I’m rushing, rushing, rushing to get this list done before the year ends but not really because I may just use this excuse to include a last-minute comeback onto my 2015 music list.
There’s still so much though…!
Let me say that I straight-up loved Ga-In’s mini album, “Hawwah”. Her MV for the single “Paradise Lost” was campy-vampy gorgeous. “Guilty” closes “Hawwah” on an unrepentant note, and for a mini album that plays with imagery from The Original Sin, it’s a fitting finale – slinky and just a tad bit serpentine.
“Ice Cream Cake” Red Velvet
SM Entertainment’s newest girl group debuted in 2014, but 2015 was the year the group released their first mini-album and their full length album. The addition of a fifth member, Yeri added to Red Velvet’s overall appeal. Four members was okay, but a fifth just made more sense in terms of #squadgoals. Suddenly the quintet had better hair and a more coherent art direction.
“Ice Cream Cake” got me from its creepy, sing-song intro. It seemed to announce “We are the daughters of Stepford Wives and Coca-Cola and we’re here to fuck shit up.” I was on board this magical Rookie Magazine photo shoot daydream of a music video, a desert fever dream that weaves its way through other tracks on the mini-album, such as “Stupid Cupid”, whose almost-surf geetar intro I found way too delicious.
“Bang Diggy Bang Bang” Tiger JK, Bizzy, Yoon Mirae (MFBTY)
Here come that bass…! And also a sitar!
I get really envious of power couples like Tiger JK and Yoon Mirae whose creative partnership just screams they were meant to be together forever and always. The couple plus rapper Bizzy make up MFBTY, and the trio have come up with the densely packed full-length album (16 tracks!) “Wondaland.” It’s wonderful, smart and sure-footed (also a bit too much for me to digest in one sitting), but the portions, oh the portions!
“FM” Crayon Pop
I am a sucker for butt-kicking imaginary yokai in pop songs and “FM” has the butt-kicking, monster-slaying bad-assery in spades. I’d include it on any playlist for mundane activities like sprints, power walking, and the like because it has the power to fuel your imagination and make you think you’re a magical girl fighting a boss battle.
“Call Me Baby” EXO
I’m wrapping up Part 2 of my 2015 picks with my boys! I’ve already talked about what I loved about “Call Me Baby” in my review for EXO’s 2015 full-length album, “EXODUS” except for the MV so let me correct that omission right here.
The little mistakes in this glossy music video – the license plate spelling out K1A instead of KA1, the panning shot that revealed Sehun’s bare feet, matter as much as the little details that made it so perfect – the killer combination of Lay’s dimple/forward hip thrust, Xiumin’s mesh shirt underneath his jacket. The shots complement all the high points of the song – from Lay’s “Time’s wasting girl/so don’t wait/don’t wait too long” to D.O.’s sublime “Baby girl”. The fact that Kai had to duck and run to get in position for the bridge coming from their group formation in the chorus makes me appreciate the effort. The styling missteps that everybody hated that I really find adorable now – Xiumin looking like Doraemon, Kai’s hair, Chen’s hair and Kai’s tight pants! ❤