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 2009 Overall Thoughts
I’m turning the calendar back to 2009, when K-pop was a very different place than it is now. It’s almost like visiting an alien world, but you can hear familiar building blocks within these older songs. During this time, K-pop didn’t yet garner endless international attention, which makes research on each month a little trickier than the years previously covered as part of this series.
January of 2009 wasn’t stuffed with big releases, but it delivered two absolutely iconic tracks. Girls’ Generation’s Gee is about as classic as K-pop gets, and was likely an entry point for many fans. On the other hand, you might not be familiar with the group T-Max, but if you’ve watched even the smallest amount of Korean variety, you’ve no doubt heard Paradise. Initially popularized as the OST of Boys Over Flowers, it’s since taken on a meme-worthy status of its own. As a piece of music, it’s pretty schlocky, but it certainly deserves a fond mention.
This month also gave us the debut of girl group After School and soloist Taegoon. Only one of these acts would go on to have long-term success, but both songs have a fun 2009-specific sound. And though I try not to give Bigbang’s Seungri much attention (for obvious reasons), I’m not going to pretend that his solo debut Strong Baby isn’t a total jam. Ironically, its highlight is a hilariously over-exaggerated introduction from bandmate G-Dragon.
T-Max – Paradise (video)
Taegoon – Call Me (video)
Untouchable – Tell Me Why (ft. Hwayoung) (video)
TOP THREE SONGS
3. After School – Ah
2. Seungri – Strong Baby (ft. G-Dragon)
1. Girls’ Generation (SNSD) – Gee