One of k-pop’s most daring boundary-pushers, Gain is not only part of girl group Brown Eyed Girls, but a compelling solo artist as well. Over the course of six mini albums, she’s delivered a diverse variety of styles and sounds, all woven together by the force of her undeniable charisma. Here’s her best work.
10. For You Not To Know (2010)
The dramatic For You Not To Know strikes a mournful, slow-burn tone, highlighted by its climactic pair of fiery electric guitar solos.
9. Someone Else (with Park Jinyoung) (2012)
Gain and Park Jinyoung proved to be a match made in heaven, delivering this sexy slow-jam which merged JYP’s inimitable melodic style with the sensuality of her vocals.
8. Brunch (with Cho Hyungwoo) (2013)
A bubbly springtime duet with vocalist Cho Hyungwoo, Brunch is a conversational back-and-forth that utilizes the duo’s contrasting tones well.
7. Irreversible (2010)
Taking influence from tango for a truly unique title track, Irreversible’s accordion-driven instrumental feels like a performance piece straight from musical theater.
6. Fxxk You (ft. Bumkey) (2014)
Pulling Gain into more controversial territory, the profanity-laced Fxxk You capitalizes on its rootsy guitar riff and unique backing vocals to become one of the most idiosyncratic moments of her career.
5. Apple (ft. Jay Park) (2015)
Slotting comfortably within Gain’s retro, pin-up image, the piano-driven funk of Apple underpins one of the slickest pop melodies of her career.
4. Paradise Lost (2015)
Undulating over a sensual, atmospheric beat, Paradise Lost pushed boundaries as it evoked religion and sexuality in equal measures. The organ at the song’s climax only ups the theatrical drama.
3. Carnival (The Last Day) (2016)
Carnival split opinion upon its release, but the song’s lush, strong-driven ode to classic movie musicals results in Gain’s most underrated single. It sounds nothing like k-pop as we know it, and that in itself is completely thrilling. (full review)
2. Truth Or Dare (2014)
To a certain extent, the groovy Truth Or Dare attempts to replicate the successful sound of Thicke’s Blurred Lines (released a year earlier). But the heavy dose of attitude and brassy, nostalgic style is all Gain’s.
1. Bloom (2012)
Driven by incessant rhythm guitar, Bloom merged Gain’s boundary-breaking style with the best pop melody of her solo career. The song’s bright, euphoric chorus takes no prisoners, blending disco sensibilities with its anthemic refrain for a truly striking and iconic release.