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COMMENTS

Shazaaam! Girls’ Generation are back with an awesome song! We let you know why we thought it was good in our video. Also, 2NE1′s video just came out today, but just a bit too late for us to do a comparison of the two. Both are totally different songs and videos. I’m not sure which song I like more, really. Hmm. Will have to think about that more for next week.

What are your thoughts on the Girls Generation video? There are some things about it that just seem ill planned. One of the things we didn’t talk about in our video is that parking lot scene. Girls Generation walk off the camera, and instead of the edit ending there and cutting to something else, it goes on for another few seconds to look at the cars, and then you notice some dudes in the back start…dancing or waving or something? I don’t know. It just didn’t seem necessary at all, and seems rather indicative of a video that wasn’t well edited. The sets, costume, and props were all cool looking, but I wish that the editor stepped away and let the video speak for itself. Take a look at how clean “Hoot” was edited compared to this video, and you’ll see what I mean.

Soo Zee was really passionate about talking about the song, though. We were surprised that she didn’t like the song and how it made her skin crawl. It was for reasons that we didn’t get into in the video, because Soo Zee had a difficult enough time expressing her disdain without cringing, but the part after “Mr. Mr.” they say “you’re the best guy!” and it’s – in Korean – corny beyond all words. Our Korean isn’t good enough to know whether something’s corny or not, because we still say “Assah!” whenever we do something right, and supposedly that’s corny as well, but when have we ever let corniness stop us? I think Soo Zee’s just too cool for this song. All I know now is that I find the chorus a wee bit ruined for me now.

So, one of the things we’ve suggested in this video is that Kpop in 2013 was weaker than usual. 2009-2012 were, for us, the glory years. SHINee, Big Bang, Girls Generation, 2NE1, 2PM, Miss A, Bilasa, Hyuna, Super Junior, all had great songs and fun videos that we were super excited about. 2013, though, just didn’t have that. Some videos were good, but a vast majority of them left us underwhelmed, and we didn’t feel the same level of excitement towards Kpop that we usually do. And, like we said, we’re not the only ones we know who feel this way. Kpop videos aren’t getting the same amount of views, either, it seems. But this is a conversation we’ve only had with 10-15 or so other people. We know a lot more people online than offline, so let us know what you think. Is Kpop as good as it always was, or was 2013 not that great of a year?

Anyhow, we have higher hopes for this year. Girls Generation’s song was great, 2NE1′s two videos are pretty sweet, and everything else that comes out is gonna be fantastic elastic. FANTASTIC ELASTIC, I SAY!

Bloopers

We’ve got a few bloopers from this week’s Music Monday. Martina has another brainfart with the word “segmented” and I make out with a cat to try to cope with a bad headache. Is it the yellow dust or something? I don’t know. All I know is that cat snuggles make everything better:

 

Click the button below if you agree with cat snuggles. You’d be crazy not to agree with cat snuggles, really!

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  1. I’m just going to pop in really quick because I suspect most people didn’t join k-pop in 2013 like I did. I had a ton of time off from work and so got into k-pop and k-dramas all at once during the fall. I wouldn’t say it was thanks to Psy because I don’t care for his music. I thought Gangnam Style was a hilarious video but in general, it wasn’t my cup of tea. I had seen Girls Generation from a year or two ago when they were on a show with Kelly (from Regis and Kelly) and I couldn’t get over how much I disliked the English in the song. The only reason I kept periodically listening to k-pop was because I’ve loved Japanese anime for years and I loved the pop songs that often went with those shows, but I’d never heard any j-pop group that really grabbed me.

    Sometime last summer a friend of mine showed me some of SHINee’s music videos from 2009/10? And I wasn’t a fan then either (they were too young – I’m 24). But somehow I came across Everybody back in November and I was HOOKED. It was basically exactly what I had been waiting for and I fell in love with their music. I love electronic music, I love hot dancing, and I especially love people who can perform live. Their personalities and voices really made me a k-pop fan.

    That being said, the more I branched out looking for more great music like Everybody, the more I kept hitting a wall. Especially for music from 2013. Most of the stuff I like was from 2012 and 2009. So, from what little I know, I assumed 2013 was just an “average” year for k-pop. And there’s nothing wrong with a year being just average. It still produced some great songs. I’m optimistic that 2014 will have some great music. And I probably can only say this because I haven’t had the time to become jaded yet. ><

  2. Maya Hayslett
    Maya Hayslett

    I started listing to Kpop at the end of 2011. 2012 was a great year and why I think I got so into Kpop. Shinee Sherlock, BigBang Alive, G Dragon One of a Kind, Exo Mama, F(x) Electric Shock. These were the albums that got me so excited about Kpop. I have to say that 2013 was disappointing. There were some great things like GD’s album and Exo’s growl. I also loved 2PM’s album. Why did that not get more attention? I also loved all three of Shinee’s albums but did NOT like the songs they promoted from them. In a word . . . disappointing. I hope this year is better.

    Also, I really do not like this song. I like SNSD in general but I think this song is boring. I like IGAB better (but I agree with Simon on Run Devil and Genie as some of their best songs). I also agree with Martina about the suit dance. Best part of the video.

  3. Skye Walker
    Skye Walker

    I was very surprised when you guys said this song was awesome. I sincerely though you were going to bash the song. But I guess not! I thought the song was very ok. Here’s why:

    For me, a song HAS to have depth, of feeling, in a way, otherwise I won’t like it. I like complexity too but it’s not really a requirement, more like a bonus. This song though has neither. For me, has no feeling at all, the beat is pretty much the same the whole song, the vocal lines are, at times, arranged very awkwardly to the instrumentals (I personally think this is either a lack of musical talent or just laziness) and the chorus (the part Soozee talked about) is very cheesy (in sound, I don’t speak korean).

    The video though, I kinda liked it. Visually, at least. I liked the colors, the effects and all that jazz. I could’ve been done more neatly but I liked it. And I liked it even more because it’s a different image for the girls. Very interesting. However, the dance was just ok and that black and white show of them dancing (the breakdown part), although I liked it, it didn’t fit the rest of the video at all.

    So, in a nutshell. Cool video, weak song. Not bad, because I can enjoy it. But weak.

    Obviously, this comes down to personal preference but you asked our opinions, so this is mine ;D

  4. Well, I’m very new to K-pop. I was looking for up tempo songs to run to. The first SNSD song I came upon was “I got a Boy” and thought it was too weird. But I’ve found lots of other SNSD music and videos that I’ve really loved.
    I think that this has been a wonderful year for Kpop. I found you guys and have been watching a ton of your videos. I’ve been finding tons of fringe kpop groups that I’ve really been enjoying. I guess you old Kpop fans are beginning to move on.
    For me I think if a group sings, Dances and raps its a good song and video. For me 2014 can only get better. I hope to see groups like VIXX, Mamamoo, Beastie, Firestar, Shinee, Secret, Blady and others go bigger for 2014.

  5. expressopatronum

    OH MY, YES. I’ve been listening to kpop since 2010, and I remember loving the fun songs (which I usually just cringe my way out, I’m not much of a pop listener). But then late 2012-2013 happened and it was frustrating, the concepts were repeating themselves or they attempted stuff so extravagant that made me go “wait, what the fuck was that?” and UGH. As a general rule, I don’t watch the videos because they ruin the music for me, but I’ll give them a chance this year again.
    Also, Martina, totally agree with your idea of what’s hot. CONFIDENCE IS KEY. (Sidenote: that’s also why I like Key haha he wears the most ridiculous things but he’s so sassy about it that it’s amazing).

  6. Martina YES FINALLY SOMEONE WHO UNDERSTANDS MY FEELINGS ABOUT THIS WHOLE SEXY CONCEPT. I think it’s great if you have a nice body and all sure, good for you. But honestly I don’t like racy ‘sexy’ videos where the girls are basically wearing cloths as skirts or the guys don’t seem to know how to use a shirt, in fact it kinda makes me feel uncomfortable seeing them getting all up-close with the camera.

    That’s why I have such and obsession with T.O.P because he doesn’t take off his clothes! He’s just such a gentleman, he’s funny, smart, and handsome, but the thing I love most about him is how he’ll never remove a single item of clothing and covers up his body because that’s the kind of person I’d like I guess.

    Anyways, getting a bit off topic, when I see videos like ‘Mini Skirt’ and ‘Blaxx’ it just puts me off of kpop. I’m not saying that sexy is a bad thing, but you don’t have to be practically naked to be sexy like in SISTAR’s Alone, I mean obviously it was bit provocative but it wasn’t the now-a-days kpop MV’s where they are all wearing crop tops and miniskirts and ripping off clothing.

    Kpop in 2013 was so Meh.

    Just nothing interesting really, except for GD and TOP’s songs (in my opinion) that’s all that kept me going….I think I don’t like the kpop of now where all the girl groups decide to do the sexy concept because here in Britain and western countries, there’s already a lot of over-sexy videos and songs these days so kpop interested me at first because of it’s lack of sexy and more innocent concepts..

    I really hope the old kpop comes back because honestly, if I see a bunch of more sexy videos I’ll explode, gather myself and just stick to dubstep.

  7. Firstly, with SNSD’s comeback, when I first watched the video I was just spazzing so hard about how GOOD they looked. To be honest, the pink nurse outfits, kinda strange for me. I’m not into that. But with the other outfits (i.e the suits and black/white dresses) yeah they looked way too good to be true. The suits gave me a nice surprise, I dare say, they’ve never looked better in clothes. :) The song, on the other hand, when I finally listened to it…I felt like there was something missing. I don’t know I like the song, the chorus is catchy even if it is corny, but I think that maybe I expected a lot and then was kinda shot down. I’m not gonna lie though it’s definitely a lot better than I Got A Boy and I’m glad that I got this kind of sound from SNSD but I was a tad disappointed.

    About the whole “sexy” thing I don’t really have much to say other than I agree with Martina. XD I guess swagger/confidence just riles people up. Like TOP for example, yeah, he rarely shows skin and he dances…not so amazingly but his eyes and his face screams like “oh yeah, I’m totally hot and I know it”. I love that! Sure when idols show some skin it can be eye candy but I’m more focused on the members that like being covered up. I like it because I personally don’t love skin so much but the ones with clothes on just have that “look” in their eyes.

    As for K-Pop in 2013, I discovered it in 2012. When Big Bang had made their Still Alive come back. My first song was Big Bang’s Bad Boy and I absolutely fell in love with K-Pop afterwards. But then, after 2012, I feel like the genre just fell into a slump. Like, no one really knew what to do anymore. Everyone didn’t really do much…I’m not quite sure what it was but nothing seemed very inspirational anymore and that was the whole reason why I loved K-Pop. Because it spoke messages that any other type of music genre couldn’t speak and our boundaries weren’t closed with language. Maybe it was because of the fact a lot of ideas had run out and no one had any new concepts to take. Maybe it was because of the success they had in previous years and they were afraid of letting down a bunch of fans. Maybe it was because everyone was trying so hard to be different that they all ended up looking the same. Whatever the reason, I was disappointed with 2013, especially since (even now) so many good groups haven’t came back.

    BUT I am so excited for 2014. SM has SNSD back (my dear Soshi bias Tiffany, finally T_T) and I hope that SM doesn’t troll this year but we all know that’s probably not gonna happen. TS released B.A.P’s first album which I really, actually enjoyed (but I won’t hate since I know I fell for B.A.P’s strong image in the first place too^^). YG has big plans ._. They came back with 2NE1 (oh dear, Minzy and Tiffany are like on par FOR REAL. I CAN’T CHOOSE. WHY DO SONES AND BLACKJACKS HATE EACH OTHER.), they promise a Big Bang come back, WINNER’s supposed to debut, and like 3257584953 groups are supposed to come out (I lied. I think it’s like 4 xP). I expect a lot from 2014, I shouldn’t get my hopes up, but I am really excited to be delving back into why I love K-Pop so freaking much. Instead of saying that 2013 was just a “bad year” for K-Pop I prefer to say that it was preparation for an even more amazing 2014. o/ FELLOW K-POPPERS LET’S BE HAPPY FOR A NEW YEAR OF AWESOME MUSIC, DORKY IDOLS, AND SUCCESS FOR EVERY GROUP.

  8. Odette Alcantar

    I really liked this song but the music video had too much going for me. It was really hard to get what was going on. The song was really good though :3 Oh and martina I agree with you 90% about the sexy thing (that other 10% likes to see Jay park shirtless x3)

    I’ve been a fan of kpop since 2011 so kinda new? (I don’t know what the standard for new is LOL 3 years is kinda long to me)..but anyways ya 2013 was a meh year. There were songs that I loved but, most of it was meh. The newer groups really impressed me, and the groups that had been on hiatus did too. I think it’s because it felt fresh with those groups. Like thay had planed a bit before coming out with an album.
    Oh and ya the gangnam style thing was…ugh. Pepole still use that as a way to explain kpop. When people find out I’m into kpop they always say “Oh so like Psy?” ..no not like psy. Psy isnt kpop. It frustrates me because Psy also isnt the only one that has crazy funny videos, *Cough Cough* GD. Psy really did damage the image of Kpop among those who know nothing about it.
    I just hope that this year offers a lot more for Kpop, I feel like it will and I’m really excited for it!

  9. dev_null0

    I got into K-Pop thanks to ESPN, The World Wide Leader in Sports. In 2001 they hired a local Boston writer named Bill Simmons. Mr. Simmons grew to be so popular over the next 9 years that ESPN spun him off into his own website, Grantland.com, Grantland in turn became a site for Simmons and a wide variety of writers to create content that is split between sports and pop culture. Grantland is where you can find an article breaking down this year’s NFL free agency class right next to an article about this week’s episode of “The Real World”. They used to run a weekly article called “Grading the charts” where they would pick a genre or a country and then give grades to the songs that were on the Billboard charts that week. In 2011 they posted one for K-Pop (http://grantland.com/hollywood-prospectus/grading-this-weeks-top-ten-k-pop-songs/), the number one song that week was “The Boys” by GG, I liked the song and thought the video was pretty cool, so down the rabbit hole I went.
    I found EYK one day on youtube because I was trying to understand why everyone was freaking out about T-ara and Hwayoung. The TL;DR that they posted was a bit hyperactive but very amusing, been a fan ever since.

    2013 was a pretty good year for K-Pop, There were a lot of quirky releases: Lee Jung Hyon’s “V”, and Sunny Hill’s polka inspired “Darling of All Hearts” immediately come to mind, (though aegyo Kota still throws me off after “Grasshopper” and “Midnight Circus”). Dal Shabet’s “Be Ambitious” was a great song that I still listen to almost daily. G-Dragon’s solo release was fantastic, Beast, Infinite, IU, 4Minute, and Brown Eyed Girls had great comebacks. There were some good “under the radar” tracks from SPICA, Kim Greem, and AoA, et. al.
    The biggest challenge facing K-Pop today is over-supply. So many entertainment companies pushing so many groups, and there is not enough time to listen to them all. I think it is easy to think that 2013 was disappointing but I would counter with “there was a lot of good stuff in 2013, you just have to have been lucky enough to find some of the lesser known ones”

  10. Simon….. I have a question. Did you see the live version of this song? Jessica’s hand gestures for the “you bad bad bad boy” part KILLED me. I WAS LAUGHING SO HARD! The air-spanking over her finger was just hilarious.

  11. Kyla

    Believe it or not, I actually thought 2013 was a pretty good year. I do agree though, there were some videos that made me cringe, but over all, not a terrible year for Kpop.
    One thing I would like to request of you!
    As someone who has only been into Kpop for about a year and a half now, I would LOVE to hear your recommendations on other Kpop bands and songs from the last maybe 10+ years that aren’t main stream bands. I know you guys mentioned in the Anniversary video, that Soo Zee had a lot of good recommendations of older bands from the 80′s? I believe that’s correct. (Please correct me if I’m wrong!) But any who, I’d love for you guys to just do a video recommending more stuff that I may not have heard of since I’m still a newbie!
    I love you guys!
    -Kyla<3

  12. Do you want to try C.N.Blue’s new song Can’t Stop? I really wonder how you think about this song and this band.

  13. holyschmitz
    holyschmitz

    I came into k-pop around 2009 with the attraction to SHINee’s Ring Ding Dong and SNSD Gee making this whole genre really fun and interesting and it continued on up until this year were I felt it kind of flew over my head and passed as almost mediocre. I feel like k-pop 2013 had some AMAZING songs too it, along with really poopy ones. There was some great albums like IU’s Modern Times which made 1920′s music sound cool and I really like when k-pop artists experiment with older sounds and make them modern! There was not as many groundbreaking songs with few exceptions so altogether k-pop 2013 was summed up as a little average, nothing to special sadly.

  14. Bryony

    I voted “worse than usual” but I will say that I only came into k-pop in 2011 or so. And at that point, I had a nice little backlog of awesome to go through. As a Suju fan, this past year has been kind of crap. As an SNSD fan, this year has also been kind of crap. I’ve tried to get into Exo, but my heart just wasn’t invested in it the way it was in Super Junior and SNSD. Thus, this video made me rather happy. THIS is what I fell into this crazy fandom for!

  15. Polina Bazlova

    First, I find very few things more attractive than females in suits. It’s just amazingly hot. As for Kpop, I have been a fan since 2010 and while the shiny “omg, this is incredible” has worn off, I still find songs that I just love. Exo’s Growl was that song for me last year. While there are other songs that I like, anything from TVXQ (only slightly biased), there were a lot of “blah” songs in 2013. A lot of older groups are not releasing anything right now, and if they are, it isn’t as mind blowing as older songs used to be. Complexity in Kpop has become rare and few in between. I think Big Bang draws so many fans to them because they don’t sound like everyone else. I think that’s what made Growl so popular, too. Glory days kpop (for me) are songs like Rising Sun or Mirotic or Haru Haru or even Genie. And I completely agree that most groups no longer have that coherent sound. It’s what grabbed my attention about TVXQ in their glory days and what still keeps me hanging on.

  16. Sherwin Atienza

    Was this post supposedly about what happened on KPOP last year or about SNSD’s Music Video?

  17. Catherine

    I have been listening to Kpop since around 2008 (about the time that SHINee debuted) and in my opinion, I felt the glory years were 2009-2011. I actually stopped listening to Kpop all together for a while until just recently and had to try my best to catch up. I was pretty appalled when I came back to it. There were so many new artists (much more than I expected) and the music was SO STRANGE??? For me, each song is like three or four different songs rolled all into one. Sometimes there’s a nice ballad sequence, then it bumps into some hip hop, then, of course, a random dupstep sequence.
    In regards to this song, I agree with you guys that it is somewhat similar to the old Kpop days, which I am very happy about. Now I normally don’t really like SNSD, but I liked a few of their older songs (Gee, Genie, Oh!), and this song, despite the very confusing video, brought back nostalgia (like you said) for me in different ways:
    1) The choreography of the dance was very old school SNSD, which I appreciated.
    2) The song was CONSISTENT! There was no random dub step part (thank God), no reggae lines, random ballad sequences, or awkward rap parts.
    3) The song had the few really catchy lines that people will remember it by and be walking around their house singing it (“oh oh oh ohhhh!”) with a catchy tune (this part is obviously debatable)
    The chorus, especially, is very old school SNSD and I really appreciated, especially, that the song didn’t randomly break into different songs (does this make sense? I hope this makes sense)

    Not much to comment about the video, though. I only enjoyed the parts where they cut to them dancing, which I love about Kpop videos. The video was badly edited, like you guys said, confusing, and overall sort of shitty? Although I appreciated their attempt at a plot (I think there was a plot?).

    Anyways, like I said, I’m not a huge SNSD fan, but I actually really like this song. It has a little tiny itsy bit of a disco(?) feel, and isn’t annoying (like The Boys…. omg I am LITERALLY cringing right now..)

  18. Asha Blue

    Mr.Mr. was really nostalgic, like you said Simon, it brought me back to the memories of when i started liking kpop

  19. en pointe

    THANK YOU, MARTINA!!!!! lots of people used to think i was weird when i said, “i honestly don’t like it” when they’d have their abs-”eye-candy.” similarly with girl groups, i thought the same thing when SNSD brought out the suit-looking outfits!!!! i thought they looked the coolest in those over tiny dresses and stilettos.
    NEXT: i personally agree that kpop didn’t succeed very well in 2013. 2014, though, has been overrun with sexy concepts its getting really boring. i hope this mv is the beginning of a rise in kpop again. i personally hope for more r’n’b type music, i really liked eureurong separately from exo (i didn’t like exo before eueurong).

  20. Graciela Ivonne
    Graciela Ivonne

    i’m not really a SNSD fan. i haven’t really liked their stuff for a while now, but i was so happy to hear this song. i pretty much agree with everything you guys said. and btw this kmm made me LOL and i’m so happy to see this video format back. 2013 wasn’t a very good year for kpop overall, but i’m still blasting mblaq’s smoky girl. 2013 was very polarized for me where a lot of songs were either so bad or completely forgettable, and then a small percentage of songs blew my mind and i now play on repeat. i think 2014 is looking up. rain’s new stuff has gotten me more excited and i’m definitely looking forward to what everyone else comes out with^^

  21. Xanthe Russell

    I totally agree with the whole 2013 thing… Though i may only have gotten into kpop within the last 2 years (late 2012-2013) so i can’t speak from a longterm fans point of view… but what i think happened in 2013 was that it suffered a fall from it’s 2012 “high”… seriously, i think 2012 was one of the greatest years for kpop ever! Not only Gangnam Style, but just so many others (EXO’s debut, Fantastic Baby, Sherlock just to name a few of the many wonderful things that happened XD) and 2013 had to live up to or better itself up against that… it’s understandable that the music or vids werent as good or different, they’d used all their energy in 2012 XD (not saying 2013 kpop was bad, tho, i mean… Growl, come on XD) BUT I HAVE A FEELING THAT THIS YEAR’S GONNA BE A GOOD YEAR XD

  22. beumlmbya

    I’ve been listening to KPOP since 2009 and the first video I watched was Big Bang’s Haru Haru. In 2011, I started to discover more bands in KPOP rather than just Big Bang and 2NE1. I was happy to discover Boyfriend, B1A4, B.A.P, MBLAQ, BEAST (Batoost), and many other groups.

    However, in the last two years, it did seem that KPOP videos were becoming more generic, like, everything sounded and looked the same. Plus, there were many, many, many new KPOP groups debuting that I ended up not being as excited as before. I couldn’t keep up with so many groups and so I only stuck with the ones I discovered back in 2011 or the ones in the Big 3.

    I do hope that KPOP will be better than last year. :)

  23. Modern Seoul

    Looks like Martina’s wish has come true regarding those Suits being used on the live show performances. :)
    http://youtu.be/VCTc6nmt6NI

  24. paulpederson

    I became a fan of Wonder Girls in 2008, not until 2010 did I branch further into “Kpop” – a rather loose term, because anyone who begins to explore the amazing variety of artists and styles in Korea soon realizes the waters are broad and deep.

    And anyone who has been listening a few years may start to imagine that “Kpop was better back when…” I certainly miss Wonder Girls and hope for a genuine “comeback” after their hiatus.

    Perhaps the big hits of 2013 didn’t impress as much as those of other years. Yet 2013 had the album “Pink Tape” by f(x). Each time I listen to it I feel musically and emotionally satisfied from the total journey. I wish more albums by Korean artists satisfied me as much. I’ll admit I’m not familiar with albums as much as individual songs from most groups or solo artists. Oh, and “Rum Pum Pum Pum” is far from being my favorite song on “Pink Tape”. What do others think?

  25. Maria Ramirez

    I have to agree that this year for Kpop wasn’t that great. I only really followed INFINITE because of their world tour, although I wasn’t really a fan of their comeback song Destiny.

    I will say that this year for hiphop/R&B artists was particularly interesting. I definitely got into San E, Bumkey, Zion.T, & many more. I think that for Kpop it was a meh year, but because of that i was able to focus on other genres!

  26. Elsa Green
    Elsa Green

    Oh my God I never realised that
    about SNSD. How powerful they are as a whole, how united they feel.
    I’ve been struggling to find what’s so special about them for years. Why
    they are so successful. Why I always seem to come back to them (I have a
    love-hate relationship with SNSD…). That’s it! Unity, cohesion is
    their strength.
    I also feel that about Infinite, Nine Muses, Miss A,
    and more recently EXO. All those groups – and probably more – feel like
    they’re working together as a team while sometimes, other seem more like
    a competition between members – which is not necessarily a bad thing,
    it works very well for BAP and Big Bang.
    I’m going to go through SNSD’s releases again with that in mind. Thanks Martina!

    Really good KMM by the way. I
    like funny ones as much as the next one but it feels good to hear your
    honest and balanced opinions from time to time. AND it was funny still.

  27. SWalkerTTU

    For me, 2013 wasn’t really the best year for K-pop, though there were some highlights for me, like Lee Hi’s two featured songs and T-ara N4′s “Countryside Diary”. G-Dragon’s album was pretty good, too. I missed a lot of things because I’ve been really busy with work, but I managed to catch a few things.

    I’ve only really been broadly listening to K-pop since 2010, but my first exposure to it was Clon’s “Kkungttari shabara” in 1996. Stuff was hard to come by, living in West Texas, so it wasn’t until about 2000 that I was able to get any of Clon’s CDs, but I was able to eventually get all of them, and even Koo Jun Yup’s first solo album. I kept checking back in on them from time to time and got hold of their fifth and so far last album, “Victory” from 2005. Apart from Clon, K-pop largely passed by me unnoticed until in 2010 I decided to get the drama IRIS off USENET and came across Brown Eyed Girls’ “Sign”. That led me to “Abracadabra” and then on to so many other things.

  28. SWalkerTTU

    Maybe it’s been said, but it’s altogether possible that this video was hacked together out of what footage was available after, apparently, some significant amount of the digital data was lost. That had been mentioned as a reason a video was not available the day the song was released.

  29. prettybekah

    The room the girls dance in with all the cars… could that be the same room as the one the EXO boys dance to in 으으렁? they both look awfully similar. perhaps making it the next BRO HO HO room??

  30. I think there have been some good points made about how 2013 wasn’t exactly the best year in terms of K-POP. I’ve been listening to K-POP solidly for about 5 years now, so I’m not entirely savvy with some of the older generations of K-POP, especially where girl groups are concerned. I really got into Bigbang during GD and Taeyang’s solo reign, and a little after CNBlue’s debut… if that puts anything into perspective. What I had initially loved about K-POP was that it was so different from Western music. The lyrics, especially from Bigbang, blew my mind away. They had amazing complex dances and interesting music videos that often had a plot, which was so much more refreshing and interesting to watch in comparison to watching North American artists twerking in every other music video. (I’ll kindly point to Martina’s points on sexiness)

    But, of course, all good things start to flop. Some of the plots in the videos were getting overused (eg. girl/guy dying/cheating) or just weren’t done in a creative or unique way. Some of the product placement was boring and painfully obvious, and a lot of music videos were starting to become a lot more Westernized with the skimpy sex appeal from both male and female bands. I also found that some of the newer bands that were coming out were NOT ready and/or were just your typical puppy-mill brand of 4-5 singers and 2 rappers singing the same generic tune about lost love that they’ve never experienced. A lot of music from these bands felt flat and boring. Even some of the music videos for the bands that I do really like that have been around for a while have become flat and boring. 2NE1, for example, was a huge disappointment for me last year. They focused on the skimpy clothes and the sex appeal rather than the crazy-fun and outrageous videos that they used to do.

    Recently a lot of bands are starting to initiate more control over their music, which I think makes a HUGE difference in terms of quality. Bang Yong Guk I think mentioned in an interview that if the K-POP industry wants to flourish, they need to start letting their artists play a stronger role with the production of their music. G-Dragon is a great example of someone who has been making his own music since their debut (if I’m not mistaken) and look at how much he’s grown and developed; as well as the level of quality of music he’s produced. The same is with Jaejoong and Xia. As much as I really enjoy JYJ, I’ve found that I /really/ enjoyed listening to Jaejoong’s solo stuff. His lyrics intense and captivating.

    So I think with that in mind, I’m excited to see how K-POP will change musically within the next couple of years. I’ve also really started to enjoy seeing more variety of music being viewed as “idol” music. What I mean to say is that it’s not all just pop or ballads anymore. There’s a lot of hip-hop (and when I mean hip-hop, I’m talkin’ Simon D., Dynamic Duo, Leesang legit hip-hop) that’s starting to emerge, as well as some soft/pop rock (really excited for the day when CNBLUE puts out a solid rock album similar to their live performance of Tattoo back in 2010).

    With regards to the question as to why K-POP videos aren’t getting as many views as they used to, I think it’s because they’re more accessible to being downloaded now than they were a couple of years ago. There are a lot of places on the internet that provide 720p-1080p free downloads of music videos. There has also been a trend of a band releasing more than one version of their music videos which may also play a role in the view count. For example, as much as I enjoy watching BTS MVs, I’m more interested in watching their dance choreography, so I may choose to watch their dance practice video more than their actual music video.

  31. Jade Leane

    I’ve been into Kpop since BoA’s girls on top. I had bought a second-hand laptop in 2006 and I found the video of girls on top in there and I thought it was fascinating… After that I became a big BoA fan and I have been ever since.. (I think I should thank the previous owner for leaving that video of BoA on the laptop)

  32. Jade Leane

    I don’t know whether i’m the only one but the first couple of hours when a new blogpost/video is put online I find it very hard to open the page. My friends have experienced the same thing a couple of times and i’m curious whether other people have the same problem (my internet is just fine)

  33. Cheng Theng Pak

    FINALLY WE CAN TALK ABOUT THIS OMG!!! I have been listening to kpop for like 8 years now and i really really really just love listening to more rookie-ish music with the sharp dances and everything. I’m not a big fan of all the bigger groups like TVXQ, SJ, SNSD, BIG BANG, 2NE1 coz i feel like rather than making music they are more focused on creating a different and unique sound..?? which honestly makes me cringe ..sometimes. I mean obviously i dont hate them and i definitelyy listen to all their songs. I just feel like the normal idol-y music suits me sooo much better.Even those bands who get famous suddenly change all their styles and im just like ‘whaaat..? now i have to find another band to like.’

    For example.. I LOVE BAP when they first debuted. Their music was soo awesome and SOOO MEANINGFUL. then suddenly 1004 came out and its one awesome song..I LOVE IT IT WAS SO NICE buuuut what happened to the BAP i once knew..? I loved their songs coz they were relatable and it really gives you strength to go against the flow and everything. BAP DOES NOT SING LOVE SONGS OKAY. not their style. and im sure its okaay to change it sometimes but i hope they don’t permanently sing sappy love songs just coz this one made them get top spot on music shows D:

  34. FranticCreature

    Okay so I’m really new to kpop. Got into it about a month ago. I don’t know if I’m in the magical kpop bubble but I love the dubstep and the rap elements. Is that just me?

    PS Those suits are AMAZING. Want!

  35. I started listening to kpop in 2008-2009 it was like the wondergirls + bigbang era one of my favs~ then i slowly grew on to snsd. I have to agree this song is amazing but the music video could have been better, i want them to upload a no cut version where its mainly the plot, because i expected more plot in this music video~

  36. Genesis Barrera

    I’ve been listening to kpop for 3 years now and I absolutely love it, heaps more than american music. There are never the same genres and everything is easy to sing to and I love the dancing as well. Its just better :)

  37. Oscar_de_Jarjayes

    I don’t like kpop as much as I used to, but I do find your videos fun and entertaining. I love Korean culture and am very curious of this country but I got bored with kpop – I’ve never been a pop/dance/mainstream music girl anyway.
    I actually love rock, metal, noise and go to concerts. I’d never go to a kpop concert and have actually never bought any kpop cd.
    So my comment might be pointless. I still find 2013 sucked, in terms of kpop! I prefer more “old school” kpop songs.

  38. Tirahmisu

    If you ask me, SNSD’s Japanese releases are like 10x better than their Korean ones. However, out of their Korean releases I agree, this is one of the best in a long time. And personally, even though many others seem to be dissapointed by it, I actually really like it. I don’t mind that it’s not as bombastic as their past releases. I’ve been into this kind of music lately, and I srsly love this song.

    Though the video was well … yeah, a disaster. After seeing it I srsly believe SM lost the footage. The editing made my eyes hurt and the lack of dance scenes almost make me want to cry. Especially since the black and white parts in the tomboy outfits was totally the best part. And to add to Martina’s comment on the sexy =/= lack of clothing thing, I don’t mind lack of clothing on women actually and the abundance of it in k-pop isn’t irking me anymore like it did at first back when Hyuna released Bubble Pop, ever since then it’s been happening more and more and I’m use to it now. As long as vaj’s and butts aren’t right up in my face like Bubble Pop/Poison, I’m all good. But srsly, it’s nice to see ladies in suits in k-pop for once! I remember KARA did the girl-power concept last year and damn, if only that song was as good as the concept.

    But yeah …. in summary … basically I’m in agreeance with this whole video LOL.

    As for the whole ‘k-pop being “meh” in 2013′ thing, I thought it was worse in 2012. I feel like I’m the only one, lots of people are saying they liked 2012. But the only releases I can think of that I liked that year that I still enjoy now are The Chaser, Nanlina, Tarantellegra, Loving U, Park Jungmin’s Beautiful and Tasty’s Do You Know Me … and to an extent Bloom, Flashback and Ice Cream. Which is nothing compared to other years. I think it’s more because some of my favourite groups such as TVXQ, SHINee and SuJu really let me down that year.

    2013 however, came with some of the best title tracks. Sure, there was Wolf and IGAB which make my ear’s bleed but there was also wonderful treasures like This Love and Expectation, and the return of the old T-ara style music that I use to love (Number 9). Also, basically all of VIXX’s releases and A-Jax’s Insane mini-album as a whole. And I could definitely keep going.

    So in conclusion, I vote average. 2010 and backwards were the best years imo, that was the k-pop I fell in love with. As for how long I’ve been a k-pop fan, since late 2010 (didn’t entirely get into until mid-2011, only listened to a few groups before that). Also, I’ve been watching you guys since 2011 too. I remember I found you guys when looking up MBLAQ’s Cry MV and found your review. Good times! ^^

  39. Fafou Them

    Well, I’ve only been into kpop for a few years (yes my friend finally converted me after a year of trying lol) so I can’t objectively say whether or not it’s been better or worse. Add to that the fact that I’m not a religious follower, I’d have to say it’s been about average with me occasionally finding songs I like and others that I hate. So yeah, average for me.

    Although, I Got a Boy REALLY grew on me! It gave me the hibbi-jibbies but listen to it enough times guys, and you start to wonder “Why did I not like it again?” lol

    As for Soo Zee’s comments (SOOOOOO ZEEEEEEEE! I loved your view on this!) I seems like it’s on point with what a korean friend of mine has said about a certain kpop song. I wanted to know if he could pick up the meaning from the song I was showing him, and he couldn’t sit through it cause he said it made no sense. Said they were mixing korean & english and he just couldn’t. I thought it might have been just him, but now I’m thinking, maybe not. It’s just super funny to think that yes, the industry messes up the english–but who would have ever thunk it that they mess up the korean too?

  40. iateyourpotato

    I’ve listened to Kpop since I was 8, which was 12 years ago. The first song I listened to was Shinhwa’s Perfect Man, and though it had uhm… a questionable rap, the song itself was pretty good. The next few years after that were superb. Kpop had a nice mix of idols and non-idol singers. Vibe, Wheesung, Fly to the Sky, G.O.D, TVXQ, Wondergirls, Big Bang, Suju and many more. They had really good songs and music videos.

    Whist 2013/early 2014 had its fair share of good songs, I feel that groups focused more on public recognition (eg: Stellar went for a really sexy image and while they received a lot of criticisms, at least now people know them) instead of music. People now remember groups according to the various stunts they make instead of their music. Which makes 2013/early 2014 an underwhelming year for the Kpop industry because at the end of the day, Kpop is about the music and it’s pointless if nobody remembers what you sang, but remember how you strip instead. Plus, I feel like most bands are all mirroring one another in terms of music and concepts.

    … Am I making sense?

  41. In my opinion, most of the Kpop in 2013 was underwhelming, but the year balances out to average due to a few outliers which were AWESOME.
    With my music taste, i didn’t like most songs, but Crooked and I Got a Boy were both amazing and are still some of the best Kpop songs I’ve heard. Others such as Growl, Sweet Dream, Miss Korea and both of GLAM’s songs (I Like That and In Front Of The Mirror) were also really good and leave me with a few fond memories of 2013 Kpop. :D

  42. I’ve been listening to kpop since 2010, listened to all the songs released from 2008 onwards. I have to say that kpop was much better back in 2008- early2012, starting from mid 2011 all the companies started debuting groups that was no where near ready for the kpop scene. Many talented rookie groups back then, such as Girl’s Day who was extremely good were overshadowed by the overwhelming amount of rookie groups debuting with them, that no-one payed attention to them, but I’m so glad that they are getting the attention they deserve now. So I reckon that the quality of music was on a downward slope starting from 2011/2012

    2013 had some good songs, I am a KissMe so I’m a little bias on this but Ukiss kept their sound and release two amazing songs that was not quite the sound of the general kpop scene (“Standing Still” and “She’s Mine”). MBLAQ’s “Smokey Girl”, Girl’s Day’s “Expectation” and Lee Hi’s “Rose” was amongst the better songs in 2013, all of these songs I’ve mention created their own sound and are well executed songs.

    The most disappointing group for me was actually 2NE1 with their songs “Do You Love Me” and “Falling in Love”; to me (this is completely my own opinion feel free to disagree) 2NE1 tried almost too hard to be different and those two songs sound somewhat similar to me and does 2NE1 no justice to the talent they possess. Don’t get me wrong I don’t hate 2NE1′s songs but their songs in 2013 just don’t capture me like their pervious songs do (e.g. “I Love You” and “Lonely”).

    And don’t get me started on the rookie groups, most of them are just not prepared enough for the competitive music scene that is South Korea. Girl Groups tend to turn to the aegyo or the sexy concept which for most don’t work as well as they think it will. I’ve got nothing to say about the boy bands because quite frankly their releases were better than the girls but the quality of music is not where it was back in say 2009.

    I wouldn’t blame the “bad” music in kpop in 2013 on “Gangnam Style”, as Psy brought a lot of international attention to the kpop industry. I believe it was the general crave of attention and success from the entertainment companies since Girl’s Generation hit it big, to release poorly executed songs with the hope that one of these sad bad songs would make it big (“Bar Bar Bar” anyone? This song was so laughable that it became successful). Another example would be the more successful groups such as 4minute with their song “What’s Your Name?”; a poor quality song that only gained popularity because of the fame 4Minute already have.

    With SNSD’s new song, personally not my cup of tea but it has returned these Queens of Kpop to the amazing sound that they had as a team back when “Run Devil Run” and “Genie” was released.

    My thoughts on 2014 is that the quality of sound in Kpop will be begin to return to its glory.

  43. hironyx

    wow, youtube auto caption understands simon figuratively.

  44. Elsa Green
    Elsa Green

    It’s funny. 2012 was the best year of my life, but 2013 was a really tough one. 2014 has been awesome so far and it promises to be quite a blast.
    I feel exactly the same way for Kpop: 2012 was fantastic. 2013 was not a terrible year, it had some good stuff, but it left a lot to be desired. Come to me 2014, with your sexy jazzy sound, mature pop-rock and creative videos! And please don’t debut too many groups, my head is spinning.

  45. Isabel Ruby
    Isabel Ruby

    whether it was bette or worse, i’m not sure– but i certainly haven’t been listening to anything ‘new’ since this time last year…. idk it could be laziness or crappy music or both.
    i want me some kitty cuddles :(

  46. Renee

    I’m relatively new to kpop: less than a year. So, it’s probably fair to say that I’m most familiar with kpop from 2013, BUT I did my research on previous kpop. I went to Wikipedia (just wait, don’t discount me yet) and found a list of as many Korean artists as possible. I searched all the 1st generation idols all the way through to the 2013 debuts. I listened to a few songs of each to decided if I liked them, and then pursued more of their music depending on how I found it.
    My personal conclusion is that there are gems of kpop artists in each generation, but there’s also a lot of stuff I absolutely hate. I haven’t found any year particularly standout because for all the good stuff I see, I also see an equal, if not larger, amount of stuff I don’t like.
    Side note: there is even better music outside the kpop industry. I’ve fallen in love with so many Korean hip-hop artists, it’s insane.

    • paulpederson

      Interesting to hear from a new listener. I’m curious which Korean hip-hop artists you like. (Oh, and what about SHINee’s Replay, did you like that?) Thanks!

      • Renee

        Well, I enjoy the idol groups with hip-hop influence, but outside of the idol industry, I’m particularly partial to Phantom, San E, Bizniz, CB Mass (and Dynamic Duo and their individual work), Bumkey, Kasper, Verbal Jint, Ugly Duck. There are more that I follow, but those ones are my favourite.
        Hmm, SHINee’s Replay… I have conflicted feelings about that song. I enjoy the vocals and it can be fun to sing along to, but overall that pop/rnb sound isn’t for me.

  47. not so serious

    I personally think that skimpy outfits and shirtless guys dancing are hot but not “sexy”. Sexy is something on a different level than “hot”. Just like what Martina said, “sexy” in my dictionary is like TOP. He doesn’t need to rip his shirt on stage to be called sexy. I think KPOP in 2013 isn’t as good as 2008-2012ish, something just went wrong in 2013. I don’t really know what (but I think that EXO’s Growl and BEAST’s I’m Sorry were great!).

