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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Katherine’s Top K-Pop Releases of 2017, Part One: #51-100

About a year ago, I kicked off this blog with my 50 favorite K-pop songs of 2016 listed by season.  This time, I decided it would be fun to do an “official” ranking. So, I grabbed a set of index cards and wrote down all the songs I wanted to talk about… only to end up with 100 tracks instead of the planned 50.  I change my favorites constantly, so I probably should have known how it would go. After all, this is what happens when you’re unapologetically multifandom. I eventually narrowed my choices down to a Top 50, but I decided to make the extra effort and do a “bonus” post. I wanted to share the other songs I liked, and it’s always important to promote good music!

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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 (GFriend, Sunmi, Winner, and more)

Frequent readers of my blog will know I started out mainly writing reviews of K-POP’s latest releases.  I still really enjoy doing those, but they’re super time-consuming.  On average, it takes me about two days to do all the research, make GIFs, and actually write the review…and that’s when I’m focused! If I did that for every group I liked or I was interested in, I’d be forever behind. And there also just times when I don’t feel I have enough material to fill up a whole post.  So I’ve come up with a new solution!

Rapid(ish) Reviews will be a blanket post for multiple artists at once. I’ll still use the same scoring system, but I’m going to focus on what I feel is most pertinent rather than every single little thing. I’m still going to do the big reviews for artists that I really like and/or feel I have a lot to say about, but I think this is an easier way to share my opinions when I’m pressed for time.  Because there were so many comebacks in August, I’ve split this into multiple posts.  This one will cover the more well-known idols or ones who have been around for a while.  I’ll make another one about all the rookies / Produce 101 alum.

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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

Favorites of 2017: January

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.

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Sonamoo Comeback Review: “I Think I Love You”

It seems like many international K-Pop fans have at least one group that they feel is underrated and want others to stan. There are a lot of under-appreciated groups in this competitive industry and they all deserve attention, but I think that Sonamoo really needs a lot of love.  Some groups are more popular in Korea and some are more popular internationally, but I almost never see anyone talking about Sonamoo.  It’s such a shame.

The girls have started off the new year with a comeback and a catchy dance track, maintaining the bright and cheery image they had with “I Like You Too Much.” I think these girls are very talented, and I was anticipating this comeback.

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