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.
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!
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.
Love her or hate her, Taeyeon is undeniably a major force in the K-pop industry. Her album is charting well, and she got both an all-kill and a certified all-kill only a few days after the release – after the major changes to the chart, no less. Her new album shows her at her best and proves her versatility. “Fine” is another strong addition to her already impressive discography and helps solidify who she is as an artist.
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.
I was expecting January to be a slow time for K-pop, but we still got a lot of great of music. Female artists basically dominated this month for me. A lot of my favorite rookie girl groups had comebacks, Dreamcatcher had a strong debut, Seohyun and Suzy released amazing music, and three of my favorite biases had an amazing collaboration. Yet I couldn’t completely forget about boy groups – “Limitless” turned me into a major NCT fan.
Maybe it’s because these songs were released more recently and I haven’t had time to get bored with them, but I feel like a lot of my favorite songs of the year were released in the fall. That is to say, a lot of songs that I would probably put in my Top 10 of 2016. I thought that there were a lot of comebacks in the summer, but I was wrong. There were so many comebacks and so much to listen to! It seems that this has continued into January, and I already have a long list of songs that I really like.
*Note: The month that these songs are listed under refers to the period where I listened to it the most, not the actual release date (since some were released in the final days of the month).
This summer had a lot of fun releases that perfectly suited the season. It was dominated by girl groups, with the likes of Gfriend, Wonder Girls, I.O.I., and Red Velvet taking a lot of music show wins. My personal list of favorites for summer is female-dominated, so go girl power!