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?
June 2015 Overall Thoughts
June of 2015 was a powerhouse month, ushering in a powerhouse summer season. While not flush with releases, June delivered quality over quantity. There are probably eight songs this month that I’d rate a “9” or higher, which is practically unheard of these days.
As with much of the 2014-15 era of K-pop, these releases were multi-genre, delivering a variety of sounds and tones to compliment a wide swath of listener preferences. We got some good old-fashioned summertime pop hits, some forward-thinking hip-hop and even an unexpectedly awesome synthpop collaboration.
I still remember June 22nd, in particular. That day alone gave us Sistar’s Shake It, AOA’s Heart Attack and Teen Top’s ah-ah. Playing those three songs back to back for the first time was like K-pop nirvana. I love when a single day amounts in multiple classic comebacks. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does it completely revitalizes my love for the industry.
As usual with strong months like this, I had to leave some real gems off my top three list. Stone-cold classics like Bang Bang Bang and Heart Attack were left just outside the top three, even though they’d likely be number one picks in so many other months. A special shout-out goes to two outstanding ballads/mid-tempos as well. Both BTOB’s I’m Okay and Boys Republic’s Hello proved that slower material could be just as compelling as high-octane dance tracks.
AOA – Heart Attack (video)
Bigbang – Bang Bang Bang / We Like 2 Party (review / video)
Boys Republic – Hello (video)
BTOB – It’s Okay (video)
Mamamoo – Um Oh Ah Yeah (video)
NS Yoon-G – Honey Summer (video)
Park Gyuri + From The Airport – The Little Prince (video)
Teen Top – ah ah (video)
TOP THREE SONGS
3. Sistar – Shake It
2. BTS – Dope
1. EXO – Love Me Right
Another thing that doesn’t happen in kpop much these days: follow-up singles. As in, release the album with 1st video, then a month or two later release the 2nd video. Everything used to come in pairs of videos. These days it is more likely to be just main video with strong b-side co-promoted but only on the music shows. If there is a second video, half the time it is only the dance practice.
I mention this, because the song Dope was released in April 2015, but the video dropped in June 2015.
Another strong month, and I bought a fair number of these songs. Mamamoo, Teen top, big bang, BTS Dope, Exo.
But my highest-played song from June is an OST from Kyuhyun called “The Time we weren’t in Love”. Which I love.
Also, copying here the comment I made an hour ago on the Bang bang bang blog further down, because we all could use some more mirth in our lives:
I have always thought the synth sound over the verses in Bang bang bang sounded like rubber ducks being hit by a mallet.
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Ah, I remember listening to Dope for the first time. Not during that month, but the year after. I remember feeling the energy throughout the song. Dope holds a special place in my heart, as it made me look more into BTS, then eventually discovered other kpop groups/soloist. Made me appreciate the genre even more.
Shout out to Love Me Right, Heart Attack, and Bang Bang Bang. Love listening to those 3 songs. Glad you mentioned We Like 2 Party. Another good song that doesn’t get much attention. Need to listen to the other songs though. Can’t wait for it!
Dope is my favorite BTS song, probably. I never really got into BTS, but Dope I really liked.
This summer’s releases are so bad/average Nick is just going back to the good days lol. I think the most tragic thing about this summer in kpop is that we don’t have a “poster child” or representative song, like 2017 had Red Flavor, 2018 had Dance The Night Away, etc.
You got it! Looking back at better days is the only thing keeping me sane right now.
since i’m not sure you’ll be writing a post for May 2015, i just gotta bring up SHINee’s View. someone brought up “representative summer songs”, and i don’t think any other song has defined the season of summer for me as much as View has, a sentiment i think a lot of people would agree with. but i always forget that it was released in May, not any of the actual summer months!!! maybe that song alone was alerting us of the awesome summer releases that were going to follow.
Oh I do love View. The song is perfect. The vocals are spot on. And the dance matches it so well too.
And I am one of those who thought it was “down down down down view” for years until one of those ubiquitous videos or vlogs or blogs about frequent kpop mis-hearings.
Love Me Right uh…2015 was the best summer
Peak EXO, for sure. But of course, they’ve had multiple peaks in their career.
Omg, I didn’t expect for you to add Love Me Right here. But taste, sis!