Well, looky here, it’s that time of year where we all countdown our favorites in K-pop-land. But before I do any ‘Best of’s’ or ‘Favorite’s list, let’s review the five things in K-pop that I really enjoyed this year.
2PM: For still making hits amongst a crowd of rookie artists and being most improved.
Among a slew of new rookie artists that came out this year (and the returning ones from last year), this older group showed us that they still got it going on. I could have easily put MBLAQ here but come on, MBLAQ has always made good music while 2PM improved themselves immensely this year with a more matured image that fits their style. The boys were alright before; I had liked some of their songs prior but when their ‘Grown’ album came out this year, the boys had really found their niche. I think they really have ‘grown’ in this album, their sound fits them more and A.D.T.O.Y is still like one of the bomb diggity songs of 2013. Everyone wondered if the boys would make a successful comeback due to Nickhun’s drunken scandal but it seems they are all doing very well for themselves this year.
Bangtan Boys (BTS): For being my choice of Best Rookie Boy Group of the Year.
Man, talk about successful rookies. Right out of the gate from their single ‘No More Dream‘ Bangtan Boys quickly became popular without much people expecting it. I know I wasn’t; I just clicked on their video expecting much of the same but instead they really left an impression. Listening to their album ‘2 Cool 4 Skool’ was even better. ‘Bulletproof’ was the bomb and then when they came out with an mv for it, everyone went crazy. Then a few months later they came out with another mini album and made a success out of ‘N.O’. So not only do the boys work hard they got serious talent, they make some great music, and even though they have these baby faces that doesn’t stop them from spitting out their fierce rap skills. Not-so-big Big Hit Entertainment really hit the mark here this year and proved that you don’t need to be a part of the Big 3 to have a successful group. I mean, if you can already memorize rookie members names from their first song (Rap Monster, Suga, J-Hope; I’m naming these names off the top of my head already) then you have pretty much made it. Props.
Ladies Code: For being my choice of Best Rookie Girl Group of the Year.
Here’s another rookie group that has done well for themselves this year. Their debut single ‘Bad Girl’ intrigued me from the beginning because of their amazing vocals and fun, catchy song and video. After that I was rooting for them. And for the rest of the year I was not disappointed. Their next single ‘I Hate You’ is personally one of my favorites of 2013 and not to mention a fantastic mv. ‘Pretty Pretty’ is super fun and they still keep up with the creativeness of their mv’s. They have become a success in my eyes though I don’t know how big they are in Korea. No matter, I have faith that they will come back next year with even bigger fans.
History: For being one of the funniest Kpop groups ever, rookie or not.
If you are not watching rookie group History on Loen Entertainment’s Youtube page you are missing out on a hilarious good time. From their first single ‘Dreamer’, these boys captivated me right away with their amazing blend of voices. Seriously, I don’t think I have ever heard of a boy group whose voices harmonize so beautifully together as it does in ‘Dreamer’. It’s a song so different from any boy group that came out this year that I fell for the group quickly and I don’t regret it. Their debut album was a great listen; I’ve listened to those songs countless times. Loen showed the boys behind the scenes and from then on I think the company realized their potential at becoming variety talent. ‘Panda PR’ is a hilarious way to introduce the group and even though the show is over many fans are hoping for it to come back (please do!) Loen was smart in making these shows because they gave the fans a chance to know the members names and personality through their game playing. There’s Kyungil, the handsome but vain leader; Do Kyun the charming guy that always manages to win; Sihyoung who’s laughable with his dance moves; Jaeho who claims the title as the funniest guy of the group; and maknae Yijeong, who’s the butt of all the jokes and is recognized with his large mouthed laugh. Yijeong has always been my favorite but now Jaeho and Sihyoung have made that list for being the funniest members of the group. So here’s to hoping that we get to see more of History’s variety skills next year because it certainly feels lonely without them.
Winner (Team A) and Team B: For showing the tough YG trainee life whilst still having fun.
When YG Entertainment announced that they were going to have a competition reality show between their two boy group trainees the public was totally onboard to watch. For several weeks people were entertained by these eleven boys and voted on who was the better group. Team A had five members which included Seungyoon, Mino, Jin woo, Taehyun, and Seunghoon. They were the older aged group who had great individuality and song creativity. Team B had six members which included B.I., Bobby, Jinhwan, Yunhyung, Donghyuk, and Jun Hwae. Their strengths lied in their excellent teamwork and dance choreographies. I was a Team B gal (I had fallen for the charismatic B.I. and Bobby duo) but I was not at all disappointed when Team A won the title of ‘Winner’ in the end. Why? They were the sympathetic underdogs who really did have musical talent and good vocals. Now Winner has their own show and the five boys are absolutely fun to watch as they try to adjust to their new stardom. Slanted eyebrows Taehyun is my obvious bias for the group but the hyper Mino is not far behind. If your not watching the show, watch it. It’s becoming one of the best idol shows out there. I only hope that Team B will debut soon and have their own show because I cannot so easily forget them. If they do debut next year or in 2015 can you imagine the how grown they’ll look?! Waahaa! I can’t wait.
Well that’s my top five, with many, MANY, other artists not included that I would have liked to add. Say what’s your favorite things of 2013 and have a happy new year guys!