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!
January 2012 Overall Thoughts
Now that I’ve taken a look at every month in 2011, it’s time to venture into 2012 – aka: a watershed year for K-pop. If 2011 laid the groundwork for the industry’s expansion, 2012 kicked the door down. It’s a personal favorite year of mine, with too many classics to count.
January got things started with a bang, offering a number of solid comebacks. Most notably, the month brought the (pre)debut of EXO, as their very first song was unveiled via their short-lived K and M units. Right before that, we saw the debut of B.A.P, who would go on to enjoy major success in the next several months. In fact, at the time they and EXO were positioned as rivals by many.
Elsewhere, a host of girl groups returned with strong material. Sunny Hill continued their eccentric transformation, Dal Shabet released their best single yet, and T-ara kicked off the year with another fun, retro track. Of all the girl group songs this month, Nine Muses’ Sweetune-produced News has had the most staying power for me.
Though it didn’t make it on my list due to the fact that it’s an English-language track aimed primarily at the U.S. market, Wonder Girls’ The DJ Is Mine was another solid January release, even if I would have preferred a Korean version.
Buckle up, because this is just the start of a renaissance period for K-pop, with many more blockbuster months to come!
Dal Shabet – Hit U (ft. Bigtone) (video)
FTIsland – Severely (video)
NS Yoon-G – Reason To Become A Witch (video)
Sunny Hill – The Grasshopper Song (video)
T-ara – Lovey Dovey (video)
Teen Top – Crazy (video)
TOP THREE SONGS
3. Nine Muses – News
2. B.A.P – Warrior
1. EXO – What Is Love (review)