K-pop has been on the rise lately. I try my best to be a faithful fan, although you won’t see me around any forums or allkpop.com. I can’t really indulge into the fan universe of K-pop–the hardcore fanbase isn’t really, well…nice. So, because of this, most of the time I’m fairly late on certain releases–even for the artists I really love. Like I promised, today I will be going through my top 10 favorite K-pop songs of 2011!
10. Stupid Woman (feat. Bulletproof Boy Scouts) – Kan Mi Youn [WATCH]
The third track in Kan Mi Youn’s first mini-album, WATCH, makes number ten of my list. I always liked Kan Mi Youn, even back when she was in Baby V.O.X.(one of my favorite K-pop girl groups). She had a great voice and a very pretty face. When I saw that she had released a solo mini in February of this year, I had to give it a listen. It turned out that I liked it–even though it was basically typical K-pop. But this song stood out to me the most out of all the songs. There is just something about acoustic songs that draws me in. Along with the fact that it has an urban/R&B beat, makes it even better. But quite frankly, the raps make the song. If those raps didn’t exist in this song, I wouldn’t love it the same at all.
09. Come Back, You Bad Person – Park Kahi [The First Mini Album]
I hadn’t realized Kahi had come out with a solo project until a few weeks after it was released. Let me tell you, I was absolutely OBSESSING over this song. It’s just hardcore and dance-able like hell. There’s no other words to describe this song except awesome. It has this fiesty, grungy electronic sound to it that reminds me of the soundtrack of Mirror’s Edge(a game in which I love to death). Kahi is one of my serious idols and I just had to give this song respect–which is why this song comes in at 9.
08. Tonight – Big Bang [Tonight]
The title track of Big Bang’s album, Tonight, makes number 8. I’ve never really been a Big Bang fan before 2011. Yeah, I would listen to their songs here and there but I didn’t really try to get to know them. However, BB’s most recent album/EP has made me love them a little more. The album’s approach to rock-type music worked, IMO. The song Tonight is a true club song. It’s so easy to imagine this song playing and everyone jumping up and down. The song is so catchy and addictive. I couldn’t help but fall in love with this song.
07. Love Song – Big Bang [Tonight]
This song will definitely be on my top K-pop list forever. The whole acoustic thing does its magic yet again. All the guys sound great and the lyrics are hella catchy. Who the hell cares if they say the same line about 20 times in the song? It freaking works. With all the electro, dance songs in the K-pop music scene nowadays, it’s very refreshing to hear a soothing ballad. I was curios by the video thumbnail and just wanted to give BB a chance. I’m super glad I did, or else I wouldn’t have found this fantastic song and album.
06. NEVERLAND – U-KISS [NEVERLAND]
I love U-KISS. I seriously do. They have great style, presence, and their members are so lovable. NEVERLAND is an amazing dancey track that will keep you listening. The hard beat and smooth vocals really work well. Songs that have hooks–little things that stay in my mind forever–it makes me fall even harder for it. The part right before the chorus, the chorus, and the instrumental break are the pieces I absolutely love. And god, can these boys hit those vocalizations(it’s either Hoon or Soo Hyun). Besides all that, the song is chock full of Kevin–I almost died from my heart pounding.
05. Shakalaka – Dal Shabet [Pink Rocket]
I wanted to give Dal Shabet a try. I was taking in a “wannabe group” vibe.. I thought they just tried to look cute to get some fans, but still try to act as if they were “an original group.” Even though I’m still not too familiar with them, they’re a nice group. I wasn’t really feeling the Pink Rocket album, but then I heard Shakalaka. I was literally blown away. I can barely explain this song in words. It’s cute and retro…but hip-hop at the same time. I absolutely adore when songs can mesh two almost totally different styles but still sound good. Shakalaka is basically the definition of that.
04. Wish You Hadn’t – MBLAQ [BLAQ Style]
This song…this song…this song…IS AMAZING. It’s so hard to explain my love for this one. It’s dancey but still totally smooth. It seriously makes you wanna get up and dance. The whole album is fantastic, quite honestly. MBLAQ is so goddamn talented–whoever does the long note chorus parts is fantastic. Plus, Mir’s rapping is always to die for.
03. Shampoo – After School [Virgin]
Love at first listen. Hands down, no questions asked. I was so beyond happy to hear this as the (almost) first track of Virgin. It’s one of those airy songs that makes you close your eyes and think. The trance-like melody along with a piano and defined beat is so After School. Yes, they are a hip-hop, dance group–but this is still what defines their individuality from other groups. I cannot get enough of Bekah’s rapping or the girls’ beautiful voices. Plus, any K-pop song that is longer than 4 minutes is usually a damn good one.
02. Sixth Sense – Brown Eyed Girls [Sixth Sense]
I really wish I could erase the cover from life–it honestly does not do the album justice(besides the fiesty clothing). Sixth Sense exceeded all expectations I had for this comeback album by BEG. Honestly, I was quite scared to hear it. I thought I had lost my BEG to the tsunami that is the K-pop music scene. But thank god, THANK GOD, my prayers were answered. Sixth Sense brought back that retro and fierce image BEG did so well. It had an orchestra feel while still keeping a defined beat and hardcore attitude. The song outlines BEG’s sexuality and demeanor in a non-sexual or ridiculous way. These women can be sexy and fierce without showing everything that should be tucked away. I honestly believe BEG is one of the best girl groups of all time. Take a hint, Hyun Ah!
01. MACH – Rainbow [SO 女]
I was not expecting to like Rainbow as much as I did. I just thought, “Oh god, it’s just another girl group with too many members! Nothing new here!” But, I was pleasantly surprised with what I heard. Their songs weren’t half bad. And quite honestly, they were better than most of the things I was hearing. They were actual songs. They weren’t just electronic beats thrown together, smashed with an overly energetic dance, sprinkled with highly eccentric outfits. These were actual catchy songs sung by gorgeous girls with fantastic voices. MACH is amazing. Nothing short of utter excellence. I have no idea how to even explain it. Disco-ish? Nah. Funky? Possibly. Retro? Maybe. This song never bores me. Over 100 listens later, I’m still hooked.
G.N.O. – Wonder Girls [Wonder World]
This song was very, very close to making it into the top 10. WG’s upgrade into a sleek, classy, but still funky girl group did not disappoint. G.N.O. is fierce, fun, and sexy. It’s a club song and still retains that Wonder Girls spice.
Cleansing Cream – Brown Eyed Girls [Cleansing Cream]
I tried to avoid putting BEG twice because it would just end up overpowering everything else ;] Cleansing Cream was definitely not an expected song after Sixth Sense. It’s an emotional ballad with a fantastic message and video. Wow, how BEG can just make everything work.
Sweet Dream – Rainbow [SO 女 (Repackage)]
Rainbow’s summer “single” kept me hooked all July and August. It’s super catchy and addictive. The light-hearted, sweet melody really keeps you interested. I was very happy with this one.