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CUBE posted via their Weibo: “Thanks for the video and pic from oversea fans for 2Yoon’s 1st anniversary. 2Yoon is preparing for their new album production. Please keeping supporting and follow with interest on 2Yoon” http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af110/hk4nia/20140120_zps1d411cf1.jpg (cr: @min_hk) | The original Weibo post: http://weibo.com/2641606884/AsPXx0Ahf
I LEGITIMATELY JUST STARTED CRYING I AM NOT EVEN EXAGGERATING
ahead of Psy, Sistar, EXO, Girl’s Generation and all the rest
CAN’T STOP THE POP
5. Nine Muses
In the past, Nine Muses were known for their shaky debut, lineup changes and the inevitable comparisons with SNSD. This year they received attention for the right reasons thanks to their EP “Wild”. The title track is a non stop ride of pure sex, driving synth over sensual verses and energetic rap breaks that are pulled together into a well produced package, unlike so many other kpop songs this year.
Must listen: Wild
Pop-ballad duo Davichi had perhaps their strongest year yet in 2013. On the 3 singles Turtle, Because I Miss You Today and The Letter, Davichi showcases their mastery of the catchy yet gripping kpop ballad featuring the best voice in kpop in Lee Haeri. Given that all 3 tracks hit #1 on the digital charts it’s questionable whether Davichi belongs on this list, but their lack of promotion means many kpop fans might not have heard these songs yet!
While 4minute’s subunit of vocalists Jiyoon and Gayoon gained attention for their “country inspired” single 24/7, the rest of this mini album is not at all ‘country’, and instead features some extremely solid kpop. The second track “Nightmare” is possibly my favourite song of the year. The verses and main chorus evoke a dreamy feel, contrasting with the driving, yearning vocals in the pre-chorus and BtoB Ilhoon’s aggressive rap break. The song is also one of the rare instances of well written lyrics in a kpop song, creating a package that leaves you wanting more.
Younha’s EP “Just Listen” was a highlight of Korean pop music in 2013. Each track is a considered and unique production. The title track combines strong percussion and melody with reggae inspired vocals. On “Fireworks” Younha revisits the rock style seen on previous releases but in a calmer and more sophisticated fashion. “The Real Reason Why We Broke Up” opens like yet-another-accoustic kpop ballad, but transitions and builds to something more memorable. There’s also a dose of fun pop on “One Fine Day”, and straight ballads showcasing Younha’s vocals on 아니야 and 봄은 있었다.
1. Jay Park
Kpop fans seem to either love or hate Jay Park. For me, he produced the kpop song of the year in 2013. “JOAH” is an infectiously catchy feel-good r&b-pop song, said to be inspired by the Jackson 5. The song is everything you want from a light hearted pop track; cute lyrics, a fun chorus and a melody that leaves you feeling happy and wanting to listen again and again. Jay Park’s second mini album this year was also solid, with the dance track I Like 2 Party and r&b ballad Secret worth revisiting.
While EXO, Girls’ Generation, GD, Sistar and other familiar names dominated this year’s kpop headlines, a lot of enjoyable music was produced by smaller selling artists…
Here’s my Top 10 releases of the year that deserve another listen:
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