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!
November 2012 Overall Thoughts
Even as 2012 drew to a close, it continued to unleash K-pop classics. November’s often a pretty packed month for releases, right before the industry slows down in December.
There are a few absolutely incredible songs that didn’t make my top three this month. A-Jax’s early-00’s throwback 2MYX is a personal favorite, as well as TVXQ’s immense repackage track Humanoids. The fact that a month could be strong enough to relegate these tracks to “honorable mentions” is quite stunning.
Elsewhere, Fiestar improved upon their debut with the fabulous We Don’t Stop, and Kara did the unthinkable by releasing an entire mini album full of solo tracks – each paired with a music video. I chose my two favorites to spotlight here. Dalshabet fully embraced a retro sound with the great Have, Don’t Have. They would perfect this style two years later with their epic B.B.B.
Debuts came in the form of soloists, with Infinite’s Sungkyu and Beast’s Yoseob offering their first solo work. Remember when these two groups ruled K-pop? Good memories, for sure. Thai singer Natthew also had his Korean debut, featuring Beast’s Junhyung for a catchy electro dance track. Finally, the oft-forgotten Smash (or SM☆SH, if you want to get fancy) delivered their most enduring song after four years of activities. It’s one of those second-gen K-pop tracks without an official English title, so the translations tend to run the gamut.
My top three is incredible. You’ll notice that two of the songs were placed high on my currently-running “all-time best” countdown, with another winding up in the honorable mentions. It’s just great pop music that’s stood the test of time. And, can we just pause to appreciate that barely a week went by without a new Sweetune-produced song this month? We didn’t know how lucky we were!
A-Jax – 2MYX (video)
Aprince – Hello (video)
Cross Gene – For This Love (video)
Dalshabet – Have, Don’t Have! (video)
Fiestar – We Don’t Stop (video)
Kara – Guilty / Secret Love (video / video)
Natthew – She’s Bad (ft. Junhyung) (video)
Smash – I’ll Protect You (video)
Son Dambi – Dripping Tears (video)
Spica – Lonely (video)
TVXQ – Humanoids (video)
Yang Yoseob – Caffeine (video)
TOP THREE SONGS
3. B1A4 – Tried To Walk
2. Kim Sungkyu – 60 Seconds
1. Boyfriend – Janus
So I also have releases from the idol competition shows from both Roy Kim “Passing By” / “October Rain” and AkMu “Don’t Cross your legs”. Yes this was a good month for idol survival shows.
And then, a single from Sohyang. I usually think that Sohyang over-sings every single damn song she sings. OK, her Arirang when it hits its highs is ethereal, for a minute. Then she pops out that duck quacking ah as in cat “ah ah ah” timbre she uses to pull her chest voice up sky high, and a whole fleet of youtube commentators wet themselves. Cmon people, get real. This sound makes my eyes go cross eyed. Clear and resonant as a bell it is not.
That said Sohyang’s “Where are you” recording from the TV show “I am a singer” is a fantastic, slow-build torch song. Well sung … at least until about 3:20ish when she pulls out the duck call again.