Thursday, January 1, 2015

Favorite K-pop of the Year - Comebacks 2014

I liked a lot of comebacks this year. I think there were more than last year and that caused me problems in the beginning drafts. The post was too long, I ran out of label space, and the boys were crushing the girls because I generally like guy groups more than girl groups. In the end, the way that I chose which comeback to talk about is which groups do I really care about. There are comebacks I like from groups that I don't really listen to, so they were the first so go. So that means that TVXQ, Boyfriend, and god were out. Sorry guys. I didn't really want to, but I nixed U-KISS and CN Blue too. I loved those songs and I'm more into these groups then the before three, but I still am not as big of a fan of them as I am of other groups.

It was at this point that I felt comfortable with my picks

Debuts               Solos and Sub Units 

Favorite Male Comeback 

The number one spot goes to the kings of the universe, Super Junior. They finally had their comeback and music videos were amazing and they also have two more videos on their repackage. Then, even though we are talking about them as a group right now, Kyuhyun and Zhou Mi had solo debuts and everything feels right with the world right now and it has been a great year and it makes me so happy! I realized half way through that sentence that it was getting longer and longer and I'm not sure it makes sense, but it's staying in anyways. I love me some Super Junior. Also congratulations to Sungmin and Sa Eun and good luck to Shindong and I hope he comes back safely!

I would put my second favorite group next but depending on promotion time, it changes between two groups, namely VIXX and Block B. Right now, VIXX is sitting higher than Block B because they had the most recent promotion so they get a mention first. I really liked their most recent song "Error". I especially liked the dance which I gushed over when I wrote about the song. Everything was so on point and beautiful and I could go on but that has already happened.

VIXX "Error"

Now, our poor group who has been knocked down to spot three until they move up next comeback is Block B. There song "Her", while it definitely was a Block B song, it was a very new look for the group. They are normally in your face and goofy, that is something that BBCs have come to expect and look forward to. This time, everything was pink though and there was an ostrich and three Block B's at the same time. There was a lot happening in this song. The only issue that I had is that they do use the Lord's name which is something that I can do without.

I would like to say that this next group also occasionally fights for the spot of second place with VIXX and Block B, but I think that they are pretty firmly in third/fourth place behind the other two and that is B1A4. Maybe it's because B1A4 isn't as in your face as the other two; they are cute and weird and that is their charm. I also like their new release "Solo Day" better than I like their first song of the year "Lonely". I didn't dislike "Lonely" but I like their perkier songs like "Solo Day". It is still fun but it is showing that B1A4 is growing out of their "Beautiful Target" days into a more mature place. I'm not going to lie. That makes me a little sad. As long and they don't come out on stage guns blazing and shirtless with gratuitous crotch grabs, I'm okay. I don't know if my heart could handle that.

B1A4 "Solo Day"

I'm not the largest fan of rap/hip hop but I do like it in small doses sometimes, preferably when it has some sort of melody line. One of the groups that I like some of the songs of are MIB especially their new song "Chisa Bouce". I don't always watch teaser videos, but I did watch this teaser and I was really impressed by the beat and when the actual song came out I wasn't disappointed. Sometimes I get really excited about a song and then when it comes out it doesn't live up to the majesty that I created in my head. All the members bring something different to the group and they have some really good songs so I'm hoping that Kangnam's new found popularity can bring MIB some new fans in the new year. I also hope that the new fame doesn't cause a drastic change in their group's sound because that is always a pit fall and I like what they do now.  

The last two groups on the list both unexpectedly really impressed me this year, the groups being SPEED and Boys Republic. Boys Republic debuted last year and SPEED also debuted last year, kind of. SPEED has a long history which could probably have an entire  post devoted to. The song that caught my attention was "Don't Tease Me". I was a little sad that there wasn't a "real" music video, only concert footage because I feel like the video could have potentially been the coolest thing ever. I also really liked their song "Zombie Party!". It was lively and fun and didn't feel like they were trying too hard to be something that they weren't. They are definitely a group that seems pretty underrated so I hope that they can get more attention in the future.

SPEED "Zombie Party"

Now for Boys Republic. I heard their debut song and it was okay, but it was also overly autotuned so you could tell that they boys had talent, but you couldn't really hear it. I haven't been following them, but if I happen to hear about a new song I will listen to it and with ever new release I have been continually impressed with their song quality. The song that really caught my attention was "Video Game" and I was further impressed with their most recent song "The Real One". From the songs that they have been putting out I'm not sure if they really have a definite sound nailed down but they seem to be going for an eletro/dance feel which has been fun to listen to.

Favorite Female Comeback 

For the girls, I didn't have to dial back my options because my girl list is never as large as my boy list. I was talking about this with some of my friends and we decided the reason that we don't really like girl groups is because there isn't a lot there for us. So, for me, a girl group has to really hit me in some sort of way for them to make it onto my very prestigious list. Saying that makes me want to drink tea and twirl my mustache.

The first song that came out this year that I loved was SPICA's "You Don't Love Me". I'm not sure if I had ever heard of them before "Tonight" and I guess that was the problem and why they did that Lee Hyori show. Thank goodness the did too because they are the perfect example of a unappreciated group. These girls can sing and you can really hear that in this song. You only have to listen to the first ten seconds of the song to know that they have something special. I mean, dang! If Dream Girls was produced in Korea, I know who I would want to see play the parts.

SPICA "You Don't Love Me"
SM Entertainment has had a rough year. Like, whoa. It all started out beautiful with relationships happening all over the place but then it all went to hell with Kris leaving EXO and then Luhan, and Sulli's hiatus (what does that even mean?) and now Jessica. Even with all of that, there was some good music as stated above with my constant blabbering about Super Junior, but the females did well too. 

Girls Generation was one of the first SM comebacks of the year with their song "Mr.Mr." which has been their best title song in a while. I know a lot of people didn't, but I liked "I Got a Boy" but I didn't like "The Boys". "Mr. Mr." was one song and it stuck with that song from beginning to the end. There was no awkward dubstep breakdown and there was no rapping. This is what GG is good at and it is what hasn't been done it a while. Hopefully their next comeback is just as good.

I was also really happy with f(x)'s comeback video and song "Red Light". SM did a pretty good job this year in the video department. There was a severe lack of oddly lit boxes and even when the artists were in a box, the box game had been stepped up. The only issues that I had with this song is that I didn't feel like the chorus went hard enough. It was good, but I think that it could have been better.

f(x) "Red Light" 
This next song might be my favorite song on the list after SPICA and that is Sistar's "Touch My Body". I'm not even really a Sistar fan, I don't have a problem with them but they're just not a group that I have ever really listened to. This song was so fun and summery though that you couldn't help but love it. It's a summer love, happy, party song and they do it while looking nice but not touching themselves. That is normally what I want I want from summer songs, I don't ask for much!

Now to finish us off is another group that had a rough year and that's Kara and their song "Mama Mia". Kara is another group that I don't really have an opinion of, but they do send me into horrible spiraling flashbacks of Nail Salon Paris because of Gyuri. Don't watch that drama. Do. Not. Do. It. I thought that this song was another fun summer song, even though it was released toward the end. I also really liked the dances in video. This was a video that I almost wrote a review on except it happened during my writing funk so a review was started, but then got scrapped.

Kara "Mama Mia" 
And those are (some of) my favorite comebacks of the year! I think that this year was better than last year music wise if not K-pop news wise. I was a casual fan of Ladies Code and it is terrible what happened to EunB and Rise and hopefully in the next year there can be a change in the industry so there will be less crashes and an accident like this will never happen again.

~ Alora  

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