    Mr. Mr. is not really my cup of coffee (because tea is too mainstream). When I first heard it, I didn’t really like it and I thought that song kind of sucks. After I hear it two or three times the song starts to grow on me. I have to agree with Soozee, the “you’re the best guy” and “geuge baro neo” part kind of weird although I don’t speak Korean but I understand that part immediately and just *cringes*.

    p.s: Martina you have you watched SNSD performing Sorry Sorry? I think that performance is sexy! x)

  48. StarfishieT

    Martina 짱! xD I totally agree with you on the what is sexy bit. To be honest , I haven’t really been checking out MVS last year, but based on the ones you reviewed I’d say yes, it wasn’t a very good year for Kpop.

    I’ve been listening to Kpop since I was 15-16 ish, before that it was predominantly Jpop. The funny thing is that now that I’m doing Korean studies at university , I’m starting to move away from Kpop a bit regardless of the phenomenon as a whole . Maybe it’s because Korean popular culture is an unavoidable topic when learning the language and in lectures and I need a breather from time to time .

    Anyway, I really like ‘Mr. Mr.’ ! The video seems random in parts (the parking lot scene included) but I like how they’re trying for something edgier that can’t be classified as ‘sexy’(as in , skimpy clothes sexy), ‘cutesy’ or ‘tough’. Definitely one of the better songs to start the year with .

  49. I actually enjoyed 2013 as far as Kpop goes. It had great songs like, Growl and Smoky Girl, Very Good, and Doom Dada. Anyways, I liked it.

  50. Brianna Wilson

    Personally, I’ve only been a kpop fans since around this time last year, so I can’t really speak about good or bad years. I think that as music is changing with time there have to be some failures as companies try things out and experiment with concepts and such. Maybe this year will be better!
    With the album, there were a few songs that I absolutely loved – wait a minute and goodbye (even though the line “really really good goodbye” is a bit so-so). I think you guys could have maybe talked about the album a bit more because some of the songs are quite good.
    I so agree with the fact that the mv was shoddily edited. It seemed as if they were cutting to a different person every second and it was a bit confusing for me. Awesome song though!
    Thank you for the epic nastiness!

  51. Kealii Sanchez

    been into K-pop since December 2011-January 2012? not sure, around there!

  52. Soozee should definitely start doing that part for SNSD songs. Their English segments will always be great because they literally have two west coast Americans in the group. For the best that we give other groups a chance to fit into the rankings. Truth be told, Tiffany definitely has a noticeable accent, so I sort of wonder what the outside view is in Korea about her Korean pronunciation.

    About the song, overall I thought it was a great track, but the early parts did not really pull me in as their other songs have. I am obviously glad they didn’t add any silly rap segments or intros, because that was really the only thing I didn’t like about I Got a Boy (and everything I didn’t like about The Boys). I’m also glad they at least somewhat simplified the dancing. Ever since Paprazzi, their choreography has gotten ridiculously complex, which almost always leads to lip-syncing in live concerts. It became really hard to try and imitate their dances!

    I do agree that there was something of a story in that video that was hopelessly lost somewhere in the editing room. It seemed like there was a lot going on, and there was enough of a set and props to do something, but ultimately ended up being incredibly brief clips of the dude, and weird images of random jewels hanging about. They could’ve done a lot more with their crazy diamond-encrusted heart and the transplant that was to follow. Saturation filters and flares were definitely J.J. Abrams’ level, only not executed as well. Black and white filters are at least classy and fit with the stylish suits and hats in the dance segment.

  53. Beth Dawn

    Martina !! your definition of whats “hot” is something I totally agree with! I honestly thought BoA’s dancing in Eat You Up was especially attractive and that confidence is one of the sexiest things out there! I haven’t had a chance to listen to this whole album yet but I do really like this song!
    I’ve been listening to Kpop since late 2007 and I’ve got to say that 2013 was decent as compared to like 2010-2012ish ? 2013 gave some really good comebacks for groups. and to me the best year so far in my listening was 2008! you got your Lee Hyori, Rain, DBSK, etc etc. That was a damn good year aha. Hoping for 2014 to be like that too :)

  54. Persephone Basilissa

    Though I joined the fandom in late 2012, I too have felt that 2013 was a bit lacking in general. Already this year, I’m far more excited about the songs and stage performances than I was at any point last year. 2014 is shaping up to be fabulous in k-pop!

  55. momiji nokimi

    I’ve been listening to kpop long enough that Rain was still very active doing everything under the sun cuz his song was actually the first proper Kpop song I heard. I genuinely thought BoA was Japanese because she was still in jpop back then. Its been a while for me but not long enough to see the beginning of DBSK. For 2013, the most remarkable songs for me were GIRLS DAY EXPECTATION and LEE HYORI MISS KOREA. For very obvious reasons I picked those two. Despite being into boy bands, none of them really stood out to me in 2013 (maybe because most crowd favourites didn’t have proper comebacks that year e.g. Infinite, Suju, who knows) but Exo’s December was a really nice song to end the year with. I think also SHINee’s DREAM GIRL which came out very early 2013 (I almost forgot, oops) I really like it. The video was very very cool and well edited and it didn’t feel messy like SHERLOCK, it really showcased SHINee’s unique sound, and yay they have props! Special mention to Kahi as well for her debut last year.

    And I really didn’t like the music video for Mr Mr. I feel for Soo Zee, I dont even know why it’s called Mr Mr. The music video could have been better. It’s like they didn’t have enough film and just winged it and prayed no one would notice. The group costume I felt might not be as marketable as others e.g girl’s day female president where it could easily be recognised but that’s not really a big issue. I never really had a problem with the way Girls Generation has dressed for music videos in general because they don’t show as much ass shaking and skin like groups lately. Song has a nice harmony. SM in general has done well in 2013, they managed to get SHINee, Fx, Henry and Exo out in style also Supernova was amazing, I guess they just slipped a bit with this one in terms of mv quality.

  56. Martina ~ I am totally with you about the sexiness concept!!!!!!!!!! I also think that I’m slowly starting to fall in love with the song, I think. I much prefer the older SNSD sound with songs like Hoot and 힘 내! (Way to Go). That said, I am glad that this song is a HUGE step-up from the messiness of I Gotta Boy.

    I’ve been listening to K-pop since 2011, and I think that 2013 was a sort of average year, but with some stand out songs/groups becoming popular. I think that part of what is hurting K-pop is there are too many new groups debuting and it’s not really sustainable. It’s just too much.

  57. Awh, Simon didn’t feel too good :/
    But THANK YOU for saying that normal dressed clothes with confidence is so much more sexy than half naked people showing off their very well shaped bodies. I remember earlier you said that it seemed a lot of girl groups now in 2014 had decided to play it very sexy in their mv’s. Let’s cross fingers that Girl’s Generation will reverse that trend a bit this year. So much more hot to look at I think ^^
    And Soozee says some really interesting things here about the Korean. Maybe it’s not the englsih in kpop that is cheesy and have weird placed words in their sentences… Maybe it’s KPOP ITSELF! *Uh-oh* I’m outta here!

  58. hironyx

    i’m not an avid kpop listener. i drift from language to language lol. i’m ethnic chinese so basically i grew up listening to mandarin pop till the early 90s where spice girls and backstreet boys were popular and i switched to listening to mainstream US/UK music.

    during the late 90s, i started listening to jpop A LOT, so hooked on it that i would even buy music score magazines like utabon so i could rock to the songs with my guitar lol. at that time i listened to a little bit of kpop, but not much since i dont understand the language at all unlike the others. the only korean CD i bought then was JuJu Club’s 16/20. i lost the CD somehow (after moving multiple times) but i am glad there’s youtube where i can still find their songs lol.

    i stuck with jpop until the mid 2000s and started listening to heavy metal LOL, yes i am weird. nightwish was my go to band until the late 2000s i started listening to electronic. my 1st “present day” kpop experience was 2ne1, because their videos would always popup on youtube’s homepage. so i gave it a try. till now, they are still the kpop group i would listen to the most, besides the other electronic music i listen to.

    i came across simon and martina’s video because i was searching for 2ne1 and found their KMM reviews. so now i watch EYK videos because its entertaining, not because i want to know anything about kpop or korea for that matter. none the less, i like to eat korean food LOL.

  59. Gracie グレイス

    PPS: I got into KPOP in 2010/2011, so I find it hard to tell whether KPOP has gone down in quality or KPOP has just lost it’s original “OMG OPPA SO HAWT” factor as I’ve seen it a lot before. I suppose it would be hard to create new MVs/songs that are “new” but still have the same “Kpop feel” to them. I have noticed that in the past year I have been listening to K-indie more than KPOP, so maybe 2013 wasn’t a good year for KPOP -confuzzled mindset-

  60. Mrslightlycrazy

    Oh man! I am soooo glad it wasn’t just me. I have been listening to Kpop since 2012 and I basically came into it during the EXO debut. So I was completely blown away!! But then 2013 while having some songs I loved the crap out of I couldn’t fall behind Kpop as much as a whole and was really feeling let down… That being said, after watching TVXQ’s Spellbound, all of the 2ne1 music videos that have come out with their new album, and this Girls’ Generation video I’m feeling a renewed hope haha :D

  61. Gracie グレイス

    And woah Martina, that point about the sexy concepts, SPOT ON! -pats you on the back-

  62. Gracie グレイス

    Omg, died laughing at this KMM. You made some really good points overall, makes me think about KPOP 2013, herm… Anywho, well done guys, I appreciate the time you guys take to make these videos >~< ALSO, are you going to continue doing K-indie segments?? I love them :3

  63. Sarah Lacy

    WARNING. LONG RANT AHEAD. AND IT ENDS WITH TOUCHY FEELIES.

    I got into kpop in September of 2012, I remember it very
    clearly because my first MV was Sherlock sometime in the summer, and then a few
    months later the same person showed me Lucifer and that’s what got me. The
    shawols were talking about how they wanted so many views before Key’s birthday,
    so I remember almost exactly when I got hooked. I think I’d agree that 2013
    wasn’t the best year. I thought 2012 was phenomenal, probably because of Bigbang’s
    onslaught of releases, with SHINee’s huge comeback in Sherlock and Super Junior
    with Sexy Free and Single and Spy. 2013 just seemed like the year that everyone
    tried to be too different. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to stand out and
    make a name for yourself, especially in this industry where everyone seems the
    same at first glance, but it was too much. A lot of great artists came out of
    it, but I feel like I would appreciate them more if they were more spread out,
    like if I had time to process each of their comebacks instead of feeling like I
    have to keep up and then neglect other artists. I think another reason why it
    didn’t feel the same is because a lot of the huge kpop giants didn’t make much
    of an appearance. Super Junior, TVXQ, Bigbang, no releases. And while Bigbang
    did have a ton of amazing solo work, it wasn’t the same as the full group and I
    honestly feel like I’m on a bit of withdrawal from the huge success of
    Fantastic Baby, Blue, Bad Boy and Monster. SNSD released one song on the first
    day of the year, and didn’t make a comeback until now. SHINee had a great year
    as far as promotions go, and they worked their butts off, but my favorite song
    from them was Dream Girl, and that wasn’t anything close to the way I feel
    about Sherlock, Lucifer and Juliette. I liked Everybody, but at the same time I
    felt like the dubstep thing was already overdone by then. I do really like most
    of the newer groups that are coming out because they are all such talented
    people. And not to say that nothing good happened in 13, Teen Top had a great
    year, and many of the onslaught rookies actually made it out of the brawl for
    best rookie to make a reputation for themselves, BTOB, VIXX, BAP, EXO (Maybe
    2012 shouldn’t be called the year of the rookies, and instead the year of the
    caps lock). Also BTS has become the first group I’ve followed and loved since
    Day 1, so that was another plus.

    However, the groups I
    talk about with different people change depending on the person. If it’s
    someone that is extremely close minded, and only sees kpop as that annoying Psy
    guy, then I try to share my interest in it through groups that aren’t so
    pop-ish and “annoying”, such as BAP, Block B, BTS (granted these are all
    Khip-hop ish groups but they help me convince people that I’m not a weirdo
    who’s obsessed with Asian people who all look and sound the same, I’m just a
    normal fangirl weirdo). And then I have my closer friends who accept my love
    for kpop, and are willing to give anything a try as long as I don’t avalanche
    it upon them. For those friends I’m more than happy to make the first group I
    show them Super Junior or SNSD, because it’s those kinds of groups that got me
    hooked and I want them to at least experience it the way I did, not through the
    viralness Gangnam Style but through hours of scouring through one suggested
    video after another on YouTube. Back when I started kpop in 2012, it was all SM
    and YG and I don’t consider that a bad thing, because those companies are
    successful for a reason. They put out good music and that was what kickstarted
    my obsession.

    ALSO. I’m a Nasty~ out to defend S&M here…

    HEY, maybe why all y’alls complaining about the kpop music
    Mondays going downhill, is because kpop itself hasn’t been putting out the most
    kpop-ish material. Sure, there’s good music in there, I myself am really liking
    this kind of hilarious hip hop trend that’s taking over, but doesn’t anyone
    else notice a pattern to KMM? The best music Mondays that come out are the ones
    that review older more popular groups, or even newer groups, but they embrace
    the strange language of kpop (because really, kpop isn’t even a genre, it’s an
    entirely different universe). Besides the kpop giants of SM and YG getting me
    hooked on kpop, it was KMM. I spent an entire week of my summer break watching
    all the EYK videos because I was introduced to so much kpop, so much GOOD kpop
    through it all and I couldn’t get enough (and I also couldn’t stop laughing my
    ass off). It was right up through the end of 2012 where I found the best music
    Mondays and the best music, because just look at the songs they were reviewing.
    Miss A, 2NE1, SHINee, MBLAQ, Bigbang, 2PM, Batoost, UKISS, KARA, T-ara, and the
    old SNSD, and this is just what’s off the oldest page of KMM. I’m not saying
    other groups are necessarily bad, but when I want to get hit real hard with
    some nostalgia all I have to do is pull up a MV of Super Junior sporting the
    Korean version of a mullet. You know what I’m saying? I don’t necessarily want
    kpop to stop progressing forward, but I also really don’t want it to forget
    where it came from, even if I’m just a young fan myself.

    I really wish I had discovered kpop years ago. Thank you
    S&M for bringing it to a clueless girl in Iowa who tries too hard to be an individual.
    <3

  64. Kori Lynn

    I’ve been listening to K-pop for several years now but didn’t really get into it until the last year, year and a half. I went on a crazy K-pop phase last year for a few months where all I did was find K-pop groups and songs, download them and listen to them non stop. And though I was finding a lot of amazing music in that time, I realized most of what I was listening to was older stuff. I think there were very few songs I enjoyed from 2013 and the ones that I did were just okay. Nothing really stands out. I think a couple have said it but I feel Gangnam Style was sorta a catalyst to introduce K-pop to the world and while it was a fun song, I think it ruined K-pop a bit. I remember seeing a lot of things on the news about K-pop groups coming tot he US because everyone was interested in Korean music now because of Gangnam Style but they only wanted song sand music that were similar. I don’t know if that was the reason but it might have contributed. That being said, I’m so far liking what 2014 is bringing to the K-pop table.

  65. dev_null0

    It is ok SooZee, their Japanese lyrics in “Paparazzi” and “Flower Power” make almost no sense either.

  66. kpop_llama

    This 13 year old has been listening to Korean music for almost 8 years now for my early life was spent livin in Korea. And I was very happy with kpop as I got older I started dancing to some and I just became completely obsessed. Even at school I’m known as the overly obsessive Korean fangirl. But in 2013, I noticed that I, and some of my other friends, started to slowly drift away. I admit that I loved a few songs from 2013 (Kill Bill, Number Nine, Rum Pum Pum, etc.) but in general the songs just weren’t that good. I have a few friends who only recenfly started listening to kpop in 2013 and they loved about everything and was always annoyed with me because I never really liked a song that they loved but I just think I’ve been more exposed to kpop and the music from 2013 just didn’t reach my standard of a good song like the songs from 2007-2012 did.

    Martina. I need to say something here. You are my queen. I admit I have my moment where I’m like, “Oh Nichkhun’s abs are so nice.” Or something but I totlly agree with what you are saying. There is a reason I LOVE F(x)’s Amber so much. She isn’t exactly sexy when it ones to most people, she doesn’t show alot of skin and she’s just confident with everything she does. I truly believe that sexiness is lead from confidence.

    Well. I apologize if my comment was confusing but I do hope you guys read this. I love EYK!

  67. Emily K

    I’ve been listening to Kpop since 2002 (omg I feel old), but after Baby VOX’s heyday, I kinda fell out of it. I got bored. Then, I came back to it in 2007 with Big Bang and the like. I was definitely bored with 2013. I kinda gave up hope, like “maybe I don’t like this anymore” but I feel myself getting back into it. I just don’t like 90% of the groups that debuted after 2009, so it’s difficult.

  68. thisisjustforfunval
    thisisjustforfunval

    Hey! I finally like a Girls Generation song. I’ve tried but they’ve never been my cup of tea. Anywho, it was a good song that I wouldn’t mind hearing being played.

    Lol, lol, lol, to your J.J. Abrams jab! First thing I thought when I saw the lens flare pic.

    2013 Kpop question: I feel like 2013 had some good songs, I have list of at least ten songs I loved, but overall most of the music felt like a blur of repetitiveness. Last year I tended to find favor in soloist more than groups, this especially goes for the rookies. I probably spent more time and money downloading older songs that I failed to never hear before like SHINee’s Reply (yes I was living under a rock apparently well I do live in a basement, same thing).

    Personally I don’t like that many companies are trying Americanize or Westernize kpop. There is the natural blend that kpop has always had, being inspired by western music, but held it’s own sound and style. Lately they’ve been over stepping that line and it isn’t to my liking. If that’s what I wanted to listen to or watch I’d listen to the music here in the US.

    Thinking about it now, I’m a bit nostalgic for how it was when I first found kpop in 2010, with Boys Over Flowers and SS501. Also 2011, when I really delved into it and embraced the genre.

  69. Seattle Yeshe

    I’d like to add that I think Pepermint Chocolate is a perfect Kpop song! I love that and the mv. Why isn’t that more popular one wonders….Simon..I agree w u about 30 Sexy…to me this is in that category. Have I lost my mind? Have I no sense of rhythm ? I think not!

  70. Wendell Nacnac

    This old man has been listening to Korean pop music, off and on, since 2000. It all started with being a fan of dance simulation games, which introduced me to the Korean hip-hop and its “1st generation idols”. From the dance games, I learned of Park Ji Yoon, S#arp, Clon, Tashannie, and others. As a long time fan of hip-hop and with a curiosity of how hip-hop was from other countries, I was interested in artists such as DJ Doc, 1TYM, Jinusean, and the awesomeness of Drunken Tiger. My friend’s ex-wife is Korean and she let me listen to her CDs of S.E.S, FinKL, and Baby VOX (Coincidence is still my all time favorite), as well as g.o.d. and ShinHwa. She also had a home karaoke system, and I heard a lot of songs from that as well. I also have a friend who was a diehard BoA fan.

    After a few years, my access to Korean music became limited and I would only hear of music from Epik High, Clazziquai, TVXQ, and a few others here and there.

    My interest in Korean pop rekindled due to visiting my family in the Philippines in 2009, and most of Asia was playing “Nobody” from the Wonder Girls non-stop. From there it was getting into “Abracadabra” from Brown Eyed Girls, SNSD’s “Gee”, and Super Junior’s “Sorry Sorry”. The event that threw me fully back into Korean pop was the free Google K-pop concert in Mountain View, California two years ago, and YouTube fed my curiosity back into Korean music.

    2013 seems to be a transition year for Korean pop. Some long time groups have members who are moving to other interests or having life changes. Some of the newer groups have started to shine and are coming out with good music. I think compared to a decade ago, there weren’t too many groups out there or its access was limited, and the last few years, there is a plethora of K-pop artists that are trying to stand out among the others. 2013 had good music, there just wasn’t an act that was overwhelmingly popular.

    Last year for me was varied for me, but I grew to have an appreciation for music from Crayon Pop, Lee Hi, Sistar, miss A, Nell, Bumkey, Dynamic Duo, Ailee, and Zion-T. 2014 seems to have the potential to have great K-pop music, but with so many artists with their comebacks and new groups still coming up, I am hesitant to say that there will be a lot of amazing videos and music this year, unless these groups attach themselves to a concept and/or video director with a distinct appeal that will draw people to the groups or artists.

    • paulpederson

      Cool history Wendell! Wish I had been aware of the ’90s idols back then. I too was at the Korean Music Wave in Google at Mountain View, Calif – THEY SHOULD DO THAT AGAIN!!! So fun to see Wonder Girls and so many others live! Collaboration concerts like that should sell out EASILY in SF, LA, NYC, probably other big cities too. Should happen every year!

  71. The way I know I really love a song is the way I download it. Either I find it on tumblr and just get it from there, or I actually buy it on itunes.

  72. treya_barton
    treya_barton

    I’ve been a fan of kpop since 2007 – one of the many that was introduced through DBSK and then stayed for the long run. I will say that the kpop I started getting into is very different from the kpop that’s around now, and I don’t think there’s any particular era I could describe as a “golden era.” When I first got into kpop I loved DBSK, Big Bang’s hip hop style, and Super Junior’s stuff. When Big Bang started changing style around the time they released Haru Haru, I didn’t know how I felt about it because I loved their fun hip hop style so much, and while their more alternative sound was nice it wasn’t Big Bang for me. Eventually, I’ve grown to love their current stuff as a group, and although I loved their old stuff too I consider it like different time periods of goodness. With TVXQ, I loved them before, but when they came back as a duo I loved them even more and how they come up with interesting dances and play a lot with different genres on their albums. I also eventually fell for U-Kiss (especially Neverland and beyond) and lots of other groups like SHINee, EXO, 2PM, B2ST, etc etc. With the newer groups come newer sounds and styles, and with how pop music has been changing, different things like dub step become popular. So I feel that while kpop is different than what I started listening to, I always find comebacks I really enjoy and different styles of music that are fun. 2013 may not have been one of the greater years for kpop, but I don’t think it was necessarily one I would call weak either.

    And I also have to agree with Martina about her comments about what makes a group sexy. I have to admit, while I will listen music by some of the girl groups, I usually just don’t find their music videos interesting because I don’t like the sexy dancing/skimpy clothes. I know male groups sometimes show skin or do sexy dancing, but I feel overall they get to do more interesting dancing that shows more skill or style while girls are stuck with the sexy or cutesy concept. I love it when I get to see BoA proving her dance skills by dancing however she likes, or when Girls Generation dances like in this mv where they show more power or leave out the more sexualized choreography. Or just see girls look like they’re having fun, like in a lot of G.na’s mvs where she would smile and enjoy herself, or the backup dancers in TVXQ’s Spellbound that, while dressing a bit skimpy, also are smiling and dancing confidently in a way that makes the performance more enjoyable. I agree that confidence and skill seems more sexy than skimpy clothes or doing the same dance moves all the time and wish female groups had the opportunity to do that more often in their performances.

  73. Laura Rieckhoff

    I feel like KPOP 2013 was very hit or miss – if they hit it right, it was AWESOME (for example, 2PM’s ADTOY, EXO’s Growl, CL’s Baddest Female, SHINee’s Dream Girl, Taeyang’s Ringa Linga, Jay Park’s Appetizer, Block B’s Very Good, Bumkey’s Bad Girl & Attraction etc.) but if they missed it, it was really bad (for example, 2PM’s Ridiculously Long Titled Song, EXO’s Wolf, MBLAQ’s Smoky Girl, U-KISS’s Shes’s Mine, SHINee’s Everybody, etc). For me, it was kind of 2 extremes, I usually either loved or hated a song, there weren’t many songs where I though “eh that’s okay I guess” or “Yeah, I kind of like that, but it’s not amazing.” Not sure if I like that better than having a lot of songs that i sort of like or can tolerate though :P

  74. urbzak1018

    okay i totally have to agree with you guys -2013 kpop was suuuuuuuuupeeeeeeeeeeer dissapointing. I really started getting into kpop in 2012 (THE HOLY GLORY YEAR..BIGBANG, SHINEE, BAP ALL MADE CRAZY GOOD COMEBACKS) and I’d listened to a little kpop in the years before, so I definitely felt like 2013 didn’t compare to those years. and I definitely feel like 2NE1′s return to awesome originality (as opposed to the nappeun gizibe style….blegh) along with this song gives me hope for 2014 :D

  75. Kathyfish

    I agree that 2013 was kind of a let down year for k-pop with only a few standouts. In all honesty the best years for me were probably 2008-2009. SO GOOD. Like DBSK- Mirotic, 2ne1- Fire, Big Bang – Remember and Taeyang with HOT + GD with Heartbreaker, 2PM – Again and Again, Super Junior – Sorry Sorry, SHINee – Replay, SNSD – Gee & Tell me me your wish, BEG – Abracadabra. Oh gosh, those were really the great years <3. I feel like these were the years where k-pop really started taking off with most of the big names debuting / getting more popular with standout hits. (Though there was too much controversy by the end of 2009 sadly.) And looking back to see what came out in those years is making me really nostalgic for kpop as it was before.

  76. Feygarden
    Feygarden

    I’ve been listening to Kpop for about 3 years now and I found 2013 to have some very strong songs. But I felt it had stretches of time where there was only 1 or 2 songs out I was like “that’s my jam!” More often than not I was like meh. I’d watch the music shows like Inkigayo and fastforward through the boring. My favorite song of 2013 wasn’t promoted and came out in January. No not IGAB, but “Even if I Play” by K.Will featuring Chakun. Seriously awesome. But as I listened there were a ton of releases that sounded average and uninspired. The glut of new groups is not helping the lackluster scene. And for me, most of the newer groups blend and I have a hard time telling them apart. If they don’t have a song that grabs me, I won’t take the time to care about their next release. Even established groups were boring. Most of the debut groups fall into that category. However the trend of solo artists in 2013 did lead to some cool songs.

    Overall I thought the year started out slow, but began to pick up around May through Octoberish. Then ended kinda meh. The same can be said for any artform. There are entire years where I look at the movie releases and realize that summer will come and go and I have zero interest in seeing anything released.

  77. CrimsonLoveless

    I’ve been listening to K-pop since 2011. And in all honesty, last year was a rather big disappointment to me, there were the AMAZING albums’s like Kim Jaejoong’s I and Y, WWW, Junsu’s Incredible and 2PM’s Grown. It was rather dull in all other aspects, with the countless amounts of rookies who debuted or just came back with sub-par songs. The 2014 year has already been great with K-pop though, TVXQ’s Tense and SuriSuri, and 2NE1′s Crush. I can already say that without Jaejoong, Junsu and 2PM in 2013 I would have likely jumped back to my Jrock.

  78. krysellia

    ok so i got in to kpop last year febuary in 2013 and i love bigbang!!!! i also got a lot of connection in just a year like friends with cousin of aron of nu’est and that friend is friends with shinee. AWESOME!! you guys are also a reason i continued to like kpop because of your awesome video. btw do u go on asian fanfics? there are fanfics about you guises. i made one too!

  79. Barbara D Long

    Loved the suits, dance but not enough of that.as M posited out. I still meh…But! I have a three watch rule..I may get hooked on Mr Mr yet. Hook is catchy. Amazing to me that Soo Zee can’t understand the Korean? wTF is up with that? Kind of funny. Simon I’m a newbie, started Kpop awareness only 2 yrs ago…so 2013 seemed fine to me.and it was the year I found Mirotic sooo good year for old stuff perhaps. But I voted for BTS over BAP,:) really the locker scene I’ll give ya that one…but BAP shots himself in the freaking head! So tit for tat. Really like BTS dance, mv seems age appropriate….the girl isn’t sexed up Woman…looks like a skool girl. Yes, I said it Skool! Ha. Dear Martina I will end this missive with a huge bow to u my a Goddess for knowing just how damn sexy TOP is. Ever notice how he ain’t even really dancing with the others? Kind of moves his hands, maybe his feet (see end of bad boy) and it’s sexy as hell. Seems to be saying I’d dance….but I’m not really in the mood…right now.
    can we talk about the lighting in Spellbound? Who managed to make U Know look washed out and crazed? It’s difficult to make him less handsome but some idiot did. The lighter hair and stark light….I got two words for my boys, TVXQ Slow Down. :) and get a new lighting person.

  80. Sara Suzanne Berg

    So I started listening to kpop in 2010 and at first I was /extremely/ mainstream with what I listened too. Just those top known groups, songs, bands, etc (my ‘gateway’ song was 10 out of 10 by 2pm followed up by an obsession with Super Junior)
    But in 2012 I came to Korea as a student and realized… Hey. There’s way more kpop out there then just what I have been listening too AND … Not all Korean’s listen to kpop and are super crazy into kpop. Plus I saw my two favorite groups in concert (Super Junior at SS4 and No Brain at a Young Samsung event [yaay no brain!!!])
    The love I felt/feel for No Brain is what made me go, “Hmm. I should look into the -other- sides of Korean pop music.”
    Now my favorite groups are ones that most people don’t know or even really listen too much. Sunny Hill is easily one of my favorite girl groups… and I love Block B as well, but my favorite songs right now are actually mostly solo artists… “Bounce” by Cho Young Pil is super amazing. Walking in the Rain by Verbal Jint (i think) i also really love.
    they’re like… famous. But they’re not the super young groups. Maybe I’m just too old for them.
    I do, however, love the hip hop and all the rapping that is in kpop lately. That’s just me and my personal opinion. Like Topp Dogg, BTS, and GI. Ugh GI is amazing lol.

    Anyway! I don’t know if I can compare 2013 to any other years because the years all blend together for me… But some of my favorite songs came out in 2012. I think the best kpop songs to come out of 2013 were Growl, and Lee Hi’s songs. (However. I also liked Henry’s solo work, and Lee Hyori’s songs as well).

  81. Not-Really-Normal^__~

    I only got into kpop in 2012 but ended up sticking to older songs… mostly because I didn’t know they were that old and didn’t think there were any new ones. But seeing as 2013 was my fist full year in kpop I kept fading in and out of fandoms. I’d like one song by a group and dislike another. There were some artists that were really constantly bringing good songs to the table but a lot just fell flat for me. I found that most of the artist I was liking were older more experienced like Top, Jeajoong, GD, mbfty, and Heo youngseang. balled songs like k.will and eric nam. And happier poppy songs like bar bar bar and minimanimo. Cnblue was also really good. I loved “I’m sorry”. and though I did like SHINee’s title songs…. most of there album songs were better, those are the ones i’m still listening to. For me 2013 was ok but not very good. There weren’t all great songs and more then a few I couldn’t get though, but there were definitely a couple of gems.

  82. debbiegirl

    I actually had this weird love/hate relationship with Kpop for a while. I’ve been listening to Kpop since 2007 after listening to DBSK’s ‘O’ album, and I became totally in love with the Korean entertainment industry since that year. I kind fell out of love with Kpop a few years later because I got frustrated with the industry and the vapidness that I kept seeing. The amount of new groups that came out every year also annoyed the hell out of me. So I stopped for a bit, but then I’d get hit with the Kpop bug and start becoming interested again, but then I’d get annoyed again and it just became this cycle of oh-man-love-this-song to annoyed-need-to-take-a-four-month-break. Truthfully, the only Kpop I would listen to for a while was whatever you two would do for KMM. However, last year, I fell back into love with Kpop consistently this time! Well it was more like the last half of the year was when I got back into Kpop. It’s still not as good as it use to be, but I have to admit, my excitement for a particular group cemented my excitement for Korean music again. I won’t mention which group though. Hehe! :P

    In my personal opinion, I think 2008 and 2009 had some of the best contemporary Kpop songs. Urgh those two years were so flipping good. SO GOOD I TELL YOU!!!

  83. I loved it when Suzy rated the Korean in Mr. Mr. that was a great surprise, I almost choked laughing

    .So Instead of writing what I didn’t like about 2013 and why I feel it was also lacking . I’m going to write what I think was good about 2013. VIXX, I think they’ve found their identity and their ownn style and they seem to have improved tremendously. And if 2013 hadn’t been such a slow year this fact might of been lost to me. Also Lades code one of those girls sound to me a little like Micheal Jackson back when he was in the Jackson 5 that for me was really cool. Also think they came out with some really interesting videos. Crayon Pop 100% cuteness fun and unique they reminded me of power rangers. another group I might of passed by if Kpop hadn’t been so dull. BTS came out strong I really love their video N.O especially at the beginning. And The Boss with their video Good bye. Great vocals liked their style and the video’s stilled camera shots.

  84. Mafarazzo

    I’ve been listening to K-pop since August 2012, thanks to Gangnam Style and 4Minute
    I can agree that K-pop felt worse during 2013 than the part of 2012 when I got into K-pop, but I feel like that is because of nostalgia and a kind of ”Virginity effect” which makes everything feel better the first time you listen to it, but when I compare I think it is almost the same with some slight changes based on what kind of music was popular during the time.

    Summarized: I prefer the first good K-pop songs I listened to over nowadays good K-pop songs even though I think they’re almost the same as it was before.

  85. 2013 was okay but I feel like the best era was in 2008 where there isn’t new groups debuting every week, where you couldn’t really predict who’s going to win in award shows and when Gayo Daejun was still awesome and worth the wait etc.

    And about SM with lyrics lol I’m not good in Korean so I didn’t know it’s that bad too.
    I do cringe at EXO’s Chinese songs A LOT.. Each sentence make sense but when you put everything together it’s just…wtf are you trying to say? And to think that some of them actually speaks Chinese, I don’t know what is happening….

  86. In my opinion, there really is no labeling kpop as one genre of music. Zion T is very different than girls generation who’s very different from Psy or a band like busker busker (Or do they count as K indi still…) I’ve been listening to kpop for about three years now and the videos have defiantly became sexier, such in 2Ne1′s video missing you with CL’s scene in the bath tub. I feel like a tolerance has built up for sexier themed videos.

  87. I’ve been a Korean pop music fan since 2008–the band that enticed me initially being TVXQ with SNSD encouraging my engagement in this particular sector of entertainment–and I could not agree more with the recent stagnancy of “good” songs and even more so for 2013. I can’t say that my opinion is particularly objective but I will say that it has become difficult to find what I refer to as magical songs in Kpop. .

    On another note, I’ve been a fan of you two since 2010 and I have yet to comment on any of your videos but I would like to convey that watching your videos throughout these years has been incredibly uplifting to me, especially throughout difficult times in my life. I’m incredibly grateful and I wish you two and everyone you’re close to eudaimonia.

  88. Ronald Snyder

    I didn’t answer the poll because I was split on 2013. I found the efforts of most of the big groups to be disappointing but liked more stuff by “lesser” groups last year. Mr.Mr. unfortunately doesn’t change that pattern. It just does nothing for me.

  89. Luis Bonilla

    I pretty much have the same opinion I have been listening to kpop since maybe 2011 or 2012 not sure. SNSD was the group who pretty much made me love kpop but the I got a Boy song for me was not SNSD. I find that having Tiffany rap is more like a forced thing, it doesn’t feel natural especially if you have heard her before doing a cover of a song like Umbrella from Rihanna. Now for Mr Mr, like you guys pretty much said they brought back SNSD awesomeness. Another thing is that I find it is time that SNSD show a more mature side like the grown up women they are, and start steering of that cutesy, aegyo filled image. I don’t wanna see all of them turn 25 still filled with aegyo.

    Also I frikin totally agree with Martina, I really find sexy when girl groups dress with long pants, buttoned down shirts and even blazers like for example in Kara’s Damaged Lady or 4minute’s Love Tension (which for me is their best song ever!). They look confident and secure and that makes them look a lot more sexier than seeing a lot of skin or weird dance moves like in the recent Stellar video.

  90. Priya Bansal

    If I clicked the button you told me to click, I’d be unsubscribing…

  91. I’m sure this has been mentioned before in one of the many comments, but for those of you not keeping up with the “Mr. Mr.” news as much who haven’t been informed:
    The poor editing of this video may be in part due to the fact that this was rumored to have been filmed three times. Fans fist got a teaser of them in the parking lot set back in December but later on rumors came out saying that the company was having them reshoot the MV. After that the official teaser was out with all of the hospital imagery. Soon after SM announced a delay and rumors were going around of a “data-corruption” with the MV that caused it to be refilmed yet again. I don’t know how much of this is true or not but it would explain a hasty editing job with lots of filler scenes.

    Going back to what you said: I agree that K-Pop has been disappointing lately. I started listening in 2011 so I’m still a little new but 2013 didn’t thrill me in terms of the music. I’m not really that into a lot of the rookie bands and I just don’t have the time or the will to devote anything to tons of different groups. The only album that really impressed me last year was f(x)’s “Pink Tape” which, damn was that good. Also, I think the glitter has worn off for me as well. I like the music but when I think of certain groups, the fans just bother me to no end. I don’t mean to insult anyone at all but I’ve grown up a little bit and I just get put off with all the voting and fan arguments and craziness. I love certain groups but I’m not crazy about it. Sometimes I don’t even like a song by my favorite group but that’s okay. I don’t need to love everything and I won’t get offended if others don’t love it either. You can love a group but still be objective when critiquing their songs!

  92. Allen Goldin

    Ah, old versus new. The age old question… literally. Like everything else in the world, music is also cyclical. Even though it’s been constantly evolving throughout time, especially in this day and age as a result of the digital boom and synthesized new sounds, each music genre slows down once in a while to take it’s breath and figure out what’s next. For me, K-pop always felt like the overachiever kid in the classroom compared to other music genres: very observant, focused to stay relevant, always trying to be on top of everything. This year though, things got a little repetitive. K-pop music has already embraced in the previous years electro, trance, techno, d&b, dubstep, reggae, hip hop, rap, jazz and many other styles that influenced and blended with the original uppity dance K-pop sound. Then came 2012 which was filled with tracks composed of multiple songs of different genres all mashed up together and we were sort of excited about it cause we wanted to see how it’s gonna turn out. Unfortunately 2013 didn’t turn out to be so great, most of the songs didn’t stand out, and those who tried, took it too far with the mash-ups and failed, a good example of it being SNSD’s ‘I got a boy’. Eventually, in my opinion, companies realized they’ve wasted their energy on concepts that were outdated and produced too many average songs out of the fear of not being disliked, that I foresee a lot of good changes in 2014: Some of the more experienced groups will rely on their previous recipes for success like the stuff we see from 2NE1 and SNSD, the fresher groups will try to better establish themselves by developing more elaborate and improved concepts, strengthening their debut image and the rookie groups will have to come up with courageous and unique styles to be noticed. Of course, some of them will probably fail, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
    To draw a conclusion, I see 2013 as a transition year for K-pop and have high expectations of 2014 as a result.

    Even though I wasn’t too disappointed with the songs that came out in 2013, there’s no argue about the lack of quality in the music videos. I’m usually very selective regarding K-pop songs. I only find like 20 songs that I really like every year, so for better or worse, there were some worthy of my playlist this year. The videos though are a different story. Except for MFBTY’s ‘Sweet dream’, which was one of the best MV’s I’ve ever seen, the YG solo acts which were top notch in originality and symbolism and MissA’s ‘Hush’ which did ‘sexy’ better than anyone else, I can’t seem to find any other K-pop MV from 2013 even remotely interesting. I still remember the older videos, the ones that made me fall in love with K-pop. Each of them made me either laugh, shocked, mesmerized by all the flash or even facepalm, and I can’t stop from being sad. Nowadays all I see is utterly boring. Whether it’s boys dancing in an oddly lit room, girls parading in their underwear or idols making hurt faces for no reason, it’s gotta stop. They’ve got to learn how to make an MV sparkle again. I really don’t know what the problem is, maybe companies aren’t hiring the right people to direct their videos, because I refuse to believe they can’t do anything better than this with the same amount of money.

    To answer the original question, I got into K-pop at the end of 2010 through 2NE1 and Bigbang’s ‘Lollipop’. I have never seen anything like it at the time and was truly amazed. It was ridiculous and beautiful at the same time and I started listening to their other songs, but then I drifted into the Korean rap and hip hop underground scene. After a few months, a friend told me about Eat Your Kimchi and that’s how I finally gave into the rest of the K-pop world. I started listening to a lot of groups and watching their MV’s, hoping to find other hilarious stuff like T-ara’s ‘Yayaya’ or U-kiss’s Mordney song. I feel like 2011 through summer 2012 was the peak of K-pop.

  93. Totally loving the comment section this week. Thanks everyone for being so active on the site and so thorough and thoughtful in your comments. You really make the comment section a lovely place :D

  94. mein_angel

    I’ve been listening to k-pop since 2008, and i have to agree 2008-2010 were really the best year. I feel like they were fewer group but better quality and better marketing to them too. Now there’s just too many, too fast. I still love korean music but 2013 was the year i just couldn’t muster the interest anymore. not that it was terrible but nothing came out of the lot… in french we have a phrase: niveller par le bas… i’m not sure if it translate well in english… something like getting everybody on the same level but using the lower (generic) standard instead.

    • Ronald Snyder

      In English(American anyway) we tend to use the phrase “Lowest common denominator” for that idea. Originally a math phrase it’s become way of criticizing mediocrity.

