Though ultimately brought down by member departures and poor management, during their heyday boy group MBLAQ were vying for the k-pop a-list. They were initially notable for their ties with superstar Rain, but went on to release a string of cutting edge hits that more than secured their place in k-pop. Here are the very best:
10. Baby U! (2011)
Baby U possesses a certain pep that wasn’t exactly in line with MBLAQ’s more daring Korean material, but its uptempo energy is hard to resist.
9. Mirror (2015)
As the remaining members of the group were coming to the end of their career with MBLAQ, Mirror served as the pensive, downtempo finale to their discography (at least for now…).
8. This Is War (2012)
Though This Is War doesn’t possess one of the group’s strongest melodies, its dramatic string and drum production makes it one of MBLAQ’s most theatrical singles.
7. No Love (2013)
Moving towards an anthemic pop-rock arrangement, No Love‘s sprinkling of piano and emotive chorus make it a welcome u-turn for their sound.
6. Cry (2011)
Highlighted by its lush, percolating r&b beat and layered chorus, Cry‘s measured sense of grandiosity sneaks up on you in a way few mid-tempos do.
5. Your Luv (2011)
As MBLAQ’s first original j-pop track, Your Luv reinvented their sound in punchy, propulsive manner with a dynamite sing-along chorus as a strong centerpiece.
4. Mona Lisa (2011)
With an accordion as its unique instrumental hook, Mona Lisa fleshes out the group’s production for a party track stuffed with memorable moments.
3. Y (2010)
Taking the autotuned trendiness of its era and transferring it to an addictive pop shuffle, Y‘s stuttery hook is one of the group’s most defining moments.
2. Stay (2011)
Stay pushes and pulls with undeniable flow, moving from emotional r&b crooning to propulsive dance with a polished fluidity. It’s a song in constant transformation, off-setting its simple pop hook with an affecting sense of urgency.
1. Smoky Girl (2013)
Floating over atmospheric synths and a throbbing electro beat, Smoky Girl is all cool come-ons and insistent refrains. Its ever-evolving instrumental gives the guys the funkiest production of their career, while its simple, addictive hook sees them at the height of their pop potency.