This Week in Kpop: December 6-12, 2015

This Week in Kpop is upon us, friends, and even when the week is quiet, we're here to be of service - to you. Granted, the week wasn't completely at a loss. Three female artists in particular brought us some cheer. And Zico? Zico was just being Zico, so let's get started already!

Younha, Lim Kim, and Solar Save the Season!

Just when we were about to call quits to 2015, three of our favorite female Kpop artists delayed our hibernation, friends. We're talking Younha, we're talking Lim Kim, we're talking Solar from Mamamoo. Listen! Watch!

We have a special soft spot for Younha who isn't incredibly splashy but always surprising, poignant, with songs that tip just beyond the traditional ballad. It's as if she was born with a voice for ballads but was also equipped with an aura of self-awareness and a distaste for overwrought melodrama. Goodness - have you even watched "The Real Reason Why We Broke Up," friends? It's spectacular! It's a ballad slayer (imagine that)!

No matter how popular Younha gets, she should be even more popular, so it's just great to hear her voice as the year comes to a close. Fortunately, "Hashtag" turns out to be an excellent release, produced by Tablo. The video is understated, and Younha's voice (as we've written) is beautiful. Listen! Watch!

We were thrilled to get this release from Lim Kim, whose voice couldn't be more different than Younha, but is no less iconic. If anything, Lim Kim's breathy vocals are some of the most iconic in all of Kpop. We have really never heard of a Lim Kim song we didn't like, so we were not surprised when "Stay Ever" starts like a slow melodious Christmas song, but then erupts into a mellow winter jam. Verbal Jint makes an appearance here, and he once again fits perfectly in a duet, even though Lim Kim may be the antithesis of Taeyeon, as terms of vocal mastery. We were surprised by this unexpected release - but not by the song's quality. Listen! Watch!

And then there was Mamamoo. Solar, specifically. This isn't a major release - just a cover called, "Only Longing Grows" (according to comments on YouTube). It has that overwrought drama that we're always apprehensive with ballads, but it's Solar, people - and how cool is it to hear her get her diva on? Mamamoo are the masters of staying active and in the public's consciousness with releases like this sprinkled all year, The strategy seems to be working as Mamamoo keeps getting more popular! So: Listen! Watch!

Also: Zico tho

How fun is this release? Zico's been killing it this year and is starting to rival Jay Park with the amount of music videos he's producing. "Eureka" Teamed with Zion.T, the video is as you would expect - A long litany of gorgeous women paraded in period costumes for Zico to pursue or be in stunned awe of.

The song itself has a jazzy old-school vibe to match the period clothing, and holds a goofy sexiness that maybe only Zico can really pull off. In any case, we're really digging Zico's recent releases, and "Eureka" may be one of our favorites.

"View" vs. "Married To The Music": The Relation that May or May Not Exist as a Result of My Madness

Gayathri Ravindran and Hafsa Tameez are back, Jack, and they've taken one too many Philosophy classes! Here they find connections between two of SHINee's most recent releases and what they may say about their celebrity. Don't know what we mean? They'll break it down for you right here!

Critical Kpop Podcast - Episodes 14: December Oohs

December letting you down? Us too! But there's good things happening too! Our first of two podcasts this week follows Sarah, Zander, and Tim, who detail some of the big releases of the last few weeks. Find out what the "ooh" is all about by listening here!

Critical Kpop Podcast - Episode 15: The MAMA(Mo) Awards 

The 2015 MAMAs recently brought up a plethora of conversation - from controversial winners to... controversial performers?! Hear Zander and Tim duke it out! The mind vs. the heart! Only one can survive! Listen here!

December 6-12, 2015

And that was This Week in Kpop! The year's almost over and we can't even believe it! Hopefully they'll be a few more surprises in store so we don't get completely bored already. Fingers crossed! Until we meet again, have fun and be safe!


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