What I Listened To In 2015 – Part 2

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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…!

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What I Listened To In 2015 – Part 1

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Sometimes I think this blog exists for the sole purpose of hosting annual lists such as this one, and you know what – I am totally okay with that.

This was meant to be a “50 Favorite K-pop Tracks” but as I write, there might still be comebacks to look forward to before the year ends. I’m thinking I might still be working my way up until the last day of the year because cut-off’s are my style aniya.

So fuck it – here are the one hundred(-ish, give or take) K-pop tracks I listened to this year, the ones that I loved to pieces, the ones I looped, included in playlists, the ones that scored real life memories in the making and the ones that to me, mattered. I didn’t rank the songs according to importance, but rather to keep things simpler, the titles appear in the order of release in 2015.

2015 kicked my ass for sure. This just might be my least favorite year in recent memory as far as IRL developments are concerned. I got burned out, quit my job, went back to school in Q2. In Q3 my apartment got robbed, and now at the tail-end of Q4, a family member unexpectedly got sick. Did I reach my quota? I’d say so. However, despite the bitterness, disappointment and mind-numbing drudgery 2015 dragged me through, there were always pockets of solace I found in these pop songs.

So instead of talking about each track in a critical way (though I guess there would be a little bit of that), I’d rather talk about specific ways these tracks sort of got to me.

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The Guys Next Door

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With two shows under the group’s belt – 2013’s “EXO’s Showtime”, a reality show centered around various group activities, and last year’s “EXO 90:2014”, a moderated talk show featuring individual members’ recreations of seminal K-pop music videos, it became quite clear that doing variety shows does not come naturally to EXO. Having all the members in a single frame without choreography became a directorial challenge with a group as large as theirs. Some were bound to draw more attention than the others. Baekhyun and Chanyeol, who are confident spouting adlibs and shedding inhibitions on-cam have considerable variety skills. The rest of the group seem to fall a little short when it comes to showing their charm through unscripted series.

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Never Don’t Mind About A Thing – Here’s EXO

EXO‘s second full length album, “Exodus” was released on March 30 after a mind-boggling ten days of secret passwords and obscure UFO sighting references littering my Twitter timeline. I never could figure out what those #Pathcode teasers were meant to solve so I didn’t even bother. I left the high-speed sleuthing to your average EXO-L, and by “average”, of course I meant bat-shit crazy dedicated. The answers to the teasers’ riddles were up within seconds of the videos’ posting, which meant that EXO-L were incredibly astute, or that I wasn’t the stan I claimed I was. By the fifth day of the teasers, EXO-L had figured out that the first letters of the cities featured in the videos would eventually spell out the title of EXO’s comeback track, “Call Me Baby.” It seemed reaching, but by the time the last teaser was released, all the pieces fit.

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A K-pop Starter Kit

So I didn’t notice that my second year in the K-pop fandom has passed by! Time flies when you’re constantly being bombarded by comebacks. My iTunes has come a long way from being stuck in an aging hipster rut, and I’m far from being through with K-pop!

I’ve come up with a short and sweet little playlist for those who like me, have grown bored listening to white guys on guitars. Maybe your musical palate is looking for tunes that are a lot more adventurous and a lot less cynical but don’t know where to start. The K-pop universe is vast and varied, and without the right key, it can quickly get confusing and overwhelming. The tracks I’ve included in this little mix are those that helped pull me in when I was just an agi in K-pop 🙂

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