For the second installment in the Favorites series, the featured group is Girls’ Generation, also known as SNSD (and abbreviation of their Korean name, romanized as So Nyuh Shi Dae). Girls’ Generation was one of the first K-pop groups whose music I encountered, and I became a K-pop fan primarily because of them. I was immediately hooked on their music, style, and dynamic, and they will always be my personal favorite girl group. Here’s a list of some of my favorite songs by one of K-pop’s biggest acts.
Conventional wisdom suggests that K-pop’s female ensembles and their album concepts generally fall into one of two categories: cute or sexy. But the more I watch the vast the array of girl groups, the more I realize that there are groups that could be placed along varied places on the supposed cute-sexy spectrum, or whose concepts don’t belong on the spectrum at all. There are groups who switch back and forth between the two categories, there are groups who progress from cute to mature without pushing into 19+ rating territory, there are groups who revel in a 19+ rating, and there’s Crayon Pop.
Perhaps the cute-sexy dichotomy is true for those groups still seeking to get noticed. In K-pop, nothing instantly gets an audience’s attention like charm or unabashed sex appeal, and they can go a long way in appealing to the general public, especially Korea’s domestic audience. But don’t be fooled, and don’t be disheartened by the characterization of the girl group landscape. There are many genuinely talented and interesting groups out there who don’t constantly rely on the “typical” concepts to gain success.
The Girl Group Spotlight series is dedicated to introducing such groups, and the first to be discussed is Ladies’ Code.
This is my favorite K-pop music video of the summer. Period.
I know that there have already been some good MVs since the season started, and I know that there are still some major comebacks on the horizon (SISTAR, JYJ, Hyuna, etc.), but they’ll have to produce something pretty amazing and unique to unseat B1A4 from the top position.
This week’s video is like no K-pop video I have ever seen. Actually, maybe not. There are five young, good-looking men singing and dancing on a variety of sets, and we have yet another group debuting on the K-pop scene and hoping to make its mark.
But the song is another story. Continue reading
This week, the music video for f(x)’s new single, “Red Light,” dropped. Despite many of my favorite groups coming from SM, I haven’t given f(x) that much attention since I became a K-pop fan. I can list off their singles and talk about how much I like jamming to “Electric Shock,” and I even have a favorite member (Amber). At this point, they just haven’t inspired in me the kind of fangirl passion as Girls’ Generation or EXO. I think it’s less a reflection of f(x)’s quality and more a matter of personal taste, but regardless, I think they deserve more attention (including from their own company, but that’s a whole other discussion).