This week we return to our regularly scheduled Kpop, with new releases and teases for the upcoming year. Yes, we've finished off our highly successful 12 Days of Kpop with a bang (and a few predictions), and we hope you had as much fun as we did looking back at 2014. But enough about that old year - 2015 promises surprises and a whole slew of new releases that will forever alter the very face of Kpop. Out with the old, in with the new! Speaking of new, let's get the year started with a rookie debut!
After weeks of Christmas songs and retrospectives, Sonamoo finally debuted this week, and with its release (just before 2015), really signaled the start of the new year in Kpop. The absence of other major releases really benefits Sonamoo here, and we've had this on repeat more for our thirst for new material than being absolutely enamored with "Deja Vu," as fun as the song is. Many are calling them the female version of BAP, while many won't support them at all because of the legal problems between the aforementioned group and TS Entertainment. We hope any backlash isn't directed at these girls, as they're stuck in the same system that took advantage of their fellow idols - BAP is not alone here in being entrapped by slave contracts.
As a song, "Deja Vu" is a mess. At about the 2.30 mark of the video, the song seems to get bored with itself and goes in a different direction with its rap interlude, before returning to its original "Deja Vu" chorus. It's more jarring than it should be, but the real star of the video is the dramatic choreography that will likely define the group as a hip hop alternative. We have high hopes for Sonamoo - they will improve. But will fans receive them with open arms? Or will they receive much of the fury against TS Entertainment? Time will tell. But we're hoping that they're given their fair shot!
Hyun-Young and Sool J's "Honey"
This week also saw the release of this fun project between Hyun-Young and Sool J. This animated music video was charming and simple. It won't be killing the charts, but it's a sweet little entry into the Kpop world. Check it out!
The Seeya's "The Song of Love"
Say what you will about MBK Entertainment, they certainly know how to produce excellent ballads (which we're not big fans of). Seeya had their long-awaited comeback this week with "The Song of Love," and while the video is nothing special, we were impressed by the song itself. Give it a listen, why don't you?
Hyolyn and San E's "Coach Me" (featuring JooHeon)
This was disappointing. We love both San E and Hyolyn, but we're not loving this collaboration. There are some Kpop fans that will not see how this song is inherently problematic, and that's fine. You are the audience they were going for. But for us, it's not the "sexiness" of the lyrics that are off-putting: it's the motif of the docile, innocent girl being "taught" by a more experienced man that seems so utterly sexist in a very old, traditionalist way. Korean culture is a step behind on gender equality, and songs like this that encourage a disparity are not helping. This is a song about dominance - a man teaching a naive woman. We're more into equality.
Jonghyun's "Base" Teaser
After a year full of notable solo debuts, Taemin included, we were thrilled to see that SM is giving Jonghyun (also of SHINee) a chance to shine right at the beginning of 2015. With this, EXO's upcoming combeack, and f(x)'s Amber getting her much-anticipated solo debut in February, we're hoping that SM will be rebounding royally for the mess they made of 2014. We're optimistic. This teaser has us intrigued. Even chained, Jonghyun looks badass here, and word is out that he's collaborating with Younha, which should be exciting for everyone. Our fingers are crossed. Check back next week for our take on Jonghyun's debut!
Three Predictions for 2015
We finished off the 12 Days of Kpop by saying goodbye to 2014 (finally)! And saying hello to the new year! Here are our predictions for 2015! What are yours? Let us know in the comments!
Best Album of 2014
Our penultimate 12 Days of Kpop post asks the question: What is the Best Album of the Year? We make our picks right here! Our choices may surprise you!
King and Queen, Episode 1
We're proud to introduce our first foray into Kpop fan fiction! King and Queen follows the lives of your favorite idols, here as freshmen, outcasts, troublemakers, overachievers, and cliques, all vying to be King or Queen of Kpop High. Read our first thrilling episode here!
2014's Best and Worst Agency of the Year
This will surely cause some controversy and fan wars! But we had to make a call here. What is Best Agency of 2014? And while we're at it, which was the worst? Here's what we came up with, but we'd love to read your thoughts too!
Best Breaking News Story of 2014
This just in! Kpop Journalism is grossly insufficient! Is it possible to pick the breaking news story of 2014? We give it our best shot here!
December 28, 2014-January 3, 2015
And that was This Week in Kpop! Thanks for reading and for being a part of our 2014, ending with our 12 Days of Kpop. We're excited to kick off 2015! Check us out next week as we delve into the new year!