September started off what is turning out to be a long string of boy group comebacks, and my tastes are reflected accordingly. I really do try to stay balanced and listen to both girl and boy groups, but unfortunately, that doesn’t always work out. I confess that I spent most of my attention on EXO and BTS: the former because they’re my favorite group, and the latter because I was really impressed with their latest music. However, many groups reminded me that I shouldn’t be forgetting about them either.
Awards season is coming, and the MNET Asian Music Awards (hereafter referred to as MAMA) is kicking things off with a bang! It’s only been two days, and my social media feeds are already filled with people discussing the nominations. As I write this, fans all over the world are diligently trying to get on MNET’s bugging website and vote for their favorites. I’m multifandom, so I’m having a really hard time choosing. Also, my computer seems to hate that site. So I thought I’d do something a little different!
As sad as it is, the second generation of K-Pop is slowly ending. For almost two years now, we’ve been constantly peppered with breaking news of the latest disbandment or lineup change. Sometimes it’s not surprising, like Choa parting ways with AOA after a hiatus and months of rumors. Sometimes it’s completely out of the blue, like when Hoya left Infinite. In any case, you’d think we’d be used to all the change by now. But this latest development concerns Girls’ Generation: the biggest girl group in K-Pop and legends in their own right. And the K-Pop community’s shocked reaction shows just how much we’ll never truly be ready.
EXO is going all in on their superpower idea, and my not-so-inner geek is absolutely loving it. Aside from “Mama,” most references to their debut concept have been pretty subtle. Music videos like “Lucky One” and “Ko Ko Bop” were more on the artsy side, hinting at their elemental abilities through cool visual techniques. So I was surprised – and thrilled – that this latest comeback brings their powers front and center. “Power” is a clear homage to geek culture: comic books, video games, and pretty much every sci-fi movie and show we grew up with. It’s flashy and borderline kitschy, but it’s also a lot of fun – especially for EXO-Ls.
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!
I feel like I’m always mentioning the large amounts of music released every month, but August was something else. There were so many artists that I had to make three different posts!!! Now you can see why I’ve decided to consolidate my reviews in the long run. I already covered a lot of rookies in the Produce 101 alumni post, but there are some others that I think are worth noting. Aside from NCT Dream, these are groups that either just debuted or rookies I haven’t really checked out. I usually don’t pick groups I’m unfamiliar with, so this will be a different perspective.
While I enjoy writing recaps and reviews, the point of K-Pop is that it’s a fun and light-hearted activity. So I decided to start a column that shows more of my fangirl side on this blog. Having biases is a huge aspect of being a K-Pop fan. It’s hard to decide, but at the end of the day we all have our special favorites that make us smile. Every month I’ll choose one of mine and make a special appreciation post about him or her, illustrated with a bunch of videos and Tumblr GIFs. We’ll start with the one who originally said “That’s right my type” – EXO’s maknae and one of my longtime biases, Oh Sehun!
These are turbulent times for K-pop’s second generation, especially for female idols. In the past year, we’ve seen so many iconic girl groups disband: Kara, 4minute, 2NE1, Wonder Girls, and my personal favorite Sistar (*sobs*). With all these unexpected goodbyes, it’s kind of a miracle Girls’ Generation made it to the ten year mark. The revelation that they’re negotiating their contracts ruined it a bit, and I think we’re all still better about that one week of promotions. Nonetheless, we still got to celebrate with their first album in two years. And though many agree this comeback wasn’t up to par for such a special anniversary, both songs are still fun.
I had my suspicions before, but July proved I’m heavily biased towards SM artists. It’s more of a “I like their music/style” thing rather than a “SM is the best/blindly following the company” thing, but there it is. I always try to be diverse, since there are so many other groups out there to love. But when Red Velvet and EXO both had comebacks this month, my preferences were clear. “Red Flavor” and “Ko Ko Bop” were by far my most played songs, and I was way more enthusiastic about them than anyone else. But at the same time, I do think there were several groups that had quality music.
June is my favorite month! To be fair, that’s really because I was born in June (Gemini all the way, baby). It’s probably because I’m biased, but it always seems like only good things happen this month. And June has given me some of my absolute favorite K-pop songs. While I favored some of the up and coming rookies, a lot of older groups also came out with some catchy music that intrigued me. And there were a lot of upbeat dance tracks, which are my favorite kind.