K-pop in 2015: comebacks, songs and rookie groups #1

K-pop in 2015: comebacks, songs and rookie groups #1

I don’t want to turn the introduction to this post into a novel, so I will just try to go straight to business. There are a lot of good songs to talk about, so for today I’ll focus on those that made me get up from my seat and groove along.

The best is yet to come, my absolute favorite songs from 2015 will be unveiled in the second part to this post, the one that will get all emotional and could become your playlist for those days you are blue and feel like listening to songs that speak to your heart 🙂

BIGBANG might have called themselves losers this year, but they were far from being that. This band was, is and will be one of the best South Korean bands there ever were, simply because they achieved so much during these past years. 2015 was just another proof that BIGBANG are kings and whatever they sing is going to become a hit, not that the songs or the band don’t deserve it.

They took home the best MV of the year award at the 2015 MAMA Awards for Bae Bae; they were awarded as best group and ‘Bang Bang Bang’ was the best song of 2015. For me, the best song from this comeback was actually ‘Let’s not fall in love’, but I feel like this particular song wasn’t as popular as all the other songs, but I still don’t get why.

Don’t get me wrong, ‘Bang Bang Bang’ is my jam for 2015, I remember that when it came out and I gave it my first listen, I was hype out and started dancing on my bed like a fool. That’s why, when it comes to the songs that make me get up and bust a move, ‘Bang Bang Bang’ is number one, with no other song to come close.

It was Fantastic Baby’s era, now it’s time for ‘Bang Bang Bang’ and it feels so good to finally have a new song. I loved ‘Fantastic Baby’, but it was about time for BIGBANG to release that one song that could start a new era for this band. I really feel like ‘Bang Bang Bang’ is that one song, but then again this is just my opinion.

And if ‘BANG BANG BANG’ was my jam in 2015, my favorite song from BIGBANG was actually ‘Loser’. The MV was perfect, I just loved how they focused on each member and the things they obsess over – T.O.P and his art, that’s standing in the way of him having a relationship; Taeyang‘s deep beliefs and the fact that he I so focused on his religious life, while still being afraid of sinning or Daesung‘s low self-esteem and the fact that he gets bullied by others.

I guess this was just a way of showing everyone that they don’t live the perfect life people think they live. Each and every member was to deal with fear, short temper of anger issues. After all, they are still humans like everybody else and humans are still a lot alike, no matter the social status. Nobody is perfect, we all have parts of us that we keep just for ourselves and don’t want others to see.

I also love ‘Let’s not fall in love’, but this song seems so ironical to me. After all these years, BIGBANG just goes ahead and tells us not to fall in love with them, like that is even possible by now. Joke aside, the video is actually a nice way to depict how being just friends might look for both sides of the story. It’s impossible not to feel sorry for T.O.P that is denied a kiss by the girl he likes, and just stands there, looking at her with a sad look on his pretty face.

‘BAE BAE’ is another BIGBANG song from 2015 that I kept on repeat, not to mention that I actually learned the lyrics to it. I think it’s the only Korean song that I can actually sing at a karaoke, since I know almost all the lyrics. I just have a hard time with T.O.P part and all the rapping, but I am working on that. The MV was a complete mess, it left everyone like ‘wtf did I just watch’, that’s if everyone managed to get to the end of it.

But I think that this MV was also a proof that BIGBANG just isn’t a band for everyone, it takes people as crazy as them to actually get their MVs and their style. And I am proud to say that I am one of those that actually get BIGBANG, since this style is what actually got me into Korean music and this band.

BIGBANG released a lot of songs and MVs in 2015, but I only talked about ‘BANG BANG BANG’, ‘Loser’, ‘Let’s not fall in love’ and ‘BAE BAE’ because these four songs were my favorites. I am not saying that the other songs aren’t worth a listen or that they aren’t good, but I just wasn’t as thrilled by them.

Sober’, ‘We like 2 party’ or ‘Zutter’ have what it takes to be your jam, not to mention that the three MVs for these songs are just a another proof that T.O.P lives in his own world and does whatever he feels like doing, not giving any f*cks about what others think.

