Also known as Children of Empire (though that name has more to do with their agency, Star Empire, than their actual concept), ZE:A is a nine-member boy group who has been around for over half a decade. Though they haven’t come back as a whole in quite awhile, individual members are very well known for their work in variety and dramas. As far as their music, it’s only gotten better the longer they’ve been around. They’re a supremely underrated group, with at least a couple of classics under their belt. So which one reigns supreme?
10. Here I Am (2011)
Pure pop fluff, augmenting a classic boy band sound in k-pop fashion. It’s incredibly lightweight, but gets by on its sweeping chorus.
9. Watch Out (2011)
Riding along a funky summertime bounce, Watch Out feels more organic than their 2010 material, but doesn’t yet transform their sound the way future releases would.
8. Daily Daily (2011)
Slowing the tempo for a soft, beat-driven ballad, Daily Daily is an effective display of their vocals, with its harmony-driven chorus stealing the show.
7. Continue (2015)
Released as the group seemed on the edge of disbandment, Continue works as a strong, determined anthem for a group whose future continues to remain uncertain.
6. All Day Long (2010)
5. Step By Step (2010)
A propulsive piece of bubblegum, it’s hard not to be won over by Step By Step‘s sheer optimism, highlighted by the song’s driving beat and shout-along hook.
4. Breathe (2014)
Pairing with Brave Brothers, ZE:A builds on their dramatic 2013 sound with a song that expertly melds their various influences into one heck of a catchy pop track.
3. Aftermath (2012)
A transformative moment for the group, and their first truly excellent single. Aftermath pulses with guitar-driven pop energy, climaxing in a big, singalong chorus.
2. Phoenix (2012)
Phoenix marches forward like a call to arms. It’s the group’s most aggressively in-your-face single, firing its oft-repeated refrain with an addictive confidence. A group with as many members as ZE:A should sound enormous. Phoenix comes closest to doing just that.
1. The Ghost Of Wind (2013)
Melding perfectly produced classical elements to a light, funky dance track, The Ghost Of Wind stands apart from everything else in their discography. The operatic vocal sample is inspired, but the track would be outstanding even without it. Kudos as well to the ridiculously gorgeous string section, which lends the track an incredible sense of ornate drama.