I’m beginning to realize that I may have overestimated the K-pop tracks I really loved in 2015. I listened to hundreds of them, thought I loved about a fifth of the total, but in the end, I really could only stand to write about half that number. So what I said in the beginning that this year-ender would be comprised of about a hundred tracks give or take? It’s leaning towards more towards “take” now. It’s time to be honest and unmerciful.
“Don’t Wake Me Up” Super Junior
Super Junior released their eighth full-length studio album, “Devil” this year. To me, “Devil” earns a spot on my Top 10 K-pop Albums/Mini-Albums of 2015 because all the songs are killer.
My favorite track out of the ten songs on “Devil” has got to be “Don’t Wake Me Up”. No surprises that this song is really more of a Donghae-Eunhyuk joint. In a previous installment of this series I talked about how much I loved Donghae-penned tracks, and yep he wrote this one too.
“One Black Night” Wonder Girls
This song is for stealing cars to. Makes me wish there was a “Grand Theft Auto” Seoul or at least a K-pop radio station on the game because this is a track made to accompany pretend graphic violence showing women in control.
“Reboot”, the Wonder Girls’ third full-length album blew my mind. These ladies went hard in 2015. Their comeback consisted of a jaw-dropping routine that had its four remaining members playing musical instruments while dancing in high heels. Granted these musical instruments were unplugged during these stages, but there is no fake playing ala “Freaky Friday”. It’s all legit. The awesome MV for their comeback track “I Feel You” looks like what would have happened had the women in Robert Palmer’s music videos decided to stage a coup, grabbed the floor and kicked him off the stage.
In fact, the songs on “Reboot” sounds like these took most of their musical cues and inspiration from the Robert Palmer era and discarded Robert Palmer.
Simply irresistible 😉
“Married To The Music” SHINee
Is this not the best K-pop music video of 2015? SHINee members losing body parts one after the other, Jonghyun literally vomiting confetti? It’s a masterpiece that accurately represents how we K-pop fans approach fandom – a schlocky, campy cartoon bloody wedding where we brutally chop up our faves with unmitigated glee. Though I must say my favorite thing about the music video for “Married To The Music” is that this “Rocky Horror Picture Show”-inspired MV was released in August. Can you imagine the pre-production meetings that went down in SM Entertainment for this? “Hey, guys – what about doing Halloween before October?” I just love them for that.
“So Crazy” T-Ara
I’m going to straight up say that the music video for “So Crazy” is terrible because in it, a fat woman becomes a joke. I don’t get why this was necessary, but it makes the members of the group look like vindictive airheads. That said, this song was crazy bubblegum LSS material.
“Roll Deep” Hyuna (feat. Ilhoon of BTOB)
Hyuna, Hyuna, Hyuna. She really goes for broke in her solo stuff. I love how Hyuna always has this sort of druggy sexiness to her that is a little dirty and sleazy. Ilhoon appearing in the MV makes me miss the Hyuna/Hyunseung tagteam Troublemaker, but does a good job keeping the perving equal opportunity and delivers the Pumpkin/Honey Bunny vibes.
“Cool World” Red Velvet
2015 was a busy year for Red Velvet because along with releasing their mini-album “Ice Cream Cake”, they also released their first full-length album. Called “The Red”, this album featured a whole lot of 80’s synths and beats. The comeback track, “Dumb Dumb Dumb” was recently placed at #9 on Rolling Stone Magazine’s 10 Best Music Videos of 2015 even though author Eric Ducker backpedals in the same paragraph to say BigBang’s “Bang Bang Bang” was better “if you like your K-pop music videos more over-the-top.” (Then the author really should have cited “Bae Bae” instead, but that is besides the point.)
This is my favorite song from a group that is not EXO. Yeah I dunno – I can never get enough of the schoolboy concept even though it has been done to death. Highlight: Vernon getting slapped and then looking terribly impressed by the girl as she walks away (it comes at the :45 count!) That’s right boy – you gotta work!