    • Allen Goldin

      That sort of practice is very common in the western pop music industry. I read somewhere something that made me feel kind of concerned. Apparently Will.I.AM is sort of a pioneer in this type of marketing strategy. He usually puts out a lot of mediocre stuff so when he releases a decent song, everybody gets really hyped about it. It’s unsettling to me because as many people know, 2NE1 collaborates with him and I’m afraid all of this is gonna catch on in K-pop even more than it is doing now.

  95. Caroline Riddle

    I started listening to K-pop summer of 2006! I mostly listened to groups that came from SM entertainment.(At the time I didn’t know that it was SM) I just listened and watch what YouTube and my friend recommended. Of course now I’ve spread my K-pop horizon.
    I believe that 2013 was an okay year. There were definitely stand out videos but it’s not like every video was great.
    What I dislike the most now a days is that every song seems to have a rap break and to the point that every group has a rapper. Sometimes that rapper doesn’t sing the rest of the song and just raps their part. IT’S OKAY NOT TO HAVE RAP. We like your pretty voices just sing for us! What I want to see more of is groups singing acapella but that’s just me. ^^

  96. Just give me some Big Bang and some Suju and everything will be OK with Kpop again.

  97. Priya Shields

    I feel like you guys debated a long time on whether or not to include TVXQ in the glory years lol. I started in 2012, when this obnoxious clothing brand named Justice was promoting SNSD. I saw ‘Oh’ and puked, but that got linked to ‘Mr. Simple’, so naturally I fell in love with Super Junior(blonde Hyukjae hai). I finally decided to branch out last year, actually, exploring SHINee, Big Bang, and my ultimate loves TVXQ(as Homin, catch me haters), and more recently the wonder that is Block B, B.A.P, Exo, and 2ne1. I was introduced to new groups through personal biases; I met(saw) T.O.P in Fantastic Baby and saw visions of us living happily ever fully-clothed after in Toyland.

    2013- What happened. That was the year I caught up on older songs of new-found groups. There was a lot of dubstep, and the highlight was probably SM’s take on Spectrum, the performance part. Ailee’s U&I was the best song, with VIXX’s Voodoo Doll close behind. As a dancer, the dances weren’t that great, SHINee was cool with the mikes and all, but there was no bombastic, earth-shattering catastrophe.like TVXQ. So basically in my opinion, TVXQ needed a Korean comeback and 2013 would have been a magnificent year(: Just kidding, not done with this novel yet.

    Mr.Mr- This song was catchy, but neither good or bad. I prefer 2ne1′s Crush, but CL, please tone it down???

    2014- I need me some Big Bang, Block B, and Suju. And some kick-ass TVXQ. You were human for one comeback, that was enough to get people to stop suspecting you.

  98. Berry Lamperouge

    Martina, I totally agree! Suits, confidence and skill really is the bomb xD As for 2013, there was a lot of good music, but most of it had to grow on me, unlike the year before. I have to say that I have been here (In K-Pop) properly since 2011, but heard my first song in October 2010. That’ why most people consider me far from a newbie. Which is cool c: I like a lot of old school stuff, but most of my K-pop stuff comes from the newer days, what with me starting to listen to full albums only since ’12.

    For “Mr.Mr.” and 2NE1′s songs, they were kinda meh for me. “Mr.Mr” was chill to me, but in 2NE1, the dubstep problem, that I thought I had survived and come to grips with, has come back to bite me in the butt. I liked some od the indextro elements in some K-Pop songs and some Dubstep was pretty decent. However, other than that… Dissappointed. But a lot of goo albums came out last year. Not the best, but then I wasn’t around to be able to compare the golden years to now.

  99. I’ve been listening to KPop non-stop since summer of 2011 – 2ne1′s I am the Best was my first obsession. I think 2013 could have been better…as a whole. However, f(x)’s Pink Tape has to be my favorite album ever – of any genre of music. In any language.

    Having listened to a lot of music even before KPop, I was pretty used to albums having 10+ songs in the states. KPop seems to buck this trend quite often with mini albums and even albums with 7-10 songs that are….really…lackluster. I think f(x) really bucked this trend by having not just a great title track (Rum Pum Pum Pum), but other amazing, creative, and talent-showcasing songs: i.e. Airplane (my favorite song of 2013).

    Speaking of great whole-album experiences – 2ne1′s Crush gives me a really similar vibe, though my favorite song on the album thus far is CL’s solo song MTBD. I’ve found that I don’t necessarily consider all of 2ne1′s songs my favorite, but they are certainly more consistent and at a higher quality than any songs other than groups’ title tracks (from other companies, in particular).

    We shouldn’t forget that last year Crayon Pop finally got some recognition – having sub-100k views on their Dancing Queen video for quite some time… I don’t think Bar Bar Bar is their best song, but what’s important is that some lesser known, but super talented and amazing groups and artists are starting to come to light despite the sometimes over-powering presence of groups like 2ne1, SNSD, etc. I’m recently obsessed with SPICA and a new group Mamamoo – they bring music and MVs to the table that are well-done, well-performed and deserving of a lot more recognition and views than they have currently.

    I agree – 2014 is shaping up to be an AMAZING year for KPop, and I don’t think that’s just because of the overall disappointment of 2013.

    P.S. TVXQ – please go back to doing songs like Humanoids and Keep Your Head Down. I feel like *Something* of yours made my ears bleed…

  100. Mary Patrice

    Things I agree with from this Kpop Music Monday: EVERYTHING.

    What I found shocking: SOO ZEE

    What I loved: POWER RANGERS MENTION, and well – everything.

    Totally agree with Martina’s analysis of sexy and Simon’s point on the fact Kpop just hasn’t been the same and this song definitely brought my hopes up for Big Bang’s comeback and Super Junior’s comeback in the summer. I’ve been listening to Kpop for four years and nothing has been as good as the beginning years. There have been a few good songs, but not a whole stream of them…

    I am hoping for the best in 2014!!

  101. Really good comments here. I agree with you Simon and Martina and Sofia as well. Gongnam Style was amusing but is not on the favorites list on my channel. I have been listening to Kpop for a little over 5 years and watching EYK for about 1&half years. I actually came across your channel when I was looking for videos on getting an apartment in Seoul. Blam, there you guys were showing your new apartment in Seoul. Think you had just uploaded it that week. What ever week that was. You know, that week. I hope you see this comment not to read all my odd sentence structures but rather to know that I really appreciate you guys. Side note: Soo Zee, your super cute!

  102. Alice Liu

    Martina: do you mean to say…. Gestalt? Ah? Ah? #nerding

  103. Superrobertsond

    I have been listening to K-pop for almost 3 years now, and it has changed a lot since I first started listening to it, with the different trends and artist’s styles. I don’t think that I can say K-pop has gotten necessarily worse because there have been some songs that I have fallen completely in love with this year that will be some of my favorites forever. But at the same time, there was some repetitiveness that got boring, especially towards the end of 2013 and early 2014. I felt like nothing special had come along, and I had been waiting for some song to just blow my mind. I can’t say that it has happened yet, but I am excited and waiting!

  104. Well I’ve been a Kpop fan since TVXQ came out with Tri-Angle and I think that more than varnish coming off a bit it’s actually the opposite, with the occasional big “NO, THIS IS TERRIBLE” here and there.

    I also thought 2013 was not a really good year of title tracks but a really great one of albums. All SHINee’s albums were tight, and I liked XOXO and MiD from EXO. Pink Tape came out that year I mean what else could you ask for?

    So a terrible year for Kpop? Sure if you only hear the title tracks maybe.

  105. I have been listening to K-pop since 2009 when I took a class on Asian Popular Music. My intro to K-pop was Rain. I didn’t really get into into K-pop until around 2010 though with Big Bang, 2ne1, and Wondergirls. I see how people can say that the music in 2013 wasn’t as great, seeing how only a few comebacks really stood out. I personally enjoyed Exo’s 2013 comeback, and they totally reignited my love of K-pop, and dance. On the other hand this new Girls Generation song for 2014 is really a breath of fresh air and I am excited to see how 2014 will pan out in the world of K-pop. (Also I was excited to see Rain’s return!)

    PS: I would love to see a dance only version of this song like when they did the special Paparazzi dance video (that MV had my favorite GG dance outfits ever~!) Also, I love your hair Martina!

  106. Zy Kimchi

    I have been into Kpop since 2009. I remembered clearly that it was BOF that brings my into Kpop world. I remembered the first Gayo Dajun that I watched and I’m super impressive with the special performances when the girl groups are dancing to the boy groups songs and the boy groups are dancing to girl groups songs. I got to say that few years area really the golden years of Kpop. It is when the time that Kpop groups started to go overseas, and expand their popularity, Kpop is just different from then. The groups started singing in English, and it’s not the Kpop songs that I used to hear. 2013 is just bad. Remember the time when SNSD release IGAB, the whole industry started to do songs that is in the same genre as IGAB. It’s so similar that I don’t feel like listening to it. I mean the only group that stands out will of cause be EXO. Wolf and Growl is different from the other songs, this is the reason that makes them win all the awards and become the top Kpop group in just 2 years. And the idea of being sexy, I release the trend that girl groups are all wearing short and tight skirts and dance around, maybe that what they call “sexy”. Since SNSD release their new song, I think it proves that you don’t have to be sexy by wearing short and tight skirts and dance around.

  107. I feel like 2013 was less than average over all… I don’t really feel like I really got into K-pop (outside of SNSD and 2NE1) until 2012, after SNSD released The Boys (which I actually really like, still), and honestly I feel like I missed out on the glory years. But I was a bit happier with the end of 2013. I felt like K-pop was moving more towards a sort of retro-big band thing? What with Ailee’s U&I, IU’s comeback, and TVXQ’s song. Maybe this is just me, and I don’t follow a whole lot of groups, but if that’s where it’s going I will be so happy.

  108. QueenCL

    Hmmm. I feel like it’s getting harder to sort through the sh*t to get to the quality songs. There used to only be so many kpop bands debuting per year but then there was a boom. This is a count of how many kpop groups have debuted in the past few years (this includes sub groups though, but it doesn’t count solo artists) :
    2008 – 12
    2009 – 19
    2010 – 23
    2011 – 58
    2012 – 64
    2013 – 53

    They seriously need to stop churning out groups and giving us better quality music. I think this is why Kpop in 2013 was fairly meh. There was just too much of it. The Kpop industry is far too saturated at the moment. So having a pretty face or having great vocals just isn’t enough anymore. These groups have to make themselves stand out in a sea of idols. If they are just jumping on the band wagon then people won’t be interested because they’ve seen it all before, but that seems to be what a lot of these guys are doing.
    Which is why IMO 2008-2010 were the best years in Kpop because everyone wasn’t trying to ride off each other’s popularity all the time so it wasn’t as dull.
    Saying that, there were still some great songs that came out in 2013. For me particularly Ladies Code – Bad Girl and Sunmi – 24 hours were great.

    *COUGH* Onto SNSD’s song. I mostly agree with you guys tbh. The song is great, the dance looks spectacular, the MV is confusing and annoying. The style of their song is a lot like their Japanese stuff. Like Mr Taxi, Paparazzi, Flower Power, Galaxy Supernova etc.

  109. Hilarious Music Monday as always. Thanks for making me laugh, guys.
    I watched kdramas for a long time before I got into kpop. Last summer is when I started paying attention to the kpop world. Its been fun! I have no perspective on whether 2013 was a good year or not. I really have no idea.
    I love logging into twitter in the morning and seeing the kpop trends. This is especially true on the weekends when the music shows are happening. Power of kpop! :)

  110. emoptimist

    i actually found this song supremely boring, it just sounded like something that would have been album filler for one of their previous releases. but i totally agree about the sexy-ass suits hnnnngggg why couldnt *that* have been the video??? i guess it was inevitable they’d be sexy nurses eventually but mannnn that would have been cool.

    and yea 2013 felt pretty terrible to me too… while i loved the solo releases from yg, jaejoong and junsu, the only group that i enjoyed really was f(x)… idk could be kpop is just getting old to me now, plus honestly the fandom and the politics can both really suck the joy out it sometimes :(

  111. MissMaple

    hi there,im here from the early 2012.i feel in love with kpop from infinite be mine-never mind that 2013 sexy eraa was the …..beeeeereeeeee…………………….. the darkesr era of kpop- your right!!! letsnot talk about it NEVER!!!

  112. Oh that was a sweet moment between Simon and Meemers in the blooper footage. Awwww! I’m curious if anyone down in the street looked up and saw that. They were probably thinking “What the heck?” lol

  113. Julie Lam

    Totally agree with you on the definition of sexy/hot. I was so uncomfortable and turned off seeing those girls in skimpy clothes, gross! They just kept getting worse and worse, but then SNSD just comes in fully clothed and takes the cake. I started listening to KPOP in 2009 from watching Boys Over Flowers and looked up Kim Hyun Joong (SS501) and then just continued from them on. There have still been some good songs coming out in 2013, but it got really bad towards the end of the year… :S

  114. Nam-Kyu Beauregard

    This song was ok for me. I just recently got back into SNSD, I loved them when I got into K-pop but fell out, and had been listening to their stuff like crazy so I was happy.

    I got into K-pop around 2008. Super Junior, BoA, Lee Hyori, and BIGBANG were my absolute favourites. I remember when 2NE1 debuted and yeah. So about 2008-2011 were my Golden Years of K-pop. I remember I was such a BIGBANG fan, and I listened to almost everything they had put out, and I loved every song off the TONIGHT mini-album/ep thing. After 2NE1 released their 2nd Mini album I went into a lull. I wasn’t as impressed with the old artist I loved or they just didn’t put out anything new. So 2012 was still generally ok for me. 2013 for me was really dead in terms of releases. I think it was the Year of bad singles but great hidden gems on the mini-album. Even though 2014 will be my 6th year in K-pop (Right? 6?) I’m still loving it as ever. It’s legitimately all that’s on my ipod now and I barely listen to anything in English anymore. Kinda… weird…. xD

  115. Personally I never have been into the whole ‘kpop’ thing. I personally think it is over done and to pushy and generic and sometimes certain people try to hard, and the fans are crazy and sensitive. I personally just like certain artist not because they are in the Korean pop scene but because they make good music. I love 2PM for their music bottom line. I do however think it is admirable how Korean artist when they are in foreign countries say that they hope people continue to love ‘kpop’ instead of mainly focusing on themselves. It’s refreshing to see an industry that on the surface, cause who knows what goes on behind closed doors, trying to lift each other up together. But yea that is it for my rambling that didn’t even answer your question, but yea 2PM for me had a great year in 2013, U-kiss’s title track was great but I enjoyed their Japanese album waaayyy better than the Korean one, and as for MBLAQ I just need them to release another full length album it’s been like two years lol. But Smoky Girl was great but Love Beat was just ok. Although, I know 2014 is going to be a good year because Rain is back woop woop! hehe I just had to slip that in there.

  116. I got into kpop around triangle and scorpion (dbsk & trax), but didn’t really get cemented into the genre untill balloons, so about 2004-2006 (holy shit that was 8-10 years ago @__@). But i stopped listening to most kpop in 2013. Admittedly i am someone who’s taste tends to move in cycles, but i just found most of the music so stale and uninteresting. Not to say there weren’t awsome songs coming out of korea in that period (many of which were not pop), but as a whole what i was seeing was rather uninspiring and often just plain bad.

  117. Jojo Wei

    I discovered KPop summer of 2013 so I’m am still relatively new. It all started when I was watching Youtubers React and I saw SHINee’s lucifer and OMG IT CHANGED EVERYTHING. To this day SHINee is my bias group. I went on to discover all the greatness that is Kpop, Girl’s Day, f(x), 2ne1, SNSD, Exo, BAP, VIXX, Teen Top, UKISS, and a poopillian others. As far as my experience, 2013 has been the bomb dot diggity com. I am UBER excited to see what 2014 has to offer if people are saying 2013 wasn’t the best.

  118. Mélina Drouin

    I agree 100% with Martina about her definition of sexiness!!! D: Fierce and confident women are a billion times more sexy than half-naked girls showing off there body! By the way, thumbs up for Suzy and her new korean rating system ;)
    As for the Kpop of 2013, I think it was kind of disappointing in my opinion. Some really good songs came out (Shinee’s Symptoms for instance, and B1A4′s What’s happening?), but not as much as in 2012. I’m not new to Kpop; I’ve been into korean music (Indie and Pop) for about 4 years now. I would like to see more plots and less «beauty shots» in the music videos. More cool dancing sequences and less cutty poses. AND FOR GOD’S SAKE, NO MORE WEIRD-SETS-THAT-LOOK-LIKE-BOXES!! Those idols need some fresh air! Let them out of the studios and into the real world, pleasssssse!

  119. hironyx

    i’m sorry i couldnt concentrate while watching the video. i keep staring at penguin… expecting him to suddenly jump up and PENGUIN! PENGUIN! PENGUIN! PENGUIN! PENGUIN! PENGUIN! PENGUIN! PENGUIN!

  120. Maria Villalobos

    I’ve been listening to kpop for 2 years now :)
    I think that 2013 was more of a publicity year instead of a quality one.
    It did have really good songs, but I agree 2012 and some years before were amazing!

  121. Ileana Feng

    I’ve been into kpop since 2010, and i was totally YG Biased (i mean, i got in because of 2ne1, and i’m a loyal type of person when it comes to music), but then TVXQ Mirotic came on my screen one day, and i was totally hooked. I think that was 2011. Then it just sort of died down…………

    Not that i’m not following kpop anymore, i was OBSESSED over BAP & Infinite in 2012, and then EXO in 2013, but that was it. Only a few groups kept me into kpop, and 2012 + 13 had so much debuts, there was a post about it every single day on allkpop and on my facebook; it got soooo annoying. I agree, 2013 was a so-so year for me. Even Big Bang, EXO, etc didn’t make up for the amount of bad songs/groups/mvs that came out last year omg it was horrible. >_<

  122. Xuan Liu

    I joined the kpop-world like, 1,5 year ago.. And I notice that a lot of old songs are really really good, the recent songs are pretty damn good too, but 2013 was indeed not the strongest year, though it’s the only year I’ve been into this, I was more reading fanfictions and stuff than listening to the music, but now it’s better again. c:

  123. Gwen

    I REALLY thought it was just me that thought kpop was losing it in 2013. I thought that I was just getting tired of kpop from YEARS of listening to it but this song came along with it’s classic kpop and I was sooo relieved. The video was not interesting except for the dance break and like you said Martina the suits were great. The skimpy outfits were really starting to turn me off of kpop but I have hope for 2014.

  124. So I’ve been listening to K-Pop oh….. since…. 2004 I wanna say? I was really into BoA and my mom got me BoA’s “My Name” CD and she got me SE7EN’s “Must Listen” and Shinhwa’s “Brand New” CDs. I kind of followed kpop but it wasn’t a steady following, just every so often looking it up. Then my heavy metal days hit and kpop died to me. I was out of the loop of kpop till around 2008-2009 and that’s when I was introduced to SHINee, Rain, SNSD, Super Junior, 2PM, Big Bang, etc. and I fell back in love with it (which was probably for the better…) So I followed it for a while heavily, and then I would have to say around 2012 or so is when I went back to just listening to it casually because everything was kind of eh. Some good songs would make it through but it wasn’t my cup of tea. With 2013 though, I think I maybe have listen to a small handful of new kpop songs? I can’t even remember what really came out. I just felt so disappointed in everything coming out because it wasn’t what I was expecting. It just all sounded the same and I fell out of it and started looking elsewhere for music (Studio Killers btw is amazeballs. you guys should def give it a listen just because). I heard about MrMr and I listened to it and it was eh. Better than expected but still not my cup of tea. THEN 2ne1′s Crush album came out and i LOVE it. It’s on repeat and I absolutely love love LOVE this album and it revived a lot of doubt. So happy with this <3 really hoping 2014 brings me back into kpop

  125. Xia Zheng

    What was your favorite “era” of Kpop? Mine was right before the great influx of the new groups, so like the 2009-2011 era. To be honest, I haven’t heard as many good songs and videos since back then. So many groups have debuted in just couple years, that I find it hard to keep up and find some good genuine songs. Of course there are some good songs that came out but I prefer the older Kpop more. Some songs I liked from that era are Gee, Sorry Sorry, Abracadabra, Ring Ding Dong, Park Bom’s You and I, 2ne1 go away, 2ne1 ugly,+ more. I’ve been listening to Kpop since 2008!

  126. I got into Kpop early 2012 but have known about it for who knows how long. Since SNSD released Genie and SuJu’s Sorry Sorry era. I was always into stuff that wasn’t obscene and explicit because I just didn’t like those videos. And when Gangnam Style came out that was the very reason why I hated it. The skimpy clothing and objectifying girls etc…but after seeing it was a joke it made me laugh, but the industry gained so much western attention they turned to trying to appeal to the western market which is where all the sexy concepts are coming from I’m guessing.

    Mr Mr is an amazing song, I really like Come back home and Spellbound too; and I look forward to more from 2014. But 2013 was a bit of a let down for me, however I did enjoy a lot from other K-pop groups that weren’t from the big 3 like VIXX’s songs and Lim Kim; as well as every other Korean Hip-hop thing out there (not the k-pop boy hip-hop wannabe groups I haven’t gotten around to them yet).

    After listening to K-Pop and going back through older stuff it’s nice to see how charming it was and that they’re bringing that back and hopefully will continue to do so.

  127. Halee Ann

    I have to agree, 2013 was not the K-pop I fell in love with four years ago. It’s been too ‘Westernized’ and was just like the trashy dancing and dubstep that I wanted to get away from(hence turning to K-pop). I was afraid that 2014 and for the rest of my life things would continue like this, but they have seemed to come out of the little stump, and I’m slowly getting my hopes back up.
    Can I just say that I applaud you, Martina, for your speech on what’s sexy and what’s not? I agree with you wholeheartedly. I don’t like how the girl groups have pretty much just stopped wearing clothes, and how some boy groups/solo singers have just started to basically ‘sex up the back-up girl dancers’. It’s all too overly-sexualized and leads to a desperate look to me, which makes me cringe and see the artists as pushovers who will allow their company to show them off so trashily(pretty sure I made that word up to make my point come across…) and it makes me lose a bit of respect when I see or hear of no complaints by the artists to not be exploited by their company that way, contract or not, and I’ve actually become kind of afraid of seeing new girl group MVs and some boy group MVs because it’s been so sexual and uncomfortable.
    Here’s hoping for a classy-not-trashy 2014!

  128. 2008~2010 seem like the glory years to me, mostly because of SNSD’s Genie era and everything SHINee put out from debut up to Ring Ding Dong. Those two groups were enough to get me hooked!

    Also, I agree 5000% about SNSD’s suit dance. I’m not a fan of the tuxedo/dress combination (or the tuxedo/shorts/pepto-bismol-pink gloves they used in paparazzi), but the suits look suave and very sexy in a classy way. If the music video had just been a dance version with them wearing those suits I would have been ECSTATIC (especially because the plush operating room concept kind of freaked me out…). I definitely hope to see them perform in those costumes onstage!

    The way it is, I like the song more than some of their other recent releases, but still feel a bit underwhelmed. When I started listening to kpop in 2009 SNSD was on top of the K-pop pyramid. ON TOP, I SAY. I’m still waiting for SNSD to put out something that absolutely blows everyone away again.

  129. ms.smiley0711

    I have been listening to K-Pop since 2010 so I’m kinda new but at the same time I know some songs back in the day and in my opinion is that 2013 was the year of girls groups showing too much skin and calling that sexy and underrated group that was completely overlooked and etc etc etc…. there was a article on Soompi website talking about sexy girls group sexy. i know most of yall read it but for those who didnt here is the website http://www.soompi.com/2014/02/02/he-said-she-said-are-these-sexy-girl-groups-actually-sexy/#.UxUYd_ldW2U

    so for me 2013 was meh, so-so the only thing i can say about 2013 is that Taeyang came back after 3 years with his new song ringa linga and i was so glad that he got out of that phase with his love songs lol lol. so yeah 2013 in K-Pop was average.

    i wonder if Simon and Martina read these comments and say “tsk tsk run on sentence MINUS 5, no punctuation MINUS 10, ms.smiley comment a BIG FAT F) lol lol lol :D

  130. Oswin Nwabude

    I love your videos. Can you ever do a music Monday with a kpop group singing a song in Japanese. Like Girls Generation Flower Power

  131. This is was an awesome KMM. I thought the part where Soozee comes out and rants about the Korean was priceless. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE use her again if she feels strongly about the Korean lyrics of a song. And Martina you and I have a similar if not exact definition of what is sexy.
    I find the song okay…but kpop songs normally have to grow on me…and the next thing i know i’m humming them while walking around campus. The MV was WAY over edited. My hope is that SM will release a dance version with just the black and white cuts, and maybe even throw in a dance practice video for a girl group for once. Cause the dance looks fun and not overly suggestive…but i haven’t seen the whole dance so i really can’t back that up completely.
    But great KMM…maybe next week we can had the 2NE1 edition. there is a little bit of a reggae feel to their new stuff so i’m looking forward to y’alls opinion on it.

  132. Jessica Lewis

    I’ve been listening to Kpop since about 2010 (And I actually started with SS501 =D) Overall, I didn’t like too much of the Kpop from 2013, actually. I liked the stuff my already favorite bands put out (MBLAQ, CN Blue, and B1A4 for example), and I actually also started to like VIXX last year as well – for VIXX I think it was an awesome year.

    I really didn’t like some of the songs that got a lot of hype last year, such as – don’t kill me, please – EXO’s Wolf (But I’m still in love with Growl!) and Hyuna’s solo stuff… So overall, I feel like it was actually a kinda bad year for Kpop. But it wasn’t all bad! :)

  133. Hannah

    My lips hurt REAL BAD! AHAHAHA FLASH BACK THANK YOU MARTINA! Ftw

  134. Chocolate abril

    When I saw you were doing Mr Mr on KMM I thought “They have so much material to talk about!” But I feel you didn’t do much with it. I don’t know, it might be because I’ve already read a lot of comments and stuff about it and I was just waiting to see your opinions. Anybobo… it’s probably not of my favorite Snsd songs but I still like it and the rythm is so catchy. The video at fist was kind of creepy to me I was like what are they doing to him?, then I saw this explanation (http://kpoptimeout.tumblr.com/post/78176292097/k-pop-mv-meanings-snsd-mr-mr-updated) of all that symbolism stuff and clear it for me so now I understand that weird effect although they did over did it a bit. And I can’t be sure but I think that after the accidental deleting they say they had of some parts of the MV I can’t help but wonder if they did shoot them all over again or if they try to save it with some scenes they had of the previous video they had made, or a combination of both with a few props scenes to fill some spaces..guess just SM knows

  135. Adam Bowen

    In my opinion, 2013 was a pretty typical year. I’ve been into k-pop since 2011/2012, so I can’t talk about the heyday of 2008-2011, sorry! But 2013 seemed to me to be a year of growing pains. It wasn’t necessarily a weak year, but it was one of transition. A transition from the older style of 2011/2012 into the newer style of 2013/2014. This transition obviously led to some quite awkward sounding and/or looking songs/videos. For example, “I Got a Boy” and B1A4′s song were filled with weird growing pains, trying to accommodate both the old and the new style without great avail. But things like Taeyang’s “Ringa Linga” and VIXX’s “Voodoo Doll” were solid examples of how to artfully use the disconnectedness and just how well done music can be in the new style of 2013/2014. It seemed that as the year progressed, the newly established style slowly solidified and started working out well. Almost all of my favorite songs of last year were either late summer, fall, or december songs. Actually, you can see the transition into this new style pretty well with what SHINee produced last year. “Dream Girl” was more old than it was new, but it still had that seemingly over-done bright color system (*cough* TAEMIN *cough*). “Why So Serious” was itself a song that perfectly showed the hot mess that was the mixture of the new and the old styles, even though the album it was a part of was a very solid album, mostly well done in the new style, and the “Everybody” *the album*, was totally new, and didn’t have any awkward breaks, awkward modulations, awkward anythings, it was clean, it was chic, and it was thankfully NOT hot yellow, pink and green. And now, so far in 2014, the comebacks have been pretty solid. B.A.P, BTS, SNSD, 2NE1. This is looking to be a good year in my opinion as the new style finally establishes itself and stops being messed around with.

  136. luvleighangel

    I started listening to Kpop while I was still in my teens (it’s been about a decade since anything-teen and my age where used in the same sentence…unless it’s “I remember when I was **teen…”). That being said, I have to agree 2013 wasn’t the year for Kpop (unless you just discovered it) in terms of idols and idol groups. I do think it was a pretty good year for underground, indie, and underrated artists/groups though.

    On SNSD, I think there should be a dance version to this using the parking lot and “dressed like men” scenes. Because 1) the parking lot scene made NO sense in terms of the video/storyline and 2) the “dressed like men” dance breakdown was hot. Martina was completely and wholly in the right on that subject. Leaving little to the imagination will NEVER win against confidence and looking sharp!!

  137. EviGishki

    I have to say I loved this KMM, it was not as funny as last week but is was still very very good, just in a different way. It was really a very very good and sophisticated review and I really appreciated it! :)

    To Mr. Mr. I absolutely love the song! ^_^ Like said in the video, it wasn’t like “The Boys” or “IGAB” which I had to listen to several times until I said: “Yeah… I see what makes that song so special.”, even as a SONE.
    However some people say the song is a little boring, since it’s so easy to follow. Personally, I love the flow of the song, which is considered as boring to many people, because it somehow points out the dance break and even more the bridge, which I totally loved.

    About K-Pop in 2013. Since I don’t listen to K-Pop since very long, I’m not able to judge. But what disappointed me was the “Westernization” of lots of groups and the (sorry for saying that) horrible amount of Dubstep in K-Pop. That’s the reason why 2013 was a year full of LUNAFLY to me. xD (ah, and a little EXO.)

  138. Raphael Lagdameo

    After last weeks controversy, I would just like to say that this is a Music Monday I particularly enjoyed and found my self agreeing with this video in general. Especially as I got to see Soozee! I especially loved Martina’s rant? on whats sexy because I too have found that there has been to much skin lately.

    As for the show down I have been listening to Kpop for a very long time now (its been 7 years) . And over the past 7 years much has changed and many of the group that drew me to Kpop (DBSK AND SUJU) have seperated and or been busy to go on TV or the Army has taken them from me. I miss the what I called the golden years of kpop (2008-2011) when idol shows and great songs and great rookies were in abundance it was really then when kpop truly boomed for me. As for 2013 it was a particularly bad year . Many of the more senior groups by then (Infinite, SHINee, Beast, 2pm, f(x) and many other) disappointed me in the music the put out that year. The year was filled with music with many artisits trying to branch out and try new things which I do applaud them for and I am grateful for all the work they put out through the year but it just didn’t do it for me . I was especially disappointed for the first 3 promotion cycles of SHINee, I have loved them since they debuted and it was interesting to watch the grow up (taeman) but still.

    Although I have to also be grateful for such a crappy year as it was this that allowed EXO to shine through with all the might. Yeah you can make fun of the titles but really they captivated me I saw in them exact what I saw in 2009 for SHINee and what I saw in 2008 for SUJU. I saw an anthem and distinct sound come from them. I saw them establish themselves and rule for a while the Kpop world. For me they were the only highlight of 2013.

  139. Aphrielle Rodriguez

    you mentioned TOPs modesty,i love him for that too.

  140. oscar4life

    There were actually a lot of songs I loved in 2013. When I think of the year as a whole i’m usually like “meh”, but then i remember specific groups and songs that I adored. I think for me it was the overuse of the sexy/angsty concept that dragged the year down for me, particularly with female groups. The constant butt grabbing/groping made me really bored of girl groups, and that trying-to-be-a-hardcore-gangster-swag-angst thing that the boy groups were doing really got repetitive…. I hope that 2014 brings more variety and creativity!

    Along with that i’d REALLY love for there to be more Super Junior this year! I know that this was a busy year for them with their tour and the fact that some members are going into the army, coming out of the army (boy i hate the army) but it feels like its been soooo long since they made something big and special. I guess since they were what brought me into kpop in the first place i’m really biased, but whatever!

  141. Aphrielle Rodriguez

    without my fav.band making new songs and just with a japan tour,and filming for a movie and drama. kpop doesn’t feel the same to me………BIGBANG WHERE ARE YOU!!!

  142. Brandon Leung

    Hello there. I’d just like to put in my two cents about the progression of kpop since I joined the Kpop scene. I was first introduced in 2006 when my friend sent me links to Junsu & Zhang Liyin’s “Timeless” and Lim Jeong Hee’s “Don’t Go My Love” but I didn’t actually became interested enough to look further into Kpop until Wonder Girls’ “So Hot” era– so I guess the summer of 2008, and it was an uphill ride from then.

    For me, kpop started going “downhill” when Girls’ Generation started promoting in Japan in 2010. They were coming off of their “Oh!” and “Run Devil Run” promotions, which I absolutely loved, and then suddenly disappeared for a while. I guess there was “Hoot” but that era is barely memorable to me. AND TO MAKE MATTERS WORSE, by the end of 2010, it had become clear that DBSK was not going to come off of their “hiatus” and get back together. That was probably the final blow that pushed me from being an super avid fan who checked YouTube every single day for new performances and variety show appearances– it was just difficult to recover from that. So the “Golden Age”, for me at least, was definitely 2008-mid 2010.

    In those years we got tracks like “Gee” and “Genie” and “RDR” along with “Mirotic” and “Abracadabra” and “NuABO” and BoA’s return to Kpop with “Hurricane Venus”. There was the debut of SHINee and f(x), Jay Park was still in 2PM, 2NE1 debuted– and so much more that I can’t remember. But man, those years were great. AND I guess I do have to acknowledge the fact that teenage me and present me had different priorities, and teenage me had not yet become jaded by the harsh realities of life (hahaha…) so there’s a different level or appreciation when you’re young and naive.

    Yes, kpop changed, and kpop was still good– but after 2010, it wasn’t able to reach the level it had prior. Anyways, the main point I wanted to make with this post, I do agree that 2013 was a particularly “meh” year for kpop, there are a few reasons; one being that Beyonce’s surprise album mopped the floor with all other 2013 releases in December… Ok but the real reason: SUMMER COMEBACKS.

    Summer is a great time on the kpop scene because wow no school, I have all this time to waste on the internet and just watch kpop videos all day. Entertainment companies know this and they always release a bunch of great tracks that you can jam out to while you sit by the beach or drive down the coast.

    2011 had tons of great summer comebacks; “Hot Summer”, “I AM THE BEST” (ok let’s be real, 2011 was the year of 2NE1), “Goodbye Baby”, “Ma Boy”… again, the list could go on, but these are all I can recall off the top of my head. Likewise, 2012 was a strong year for summer comebacks; “The Chaser”, “Pandora” (I still listen to this song all the time), “Electric Shock”, “Twinkle”, “Alone” (this was probably the song of the summer for me).

    And if you go back to look at all the 2013 summer comebacks, they were all pretty weak. “Give it to Me” failed to live up to the success that was “Alone”, “Rum Pum Pum Pum” wasn’t a memorable track, Ailee’s “U&I” was a good album song, but didn’t really excite me. I was really excited for “Kill Bill” but it wasn’t really up to BEG’s normal standards. “Falling in Love” and “Do you Love Me” were HUGE disappointments. The only comeback that actually stuck with me was Junsu’s comeback album, Kahi’s comeback with “It’s Me” and After School’s “First Love”. There wasn’t really a comeback which I can think back and say “Oh yeah, that was the summer where we listened to ___________ on repeat the whole time.” And because of that, the kpop scene in 2013 isn’t memorable for me.

    I’m hoping that 2014 will be a revival year for kpop, as mentioned in the video. If GG’s EP and 2NE1′s new album is any indication, I think that there is a good possibility.

  143. 2013 was bad for SM Entertainment’s artists. The other artists actually didn’t do quite as bad.

  144. Mainy Åkerman
    Mainy Åkerman

    I definitely miss the glory years of KPOP. Sure, the songs were a little cheesy, but everything wasn’t as flashy and dubstep-y as it is now. My absolute favorite Girls’ Generation song is actually their very first (or was it second…?) song, Into The New World. It just sounds sooo nostalgic and so amazing. The music video is them looking natural and only half as plastic-faced as they do now. It had an actual plot and just gives me warm feelings whenever I watch it. ^^

    I’ve been a fan/listener of KPOP since 2005. So, since I was 12. I remember it felt like the 90s to my best friend and I. We’d run to the nearest Korean market (and there was only one at the time; it was very small and owned by a lovely old Korean lady) after school to go see if they had any dvds of our favorite idol groups. The old lady who worked there actually started ordering DVDs/CDs just for us! ;u; I recall dancing to Superstar by Jewelry with my older sister and my best friend in my living room. We were terrible dancers, but our parents loved it. My mum doesn’t like the new KPOP, but she frequently blasts old, old KPOP songs in the car. Lee Ssang is her favorite artist.

    Ahhh, memories ~

  145. Been into KPOP since ’09 thanks to Super Junior, H.O.T & DBSK (SM biased 4 lyf HAHA).

    And I agree, Mr.Mr does have that nostalgic feel of the golden years of kpop (’08 to ’10 / ’11 > if youre pushing it). But it’s no ‘Genie’ or ‘Into The New World’ for me, still a solid track though. I do also love the suit theme within the MV that has a subtle and sensual feel to it. Nice work SNSD♥

    2013 was a mixed bag. I did enjoy EXO’s releases (this bias’ is showing, isnt it?) as well as 2PM’s comeback (worth the wait omg), B1A4, BTOB, Rainbow and a few others that I can’t seem to remember. Strangely enough, UKISS’ & CNBLUE’s comebacks didnt tickle my fancy but as Simon said ‘You can still love a group and not like their songs’.
    I’ve LOVED SNSD’s Japan releases, which are way more catchier and solid tracks, and I sort of wish they could have done the same with their latest Korean album.

    I definitely miss the Golden Era of KPOP. The Gayo Daejun’s were AWESOMEEEEEE, groups collab’ed with other groups (Big Bang and Wondergirls anybody?), SNSD and WG sang each other’s songs, and Boys Generation! (That was fab hahaha). The songs, I think, we’re also, I guess, not ‘rushed’; in a sense thatbthey didnt have to force poop out tracks just so they could keep up with the surge of new groups. Despite my SM bias, I always have a soft spot for the Big 3; 2PM, Big Bang/2NE1, all of SM (LOL).

    But back then, say 2008, only 6 (I think) groups debuted, where as 2012, I’m pretty sure was over 50. And its sad that many disband within the year, unable to breakthrough. Alas, many rookie groups have come out with great tracks e.g CCLOWN’s ‘Shaking Heart’. But alot are also going for the gangster hiphop thing and theyre all dressing the same; as Kris would say, ‘Not my style’. Whatever floats your boat.

    I’m hoping in 2014 , we see the return of that distinct KPOP feel. It’s almost abit Anime-intro like but quirky, bouncy and good fun. (But a good angsty ballad works wonders too!). Why else did so many of us turn from music from Western nations? We love the quirk and distinct feeling! Otherwise, we might as well listen to english pop. I get that music progresses and changes but it doesnt have to change into something that already exists in another market. (I’m just rambling now, sorry).

    Come on 2014!

  146. Camden Jones

    Hey guys! Just a few things…

    1.) I TOTALLY agree with what Martina said about the sexy suits. (I mean, Yuri at the beginning… Like, damn.)

    2.) I noticed the weird editing, as well. There were far too many close-ups and not enough wide shots. Honestly, I would have loved to see just mostly the dance with bits of the “doctors” parts mixed in. That would’ve been FAR more interesting. (Also, seriously, what in the world was with the parking garage scene?)

    3.) I actually just started listening to K-Pop about six months ago (and I now own over 150 K-Pop songs by various artists), and at this point I’m kinda running out of new stuff to listen to, but hopefully 2014 will bring lots of awesomeness.

    4.) As I obviously didn’t really experience the 2013 K-Pop scene all at once/as a whole, I have a limited understanding of how the releases of that year stacked up against those of others. That being said, I know f(x) released their Pink Tape album in 2013, which–as far as I’m concerned–is the best K-Pop album ever released, so…

    Anyway, great review! I love your guys’ videos! Keep up the good work!