In ‘Sober’ he just chases around a goat; in ‘We like 2 party’ he throws himself in the pool with all the clothes he could find in the closet, while the other four members of BIGBANG are wearing more appropriate swimwear; and when things seemed like they couldn’t get any weirder, ‘Zutter’ was out and T.O.P posted a lot of pig pictures on his Instagram profile and then he did whatever he was doing in the MV. And here I am still, talking about him as my role model and loving how much he just doesn’t care.

Of course, a lot of other songs were released in 2015 and most were pretty good. That’s why this post will probably be the longest post that I ever wrote on my blog, so hold tight if you are in it until the end. This is that one subject I just love talking about, so if the blog post about the 2015 MAMA Awards had almost 2000 words, you can probably already imagine where this is heading to.

Because there were a lot of great songs, but it felt kind of weird to judge the emotional ones along with the get up and dance ones, I decided to split all the songs that were worth the talk into two categories.

I mean, I love both iKON‘s ‘Apology’ and CL‘s ‘Hello Bitches’, but I think it’s kind of unfair to judge them in comparison, as each has its own genre and a different meaning put into the lyrics. Some songs just made me shed a tear; others made me feel like a badass and ready to party.

So let’s also focus a bit on the ready to party songs, because until now I only mentioned ‘Bang Bang Bang’ and ‘Hello Bitches’, but there are at least twenty more songs that made into my favorites playlist.

We have BTS‘s ‘Dope’, song that proved that BTS can slay with their choreography as much as any other group that is known in the k-pop industry for the awesome dance skills. Would you look at that, BTS also knows how to dance, as if they still had to prove that by now? I guess it took ‘Dope’ for some to actually realize that, but it’s better later, than never.

iKON made it to this list with ‘Rhythm ta’ and ‘Anthem’, I said a couple of things about ‘Anthem’ before, but back then I hadn’t given ‘Rhythm ta’ a listen. iKON might have the luck to be in South Korea’s best agency, but that does not mean that they didn’t put effort and work into getting where they are now. They still have a lot to prove, but I feel like they have what it takes to have a great future in the industry, so let’s just see what this future will bring for them.

Monsta X is still the best surprise from 2015; man how I love this rookie band! And just when I thought I could not love them more than now, they turned out to be major BIGBANG fan boys, and seeing them sing ‘Bang Bang Bang’ or dance along to this song was just too much.

The songs from their latest album are a proof that this rookie group was one of the bets South Korean music won in 2015. And let’s not forget that they come from a smaller company, so it’s pretty great that they managed to grow so much in just one year. ‘Rush’ and ‘Hero’ were my favorites, but they have other good songs as well so it’s worth to give them a listen.

EXO managed to stay in my mind all day long with their ‘Call me baby’, but I will just be honest and say that my favorite song from ‘Exodus’ was actually ‘Transformers’. And when it comes to 2015 as a whole, I liked ‘Love me right’ better. It’s just a matter of tastes, I am not saying that ‘Call me baby’ or ‘Lightsaber’ aren’t great songs, they just aren’t my favorites.

EXO‘s web drama was my Wednesday evening treat, it kept me waiting and waiting every week, and I felt really sad when it came to an end. I really clicked with the main character and sometimes it felt like I was the one in her shoes, so I hope that 2016 will bring a part two of this cute web drama. Let’s not forget it had the best OTP ever, with Sehun and the brother, that managed to have more shippers that the actually couple in the drama 🙂

‘Hello bitches’ was CL‘s surprise for her fans, but for some the biggest surprise seemed to be the ratchetness of the MV and dance. For me, both seemed pretty normal, as I came from an American rap and hip-hop background to South Korean music. It might also be the fact that Europeans have gotten accustomed to this type of performances in the past few years, so no surprise for me here.

I actually enjoyed seeing CL looking so hot and slaying everyone, as she was already my female bias and I always had only good things to say about her. I don’t care how much makeup she has on, she is still pretty to me and I appreciate her for getting so far and being only 24 years old. She hangs with people like Moschino’s Jeremy Scott and Karl Lagerfeld, so I doubt she gives any f*cks about what people say or think about her.

