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!
July 2009 Overall Thoughts
Pop music can be remarkably cyclical, and K-pop is no exception. Similar to what we’re experiencing now, July of 2009 saw a bit of a retro trend, bolstered by the era’s penchant for crunchy electro beats. Of course, this resulted in some great music. July was stuffed with releases, including a notable debut or two.
Looming large over the month is Brown Eyed Girls’ Abracadabra – one of the most iconic tracks in all of K-pop. It would soon set off trends of its own, and still sounds incredibly fresh today.
In fact, July was pretty huge for girl groups. We had the release of 2NE1’s first mini album, the debut of the soon-to-be-massive T-ara and a landmark album from Kara. Fighting for space were a bunch of soloists, from SoRi to Wax to T-Max’s Kim Jun. All delivered solid tracks.
Kara’s Wanna gets special honors, even if it would soon be overshadowed by the megahit Mister (more on that track next month!). And though 2NE1’s melodic I Don’t Care and FTIsland’s melodramatic I Hope put up a good fight for my third place, I had to give the honors to electropop act Clazziquai. Love Again is a total jam, with a rugged beat that fits perfectly alongside Abracadabra.
For those interested in under-the-radar acts, there were also strong releases from boy group R.Tripper and hip-hop duo One Two. Son Dam Bi and After School also paired up for the autotune-heavy Amoled, but I’m not a big fan of that song.
Clazziquai – Wizard Of Oz (video)
FTIsland – I Hope (video)
Kim Jun – Jun Be O.K. (ft. Kim Hyunjoong) (video)
One Two – Starry Night (video)
R. Tripper – Far Away (video)
Roo’ra – Going Going (video)
SoRi – Boy Boy (video)
T-ara – Lie (video)
Wax – Finally, It Was You (video)
2NE1 – I Don’t Care (video)
TOP THREE SONGS
3. Clazziquai – Love Again
2. Kara – Wanna
1. Brown Eyed Girls – Abracadabra
This is where the double checking the actual video release is necessary, because I have 2NE1 “Fire” as released this month, and Abracadabra as released in early 2013 on some sort of kpop compilation album I bought – like a NOW series for kpop that only happened ONCE.
In any case
Abracadabra for the win. Its like the kpop equivalent of Kylie Minogue’s “Can’t get you out of my head”. Catchy as all get out, ubiquitous for a long while, influential yet never quite copied, cheesy, and yet when it comes around everyone gets up and dances and does the hipsway thing anyway. That hipsway move is so simple but among kpop fans, if you do it, it is immediately identifiable as this song, or perhaps Psy who borrowed one of the BEG for his “Gentleman” video annd did the same move in a clever homage.
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July 2009 might be one of my favourite months in all of k-pop solely because of Abracadabra and Wanna. I’m heavily biased for Kara, my dear Kara. Dancing to that song back in 4th grade was surely Fun!.
As for Abracadabra? Beautiful vocals! GAIN! (seriously, that woman is the female version of Taemin imo, the embodiment of sex appeal!) Iconic! (many k-pop fans throw around the word “iconic” for things like… hair colour? mediocre music show performance? *chuckles*).
Also Nick, is the Debut Re-evaluation series still ongoing? If yes, please consider doing:
– Girl’s Day
– Nine Muses
– Red Velvet
– Orange Caramel
Abracadabra for me.
Off topic Nick, Eurovision just finished, what did you think of the winner? I personally enjoyed it, but there were several better songs in the contest.
This is the winner
And I’d tell all my favorites, but I am making a post on that for the next few days. And thus, I don’t really want to reveal them right now unfortunately.
Americans usually blithely ignore Eurovision as a decidedly very Europe-only thing, like the all August summer vacation and whatever Zwarte Piet is about.
Funny thing: Nick’s original blog, Alienhits, focused a lot on European music, and a whole lot of that was Eurovision. I’d say around half of the whole blog was probably for Melodifestivalen alone.
I shall correct my comment then
“Most Americans (except Nick) … “.
You know, I haven’t really heard any of the Eurovision songs this year, which just shows how much my interest has waned. There was a time where I almost booked tickets to Eurovision…
Not really feeling that song. I’m assuming the actual performance was colorful or interesting or something?
Ah, I remember your anti-Eurovision rant after you failed to get tickets lol. No idea why I remember reading it though.
The MV was somewhat cool, but I personally thought that the fashion was overdone and the lights too flashy. I also was not able to find a good quality video of the performance online. But from what I could see, it was somewhat average.
My personal favorite song in the competition was Dadi Freyr’s 10 Years. I think you might enjoy it, it was really funky. Since this is a somewhat old post now, I think I’ll just embed the videos for songs I think you may like.
Abracadabra is one of those songs so ubiquitous to not only kpop but their generation of idols and girls groups period that it’s hard to imagine a time without it. And while it wasn’t my own first kpop song it’s definitely the one I chose many a time when trying to introduce friends to kpop back in the day. Not enough can be said in praises for it!!
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You’ll love Eric Nam, IU and Suran. You’ve got to listen to wine by Suran I’m sure you’ll like it.
Miryo’s rap in Abracadabra is delicious. Enough said.