  147. I’ve been listening to Kpop for 12 years (-_-;) and I feel that 2013 was average like y’all said. 2009-2012 was like the kpop glory years for most, mainly due to the huge influx of new groups making their debut. 2009 saw the biggest influx of rookie groups and I feel that many of those have now either disbanded, faded into the shadows, or retraining to hop back into the spotlight. With so many no longer fighting for the limelight, I feel that the stage presence was lacking for 2013. There were a few great songs but the majority of the songs released last year were a bit generic.
    Anyways…
    (~@.@)~
    ~(@.@~)
    As for Mr.Mr, I find the song lacking something. I love SNSD/GG and was really looking forward to this song but kind of just got left feeling disappointed. I like the song well enough to have playing as background music, but I just don’t have the same “Omfg I love this song” feeling like I did for Gee & Genie. Like Martina said, the editing threw me off from watching the video; but I don’t think SNSD/GG is the only group that has been suffering from that lately. I did like the dance breakdown and lack of rapping though!! I’ll see how their live stage comeback looks and reassess my view then. I hope the girls do well and wish them continued success :D

    P.S. Martina, I completely follow you on the what sexy is/can be!! Guys/gals don’t need to be scantily clad to get me to like them/their music. Confidencince and actual skill will go far in my book :3

  148. Janet Okabe

    XD gee there’s so many comments wonder if anyone will read this. Truth be told I’ve been listening to kpop ever since H.O.T. debut so i was around 5-ish years old (1996)? By the time I hit puberty (about 10yrs old? i forget) I first saw se7en and he was the one person that always caught my eye. No, i’m not saying that i had a uber-orgasm crush for him but rather he had this awesome dance moves that i couldn’t keep my eyes off him. Anywho it wasn’t until 2005ish that i first say a banjun drama called “First Love” by TVXQ (back when they were a team of 5) and OMGEE I FREEKEN LOVED THEM SINCE! I never had access to computer and i never knew how to get my hands on any music or anything dbsk-related. I know everyone has their own opinions about kpop but here’s my reason why i have such a HUGE bias for tvxq: They were an accapella group that each had their own unique voice that u can ACTUALLY tell who’s who and they sing beautifully as a whole. No one, I swear, there’s not ONE group that I’ve yet to see an acappella/dancey-jazz/kpop group and tvxq really nailed that for me. TVXQ had THEE most awkward english, rap, and a few singing parts but that’s EXACTLY what pulled me in b/c they had this individuality and confidence and I think that’s what makes kpop so rather unique. U don’t need perfect english and rap skills to get westerners to like u guys. In fact, that is what we actually LOVE about korean bands: U guys already have that uniqueness that western musicians don’t have. So, yeah if any korean boy/girl band member is reading this, please remember this: stop trying so hard to follow the “western” trend and be confident. Ur already smexy as we know it ;D

    ps i think exo and bap are doing quite well so far, ahhhh brings back memories when tvxq and ss501 came out during their rookie days :)

    • Well at least I did. We are at over 300 comments in less than 10 hours. And most people are writing paragraphs. This topic has really interested people. They want to share their history with Kpop and how they feel about its current state.

      • Janet Okabe

        XD hello fellow nasty! Didn’t think anyone would respond. Anyways, I didn’t think 2013 was “bad” but rather things have changed especially for newer and younger generations who will be listening to kpop (and maybe become a fellow nasty too!). For me, personally, after 2008 a lot of things have changed for me and I felt that I’ve become somewhat too old for these new-ish generation of kpop. Maybe as the years pass by we come to appreciate more about the past and how good it was rather than focusing on what’s now. Yup, this post is getting long so imma stop here :p

  149. You were curious how long some of us have been listening to Kpop. Well i think I stumbled across early 2009. I was around when Batoost debuted but it wasn’t to much prior to that <3 So that makes almost 5 years of listening to this glorious mess that is KPop. I, like Simon, don't feel bad if I don't like a song of a group I like. That even goes for Batoost who are my Big Bang/BEG =D And I totally agree with Martina about not needing to show skin to look sexy, though I wouldn't go as far as to say I don't find it sexy at all lol. I think Super Junior looked amazingly hot in their "No Other" promotions and I always think Sistar look amazingly sexy without over doing it.

    As for 2013 being a meh year, I agree, but I think it wasn't completely that there werent great videos, I think it was that a lot of the great videos got over shadowed.

    Groups like Airplane who debuted with "So Pretty", though they did use Mr.Broohoo's room, had amazing vocals and a really nice but simple MV.

    GI and Delight both had interesting songs and kool concepts.

    Actually I did a list of song's I thought were hits in 2013 from rookies, you can have look at here http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLWTEjt7Wmh2WTuaYJ3KwnF0IPRgTOxjr6

    They were the highlight of 2013 rookie wise <…..

    Actually the more I look back, maybe 2013 wasn't as bad…maybe averge would have been a better vote lol

  150. Sweet_Alina

    So first of all i gotta say i like snsds song but i don´t love it . It is 100% better than igab and the boys but it sounds for me as a song that should be on an album but not as the title song, but i guess this is taste. For me a song i will listen to from time to time but not often. But i am estatic that there is no rap and the dance break down is freaking amazing and i am so happy SM gave them a chance to show of their moves. It is amazing and i was always a fan of break downs. Now i think the mv has a nice concept but was poorly executed. I am not a sone and a girl but i do enjoy watching those girls because they are pretty and i think they are perfect and i just like looking at them but i didn´t see them in the mv and also i also didn´t see them dance… they changed their outfits two times but the dance was shown really shortly and i hate that!

    Now about your question. I am a fan since 2010 and every year there were a lot of songs that stuck out. But last year there were only a few songs that i think are really really good. In 2011 we had 2ne1 with i am the best, which is still amazing and yeah the boys, which i didn´t like but still kind of enjoyed to watch. IN 2012 Big Bang finnally came back and smashed it (proud vip here), Psy wowed and suju had some good songs too. One of the factors why 2013 wasn´t so great to me was because Big Bang and Suju didn´t have a comeback. Exo were great last year but that´s it for me. No other group stood out to me… Maybe because 2012 was amazing musical wise, for me 2013 lacked but yeah….

  151. Katie S.

    omg i so agree! recently, i’ve been feeling like mainstream kpop has gotten worse
    i mean, i started listening to it in 2009, and i thought that was the best up until now, but even if the songs weren’t as good as the songs then, i feel like producers have just been so half-hearted about the songs
    and i am a fan of snsd, but they’re songs were great in the beginning
    but i started to question where the group was going with songs like hoot, the boys, and i got a boy
    this song definitely beats their most recent ones

  152. Jane Kye

    DISCLAIMER: THIS IS GOING TO BE KIND OF LONG

    The poll options are limited.
    Every year of K-pop, there’s always going to be something that makes the year successful and makes the year in need of improvement.
    Yet, with every year I’ve been following K-pop (I have been a fan since 2008,) I’ve been finding that there are always different things about Kpop that I have not known before. When I was first into it, I simply loved the drama of the music videos, like BigBang’s Haru Haru, and their outrageous clothing. But then later, as I became more secure in my identity as a Korean American and as an artist, I’ve begun to appreciate more things. Like music video concepts, music composition, designer clothing, and an understanding of the artists.

    On that note, something I have learned and have been fascinated of during the year of 2013 was Kpop and hip hop. Kpop has been becoming more hip hop oriented. I was expecting this because of BigBang’s growing name over the years, but what really solidified my observation was SM Entertainment’s stab at hiphop with SNSD’s I Got A Boy and EXO’s Growl. Hip hop is very much out of SM’s realm in my opinion, but I found that SNSD’s song and EXO have both been very successful. The dances are awesome, the songs are catchy, and even my American friends who make fun of my love for Kpop enjoy them.

    Kpop’s interesting and so far successful turn towards hip hop has dispelled my belief that only Western artists can do hip hop. Korean people have just as deep as a connection to hip hop than any other culture has! Traditional Korean music is all very beat oriented and even b-boying can have its roots in Korean traditional dancing. And here’s the thing about Korean culture, I think we have a lot of thins to say. There’s the growing pressure on Korean kids to do well in school, the corruption in various Korean businesses and mega-churches, and Asian stereotypes! All these topics can be used as fuel for spitting out fiery bars. Zico’s done it, BTS’s Rapmonster and Suga has done it, and we can’t forget the whole Korean underground rap scene (that includes you Epik High).

    So as a fan who has found pride in her culture through Kpop, I really don’t give a shit about whether Kpop uses too much dub step, or BAP has become total crybabies. Kpop has always been about pushing boundaries and trying new things and I hope it continues to do just that in many years to come. Success comes and goes, so everyone should just try his/her best to leave his/her mark in history while he/she has the opportunities to do so.

    As for right now.. HAVE YOU GUYS LISTENED TO 2NE1′S NEW ALBUM? IT’S BEEN MY JAM ALL WEEK

  153. Sarah Smith

    As for the bad editing…. I’m not totally sure, but I think the footage for this Music Video was somehow lost and they had to reshoot quite a bit of the Music Video D:

    I’ve been listening to k-Pop now since 2010 and I’ll have to say 2013 was BORINGGGG

    Ya, there were songs that I enjoyed but, for most of the year, I was kind of tuned out to the kpop world. If you guys reviewed someone, then I’d check it out. There’s just no…. epicness, like how in 2009 Mirotic and Gee were THE song and in 2010 Lucifer was only one of the best songs of the year.

    But I do think one of the reasons for this dip is because of Gangnam. It made the world look at Korea and thats a lot of pressure. I think kpop has also gotten über sexy, and for only one reason; the world market.

    Maybe this year they’ll finally get focused. I’ve seen some improvement; Rain’s song was very kpopish and this song is really like the good ol’ days :D

  154. I’ve been an avid fan of k-pop for years, and now that you have asked me to think about the videos from 2013…….I can’t really. I mean, there were definitely some really GREAT songs which most, in my opinion, came from the boy bands. I can’t think of any songs from the girl bands that I liked enough to nerdily(words?) memorize the Korean lyrics so I could sing along.
    I think that sexy is changing in a way. Like you said Martina, the topless skin showing is nice, but that confidence makes it so much better. Exo’s Growl and TOP’s Doom Dada…..fuhget-about-it.

  155. Psychology person here! I think that the reason the years before 2013 seem like they had better quality music is because of positivity bias- the tendency for pleasurable memories to be more easily retrieved than neutral or unpleasant memories over time. The more time passes by, the more we forget the musical flops but continue to recall the stronger songs from past years. So while 2012 is far enough behind to say “wow, there was just hit after hit that year”, 2013 is recent enough for me to still cringe whenever 2NE1 comes up because Falling In Love still feels like a fresh wound to me. REALLY WHY WOULD 2NE1 DO THAT TO ME WHY.

  156. Diana Chen

    Seeing Soo Zee commenting on the lyrics SM makes, I wonder what she thinks about f(x)’s songs’ lyrics. I know there has been a lot of controversy over their lyrics as they are known to be confusing and unique. Personally I loved Rum Pum Pum Pum’s lyrics. I thought it was very clever. But it was translated into English, so maybe in Korean it might sound corny or awkward. Wonder what Soo Zee thinks about their songs as a native Korean.

  157. hasnoorigin

    THANK GOODNESS SOMEONE FINAL TALKED ABOUT CONFIDENT SEXY! man, what a relief I am not the only one

    okay back to the question
    I am from California and I first started listening to kpop when I was about 5-7 years old (BABY VOX!!!) but around 6th grade I got into anime and manga till about 2010. MBLAQ got me back into kpop and i’ve been sucked in since. I wasn’t really an A+ or SONE or other fandom so i will say i’m not biased when it comes to my judgement (untill now, I’m a Melody). Also i think my judgement is sound because i’ve always been more of a ballad fan (ballads win by very little over pop in my heart) and I have a rocker heart (RED ftw man) so i can take a step back from the fighting over pop.

    Kpop offered an new sound that wasn’t present in the west. There are so many aspects to a kpop group (members, variety shows) unlike solo artists (which is more common in the pop world) who only offer music and occasional appearances. Kpop was more involved with fans and i consider that a selling point. 2012 was a WONDERFUL year for kpop in the regards that there were talented groups popping up and popular songs were starting to favor original meanings and themes other then LOVE or lack of love. Now 2013 however took a turn. I think that after the attention PSY brought, kpop tried to do what IS very profitable in the US; SEXY and/or SEX. honestly i am appalled by the use of sexual themes in western music now a days but it sells. Of course groups like BTS and Block B went against that current and I believe are helping to guide kpop back to songs with original meanings. So i have hope for 2014. Already the comebacks this year have been refreshing.

    -sigh- Well I think i did well to fight the urge to talk about my biased group haha

    Sorry for this long post but I was also wondering what you guys thought of this whole thing between GG and the GROUP MR. MR.
    I think it was rude of SM to use a GROUP’s name to overshadow them.

  158. hapagirl
    hapagirl

    I totally agree with Martina on the sexy even though I am one to usually enjoy the scantily clad thrusting people, I don’t want that to be something that you’re forcing a group or an artist to do just to get views and money. If they wanna do it, cool. Also TOTALLY agree with the editing of the video, I think SM was right about the file being corrupted, I hope.
    Also on the 2013 rant, even as someone who got more into kpop last year, I feel like the end of the year was really the strong point of that year. I think Jaejoong, VIXX, EXO, Troublemaker, Block B, Lee Hyori, SHINee (Well for me the Everybody era), and the guys of Big Bang all made the year awesome for me. However, I can’t remember a good chunk of songs earlier than Growl (not counting On and On and Hyde mainly since I got into them in November) I’ll be honest, U-KISS and Junsu kinda let me down last year, even though I loved their songs, it wasn’t as good as them in 2012.
    I would really say 2014 is kicking ass, we started the year with TVXQ making a comeback and then we got Rain. Everyone’s really making strong comebacks and the rookies are also slaying it, which I didn’t see 2013. I don’t even know what happened to my rookie girl groups that I got into last year, they pretty much disappeared. I have really high hopes for 2014 that it’s gonna be amazing.

  159. Wow, so many long comments!

    First of all, I liked Soo Zee’s part a lot! Interesting point. And I had no idea “assah!” was corny… Doesn’t Taeyang say “assah!” in Ringa Linga? Anyway, Mr. Mr. to me was okay but nothing more than that. It started off really well, the first 30 seconds are great but then there’s that part before the chorus (how do you call it? it’s not bridge, right? Idk) that I don’t really like. Maybe it’ll grow on me, for now I like it but it’s still far behind my favorite SNSD songs. The MV is a mess and I wish there were more dance parts (especially in the dance break, who cares about the weird “plot”, it’s a DANCE break for crying out loud!) but I like the colors.

    Now for the 2013 question: it’s really hard to say. Maybe it does depend on how long someone has been into Korean music? I started listening to Kpop in October/November 2011 but initially I knew (almost) only SM groups. By initially I mean before I found EYK in the very beginning of 2012. So it was actually 2012 that got me into Kpop for real and maybe that’s why it’s my favorite year? There were quite a lot of songs in 2013 that I liked a lot but in general I don’t love my favorite 2013 songs as much as the ones from 2012 or older. They just don’t give me the same feeling. But maybe it’s a matter of time perspective? Maybe a year from now I’ll feel sentimental about 2013 songs? Who knows.
    Also, I’m really slow/lazy at checking out older releases so even though I’ve been into Kpop for more than two years, I think I know less pre-2010 songs combined than 2013 songs alone. Or even half of 2013. The point is, it’s hard for me to judge those years basing only on the handful of releases that I know.
    However I have to say that I haven’t been too fond of 2014 releases thus far. There are a few songs that I like but not a single one to hold a special place in my heart. Not that I dislike these concepts but lately it feels like so many girl groups are doing the sexy concept and so many boy groups are made to look like “bad” boys that I’ve grown a bit tired of it. Maybe I’m wrong but it seems like there are less songs that are simply fun. I kind of miss the fantastic elastic ear candy nonsense that joom joomed my heart like a locket and it’s not even about the Engrish, I just miss the feeling, you know? I don’t want to see idols shooting themselves (I’m looking at you, Himchan) and be serious all the time in music videos , I’d rather see them hav fun or do silly things, run through walls of toilet paper, dance in pastel pants and tell me that nothing’s sober over. That’s why I can’t wait to see Toheart’s (Infinite’s Woohyun + SHINee’s Key) video. I hope it’s as peppy as their prologue/teaser vid. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Z0RPAxn0lc)

  160. ChrysiyApls
    ChrysiyApls

    I’ve been in kpop since 2008 i think 2009-2011 were amazingly awesome years.. as for kpop in 2013 it just wasn’t that great. I’m all about the emotion and feel of music. i understand that kpop is a whole combination of performances, entertainment, choreo, not just singing. 2013 was so boring for me. i liked ALL kinds of groups. (multifandom kinda girl xP) i was so dissatisfied with kpop so when MBLAQ came out with Smoky Girl…actually the whole Love Beat/Sexy Beat album was fantastic! I suggest listening to it if you haven’t already so impressed with the music and composition/arrangement of songs their voices work so well with each other the rapping isn’t always in your face but actually works WITH the songs lol. so for this reason i have expectations for kpop now. Glad Martina talked about the whole sexy thing. that’s why i think MBLAQ and TOP are sooo sexy (even tho Lee Joon does take his shirt off lol) they’re just very confident and i’m glad snsd did this too. even tho snsd’s music isn’t really my cup of tea i’m glad they did this. their music just isn’t for me. so i’m still waiting for some good songs in kpop ^^……quality>quantity i feel like kpop is just going to get worse with these abundance of rookie groups O.O too many just wayyyy too many lol

  161. Monica Botner

    Been dabbling in kpop since 2006-2007, but, didn’t fully get into it until 2012. I feel that 2013 was a really lack-luster year for kpop. There was too much going on and not enough quality in production & promotion (not that there weren’t good songsor m/vs, just……yeah).
    P.S. There aren’t enough solo artists being promoted! SO MANY GROUPS!!!

  162. leesigh3

    K-Pop in 2013….I thought the albums were better but the singles were worse.

  163. Samuel Lee

    Taking the usage of the term on a post below, I believe that 2008 until now has been the 2nd golden age of K-pop, the first being the late ’90s to the early naughts. The first golden age was back from SeoTaeJi to 1tyme (think HOT, SES, finkl, kimgunmo, dj doc, kool, young turks, JYP). The next golden age started with the likes of Big Bang, Super Junior, Wonder Girls, Shinee, BEG). I worry that we may be seeing the same dropoff that we saw at the tail end of the first golden age. We have our established talent that are coming up on their 4th through 8th albums. In all honesty, none of the new SNSD, 2NE1, T-ARA, Rain, B2ST, EXO, Shinee ventures make me excited about the direction of those groups. We get the occasional earworms from Psy, Crayon Pop. But none of the rookies seem to have the same impact that the SNSD, 2NE1, Big Bang starts had.

  164. I haven’t watched music mondays in a very long time but I think the switch from an english rating to a korean rating/ maybe even meaningful discussion of lyrics with soozee? (hopefully this is a permanent thing) is great and definitely for the better.

  165. Cosmic Cat
    Cosmic Cat

    I like this song. It’s alright. and the dancing with the suits! omg I’ve been wanting snsd to do a “manish” concept for a long time and they’ve finally done one yey! The editing I agree, it’s just all over the place.
    Anyway as for last year, I think it was pretty average. I “discovered” kpop in 2009. Actually I was into jpop before so I heard the japanese songs of tvxq and big bang before their korean songs. Then I got into snsd and 2ne1 and then I started watching the music programmes and it just snowballed from there. But for some reason in 2012 I just lost interest in kpop for a while. Idk why. I still watched your videos though! But kpop in general I was just meh, so 2013 was my ‘getting back into’ year. And because of that I thought it was an ok year for kpop.

  166. WTF! When I heard the Turkish song I was like “Where is this music coming from”? HAHAHA That’s such a sad song though

    And I have to agree with Suzy. Even I thought “W.t.f…*cringe*” when I listened to the song for the first time…
    lol “choegoui namja”…or this part especially: “wae neon ajikdo mitji mothae? Jinjja bimireul alyeojulge, neon wae teukbyeorhan Mr. inji”…To me this was really..오글거려.

  167. Diana Chen

    I think the start and end of 2013 was pretty good. Coming out Infinite’s destiny and EXO’s growl and ending with a few special Shinee and Vixx moments. In the middle though, I have to agree was pretty meh. I mean f(x)’s is my bias and I love RUM PUM PUM, but that music video had more potential. The concept on the other hand was superb.

    Which actually reminds me… I find the great thing about 2013, or at least the ending of 2013 and the start of 2014, was the companies were really trying to work on concepts. Shinee, f(x), VIXX, EXO, MIB, Infinite had some great concepts. Its just there was wave of rookies and kind of just washed them out…

    And this recent sexy concept that was going on after TroubleMaker for all the girl groups: BORING.

  168. kpoprabbits

    Let’s see so it’s been little over 2 years since I’ve been listening to kpop (August 2011!! xD) and lately I’m just not as enthusiastic about it, actually I’m sort of tired of music overall! Must be the change in weather (it went from sunny, warm skies all winter to rainy, gloomy days). But anyway, before I would buy a song if I liked it even a little because I was that enamored but now I’m very picky and I have to absolutely love a song that I can see myself listening to over and over to buy it. Because one, like I said I’m sort of tired of the same generic kpop sound (I demand uniqueness!) and two I’m sort of, kinda *whispers* trying to save money right now, so I don’t want to waste money to buy a song, I only sort of like, out of “loyalty” to a group. For example, next to B.A.P, BTS is my second favorite group but with their latest comeback I only bought their title song even though I had bought all of their previous songs, I just wasn’t feeling their other songs this time.

    • Yeah… I know… I’m all with you… (have you checked GP Basic with Pika-burnjuck…. I don’t know if it’s because I haven’t listened to kpop in a while… but this song just blew me away… instant addiction XD… some people said the video is a turn-off …outfits and acting …bla bla … but actually they weren’t that bad… and I don’t know if it’s just me but it seemed to me like they were having fun in the video…and their attitude fit pretty well with the song and that was a big “thumb’s up” for me… anyway great catchy song… the message is kind of boastful but there’s a good side to it as well: ” to shine” – to have confidence in oneself… maybe I’m looking for its good points too much… but I’m looking forward for their future plans).

  169. ren hime

    I listened to k-pop starting around 2007, but I didn’t really get in to and start following it semi religiously until SHINee debuted in 2008. In general though, I believe the golden years were 2008-2010. My arguments might be a little biased because SHINee’s best years were also 2008-2010 and they are my favorite group, but others such as Big Bang, Super Junior and SNSD did well too. Big Bang had Lies and Haru Haru in the earlier parts of 2008, but their releases after that were equally as good, if not better. SNSD’s Gee, Genie and Oh were all some of my favorites as well. Suju I’m not sure, since I’m not exactly a hardcore fan of theirs, but my friends tell me they did well around then too. 2NE1′s debut in 2009 was enjoyable as well.

    Starting SHINee’s Sherlock era is when I think I started to notice the downhill. I didn’t enjoy their Japanese re-releases and I was waiting for another Korean release. When Sherlock came out, I wasn’t so sure what I thought of it because it was somewhere between a “wow this is better than the japanese stuff” and “this isn’t the same as before”. In SNSD, after The Boys was where the decline was for me. I didn’t like The Boys or I Got a Boy all that much but I was still happy that they were gaining recognition. TaeTiSeo’s Twinkle was great and that did pick up some slack for me. Both Big Bang did really well as a group, but I didn’t like it when they split off and did solo activities. Maybe I have a thing against solo things and groups splitting but I’m not entirely sure. On the other hand, I think 2NE1 did rather well of holding up so 2012 wasn’t actually a bad year for them. SISTAR also did well over the course of 2012, and all of my favorite songs by them came out then.

    However, around the end of 2012 to the start of 2013 is when I slowed down on k-pop and didn’t follow it as well partly because there were too many rookie groups and SHINee didn’t feel as worth it to follow anymore. Songs that I did listen to just didn’t seem up to par and felt like a re-done concept. The only album I ended up liking in all of 2013 was IU’s Modern Times. It had a jazzy feel and it felt like her MVs had a lot more effort in them than others.

    Now I fiiinally get to SNSD’s Mr Mr. I agree that it might be the pick up for the slump k-pop was in, but I don’t believe that it is as good as the golden years. The MV had it’s good points, but majority of it seemed a little… like it was still in the 2013 phase. Very instagrammy. The nurse set is cool, but I’m disappointed that they didn’t really do anything with it. Because if that, it feels like they just wanted to throw in a sexy nurse thing, I don’t know Korean, so there was no apparent story line (maybe putting glittery hearts in nicely dressed men??). Not that SM ever has story lines anyways. The song is actually better than I expected though.

    OKAY I’m done. Oh lord that was really long winded and terribly organized but it is also only my OPINION.

  170. Jacquelyn Ortega

    I have been listening to K-pop since.. 2009? I feel like then… I was enamored more so than I am now, but not because of time or it “getting old”. I am 25 and i still skip through Disney world every year when I go. (things don’t “get old” for me). RATHER I think it has become a bit lackluster because – well- I can see all this shit in American music already.
    What doesn’t Western music have? Big synchronized groups!- Cuteness!- Innocence- Cheesey outfits and catchy dances to go along with them! Every artist over here strips, shakes their asses, grinds on things “erotically”. And it is no longer refreshing to watch K-pop when they are simply mimicking that culture. THIS IS IN GENERAL- I am not saying every K-pop group or artist behaves this way, just that.. the general movement of it looks more and more … Skanky.
    Having to watch girls with no ass attempt to make it “shake” on k-pop, and guys thrust their abs into the camera…. but still having to wait ten episode for a single KISS in k-drama??? This is significantly confusing to me. lol Any idea why the pop culture and entertainment in Korea seems so different in music videos compared to Dramas/Television?

  171. Nekochan

    So SM gives awkward english and korean?
    Awkwardness abounds!

  172. Vanessa Winn

    I’ve been around kpop since H.O.T and BoA* and I’ve always loved the dances and the outfits more then the music videos. I totally agree with you Martina and I absolutely Love the girls in those suits Very sexy. A clean cut figure shown off in good clothes with the air of confidence goes a million miles further then young woman (or men for that matter) practically naked giggling their body parts around.

    As far as weather kpop was good or bad last year I personally think that ever since Rap came to be the have to have gimmick in music kpop or not it’s be rather going downhill. If done right Rap can be good but injecting it into every song of every other genre does not sound good to me.

  173. Leigh Smith

    I am quite new to k-pop, having been in to it for just barely a year. In that year, however, I have COMPLETELY given up on western music and almost completely on western shows. I went through my youtube playlists and found that 90% of the content on the list I maxed out in November (200 songs) is from 2012 and earlier. I think that says something though I’m pretty sure it says more about me and my taste than it does about the music in general. For example, I like EXO well enough but I’d much rather listen to Shinee and I find that I prefer music that could only be Korean (TOPP DOGG’s “Arario” as opposed to BTOB “Beep Beep”). The start of this year feels a bit better to me I think. I’m finding more things that I like (a playlist of new releases I’ve got is up to 47 videos already and I’ve not gone through my subscriptions in two days) and I’m so excited about the artists that I am hearing about.
    Martina, you’re speaking my language. Seriously, I like to use my imagination, put some damn clothes on! I hate male strippers, it’s traumatizing and any idiot can take his shirt off or wear a short skirt, looking AMAZING in layers is an art. And then it’s like a present to unwrap! ….or is that just me?
    And I want to hear/read more about SooZee’s rant/complaint. I find it interesting that she finds the Korean as awkward as the English often is. It’s interesting that there are issues with both from the same place…wonder where their budget goes??

  174. Joanneke

    I’ve been listening to kpop since about 2007, which is a pretty long time ago.
    I
    think I haven’t really been into it anymore since about 2010.
    Honestly,
    I keep hoping for my interest to return again, but so far it’s only
    getting less and less.
    Not exactly sure why though.. Most korean music I like nowadays comes from indie bands.

  175. Arial Ng

    Started listening to kpop in 2006. Best years were 2009-2011 got really into Big Bang. 2013 wasn’t bad but i realized I stopped putting kpop songs in my ipod last year.

  176. I’ve been listening to kpop for a LONG time. I got into it around 2003/4, but listen to a lot of earlier stuff. I remember kind-of having a hard time finding things I liked. I don’t think I REALLY got into it until around 2009/10 when I think it peaked. I feel like out of all people, I can safely say it declined in 2013. I downloaded a lot less music, and didn’t feel like there was too much I was excited about. I was more into the less popular artists in Korea for music, or older artists like Lee Hyori.

    I think part of the reason why Kpop peaked in 2009-12 is because the industry did new marketing. If you pick up an old kpop ALBUM you will notice that there are a LOT of bad songs on it. That was because music labels would purposely make a few “title tracks” and not focus on any other songs. Korean producers shifted the idea of albums and switched over to singles. I think it was mostly started with SM with DBSK (when they started) At the time I thought it was obnoxious, but it was really helpful. This helped sales, and they found new ways to market artists to make money. And with less songs being made, there was more quality being put out.

    I think now it is starting to hurt artists because companies are making quite as stellar songs. If you are releasing a single with 4 songs, they should all be great. I think also there is a style crisis. Most artists don’t have a specific image, and that overall can hurt the artists. This new SNSD song is great, and makes me think a little bit of the original SNSD. 2NE1 I feel like is trying to evolve their original image, but didn’t try and start from scratch like SNSD did with “I Got A Boy.”

  177. Allison Merkel

    2013 was an average year for k-pop. As long as you weren’t super pressed to get great tunes from 2NE1, SNSD, Big Bang/GD’s solos, Su-Ju or any other BIG names then you probably weren’t that disappointed last year. *moment of silence for all the blackjacks who JUST got their long forsaken album*.
    This is my 5th year in K-pop and I can really see myself calming down. Out of the 5 years, 2012 was definitely the best. Everyone likes to point to 09′-10′ as the best years but looking back I think they were lacking. K-pop was hooked on heavy-electro tracks just like American pop and it lead to many of the songs I look back on feeling very similar. Another big factor for my love of 2012 could be that I focused more on non-idol groups.

    Okay so I srs just blanked out. It’s Monday ya’ll. If I remember something else I want to add I’ll just post another comment. (It’s them dang AP classes I tell ya)

  178. smilecshk

    the dubbing for the 2ne1 come back home video is awful btw….

  179. I agree 2013 wasn’t as great as other years. The songs in 2013 tried very hard to be original and different, however, they didn’t have the same catchiness and memorable-ness as older songs. Some songs got very old after listening to them for a few times. Older songs such as “Blue” and “Lonely” I still listen to today over and over again and still love them. On the other hand, in 2013, I felt that there were no such memorable songs that become symbolic of the band or artist for many years. For example, I loved Taeyang’s “Ringa Linga,” and it was very original, yet it didn’t have the same impact or catchiness as “Wedding Dress.”

  180. Josh Chinnery

    Hmm… It’s been a good long while since I’ve left a good comment. I should try to do that more; I really enjoy the discussions that have spawned from the comments section ^^

    *ahem* How do I feel about Mr. Mr? Well, when I first saw the teaser, I was exploding with want. SM seemed to realize that IGAB was a hot mess (a flawless hot mess, but also a very tragic hot mess) and decided that they should take after SNSD’s Japanese production team (who I am pretty sure don’t listen to SM at all, because SNSD’s Japanese releases make their Korean ones seem like child’s play) and give these girls some sizzly, sexy, dirty electropop (how that’s for corny; using the rule of three to describe K-Pop!!!). The result is a song that’s kind of underwhelming. Idk, yo. Don’t get me wrong, I like this song. I *really* like this song. I did not know how much I wanted, I *needed* this song in my life!! But this song could have been so much better. Why do I think this? All of the energy that the refrain builds to thrust into the chorus is wasted. I’m not saying that the song is flat, because there’s an excitement in the latter stages of the refrain that makes a nigga wanna pop, lock, and drop it to the chorus. But!! The chorus isn’t that exciting. It’s like they took the verse and just layered some strings over it (also the vocals, but I’ll get to that later). The song doesn’t truly build, to me, till after the dance break when we have the bridge and the double key change (which, btw, is fucking amazing). I had this same issue with SHINee’s Dream Girl. All of the energy the the prechorus/refrain builds to dump into the chorus is wasted, because the chorus is boring as hell. Also, I feel like this evolution in SNSD’s sound should have happened ages ago. I feel the same about 2NE1′s album Crush; it’s a damn good album and more than enough reassurance that 2NE1 can and *will* slay your face off, but it feels like they should be past this already.

    [Music nerd/geek speak ahead; read at your own risk]

    So Martina made a comment about how SNSD have this vocal quality as a group that sounds really good (her specific words – they have a power harmony) and I kind of wanted to toss my two cents into the ring. While I do think that the vocalists of SNSD sing very well together and that the group has rad chemistry yo (with the amount of time SM spent on developing SNSD, one would think that this would be really obvious), I think that what we’re hearing is more the way the vocals are processed and “treated” in the mixing stages of production than SNSD’s actual vocals (TL;DR – you’re hearing the vocal effects, not the voices). I don’t know if I’d call this a signature sound because I’ve heard flecks of it here and there in other K-Pop songs, but SM’s producers have this habit of making the harmonies and high notes in their songs sound really autotuned, for lack of a better word (it isn’t hard autotuning, because it lacks the distinct sound you get when a vocalist slides from note to note, but it sounds similar). They process the harmonies and high notes very heavily to make them sound pitch perfect (while severely sacrificing vocal color and uniqueness), and I earnestly find this very distracting when I was first getting into K-Pop, because it feels like the singing is done more with a computer than an actual singer. And before any SONEs (or other wayward fanatics; I see you cray cray anti-fans) see that and gets any funny ideas, let me say to you a thing. I do not just say that SNSD cannot sing. Let me repeat that to you

    I. DID. NOT. JUST. SAY. THAT. SNSD. DOES. NOT. SING. THEIR. OWN. SONGS.

    Thank for that reprieve, sometimes these fans get crazy ideas and start jumping to even crazier conclusions and I am *not here for that. *ahem* That’s just my two cents, yo. If I’m going to be really honest, the only people I hear singing the chorus are Jessica, Taeyeon, and Seohyun #MinhoShrug

    *double ahem* I have three complaints with the video – 1) DAT CRAY ASS EDITING, 2) too much sexy, not enough plot, and 3) only three seconds of dancing in the entire video. They’re pretty self-explanatory, but if anyone wants me to rant about this more, I’ll be glad too :3

    • What you said here about the way the audio is processed clicked with me. I have always thought that the post production on voices is what really made for that particular sound on some voices.

      But there are some singers who have very distinct vocals.

      I know that her voice has been sacrificed to the PS gods but Bom’s voice used to have a really interesting quality which made some people have a real hard on for her. I don’t know what is going to happen with it now. It actually makes me really sad to see what happened with her voice.

      In SNSD, I can recognise Seohyun and Taeyeon’s voices… To a lesser extent Tiffany and Jessica.

      There are only a few other’s whose voices immediately pop to me, Hyorin, IU, Ailee, Lee Hi. Where as the voices I grew up with were distinctive as hell, Patti, Tina, Bette, Celine, Mariah, Whitney, and Janet from the diva class to Jill, Macy Gray, Lauren Hill, Mary J Blige, Erykah Badu and all my R&B crooners all have distinctive voices. Hell, as a Bajan I can tell you that Rihanna really sucked at singing for a long time, but her vocal colour is interesting and makes people know that her songs are her’s. I find that difficult with some Kpop. is that because of the way heir voices are processed. I am not sure.

      • Josh Chinnery

        Thank you ^^ I always wonder if anyone really reads my comments, because I know I can come off kind of pretentious at times, but it’s nice to know that you appreciate them :D

        Even though I’ve been kind of hyper aware of the production of the music I listen to ever since I started composing and producing music a few years back, listening to K-Pop has ramped this up about 1000%. People are quick to point that pop music is 75% production and effects, and 25% the actual singers/vocalists, but this is doubly so about K-Pop (I’d say that in K-Pop, it’s about 90% production than 10% vocals). I don’t want to say that the groups in K-Pop are disposable because I really like a lot of K-Pop groups, but they kind of are (and I say groups and not soloists for a reason). To be completely honest, you could replace any of the vocalists in any given K-Pop group (with a few exceptions) and it would not change the dynamic of the song. Sure, the fans will complain and the dynamic of the group will be affected, but the musical output (what *should* be the main point) would not change.

        “I know that her voice has been sacrificed to the PS gods but Bom’s voice used to have a really interesting quality which made some people have a real hard on for her. I don’t know what is going to happen with it now. It actually makes me really sad to see what happened with her voice.”

        Bom’s issue is two fold; 1) she was not taught healthy methods of vocal control by whoever taught her how to sing and 2) she very clearly resorted to shrieking in her early career as 2NE1′s main vocalist to hit most of the high notes that are required of her role (because, according to K-Pop logic, your main vocalist must vocalfag all over your songs so fans will be able to talk about “talent”). I don’t know if her plastic surgery cravings are what caused her vocals to turn sour (and I really don’t wanna comment on that), but I know your feel, bro. I love the unique color and tone of Bom’s vocals and her lower range is orgasmic (when she sings correctly, that is).

        “In SNSD, I can recognise Seohyun and Taeyeon’s voices… To a lesser extent Tiffany and Jessica.”

        In SNSD, I can accurately recognize (read – I know when they’re singing because I’ve recognized their particularly tone of voice) Hyoyeon, Taeyeon, Tiffany, Jessica, and Sunny. Sometimes I can recognize Sooyoung’s vocals, but it’s very rare.

        “Hell, as a Bajan I can tell you that Rihanna really sucked at singing for a long time, but her vocal colour is interesting and makes people know that her songs are her’s.” ”

        Rihanna is interesting to me. Like, I would never say that she is a good vocalist, but you’re right to say that her voice has a unique color to it that makes you wanna ignore everything else. Plus, autotune. And I am being completely serious there; you would not *believe* how well autotune hides a bad vocalist’s imperfections. Kpopalypse wrote a very eye opening article about the use of autotune in music; linku – http://kpopalypse.wordpress.com/2013/07/27/does-your-bias-use-autotune-or-does-a-bear-shit-in-the-woods/ If you’re curious about music, in general, his blog is a great one to stalk as he is great at making typically god awful and boring topics interesting as hell (and trust me, music is as a boring as it is interesting XD).

        “I find that difficult with some Kpop. Is that because of the way their voices are processed? I am not sure.”

        I feel like it’s a combination of the fact that 90% of K-Pop vocalists are very anybody and the fact that no one walks out of the studio without a layer of autotune and a host of other vocal effects.

        • Natz

          Well, if no one else does, I enjoy your comments. Especially if there are memes to be posted. Not enough memes are used here.

          I have had some vocal training myself, but have never been in a studio. I also direct my school’s choir and thus know a bit about vocal development. I agree with you about Bom’s two fold issue. I also must admit to falling I into that trap about making comments about her PS. It is an easy diss but not neccesarily a fair one.

          Some of the girls from Spica were originally vocal trainers I had heard. I think that Lydia is supposed to be a female vocal trainer for YG but otherwise I have not seen many other getting real training for how to ‘protect’ their voices. I have noticed that there is this misconception that if you can hit high notes or if you can ‘belt’ then you are the best singer ever. Doing that sort of stuff with improper technique can ruin your vocal cords. Even as a teacher, we are warned about how we use our voices. I have had coworkers who are continually hoarse from not knowing how to project their voices properly and whose have developed nodules, just from being a teacher. So how much worse would it be for a singer who is being forced to belt high notes constantly.

          But I forget that with Kpop, longevity is really not the point. They don’t expect these kids wo be like Celine or Mariah ( or like my Queen Tina) singing into their 70′s

        • Josh Chinnery

          “Well, even if no one else does, I enjoy your comments. Especially if there are memes to be posted. Not enough memes are used here.”

          http://25.media.tumblr.com/de2f71b065c32469420b258a5ed254bb/tumblr_mgicd2nsdy1s2b01bo1_r1_500.gif

          http://media.tumblr.com/a7fb96ef04ce7637bb39919a6786f201/tumblr_inline_mjphywnBJL1qz4rgp.gif

          I love doing meme spams :D It’s always more fun to express my thoughts through a funny gif :3

          As for me and vocal development, I was in choir my last year of high school. Beyond that, it’s just been me, myself, and I learning how to sing. I think I’m a fairly competent vocalist; I need a lil bit to learn a song, but I know my voice and when to quit. So yeah, being on my own, I have no idea what vocal technique is (what is coming out of my throat is how I am singing the note) and my breathing is kind of bad (I’m working on it, though :P).

          Because of my pop music obsession, I kind of want to become a pop singer/songwriter, but I also wanna produce other people (kind of like JYP). I have played hook boy to a friend of mine (he’s a rapper, we’re kind of homies) a few times, but that’s as far as my recording experience has gone (I’m not sure if the songs are still around, but please don’t go looking for them, because I sound like sh*t).

          “I also must admit to falling I into that trap about making comments about her PS. It is an easy diss but not necessarily a fair one.”

          It isn’t fair, because we’re not the ones sitting in the studio with Bom as she has recorded through the ages, so how are we to say that it’s her plastic surgery that’s ruined her singing voice. It’s honestly really annoying because these people obviously just wanna be assholes, but are too wimpy to actually follow through.

          “Some of the girls from Spica were originally vocal trainers I had heard.”

          It seems like everyone these days has been a vocal trainer XD

          “I have noticed that there is this misconception that if you can hit high notes or if you can ‘belt’ then you are the best singer ever. Doing that sort of stuff with improper technique can ruin your vocal cords.”

          THIS. SO. FREAKING. MUCH!!!

          Like seriously, I wanna slap people who say this, because about 75% of the time, they aren’t belting correctly, they’re actually screaming. You can come tell me your bias is the “best vocalist evar” when I hear them laying down some complex vocal runs and harmonies. Until them, go on with all that “my oppar/unnir can hit high notes, so well!!” tripe, because *anyone* can hit a high note if they try hard enough -_-

          “I have had coworkers who are continually hoarse from not knowing how to project their voices properly and whose have developed nodules, just from being a teacher.”

          This scares me. Like this legit kind of freaks me out and worries about those kids who study under those people.

          “So how much worse would it be for a singer who is being forced to belt high notes constantly.”

          Mhm~ I wonder if there is any saving Bom’s vocal chords at this point…

          “But I forget that with Kpop, longevity is really not the point. They don’t expect these kids to be like Celine or Mariah ( or like my Queen Tina) singing into their 40′s, 50′s or 70′s. So why bother protect their voices?”

