Monday, April 13, 2015

10 Kpop Songs for Newbies

It took me nearly a year after watching my first Korean Drama to find Kpop (Korean pop music) because, while they both come from the Korean culture, they have different appealing factors. Kpop was appealing to me because the songs are incredibly catchy and their visuals are crazy. They have some of the best music videos-they are bizarre and wonderful. Much like K-Dramas, I've introduced many friends to Kpop which again puts me in a qualified position to recommend some great songs for those who are looking to test the Kpop waters.  So just as I posted a list of dramas for newbies, I will also post this list of songs for newbies. I posted the versions without an English translation because that's my preference, but if you're interested you can find all of these videos on YouTube with English subtitles.  *As a disclaimer these choices are very biased in that they're all my favorite songs.

1. Fantastic Baby by BIGBANG

BIGBANG is my all-time favorite Kpop group and of course as an intro I had to highlight their catchiest and most popular song. This song is crazy upbeat and you can't listen to it without dancing. Not to mention the music video is probably my favorite music video by any artist of all time.  This song exemplifies great Kpop. 
*For more BIGBANG listen to Monster

2. Red Light by f(x)

f(x) is one of the most diverse Kpop groups in terms of their members' personalities, which I love. Listening to this song makes you feel like you can take on the world. It's a little edgier than their earlier stuff, which is great as well, but this one is an anthem! They have a great ability to create a sound that's both upbeat and intense.
*For more f(x) listen to Electric Shock

3. Overdose by EXO-K

Since the first minute I heard this song to this day, I think it's one of the catchiest Kpop songs of all time. With rhythmic snapping and really cool dance moves combined with really great hooks this is one of Kpop's best.
*For more EXO listen to Growl 

4. Happiness by Red Velvet

These girls are just so cute and fun. While they're a newbie group and only have a couple songs out, I had to include them because this song is so great. It is so positive and impossible to get out of your head once its stuck there.
*For more Red Velvet listen to Ice Cream Cake

5. Eyes, Nose, Lips by Taeyang

Oh my gosh is this song great!  It's so pretty. You don't even need to know the words to know it's heart-breaking. Not to mention the video is so cool. His other songs are more in the upbeat R&B style, but he's got some great ballads like this too.  Taeyang is just great! He's a member of the  Kpop super group featured earlier, BIGBANG, and he's got some serious dance skills.
*For more Taeyang listen to Ringa Linga

6. I am the Best by 2NE1

If you're new to Kpop and think this song sounds familiar that's because it has been featured over the last year on a very frequently played Windows commercial. It has a crazy catchy beat and was one of my first favorite Kpop songs. Most of their songs have a heavier R&B vibe which isn't exactly my style but their videos are so entertaining, their raps are amazing, and you can't deny they are vocal powerhouses. You'll probably become more familiar with this group in the near future as the group's leader, CL, is making her debut in America this year.
*For more 2NE1 listen to Come Back Home

7. Rocking by TEENTOP

All of their songs are really catchy, but this is my favorite. It has some great hooks They're so upbeat and positive and fun.  This is one band where I love most every song they do. 
*For more Teen Top listen to Miss Right 

8. Time and Fallen Leaves by Akdong Musician (AKMU)- Audio only

Sadly there is no music video for this song, but I had to choose it anyway. This song is written and performed by a teenage brother and sister. Not only are they the cutest things to ever walk the planet, but this song is soooo beautiful. So great.  Their other songs are upbeat and really fun but I had to choose this one because it's one of a kind type of beautiful. If you want to see some of their music videos you can click the one below or find more of their stuff on YouTube.
*For more AKMU listen to 200%

9. Love by CNBLUE

CNBLUE are less poppy than the other groups. They are an actual band meaning the members play instruments and write their own songs unlike most of the other groups on the list. It's very unusual in Kpop and they're all super adorable.  I love their music and this song is such a great tune.
*For more CNBlue listen to Still In Love

10. Volume Up by 4Minute

4Minute is one of the edgier groups in Kpop. They don't have a squeaky clean image like most Kpop idols by any means, but they put on a good performance and the title of the song says it all. You're going to want to crank it. This is the perfect club song. I will say that I do not endorse their image. The video is a bit risque so watch at your risk.
*For more 4Minute listen to Crazy

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