Since the start of The Bias List in January 2016, I’ve always looked back at my three favorite title tracks by K-pop artists each month. Now, it’s time to look even further into the past, one month at a time. And, yes, the top three rankings count toward The Bias List’s personal artist scorecard!
Which month do you want to see next?
July 2015 Overall Thoughts
I feel like I’ve spent the past few weeks complaining about what an awful, boring lull K-pop seems to be stuck in. I always expect the month of July to deliver a jam-packed schedule of high-profile (and high-quality) releases. This expectation didn’t materialize out of thin air. Some of my favorite K-pop songs have come from July, and that was especially true during the summer of 2015.
This month was stacked. It seemed like everybody set their sights on releasing music, with reliably exciting results. SM Entertainment led the charge, delivering comebacks from all three of their most established groups. It was the last we heard from TVXQ before enlistment, and Super Junior’s big push before an extended hiatus. Bigbang got in on the act as well, as part of their months-long MADE project. It was also a month that saw rookie groups like GFriend and GOT7 really begin to cement their place in the industry.
It was nearly impossible to decide on a top three for July of 2015. It killed me to leave off songs from Bigbang, GOT7, Stellar, and especially Nine Muses because each one could have easily taken the top spot in many other months. But, personal bias took hold and I ended up with three songs that absolutely defined the summer for me… each in very different ways. The ordering doesn’t quite line up with my end-of-year ranking from 2015, but that list needs to be revised anyway.
What an exciting month to be a K-pop fan!
4TEN – Go Easy (video)
Apink – Remember (video)
Beast – Gotta Go To Work (video)
Bigbang – Sober (video)
Crush – Oasis (ft. Zico) (video)
Dickpunks – Let’s Play In The Han River (video)
Girl’s Day – Ring My Bell (review)
Girls’ Generation – Party (video)
GOT7 – Just Right (video)
Nine Muses – Hurt Locker (video)
Stellar – Vibrato (video)
TVXQ – Champagne / Rise As One (review / video)
TOP THREE SONGS
3. Super Junior – Devil (review)
2. GFriend – Me Gustas Tu
1. Infinite – Bad (review)
Bad was my JAM in summer 2015. My very first Infinite comeback as a kpop fan, and although it might not stack up against the highest highs of their discography, it’ll always be special to me. It’s just such a fun, intense kind of song.
Sober and Just Right were up there as well…lots of plays from me. And I can’t believe Vibrato was released in July; nothing about it screams summer other than the showing of skin, I suppose…but what a knockout track it was either way.
Devil speaks for itself…back then I considered it the second act of SM’s flawless “funk trilogy” following Love Me Right and preceding Married to the Music. Gosh what a year.
July, 2015, was a bit odd for me. Many of the groups that drew me to K-pop were still rounding the bases (SNSD, Girl’s Day, Nine Muses, 4minute, 2NE1, KARA, Dal★Shabet, Secret, SISTAR, et al) and some of the new guard were up at bat (Red Velvet, Lovelyz, AOA, mamamoo, APRIL, GFRIEND, CLC, Oh My Girl, etc.).
The Good Stuff:
4TEN – Go Easy: These girls brought more to K-pop than a lot of bigger names have. Not fair.. ..not fair at all.
GFRIEND – Me gustas tu: A great song; and one that I hope is on if Jehovah’s Witnesses come knocking.
HELLOVENUS: I’m Ill: A guilty pleasure that I’m not ashamed of.. ..mostly.
STELLAR – Vibrato: I played the hell out of this song. Completely justified the audio upgrade to my car.
MINX – Love Shake: Dami has since traded her tiny baby blue shorts in for tasteful slacks, but it’s all good.
Nine Muses – Hurt Locker: This group has the best looking accountant in all of Korea!
Apink – Remember: It was nice.. ..safe.. ..yep, nice and safe.
Girl’s Day – Ring My Bell: I know many liked it, but it didn’t ring my bell. Two X did, though, about two years earlier.
SNSD – Party: They set the bar, but (for me) didn’t always reach it.
Goo Hara (KARA) – Choco Chip Cookies: …da fuq?
Sonamoo – Cushion: After a great debut, I was hoping for a little déjà vu from their next song; didn’t happen.
As far as the guys, I wasn’t really following any male groups, but I do remember making exceptions for BIGBANG’s “If You” and “Sober”.
In short, I think July, 2015 saw a few diamonds in the rough outshining some of the crown jewels.
Apparantly my favorite Nina Simone compilation album (on iTunes, not vinyl) was released (or re-released) in July 2015.
For Kpop, I got
Got7 – Just Right
SuJu – Devil
Infinite – Between You & Me – The group version on my itunes shows released 15July2015. Woo-Gyu sing this one great live, which is the version I listen to more.
God, I love Between Me & You. Easily one of my favorite K-pop belters ever.
ALL of those songs came out in July 2015? Looks like I didn’t know how good I had it then. For me, off the top of my head, it would have to be…
D.holic – Chewy
Hellovenus – I’m Ill
Infinite – Bad (yes, it pains me to leave them off my top 3!)
Nine Muses – Hurt Locker
Gfriend – Me Gustas Tu
3. Minx – Love Shake
2. Stellar – Vibrato
1. Big Bang – Sober
I was utterly shocked when I looked back at this month and realized the steady stream of classics it delivered. We truly didn’t appreciate it as much as we should have… and this was only four years ago!
In 2015-16 I was complaining about the endless Bang Bang Bang knockoff beat-drop chorus… and yet look at the cornucopia of goods this month presented. Maybe in 2023 I’ll look back at 2019 and think the same thing! Who knows?
I certainly won’t be looking back at this past month with any fondness, but time does have a way of making once cloying aspects oddly nostalgic.
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9MUSES , my whole summer was on……. well 9MUSES
Hurt Locker is definite the best song in the month even though it is not my favorite song from 9MUSES( News is the best and we all know it)
I think my 3rd and 2nd were hard to rank but I soon came around. Jk That was a lie , I put a tie on 3rd place.
3: Bigbang-Sober and Infinite-Bad
2: Super Junior-Devil
1: 9MUSES- Hurt Locker