The beginning of this year caught me singing along and dancing to 4Minute‘s ‘Crazy’, so it’s time to talk about other females from the industry. I seem to like boy groups more, but I have to admit that some of the girl groups are as good as them. It’s just that I click more with boy groups, and it’s not just because they have all the pretty boys. I always like male artists more, and I am not ashamed to admit that. That’s just how I feel, so why deny it?

I did find out about Red Velvet a couple of days ago and I think I am going to like this girl group. I’ve been hearing Ice cream cake in 2015 a lot of times, but at the time it just wasn’t enough for me to look into this group. The thing that actually got me to listen to them was the fact that DAZED picked one of their songs as 2015’s best song and that made me somewhat curious.

Picking Dumb Dumb Dumb as the best song from 2015 was a surprise for me, so I just figured I should just give it a listen to see if I can agree at some level. And I will just say that I do agree that it’s an interesting song and mix of vibes, but it’s still not number one for me. Sorry Red Velvet, maybe next year. Then again, the girls from Red Velvet are still rookie so they are pretty good for a rookie group. But when it comes to just girl groups, it might actually compete with f(x)‘s ‘4 Walls’, that song being my favorite girl group song from 2015.

As you might notice in the jams playlist, my number two jam from 2015 is actually a song from Block B‘s unit Bastarz. Zero for conduct is such a catchy song, and since I first listened to it last week, you can imagine it has to be pretty good to make it to the second place.

I don’t know why that is, I actually had a good laugh with the MV since I watched it a looot of times and every time I was like ‘Zico is slaying this song and MV’, but Zico isn’t even in the MV or in Bastarz, so yeah. That’s the funny thing about listening to some new South Korean band, you have to learn all the names and the faces, because some of them might look or sound the same at the beginning. I mean, I did that with Jin and Jimin from BTS in my first week of listening to BTS and those two look nothing alike.

24k is also a band I liked in 2015, thanks to their lovely member Sung Oh that just kind of looks like V from BTS. I don’t care if he is copying or not V‘s style, but if he is, at least he picked the visual of the band so what’s the harm? I don’t mind looking at two Vs, plus Sung Oh is V‘s hyung so I think it’s pretty cool that 19 years old V managed to get 24 years old Sung Oh to follow his style.

24k makes their own music and choreography, so they should get some credit for that. They may come from a small company and maybe they are influenced by other bands and artists, but they still make good music so I don’t see why that should be a bad thing. I think it’s a great thing to inspire others, so it’s normal for BIGBANGEXO or any other group that made it to inspire smaller or rookie groups. I would be flatter if that happened, so I don’t really care.

B.A.P is back and I really enjoyed the comeback song, because I also feel young, wild and free. I guess that B.A.P is just happy to finally be free to make all the music they feel like making, since they had to take a break because of all the conflict with their company.

It makes me really sad when companies treat their artists badly, since they make money out of them. I mean yes, at the beginning they have to invest money and time in that band, but that doesn’t give anyone the right to treat others poorly or give them the tiniest part possible of what they earned. That’s why I hope B.A.P will have it better this time and that they are here to stay.

When it comes to SHINee, my favorite song from 2015 is actually the one they released in Japanese at the beginning of the year. I’ve had ‘Your number’ on repeat a lot of times, it was one of those songs that I listened to when I was on the car or when I had to travel by train or bus. But I also like ‘View’ and ‘Married to the music’, the songs have different vibes and the MVs are a proof that SHINee is that type of band that turns even the weirdest things into something cool.

Other songs that I enjoyed listening to in 2015 and are worth at least a mention are: miss A‘s ‘Only you’, EXID‘s ‘Ah yeah’, Seventeen‘s ‘Mansae’, TWICE‘s ‘Ooh-ahh’, INFINITE‘s ‘Bad’, MYNAME‘s ‘Just tell me’, TEEN TOP‘s ‘ah-ah’, JYP‘s ‘Who’s your mama?’, SISTAR‘s ‘Shake it’, MAMAMOO‘s ‘Um Oh Ah Yeh’ or AMBER‘s ‘Shake that brass’.

Of course, these are just a couple of songs that came out in 2015. There are a lot of other great songs, but since I don’t listen to a lot of bands or artists, I can only speak about those songs that I actually gave at least one listen.

Also, the order in the playlist is inspired by how much I listened to that song and by how good I think that song actually is.

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