          It’s kind of sad how true this. Like, where will these idols be 20 years from now? I hope they don’t fall into the same pit that American idols fall into (*weeps for Britney’s career*)…

        • Puckish Rogue

          On Bommie, I am going to agree that it is terribly unfair to take pot shots at her cosmetic surgery. As well as it having very little to do with her singing, it is perpetuating the impossible beauty standard. Are you a natural beauty by our extraordinarily narrow standards? Nope? Then you are ugly. Sick of being called ugly by people for not looking like a carbon copy of Yoona or Suzy? Well we have perfected cosmetic surgery, but you are now a monster and every single chance we have to poke fun at you, we are going to use your surgery. You are never allowed to feel pretty and confident ever. We will demoralise and demean you at every chance we have.

          No. We have to stop doing that to each other.

          However, I am currently going through a hopefully temporary bout of chronic lymphadenitis, and I tend to understand what it does now. I don’t believe it has anywhere near as much of an effect on her ability to sing as some Black Jacks may imply, but it does make breathing far more difficult than it was. This explains to me why she has no breath support.

          And the vocal teacher in SPICA is Kim BoA. She worked with Kara, Rainbow and Infinite.

        • Josh Chinnery

          “Are you a natural beauty by our extraordinarily narrow standards? Nope? Then you are ugly. Sick of being called ugly by people for not looking like a carbon copy of Yoona or Suzy? Well we have perfected cosmetic surgery, but you are now a monster and every single chance we have to poke fun at you, we are going to use your surgery.”

          While this is very true in Korea, let us not forget that it is also true in many places around the world including America, where different body types are supposedly just as pretty as thin ones (protip – they aren’t seen that way). I know I said I didn’t want to comment on Bom’s plastic surgery above, but I feel like I kind of need too now. First off, I just want to say that I *don’t* think that Bom is a plastic surgery monster (saying crap like that only adds fuel to the fire that is her poor self-esteem and confidence) and that we’ll never know how much plastic surgery she’s really gotten. I feel like I her lymphadenitis has a lot more to do with her looking like a doll than the mass amounts of plastic surgery that fans and antis alike swear that she has gotten, and it really annoys me, yo. Idk, yo. I feel like people say that plastic surgery is not that big a deal, but when they find out someone’s got it, they can’t stop pointing it out like it’s some horrible horrible. To me, the reason why so many get plastic surgery (outside of health or restorative purposes) is because of the impossible beauty standard women (and to a lesser extent, men) are held too. So yeah… I have much love for Bom as she is nothing but another victim of the music industry machine *and* the impossible standards that women these days are held too.

          Sorry for the rant, yo… I get passionate about these kinds of things ^^;;

      • paulpederson

        Josh & Natz, I love the discussion! Just wish either of you had mentioned Sunye, Yeeun, or Sunmi whose voices to me are each unique and exciting. It wasn’t until Sunmi left Wonder Girls that I actually realized how much I’d miss her voice in that group. (Glad she’s at least performing solo again.)
        I do worry a bit about Bom’s voice for the reasons you gave. I also hope that Hyorin will not lose her voice, as her “husky” sound seems partly due to incorrect production. Ailee and Lee Hi seem to have the best technique, probably natural to them, and I hope they are not guided away from it. I love IU’s voice too, just wonder if she’ll be singing with her breathy “little girl” sound for her entire career. It’s certainly her distinctive “sound” and it works great in soft ballads, but I worry she may run into vocal problems later on. (I’ve got some training myself, but I could be mistaken too.) Thanks for the link to kpopalypse blog, I’ll check it out.

    • Sasha Phierce
      Sasha Phierce

      I do believe SNSD dosnt sing their songs..
      Your comment make me think that there’s no presentation alive of this girls singing their own songs..
      Even when Taeyeon, yoona, seohyun and jessica sing good, they can’t sing their owns songs alive..
      Maybe SM should let them do more real music, without so much “Mariah carey screaming editing”.. and make a song they can actually sing alive..

      • Josh Chinnery

        You are very entitled to your own opinion and have every right to ignore what I’m about to type, but I think you’re being very unfair to these girls. First off, this is pop music; this is no “alive” here. It’s all commercial and for the purpose of generating money. Also, SNSD is not the only group that SM gives their funky autotune-but-not-autotune sound too; they do it to all their groups, and honestly, they do it their male groups a lot more than they do their female groups (try listening to an EXO or TVXQ song without it sneaking up on you and tainting your soul :P). Overall, you need to back away from the K-Pop for a lil bit and breathe, my friend. You are taking this way too seriously.

        • Sasha Phierce
          Sasha Phierce

          Sorry..I disagree with you..

          And about this recomendation: “Overall, you need to back away from the K-Pop for a lil bit and breathe, my friend. You are taking this way too seriously”..

          First: you are the one answering my comment, so you’re taking my commentary more seriously than I..
          Second: Who give you the title of Master of KPOP?.. and any way.. i didn’t ask for your recomendation.. i can read your comments about your thoughts of KPOP without any problem, but you’re anything and anyone to tellme what should i do.. The commentary section is to discuss about KPOP,.. not of what people should do in their owns lifes..You’re crossing the line..

          I read your comment, and i was really really ok with what you said, but that line you wrote in the end that didn’t have anything to do with the other, annoyed me a lot..

    • Thanks for the insight! We’re not musically trained, so we can’t discern nuances like you can. We’ll keep that in mind the more we listen to SM. Thank you :D

      • Josh Chinnery

        No problem :D If you checked out this blog http://kpopalypse.wordpress.com/ there are some *very* interesting articles on music from someone who is *way* more trained and experienced than I am (my knowledge comes from composing/producing music myself, plus blogs/resources like this one) and I’m sure you guys could learn a lot more about the more technical side of music from him than you could from me.

  181. I’ve been listening to k-pop since 2009 and personally i think 2010 and 2011 were the best years
    even tho some of my fave groups came out later, the overall quality of 2010/11 is still unbeaten

  182. I got into K pop because of my best friend in 2011 (Thank you bestie for no more life) and 2012 was a superb first full year of K Pop for me. 2013 in comparison made me sad, Oh no I just found K Pop will it now suck forever noooooooo. But I loved this song. Loved it. Approval stamp on it. Yes the Korean may be cheesy but this is the greatest song of the year (Dirty Sexy number two now, sorry Rain) and I am almost allowing myself to hope for a good year. Almost.

  183. merzygtlm

    2013 was a pretty bad year for kpop. I’ve been listening to it for 4.5 years now and for the first half of 2013 everything was horrible. It got a bit better towards the end of the year, but even my favourite groups were releasing songs that I couldn’t stand. Bring on 2014 it can only get better!

  184. mahnoor1997

    I joined the kpop community in 2009. I experienced the biggest and most disappointing break up of the century without realizing it. In my opinion, the first golden era of kpop would have been would have been from the 2007-2009. Even though I wasnt totally into kpop then, I still think it’s one of the best times for it. I think kpop kinda faded then and then…..BOOM!!! BIG bang, Shinee, 2ne1, super junior, psy and all these other artists release all these awesome songs in 2012. N let’s not forget the two most epic debuts of that year. I could have been the second golden age of kpop but it ended so quickly. I think everyone was disappointed in 2013 was because 2012 was such an epic year for kpop n people wanted more of that but when we just saw a bunch of people suffering from those boring old kpop diseases we were disappointed. So 2013 want that bad of an year for kpop. It was a year when everyone had big expectations from it but instead were greeted with F.A.R.T.

  185. Been a fan since 2004, shout out to Epik High, and I have been feeling a bit deprived of good music. (2007-2010 and even some of 2011 was Kpop’s golden years.) I won’t say all of 2013 was horrible, because there were some great releases, but for the most part the repetitiveness in concept, and sounds is incredibly overwhelming. Like you, Martina, I also agree with what you said about sexy. My problem with Kpop is how they try to use their misinformed perception of what sexy is as a way to express maturity and then use it to sell their music and gain attention, when that isn’t what it is at all. Being sexy is more of an attitude or confidence rather than exposure or dancing provocatively. A lot of these groups who are using this route aren’t even being acknowledged for their music and they don’t have a problem with it, which is what I find sad. Before Kpop artists became popular because of their own merits and hard work, now they try to use a scandal as an easy, sure-fire method to get that attention.

    At this point, I don’t consider YG to be just Kpop anymore. They have a global way of approaching things, and so their releases are more than just innovations for music in general but progressive for Kpop to be seen as something that can be easily accessible to others. Smaller companies though, are what still keep traditional Kpop alive and it’s on their shoulders to continue to draw people in once they’re attracted, but I feel they’re trying too hard and so their releases get somewhat lost in translation. It’s difficult to explain what I mean. Luckily, there are still groups and companies who are doing well in that area, but last year, for the most part, I was met with disappointment and out of the hundreds only a handful stood out.

    Now, in regards to KMM, I liked Mr.Mr (the song) but like Soozee pointed out, SM sometimes has this way of making things cringe-worthy beyond reason with their lyrics. Like that awkward line about cheese in Wolf. It doesn’t help that at this point SNSD are grown ass women capable of doing more mature things and still maintaining their femininity which is what they’re mostly known for. Out of all of their songs, RDR is probably still one of my favorites and that’s something I need from them in order to bring me back in. From what I saw, I liked the dance, I wish I saw more, but my main problem with this music video was the freaking editing. God it was so choppy and scrambled and some parts were so unnecessary. That garage set especially. I honestly could’ve done with a back and forward transition of just the nurse scene and the scene where they’re dressed in the men’s clothes doing the choreography. THAT would’ve been perfect, because everything else seemed easily dismissible at that point.

  186. Some of the footage did get accidentally deleted or something so that might be a reason the video was so poorly edited…or at least that’s what I kept trying to tell myself as I watched the music video.

  187. The reason why I say average in the poll is because some groups produced great music in 2013, while others produced terrible music. I’ve been listening to Kpop since 2009, and the first song I ever heard was SHINee’s Juliette. The best years for K-pop in my opinion was 2009-2010.

  188. Jennifer Kim

    I listened to korean music ever since I was born but got into K-pop since 2005 and as of mid-2013 I slipped away from kpop because of all the sexiness and new groups shoved into our faces. Especially with girl groups barely wearing any clothes and doing weird unsexy dances, it felt like such a mockery. I’m hoping 2014 will be a better year for kpop because I was so disappointed in 2013.

  189. Kačí Kys
    Kačí Kys

    Ok, so I have been listening since end of 2011 and I don’t really think that 2013 was so horrible. Lee Hi has the cute fresh sound, I really liked both Expectation and Female President from Girl’s Day, Smoky Girl was awesome, T-Ara had fun songs, especially the N4 one, also What’s your name is probably my girl group song n.1 of 2013, Block B came back and were great, the whole Misconception of you album was amazing, same as Coup d’Etat. And fan or not, EXO’s Growl was the song of the year.
    I’m a BlackJack and I didn’t like either of the songs they released last year. I didn’t like IGAB. But Mr.Mr has the “old kpop sound” and I freaking love Come back home. So I’m not going to be nostalgic crying over the long lost times..

  190. Cantthinkofcoolname

    I think for me, kpop videos are becoming too much. Like nowadays videos have to be extremely flashy or the dance moves have to be extremely complicated to make the video stand out like jeez! Martina I completely agree with you! I would like to see a video where the boys and girls are covered up and the choreography is simple and looks easy to follow. So for example, Super Junior’s ‘Mr Simple’ the choreography is easy to follow because it is simple and easy to learn. Plus, the Super Junior members themselves are pretty much wearing suits and weird clothing but it suits the video like they don’t need to show off their bodies because it wouldn’t go.

    I LOVE this video because the members aren’t showing off loads of skin which I feel like other girl groups are doing right now in order to gain more attention. I also LOVE the all male outfit they wear during the chorus and dance break because this isn’t something that Girls’ Generation would usually do so I hope they do something similar to this in the future.

    As for me, I’ve been listening to kpop for… around three years now. I think to begin with it was fun because nobody really knew about kpop where I live. 2012 was even more horrible than 2013! Like every five seconds rookie groups were popping up here and there and it was so difficult to keep up with the new groups and really get into them. Like out of all the rookie groups in 2012 I can only remember EXO, Nu’est and BAP. Then Gangnam Style came out and suddenly, everybody likes kpop because of that one song T_T I hope 2014 is better for kpop music wise. I don’t care if the video is flashy I just want a catchy song and not too much skin in my opinion.

  191. Olivia Tran

    been into to kpop since…… H.O.T times lol. so im an old fart lol but continue to fangirl like a pro lol. 2013 was so so for me in kpop i mean the attention kpop was getting was good but maybe not for the right reasons. however i did see many groups breaking the market in other countries and having ACTUAL world tours. that for me was a big step =) i think what kpop needs is a good revamp in marketing, actual music productions and more training. the new groups these days…… not that great…… but hear me out! i do realize there are some new groups who are great but more that suck. (runs into hiding) anyhow lets hope 2014 is better =)

  192. i am me

    2013 was a pretty bad year for Kpop but I think other Korean music was good. I loved Roy Kim’s album, Outsider’s was pretty good too and I adored Saltnpaper’s (MYK’s) album. But then again, I can’t get into Rookie groups and 2013 had a lot of Rookies and not enough of the older well established Kpop idols.

  193. I got into kpop around 2006 so it’s been awhile. It’s been fun (and awful at the same time) seeing it progress. Fun bcuz I remember the days NO ONE knew about kpop and there wasn’t anything on iTunes or youtube from companies. I agree in that I think 2008 was one of the best years- the award shows in Korea were really fun and u knew the artists. 2012 was a HORRID year for kpop. It’s like all of a sudden a new band was debuting every week or day. I call them “pop-up” groups. I never watch the music shows anymore cuz they’re a bunch of newbies (and maybe that’s not fair but some of them have no clue what they’re doing really or they’re just blatant copies of other groups). It’s great now though that kpop is globally recognized and more easily accessible in some ways.
    Now 2013 wasn’t a great year for kpop (OVERLY sexy concepts, everything was mehh) GD really brought it though. Loved him. And of course- EXO!!!!! WOW. Did Exo ever impress me. I admit I have an SM biasness, but if I don’t like a group/song i’m pretty vocal about it. It wasn’t just Growl, it was their entire album. XOXO, Butterfly Girl, Peter Pan, My Lady…their songs were impressive. THEY were just super impressive. I have hopes for 2014 though. Seems like a good start already, with TVXQ, GG, 2NE1, CN Blue making comebacks this month~ ^^

  194. I’ve been listening to kpop since late 2009, SNSD and Big Bang were the first groups I listened to. I agree with you guys, 2013 wasn’t as strong for kpop songs, I was even going off it.

    • I think the reason I’m not finding kpop as enjoyable is because the videos are all becoming alike and have the same themes? The whole rapping/trying to act gangster is a really cringey theme popping up in a lot of groups. I get trying new styles, but when you look back at some groups who had catchy choruses/signature dance moves, it makes me miss the old days.

  195. Lula

    Ok I’ve been listening to kpop for 10 months(yeah i know its a small amount of time but you can watch a lot of kpop videos if you only have 4 friends and the internet to be close to). My first kpop video that I ever saw was mama by exo. Boy was that a mistake! My first thought was I’m scared for life and now I realize that I really am scared for life. My friend who has been listening to kpop for 5 years now had to show me sooooooo many other videos before I got some of my sanity back. Anyway kpop changed my life. I went from the quiet depressed girl in the corner with no friends to someone who laughs with her really close friends every time we hear someone say something like shiny(SHINEE!!!!!!!!). As I got more into kpop I saw that some bands that were really good in the past and produced great songs were now producing a lot of songs but only 1 actually good song. My theory is that they were overworked trying to keep up with all the rookie groups (a lot of new groups can debut in just 10 months. I mean seriously I was drowning in rookie groups!) And a lot of great kpop groups were “exploring new concepts” this year ( like WHAT HAPENED TO B.A.P.) I also feel that a lot of concepts were repeated and they were trying too hard to be “sexy”. I guess this is how the entertainment companies wanted to break through to western culture *whisper they failed big time whisper*. TO SUM IT ALL UP KPOP 2013 WAS A YEAR OF OVERWORKED GROUPS TRYING TO OVERCOME THE ROOKIE EXPLOSION WITH NEW “SEXY” CONCEPTS THAT WEREN’T THAT NEW. Well that’s my opinion on 2013 generally (some songs and comebacks and rookie groups were actually really good).

  196. Lise Karlstand Berkerud
    Lise Karlstand Berkerud

    I came to like kpop in 2013, but the songs that I started to like were from 2012 or older. The first kpop song that I ever heard was Shinee – Lucifer, but I wasn’t into kpop then. It was 2011 I think, not sure. The song was seriously catchy, but I was convinced by a Super Junior song called A-cha. I heard the song in a AMV. I searched the song, and then I found out about SJ, but I didn’t turn to be super fan, cause my first bias group was Boyfriend. Super Junior is a good group, and I really like some songs they made. I was searching for kpop, because I was curious, and suddenly clicked a Boyfriend song from 2012. The song was amazing, and then I started to search more songs of them, and I was convinced. Now I will never leave. (I like cute concept that isn’t overloaded and too much.)

    Slowly I became more and more interested into kpop. Now I am very Vixx biased, and they really made good songs in 2013. 2013 must be their year! My favorite girl groups are Sistar & 2ne1. I like their music they make. I’m not a big fan of the sexy concept, but I’m only fine with certain groups doing that concept, like Sistar, because they were the one of the first ones that tried that concept. I checked out Girls Generation too, but no offence, and no hate, their music didn’t reach me, sorry. But I was offended when stars like Lady Gaga were rude to GG when they won the YT awards thing. That was really rude. I also checked out old songs from different groups, and I have to agree that 2013 songs did not sound like the older ones. There is still hope for 2014. I believe that Space concept might be the new thing.

    As for Mr.Mr, I think the song is okay, but not the best. I really like the suit thing though, cause I like to see powerful women. I’m not hating on SNSD, but better luck next time. Maybe then you can convince me. But then again, I happen to like songs from the small companies, don’t know why.

    Peace!

  197. Michelle N.

    I completely agree with Martina on the hot/sexy thing. I just REALLY wish that other kpop companies/producers/choreographers/artists would REALIZE THAT!!! Just the WORD “sexy” in korea is so over-used and de-sensitized. Do some type of body-roll and drag your hand over your breasts on a family-rated variety show = sexy and totally normal. Incorporate some stripper dance for your child audience on a weekend music show = totally normal (“That’s what they do in America, right?”). It just looks cheap and forced and a lot more inappropriate than what you find on Western TV.

    I’m so glad they don’t have any purposefully sexy parts to the choreography (the little choreography we see in the video) and even their short dresses don’t reveal much more than their thighs. GOODNESS! To think that today, being covered is the anomaly in kpop.

    ANYWAY, I wasn’t drawn to the song when I first heard it, but now I really love it. It has that trademark SNSD sound, but it also has elements of music that is becoming more popular – electro-y, dance-y, but still really pop-y sounds. Yeah the lyrics suck, but that’s what you get for listening to Kpop (Ring ding dong? Ringa linga?) Come on, we should be happy they only had cheesy lyrics :P at least they used real words!

  198. 16ssong

    for me, the year of 2013 was the year that got me hooked on other korean music than kpop, like indie bands, ballads singer, etc.

  199. Diane Schon

    I totally agree with Martina’s view on what is sexy! SNSD in their tux outfits reminded me of the good old days when BoA performed her song ‘Spark’ live, and had a similar outfit. It’s sexy! It gets old with girl groups showing SO MUCH SKIN. You don’t need it to be sexy! Wearing clothes can be sexier!

    This song is so good. I was surprised that there was no rap! It’s a nice change from what K-Pop has been recently. It seems mandatory for every song to have a rap part nowadays. It’s nice to NOT have one for once. You don’t need one to make a good song! Especially when I think of SNSD, I don’t necessarily think of rap parts. I actually like dance breaks in songs way more than rap breaks.

    I’ve been listening to K-Pop since… 2002? My friend back in high school introduced me to BoA’s music and I was HOOKED. I’ve loved it since then. :)

    I do agree that Gangnam Style might’ve hurt K-Pop in 2013. I mean yeah, Psy is fun, everyone loves a weird, funny K-Pop video now and then. But I really think the Western side of the world (I’m from the USA myself), found him as one of those ‘one hit wonder, meme kinda songs’. You know, a song that’s super popular online for a while and people listen to it like crazy until no one talks about it anymore. Like Ylvis’ ‘The Fox’ or Rebecca Black’s ‘Friday’. They’re popular for a while, then fade into nothingness. I actually heard Gangnam Style on a local radio station in Philly and was like, wow, now why can’t we get 2NE1 on the radio?! They actually sing songs in English, with PERFECT pronunciation! (AKA, ‘Can’t Nobody’).

    I still think it’s hard for Western audiences, at least in the broad range, to listen to K-Pop, because they can’t get over the fact that it’s not in English. The songs aren’t sung in English. So many times I’ve heard, ‘Why do you listen to it if you can’t understand it?’ or ‘It’s not even in English, why would I want to listen to that?’ UGH! Very frustrating. You don’t have to know a language to enjoy music, right?

    2013 had some good and some bad songs indeed. I think a lot of songs were overwhelming with the use of rap parts, or trying to change the song from four different genres into one and it was just… weird.
    So far, 2014 has proven to be amazing with K-Pop songs. Aside from Mr Mr, there’s been quite a few K-Pop songs I’ve really been in love with, such as Girls’ Day ‘Something’ and Dalshabet ‘BBB’. They sound different and just FRESH and we need more need more songs like that in K-Pop! :)

    • Eleanor Kirk

      Actually, I think I kind of agree with you on Gangnam Style possibly hurting the K-pop world in 2013. I mean, it came out in 2012, right? And so many of the companies seem to have a fixation on getting over into the States, so I was thinking that perhaps they saw it as their moment (after Gangnam Style was released and K-pop was in the public eye) to try to jump on board with that? I don’t know. It certainly felt like some of the songs of 2013 were a bit try-hard. And some of the concepts, too.

      Also, the fanwars. Is it just me, or have fanwars erupted EVERYWHERE over the past couple of years?

      • Oh, fanwars have always been there, but the explosion of access to information online just made it much bigger and more obvious. Rather than it just being Korean fans having fan wars, it’s the Korean fans versus international fans or one fan group versus the other. There is also the intro group fan wars. Those are the most entertaining.

        • Eleanor Kirk

          They make me despair of humanity so much. There’s so much pointless hatred knocking around in fanwars, and it’s toxic and addictive. -_-

    • Cosmic Cat
      Cosmic Cat

      I agree with the singing in different languages. It annoys me when people are like “I don’t like this song because I don’t understand the language”. I love listening to songs in different languages, in fact my most played song on itunes is Spanish.

  200. Jordan Franke

    I think 2013 was just an …..awkward? (<<<<< Is that a good word for it?!!?) Year for the music industry in general…
    Nothing really stuck out as a song that in two years you can remember as something you really used to enjoy listening too?
    But that's just my opinion…
    I mean there were some awesome fun songs but nothing really sold itself completely as if they were never really sure what the concept of the song was but had an idea of what they wanted to is to be?……..

    Hmmm confusing… Does anyone get what I mean? :) Just my opinion :P

  201. Heather

    I started listening to Kpop at the beginning of 2012 … I loved it so much at first and would spend ages listening to older songs and discovering different groups. Then gradually the magic of Kpop wore off and I only maintained interest in a few bands while losing track of a lot of the others. Though I have high hopes that Kpop can become better again this year :)

  202. yuki kokoro

    Pretty much the only stuff I’ve liked in 2013 was Jaejoong’s albums and Pink Tape… What I want to say though it that we don’t see enough of the girls dancing in the MV!!! Why only 5 seconds???

  203. I started actively listening to Kpop back in 2000 or so. My gateway drug was jpop, back when I thought BoA was Japanese. I quickly found out more about Kpop because BoA was under SM. So I mostly listened to SM groups like S.E.S, Shinhwa etc. I then used to hear about big debuts, like when BigBang debuted in Japan and when 2ne1 did Lolipop with them and their actual debut with ‘Fire’ and of course when SNSD came out with Gee.

    I now really like Korean hip hop: Tiger JK, Tasha and Epik High being my top pics with some of the more R&B flavored kicks being really enjoyable. I actually shared 2ne1′s new album with a non-Kpop friend and what she liked about it was the old R&B sounding sexy, slow jams that reminded us of groups like TLC and EnVogue. That’s the type of music I grew up with and that stays with me to this day.

    I miss that in current music. There are very few artists who are still coming out with that type of music. maybe Chrisette Michelle ( who works closely with one of the guys in ‘TheBandSix’ aka 2ne1 and BigBang’s band) or Janelle Monae.

    I also agree with Martina about the perception of what is sexy. I did think the suit and hat combo on the girls was too damn sexy, especially with the confidence they played it with Hyoyeon in the centre giving it her fiercest look.

  204. I have been listening to kpop since 2009 and I fell in love with 2NE1 and BigBang. From there I discovered other bands. Until then I had been listening to a lot of soul and rnb and the powerful, fun songs that I had discovered were a breath of fresh air. I liked that they incorporated a lot of elements that made up ‘black music’ while adding something new. Was it the electronic feel? The weird fashion? I don’t know, but I was hooked. When I dug up Big Mama on the Internet I also discovered indie Korean bands. You could say I have been in love with kpop and Korean music generally ever since.

    Then something happened. However, I didn’t notice the change until I watched CL’s ‘The Baddest Female’. I remember pausing the video on my first listen -which is something I never do- and thought: “Wow, this sucks.” Then I saw that many groups were overdoing it. The breakdowns, the repetitive themes too (dear Lord!) and this overwhelming, unnecessary sexiness. I just wish that artists get the confidence to just stand still on a stage and sing (e.g.: Brown Eyed Girls). I also want to touch on something Martina said: I’d much rather prefer the dances to be simpler and the costumes kept clean and minimal so that the performers can focus more on their music. There is too much lip-syncing going on. Sometimes the members don’t even try to keep up with the song anymore, they just let the track play in the background while they pose in a “cool” way … sigh. Plus, whenever I watch a show live I feel like I am driven into visual overload. The audio has been suffering greatly due to that.

    Recently, I have been following the WIN/WINNER TV programs, curious what YG’s “new, unique” boy band will be like. The boys look promising, so maybe 2013 was just a dent in kpop. They sound surprisingly good live. But (ha!) here’s another problem. I find new groups try harder in the beginning and then over the time they lose quality. I suppose the fandom doesn’t care that much for it as long as the sound is coming from a sexy body. Oh well …

    Long rant. Sorry. Huuugs.

  205. Heather

    Do you guys think you could talk about both 2NE1 songs next week?? :D I really like both of them and I’m interested on what you thought

  206. Samantha

    This weeks KMM made me rethink my opinion of this song. I can’t say I’m a fan of SNSD, I really only like a couple of their songs. The songs I like are for the reason you mentioned in your video – they have a distinct harmony sound that sets them apart and puts them a step above the rest. The Boys and I Got a Boy shot that to hell in the name of being edgy/western/evolving/whatever. So thank you for pointing out that this song brought that back because, honestly, the song was boring to me when I first listened to it. This song needs a music video to back it up and make you pay attention. Not to compare, but the same thing happened 2 years ago when 2NE1 put out Hate You as a title track – you wouldn’t have given the song more than 30 seconds of your time without a visual distraction.

    One thing I will say about this MV, it was reported to have ‘lost something data’ so they delayed its release. Maybe that’s why the editing seemed off and we got the black and white suit dance – they were working with what they had.

    I’ve been listening to kpop seriously since 2011, with Super Junior as my initiation and Big Bang as my follow up. When I first started listening, I only paid attention to bog name pop groups or OST tracks from dramas, then 2012 rolled around with groups debuting left and right. I tried expanding my horizons with new groups and diversified my library, but thats also when I discovered Outsider and Illinet and Epik High. Being bombarded with newbs made me run away from the mainstream. This was also around the time when Big Bang was semi combusting and nobody seemed to be able to match their sound. 2013 didn’t do it for me except maybe B.A.P – they clawed through the blah to put out some great music and solidify their spot at the top. Other debut comebacks couldn’t further their momentum and big name groups we’re touring instead of producing new music. 2013 wasn’t bad like 2012, but 2014 has already picked up the slack 3 months in.

  207. Karen Poulin

    Well, to be honest, I have to think about it. On the case of how K-Pop was in 2013. I’ll honestly have to look back and think awhile. You’ve touched upon a blog-worthy topic. There were so many things to be excited about last year. And yet, if I really think on it, perhaps it didn’t hit as big as 2011-2012.

    I got into K-Pop in 2011, via BoA. Thanks to my friend Liz, I was introduced to SHINee. Then, out of curiosity, I looked up GG and SuJu. YG artists freaked me out at first, but after a while, well, I’m a YG stan after all. I’m sure you know how that went.

    I had so much to catch up on in 2011-2012, and then Gangnam Style hit it huge. I’m gonna get back to you on this. Good topic.

  208. michael milardi

    I really like this week k-pop Music Monday. 120% agree with you guys. You guys just nailed it, i feel really excited while watching this episode of music monday. All of my issues regarding k-pop , u mention all of it, i feel liberated :D lol *o/* (even though today u guys discuss about Girl Generation’s Mr Mr, it also happened at many k-pop videos and songs too, at least from my point of view). Especially the part where Martina explained the dancing part, GLORY GLORY MARTINA!!! At last i heard someone said it !!!

    Regarding 2013, i found that 2013 was an interesting year for k-pop . In 2012 for me k-pop already started showing signed of stagnating, they produced really good quality songs but many of them were kinda similar (even to the shooting places for the music video, i remember you guys mentioned a lot about this too). in 2013, k-pop was like in the middle of experimenting for new kind of vibes which different then be4, but still and felt k-pop. Some of them were gaining result, like EXO’s Growl and Crayon Pop’s :D, but many others were just not good enough. BUT Failed doesn’t mean bad. peoples also learn from failure, and if K-pop are able to keeps producing songs with similar level and quality like this Mr Mr, From the purpose point of view, 2013 will be a Great success.

  209. dinasore
    dinasore

    I’ve been listening to Kpop since 2009 and I have to say 2013′s songs did not stick for me. I’m a TVXQ fan, but Something and now Suri Suri were disappointing in terms of composition and style (it was their 10th anniversary! I expected more). The number of new groups is just appalling and they essentially produce the same sound, so nothing really stands out to me. 3 girl groups with the same sexy concept doesn’t really stand out, even if they’re touching different body parts–and I really miss signature dance moves that I could follow along to! Maybe I’m getting old and boring, but you can only hear the same rap/dubstep/Engrish mesh so many times. THAT DUBSTEP NEEDS TO GO, MAN.

    And thank you SO MUCH, Martina, for pointing out what’s sexy. I was fist-pumping the air in agreement!

    tl; dr – I really hope Kpop develops in its own “sound” instead of being so obsessed with that Hallyu wave and shedding what drew some fans in the first place.

  210. Mehak Hossain

    To understand the mv better I would look at this –> http://kpoptimeout.tumblr.com/post/78176292097/k-pop-mv-meanings-snsd-mr-mr-updated

    It helped me alot to understand it better.

    I’ve been listening to kpop since 2006. But I actually became fan of groups around the end of 2011 and begin of 2012. And to me, 2013 was a pretty boring year for kpop.. But it still had some pretty fun stuff! VIXX, their populairity rised with amazing songs and I think they really deserved it. EXO’s Growl was amazing (to me) and it was a really fun song (once again, to me). BTS made an amazing debut too. I liked Girls’ Days songs even though the mv’s were a bit.. yeah.. That’s a thing that I noticed in 2013 as well. The concept ‘sexy’ has been used way more and way too much for my liking.
    I wouldn’t exactly say it was a bad year for the kpop indrusty neither it was a very good one. It’s pretty average to me.
    I would say that 2009 and 2010 were the years kpop was really mindblowing. The songs were catchy, the mv’s were beautiful and the dances were nice. But that’s my opinion.

  211. iammako3

    I first started listening to K-pop back in 1997. . . I’m old, lol. We didn’t have cable when I was growing up, and channel 28 in my city had a Korean network. There used to be a top ten music show on that I would record on VHS – I never missed it! I’d then transfer those songs from VHS to a cassette tape that I would listen to on my walkman walking to and from Jr. High. I had no idea of any group names (unless they were in English, like H.O.T.) and no Korean knowledge at all, but *man* did I love those songs!

    The station changed it’s lineup sometime around 1999 or 2000 and I was left only with my 5 or so cassettes full of music to remember the K-pop love.

    Then, one day in 2012, I happened upon an Eat Your Kimchi video on youtube. My love of K-pop – hibernating in a small bud due to lack of exposure – burst into full bloom once more. So, thank you SO MUCH, Simon and Martina! Thank you for bringing me back to a world I though I’d lost. <3

  212. bingulicious

    Omg Martina, I hands-down agree with you about what’s sexy and not in the kpop industry! So good to hear others feeling the same way, because those idols showing off a lot of skin and dancing provocatively never caught my attention and I often viewed it as an attempt to be too sexy.. That’s not my kind of sexy, haha! Like T.O.P as you said – major respect to him for being Top 100 Sexiest Men and he never had to undress one bit. I hope to see more of these subtle kind of sexy concepts like Mr. Mr, and Smoky Girl too, for instance!

    As for kpop being below its level in the year 2013, that might be true for those who have been a fan for years. I’ll have to say no to that – I didn’t think it was below average at least, but that’s because I’m a rather new fan. But many of the songs I listen to are from 2010-2014, and I like them equally as much. MBLAQ’s “Smoky Girl” remains one of my favorite songs along with Yong Junhyung’s “Flower” and “Doom Dada” by T.O.P, also SHINee’s Misconceptions-albums and their Everybody album, B.A.P, EXO and WonderBoyz’ album.. ^^

  213. Eleanor Kirk

    I personally think that, for the bigger, better-known K-pop groups, 2013 wasn’t a good year. If you look around some of the newer, lesser-known groups, though, there are some great songs. A few of the better-known groups had good songs, though. I count Growl as one of them as that was freaking addictive (though I don’t know what category I’d place EXO under) and got me bonding with some lost Korean tourists on the street. Other examples would be VIXX, BTS, a couple of Infinite songs (though they’re a better-known group), Tonight (SPICA), Kill Bill (BEG, also well known), Thriller (BtoB). Oh, and Block B’s mini album, Very Good. Can I just take a moment to appreciate what a gem that was again?

    I got into K-pop around 2010/2011, and it was largely songs from 2008 that drew me in, though there were still some pretty awesome releases coming out at the time. 2012 was a good year as well — super collection of rookie groups from 2012. But 2013… just felt… I don’t know.

    But 2014′s got off on the right foot. This might just be me, my love of swing dancing and my bias towards TVXQ, which will forever remain my favourite group (and was the group that hooked me into K-pop in the first place) and their track Something kicking off the new year, but so far, the comebacks and releases have actually been pretty solid.

    I still go to K-pop to listen to pop songs, but 2013 gave me the time to remember and appreciate all the music I used to listen to when I was at school. Can I just say, I want to see more BANDS out there. I love bands. If one came out with a Muse or a Killers vibe I think I’d about die of happiness. (If anybody knows of bands like that, please tell me.)

    Oh, and Martina, I totally agree with your view on what’s sexy in K-pop MVs. I actually watched Mr Mr at least twice more because of those suits and hats.

  214. Miko Satou

    My korean music time started back in the day when DBSK released their ” Rising sun ” MV.
    And 2013 had some nice songs but it was overall average.
    Hope this year will be better in the music department.

  215. Lidia Castro

    I got into k-pop in late 2009. Overall, 2013 was a bit of a letdown, but a few were able to stand out among the rest. I Imagine a lot of people will mention EXO, so I’ll mention a few others. VIXX released some awesome songs and I feel like even though they do the dark concept so well, they can do just about anything and they’ll do it well (I loved ‘G.R.8.U’). Another group was BTS and they had a great debut being the voice for other teenagers; they really had some powerful messages (Now I get why the leader Rap Monster). However, my favorite album of 2013 has to be ‘WWW’ by Jaejoong. The album brought out my inner rocker, which had been hiding since my high school days; I can only imagine how much bigger that album would have been if he had the chance to promote it fairly just like everyone else.

  216. zenon1015

    I got into Kpop pretty recently, just about when EXO’s Growl came out, so i can’t really judge whether or not 2013 was a good or bad year for kpop. I have mostly fallen in love with a lot of rookie groups like EXO, B.A.P. and BTS. I know that i really love the style of Mr.Mr and a some older kpop songs. My favorite older song would probably have to be Mirotic by TVXQ! but i have not necessarily listened to a lot of older songs but I get the feel of older kpop songs. I do have to say that there were quite a few TERRIBLE videos released recently. Martina, when you were talking about the whole sexy thing i have to say i agree with you 1242135%. I hope Kpop doesnt do stuff like Steller’s Marionette anymore. *shivers*. I also hope that one day, kpop songs will proofread their english before they release a song.

  217. RiddleThemWithBrillance

    I think you get years, in every culture, that are worse than the others years. I live in America and I thought last year wasn’t that great for American pop either. I think every culture experiences ups and lows in their music industry.

  218. akacchi

    First of all, I agree with the video. That distinct GG sound when they sing together got me! I don’t know what people meant by “they didn’t bring anything special” because finding their own sound back is more than enough for me. Simple but confident. I like ^_^ The video though.. I get that they’re supposed to be nurses but.. of what institution..? <_<

    Second, *bows down before Martina* yes yes yes!! Some people might find it sexy but I could care less about it as well. If those "sexy" people ain't gonna give me good music to listen to, then I ain't wasting time with them regardless of the fact that they're wood stick/shirtless/have muscles/or whatnot. Good for them for being healthy, dun care. =_=;; Since when was music about showing skin and sexuality with the body? щ(ಥДಥщ)

    Third, Soozee!! I was surprised when she suddenly showed up in the video xD I agree with you! Their use of Korean is so cringe worthy and I just.. even my Korean teacher says so!

    As for the last question:

    My friend introduced me to BoA in 2005 but wasn't that impressed because I never had an interest in music then. I fell in the Kpop hole when I discovered DBSK in 2008. Everything changed for me since then lol All that acapella and harmonizing got me. Even if three out of the five members can't dance, their singing got me. Their music wrapped me around its fingers. Those feelings in their songs man.. it was beautiful. I thought wow they're really good singers. Really good music too! I listened to only them for 2 years straight. They also raised up my expectation bar so anything lower wouldn't do it for me.

    Since the lawsuit, they haven't had new releases, I was in dire need of more amazing music so I decided to explore the Kpop world. At first it was all.. oh wow, so catchy, makes me want to dance, bling bling, sparkles, rainbows, pot of gold. The year 2008-2011 was pure gold. Each group had their own distinct sound and colour. They shined with their music. However, after those golden years, I realized.. I can't believe I spent my time listening to the changing Kpop. I can't believe I wasted GBs on my ipod for those lol /gets bricked/. I noticed that eventually, I got pickier with groups and songs. (Blame it on DBSK xD) My picky-ness got so bad that I, literally, ignored the rookies after BAP. Like, what's up with the sudden rookie baby boom? I can't keep up and I ain't wasting brain cells memorizing them either. I, literally, stuck with the groups from the second generation but, recently, even they aren't good enough for me. They lost their own distinct colours from constantly trying out different sounds that wouldn't even work. Change is good but limits need to be known.

    My ears became very insensitive and, suddenly, everything just seemed to sound the same to me. All groups felt the same to me. The lyrics got more terrible to the point that as long as the song is catchy, who cares? (what's your name? what's your name? you know my name. you know my name.. wtf?) Even the concepts got more sexual because trying to have good music isn't good enough to catch attention any more which makes me sad because music isn't even about that. The "magic" DBSK introduced to me was long gone. 2013 became the year that made me fall out of love with mainstream Kpop and I regretted nothing. This year seems more promising though.. hopefully. I already stopped listening to Kpop for more than 8 months but BAP's and GG's new songs made me start again ^_^ Been jamming with classical, orchestra, jazz music, and some JRock/anime OSTs lately. I also need more music like Nell's hahaha so good.

  219. Jenna MacLellan

    My first kpop music video I saw was Girls Generations I got a boy, when it came out in 2010. That set the bar for me when I see music videos. In my opinion, it needs to have good editing, possibly a small plot, and great dance numbers that shows every member. Over the years I have changed my favourite kpop groups many times because of this.

    Also, I agree with Martina’s sexy talk. Hyuna? no, not my kind of sexy. Girls day’s Expectaion? Those suspenders!!!!!!! so sexy!!!

  220. MandiiLynn

    I’ve been into Kpop since… 2008/2009 ish and I will say, for me, 2013 was a very boring year. Maybe it was just the overwhelming amount of groups debuting and my attention getting pushed from one group to the next without loving their songs or maybe it was just the fact that almost nothing caught my eye in 2013. That is, except for B.A.P’s comebacks, MFBTY, Block B’s return, and the YG solos. I’m really hoping that 2014 will be great with SNSD (though this song didn’t grab me to finally becoming a fan) 2ne1, TVXQ and the rumored come backs of Big Bang and Super Junior.

