The men have been listed, ordered and critiqued, now let’s get on to part 2 of my 2012, K-Pop year in review.
5. RAINBOW – A (Japanese Version)
Note: RAINBOW have yet to release the Japanese Music Video for A digitally so above is a live performance of the Japanese Version
Unfortunately the ladies haven’t held their end of the bargain in 2012 and this is a real sneaky entry. RAINBOW actually debuted A in 2010, only after two years of focusing on South Korea did they debut into the elusive (and cashed up) Japanese market. A was a fun and bouncy number which lost none of its energy in its transmutation from Korean to Japanese. Their coordinated dance choreography will excite even the most jaded K-Popper.
4. 4minute – Volume Up
Dat saxophone. I have no idea where they sampled it from but 4minute has one sweet sax interlude which accompanies this powerful and shouty track that marked 4minute’s comeback in 2012. You might fail to realise Hyuna of (now) Gangnam Style fame is amongst the ladies that are pleading with the listener to indeed, turn the Volume Up. She is kept quite in check and out shined by the vocal talent of the other members who stretch out wails and pump melodies throughout.
3. miss A – Touch
Gentle, delicate; Touch makes you really feel the pain and sorrow that the 4 members of miss A are conveying. This soft and precious number mixes up short synth injections, a slow beat and the occasional rap to tug at the heart-strings.
2. SISTAR – Alone
Simplistic piano keys, soulful bass and husky voices make up Alone, SISTAR‘s star attraction from their latest album of the same name. Where as miss A’s touch was all heart, Alone is straight up sex appeal (just check that porno wah pedal action) which is not necessarily a bad thing when you can do it well.
1. f(x) – Electric Shock
Often over shadowed by their label mates Girls Generation, f(x) bring to the table a punchy electro pop smash hit that is super catchy without being too repetitive. Breaking up the funky dance melody is smooth vocal segments that focus the talent (if not a little autotuned) of the 5 members and let them shine without being drowned out by the backbeat.
Orange Caramel – Lipstick
Kooky, Strange, Weird, a little bit spanish but a whole lot of fun; Orange Caramel (subunit of Afterschool) specialise in the category of bizarre pop but its all in the name of a good time. Watch and listen without your preduce and you may find yourself bopping to the beat.
Girls Generation – Paparazzi
While I adore Girls Generation as my gateway drug into the world of K-Pop, I didn’t have the heart to put Paparazzi in the top 5 purely because it’s essentially a modern-day version of their smash hit Genie. And while that isn’t a bad thing (I love that song to bits), I prefer to reward innovation rather than cookie cutting for the sake of the dollar dollar.
That’s it ladies and gentlemen. 2012 K-Pop in a snapshot. Hope you have enjoyed my take on the year. Please feel free to comment and add your thoughts at the bottom of the page.
Lets finish of with a creation by the ever talented DJ Masa featuring 75 songs of 2012.