The Top 50 K-Pop Songs of 2013 (Day One: 50-41)
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The Top 50 K-Pop Songs of 2013 (Day One: 50-41)

2013 was a high-concept, musically diverse year in K-pop. Hip-hop hadn’t yet taken over, and melody was still king. Instrumentals aimed for the rafters of stadiums, bringing in explosive guitar, sledgehammer beats and bombastic electro riffs. Songs played around with structure in artful, unexpected ways, often polarizing opinion before unveiling themselves as future classics. Here … Continue reading

2019 MBC Gayo Daejejeon Recap (+ the 10 Best Performances)
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2019 MBC Gayo Daejejeon Recap (+ the 10 Best Performances)

Honestly, I came into tonight’s festival feeling pretty pessimistic. KBS’s Gayo was largely forgettable, and tonight’s line-up was missing some of my favorite acts. But, MBC ended up balking expectations and being the most enjoyable of the three gayos overall. When I think about it, this isn’t too surprising. I’ve always loved MBC’s more intimate … Continue reading

2019 SBS Gayo Daejun Recap (+ the 10 Best Performances)
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2019 SBS Gayo Daejun Recap (+ the 10 Best Performances)

The end-of-year festivals officially kicked off this Christmas, with SBS’s Gayo Daejun once again opening the three-night festivities inside the immense Gocheok Sky Dome. Unfortunately, this year’s proceedings were marred before they even started, with Red Velvet’s Wendy suffering a horrible accident during rehearsals. I’m sure that idols were (understandably) concerned about the safety of … Continue reading

Grading the K-Pop Agencies 2019: Part Two (Pledis, RBW, Starship, TOP, TS, WM, Woollim)
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Grading the K-Pop Agencies 2019: Part Two (Pledis, RBW, Starship, TOP, TS, WM, Woollim)

Disclaimer: As with my write-ups on K-Pop’s biggest agencies, this is written from an outsider’s perspective. I’m not privy to any business-related financial information beyond what any other fan would know. The purpose of these articles is to examine how well these agencies are serving their artists and the general k-pop fan-base. If you’re curious … Continue reading

Song Review: Nu’est – Love Me
Review

Song Review: Nu’est – Love Me

Since 2016, Nu’est’s title tracks have been emblematic of what I would call the Pledis Entertainment “house sound.” Each one was co-composed by the agency’s own producer Bumzu, and adhered to a similar instrumental approach. Sub-unit Nu’est W switched things up a bit in 2018, but this April’s lackluster Bet Bet continued exactly where 2016’s … Continue reading

Song Review: Seventeen – Fear
Review

Song Review: Seventeen – Fear

I’ve made peace with the fact that Seventeen’s funky days are (largely) behind them. International audiences seem to prefer “dark” concepts, and worldwide fame is too tempting to ignore. The danger, of course, is that Pledis Entertainment already has Nu’est, who churn out songs with a darker palette on the regular. With a reliance on … Continue reading