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?
January 2011 Overall Thoughts
Looking back at the start of 2011 is like visiting a completely different K-pop universe. The industry has changed so much in this last decade, but I miss the sound of this particular era. 2011 would prove to be a big year for K-pop internationally, as the industry rode its first wave of Western popularity that would only grow bigger as the years went on. Gangnam Style was still over a year away, and BTS were two-and-a-half years from debut. Heck, even EXO hadn’t been unleashed to the world at this point.
What we get instead is a simpler time. Releases weren’t as tightly packed as they are now, but much of the year offered quality over quantity. January is never a particularly impactful month for K-pop, but January of 2011 unveiled a couple of stone cold classics. My top three is incredibly strong, featuring some of my favorite songs of all time. But, the honorable mentions are no slouch either. Oddly, it was also a month of double title tracks, with most of my featured artists releasing more than one music video for their comebacks.
January of 2011 presented the return of TVXQ as a duo, the debut of girl groups Dal Shabet and F-ve Dolls, and the first comebacks from rookie groups Infinite and Teen Top. Though they’d yet to release their 2011 album, Bigbang loomed large with follow-up tracks from their GD & TOP unit and solo work from he-who-shall-not-be-named Seungri. It was all setup for what would go on to become a blockbuster year, just as the K-pop boom was really starting to catch fire.
F-ve Dolls – I Mean You (video)
GD & TOP – Baby Good Night / Knock Out (video / video)
G.NA – Black & White (video)
MBLAQ – Cry / Stay (video / video)
Park Jung Min – Not Alone (video)
Seungri – VVIP / What Can I Do (video / video)
TOP THREE SONGS
3. Girls’ Generation (SNSD) – Visual Dreams (Pop! Pop!)
2. TVXQ – Keep Your Head Down
1. Infinite – Before The Dawn (review)
I used to listen to Keep Your Head Down in the morning to hype me up for day. What a great comeback for TVXQ.
ALSO this may be an unpopular and controversial opinion but……….your luv……..plus my luv……….equals Supa Luv™
Visual Dreams for a long time was a gold standard as far as member & line distribution – and a small obsession for me one of the years in the mid 2010s – but all I can see when I look at this video is how they let Tiffany get two different, cute hairstyles while giving Hyoyeon one that looked like a croissant, SMH
I need a K-Pop time machine stat. Reading your throwback reviews of older years makes me miss those days so much.
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I will take quality over quantity any time. And also, I miss the days not too long ago when 2 release per cycle was the norm. I think it helped with the quality, as the expectation wasn’t just one and done.
I also have on my list the Dream High OST, with the lead title “Dream High”, featuring on this particular song Taecyeon (of 2PM), Suzy, and omg Kim Soo Hyun who can actually sing pretty well. Its a bit corn ball, perhaps more than a bit, but it brings me back to my childhood of Fame and Grease all singing and dancing school times. (The HIgh School Musical era passed me over, I was both too old and too young for nostalgia purposes for that. Same with Glee.)
You know, Dream High is one of those dramas that has been on my to-watch list for at least five years, but I’ve yet to actually see it.
To be honest, I haven’t watched it either except for clips and fan made videos. I don’t really have time for television.
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