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 2013 Overall Thoughts
As expected, November was 2013’s last big blitz of releases before things quieted down in December. And, it was stuffed with highlights – both from big-name artists and under-the-radar acts. Longtime readers won’t be surprised by my top three picks, but I want to give a special shout-out to my number four pick: History’s What Am I To You. I love this song more and more with every year that passes, and I’d recommend giving it a listen if you’re not already familiar with it.
Anyway, my top three is super solid. But, so was the rest of the month. YG Entertainment was on fire this November, releasing track after track. It was essentially a month of Bigbang solos, with individual releases from Taeyang, G-Dragon and T.O.P. Not all of them made my list (I’ve never been a big fan of Doom Dada), but I appreciate how prolific the agency was during this period.
November also saw strong boy group releases from acts like VIXX, ZE:A, Alphabat and SHU-I (remember those last two? Probably not.), and underrated girl group tracks from Blady and Wa$$up. Though they wouldn’t debut for another year, Lovelyz continued to tease its upcoming members with a gorgeous ballad from Jin. And speaking of ballads, FTIsland released a real corker of a power ballad. Would you expect anything less from them?
Alphabat – AB City (video)
Blady – Blood Type B Girl (video)
The Boss (DGNA) – Why Goodbye (video)
FTIsland – Madly (video)
G-Dragon – Who You? (video)
History – What Am I To You (video)
Hyolyn – One Way Love (video)
Jin (Lovelyz) – Gone (video)
SHU-I – So In Luv (video)
Tasty – Day’n Night (video)
VIXX – Only U / Voodoo Doll (video / video)
Wa$$up – Nom Nom Nom (video)
ZE:A – Step By Step (video)
TOP THREE SONGS
3. 2NE1 – Missing You (review)
2. Taeyang – Ringa Linga
1. miss A – Hush
I’m so happy Blood Type B Girl got an honorable mention, it’s a classic. My top 3:
1. Hush – miss A
2. One Way Love – Hyolyn
3. Voodoo Doll – VIXX
Back when, which is to say 2 or 3 years ago or so, VIXX Voodoo Doll was always on the short list of high concept kpop music videos one must see. Looking back at it again, there are so many concept and dance elements that the contemporary dark theme late 3rd – early 4th gen steal liberally from. Its as if re-watching this video was required reading and cribbing for every other Road to the Kingdom performance.
If Xeno was around he would probably gush about Miss A, so I shall gush about Miss A in his absence. Miss A, so hot, so wow!
ZEA Step By Step on top for me. The concept of counting steps in a chorus has been used so many times, at least once per decade or more just for the boy bands (including of course New Kids on the Block song of the same title from 1990), nevermind kid artists, and musicals, and country line dancing and twelve other genres, but it is so nice and effective and fun and happy clappy. Cheesy as all hell, but fun. I also love the sung harmonies Zea uses all over the place in this song. I flove singing along to this song.
On the other hand, 2NE1 “Missing You” should be on my list, but I just never got into it. Its supposed to be the The Big Vocal Performance song, and … but .. I …. …. ah … there is so much nasality going on that every single live performance had more flat notes than in tune. They sung flat so much that one begins to think that is how it goes. Its a very pretty song. But I can’t sing along without cursing every couple phrases. I start cursing that YG should have plumbed the whole song a half note sharp into their earbuds so that they would have sung it their usual nearly half note flat and/but/yet actually in key.
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Hush really will forever be that song. So does Missing You. Kpop should explore further more into these styles. I’ve never liked Ringa Linga though.
Red Lipstick by Hyolyn and Zico would’ve been my #1.