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 2013 Overall Thoughts
And we have entered a new year! As an extension of K-pop’s excellent 2012, 2013 stands as one of my favorite years for the industry. Over the next few months, we’ll be looking back on a lot of classics, starting from the very first day of 2013.
In my experience, January in K-pop can either be a barren wasteland of underwhelming material, or a month that ends up delivering some of my favorite songs of the year. In this case, January 2013 delivered some of my favorite songs of all time. That’s a pretty big feather in its cap.
2013 kicked off with a bang. On New Year’s Day, SM Entertainment dropped an event single – Girls’ Generation’s first Korean comeback in over a year. A new sound, a new image, and one of K-pop’s most iconic videos. I can’t think of another year that went so large right off the bat. I wonder why more K-pop agencies don’t do this?
And, that big K-pop moment wasn’t even my favorite track of the month. Reliably excellent production team Sweetune was still in high demand, delivering three singles in January. One of these planted itself right at number one.
My honorable mentions are overflowing, and include some big names like B.A.P, Nine Muses and CNBlue. But, January was really the month of sub-units. We had the debut of Infinite H, with two fantastic singles, the formation of 4minute’s fun country-pop duo 2Yoon and the long-awaited return of Sistar19. The month also saw the highly-successful solo debut of TVXQ/JYJ member Kim Jaejoong and the return of H.O.T’s Moon Heejun.
Elsewhere, VIXX delivered their first truly superb single, kicking off a dynamite 2013 that would see their popularity explode. Phantom unveiled a killer pop track with a great “behind the music” themed video. And though I didn’t include it in the list due to its Chinese-language release, Super Junior-M hit us with the awesome Breakdown.
2013 was already looking strong, and it would grow even more impressive as the months went on.
Airplane – Pretty (video)
B.A.P – Rain Sound (video)
CNBlue – I’m Sorry (video)
DMTN – Safety Zone (video)
Glam – I Like That (video)
Infinite H – Special Girl (ft. Bumkey) / Without You (ft. Zion.T) (video / video)
Kim Jaejoong – Mine (video)
Moon Heejun (H.O.T) – I’m Not Ok (video)
Mr.Mr. – Highway (video)
MYNAME – Just That Little Thing (video)
Nine Muses – Dolls (video)
Phantom – Like Cho Yong Pil (video)
Sistar19 – Gone Not Around Any Longer (video)
Speed – It’s Over (ft. Park Boyoung) (video)
2Yoon – 24/7 (video)
TOP THREE SONGS
3. VIXX – On And On
2. Girls’ Generation (SNSD) – I Got A Boy
1. Boyfriend – I Yah
I YAH! I YAH! I YAH!
One of My all Time favorite Songs Ever! Best part yet that it was released on my birthday! It only enhances the song!
January was amazingly impressive and My Top 3 are nothing short of awesome!
My Top 3:
3. VIXX – On and On
2. SNSD – I Got A Boy
1. Boyfriend – I YAH
I guess my opinion is really the same as yours
The amount of classics!! 2013 really was such an amazing year for k-pop. My top 3 would be:
3. Rain Sound – B.A.P.
2. Dolls – Nine Muses
1. I Got a Boy – SNSD
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I also have VIXX “On and On”.
And also Super Junior-M “Break Down” promoted in both Mandarin and Korean. In a way “Break Down” is the forerunner of all the moto motorcycle styling going on right now with the NCT’s.
Then there was this tiny group called Tiny-G, with a charming tiny song called “Mini mani mo”. This song is a pocket full of fun. The post-chorus mini minee mo sequence is great.
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I have similar thoughts about the Tiny-G track as I did the Rocket Punch single. I feel like I should be learning my ABCs when I’m listening to it.
Maybe years working in elementary education has turned me against anything that sounds remotely like a nursery rhyme!
Ah, yes, my sympathy. I was fortunate that darling daughter was never the princess type. For sonny boy, somehow I was able to limit him to Jake and the Neverland Pirates and Mickey Mouse clubhouse, the latter of which has They Might Be Giants music which is always a good thing. TMBG put out a few kids musics CDs which were in heavy rotation in the car for a long while.
And then on longer road trips – oh this was genius – we steered them towards roots kids music, like Johnny Cash’s kids album, or Carl Sandburg’s, or some indie label old bluegrass cd we would let them pick out like found treasure in a National Park gift shop, along with the nth quill pen and roll up Declaration of Independence. “Kids, why don’t you pick out a new CD for the car while we are here!”
My Top 3 from January 2013:
1. I Got a Boy – Girls Generation
2. 24/7 – 2Yoon (it was only a Top 40 hit on Gaon)
3. Vixx – On and On