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!
April 2011 Overall Thoughts
While 2011 didn’t deliver the sheer volume of comebacks we’re accustomed to nowadays, each and every month managed to offer a few stone cold classics. In April’s case, there were more than three. Because of this, I had to relegate f(x)’s brilliant Pinocchio to my honorable mentions, even though I consider it to be a classic as well.
So, which songs leapfrogged above it? Numbers one and two were obvious for me. My top choice also happens to be one of my favorite K-pop girl group songs of all time — the kind of lush, swirling piece of dance music we just don’t hear much anymore. Number two was also an easy choice. It’s a timeless, melodic track that sounds just a stirring now as it did back then.
Number three was harder for me. I ended up letting my bias steer my decision. This track isn’t my favorite from this group, but the group itself is definitely one of my all-time K-pop favs. It’s a song I’d listen to anytime, anywhere.
What a month for debuts this was! B1A4, Block B and Apink? The stars aligned in April of 2011, both literally and figuratively. The month also featured two title tracks by producer Daishi Dance, whose work I miss dearly. This was sadly his last year creating songs for the K-pop market. I wonder why? We could certainly use a bit of his melodic trance music right now.
Apink – I Don’t Know (video)
Block B – Freeze! (video)
f(x) – Pinocchio (Danger) (video)
Park Bom – Don’t Cry (video)
Rainbow – To Me (video)
TOP THREE SONGS
3. B1A4 – O.K
2. Bigbang – Love Song
1. After School – Shampoo
Big Bang “Love Song” is my #1. I still listen to it several times each month. Solid solid song, and so very characteristic of Big Bang.
Besides f(x) Pinocchio, I also have DalShabet “Supa Dupa Diva” on the honorable mention list.
And a special honorable mention for Super Junior KRY “Fly”, which is another demonstration of how well SuJu have cornered the market on cornball both then and now.
One other note: Block B did one of the variety shows where they have to do their old dances in a random dance challenge – iirc it was Doni and Coni. “Freeze” came on, and not a single one of them remembered a single step, either honestly or deliberately. “Freeze” is horrible, like 2NE1 meets basic boy band. I believe the boys themselves consider “Tell Them” (aka “Let Them Know”) released in June 2011 as their “first song” as it is the first song penned by Zico that they released, and it also sold more copies than “Freeze”. There is a cute video paid for by copious and obvious product placement. I love “Let them know”. For a while it was in my top ten ipod tunes played ever until I lost all my play counts. It has a really fun chorus to sing along with. When Taeil sings his lines live, he doesn’t sing the main line but sings a higher descant harmony to his own backing track, which is something more of them should do! I am of course always hella impressed by that.
If you replaced Love Song with Pinocchio I’d have the same list. While f(x) is my all-time favorite group, there’s just no arguing with Shampoo. Everything about it is wonderful — it’s perfectly content to take its time and let you sink into its embrace. We don’t see many songs as long as it is anymore. I really miss having a whole 4 minutes of music.
Pinocchio is what made me a fan of f(x) when it came out, so it’ll always have a very special place in my heart, even despite how great of a song it is.
And so happy to see B1A4! To me, they’re one of the most unique acts ever in K-Pop. While a lot of the debuting “flower boy”-esque boy groups at the time seemed disingenuous, B1A4 always seemed to take this road in a way that was silly and interesting. Many of those groups also took a hard left to being “serious” as they matured, but B1A4 aimed for something still lighthearted. They always reminded me of f(x) in that way. Very hard to pigeonhole. A group that was never really here nor there, just content to be themselves.
That’s a great (and accurate) summary of B1A4’s appeal!
I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who loved Freeze LMAO that song was so bad but SO GOOD
after school’s Shampoo is one of my favorite songs ever. so glad it’s at #1. 10/10