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Looking Back: The Top Three K-Pop Songs of October 2014

Monthly Round-UpSince 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?


October 2014 Overall Thoughts

Still reeling from the departure of Jessica from Girls’ Generation in September, October 2014 opened with another SM-related exit. EXO’s Luhan filed a lawsuit to terminate his contract with the agency, making him the second EXO member to do so.

All of this drama didn’t slow SM down, with releases by Super Junior, Red Velvet and Zhoumi this month. None of those songs quite made my top three picks, but all were solid comebacks (especially Super Junior’s).

As much as September was highlighted by female-fronted comebacks, October saw an overwhelming slate of boy group releases. Many came from rookies and under-the-radar acts, and not all were memorable. Still, the month’s schedule was packed with new music, offering a lot to choose from.

My top pick of October 2014 is no surprise. I still think it’s one of the best songs of that year, and the best song by this particular group. My number two pick may seem more left-field, especially since I don’t often gush about hip-hop in my reviews. But, a knockout track is a knockout track, regardless of genre.

Even though this list comprises of songs released less than five years ago, many of the artists featured have either disbanded or simply don’t release music anymore. That’s kind of sad, and a testament to just how fast-moving the K-pop industry is.


Honorable Mentions

B.I.G – Are You Ready? (video)

Beast – 12:30 (video)

BTS – War Of Hormone (video)

DGNA (The Boss) – Rilla Go! (video)

Epik High – Spoiler (video)

Madtown – Yolo (video)

Roy Kim – Home (video)

Red Velvet – Be Natural (ft. Taeyong) (video)

Song Ji Eun – 25 (video)

Super Junior – This Is Love / Evanesce (video / video)

Zhoumi – Rewind (ft. Chanyeol) (video)


TOP THREE SONGS

3. ToppDogg – Annie

2. Epik High – Born Hater (ft. Beenzino, Verbal Jint, B.I, Mino & Bobby)

1. VIXX – Error


2014-2019 Archive Here

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4 thoughts on “Looking Back: The Top Three K-Pop Songs of October 2014

  1. oh my goooosh. so we’ve finally arrived at the month that literally changed my life as a kpop fan. nobody really asked, but i’m gonna reminisce.

    i was a huge EXO fan back then, and i’m ethnically chinese, so Luhan’s departure from EXO felt personally devastating in quite a few ways. Zhoumi’s solo debut being weakly promoted (in my opinion) was yet another slap in the face from SM, re: their treatment of chinese idols. but VIXX, the group whose music and concepts i had been really falling into since Voodoo Doll, or maybe even as early as On & On, comes back with the most epic and committed song/MV/choreography combination i had EVER seen from them. the timing was almost a little too opportune, to say the least!

    anyways, absolutely agree with Born Hater coming directly afterwards– it was almost weird how dominant Error and Born Hater were in my music-listening during this month, since their sounds are SO different, but you said it: a knockout track is a knockout track. it took me a few years to find out about Annie (and Topp Dogg in general 😦 …..) but thank you!!! for including DGNA on this month. they’ll always be one of those groups that i’m really sad didn’t make it in skorea, but perhaps their vibe/sound was always going to fare better in japan.

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    • I love that everyone has a month or era that’s uniquely formative for them as a K-pop fan. For me, although I’d been invested in K-pop for years prior, July of 2014 was really a turning point. I started delving heavily into variety and music shows, expanding my taste rather than simply seeking out music by the artists I knew I already liked. This curiosity continued to grow throughout 2014 and 2015, so October of 2014 was pretty formative for me, too.

      And VIXX’s mv for Error? Probably one of the best K-pop mvs of all time.

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  2. Shoebox was such a good album (and Born Hater the crowning jewel for sure)….I remember waiting eagerly for an Epik High comeback after discovering 99/Don’t Hate Me and even though it was more of a return to their hip hop roots comparative to the trendier, poppier 99, I really loved what they did with it and gave it heavy listening through the rest of the year.

    Tbh Error and Annie are just perfection in their respective genres. If I remember anything about my early foray into kpop it’s that those two gave me chills upon first listen.

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  3. VIXX, kings of the high concept.
    Epik High, not on my list (too much swearing), but I appreciate the high concept and cheap music video. Probably cost a fraction of VIXX, but just as effective.

    I’ve got
    Super Junior “This is Love” > Roy Kim “Home” > SuJu “Evanesce”

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