    Also, great job with this music Monday, I’m glad I gave you guys another shot, since it seems like you also returned to the greatness of 2011/12 for your Music Mondays. I can’t wait till next week and all your other shows :D

  221. I think the proper title for kpop in 2013 should be… Kpop: Attack of the rookie groups!

    • Kitsu-Ken

      which is funny because in reality, there were more rookie groups that debuted in 2012.. but only by like, 10. still more though.

      • Really?? I felt like there were more in 2013? maybe i just didn’t like what they were putting out and it felt like everyone and their mother were put in a group. idk

        • Kitsu-Ken

          which is funny, cause I thought the complete opposite ahahahah. I think it’s because if I find a group I like from their debut song, I’ll stick around for them and any i didn’t like I forget about them completely. that’s why all the 2013 rookies I remember/liked are BTS, Ladies Code, Alphabat, BESTie…. i think that’s it… maybe another ahahaha. So when Soompi had their yearly round-up rookie debut videos… I was like “oh weren’t there like 15 new groups in total or something?” and then found out that there were 32 girl groups that debuted last year…. just GIRL GROUPS!

  222. Elizabeth Petersen

    Hi Simon and Martina, my name is Elizabeth and I’m from the USA. I’m actually in Minnesota and lol it’s still winter here (yuck). I agree totally on pretty much everything you just said in the video. But yes Mr. Mr is a good one, I do like some parts in it. I wasn’t totally sold on the whole dressing up as nurses part but I did like the dance scene where they were all dressed up in men style clothing. I actually got into Kpop oh back when Big Bang was starting out, I got into their song Sunset Glow, still love it to this day. I absolutely love 2NE1 they actually were the first girl group I got into that wasn’t all that cutesy cutesy and they just did their own thing. I do like Girl’s Generation (SNSD) I actually like some other songs of their, this one is alright. But yeah I don’t know what else to say since I’m sure others have probably said alot already. Just want to mention I love your tattoo Martina and Simon’s is cool too.

  223. bakaneko1989

    I’m into kpop for a few years, and I guess that comparing 2012 to 2013 is the biggest point for me. 2013 wasn’t that bad though, I think it was average. But when I think about songs from 2012, as: Fantastic baby by Big Bang, Sherlock by Shinee, GD’s That XX and One of a kind and 2ne1′s I love you, T-ARA’s Roly Poly, F(x)’s Electric shock, PSY’s Gangnam style, EXO songs, to name only a few, also BAP debuted in 2012. What else can I say, 2012 was incredibly good for kpop, it would be unbelievable if 2013 was just as good. There were a good songs in 2013, yet I hope that there will be more of it this year.

    SooZee, you should be a part of a kpop music monday. I would be grateful if someone tell me if the lyrics of kpop songs are good or more silly as in Mr Mr chorus.

    Good job, guise. Lots of love from Poland. (^o^)/

  224. crazymadsad

    it’s been a little while since the last time but i, fully, 100%, totally, agree with everything that was said in this video ! ah ! i’m happy !
    i’m not a snsd fan tbh but i love this and it’s my favourite comeback of them since… i don’t even know.
    as for 2013, well we had some good hits. i loved Block’s comeback, Junhyung’s solo, GD’s solo was great too, and Vixx had a nice 2013 year. But, well, yes. 2013 was overall a bit weak compared to the previous years, possibly.
    I discovered Kpop in summer 2009 but got honestly really fully into it more in 2010 (maybe even 2011?), and yes, it’s true, we used to have so much more… epic and remarkable hits. idk what has happened lately, is kpop overall trying too hard ? possible. maybe it used to be more “simple” but at least it was catchy ? and that’s what i like about this Mr.Mr. song. it’s a way much more basic and generic pop song (well after i got a boy everything sounds more generic i guess), but at least it’s nice ! and i’m not frowning by wondering wth am i listening to. it’s a “normal” cacthy and nice kpop song and sometimes that’s all i’m asking for. (i’m sorry to hear that the lyrics are that cringe worthy tho)

  225. Carolsalaz

    I agree with you guys saying how K pop has died out recently. With the exception of Gd´s album for me, k pop is just not how it was back when I started listening (around 2009). Now companies seem to just pick up trends from previous bands and recycle the same concept, style and worst of all beat/sound (which is what I mostly look for in k pop.) I kinda wish companies would put in just a little more thought into the music aspect especially.

    • phoenix_fire

      you should check out 2NE1′s new album, crush, then. it’s really unique (and excellent).

      • Carolsalaz

        I did. I don’t know what to think about now. Maybe it will grow on me, but I prefer “fire” or even their recent song missing you was a bit better.

        • phoenix_fire

          the songs take several listens before you can truly appreciate them. i initially didn’t like the album at all and was severely disappointed with it! but after listening to it a few times, each song grew on me and i fell in love with it. they’re so different from a lot of stuff out there, which is why i think it takes a few listens to actually liking them and appreciating them. you can definitely see the evolution 2NE1 has undertaken as an artist.

  226. SilverColoredSoul

    You know what’s interesting. I got into Kpop in 2010 and what I found most interesting in Kpop back then was how bright and fun and innocent Kpop was. It was all about cute and “aegyo” and “oppa~”. I had a hard time adjusting to half of it, because while I liked the music, all the aegyo was too much to handle for someone who wasn’t used to Korean culture and so on.

    And then just when I got the hang of it much much later, and I started to grow fond of it, Kpop changed. I remember there was a point in time when everyone got tired of the cute concept, even you guys talked about why is Kpop not bringing something new. And then it did.

    And now it’s only about “sexy”. And while Girl’s Day Expect was my jam last year. This year, their new song is not. I find it quite amusing how people wished kpop changed back then and now they miss it. Heck! I miss it! And even though I do love even the current Kpop, sometimes I miss the good old lip-rubbing instead of ass-rubbing… :(

  227. student4031

    I’ve been listening to Kpop since 2008/9.. I think. I’m not entirely sure when but the earliest evidence I can find is my BoA album – the English one she released in 2009.. I think it’s around then. I don’t pay as much attention to Kpop as you guys, obviously, so my experience is that – while Kpop is pretty much exclusively what I listen to – I just cruise along and pick and choose what I like as songs come out. Except for BIGBANG, they’re the only group I listen to everything for, because I’m a huge VIP – they’re the first and still the only group I’ve ever been a die-hard fan of (I’m not a scary fan though, I’m too laid back for that nonsense).

    I wish companies would just stop with the groups though, even for one year – there’s so many out there that they don’t really have a chance to compete to become very popular because the market is so flooded with rookie groups. I’m not sure what constitutes a “good” or “bad” year for kpop. Summer 2013 was a fantastic for films, I barely left the cinema, with that feeling I guess kpop didn’t grab my attention in the “OMG so many good songs!” way, but I’m not sure it ever has? I dunno, maybe that’s just me.

  228. I thought 2013 was a very meh year. Too many boy bands for me to keep count and too many okay songs. I literally had to go through my ipod to remember what other songs I got in the past year. There wasn’t any real “OMG this was amazing song” Like fantastic baby or Sherlock. We can dub 2013 as the year of dubstep drops and sexy images.
    I’ll admit I jumped ship about 1/3 through the year and swam over to AKB. I have a foot in each fandom now and I suppose this has affected my view on Kpop (Since the group doesn’t go a week without doing something). I’ve been into Kpop for about 2 1/2 year… maybe three. So i suppose the glamour is still there. I know one of my friends completely left the fandom in 2013 which really saddened me. I hope to stay with the fandom for a long time.

    Personally, I loved Mr.Mr. in terms of song. I kinda saw the soozee bit coming since I was looking through the english translation a while ago. However, I cringed repeatedly while watching the MV. I was hoping that they would show a little more of the dance or at least release a Dance version of the MV.

  229. Moonman422

    I agree with you guys about 2013 being a weak year for K-pop. It might be partially because of my own group bias’ but many of the releases in 2013 seemed redundant and unimaginative. I’ve been listening to Kpop since around 2010 when a lot of the now “classics” were being released and of course before the release of Gangnam Style.
    As for Mr Mr. I think it was the perfect sound for the maturing SNSD. It had the signature harmonies but they used them in a powerful way that showed that these are women singing, not a group of aegyo girls like some of their recent(ish) stuff. With the expectations set by SNSD and 2NE1 I’m hoping for a better year of Kpop, otherwise I’ll just go even further into Jpop. XD

  230. Maya。

    I’ve been into kpop since around the end of 2005~
    And I honestly have to say in 2013 I had a really hard time finding songs that I went all “WOW this is fantastic!”
    A lot of songs were good of course, but not what I’m used to looking back at all the years before.
    So yeah – I agree with you two! :)

  231. jennifer anastasi

    y’all are trill. that is all.

  232. Ryan Habin Gardener

    Started listening to kpop last year after going to seoul and randomly hearing Sunny Hill’s Darling of All Hearts pretty much everywhere I went. Ended up getting the new Kara cd on my last day there and since then, and since dropping my desire to only listen to music if it was labelled as indie or alternative, I’ve really started to enjoy kpop. I don’t really have much knowledge of what kpop was like before, but I found the music I was listening to (Kara, Exo, 2NE1) was all really interesting to me. I don’t really know if last year it was better or worse than previous years but I think part of what I like about kpop is that it really doesn’t matter how good it is – even the crappy stuff is still fun

  233. Amyaco

    I’ve basically stopped watching girl group MVs recently unless they’re from a group that I like a lot or if I hear people say really good things about them. The reason is that I get legitimately uncomfortable watching them because the women seem so objectified, and it sickens me. Sexy dancing, whatever. Some people like it, some people don’t. But recent “sexy” concepts do not seem confident or even very interesting. I just get uncomfortable watching these videos’ desperate and sometimes disturbing attempts at sex appeal. For me, Marionette was probably the epitome of what I dislike about k-pop girl group MVs today. Can’t I just enjoy girl groups for their great singing, dances, and beauty without feeling like they’re being exploited? This new “sexiness” does not feel liberating for me; quite the opposite actually.

  234. Jase Aaron
    Jase Aaron

    And here we thought English in Kpop was an issue haha. Soo Zee’s part was hilarious.

    I agree that the dancing part was really sexy, would love if a dance version comes out. The nurse stuff and the billion effects put in the video was meh. Also have no idea if there was a plot or not lol.

    I’m kind of indifferent to the song. I mean it’s not bad but it’s not that interesting or catchy to me. Maybe something in the way they’re singing or the voice effects? Not sure.

    I thought Kpop in 2013 was average. I suppose if you only listen to the most popular groups, since that’s what you listed, then sure it was probably not a good year. But if you check out everything, which I realize you probably don’t have time for, you’ll find a lot of good stuff. Well, you’ve made Music Mondays before talking about a bunch of not-so-well-known groups, so you kind of know what I’m talking about.

  235. First, I agree with your review of the song and video. I desperately wish we had more dance scenes of them in the suit outfits; it’s such a refreshing look compared to the hyper-sexual look that has been a trend in kpop recently.

    On the topic of kpop in 2013, I feel like it was just sort of a strange year for kpop (as a helpful note, I’ve been listening to Kpop since 2011, but I’ve gone digging for the Kpop gold I missed from past years). For me, some of my favorites left me feeling disappointed with their songs or mvs. I couldn’t get behind any 2ne1 song other than “Missing You,” and even that had to grow on me. Everything by Infinite felt stale. Boy groups, in general, were a massive miss for me in 2013. That said, I thought VIXX, DICKPUNKS, G-Dragon, Royal Pirates, and Xia had some great songs (although, really, only VIXX and Xia feel like “pop” under the giant kpop umbrella). I’m not a huge fan of EXO, but I thought “Growl” was super well done, both as a song and as an MV. In my opinion, girl groups had a much stronger year, although it didn’t quite compare to past years. I actually really enjoyed SNSD’s album (“Talk Talk” was great, I actually really liked the “Lost in Love” ballad), f(x)’s album, Nine Muses’s releases from earlier in the year (like “Dolls” and “Wild”), Lee Hyori’s album, and a handful of songs from T-Ara, Girl’s Day, Miss A, and 4Minute. Oh, and Lim Kim’s jazzy, light album was fantastic.

    I primarily ran into the issue of not loving the song a group was promoting, but really enjoying other songs from their albums. SHINee’s singles weren’t my favorite during 2013, but all of their albums had some fantastic hidden gems. Same with f(x). I hated “Rum Pum Pum,” but the album as a whole was well put together and contains some of my (now) most played songs. This process of ignoring the single and sifting through the rest of the CDs released by other groups is probably what leaves me conflicted over this past year: at face value, it felt much weaker, but, at the same time, some of my favorite kpop songs came out of this past year.

  236. Zachary Sajdera

    I’ve been listening to Kpop for about 3 years now and it was actually Girls Generation that got me into it. I heard Gee before I saw it. I really really enjoyed the song that I looked up the video and when I saw it was 9 beautiful ladies… I was hooked. From there I expanded to basically their discography and other groups, namely 2ne1, and found others along the way and now I have a very wide array of Kpop that I listen to. I was so ecstatic to see another wonderful GG song. The Glory Days! (my glory days) (Sadly I’m very much alone in those around me who enjoy Kpop. Who would’ve thought Kpop wasn’t a hit in the military??)

  237. I started listening to k-pop in 2007, a bit before Wonder Girls came out and I was introduced to TVXQ. To me, TVXQ was the glory days of k-pop and at their peak in 2008-2009, everything was amazing and finally K-pop was getting more recognition, because in 2007, I was 12 and all my friends thought I was a crazy fan girl and some of them didn’t even know that South Korea was a country… TVXQ opened up the K-pop world for me and I have never loved another group as much as I love TVXQ. Their harmonies, their confidence, and their goofiness are all the aspects of great performers and celebrities. I wish they were still around as the original five because I want to find out how they have grown and what kind of music all five of them would have produced together and how they would have compared to the younger groups. But I will never find out, and that’s life. I wish K-pop was more popular back then… because TVXQ was and will always be iconic in the k-pop world and I only feel saddened that the newer k-pop lovers will never understand how k-pop evolved to what it is now… It’s like finding true love and then losing it and then searching for it endlessly… But K-pop was so hopeful back then, the music that Girl’s Generation produced was about growing up and Wonder Girls released a song about girl power, and TVXQ had such uplifting and loving songs as well. Big Bang comes in with their hip hop touch, and Super Junior becomes a group where there is a person for everyone.
    K-pop was trendy and diverse without being repetitive and crazy, it’s such a shame not many people was there to appreciate it.
    I respect every group and performer in k-pop for doing what they do, and I’m excited for what they have to bring in the future, but k-pop to me will always be TVXQ.

  238. MoxieJoxie

    I agree this song is one of the best GG songs that have been released in a WHILE, I was actually very uninterested by the video.. It just really bored me actually… idk maybe somethign is wrong with me but i think she song was 100000% better than teh video. I completely agree with Martina’s idea of “sexy”, even though I do enjoy seeing shirtless guys from tiem to time….. theres a time and a place for it though llol. as for kpop circa 2k13….. i think it was pretty meh also… i found it hard to be excited for a lot of groups that i normally would have be spazzing on the floor liek a fihs out of water… there were a few gems *cough*blockb*cough* but overall i was pretty let down last year…. well thats enough of my rambling… time to go!! :D nananananan~

  239. 16ssong

    I don’t know why but I keep staring at Martina’s forehead.

  240. Amyaco

    I started listening to k-pop around Super Junior’s Bonamana era in 2010. I thought the songs around that time were sooooooooooooo good. Sure, special effects have gotten better since then, but I miss the “classic” (if you can call four years ago classic) k-pop sound. I feel like so many companies have been trying to do new, unique things with their songs, and a few of those attempts were great, but a lot of them were horrible. I don’t know; maybe I’m just nostalgic? I miss songs like Lucifer, Bonamana, Genie, etc. One caveat is that I really loved EXO’s XOXO album. Maybe one of my favorite k-pop albums of all time. (I just like to pretend Wolf isn’t on that album because that song was horrendous.) So, all in all, a few really good, quality songs mixed with a bunch of mediocrity. Maybe it’s not that there is less good music, but just more bad music to distract you?

  241. kitten_lilac

    I first really started liking Kpop because of Girls’ Generation. That was in either 2009 or 2010, I can’t remember at the moment. I thoroughly loved it and was always looking for new songs. But when the Year of a Billion Rookie Groups hit, I just started feeling less into it. I tried to keep up and find new groups, but they just weren’t as good (I wouldn’t dare post this anywhere else, though I’ve been thinking it for a long time). And then the older groups that I still liked started coming out with boring or weird sounding songs. I tried to like them, but I didn’t.

    2013 heralded the worst year ever for it. I stopped clicking on kpop videos that I saw in my subscription box. I was disappointed almost every time that I did listen to them. I unsubscribed from a ton of kpop channels. It annoyed me and made me wonder why I ever liked kpop in the first place. I started wondering if I only liked it because it was a fad I was going through. And that stunk.

    So when Girls’ Generation announced Mr. Mr., I am not going to lie, I was more nervous than excited. I just didn’t feel like being disappointed again. I didn’t even enjoy it the first time I listened to it because I was expecting it to be just like 2013 kpop. When it wasn’t, I was so excited. THIS is what I want from kpop. THIS is why I started listening. This sound was so awesome.

    Also, I agree that people being fully clothed and confident is 100% more appealing than all of the underwear shoots that kpop has been doing lately -.- I used to like kpop videos because they actually had style. Lately, I haven’t been seeing much of that. Oh, except Tiny G and Crayon Pop.

    Lastly, I am so happy you guys like this song too. ^__^ I really hope that this sets the standards for the other groups releasing songs this year. I’m not sure I’ll stay with kpop if they pull another 2013.

  242. amiejie

    The song grates my ears with the high notes. I think it’s the synthesizing. It sounds somewhat trance-like to me. And I’m not a fan of the music video either. Scenes were all over the place and I agree on the filters. The storytelling was lost in all that mess of an edit. On 2013, I can’t say much about it as I have stopped staying in the loop. I mean, I’m in it from time to time but not as enthusiastically. I still listen to music from the late 1990s to 2007. I pretty much fell back on old music after Dongbang disbanded. It’s so hard to follow groups now when they’re all melding together. Not a lot of unique sounds out there anymore.

  243. Dylan Parker

    I can understand why 2013 seemed like an underwhelming year but I don’t think it was a terrible year for K-Pop, a lot of songs were underwhelming but at the same time when a good song came out it was amazing
    I went through the wiki page for K-Pop of 2013 and looking back there are a lot of great songs…
    Dream Girl (I know a lot of people didn’t LOVE that song… but it was really fun!)
    U-Kiss Standing Still (one of the only songs that my Non K-Pop friends love
    Girl’s Day Expectation
    Lee Hi Rose
    K.Will – Love Blossom and You Don’t Know Love
    Gain and Hyung-Woo – Brunch
    Psy – Gentleman
    B1A4 – What’s Happening
    Wonderboyz – Tarzan
    Vixx – Hyde and Voodoo Doll
    Shinhwa – This Love
    Lee Hyori – Bad Girls/Miss Korea
    MBLAQ – Smoky Girl (seriously… this song alone made 2013 a good year)
    Sistar – Give it to Me
    Crayon Pop – Bar Bar Bar
    Sunny Hill – Darling of All Hearts
    I would keep listing but that’s only the first few months of the year and those are great songs!
    yes when songs like the Baddest Female came out I cringed to no end but I don’t think some bad songs make the whole year bad… I’m always hopeful that the new year will be better
    HOWEVER, I don’t want 2014 to be better cause 2013 sucked, I want 2014 to be better because why would I want things to get worse or stay the same?

  244. blah blah

    im not really a proper kpop fan. i know kpop for whole 6 months and im its already starting to lose the magic. i liked the cute instead of sexy concepts and how they seemed to not take themselves seriously and the ridiculous catchy phrases and of course the dance. most of the time i like parodies and kmms better than the actual videos witch is probably why this kmm is one of my least favorites but i love the last three. i was afraid this would happen :sniff:

  245. 2013 was an average year for K-Pop. For most Girl Groups, it became the year of less clothes and sexy dances which had to be changed for live shows. Yes sex sells, but you lose me as a fan when the focus is only the sex part and not the music. Kind of like look at me and don’t pay attention to the weird man pulling my strings behind me. Sorry but sexy dances and no
    clothes did not stop me from seeing the lack of music. I just hope for 2014 these sexy concepts are thrown into the trash. The song for SNSD Mr. Mr. is slowly growing on me with each listen and way better of a song than I Got a Boy. I am glad to see these ladies come back without the over sexual concept. Bravo!!!

    Not all Girl Groups went the road of sexy time in 2013. APink kept it cute and Crayon Pop was playing it safe. Those two really hit it big this year becoming better known in the K-Pop world. Lee Hi debuted big at the beginning of 2013 with her teddy bear and sung the crap out of rose. F(x) had one of my favorite albums of the year with Pink Tape. Than there is the returning K-Pop Queen, Lee Hyori, who came back with my second favorite album of the year with Monocrome.

    The Boy Groups also did well in the year of 2013. VIXX shined this year with Hyde and Voodoo Doll. I am super happy this
    group has finally gotten attention and I hope to hear some more great work from them in the coming year. EXO finally debuted as a group and really took over 2013 with Growl. The song is just so catchy I couldn’t stop listening to it. Block B may have some rocky waves behind the scenes but with Very Good still showed everyone they were not down for the count. The boys of 2PM came out with A.D.T.O.Y. The song and the dance pretty fun to watch and listen to.

    I think the problem was most of these “good” songs were few and far between. I do agree there wasn’t a video I was super impressed with this year. There were fun videos, lots of Brohoho uses, dance videos, but I really didn’t have the one video where I went WOW!! Wait, I take that back. N.O.M. A Guys was different and interesting which left me going WOW. I hope to see more of these guys in coming year.

    K-Pop wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t fantastic either. It was the year of Average.

  246. MyHiccups AreInvincible
    MyHiccups AreInvincible

    I totally agree with Martina on sexiness!

    With Kpop I’ve only been a “fangirl” of it for about 6 months so I feel like my opinion of 2013′s Kpop might be invalid. I’ve been aware of Kpop since July 2011 though and have liked some of it. I do kinda think Kpop this though was kinda …blah… Of course being a new fan I’m not always aware of what’s new and what’s old. Though being it was kinda …blah… nothing was really thrown in my face and I’ve just watched videos that I like instead of having to watch everything new. I didn’t become a fangirl because of something or someone new… I was just bored and decided to make a game out of learning Super Junior’s names….(because Jpop’s AKB48 was too hard and I thought I could do this w/o becoming a fan) I feel like 2008-2010 were really good years though for Kpop… The reasons I didn’t want to be be a Kpop fan actually seemed to be worse in 2013……..

  247. Sonya Ching

    I think 2013 while it had more experimental music(which was sometimes disastrous) had more interesting concepts and better planned dance choreography(at least for the boys). Finally concepts and songs and sometimes even lyrics came together and made sense!! I’ve listened to kpop since 2008 but the first three years was mostly just dbsk. starting 2011 I started listening to a more diverse selection of groups.

  248. Am i the only one who misses the cheesy, cutesy type kpop? Like, even though the amount of aegyo was cringe worthy, it’s what made kpop, kpop for me.

  249. Georgia

    Martina I completely agree with your idealism of what is “sexy”. I find that boygroups who wear suits and have a dark and mysterious aura is ten times more sexy that male idols who seem to be allergic to shirts and give off a confident and borderline cocky feel. Even though The Boys was not Girls Generations best song, the dance and outfits showed a confidence and sexiness that not all girl groups can show. Unfortunately this image died thanks to I Got A Boy, yet Mr Mr brought back the spark. The dance break with Hyoyeon in the middle made the entire video for me. If I had to complain about anything with Mr Mr as a song and video, the line distrobution compared to The Boys and Run Devil Run was very unfair and even though screen time for each individual member was a lot more fair (I have never seen so many shots of Hyoyeon and Yuri and so little of Yoona) they showed other members faces during an solo, which irritates me to no end.

    I have been a K-Pop fan since 2011, but the first songs I heard were Super Junior – Sorry Sorry and Girls Generation – Gee which are K-Pop classics. I listened to mostly 2009 and 2010 era K-Pop first off and when I ventured more into current K-Pop at the time I was slightly disappointed. The Super Junior I loved had released Mr Simple, a song which I still cringe at and every song I listened to kind of left a bad after effect on me. Thankfully, as 2012 came the songs and videos improved greatly. 2013 brought the year of random dubstep breakdowns and videos too unusual to even comprehend and the rise of the Rookies, Girls Day, EXO and BILASA finally getting the recognition they deserve while groups like 2ne1 and 2PM kind of just won their Number 1 and faded into the background. It also showed groups, young and old blossoming, Girls Day and AOA suddenly switching to the sexy concepts and U-KISS quickly jumping back from Donghos shock departure to release She’s Mine, one of their best comebacks in my opinion.

    I have found that 2014 so far has been a good year, Girls Day becoming one of the up and coming Hallyu groups, TVXQ! gracing a new genre of music and Girls Generation FINALLY returning to their old music style with no rapping, which in a way I am slightly disappointed by as Hyoyeon was, in my opinion, the only one who could actually rap and she seemed to be getting a lot more recognition yet now she has returned to her one liner in a song.

    Great review by the way!

  250. unicornsgalaxy

    You know what I really miss in the Kpop scene? The interaction between groups (groups from different companies, from the same company, etc). Maybe I’m just not watching the right stuff but I remember when I first got into Kpop (about 3 years or more ago as I said in my earlier post) when I was scouring the internet to find more of the group that I was currently looking at, I would run into so many interactions between groups (which led me to other groups).

    For example, I first started out with CN Blue and saw Younghwa on Star Golden Bell, which led me to Lee Joon and MBLAQ. So I started watching Star Golden Bell which led me to a bunch of other groups that were on there. I also started watching Oh My School, which led me to cutie pie Yoseob and BEAST, as well as Secret. Then as I was searching for things related to these groups, I found the Dance Battles that they used to have where the different groups would face off and have dance Battles. It was so much fun (I’ve heard news that something like that is supposed to be coming back and I hope it does).

    I also remember seeing so many collaboration stages between the different groups, whether it was a bunch of boy groups getting together to cover a girl group song or if it was 2 (or more) groups getting together to cover a sunbae’s song. It just seemed like there was a lot more interactions (shown to on tv/internet/whatever) than there is today.

    Am I just not watching the right things?

    I’ll leave you with one of my favorite collabs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wx1F3K1l7LQ

    • thisisjustforfunval
      thisisjustforfunval

      Star Golden Bell! I loved that show. I watched it for SS501 appearances but it introduced me to a whole slew of idols. Later when I started learning about more groups I’d always remember their appearances on Star Gold Bell. I’m not sure there’s been a show yet the equals it and the interaction of the idols.

    • paulpederson

      Yes, yes! “Oh My School” was such a fun show – except for the horrific punishments – asassh! LOL! I hated them for torturing those poor already overworked artists! But I loved that it brought senior idols and the newer groups together. There was some genuine sharing of experience from the seniors to the younger artists.
      Perhaps it was because we were both new to Kpop and scouring for anything and finding these wonderful interactive variety shows – that might explain the excitement and freshness we experienced then. Might be similar for someone discovering Kpop now. Remember, our idols “golden era”, who they listened to growing up, was H.O.T and Fin.K.L and g.o.d and Baby V.O.X. etc. – lol, they sure loved periods in the names then. Every generation has it’s golden age.
      Thanks, I loved the 2AM – BEAST collaboration. Yoseob is one of my biases. <3

  251. Whoa I’ve never had this much to say after a KMM I think, so long rant coming through!

    Firstly, to answer your question, I actually don’t think 2013 was any different from any other year, quality wise. I’ve been into kpop since 2011 and obviously each year has its trend, and 2013 it was the patchwork songs that started off with Sherlock, Sexy Free & Single and Spy in 2012 and really took off with IGAB. I think most people (not all) who were opposed to that type of song didn’t really give it a chance and just dismissed it because it’s something they’re not used to, but you guise seem to be very open-minded people so I guess it just doesn’t appeal to some people. Aside from IGAB being one of my favorite songs from 2013, SHINee, INFINITE, VIXX, SISTAR19 and EXO (dat caps lock) made some great comebacks, but most of my favorite songs were non-title tracks, and I’m not going to get into those here cause there are way too many, but overall, I think it was a great year for kpop.

    As for the song, I think it’s great. At first I was a bit underwhelmed because I’m used to SNSD doing high tempo and/or heavy beats, so in comparison, this song was a little bleak at first. But towards the end of the first listen, I started to appreciate the simplicity and cleanness of the song, and now I’ve had it on repeat since it came out. I don’t like it as much as Gee, Genie or IGAB, but I like it more than Run Devil Run, Hoot and The Boys, so… maybe somewhere in the middle? But undeniably a really great song.

    I agree that the video wasn’t all to well edited. It would have been much better without the flares and the cutting and shots of irrelevant things, and with more of their faces and expressions and the dance. Though I will say the styling was impeccable (with the exception of turtleneck).

    I was happy to hear what you think is sexy, cause I agree with you a lot. I think someone is the most sexy when they’re not trying to be sexy – I hate it when they’re being sexy for the sake of being sexy, and not for the sake of doing a cool dance or whatnot. Like I think it’s fine if they do sexy dances or wear revealing clothes, but when the camera zooms in on the butt or boobs, or they just do an ugly move that focuses on a sexy part of their body and it becomes clear that they put the sexiness above the dance, that’s an instant turn-off. So yeah I also loved the confident dancing, but… I just personally hate that particular style of clothes, with the fedoras and belt buckles and striped ties, I just… *shudder* if they had been in a classic suit with white shirts and black ties, like in their Sorry Sorry performance, I would have been all over that.

  252. lolasama

    I’m really gald they reviewed this. Totally agree with Simon. The harmonies are actually why I loved girls generation. They just blend so well. It really makes me sad when other kpop groups who have great harmonies but are not as popular like Spica or Lush. Maybe it’s just a matter of taste.

    With this kind of video it is somewhat of a relief because they not acting cute and childish which for me is more reflective of their age. I know in Korean its different. I have been watching and listening to kpop since 2005-2006 but that is one of the few things I just can’t get myself to like.

  253. Lily Snape

    I have been into kpop since about late 2007-2008 and it was Wonder Girl’s Tell Me. Then Nobody But You, I find it unfortunate that they’ve pretty much broken up now..but I’ve learned that’s how Kpop is really. You’re hot one minute then might suddenly be forgotten about. Well they weren’t so much forgotten about, it was more personal reasons for members slowly leaving. *sighs* I’ve always been into girl groups more, for some reason. Maybe it’s cause there is generally less drama? And yes, 2013 was worse than usual. I was more into Indie groups last year, not that there is anything wrong with Indie but it just interested me much more than kpop. Hopefully we’ll get many cool songs this year, yay!

  254. Hi Simon and Martina!!
    I’ve just watched an old video called “most akward situations in Korea” and I would like to know if id you find out what was the meaning of the phrase “my face is uneven”?

  255. I first got into K-Pop around the end of 2012. U-Kiss sucked me in. I can’t really take part in your poll because I’m not sure how 2013 compares to other years. Sure, I’v watched lots of videos from other years but I think that’s a little bit different than experiencing it as it came out.

  256. Super new to Kpop here (as of sometime last year); so I don’t really have much of an opinion on its current state. I definitely agree with Martina on the whole sexy thing though. Everything in moderation; it’s not as hot without the tease :P I do really like Zion. T and Dj Clazzi though. Also Im Chang Jung’s Open the door has to be the funniest video I’ve seen yet. It was actually you lot who got me into it. Started off just watching tl;drs since they’d pop up on my Youtube feed. Then I discovered your website and went to town. Think I’ve watched every video so far (so glad those shaky cam days are over; I’d get so dizzy)! Was going through long term illness so I had a lot of time on my hands ha (^_^”) So thank you for making that time easier to bear. <3

  257. Mc Chan

    I’ve been into Kpop since 2010 I guess. Not too long actually. I gotta admit I wasn’t that dissapointed last year…

    I actually liked “I Got A Boy” EXACTLY because its was different and more “powerful”. I’m sick and tired of the too much aegyo/too much sexiness and rubbing butts…Especially wehn it comes to girl groups. I mean, come on… NO MORE BUTTS PLEASE!! lol

    I also think that Exo rocked 2013 with “Growl”. It was a great song combined a with great choreography.

    Now, about “Mr. Mr.”, the video was so-so… I agree with Martina! I wanted to see them dancing in those cool suits…
    But, for the song, well all I have to say is…

  258. lolasama

    For me K-pop for the year 2013 was ok. just about average Right I can’t think of any songs or videos that are imprinted in my mind. I have been listening to Kpop since 2005-2006 so does not have an obsessive hold on me as it used to. And since I started watching you guys, I not sure when but about 2 to 3years ago, I started to explored other genres like indie, rock, rap and r&b. Actually I feel like ai came full circle since I’m kinda into ballads now which is how I got indroduce to kpop. I watch k-dramas long before kpop and was so taken by the ballads. For me, musically it was different and interesting and not knowing any Korean at the time it seemed refreshing since it was new. I’m not Korean anyways so those songs might be considered cheesy or whatnot but throught those drama I discovered Clazziquai, Baek Ji young, Younha, SS501, Ft Island and the rest is history.

  259. nannonator

    lets see. I was first introduced to kpop in 2005 and listened to a group called NRG watched lots of kdrama and variety shows. however, I REALLY got into kpop abt a yr ago. another however, I don’t just listen to to the kpop of that year, ive gone n listened to as old a stuff as Seo Taiji. but I will tell you that yes the sound is dif now cuz theyre sort of going with the times. in 2005 I heard lots of poppy dance influence and lotsa ballads, while years later was veryyyy poppy. and its cute and fun, and I was also a teenager about to turn 18. so as the overall sound matured, so did I, so to me I like it, but to some apparently it doesn’t sound like kpop anymore. idk, im only going off what I hear and what I like. if I didn’t like it I wouldn’t listen to it, thus, I would not have an opinion……. oh god I said “opinion” on the internets…. eh, you nasties seem like a cool group of friends. you wont show me all the judgements right ^^

  260. ingloriouskitty

    I got into Kpop late in 2011 when I randomly saw SNSD Mr Taxi (japanese v.) on youtube. First I just thought it was hillarious that it was a group with NINE members, but then I was suddenly humming that very catchy song, and I never looked back!

    For me, 2013 was ok.. not the best year but it did have a few stand-out songs like Shinees Dreamgirl, (and symptoms) Spicas tonight, Miss A’s hush, Ailee’s U&I, EXO’s growl, LEe Hi’s Rose and Junsu’s incredible. Honorable mention to Seungri and Gotta talk to you as well ;)
    The rest, especially among the rookies just felt generic and sounded very similar.. There was also a lot of overlapping conseptes which made a lot of it even more boring to be honost.

    As for Mr. Mr. and SNSD, I love this song. The sound is great, it has a great build up and they really excelled with the vocals. The video deservs A for effort. I think I know what they were trying to do, but I think you’re right in that the plot got edited out like you also talked about in the Video about Rainbow Black (Blaxxxx..? sigs, I don’t know) And they did try to break out of the flashy box.
    I really hope that this song together with 2ne1 sets the standard for K-pop this year and also helps break this lingerie, pouty, gyrating skin trend. There is nothing wrong sexy consepts but there are so many of them and I do feel that a lot of them, have been done for the wrong reasons. I hope a lot of the rookie groups follow the example of the two reigning girl groups, there is nothing moe attractive than confidence, talent, hard work and staying trou to your artistic impulses!

  261. lastly….I never listen / watch a MV without reading the translation of the lyrics…so I agreed with suzy… I DONT like chessy lyrics….they have to make sense and have meaning….many times the lyrics in a song ruined a what could have been a great song, for me…..love you soozee

  262. Katie Gilbert

    #Amen to Martina’s sexy spill. Confidence is so much sexier than skin. Love this review of SNSD
    Kpop was definitely ehhh last year. Nothing stood out to me personally except a few songs that really didn’t get a lot of attention. I felt like in the attempt to market songs that would attract more people (ex: SHINee Everybody) we missed out on potentially interesting videos (ex: SHINee Symptoms) Overall kpop in 2013 only have a few ‘gems’. There was also some attempt to be more american pop by some people that it scared me. If kpop goes to american pop style it’ll be really disappointing. BUT I feel like SNSD gave me some hope today. Also some of the songs coming out this first part of the year have a very more compelling sound that last years kpop.

  263. Allison Williams

    I’ve been into K-pop since about 2008/9. My friends would show me music videos and I thought it was good but I really didn’t get into the genre until I was checking out older Big Bang songs and heard Lies and Haru Haru. Since than there’s been no turning back. I agree that 2013 was “meh” year for K-pop-although I also found the end of 2012 start to be kinda “meh” as well. But also, I think 2013 was a pretty “meh” year for American pop acts as well. Hopefully, 2014 will be a better year-also, thank you Simon and Martina for introducing me to Royal Pirates!

  264. Wishy

    I have not been too affected by the horrendous 2012-2013 Kpop EXPERIMENTATION EXTRAVAGANZA and DEBUT DEFORMITY because I’ve intertwined Kpop with my life, but I have been feeling a sad, empty feel when I see all the idols. T.T I’ve lost my fangirl quality. MEH LIFE IS MEANINGLESS.
    … Aaaand, I’ve lost my train of thought. I had a really touching sentence on the tip of my fingers. Gah.
    Anyhow, I just think that… Kpop should have a unique sound. Not saying experimentation or variety in groups is bad (WE NEED MORE VARIETY, actually), but… all I can remember from 2013 is new stuff, ballads, and hiphop. None of the fun and crazy stuff. GD is making good MVs with his artsy fartsy stuff. Even his crazy videos are artsy fartsy. I remember how you guys talked about his change of style in the MichiGO review- how a lot of BIGBANG fans have grown into college students and tastes evolve and change… BUT I MISS HIS AYOA DAYS. What is GD without his *Ayoa* indeed. I’m all for experimentation, but… it’s all so empty and I want to feel nostalgic and happy, and at home. I want familiarity and quality. And my fangirl-worthy idols back.

  265. I was also disappointed by kpop this year …. I’m pissed off by the whole bunch of rookies debuting every months : just created to make money ; they don’t even have a musical identity so they are reduced to only one thing : a concept (chest size, being small/tall, ….) : that’s lame. so the few groups who are really interesting end up being lost in this hudge crowd. Korea has a small music market ; the compagnies don’t earn enough money so (if there is one) the second single ends up being of low quality because of a lack of budget. Like S&M said last week with the quote “not every little girl can be a ballerina …” when I see those kids who can’t dance/sing/rap who work/train insanely hard I wonder what they really want : just to become celebrities ? many of them won’t have a word to say in the creative processus. how many idols integrate a group just to become actors … (without being really good at acting). but that’s nothing new …

    one of the biggest problem this year : the pandora box has been opened : just by being “sexy” some idols without being really talented, like Hyuna have become really famous. Also, Sistar, a talented group from a small agency has gained a hudge popularity (being ranked almost at the same level as 2ne1 and snsd) with a sexy concept which only became more attrative. so now we have a competition for who is going to be the most sexy, provocative (see all the 19+ videos …) but in a meaningless way, in a gratuitous way… and as s&m just said , to me mr.mr is to me one of the sexiest mv of this year. it seems that for some agencies “sexy” meens ; bare skin+ lingery+ butt rolls/chest pressing/legs spreading . I am far from being prude but I think it’s just vulgar, sad and obviously desperate (see stellar’s marionette)
    there is no reflexion about the concept of sexiness.

    what is sexiness ? Catherine Deneuve, who was a really famous actress , recognized as one of the sexiest actress in France said : “What is sexy in a woman ? Virility.”. that’s one pist of reflexion among many others .

    so to sum up ; too many groups, a too small market, people only interrested in making money by ridding on the success of others, trying to grab attention desperatly.

    tablo tweeted a few months ago “It’s sad when natural born artists aren’t in the arts. It’s enraging when non-artists are in the arts and won’t fuckin’ leave.”

    this was a too long comment, poorly written (a bunch of ideas baddly written and baddly put together) ; I haven’t practised English for a very long time, I’m sorry ^^”

  266. Joanna Szlachtewicz

    I love 2013 in k-pop. a lot of comebacks hit the perfect spot for me – exo’s, block b’s, jaejoong’s, vixx’s, k.will’s, mblaq’s and others’. and there appeared a few nice rookie groups with my favourite Bangtan Boys…
    I would say that I liked 2013 in kpop very much.

  267. What’s the internet without a little disagreement? Here goes: IGAB is one of my favorite songs from last year, Expectation from Girls’ Day was awesome, f(x) came out with their fantastic album Pink Tape, and because Growl. As far as I’m concerned, 2013 was not a bad year for kpop (better than 2011 for sure). I didn’t really pay much attention to the declining viewership of kpop vids though.

    I’m glad that we agree, Martina, that the hats, vests, and jeans look was awesome. It’s my favorite part of the MV :)

  268. kpopper since 2006. I am so sick of the might as well be naked girls. I think a girl is sexiest when shes not dressed falshy or reveals a lot. So, do i think that 2013 was a flop in kpop? SORT OF. In the case of females, HELL YES. MVs were just too much sexy. As far as the males go, that kind of stayed the same. My only issue with the boys is the overly aegyoness of some bands. At some point aegyo became failgyo for me. Guys can be hella cute without doing it on purpose and girls can be hella sexy by wearing actual clothing. Yes Simon, i did lose interest in kpop almost entirely at one point last year, especially in girl bands. It just started to all feel like there was nothing new or fresh in kpop. Even with tons of new faces it started to feel like it was just slight variations of the same. Maybe it is because we are much older now than when we first came into kpop. I am now 26 and I think my view on kpop is much different than what it was in 2006 when i was 18. So maybe the reason why 2013 felt like a flop for you guys and myself was because of our ideal of kpop is older than what is being offered in kpop now. All the teenagers and new fans in kpop would probably highly disagree with you saying 2013 was a flop because it was mostly aimed at a younger audience which we are not.

