The K-Pop Industry gets back on track
As many K-Pop fans know, the Sewol Ferry incident put a temporary halt to the industry as families grieved and news stations covered the happenings at the site. As of the middle of May, K-Pop has resumed yet again in South Korea, and the releases are as strong as ever. The first major comeback since the incident goes to EXO, arguably the biggest group in South Korea right now. After taking over all the music shows with “Growl” in 2013, the follow-up mini album Overdose has been preforming quite well. EXO split up into the two sub units, EXO-K and EXO-M, specializing in Korean and Mandarin languages respectively, for this comeback. The two albums had over 600,000 pre-orders combined, showing the power this relatively new group has in the industry. EXO-K’s “Overdose” has been winning on multiple music shows since it’s release – which happened almost immediately after the music industry resumed programming.
“Overdose” is a mixture of hip-hop and dubstep, with the typical boy band lyrics of love, this time comparing feelings for a girl to an overdose. Even though I don’t consider myself an EXO fan, this is certainly a catchy song, and the dance is more impressive than EXO’s previous performances. Up until now, I’ve been very impressed how SM Entertainment has been managing EXO, but unfortunately one member, Kris, has filed a lawsuit against SM Entertainment. This isn’t the first time a member of a group filed a lawsuit against the company, citing unfair treatment and being overworked. This will likely be a hot topic within the K-Pop community from this point forward, so keep an eye out for more news regarding the case. May 2014 seems to be the month of female soloists though.
IU has released her much anticipated remake album, 꽃갈피, otherwise known as A Flower Bookmark, featuring IU’s take on popular easy-listening songs. IU’s voice is as dreamy as ever, and the songs are enjoyable for those of us who have never heard the originals. This album is perfect for a lazy Summer day where all you want to do is have a cold drink and relax. Canadian-Korean G.NA released her follow up to last year’s fun “Oops”, called “G.NA’s Secret.” The Korean title of the song, “예쁜속옷” translates to “Pretty Lingerie,” but the song is anything but seductive. It takes the flirty nature of “Oops” but adds the cute factor A Pink and HelloVenus are known for, making the listener wonder if G.NA was the first choice for this track or not, since it seems a bit young for G.NA. Hyosung of SECRET had her solo debut with “Goodnight Kiss” and this is easily one of my favorite K-Pop songs of the year. Hyosung is a very underrated vocalist – her raspy sensual vocals fit this song perfectly, as she croons about kissing her lover before bed. While the video and topic are a bit risqué, the song ventures into R&B and hip-hop genres, giving it a twist to still make the jam radio friendly. The song has just the right amount of English in it to accent the song, without trying to hard to sound cool. Some of the upcoming comebacks for the next few weeks include: Fly to the Sky, T-ARA’s Jiyeon’s solo debut, Infinite, and a YG artist that the company began teasing for today.