2015 Summer of K-Pop Pt. 1

Although summer actually started only about 8 days ago, my summer usually starts around May when I get out of school for vacation.

With that said, that’s why I waited a little bit longer to post about all the crazy, wonderful k-pop comebacks and debuts that’s happened since about May. The K-pop comebacks started off okay but as June came to a close I must admit I’m awfully disappointed with the weak comebacks the second half. Yet there is still hope as Girls’ Generation will be making a comeback in July and there is still Big Bang dropping singles in the beginning of each month. For this post though I’ll just be talking about my favorite releases of May and June.

Heads Up-There will be no Big Bang talk in this post because I basically dedicated my May Favorites post to Big Bang’s May and June releases. 

Boa

Undeniably Boa and Hyori both should share the title of “Queen of K-Pop”. However this summer it wasn’t Hyori who returned but our lovely dancing queen, Boa, who released her 8th studio album.

Now the entire album I wasn’t crazy about. It was her single “Kiss My Lips” that I was just crazy about. If it hasn’t been mentioned already I love any type of electronic music but if it’s anything that sounds like a 70s or 80s dance club song or that its fit for a walk down a runway I’m more down than the Devil is for taking an acid trip. “Kiss My Lips” is incredibly catchy and all the time makes me want to stop what I’m doing and get down which is easy for me to do since I learned about 70% of the choreography.

“Kiss My Lips” was the standout song on the album of the same name for me. I was very upset though because I expected more from the album, but every song ended up sounding for safe and similiar with the exceptions of “Shattered” and “Fox”.

Eddy Kim 

Let’s talk about Eddy Kim’s voice for just a split word: Honey.
That’s it, Eddy’s voice and music is just as smooth as honey. With the addition of Mamoo member, Solar’s, vocals the single “Coffe & Tea” is just a really savory summer musical treat.

Exo 

So in March Exo released their second studio album, “Exodus”. We’re on the edge of July and I have still yet to listen to anything besides their first single “Call Me Baby” and now their second single for their repackaged album “Love Me Right”. I know shame on me, but I don’t spend all my hours melting in my room listening to music, I have a lot of other things to do.

The important thing is that I listened to “Love Me Right” when it was released in June and as expected the boys did not disappoint. Their second single is a super groovy R&B jam that you wouldn’t have been surprised if Bruno Mars released it if it weren’t for the very light dashes of EDM tied into the instrumental.

Other than that can we talk about how extra cute Kai looks in the MV. Ugh!

hyukoh


I’m not sure when hyukoh debuted as there are a few singles I’ve found from the band on the web. It doesn’t really matter when, I’m just glad that they did. His single “Hooka” is very 90s grunge esque and one of the most unique Korean singles I’ve heard in a long time because of the grunge vibes. The lead singer, Oh Hyuk, has a gritty, smoker voice that sounds Kurt Cobain like the music is more on the Oasis vibe. After getting a taste of their other works I know hyukoh is definitely an experimental band that I’ll definitely keep my ears on.

Hyunseung

I’ll be honest and admit that I didn’t expect Hyunseung’s single would be anything that I would be addicted to but just probably enjoy. His song “Ma First” really surprised me and now I’m addicted to it. The song has this really amazing riff in the chorus that’s catchy in the not annoying way. Although I’m sure it’s meant to be a dance song I don’t find my self dancing to it. Instead I find myself singing the song like a mad lady at the top of my lungs. So yeah I like it.

Jang Jane


When mainstream Korean music gets boring it’s always great to listen to one of those really relaxing Korean folk songs. K-folk is defintely my favorite type of folk sound. There’s something extra sweet and tranquil about the Korean folk style that I can’t quite put my finger on.

While listening to Jane Jang’s single “Eat” I was immediately placed into a coffee shop on the corner of some street in Paris daydreaming about reading a good book as I’m delightfully cooled down by the breeze of a young fellow passing by on his moped.

I’ve yet to listen to the rest of Jang’s album “Liquid” but from the snippets I’ve heard it carried me into a similar feeling.

Maybe that’s what I like about K-folk: it’s dreamy.

MBLAQ

MBLAQ is back! Minus two very special members but you know what, I’m not all that sad about it. Mainly because their departure in the group wasn’t clouded by so much controversy and shade like other departures from other groups (cough cough GG).

Anyways I really wasn’t feeling MBLAQ for the last few years period. I was crazy about the group during their earlier years but then it died down. It was because I just wasn’t feeling their songs. However their comeback single “Mirror” is right up my alley. It’s a mid-tempo R&B song that gives off that bittersweet feel that I’m sure many fans have about the departure of the Thunder and Joon. The boys sound great in the song and the rap doesn’t mess it up like in many of their songs but adds to it.

Primary



Unfortunately for me I just found out about Primary early this month. I stumbled upon some of his earlier releases and a few weeks later his single “Mannequin” was released. When K-Pop fails K-Hip-Hop is there to save the day. I love that this single possesses both a gentle, relaxing vibe along with a bit of quirky fun which can be heard and seen a lot through the MV.

Shinee 

Remember how I said I love any type of electronic music, well that would mean that I loved Shinee’s comeback single “View”. Not only did it embody all types of UK House vibes but it maintained that fluffy feeling that comes with a K-Pop summer song that I am equally infatuated with. In addition to their summer dance track Shinee did better than Boa by having an equally as awesome comeback album.

“Odd” is definitely one of my favorite K-Pop albums of 2015 so far and I’m so glad the boys released it back in May. It goes from super dance album to super R&B album with just a splash of Korean pop. There’s only a few cookie cutter songs in the album which I just tolerate but overall the album is very well produced and standouts with a different twist on the normal R&B flavored albums I’ve seen in K-Pop for some time now.

2Bic

I’m not exactly sure where I was in 2012 when 2Bic debuted but I’m glad I found them now. They are just cutest male duo when some of the most soothing and silky voices I’ve ever heard. There summer single “It’s Summer” captures more than just the unique Korean summer song sound but it has a hint of 60s pop in it too which I especially love. This is the perfect song for my summer days when I daydream about being on a beach even though I’m stuck in the urban jungle known as Atlanta.

Well those are my faves for this half. There are a few songs that came out that I’m still debating on. If I love them by the next roundup you’ll know which ones they are. I will say Kara’s Cupid is not one of them. I was highly disappointed with their comeback as they are one of my top fave groups. Sigh! Welp, see you later in August for part 2!

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