By Jess Bazaldua
KTSW Guest Journalist
As the popularity of Korean pop music rises, some may become interested in seeing what all the hype is about. New music is constantly being pushed out by groups and soloists, but few take a look back to the songs that were released within the last couple of years. Here are what I consider to potentially be the summertime hits of K-pop’s past.
“View” by SHINee
From SHINee’s fourth studio album Odd came the single “View”. With a chill and dreamy intro, this song builds before reaching the upbeat tempo of the group’s usual dance tracks. The vocals effectively show off the exceptional range and individuality of each of the five members. A refreshing rhythm and sense of style that only SHINee can attain is sure to get anyone moving.
“Shadow” by f(x)
Regarding f(x), most Texans may remember them as the first Korean pop group to be invited to Austin’s own SXSW Music Festival. Their artistic style, as shown in the Pink Tape Art Film promotional video, sets them apart from most groups. The sweet, nostalgic melody of “Shadow” could make the listener pine for a time, or destination, of long ago.
“Bad Boy” (English Version) by Red Velvet
Originally its own single on the titular album Bad Boy, the English version of the track made its way onto this group’s Summer Magic mini album. With this heavy hitting R&B track, the girls are able to show off their “velvet” side, which is a more sophisticated than their cuter concepts. Although the lyrics mention the ability to capture a bad boy’s heart, this song is best listened to on a humid night with the drink of one’s choice.
“Lo Siento” by Super Junior feat. Leslie Grace
Coming in with a Latin pop crossover is veteran group Super Junior. With trilingual lyrics showcasing this group’s skills in a language of love, many are sure to swoon. Whether you’re with your honey on The Square, or with your crew in the car, you’ll find yourself singing along. Also, be sure to appreciate the vocals of Dominican-American singer Leslie Grace.
“Party” by Girls Generation
Arguably the most iconic veteran group, Girls Generation created a hit intended to make anyone into a dancing queen. You can be beachside, poolside or inside your dorm while enjoying this song, cutoff shorts optional.
“365 Fresh” by Triple H
As one of the rare co-ed groups on this list, 365 Fresh sure knows how to make an impact. With all three members being previously known in the Korean pop world (Hyuna is a soloist and member of 4Minute, while Hui and E’Dawn are of boy group Pentagon), the collaboration can shake even the most casual fan. This single off their EP 199X emits a groovy mixture of disco and 90’s hip-hop that’s perfect for blasting out the car with the windows rolled down.
“Oh NaNa” by KARD
As another rare co-ed group, KARD made headlines for their crisp take on the beloved genre. With their poppy dance track, “Oh NaNa” is the perfect track for a beachside drive. The song even kicks it up a notch with the incredible flow of the group’s phenomenal rappers. Let yourself loose and feel their reggae-inspired vibe.
K-Pop music has gained some well-deserved recognition in recent years. As a multi-faceted genre, there is something available for every person and every mood. As a someone who enjoys any kind of music, regardless of language or style, I feel that Korean pop is probably one of the greatest genres for anyone looking to sample the global music scene.
Featured image by Jess Bazaldua.