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?
May 2015 Overall Thoughts
After a relatively subdued winter and early spring, May of 2015 started to kick things into gear for what would become a standout summer season. This month was dominated by boy group comebacks, with only a handful of female-fronted tracks being released. My top three reflect this.
May was notable for several reasons. First, it marked the initial releases of Bigbang’s months-long MADE series, re-establishing their dominance after almost three years away from the industry. K-pop veteran BoA also had a long-awaited comeback, delivering her first new Korean material since 2012.
Second, May unveiled the debut of two monster rookies who would later go on to dominate the industry. Seventeen and Monsta X released their debut tracks this month, and both were instant successes. Idol band N.Flying also debuted, though they would ultimately take longer to click with the Korean public.
All in all, May was a strong month, with at least five tracks I’d give a solid 9+ rating to. My top three is incredibly solid, and my number one choice is actually my favorite K-pop song of 2015. This wasn’t necessarily the case upon its immediate release, but 1,000-ish song reviews later and I am a different person. While I’m now sick of everything deep house or even vaguely tropical, I don’t think any track has mastered the sound as perfectly as this one. Picks number two and three are no slouch either, and would each easily take the number one spot in many monthly recaps of the past couple years.
Bestie – Excuse Me (video)
Bigbang – Loser / Bae Bae (video / review)
BoA – Who Are You / Kiss My Lips (video / video)
CLC – Like (video)
Halo – While You’re Sleeping (video)
History – Might Just Die (video)
Hyunseung – Ma First (ft. Giriboy) (video)
JJY Band – OMG (video)
Monsta X – Trespass (video)
Myname – Just Tell Me (video)
Romeo – Lovesick (video)
Sungkyu – Kontrol (video)
TOP THREE SONGS
3. Kim Sung Kyu – The Answer
2. Seventeen – Adore U
1. SHINee – View
Another tough month from 2015!
I’d probably go with:
3. Big Bang – Bae Bae
2. Sunggyu – Kontrol
1. Romeo – Lovesick
… though I’m loath to leave “View,” “Might Just Die,” “Loser,” and “Awesome” by N.Flying (which deserves more love, fight me) off my list.
Happy to see love for N.Flying. I’m not a huge fan of Awesome, but I’ve liked pretty much everything they’ve done since.
Lovesick was one of the 9+ songs for me, and I had it *just* outside my top three.
View >>> Adore U ~ Awesome > Bae Bae ~ Kontrol
And also the Japanese version of Block B’s Her, which is the same as the Korean version except for the vocal track.
I have a feeling most people will prefer Kontrol to The Answer, and honestly it’s pretty much a tie for me. I give The Answer a slight edge just because I love the melody. Reminds me of Savage Garden.
Sunggyu also has a very similar timbre to the lead singer of Savage Garden – light lyric tenor, easy accessed head voice, well-developed falsetto.
I was listening to Masked Singer the other day, and Doyoung from NCT was on it as “Assistant Manager”. Now to be perfectly honest, I don’t know many members of NCT despite listening quite often to them. (There is Taeyong and Ten, and there is one called Mark who I can’t pick out, and that is about it.)
Now Doyoung from NCT is on my radar because he also has a light lyric tenor voice with nice falsetto. After this, I suspect the next time we will hear him is on an OST ballad. Also, tbh, I can’t pick him out either because he had a mask on the Masked Singer.
Slightly off-topic, but have you ever heard Sungkyu’s “Shine” from his debut album? God, I love that song… and it’s even more Savage Garden than The Answer is.
And yeah, Doyoung is fabulous. Probably my favorite voice in NCT, though there’s plenty of competition.
Once again, I think I prefer the live version to the studio version. First of all the studio version has a noisy arrangement right in the middle ranges where the vocal is, and so obscures it quite a bit. The live version arrangement cleans this up, ditches the synth and replaces it with real piano.
Second, Sunggyu also sings really well live. He sings the song better live than the studio version. For example, the initial lines theme of the verse “neul hang sang” repeated a line later as “eonjaenga” is more soulful, softer, and less tinny live.
Also, and this is very important, he is singing live without a backing track. OK, the chorus has additional backup singers or canned voices behind the scrim, but the verses are just him and the mic. You know a song is good when no interpretive dance is required to make it meaningful. Just go out there and sing the song.
The song itself is OK. Its one of those midtempo always resolving to tonic chorus compositions, so it doesn’t go to enough other interesting melodic places for me. (BTS has a lot of these too.) Also, this particular “I Miss you” sentimentality is not touching me personally – I prefer his “True Love” song sentimentality and musicality. “True Love” actually could be of the type to hear over the air at Target in the US, except it is in Korean, so that won’t ever happen.
Bae Bae and Loser are good songs. I love the energy Seventeen brought in Adore U. I really love the production that View has. One of my favorite k-pop songs of that year. Gives me that feeling of dancing in a fancy nightclub XD.
No N.Flying? Awesome was one of the best debut song!
I love N.Flying, but I’ve never loved that song, unfortunately.
I think I might be the only one who doesn’t like View by Shinee. I don’t know how but I can’t stand listening to it. My 3rd and 2nd is super obvious but I think you’ll love my 3rd and 2nd but Hate my 1st.
2: Seventeen-Adore U
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