KPop 2014 Mid Year Review Part 1

We are now a little over halfway through the year, but oh well. I still want to talk about all my favorite releases so far and we’ll start with the boy groups

I was really impressed with the boy group offerings this first half of the year. We had a few rookie groups and quite a few comebacks to keep us engaged and interested. Here are my favorite releases in order of date!

B1A4- Who Am I

tumblr_n3rfxkn8sY1rcoad1o1_1280This was a solid full length release from this group. B1A4 is one of those groups that I don’t listen to the B-Sides. I stick to their hits because they always know how to pick the best songs from their mini and album releases to showcase. This release, though, there were quite a few songs I liked just as much as the title track. Drunk With Music (CNU Solo) is very noteworthy with its disco-like feel. CNU definitely has enough talent to release some solo work down the road. When In Love is also another song to check out–you even get to hear Baro sing a little at the end. This album showed that our boys can do some more serious ballad-like songs as well as light and fluffy pop songs.

GOT7- Got it?

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This was a such a strong debut. I heaven’t heard a debut this strong since 2012. That’s when B.A.P, EXO, and NU’EST exploded onto the scene. The B-Sides I liked were Hello and I Like You. Most have compared their debut to that of 2pm, even calling the next 2pm, but I think that they have a hip-hop feel that 2pm never kept up with. So while 2pm’s 10 Out of 10 is similar, Got it? as an album is a refreshing new route for a JYP artist.

B.A.P- First Sensibility

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This is the one release that I’ll put on this list but will admit I didn’t like as much. Unlike most of what I’ve read on the internet, I don’t mind B.A.P’s change in attitude with their newest releases. I may not always like it, but I think their change has potential with a little bit better direction. I liked their songs Coffee Shop, 1004 (Angel), and their newest one Where Are You?. The music video for 1004 (Angel) was a hot mess, though. No one really knows what’s going on, I highly doubt even the filmmakers could produce a coherent believable message out of that one. I will say, though, that was one hella good concert they had in Chicago.

BTS- Skool Luv Affair

I am in love with this group and album. I think they are doing something super trendy with Hip-Hop and if you read this blog enough you’ll notice I love anything “trendy.” I liked their song Just One Day a little more than Boy In Luv but both songs were really well done. Their songs are smart and suave with out being too serious.

Troy- Green Light

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If you watched the teasers for the members of this group, I guarantee you’ll ask yourself “are they for real?” It is an odd eclectic group of people. There are 13 years that separate the Maknae from some of the oldest member of the group. Bumkey is already a well established rapper in the scene. Jae Woong use to be a professional snowboarder before he was injured and started to get into rapping. But what is most interesting is how long this group has prepared for this release. In Chang Woo’s teaser he says he’s been preparing for 3 years. It has paid off and I can’t wait to see what they release next.

MBLAQ- Broken

This album is hard to pick out a song that I like more than the others. It wasn’t a standout release by any means but it is a nice album to listen to. Be A Man was an extremely sexy song that perfectly highlights the entire feel of the album. If you are a fan of MBLAQ already, you’ll love this album. If not, check it out because you might be surprised…

HIGH4- Not Spring, Love, or Cherry Blossoms

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I had never heard of HIGH4 before this release and while this song didn’t make me want to jump up and learn more about them, I did really like it. It is one of those songs that I will probably break out every spring because it is so light and calm. It has a nice soft melody that will just make you want to sway back and forth while listening. You’ll almost forget it is cursing all those romantic elements of spring with its romantic feel.

2000 Won- I Hate Seoul

This is a fearsome group. I hope they keep releasing songs and videos as good as this one. You know these two are talented by the way they hold their very different parts so well. One rapper and One singer carrying a whole song in KPop is quite the feat. Here where I am from in America it is no big deal. However, in KPop you just don’t see stuff like this. Their styles flow so well together making this song irresistible to listen to. Also, this video was beautifully and artfully done

EXO- Overdose

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I was waiting so long for this release and I bittersweetly loved when it came. With so much controversy surrounding it’s promotions, I sometimes wonder if anyone in the future would love this song for it’s awesome techno-pop qualities or just as the song that Kris left the band during. I already reviewed it here, so check that out!

U-KISS- Mono Scandal

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Again, I did a review on their single Quit Playing that you can find here. This was certainly a different release for this group. It brought their name back into the public eye after their lackluster release of She’s Mine from last year. Lets hope that they continue on this path only with a little less Scandal.

B2ST- Good Luck

I haven’t heard this album at all, just their singles. I almost wish that they would have promoted No More more than Good Luck as I feel it was a better song/video. But, Good Luck did have more of that B2ST feel.

So that is it for Part 1. Stay tuned for Parts 2 and 3 for my list of Girl Groups and Solo acts!

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