Katherine’s Top K-Pop Releases of 2017, Part Four: #21-30

Okay, let’s get the obvious stuff out of the way: there are a bunch of boy groups in this post. Apparently, this is the part where I decided to put all the comebacks that have attractive men with intense auras. (Fortunately, the rest of the Top 50 will be more diverse!) I tried to be as articulate as usual, and not just write fancy versions of “OMG I love [insert group name here]” or “[Insert bias name here] is so attractive.” I think I did pretty well, but I’ll still warn you that the fangirl in me might occasionally take over. Continue reading

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Katherine’s Top K-Pop Releases of 2017, Part Two: #41-50

It’s hard doing rankings when you’re multifandom. Your favorites change like clockwork, and you literally like everything. I’ve been stubbornly pretending I don’t have a new ultimate bias for a month now, because I’ve switched four times this year alone. The only thing that’s ever certain is that you want all your bias groups to do well.  So while I want to honor all my faves in these posts, I struggle because I really just want everybody to be #1.  But for the sake of this blog, I confronted my indecisiveness for once. And I think I’ve come up with a Top 50 that best reflects my tastes as a multifandom K-popper.
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Favorites of 2017: August

This was a crazy month for K-Pop.  There was so much going on it took me all the way through September to catch up!  It’s probably because I spent most of August focusing on SNSD’s 10th anniversary and Wanna One’s debut, but there were plenty of great new releases.  Sometimes these posts are biased because I just keep mentioning the same groups over and over again…but this time I’m going to try and cover as many as I can!

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Rapid(ish) Reviews: August 2017, PRODUCE 101 EDITION (Pristin, Weki Meki, Samuel, and More)

August was the magic month for Produce 101 reunions. Wanna One arrived on the scene, almost half of I.O.I. returned in their new groups, and alumni from both seasons either released new music or made their debut.  Who would have thought that this show would help jump start the careers of so many young idols?  Let’s look at all how all of these rookies are faring!

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Soribada Awards 2017: Winners List

 

On September 20, digital music platform Soribada hosted their first ever BEST K-MUSIC AWARDS. Eligible songs were from September 2016 to August 2017, with online voting starting in July.

New Korean Wave Producer Award: Iggy Youngbae (I assume for a GFriend song)
New Korean Wave Music Video Award: Zanybros (I’m not sure if they were nominated for a specific MV, but they worked with many of the artists that were there: B.A.P., Mamamoo, GFriend, KNK, Wanna One)
New Korean Wave Music Star Award: Sonamoo and KNK
New Korean Wave OST Award: Ailee, “I Will Go to You Like the First Snow” (Goblin)
New Korean Wave Rookie Award: Pentagon and Wanna One
New Korean Wave Popularity Award: EXO
New Korean Wave Icon Award: Red Velvet
New Korean Wave Trot Award: Tae Jin Ah and Hong Jin Young
New Korean Wave Global Achievement Award: Eru
New Korean Wave Photogenic Award: DIA
New Korean Wave Rising Hot Star Award: WJSN and Wanna One
New Korean Wave Voice Award: Han Dong Geun
New Korean Wave Performance Award: NCT 127 and gugudan
New Korean Wave Artist Award: BTS (not in attendance)

2017 SOBA 11 (aka the Bonsang Prizes): Hwang Chi Yeul, T-ara, BTOB, EXO, Vixx, B.A.P., Mamamoo, Red Velvet, GFriend, Monsta X, Twice

Digital Daesang: Twice

Daesang (grand prize): EXO

I was originally going to do a recap, but there wasn’t all that much to sum up.  Groups won awards, gave speeches, and performed their latest hits; there weren’t any special stages or collaborations. And all the artists stayed backstage, so it’s not like I can comment on their reactions to each other. Also, the streaming on V-Live was terrible. There was this weird echo/loop on the audio for the first thirty minutes, and the image kept cutting out or going out of sync.  I know it’s a first time show, but those are some serious growing pains.

I’m not sure how much of a big deal these awards are or will be, especially compared to long-standing shows like MAMA, Melon, or Gaon Chart.  It’s kind of strange that certain habitual award recipients like BTS, GOT7, BLACKPINK (and/or any YG artist), and Seventeen are nowhere to be seen. (BTS literally just started their comeback and they did send an acceptance speech, but it’s still a little weird) And to be honest, I don’t know what half of those awards mean or what the criteria was for deciding any of them.  But I’m really impressed with the diversity of the artists they awarded.  They’re mostly all groups big in the last five years, but there’s still a wide variety.  And I’m really happy with the attention they gave to all those rookies. They all deserve more recognition, and I’m glad they got it.  I’ll be interested to see if Soribada does this again next year and how it will be – hopefully a better streaming experience!

Sources: V-Live, Soompi, Wikipedia

Gugudan Comeback Review: “A Girl Like Me”

I’ll admit it: I really only paid attention to gugudan because of the I.O.I connection. That is, I did at first.  As I got to know more about them, I came to appreciate them as a whole. They’re a very talented group with a lot of potential, and they have a lot of charm.  While I wasn’t that into “Wonderland,” I’m absolutely living for “A Girl Like Me.”  It’s quickly become one of my new favorite songs.

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Favorites of 2017: February

While there were several newer groups like K.A.R.D. that had strong comebacks, February belonged to the heavy hitters.  Red Velvet dominated the first half of the month, while top groups of 2016 BTS and Twice battled it out in the second. Powerhouse Taeyeon ended the month on a high note with a solid album.  There was a lot going on, but there was a lot to enjoy.

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