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5 of 2014’s Best KPOP Songs That Prove it Isn’t Just a Passing Phenomena

2012 was the year that brought Kpop to the west like a firestorm. However, it didn’t stop at Gangnam Style‘s 15 minutes of fame, but has been consistently riding an undercurrent of popularity, ultimately creating a noteworthy genre of music. Although Kpop has been around just as long as western pop music, it was only within the last 5 years that Korea’s mainstream music genre began to take the world by storm.

In order to bring you up to speed and assure you this is worth more than just deeming a passing phase, or are just making sure you caught all the big releases of the year, we’ve compiled a list of varying artists in the genre and even give you a little background, as well. It was a difficult list to narrow down, but here are some of the best songs Kpop had to offer in 2014.

TAEYANG – 눈,코,입 (EYES, NOSE, LIPS)

 

Released on June 2, super group Big Bang‘s Taeyang brought the ballad fury with ‘Eyes, Noses, Lips’ and garnered close to 27 million views within 6 months of its release. That’s more than impressive and even on the same level of mega-star Taylor Swift. Perhaps most enjoyable about ‘Eyes, Nose, Lips’ would be the well-written lyrics for the song, maintaining their heartfelt meaning even when translated — an aspect that seems lost in translation the majority of the time.

2NE1 — COME BACK HOME

 

2NE1‘s comeback — a term loosely used in Korea for pretty much anytime an artist or group releases a new album — was hyped to no end. As one of the biggest groups out of Korea, even getting featured in 360’s Dance Central, their latest album was one to look forward to. So it’s no surprise that their first single off ‘Crush’ would be their most catchy on the album; solidifying that 2NE1 has what it takes to stay prominent.

ORANGE CARAMEL — 까탈레나(Catallena)

 

Despite only receiving 6.7 million views since March, a measly number when compared to our previous two videos — 2NE1 and Taeyang‘s astounding 27 million — that’s still nothing to sneer at. In fact, Orange Caramel‘s ‘Catallena’ even started a dance sensation in Korea, due in great part to the song’s addictive chorus, disco-pop sound, and adorably funny sushi-themed music video. A sub-unit of After School — a common dividing of larger pop groups, often given a ‘concept’; I.E. cute, innocent, sexy, etc. — Orange Caramel‘s concept is sweets, perfectly portrayed in their hit, ‘Catallena’.

EXO-K — 중독(Overdose)

 

As yet another of Kpop’s sub-unit groups, EXO-K — of the group EXO; pronounced as X-O — consists of 6 of EXO’s 12 members. The other EXO sub-group, EXO-M, sings in Mandarin, whereas EXO-K, you guessed it, sings in Korean. As their first single for their second mini-album following the success of ‘Growl’, ‘Overdose’ has the highest amount of views on this list with 41.5 million on YouTube, as of this list’s publication, nearly overtaking ‘Growl’s’ 51.6 million. Perhaps most impressive was that the song earned an ‘all-kill’ — a term used to refer to a song that has managed to reach the #1 spot on the 7 major music site daily charts in Korea simultaneously, according to Kpop Dictionary — within seven hours of its release.

MC MONG(MC몽)Feat. Jinsil — 내가 그리웠니 (MISS ME OR DISS ME)

 

Hands down the most controversial song not only on this list, but perhaps even in Kpop history. MC Mong returns after 5 years away after dodging mandatory military service, which is kind of a big deal in Korea. Since the 1950s, Korea has been at a constant state of war, although shots are rarely exchanged, and all Korean men are mandated to serve in the military for 2 years — women are encouraged but not required. However, in Mong‘s case, he claimed to have severe anxiety, and despite being cleared of duty responsibilities, he attempted to return to service after an uproarious backlash.

The album’s title track ‘Miss Me or Diss Me’ marks his return to music, clearly calling out people’s remarks either in favor or against his scandal, and has been met by a mixed bag of reactions. Although it’s a smaller group against Mong rather than in support of, they’re clearly the loudest and most adamant, even knocking him down nearly 20 spots from his top 5 spot on the Korean charts within a day. Controversy aside, it’s arguably the most sincere and heartfelt song on this list, and, overall, just a really good track.

Honorable Mentions:

Vixx — ‘Error’ 

 

Girls’ Generation — ‘Mr. Mr.’ 

 

SoYou X JunggiGo — ‘Some’ 

 

Infinite — ‘Back’

 

D-LITE — ‘Look at me, Gwison’

 

Cover image via

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Categories: JPop/KPop

Author:Jen

Founder, Editor-in-Chief at Another Castle | Twitter: @ComradeJen

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One Comment on “5 of 2014’s Best KPOP Songs That Prove it Isn’t Just a Passing Phenomena”

  1. 02/19/2015 at 5:12 PM #

    Reblogged this on Rice Cake.

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