  269. Amanda Larsson

    man super juniors happiness, I heard it in 2007 and then I was stuck, I don’t feel that kpop were really bad in 2013, but yes there were many songs I didn’t like and some of them was just amazing like spica’s tonight or shinee’s symptoms

  270. Tru O-c

    I got semi-into Kpop after succumbing to YouTube’s constant recommendations of EYK videos…that was back in the beginning of 2012 and I’ve never looked back….

  271. Minnetter

    Hi guise!!!!! so you asked about how I felt about 2013 as a k-pop listening year and how long I’ve been listening
    Long Answer starts now:

    I’m a K-pop fan since November 2005 thanks to SUJU (yay!) and a k-pop drug supplier friend (or maybe not since it’s so addictive) ahahaha Those were the days of SUGARY SWEET K-pop where you could end up with cavities and hyperglucemia just by listening to them and I loved those days! also of course I loved DBSK even though I was more into SJ because of their weird quirkiness- DBSK was too cool for me, ahahaha.

    I think that the glory days began late 2008 (Wonder Girls Nobody, and Tell Me) – 2009 when thanks to Sorry-Sorry SJ really made it big and even though that’s when all the in-band drama began they were finally being recognized :) and things went great musically all around since there were also a lot of other bands making great music especially BB, 2NE1, GG, SHINee (awmygawd Onew)
    And even though I say the golden years started then really since I started listening to Kpop I hadn’t been disappointed in any year because even if SJ didn’t do anything there was also others to listen to … So for me 2013 sucked hairy monkey a** For REALZ. There was literally no song that stuck out for me… really… so much so that the only songs I listened to that whole year that weren’t from the glory days were from dramas… because i love cheesy ballads always.

    Here are 10 things that made me cry as a fan of k-pop in 2013:
    1) I’m a BIG HUGE FREAK OF A FAN FOR SUJU (as if you hadn’t realized this by now) and they didn’t really do anything – Hero was their J-album but I didn’t find anything wow about it since it was just the j-version of a lot of their songs…
    2) SHINee for some reason also failed me.
    3) I love BB but they didn’t do anything interesting and GD though my fave of the boys just didn’t capture my attention this past year.
    4) GG I love them but for me I got a Boy just wasn’t up to their standards- I liked certain parts of it but i didn’t want to listen to the whole song just for the parts I liked.
    5) WHATEVER HAPPENED TO WONDERGIRLS?
    6) 2NE1 also failed me that year
    7) 2PM – did they do anything? I don’t remember
    8) EXO- not a fan (sorry exotics – they’re just too young for me to appreciate their sexy concept- now if they’d done a cute concept I could get behind that.)
    9) Psy’s Gentleman wasn’t as catchy as Gangnam style – good but not as good as GS
    10) 100 bajillion bands debuted and I couldn’t keep track of them all and they all kind of sounded like each other. sorry I know there are many fans of each of these bands but for me they all melted together to make up a bland year.

    • lolasama

      I feel the same way about 2ne1 and constant debuts of rookies. I know they worked hard (Actually kpop artist work extremely) but it just started to blend.

    • kitten_lilac

      I had actually forgotten about Super Junior!!! Seriously. Dang, as soon as I saw your comment, I remembered that I haven’t seen anything from them in (it feels like) forever. It’s like they’re slowly disappearing. I don’t understand why SM isn’t promoting them more. They’re fantastic!

      Actually, what has SM been doing? It feels like a lot of their artists have been in a storage closet somewhere for the past year. Have they all been promoting in other countries?

    • paulpederson

      I feel your pain! All good points, but especially #5 … waaaaaaah! T_T

  272. xdeathknightx

    As for the last question: It is hard to say. Maybe I am just a jaded old kpop fan maybe it just wasn’t a great year. While 2013 had some great songs overall it wasn’t that interesting. If I look at my kpop playlist on youtube a lot of music is from 2010, 2011 and 2012. Hell in 2012 I used to scour the kpop charts here for new music, I did that for a part of 2013 and then pretty much just stopped.
    I have said it before but I will say it again: I am a fan of the “old school” kpop (if 4 years ago can be described as old school) when it was just happy little songs with cool videos. I am not a huge fan of the “look at me being a bad ass” and the “hear my phat hooks n rhymes yo” that has been going on. Combined with the “watch us wear as little clothes as possible and dance in suggestive ways because hormones amirite”. Not to mention the trap and dubstep breakdowns. They were cool for a while but then they got a bit overused.
    I agree with Martina that a well dressed person killing their dance moves is more sexy than a “look at my leotard riding up my butt!”
    And yes it should be pretty obvious by now that I mainly watch girl groups with a couple of songs from guy groups.

    Although I must say that SooZee raises an interesting point that I never thought about. I used to think that they were just like pop songs in English, vapid and simple but okay. But it seems some songs just don’t make any sense to them at all.

    As for the song: I really like it so far, I was a fan of I’ve Got A Boy but I also really like this song. But I also felt that the video suffered from some strange editing. It seemed like they had a few ideas, couldn’t decide with what idea to go with and just said screw it we’ll edit it all together.
    And I do hope they do a dance MV with just them dancing in those suits.

  273. revsoulx3

    Meh, I think 2013 was average. Not great, not horrible. Also, I’ve been into kpop since circa 2004. :)

  274. Hoejfeld

    I’ve been listening to kpop for a couple of years now – but all the new bands are confusing me, so I’m sticking whit a couple of groups and follow them – and last year had sooo many great songs – MBLAQ’s Smokey girl, SHINee’s everybody and symptoms, Sistar19′s gone not around any longer and 2PM a.d.t.o.y. – maybe there was a lag of good songs in 2013 but the good songs that came out was overwhelmingly great to me :)

  275. I’m probably dating myself by saying this, but I’ve been listening to Kpop/Kmusic since 1999 and I totally agree that last year was a very meh year. There were a few highlights, but it seemed like a lot of the fun, upbeat music left the room, so to speak. Not really impressed with this year, so far, either, but it’s still early. :)

  276. I m not a kpop fan and by that I mean I don’t listen/like every kpop group there is( to me most sound the same,) cant waste my time…I DO like BIG BANG,2NE1,JYJ and occasionally listen to a song or two by other groups like mblaq,etc,etc… im more of a ballad/kdramaOST person….ive been interested in Korean drama and koresn music since 2011.. I often find myself listening more to old songs (fantasctic baby,mirotic,etc) than whats new now, so yea I think kpop is not as good as it used to be…but although im not an all kpop fan I DO enjoy your KpopMMs…watch it every time and your TL;DRs… :)

  277. Stormcloud28

    I only got into Kpop beginning of 2013, so I really can’t say anything about if it was a bad year or not :/
    Though I have hope for 2014, there seems to be a lot of comebacks that I’m loving so far^^

  278. Anne Truong

    I agree with Soo Zee. The quality of pop lyrics are going down. It is hard to find interesting and upbeat song lyrics. Girls’ Generation’s Mr. Mr. lyrics was disappointing, but the melody was catchy.

    I think I got into K-pop in 2009. Kim Jong-Kook’s Loveable and Girls’ Generation’s Gee were the two songs that started my Korean obsession. That and my sister was a major Korean drama and variety fan.

    For me 2013 was half and half. I expected so much but got a whole lot disappointment. Too many debuts :( too much angst >:(
    2013 was dreary.

  279. LongClawTiger

    Loved this review. So spot on. Especially the comments about hotness. There is a time and place for underwear and skin, but when fully dressed is done right, it can be so much hotter! As for the nurse scenes though, was I the only one who felt they were a bit creepy? If I walked into that medical office, I would be “Pretty! But I think I am getting a second opinion!”
    As for 2013, I can’t really say if it was bad or worse because I really just discovered k-pop in early 2013. So for me it is awesomeness all the way around. And if this really is a down year? WOOHOO! I have so much more to look forward to as I go! :)

  280. chuckthegirl

    So I said this on YouTube but I’ll repeat a little here. THANK YOU MARTINA! I’m so in agreement with your “what is sexy?” comments I actually did a fist pump into the air and yelled out, YES! I’ve mentioned similar comments before but I find I’ve been alone. Glad to finally find someone who agrees with me.

    I started flirting with Kpop in 2010 and was so far deep in it by 2012 there was no getting out. I still feel as though I’m, what I term, a Kpop newbie. A lot of my Kpop friends I’ve met online were into Kpop in the early 2000s so in Kpop fan years I’m definitely the maknae amongst them. The songs that got me into Kpop were the big hits of 2009 (which in my opinion 2009 was a big year for Kpop and the years following has yet to put out songs to match it).

    2013 wasn’t all that great. I think 2013 was the year of hype. A lot of the big names in Kpop were hyped up so much and in my personal opinion just straight out failed to deliver. But you wouldn’t be able to tell it because fans go gaga over anything their idols do even if it’s horrible or less than. I just didn’t get into much of the music of 2013. And the ones I did enjoy, didn’t get as much attention as the ones that sucked. But it seems musically I always fall for what isn’t necessarily popular. For me, 2013 was the year of VIXX. For me their debut in 2012 was a bit
    lackluster, but come 2013 they exploded and worked hard putting out
    great songs, great MVs, and had a successful international tour. Can’t
    wait to see more from them this year.

  281. cglyn

    I’m watching Soozee and suddenly a Turkish song comes up! Guise, I seriously thought another video was playing on the background :D How’d you find it!? :D

  282. I started listening to K-Pop (and J-pop) my first year in Junior High, 19 years ago (holy shit I’m old), right around the time H.O.T. debuted. I had a Korean classmate that would give me copies of all the J&K-Pop she had (FinK.L., H.O.T., People Crew, BoA, Shinhwa, Turbo, Drunken Tiger, Jinusean, Fly to the Sky, Lexy, etc…) But not Sechs Kies, of course! And I would go out to Chinatown and K-town in NYC and buy stuff, waaaay back in the day before them interwebs and iTunes and Amazon. *shakes cane*

    K-Pop has definitely changed over the years, but I still love it and I still enjoy the old hits along with the new stuff. Seriously, my iPod playlist is a clusterfuck, lol!

  283. wowplsbye

    I’ve been listening to K-POP since Big Bang’s Lollipop back in 2009(?) and the difference between the music then and now is just so…. vast that the kpop music back then is like another galaxy away.. The songs back then actually meant something–the lyrics had more depth than the lyrics back then. 2013′s songs were kinda….blegh (with the exception of YG songs…although they lean towards hiphop more than kpop). There were good songs and bad songs…just leaning towards more on the bad side.

    I was pretty weirded out by SNSD’s I Got A Boy because it wasn’t like SNSD-esque. Just as Martina said, the entire mixing four songs in one didn’t really work out. But Mr.Mr. brought back the SNSD-ness of SNSD (that sounds weird).

    I hope 2NE1 is part of your Music Monday next week!!

    PS. Simon and Meemers’s moment was so precious!!!

  284. pending

    I’ve been into Kpop for something like 4 years now, and for me it’s gotten better. I can’t say whether or not *Kpop* has gotten better and not just that I’ve gotten better at rooting around, making the social media links I need to get good stuff recommended to me… TBH I think it’s the latter and that I’m not the only one, Kpop sites and forums have been constantly growing and growing fast. That means the Int’l fandom can be spread thinner over a lot more groups; people aren’t as dependent on the big names because now there’s a infrastructure to make them aware of even the teeny-tiniest idol groups from the most random companies.

    2013 was somewhat lackluster, but to me it was the beginning of what’s been making 2014 so great: the small pop-up companies that come out of nowhere with great music. (Although it seems like the big companies are just trying to coast on their success, so if you’re really attached to a big-name group 2013 was a serious bust.)

  285. i begin to listen kpop in 2009. i listened kpop before that but i didn’t know what it actually was XD

  286. Amy Sabre

    I love this Girl’s Generation song, but I didn’t like the video for the same reasons you didn’t. All those effects and zoomed body parts and such were making me dizzy after a while, and I wanted to see more of the dance version with their suits too, I want those outfits (* – *)

    Now about when did I started listening to K-pop? I started in 2006, when for some reason I was bored watching TV and decided to check all those channels that are from other countries and that we paid for, but never ever even went trough them LOL, and afterwards I was extremely happy for doing so because I found a channel that was with Koreans but speaking English… it was ARIRANG! And even though I could barely understand English by that time I kept watching it. As a consequence, I saw a countdown music show, and that was the moment I fell in love with all the guys from Super Junior while watching their MV for U ^o^

    Also, about 2013 K-pop… I was a little disappointed. One of my favorite groups right now is Nu’est, and I loved Face and Action, but 여보세요 (Hello) didn’t amuse me, I liked it but not as much as the others and Sleep Talking was nice but again, not impressive compared to the others. Moreover, the members of Nu’est seem to think the same since they keep saying their favorite songs are Face or Action, and that they liked what they were doing back then. So because of that, and the Super Junior, SNSD and others songs that didn’t even stay in my head after watching the MV’s unlike past songs is why I think 2013 was a good year for K-pop. On the other hand 2012 was huge for K-pop with Gangnam Style being popular everywhere, it helped the whole industry, and they pretty much blew it in 2013…hopefully they’ll do it better this year. (SNSD-The Boys… I still feel weird when I remember them performing it at “The Late Show with David Letterman”, It seemed very monotonous and long and people didn’t seem to understand it, maybe “Gee” would have being more appreciated).

    But all in all I’ll love K-pop no matter what and I also listen to all other types of music so I just hope K-pop companies pay more attention to what they are doing.

    I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!!! You are amazing and I hope to have the chance to meet you some day, keep up the awesome work!!

    (>^o^)> *cyber hug* <(^o^<)

  287. Blueberries

    I got into kpop during late 2010, but long time I just listened music and watched mv’s. I didn’t become kpop-fan that soon.. it took me time to actually get into community and start learning about all good and bad stuff. Yay. 2011 was devastating year for me because Big Bang’s scandals ;__; 2012 in other hand has been my best kpop year so far, Big Bang was back and I didn’t need to be worried anymore, I got into many new rookies and so many great comebacks came out that year too.

    2013 in other hand.. yup it was below average to me. Just couple good comebacks, IU’s Modern Times and 2PM Grown.. well B.A.P and NU’EST had comebacks too in start of the year which were quite nice. In Year end there was GD’s and T.O.P’s comebacks.. they were pretty nice but I was waiting more from T.O.P.. I mean more music and promotion. YG crushed all my dreams with their lies about comebacks ;__; I guess I was waiting too much for this year and was disappointed in the end. And somehow my focus wasn’t there as much either.

    2014 has been better so far. Somehow I feel more pumped up too. 2NE1′s album is my favorite from this year so far, it’s amazing :) I’m also looking forward to WIN’s debut, it’s gonna be awesome. 2012 was for me like kpop year of my life, now I take it more relaxed but still I’m more excited than disappointed like I was in 2013.

    Does this make any sense.. idk ^^;

  288. Ash3070
    Ash3070

    Oh and I think they are using the suits in the live performances as I came across this picture of Sunny. I don’t think it’s quite the same as the one she wore in the mv, so I’m thinking this was taken while they were practising for their comeback show :D x x x

  289. Natalie Reed

    Martina, I totally agree with you on what is sexy. That outfit was my favorite from the entire video. In regards to how Kpop was in 2013 I cannot say too much since I did not discover Kpop until September of 2012 (my first video being Psy’s Gangnam Style when I came back to school). However, compared to other videos I have seen, 2013 only had three videos that stood out to me and then there are a handful of others that I just enjoy dancing to or watching again.
    The top three were 1)GD’s Crooked 2) EXO’s Growl and 3) Taeyang’s Ringa Linga dance version.
    Others are Shinhwa’s This Love (my friend and I call it the freeze tag song); Big Star’s Run and Run; Block B’s Very Good; Vixx’s On and On (which my friend and I call the therapy song because that is our favorite part of the dance); Im Chang Jung’s Open the Door; and Gag Concert Jun Guk Gu’s Fashion City. Of course these are not the only songs and mvs I like but these are the ones I watch the most when I want to smile. This year is shaping up to be a much better year for girl groups though and I hope it continues. (Since my list above is sadly lacking in girl groups I just want to mention GLAM’s I like that because so far this group has promoted good messages and the songs aren’t all about boys. I like boys as much as anybody else but give me some girl power too.)

  290. Annie Nguyen

    I wouldn’t say 2013 was my favorite year in kpop, except for maybe SNSD, GD, Taeyang, TOP, & 2ne1′s Missing You ( sorry excuse my biased opinions) but I wouldn’t say it was horrible. I think there were a lot of experiments with new sounds which I appreciated and found interesting, BUT that’s the limit to how positive I felt about it. Now I will state the obvious, 2013 was saturated with sex appeal and 99% of the time, I just wanted to bang my head on a table. The beginning of the year was fine, but towards the end of May things started to…. shift. There’s nothing wrong with the sexy concept, what bothered me was the lack of originality.

    For Mr.Mr. by SNSD, I really enjoyed it. I thought it was bland at first but, like most SNSD songs, it became my MOST played song ( 1,987 times) in less than a day. So good for you girls. You’ve taken over my playlist, like always

  291. eepschizzin

    I totally agree with Martina with the sexy concept!!! You said the words perfectly!!! xD
    Also, I know 0 Korean so i would love if when Soo Zee does segments on Korean in songs (or even D.I.C.K.S) there is a little more explanation in English as to what something means ( i know you rite in the blog post so it’s not a massive deal :)) But i LOVED seeing Soo Zee in this weeks Music Monday and would love if she could come back and make more fun out of other groups bad Korean ^^
    when i think of 2013 i think..yeah it was great…but actually when i look deeper into it i bought much less songs last year than i did in 2012 and although i found there were some AWESOME songs..there just weren’t as great as other years
    Having said that, i’ve only been into k-pop for two years and the first year was me basically gaining the first massive chunk of k-pop knowledge from the different groups and knowing their names and then watching a crap tonne of variety.
    But i think i’ve become less interested in some concepts and i’m becoming much pickier with which groups i accept into my bias list instead of just loving everything i hear like when i first got into k-pop. And i don’t love things just because they are the “popular” thing, which is what influenced me a lot when i first got into k-pop.
    The next thing i hope to learn with in k-pop is to actually buy more albums. I’m really bad for only listening to a groups comeback songs and then taking a brief listen to their album on itunes but very rarely buy them. The only k-pop groups that i have all their songs is VIXX, EXO (cos they were rookies 2012 it was easier to catch up) and 2PM (my first k-pop group so was completely obsessed with them xD)..so i want to be an even better fan and learn more about the groups i claim to love (but only know a handful of their songs and watch their variety stuff). Although this is hard cos so many group such random tracks within an album where some are great or good…and others are so boring that they are just impossible to listen to.

  292. Dark Angel

    I’ve been into k-pop since the end of 2009 and since then my view on things is different. But I was listening to BoA and TVXQ Japanese songs thinking they were Japanese singer. WOW i was wrong but happy i got into k-pop, as I kind of ditched songs here in the USA.

    When I first started listening to k-pop it was mostly SM artist such as SHINee, Girls Generation, F(x), BoA, TVXQ and SUPER JUNIOR!! So I’m kinda SM bias to the artist but I love others groups and solo artist from different companies. I also agree with you when you said that you could love that artist/group and not like all of their songs. I get amazed if i do like all the songs in the albums.

    For me, 2013 had its ups and downs. I didn’t like the sexy girl concepts, it was just, NO! Your just want to advertise their bodies not the song. But some of the sexy girl concepts were good. There also wasn’t much of a story line in the music videos. Also 2013 half of the year, was kinda a blur to me because artist will release a song and I really wouldn’t like it a lot. Close to the end of the it was getting good and now in 2014, I feel some really good songs have come out and I cant wait for the rest of this year.

    This Girls Generation song is better than their last one and it gives me the feel that this is Girls Generation. The music video, i didn’t like too much, i would have been fine if it was just the black and white part of them dancing in the suit and hat. At first hearing it i was a bit confused but the second time listening to it i liked it more.

  293. Ash3070
    Ash3070

    I feel like I’m not qualified to talk about 2013 in the overall kpop landscape >.> I started listening to SNSD in late 2011 but I didn’t start actually FOLLOWING them until just after TaeTiSeo. And I didn’t start listening to other groups and following kpop news until late 2012 >.>

    Also about the mv, it’s very hard to understand. Actually I thought they were his guardian angels who’d come back to save the dying Mr >.> But I found this really good explanation. And there’s actually a lot to support it in the mv.
    Note: I copied this from somewhere earlier but I can’t find the link >.>

    The MV begins in a classy hospital.

    We are shown a lot of operation equipment hinting at a major operation about to take place. There is also a diamond heart symbolising a heart full of love ready to be transplanted. Diamonds are also used as they are the strongest mineral, showing that the girls are going to replace his weak heart with a strong one.

    There is also a man lying asleep who we assume is the patient, the Mr.Mr.

    Taeyeon then kicks off the song singing “Let’s Go!”, while holding an apple made of diamonds. As we all know apples are a symbol of love and lust (the forbidden fruit) and it can be assumed that the girls want to begin a shining and strong relationship of love with this Mr.Mr. The idea of the forbidden fruit is further strengthened by Taeyeon’s lines asking the guy why is he afraid.

    Seohyun then continues the song playing a rubix cube, mirroring the lyrics of telling the boy not to waste time trying things out. We can assume the guy is not jumping for the girls like their fanboys would.

    As Sunny’s lines suggest, the girls like the Mr.Mr. but he ignores and closes his eyes when they are close (as seenthroughout the whole MV. The most he ever did was steal 1-2 glances).

    The chorus then suggests the guy does not have the guts to like someone like them and also has been hurt before.

    At this point in the MV, the Mr.Mr has been drugged for his operation which is represented by him seeing doubles of things.

    To get the point across that the guy feels inferior to the goddesses, during the guy’s dreams in his drugged sleep (all represented in Black & White), he sees SNSD dancing like superstars in a car park like those oh so many Kpop IdolMVs.

    The song continues and Yuri prepares the diamond heart for transplant with her lyrics of “Be stronger will you boy” cut-scening perfectly to Mr.Mr’s dream of SNSD in masculine attire, asking him to man up and like them.

    Sunny then holds the diamond apple of love close to herself and then towards the guys’ heart, as if transferring her love for him before the life changing operation, reflecting the lyrics “You made my heart race hun”.

    As the dance break begins so does the operation.

    They unbutton his shirt for the procedure (not because Taeyeon made the girls become pervs lol)

    In the operation equipment, we also see the use of calcium chloride, which is used to treat heart problems (in this case Mr.Mr’s weak heart), with side effects including hallucinations (well that explains things).

    We also see various pinkish red liquids going up the tubes, as if signifying a rise in their love.

    After much more operation symbolism we get to see Hyoyeon getting the diamond heart out of its case and bring it to the guy.

    Followed by the guy’s dreams of seeing all the girls reaching for his heart.

    We see the heart one last time, followed by the girls walking gloriously out of the operation room, hinting at the success of the procedure of turning the Mr.Mr’s heart back to one of love.

    The guy then wakes up in the operation room, finding himself left alone.

    He then sees blurry memories (now in color to distinguish them from his dreams) of the 9 goddesses that saved him.

    The operation was like a metaphor of the girls bringing love back in his life through their love for him, and the Mr.Mr sees the memories of the love they once shared which is so surreal it felt almost dream-like(hence the use of both color and black & white).

    And the MV of course ends with Mr.Mr finally being able to see all the 9 girls clearly.

  294. Elizabeth Carter

    I think there were a number of things that went wrong in the last 1-2 years. The two major reasons were 1) SM & YG changed their sound 2) because SM & YG artists were the leaders of the Kpop boom, other companies started releasing bands one after another copying them.

    SM used to have a great sound but for some stupid reason they are trying to change their sound in hopes of creating a new sound that will blow everyone off their feet again & reaffirm their superiority Kpop. They need to tamp down their ego is what I think.

    YG is trying to westernize itself. I think that explains it all.

    People will probably think I am either a YG or SM stan or something but let me tell you, I am not. I used to check all music releases before & listen to them, checking the new stuff out. But I have slowly stopped doing that for 2 years now. Cause everyone sounds the same. Everyone saw SM, YG’s popularity & went “that is in. Let’s copy them. Fuck talent” & thus Kpop became what it is now. I don’t explore Kpop anymore. Sure, if someone tells me “check this out by this artist” I will try it, but I don’t actively seek out new songs anymore. I just listen to a few bands that I like & that’s it.

    I have actually started listening to English songs again & checking out new releases. After Kpop, these songs actually sound good to my ears.

    I am still hoping that SM & YG will get their heads back on (& egos down) & go back to their old sounds. Everyone else will follow & maybe then Kpop will go back to its past glory.

  295. Jennifer Strzelecki

    I think 2013 was kinda hit or miss with kpop. There were some cds/songs that i totally loved and can not stop listening to (most of B.A.P., Exo, Beast, B1A4, Jaejoong) etc. And then there were the usual heavy hitters…that just weren’t there. Now i dont listen to much (if at all) of the girl groups. Just a personal preference, it has nothing to do with them, so i can’t talk about that side.)
    But for some of the music is just wasn’t really there. Super Junior was just non existent this year. I know there was a Japanese album and SJM was promoting, but it did seem like they just were kinda not there. Is it b/c Leeteuk is now in the army and then Yesung as well?
    Big Bang..was all solo stuff. Which is great (loved Seungri’s cd, most of GD’s and the songs that Taeyang and T.O.P did. But where was Daesung? I missed BB as a whole.)
    Shinee..for me..kinda fell flat. They are what introduced me to Kpop and i loved their music. I bought the cds (misconceptions) when i was in SK, and have listened to them since then. I am not really a huge fan of them. There are SOME songs that are great. The singing/rapping is great. BUT it’s not up to the Shinee standard that *I* have come to know from them. Most of the songs are very forgettable. *IF* you are going to come out with 2 cds, make sure the songs are excellent. OR just give me phenomenal mini cds. I would prefer that.
    I did come home with a few cds that i still can not put down. Beast’s Shadow album is phenomenal. I love every song on it and don’t feel the need to skip when i am listening. The same with JaeJoong’s cd. (both of them actually). It’s awesome that he has so many different styles, sounds great singing in all of them, AND the songs are just as good. (Junsu..i love you but there’s a couple songs on your cd…just please don’t try to do whatever rapping/singing thing you did…)
    LOVED the B1A4 mini album, as well as BlockB’s comeback (They are performing in NYC in JUNE!! **cannot contain my feeeeels****) Teentop’s Class is hella good.
    and so on.

    I think there was a lot of hit or miss. Many of the heavier hitters just weren’t around as much, which allowed for the smaller/rookie groups to actually get some notice (good or bad). Some of the MV were about the same. So i think it was more of an average year, rather than a bad one. I think 2014 will be a bit more in your face with music as a lot of the bigger known groups are supposed to be coming back with music at some point this year (im looking at you YG..i bet BB’s cd doesn’t happen until fall…) and so we shall have to see. :)

  296. Alicia Fisher

    I first got into K-pop 3 years ago. It was RIGHT after TVXQ’s “Keep Your Head Down.” I remember seeing that video just staring in awe at the fact that there were two VERY handsome guys dancing VERY well. At that point I thought their weirdly printed suits were stunningly awesome as well. It was also just after Miss A had released their first full length. Then Wonder Girl’s Wonder World. B2ST’s Fiction. I remember waiting for 2pm’s new album… Wow. I feel like that was so long ago now…

  297. I don’t think 2013 was that bad…there are tonnes of amazing songs that were released last year :D
    Maybe I’m biased as last year was the first full year I experienced the wonders of Kpop (I became a fan mid 2012) x

  298. Nina Johansson

    2013 as a kpop year was… OK I guess… apart from EXO and a few others, I agree, not the best, but not the worst since there were some really great songs. But as for some of my personal favourite bands, I did think people did try a bit too much.

    OK, let me get this right. I have officially listened to kpop since 2005, when I discovered BOA (who is still, by far, my favourite). Back then I loved kpop, as I slowly got to know more about it. (Very slowly, as in the Internet wasn’t as broad as it is today). Then, I went back to my former jpop fandom for a while, and returned to loving kpop when I stymbled upon other SM artists, and later more groups and other companies.

    I do have problems, yes… I do miss a lot of the innocence of kpop. I know this is most likely to the fact that every company has it’s own recipe of how you make a kpop star, but I miss a few things… 1, character and 2, freedom. Don’t get me wrong on this, I know very well each kpop star is his or her own person, but if you watch the videos, you very rarely ever see this. Especially among groups. Secondly, because it is such a strict industry, I wish there was more creative freedom and less of the total strictness. But this may just be me. I am not exactly the most biased person even for kpop, despite it being the majority of the music I listen to.

    I do look forward for another year however of good music. Mr Mr wasn’t my initial favourite, but it has grown on me a lot. I also am apparently one of the few who really love the video, but I love the sort of artistic theme, as in they don’t focus on the girls’ sexiness or cuteness (thank God, it’s the most repetitive theme ever!), but they make it into a sort of arsty video, with cool dance shots and awesome music. I do, however, agree that I would have liked to see more of the dance, but we don’t get everything we want.

    For a label like SM, changing the style like this is to me a good thing. I am glad they are trying new things. Lately, I get the feeling that SM has considering changing their boxes for something new. You can shoot videos as boxes, most sets are one room after all, but I am happy to not see the insides of stereos (TVXQ Catch me) or electrical circuits (FX- elextric shock) again.

  299. Drakmore

    A quick note on the editing of the video: I’ve been a SONE since 2009 and I follow everything that Girls Generation do, from commercials to radio show broadcasts. While I agree with your comments about the video editing as being over the top with special effects, there may actually be a valid reason for it. According to what I read, there was an issue during post-production and a large portion of the files from the original MV shooting were corrupted. They managed to recover some of it, but ended up having to reshoot several scenes and make some changes given the short timeframe they had. This is also why the release date was pushed back (not in response to 2NE1 as you stated in an earlier blog post). I believe the horrendous editing was an attempt to still use some of the corrupted footage while making it seem like it fit with the rest of the video. Even so, I feel like the video suffered because of that and we lost a majority of the nice shots and plot. This video had a lot of potential, if only they didn’t have to rush and redo the whole thing in about a week.

  300. You said everything I thought about the song and the video. And I litterally screamed when I first saw them with those manly outfits. They were so sexy. And especially Yuri pulls that off so well imo. Btw that Turkish song when Soo Zee was talking… I was like “wthsgoingon o.O” lol
    Wasn’t expecting to hear something in my language.

  301. unicornsgalaxy

    I can’t say how much I agree with you Martina on the sexiness. The one part in the garage when they’re walking off camera and Hyoyeon does a messy hair flip… OMG!!! I was like “Holy crap she is beautiful and damn, that’s sexy” then then did the dancing with the suits on and I LOVED it! I agree that is much sexier than dancing around half naked (which there’s really nothing wrong with that tho).

    But one little contention…Don’t you think that it was more of a Doctor feel than a nurse feel in the video? Or maybe a combo of both? Just because they are women doesn’t automatically make them nurses. I’ve seen a lot of different sites talk about the song and video and only one of them said Doctor. Maybe they really are supposed to be nurses and in that case…SM ENTERTAINMENT, WHY DIDN’T YOU MAKE THEM DOCTORS!!! WOMEN CAN BE DOCTORS!! THEY DON’T HAVE TO BE NURSES!!!

    I loved the song. I’ve really never listened to SNSD much before so I really can’t compare it to anything else they’ve put out. It has almost like an 80′s feel to me especially at the beginning. Since I grew up in the 80′s/90′s I loved that feel to it.

    As for Kpop in 2013, I feel like we did get a few good songs (and videos) out of it. I wouldn’t call it an Epic year for Kpop. I’ve actually been into kpop for maybe 3 years or so. My taste tends to run more towards Pre-2010 tho and I love going back to the early years of First generation and early second generation songs (as an example, Shinhwa is my bias group and Super Junior’s Knock Out and Don’t Don are still my jams!).

    I just think that since the kpop market is getting saturated with artists, it’s hard for anything to stand out. Before, there wasn’t such a huge influx of releases so it was easier to come out with something that sounded ‘new and different’. Now, ‘new and different’ sound similar to last month’s ‘new and different’. Of course there are always groups that will come out with something that really is different than what is currently the trend and depending on the group, it can become a hit or fizzle and die.

    Let’s hope this year steps up it’s game.

    • Cyber_3
      Cyber_3

      I think the doctors vs nurses conversation really has more to do with the outfits. At one point in time (in some places in the world, that time is now), nurses wore short white skirts. At NO POINT in the history of time did real doctors (except sexy stripper doctors) ever wear short white skirts – because they are *impractical* for the job. I’m just sayin’. If the director wanted SNSD to be perceived as doctors, a different outfit, or a longer lab coat, was in order. So yes, I’m shaking my fist at SME as well!

      • Minnetter

        NO. nurses did not wear SHORT WHITE SKIRTS. that’s the sexified version of a nurse. They wore LONG WHITE SKIRTS/Dress. Short white skirts are impractical for both nurses and doctors.

        • Cyber_3
          Cyber_3

          Well, not micro-minis, but above the knees during certain eras. I’m not saying it was all the nurses, but definitely more than just a few, and trainees preferred to look fashionable. It’s like in high school uniforms, “not all of those are regulation, Jerry”. Check out the 1940s-70s in Europe and the USA. After WWII, there were FAR more women than men, you had to work it to catch a good husband.

    • Minnetter

      I agree with you why nurses and not doctors? but it’s not kpop only that thinks women =nurses and not doctors… I’m in med school and here in Mexico we where a white uniform even when it’s just classes and it even has the medical school logo on the sleeves *(it even says FACULTAD DE MEDICINA= Medical school) and yet I get asked if I’m in nursing school… ALL THE FRIGGIN TIME >_< I have nothing against nurses- nurses make the world go round without them doctors would die- but nurses can also be men and doctors can also be women. – end rant-

    • NANAandLIZZYfanatic

      You should check out the album, I’m not really a big GG fan but it’s pretty solid. I didn’t find any songs I really loved like in the SHINee ones, EXO, or f(x) album last year, but there are some decent songs I’ll probably DL. (Also I liked MR MR but I think you liked it more so maybe you’ll like some of the other tracks more too.)

      • unicornsgalaxy

        I’m not sure if I can confidently say that I liked it more than you. I think I need to stop using the word ‘love’. I guess I use it more to convey that on first listening to it, I liked it and it didn’t take me more than a listen to go “Yeah, it’s a good song!”. So maybe my use of ‘love’ is an exaggeration at times… hmm.. *puts that in the back of my mind for next time*.

        Anyways, I did like it and I probably will get it. I’ll also check out their album like you suggested.

  302. Telilah

    I found in 2013 I put kpop on the back burner and focused on the korean hiphop a lot more. In 2012 it felt like every two weeks give or take I was downloading a new single but in 2013 I stopped even paying attention to the kpop charts. With the exception of Big Bang’s solo work (specifically seungri and top) pretty much everything I latched on to was hip hop.

  303. Cyber_3
    Cyber_3

    In a pinch, cats DO help with headaches! =^x^=
    It’s nice to see Dr. Meemersworth, even if just in the bloopers. It makes me feel reassured that he’s getting out of the apartment from time to time. Perhaps there could be a “Spot the Meems”…er….spot?

  304. tatiana lopes
    tatiana lopes

    I’ve been listening to kpop since early 2010, so 4 years now. And yeah it seems this past year it wasn’t that great. In fact these past 2 years it was best for korean hip hop than kpop.
    But I’m so glad 2 strong female groups are back and with great songs/albums.

  305. allstar☆

    Pesonally, I’ve only been into Kpop for around four years? Which isn’t a really long time, but it’s long enough for me to be over the honeymoon phase. Even though 2013 had some really good songs come out of it, I agree that overall it wasn’t a good Kpop year. I can only think of a few stand out songs that I really (still) enjoy and listen to, a lot of the rest of it feels like it just washed away.

    • tatiana lopes
      tatiana lopes

      I’ve been listening for about the same time and that’s a good way to describe it “the honeymoon” phase. When you first get into it you get overwhelmed by everything.

  306. meeghan

    I’ve been into kpop since late 2009 and I agree, I think that last years Kpop was definitely NOT the best. I love SHINee, and their songs were good, but they definitely were not my favorite. I tend to enjoy their Japanese albums more, because they’re Korean albums are just kind of weird, but that might just be me! There were a lot of songs I disliked last year and I missed out on a lot of new releases because I just didn’t care about it anymore. It became too boring, I think. I hope this year is better.

  307. Puckish Rogue

    2013 lacked Big Bang, so in a ways it was worse. Ok, kidding. but. also not.

    It is really hard to rate it. The big names were piling on some disappointment, sure, but if you look outside of that you are much happier. A lot of tracks you guys wouldn’t get to be involved with on here or the EYKAs were much better than those that you could. Like It Rains was much better than Wild And Young. While I loved Ocean of Light, Run was just better. Starlights Song, the track B1A4 didn’t end up promoting because of Baro’s injury. Taeyangs 1AM. WTF is life up to by denying us 1AM? I am sure plenty of people could add to the list of stuff that just had no MV (yet in the supposed case of 1am.. still waiting, YG) but shouldn’t be discounted because not a title track.

    Also the underrated artists. MFBTY put out a banger that was legit all year long. And don’t tell me you don’t think N.O.M was awesome. When you get past the “What am I looking at. What is this english?”, that song gets stuck in your head.

    Ok so exaggerating a bit on that last part.. But I am having a hard time. I think overall, yes, below par. But there was some gold that I don’t want to feel like I am disregarding as collateral damage by saying that iykwim?

    Myself, been a kpop fan since 2009. It always starts with one band you can be stuffed looking for and I think I have been around long enough that I’ll try anything twice (because I am always overly critical the first time).

  308. Wishy

    I started my Kpop lifestyle with the Wonder Girls in 2008, when they came to the U.S. I was 8 at that time, and the interwebs were a scary and forbidden place, so I basically listened to whatever music my father had, and we shared the same tastes, so all was good. I hit middle school in 2011, and that’s when I started venturing out into the world of Kpop on my own. I was familiar with 2ne1, and their videos were AMAZING. That was the push towards Kpop.
    Up until then, my music life consisted of Jpop, Chinese pop, traditional music and classical music.
    Kpop has found a way into my lifestyle, and it’s just there- my music of choice. I won’t stop watching and migrate elsewhere because I don’t like it. It kind of replaced what American pop probably would have been in my life, and it’s just kind of.. there.
    2013 was an okay year. There were good songs and bands, I just think that they tried to experiment with Kpop too much (Ahem I Got A Boy AHEM). I think the best part of it was actually the transition to the new year- during the EYKAs. I hope the endless debuting stops, though. I’m starting to feel like Kpop is an industry- no need to fangirl, just listen to themusic and watch MVs. There no longer seems to be a point in being a singer/idol now- there are too many, and no one is famous enough to catch my eye anymore,

  309. Christine Xu

    I’ve been into kpop since 2005 when Super Junior first debuted. I actually had heard kpop previous to that around 2003 with DBSK and BoA but I didn’t take much interest then. It wasn’t until 2005 till I actively started to follow and listen to their music. I admit I fell out of kpop for a bit around 2011-2012 because all these new groups kept coming out and I just couldn’t keep up. And it wasn’t like the new groups were producing music that I enjoyed listening to. Or maybe because I’ve been with kpop so long I have high expectations whenever a new song comes out. (I’m 23 now, and first heard kpop when I was in junior high)

    I have to agree with that 2007-2010 were some of the golden days for kpop. Although music videos weren’t as effects/graphics heavy, they were still enjoyable to watch. End of the year award shows were also fun to watch.

    Mr Mr was a great comeback song for SNSD imo, I’m just disappointed the MV didn’t live up to my expectations (I would have liked to see more of the dance mixed with the plot ). And I so agree with you Martina, on what’s considered sexy. I just don’t see the appeal of showing skin for the sake of being sexy. That scene with the girls dressed up in suits and fedoras I loved it! (Truly what I expected when they mentioned that SNSD would try a “manly” concept)

  310. riaglitta

    Do you feel the end of 2013 was better than the rest of the year, leading into what is hopefully this awesome 2014? Someone nailed it in one of these comments talking about so many debuts in 2012 with meh comebacks, which of course led into the beginning of 2013… so like the end of 2013 was the reaction and the ramp up into this year.

    I am hoping for an exciting 2014 – so far I have not been disappointed. I feel there have already been several releases, ranging from the fun to the interesting to the complex with videos to go along, that already make the two months into this year eclipse almost the total of 2013.

  311. I have been into kpop for a little over 4 years now and 2013 was not the greatest year i thought previous years were better. but there still were some good songs last year.

