - Vocalist, Main Dancer
Jisu (21) - Park Jisu - Main Vocalist
Daniel (21) - Daniel Chae - Lead Vocalist, Magnae
Original Line-up: Inati, DayDay, Dari, Simon
Debut Group: Inati, DayDay, Dari, Jisu, Youngwon, Daniel (Drama)
2012 Dalmatian: Inati, Simon, Jisu, Youngwon, Daniel (Inactive: Dari)
I adore Dalmatian both as artists and as individuals. Super Junior I predominantly adore as individuals and for their non-musical talents (aside from dancing), but Dalmatian reminds me of the main reasons I loved Dong Bang Shin Gi--it's the mix of legitimate vocal talent and personality. However, Dalmatian I also admire because they aren't really out to dramatically change the Kpop scene and have pretty much stayed true to their style of music. They could easily go the route which would gain them hoards of fangirls (music prostitution!!!! I kid. ^^), but they choose to develop their music to fit their own tastes and talents. While some of their songs have used autotune (Lover Cop, I'm looking at you), they manage to balance it in a way that it enhances the song instead of implying that they are weak vocalists. The rappers get a chance to shine as do the vocalists. It's a nice balance that reminds me of the awesomeness that is LeeSsang (although that's a completely different genre and audience). I urge you to give Dalmatian a try. They've only released 11 songs (12 if you count Daniel's duet with Yoseob of B2ST) and each one of them is amazing in its own way.
[Pre-debut] Humanimal - MC Mong feat. Dalmatian - Dalmatian Love [Audio+Subs]**
Round 1 (Digital Single) - [MV+Subs]
Dalmatian 1st Mini Album
- Lover Cop [MV+Subs]
- 그 남자는 반대 (The Man Opposed) [MV+Subs]
- Lost In Love [Audio+Subs]
- Really Really (feat. Sohyun of 4MINUTE) [Audio+Subs]**
- Real Eyes [Audio]**
- Home Run [Audio]
State of Emergency