  312. Karen Rivera

    Guuuuuuys. Something really weird happened when I tried watching KMM and I made a video to show you lol. It was so weird. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSmR2hRvwAI&feature=youtu.be

  313. 2013 was such a sucky year for me it’s unbelievable. I went on a hardcore k-pop mode since 2012 and I don’t listen anything apart from Korean songs, and so in 2013, my playlist has gained 28 songs, 28 FREAKING SONGS IN A FREAKING YEAR VS. 61 SONGS IN 2012 I HAD NOTHING, BIG FAT NOOOOOTHIIIIING, I HAD INFINITE MUSIC CRISISES EVERY TWO WEEKS. Everything sucked for me! Neither Super Junior nor Big Bang came back, EXO sucked, Shinee barely didn’t suck, Big Bang solos were on edge! The only two songs that I treat with love are MFBTY – Sweet Dream and Seungri’s Gotta Talk to You, the rest I was listening out of freaking despair for something good! Everybody loved EXO but I hated it, Wolf was messed up and they weren’t even wolves, they were Skyrim’s SKEEVERS, nononono, hated this year, so glad it’s 2014

  314. beren girit

    I’m just curious how you guys found that turkish folk song =D

  315. Asela Cheung
    Asela Cheung

    I’ve been listening to K-Pop since 2010 and I may be the neutral side here… I thought 2012 was pretty messy. Most songs released were like pinballs in pinball machines: They. Were. EVERYWHERE. It was really hard to focus which was great or (especially many, MANY rookie groups’ songs but that’s a different story). 2013 wasn’t awful for me because some songs were actually pretty good. It wasn’t as much mind-blowing as previous years in K-Pop (excluding 2012), but it was still good enough for me to know that K-Pop still have hope. Right now, this year, I’m really impressed with the songs released. From Rain Bi’s epic double songs “LA Song” and “30 Sexy” to DBSK’s “Something” to Ga In’s “Truth Or Dare” to Girls’ Generation’s “Mr. Mr.”, I’m really digging the direction K-Pop is going to. :)

  316. This song definitely brought back the some of same feelings which I had when I was starting to listen to kpop back in early 2009. Actually SNSD’s Gee was my first ever kpop song I heard. I was having a hangover when I heard the song for first time and my initial thought was what is this magical music. (Cured my hangover as well!) So I kept on searching for more on SNSD and kpop overall and after that I spent the first couple of years listening to Super Junior, Big Bang, 2PM etc. (And somehow, through magic I suppose, I also found on YouTube a Canadian couple who had moved to Korea to teach English. ;) )

    Somehow this last year / year and a half hasn’t been that good in kpop as it used to be. Is it because it kinda broke into mainstream and the companies started to overproduce the songs as well as the groups? I think so yeah. All of the songs started to sound the same to me.

    I think last year was over all more of a “meh” than “wow”. I didn’t listen to kpop as much as I used to in the previous years. BUT I do have to say that on the contrary last year brought out some of my all time favourite kpop songs like G-Dragon’s Black and SHINee’s Dangerous (Medusa II).

  317. PunkyPrincess92
    PunkyPrincess92

    i absolutely LOVE this song!! so goooood~

    and i totally agree 100% with Martina and not finding guys and girls with little clothing on interesting! it actually makes me eyes roll!

    ahahahaha i cringed at the ‘choegoui namja’ part too!!! it was the only Korean part i knew and i laughed so much at it!! it sounds so childish!

  318. Brittnay Bond

    2013 nwas pretty good i think. We had some real good rookies debut. This year, however seems like it’s going to rock. and it was 2009 for me when 2ne1 debuted, but i don’t consiter my self a true fan since i only listened to one group then, my fanness came in 2012 when i started expanding while waiting for 2ne1 song’s and found many others i enjoy today :3

  319. Small Yeti
    Small Yeti

    I’ve listened to Kpop for several years now and I think I’ve worked out what possibly may be the issue for me. When I started listening to Kpop it was very different from the songs I was used to hearing in the UK and I loved that. The energy, the amazing production, just how fantastically talented the artists were. I think for me, although I love Kpop and some bands or singers will make me so happy to see a new release (Block B, Park Ji Yoon, Lim Kim, Crayon Pop, etc) it is usually because these artists are quite fresh in their approach and try something a little different.

    I completely understand that there is the adage if it isn’t broken don’t fix it and I still enjoyed a lot of music last year, I still think all the artists work really hard and are very good at what they do but for me I think at the start I was completely excited to find new music and now there is a familiarity with what the studios put out. Basically I appreciate when they try to evolve musically not just as a band (i.e. rock to aegyo image) but when they push the boundaries as any artist would anywhere in the world does.

    Hopefully that makes sense!

  320. I discovered kpop in autumn/fall 2009. My favorite “year” of kpop is 2010, but I’d say the golden years were 2009 and 2010. Maybe even 2008 and 2011.

    To me 2013 was quite average. There were lots of songs that I like, but there weren’t A LOT of songs that were extremely great in my opinion. I think it depends on one’s taste in music in the end, whether the year was good or not.
    I still do listen a lot of kpop, but I don’t really “spazz” about kpop anymore. For me it’s music, something that I listen and enjoy.

    MARTINA! ; ______ ; <3 I agree so much with you about what is sexy. That is all.

    I really liked Mr. Mr. and I do agree with Soo Zee, the lyrics are… well…. quite cheesy :D The outfits were really cool, I especially liked the man-style clothing. As for the video, I was surprised by the lack of dancing and the amount of special effects and editing. But in the end I think the MV is nice.

  321. lululisa

    I’ve been listening to k-pop since 2009. Honestly, I’m not as into it as I once was.

    2013 just wasn’t a good year for k-pop. A lot of the the big name groups/artists came out with less than great tracks. But we also got some hidden gems (off the top of my head – Exo, Girl’s Day, Vixx, Crayon Pop) that really shined through. So it was hit or miss (with a lot of more misses). Also there were only a few groups/solos who debuted that show great potential – basically those who won all of the rookie awards at the end of the year. Even though I highly disliked the great influx of groups over the years, there was always a handful that show great potential. Last year not so much. But the groups/artists that do definitely deserved all the rookie awards because of their talent and potential.

  322. R I S Y A (LAURA)

    I’ve been a fan of kpop in 2011 and I can see many changes. I actually review old kpop videos and all and I think 2008-2012 are the best years. 2013 … just meh for me just like what u guys think. It fells like they forgot the true meaning of kpop itself. People think kpop is a group of people singing and dancing and all but to me there are actually more than that but in 2013, I feel nothing. I didn’t feel excited like I used too. Usually I would always watch music programs and excited to listen to the new songs by kpop groups and all but now I stopped watching it. Every time I watch it, same typical MV, same themes (which is sexy) that I feel bored of kpop. And I also feel awkward watching MV’s or music programs because TOO MUCH SEXY CONCEPT ! MANY OF KPOP FANS ARE UNDERAGE THAT I THINK IT WILL BRING BAD INFLUENCE TO THEM ! I ALSO FEEL SO AWKWARD WATCHING IT WITH MY FAMILY OR FRIENDS. There are not many catchy songs that year and all the good groups are so quiet … the new group on the other kinda fail it. I hope this year, I can feel excited again watching or listening to kpop. For now I already pumped up with 2NE1 and SNSD (although i prefer IGAB more than Mr Mr but it’s still good) so I’m waiting for more in the future.

  323. I liked 2013 kpop-wise. there were some really nice songs like “love options” by “bestie”, “number 9″ by “t-ara”, “aa”s “midnight taxi” and alot others, what really annoyed me was this crazy hyping of some bands/songs (like exo -.- in my opinion they didn’t do anything special to get so much recognition) and of course this crazy fanwars o.O.
    i have been listening to kpop since 2010, when a friend introduced me to “sorry sorry” from suju and then i saw “gee” but “lupin” by kara then really got me into kpop.

  324. I’ve been listening to Kpop since 2009 I think, or when 2ne1 was becoming big. 2013 didn’t have as many mind-blowing songs as 2012. That said, that year was hard to beat, I mean Psy, BigBang, 2ne1, missA, infinite (the chaser), Busker Busker, f(x)…
    When I first started listening to Kpop I was very impressed by the choreographies, the songs felt fresh & new. However after a period of time, your expectations become higher & higher and to be honest, it feels as though concepts are getting too repetitive… 2013 only had a few songs I reaaaaally liked (Seungri was awesoooooooooome). 2014 started well (BigBang announced a come back gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah & 2ne1 is back again!) at least!
    One thing I don’t like about SNSD is that Hyoyeon is a shadow, we don’t really see her much in MVs and performances, even after 6 years…

  325. Marilyn Rodas

    I’ve been a fan since 2010, ever since my friend introduced me to SHINee (bless her heart) and the wonderful world of K-pop. I was die hard for all of K-pop up to 2013, when I was super excited about all my favorite groups doing combacks but none of them made me feel as happy as the music from their earlier comebacks and albums. They were good, but just didn’t quite hit that musical genius spot, you know? So for a couple of months, I just stopped listening to K-pop all together. Nothing really interested me, everything was sort of meh, and I was enjoying other music more.

    Then my sister started getting into K-pop (she’s a huge exotic) and I decided to listen to some older k-pop songs that really made me dance. That was the start of this year. Then I heard 2NE1 (my all time favorite girl band) was coming out with a new album and videos. I got psyched and WAS NOT DISSAPOINTED! Mr Mr was also great and I have finally seen the K-pop light. (All is not lost!) 2NE1′s album is phenomenal and it has so much diversity. They touched on some of my favorite genres and I really love that they went outside the box with their music this time around. All in all, I am expecting a great year for K-pop in 2014. We’re already off to a good start.

    I feel like the golden years for K-pop were 2009 to 2012 as well, (even thought I didn’t start listening until 2010, but I have checked out the earlier videos)

    BTW Martina, I whole-heartedly agree with you! Nice to know someone has the same opinions as me!

  326. I really liked this review! Yay! I don’t really agree with the song though, I found it average to be honest just because it was better than I got a boy for me doesn’t make it a masterpiece like everyone’s saying. I guess it just comes back to preference of songs and music. But I do agree that kpop was kind of bland for me last year. The only releases I really oved was B.A.P’s and SECRET’s with some occasional sprouts of good songs here and there. ALL THE “SEXY” CONCEPTS OH GOD THEY GET TIRING, but they work to gain popularity so I guess I can’t say that much about it now. I feel that since about Gangnam style, kpop tried to get out and evolve to fit western standards, which hey kinda worked sometimes but it wasn’t that appealing to me and to a lot of people I know. I don’t know how to explain it really.

    Preach it about the sexy concepts girl! I don’t really enjoy all of these off with your shirts and get as little clothing as possible concepts. Maybe that’s why SECRET appealed to me so much with Magic, Madonna and Poison (and also B.A.P) they showed a confidence in themselves and DAMN that was good. I actually do sense a powerful concept coming out from secret soon (Hyoseong kind of released a secret about it YAY) because even though I love their cute songs, nothing can live up to Madonna, Magic, Love is Move etc. *insert tears of joy and nostalgia here*

    Also: I’ve been jamming out to K-pop since about beginning of 2011 but I only discovered the indie, hip hop and rock scene in late 2012-start of 2013 AND DAMN I’VE MISSED OUT!

  327. Liam Sullivan

    I’ve been listening to K-pop since 2007 and I have seen many changes in the Industry, particularly on music videos. I feel like they’re given a lot more emphasis now days due to the fact their accessible for international fans to enjoy, and since they’re released on a popular platform ie. YouTube, it allows people that generally wouldn’t have the ability to listen to foreign style music to do so. Since getting into K-pop I’ve explored many of the Asian markets as a part of self exploration to find out what music is truly out there as both a personal interest and part of my major. I’ve since fallen in love with Japanese, Taiwan, China, Mongolia and some Indonesian artists and I wouldn’t have had the chance too without Youtube. So I think K-pop has definitely changed and ‘modernised’ itself with the influx of international fans and it will continue to become more commercialised as K-pop groups gain popularity and start to creep into the States which is the hardest music market to penetrate….World famous artists from Australia haven’t even had much success in the US, so it’s unlikely we will see any real success soon, but they will keep trying and their fans will support them, just like they did when WG tried but ultimately failed to succeed in the states. I think it’s important to evolve and change (progress) in any kind of market environment, but never forget where you came from, I think K-pop is losing some of it’s Korean-ism and I would like to see more of that injected back into the mainstream….anyone for some dang good Trot music :P

    • TROT MUSIC! We hear some wicked stuff blasting in the taxis and when you ask the driver the name of the song they’re like, “Uh…I don’t know.” It’s just on the radio and amazing. I wish we would review old K-trot. AND K-disco! OMG! SO GOOOODD!!!

      • Liam Sullivan

        Omg…they need to have a Trot Radio station dedicated to just good old Trot music and K-disco…they’re my favourite genre’s. I just think retro style K-pop is so damn good. Park Ji Yoon’s Beep has me by the scruff of my neck for weeks now, I’m totally in love haha. I just wish there was more of it.

        (You replied to me…*Squeeeee* It feels like Christmas xD)

        • Cyber_3
          Cyber_3

          Thanks for the recommend, I really liked “Beep”. It’s just too damned bad that, like the rest of kpop lately, all of her other songs are completely different genres, even from the same album. Kpop needs to get back some consistency.

      • Jase Aaron
        Jase Aaron

        LOL YES Please review trot music xD

      • paulpederson

        Seriously, you should consider an EatYourKimchi *TROT* section. Use the “SoundHound” or “Shazam” apps to identify in the taxi … or use SOO ZEE. :D

        I love when Kpop artists cover Trot songs, or when they perform Pansori 판소리 It’s hilarious and/or mighty impressive! And we learn the roots and traditional music they grew up hearing. Programs such as “Immortal Song 2″ and “I am a Singer” have introduced me to many amazing songs from Korea’s singers of the past.

  328. I have been into Kpop since 2008/2009 ever since I watched Boys Over Flowers. I feel like the golden years of Kpop was 2009 and 2010.
    However now I feel like a lot of the Kpop concepts are them trying to be too “Americanized” with overly sexy and hip hop concepts. They work for some groups that are meant to have that style but too much is too much.
    Also a lot of the songs are beginning to sound the same. I feel like it is difficult to find original songs now.

    I hope they go for an old kpop style soon.

  329. Cyber_3
    Cyber_3

    This week’s KMM seemed to just fly by, but it was good and focused too. The bloopers were in the wrong order though.

    I really liked SooZee’s inclusion because I often wonder what the lyrics mean in kpop but rarely check. Part of why I migrated to kpop in the first place is because I became bored with the high level of banale lyrics of North American music, will Koreans migrate their interests elsewhere for the same reason? Or have they already?

    I’ve been in to kpop since late 2009, I forget how I tangented on youtube that first time but it was SNSD and Kara that hooked me with their fun tunes, their adorable and fashionable music videos and their spunk. I like to dance, I like to have fun and dance, that’s what I like about kpop – a fountain of new fun dancey tunes. I had never really been in to jpop because it just seemed TOO TOO TOO cutesy and fabricated to me. Kpop seemed to kick it up a level to where I was more comfortable. I found 2013 to be a really lackluster year for kpop, I even started hunting for other music. There were some fun songs but the videos just too much TnA crotch rubbing, or too serious. Some of the songs I really liked never even made it higher than page 6 of the EYK kpop charts because there was just too much high profile stuff released that, weren’t my thing. Maybe the Korean government switched the PR budget from kpop to the Olympics for the year?

    I kind of felt that “Mr Mr” was still 3 songs in one, but a much better melding than, say, “I Got a Boy”, maybe because there was no rap – but I somewhat liked it. The video was just weird and, other than the dance scenes, I lost the plot, it was kind of gross, and …..just weird. Like I stumped upon someone’s old VHS copy of a made-for-tv B-movie. Whatever else I might thing of 2ne1′s new video, those are some ridiculously high production values – whoa! If I compare “Mr Mr” to Kara’s “Mister” (one of my first kpop faves) though, this video and song are just not even close to on the same level of awesome.

    Cyber_3 – learning to check my hair after I take my hat off ;)

    • That’s one of the reasons we mention when we do interviews/shows that ask us why non-Korean people like Kpop: it’s good to listen to pop songs without the burden of listening to trite lyrics. Soo Zee, however, was not exempt from that in her reaction to the chorus today :D

      • Milan Pospech

        That’s thing I can’t fully relate to.I’m from small non-English speaking country where most people don’t have a clue about most lyrics even on uber-mainstream radio stations.
        Actually…I just realized one of my friends is Korean and she dislike K-pop but she listens to Czech pop. I like K-pop and find Czech pop garbage. Hmmm….there needs to be sociological study on this.

  330. Daniela Vargas

    I get into Kpop in 2012, so I can’t say how much it changed. But hearing the new songs I realized that sometimes they are forced to much to be more “Western” showing a sexuality that is not common in Korea. And Kpop attracted me fot its innocence, cuteness and no need to show your butt for success … As Martina said about TOP, what makes someone sexy to me is the ability to seduce in a suit or a long dress. So …I just wish Kpop could be more Kpop hahhaha .. But I still love it.. cuz they are so talented!!! *-*

  331. Judith LB

    Yeah, 2013 for pop music in general just seemed really bad. I think the problem is that it was just so dull, everything I heard (with a few exceptions) was just meh.
    I started listening in 2009/10 (although I had heard a few DBSK songs beforehand – balloons was technically my first Kpop song) and got really into it.

  332. bchay26

    I’ve been a Kpop fan since around January of 2010. Can I count that I’ve been a fan before that because I listened to BoA’s Japanese tracks beforehand? No? Yes? Maybe? I can also literally recount exactly how I got into Kpop as well, but that’s a pretty boring story (thanks to YouTube though).

    I’m pretty much agreeing with what people have to say. Kpop, in general, lost it’s integrity once 2011 came in. Maybe it’s because they say how big the Hallyu wave was getting and they wanted to ride it before it dies down. Subsequently, it seemed that they also started tailoring their songs to fit the “Western” trends that were occurring (but sorry to say it Kpop, you were way too late on those trends. Pop idols were starting to move into new sounds when you started your year of “let’s make everything have a dubstep dance break in it!”).

    My favorite songs from each group actually come from 2010 and earlier – unless you debuted after 2010, then I’ll probably like a song post-2010. For example, I never really heard of Shinhwa until they came back with Venus and after a while I started listening to their older songs, and let me tell you, those songs are amazing! Well, the title tracks are at least.

    For the GG MV… I love the song and I started listening to the rest of the mini album and liked the other songs there too. I do agree about the editing of the video – it was really choppy and didn’t give me enough time to appreciate the girls, but from the shots I did get to see, they looked great! Everyone’s style looks really good this time ’round. A more mature, sophisticated style which I appreciate on both genders. Really sad that the dance wasn’t showcased though. For me, I never mind the “box” videos because I love the choreography more than I love a plot in a music video, but Mr.Mr didn’t have that :( (frowny face to show my displeasure).

    • unicornsgalaxy

      Have you only listened to Shinhwa’s older title tracks? Cause I’ve found that I think 95% of all their songs are amazing (I say 95% because there are one or two that I kinda don’t like and will skip when it comes one, there are some from their 1st – 3rd albums that are just so weird that it’s awesome but I wouldn’t say they were amazing, and there are still some that I haven’t listened to (more of their songs they did with SMTown collaborations. I’ve listened to all their albums).

      I have a playlist of all their albums (except their Winter Stories and Japan releases) if you’re interested in their non-title tracks. http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLJ7esLEFvKvPNX82mRJci-ZgDzz4WMv74

  333. Emi

    Oh boy if i agree about the sexiness-point that Martina made. Sexiness for me isn’t being naked, it’s the attitude and the confidence and the context of the situation. Not that shirtless Taeyang isn’t sexy… it’s just that nakedness/skin doesn’t equal sex appeal to me at all. This is a thing that leads to me having problems with a lot of pop music, because the the companies usually take the easy way out and just rely on blatant nakedness to sell their products.

    Now, about Kpop, I think it’s just getting better and better. It’s evolving like everything does, no genre of music stays the same forever, and Kpop is basically korean popular music… so it’s bound to change. I can like some changes less than other changes, but on the whole I always enjoy hearing music get more modern, more clean, better produced and more skillfully written. It’s not that I think Kpop was bad before, on the contrary, I just enjoy hearing the slight tonal shifts, i.e. Bigbang’s early albums that were awesome, but slightly incohesive, some tracks were obviously just thrown out there and it was like a lack of production value at times. Nowadays we get tracks like “Blue” and “Bad Boy” that are so refined that even my friends that don’t like Kpop can enjoy because they’re so damn good. I think it brings along a certain respect as well to the industry that some artists are very talented song writers and performers. Now, with that said, the important thing with pop music is that it’s no fun when the songs are no fun – so when SNSD comes back with such a very SNSD-ish song again I can take a breath of relief because that means that Kpop is still Kpop with the catchy choruses and the fantastic vocals and the cheesy lyrics. I might add that I’ve been into Jpop for waaaaaaaaay longer than I have been listening to Kpop (8 years with Jpop and 4 with Kpop) so I could go on and on and on about east asian pop music. But I’ll just leave it at this. The Kpop be changin’ and it’s not always for the best, but damn it I really like the process.

    • I totally agree with you in that K-pop has become more refined and better produced than it was before and I think it’s a good thing. Sure, I may miss those days when everything about K-pop was new and exciting and all songs seemed super catchy, but I am glad that K-pop artists are now getting more involved in the production of their songs and that companies are putting more effort in the creation process than in the past. I think K-pop has come a long way and while 2013 wasn’t the best K-pop year, I think it wasn’t nearly as bad as everyone says (for me it was pretty average, not good neither bad). So yeah, I am pretty content with the way K-pop is right now.

      • Emi

        I think I might be one of the few that was completely smitten with the music that was produce in 2013. Some of my absolute favorite albums were releasen that year. The conceptual “Misconceptions of-” album series from SHINee was awesomeness and so different from what pop music usually is and it really spoke to the music nerd in me with the concepts (and god do I love the sound in those songs, except for “why so serious” please destroy that song). Then there was the 2PM awesomeness with ADTOY (“Grown” is a crazy good album tbh), and the solo activities from Bigbang. GD released pure gold and won the korean people over with “crooked”, and Seungri’s album was up there compeeting with GD on best written album imo. Infinite’s “Destiny” was glorious 80′s electronic pop awesomeness, Lee Hyori released an album so good that she reclaimed the throne of Kpop queen even after a long hiatus… I mean, I could just go on and on and on here. I get that people might not drool over those albums like I do. I’m kinda old too compared to many kpop fans. That could explain why XD I didn’t even mention Exo, another album I really enjoyed. I’ll stop now :D

        • Well…now that you mention all these artists….
          I also loved 2PM’s comeback. I’ve never been really a fan of their music, but I really liked their stuff last year. And I too was really satisfied with Big Bang’s solo activities in 2013. I liked GD’s “Crooked” and “Who You” more than I liked “One of a Kind” and “Crayon”, honestly. Seungri was a nice surprise and I think I might have liked his “Gotta Talk To You” a bit more than Taeyang’s “Ringa Linga” (tho, I LOVED Taeyang’s dance video). TOP’s “Doom Dada” was awesome. Lee Hyo Ri’s comeback was really great as well. And while I didn’t like Exo’s “Wolf”, I loved, LOVED “Growl”. And then there was CN Blue’s “I’m Sorry”, MFBTY’s “Sweet Dreams” and “The Cure”, MIB’s “Men in Black” and…okay, considering all these I should say that 2013 wasn’t bad at all XD

        • Emi
          Emi

          LOL I didn’t think i would convert anyone :D Well it’s all up to personal taste and I totally get that people think it was a down year if they’re still looking for songs like SHINee’s Ring Ding Dong, but I never dwell in the past when it comes to music^^

          Thanks for the talk! I never expected someone to reply to me :)

        • Nice to chat with you too :)

  334. I’m new to KPop, and I just started following your videos, but I’m a big fan! I agree with Marina’s assessment of sexy – would much rather see someone confidently dancing or singing than someone with no clothes on. I also loved the portion of this video with them dancing in suits, and I wish I could have seen the whole thing!

  335. lady_kire
    lady_kire

    I’ve been around since…2008-09 but I only remember so much…

    2013 was meh… Don’t get me wrong, Jaejoong came out with his solo album and that was AWESOME, and Shinee’s Everybody was great. These were the only two I was super excited for. But the kpop groups had ehhh stuff and it was… oh gawd Crayon Pop (ugh)… EXOs wolf… too many rookies… meh BAP songs…. I honestly can’t remember any interesting songs during the summer of 2013, and this is when interesting stuff comes out…
    2013 was the I dont remember year. Except for Jaejoong’s Mine, Just Another Girl and his whole album, and Shinee’s Everybody. Oh and SNSD winning the youtube award and a bunch of stupid Belibers, Directioners and other fans were being dumb on Twitter.

    For the Mr Mr mv, I’m willing to cut SM some slack. As much as the editing is weird and the lens flare piss me off, for what they had to try and recover in a short amount of time, it could have been worse. So, I’ll be grateful for what they have.

  336. Vito Jackson

    This KMM is really cool!!! :D :D And I am so agree with Martina about sexyness without nudeness!! Hell yeah!!!

    And where did you find this Turkish song which was played while Soo Zee was talking??? I was shocked when heard it.. LOL LOL

    • Vito Jackson

      And about K-POP in 2013, for me it was pretty good, there were Big Bang’s solo works, 3 singles by 2NE1, Lee HyoRi’s comeback, Troublemaker’s comeback. And SPICA’s Tonight. :) :) :)

  337. I’ve been into Kpop since 2011 approximately and I stopped listening to kpop in a regular basis in 2013. Before, I used to listen to kpop all day long.
    I think I became…bored. Too much new bands who look the same with the same sexy/cute concept/badass but not really badass concept. There were good songs of course (MBLAQ’s “Smoky girl” or Sumni’s “24 hours” for example) but the majority of them was meh. Well, I begin to feel hopeful again with SNSD (one of their best songs in my opinion) and 2NE1 *o*

  338. Am a Kpop fan since 2009, and I fully agree that Kpop was glorious in 2009-2012. After that it pretty much stayed stagnant. So many new groups have sprout up and it came to a point where you just didn’t want to try so hard knowing them anymore.

    For Mr.Mr, I feel like this song is addictive after multiple listens! I suspect the video is so jarring is because SM really did lost a part of the video due to data corruption. That’s why the girls had to film the MV two or three times… I like the album as a whole very much and I’m so glad they are back!

    Soo Zee you’re so cute! Have you ever wondered the reason why the lyrics are this way is cos they want to target the army boys? LOL! Like “you’re the best man! Yes you you you!” <- army fanboys go MAD

  339. lushinka27

    I’ve been listening to Kpop since 2009 and in my opinion the golden age of Kpop was between 2008 to 2012 but 2013 wasn’t a bad year for me at all. Some (unfortunattely not all) of my favourite bands came back with very seriously very good songs so I was pretty happy about it. The Kpop problem of the recent years is the overpopulation. So freaking many bands debuted in the past 3 years….like how the hell does one catch up with all that?? And to say something about SNSD and Mr.Mr. I did like it. The video seemed pretty original to me and it was visually appealing the song isn’t among my favourites by them but it is a good that I don’t mind listening to…..2NE1′s new songs on the other hand….utter disappointment for me. Happy was okay..but nothing interesting and Come Back Home wasn’t my thing at all….no…just no. The MVs were cool….but the songs….nope. Since 2012 2NE1 have impressed with only one song and it’s gonna stay at that it seems. Missing You….the only song since their 2011 album I liked.

    • lady_kire
      lady_kire

      I felt the same about 2NE1′s new song. It wasn’t my thing either. Also I found that the visuals were nice, but I was bored out of my skull.

    • Emily D.
      Emily D.

      Come Back Home was terrible. It had SO MUCH potential, but then that weird drawling “come back hooommmmee” started, and it ruined the whole thing. The MV was awesome, but…I can’t listen to the song.

      • Erica A.

        My feelings exactly.. I’m sure some people love it, but that part of the song makes me want to cut the song then & there.. The MV was totally awesome! but I couldn’t get over that part, so I probably won’t watch it much..

        I did really like the unplugged version though, since there’s no.. well, that in it (& I really like unplugged songs lol)

      • Lily Snape

        Really? Cause that’s my favorite part and Bom drawing it out seemed more like longing to me (Come Back Home I miss you so much, am I making sense?)..oh well, to each their own. lol.

      • 2NE1BITCHES

        You should listen to Crush of 2ne1. It was more awesome than CBH, for me.

      • QueenCL

        I love 2ne1 but I wish Crush was their lead single because I don’t really like that bit either. I really like the verses though, the mv is creative and the unplugged version is great.

        • Nam-Kyu Beauregard

          I so agree with you. I like comeback home, its a good song, but Crush was a better song. I actually wish that Gotta Be You or If I Were You were used instead of Come Back Home. But I realise that they wanted the bombastic for their comeback. (Sorry if you don’t car xD)

    • Seti Tesefay

      I really think it is about what type of music you like. I love the reggae, pop, dubstep mash up. I thought it was done well. I know for a lot of BJs thought it was an evolution of 2ne1′s original style, and this is one of their favorite songs. Going back to taste in music, i never really liked SNSD songs. I really like Genie and this song is catchy, but the sweet poppy sound isn’t my taste.

  340. Ella Louise White

    I’ve been listening to Kpop for about ten years now. 2013 was a meh year for Kpop in my opinion. I hated that most of the girl groups gravitated towards a “sexy concept.” I didn’t know where one group ended and another begin. It just all blended. Last year made me really miss The Fun and Simple days Kpop.

  341. Desiree Walls

    I have been only listening to k pop for less than an year, but I find myself being a different K pop fan. I don’t have one group that I can call my favorite. And the deeper that I got into K pop the more that I enjoyed the older songs. And while I did enjoy some K pop songs from 2013, it is the older songs that seem to stick. Know what I mean? Also I find myself getting away from the K pop groups and heading to the more R&B, Hip-Hop Korean music. Artists like Swings, Jerry K, Zion T and Verbal Jint have been dominating my Playlist. I hope K-pop can get my attention back this year. Anybody else feeling the same? Fighting! :D

  342. northpolegirl

    i got in to kpop around 2006 through my friend introducing me to boa, but i wasnt listening to the entire spectrum of kpop until big bang haru haru and the debut of 2ne1 sort of captured my curiosity to the point where i became fully enraptured. I am yg bias, but i listen to korean indie, underground rappers, and other kpop bands ( i am so happy with the glen check inclusions in eyk just saying) 2013 was….disappointing in the sense alot of large groups came back but their music wasnt meeting my expectations at least. i appreciate alot of things they were trying to do, but it just felt lacking. 2ne1 is a major example of that and i would argue GD to a certain extent. There is one main exception for me however is CNBLUE, 2013 was amazing from a korea comeback standpoint, I had always preferred their japanese music because a majority of the korean felt it was heavily targeted, but reblue was amazing. There are more exceptions as well such as exo, and not going to lie i loved fx this past year also kahi or the glory that is 2pm ADTOY. But concerning the over all feeling from large/popular groups or people like SNSD 2ne1 Sistar, Shinee, Taeyang (seriously taeyang) and others, it is not that the music was bad, it was just the reality of not reaching expectations at an international level at least.

  343. vilija

    A kpoper since the end of 2010, so 3 years and a quarter? Some of its charm has worn off a bit, but I’ve started appreciating it in a different manner. ^w^

  344. Duda Cecchet

    I’ve been listening to Korean music since 2010, and like you said 2013 were a weak year for kpop, especially because kpop in 2011 and 2012 were really strong and a lot of groups weren’t able to keep with their good songs. There were obviously exceptions in 2013, but in general I don’t remember any music that really amused me, except ‘Smoky Girl’ that didn’t make half of the success it should have. It was an OK year.

    Sorry for my english. ;)

  345. I’ve been listening to Kpop (and Jpop) since 2005. While I did enjoy some music from 2013, it didn’t seem as ‘classic’ or up to the same standard as previous years… I don’t know if it’s all the rookie bands sending out one song after another or added pressure on the artists. I don’t know. It could be that most of my favorite band members are now in the army… SuJu!

    I can only really say I liked one new band from last year, the rest of them were from bands I’ve been following for some time. Not to say I can’t appreciate good music from a rookie band but it wouldn’t go on my playlist on repeat like some would.

    Also with some bands changing their styles and trying new things, I agree that you don’t always like all the music that is released from a band. It doesn’t mean that I hate the band now, it just means I’m no longer whelmed…? More like underwhelmed… Yeah that works.

  346. Devin Hassay

    I’ve been into Kpop since 2002….yes, a pre-youtube world! I have to agree that Mr.Mr is SNSD’s best song since Genie!
    But as a whole, I think that 2013 was a pretty sub-par year for Kpop that seemed to produce only a hand full of awesome songs. I think that everyone was so busy trying to follow trends and be seen as “edgy” that they forgot to make quality music. I think that 2014 had a rough start with all of the “sexy” girl groups and “bad ass” boy bands, but we’re already getting some solid music from SNSD, 2ne1, BAP, and others, so I’m hopeful. Plus, the 2014 rookies like Kiss&Cry, BTS, and Mamamoo are really laying it down!

    • Emily D.
      Emily D.

      I’m really curious, how was K-pop pre-youtube? What was it like? (I honestly can’t imagine…lol)

      • For me it was a lot of dial-up downloading of stuff from folks I met on Soompi, or friends bringing over disks of interviews, music, music videos recorded on VCR off of TV shows, super expensive posters that had to be specially imported over by big music stores… I don’t miss the dial-up downloads at all, lol! The dancing was awesome (In my elderly opinion) and I really enjoyed the not as sexy videos. BoA’s old stuff, like Sara, or Kimochi wa Tsutawaru is STILL getting played by me.

        • Lily Snape

          Sounds like my days of trying to watch anime back in the days.

        • Omg I still have so much of BoA’s old stuff, way back to the beginning like ID; Peace B. I remember listening to her stuff from an old J-Pop site and eventually ordering a bunch of her albums from Yesasia. I still love her old stuff! I have a couple old VCDs of her first couple Japan concerts too. Oh, the nostalgia! Then Youtube came along and I was amazed at the thoroughness of K-Pop performances. I was used to Japanese artists, who don’t dance AS MUCH as K-Pop artists do. Then I started watched BoA and DBSK performances and my mind was BLOWN, much in Super Junior fashion. :)

        • paulpederson

          Wow! Interesting to hear how difficult it was for pre-YouTube discovery and sharing of Kpop. Thanks for all who shared what the experience was like. I don’t think I ever would have developed my interest without the hundreds of kind people who have provided English subs for the variety and reality shows. Thanks!!

      • Devin Hassay

        Yes!! The dial up downloads were a big part of accessing kpop!! And it sucked!! Most of the time, I didn’t even know what I was downloading…it was as simple as going on to a message board, saying “I like BoA, what else can you recommend me?” And then randomly downloading whatever people suggest. Most of it was hit and miss.

    • Lily Snape

      Wow, you’re like a legend! I’m wondering how did you find out about Kpop in the first place?

      • Devin Hassay

        I was really big into Anime when I was in middle school. Anime lead to Jpop, Jpop lead me to Kpop. Eventually I decided that I liked Kpop much more than Jpop, and so I began scouring the internet for any bits of Kpop I could find. My family also had an international TV station that played a one hour block of Asian music videos, so I found a lot of music that way. Then I eventually imported a few album. Once YouTube became a “thing,” it became much easier to access Kpop!

    • Adam Bowen

      In my opinion, 2013 was a pretty typical year. I’ve been into k-pop since 2011/2012 and it seemed to me to be a year of growing pains. It wasn’t necessarily a weak year, but it was one of transition. This transition obviously led to some quite awkward sounding and/or looking songs/videos. For example, “I Got a Boy” and B1A4′s song were weird growing pains, trying to accommodate both the old and the new style, but things like Taeyang’s “Ringa Linga” and VIXX’s “Voodoo Doll” were solid examples of how to artfully use the disconnectedness and just how well done music can be in the new style of 2013/2014. And now, so far in 2014, the comebacks have been pretty solid. 2NE1 was great, and SNSD was also pretty good.

    • Dude, that’s epic :OOO I have since 2004, also pre-YT but dang. 2002 is insane. I don’t know how you made it. I saw shitty TVXQ in some other streaming site that had an horrid interface but maaaaaan.

      I had such high expectations for B.A.P but I honestly don’t distinguish them from any other boy band now. Sure they produce their music but it sounds so generic. Mamamoo is slaying though.

  347. sociallyawkwardNASTY

    it seems like i’m the only one who liked the video. In the end I agreed that the editing was annoying but at first i was like ‘OMG, i love the effects blah blah blah’ I thought the concept was really cool and I thought they could’ve done better in pulling it off but regardless, i’m just happy my bias(hyo :D) got more screen time. Liked the song though. Solid and consistent throughout. Nasties fighting!:D

    I got into kpop almost 10 months ago. My first song was Vixx on and on that my sister showed me. I was like what is this? I got freaked out at Ravi’s(?) rapping part. Then i heard MFBTY sweet dream and i was like ‘ this is cool’. After a few more songs i was HOOKED. I found eat your kimchi and k dramas and running man. All i thought about was kpop. I tried to get my friends into it but failed and didn’t want anyone to know about it. I was kinda embaressed. No-one knew what it was but then my friend told me she listens to it. i was ecstatic :D! Next step- world domination :D

  348. Poor sad headachey Simon! Hope you feel better and had good naps :) I had a migraine a few days ago, I totally know dem feels.
    Now on to the KMM! I didn’t love Mr Mr, it’s not really my style, but I love the points you made about the suit dancing. I absolutely love when girl groups get to do dances that aren’t just, as you would put it, making sex to the floor, and actually get to show off how good they are at dancing. Confidence is so sexy! No matter the clothes! Like you said in another KMM (I think the we forgot how to kpop one? I can’t remember which video you were talking about, sorry!) would the video still be interesting if the groups were wearing normal clothes? SNSD clearly proves that they can be totally interesting and sexy while fully clothed. You go, ladies!

    • Oh! I forgot to do the when did I join kpop bit. I don’t know exactly? I think it was some time in 2012, but I do know it’s all your fault. I started watching KMM without actually watching the music videos, you guise were just funny, and I was already in love with the FAPFAPs and WANKs and needed more! But I finally decided to try it out with Infinite’s Nothing’s Over, and I was a goner. I did not love a lot of the stuff from 2013, WAY too many dubstep breakdowns and disjointed awkwardness. Hopefully, they’ve got it out of their systems and will go back to making songs instead of mashups.

  349. Brandi Gerthoffer

    I became a kpop fan in mid to late 2011, and I spent those last few months just OBSESSED with SHINee, so when I figured out there were other bands, 2012 happened and all of the amazing music videos and songs and debuts and ARGHH
    But 2013 was good with B.A.P and SHINee and EXO….but I wasn’t really BLOWN away like I was in 2012 when literally everyone came back with an awesome comeback.
    I dunno…
    Maybe it’s just me.

  350. brandon lawrence

    When is big bang coming back? :-(

  351. Tayebe Izadi
    Tayebe Izadi

    I’m new to K-Pop. I became a K-Pop fan in late 2012. Anyway I think K-Pop in 2013 wasn’t as epic as past years. Maybe 2009-2011 was the golden time of ‘the famous K-Pop’ ( I think the true golden age goes back to early 2000s when K-Pop wasn’t that famous ). So I rated it as average

  352. Kpop 2013 started out good and then ran out of steam. We had a really good 4Minute Tune and some CNBlue and then… Crayon Pop? Rainbow doing aegyo out the wazoo? I think that’s why we got all the sexy concepts at the start of 2014. If stuff ain’t working then go salacious until someone comes up with a hot idea and then the rest of them can imitate it.

    As for SNSD Lyrics, Soozee, hey I don’t speak Korean so they are all hard to understand!

  353. Gabriel (Shallsaur)

    I’ve been into Kpop since 2008 and it is definitely a roller coaster ride where u see huge changes in the K-Pop scene.

    I would say 2012 was worse with the influx of vocally-weak groups but 2013 actually brought in several potential groups with unique music signature that I see them becoming big in the future.

    Other than the sudden use of so much electronic sounds, I actually like 2013 alot and I look forward to more vocal-focused songs in 2014. ^^

  354. Oh my gosh Martina, I was practically worshipping you when you were talking about what’s sexy. Personally, I’ve never found skimpy clothes to be sexy as much as something that covers everything, and yet hugs your body in all the right places and is worn with confidence. Leaves something to the imagination ;) Also loved it when Suzy suddenly popped up! Haha, wasn’t expecting that.

    To be honest, I’m not a massive fan of either the song or the video. They were a bit meh for me – not bad, not good. But I was grateful for the fresh concept. I’ve been listening to Kpop for a few years now and I’d agree that 2013 was a pretty bad year, probably because of the obsession with skimpy clothes and dubstep breakdowns. That being said, I think it was a bad year for the well-known groups – the lesser-known groups actually ended up putting out better quality music & videos and I quite enjoyed them. Kpop was beginning to dry up for me because I felt like there was nothing new. It’s only 2 months in, but I have hope for 2014 – I feel that artists (or their composers) are trying out different concepts and styles of music. I’ve seen a bit of jazz, a bit of swing, classic pop, pop rock etc. so I think this year could be an interesting one!

    Edit: Just wanted to add that I feel like perhaps it went ‘bad’ in 2013 because of Gangnam Style – what with the world’s attention turned to Kpop, it became less ‘Kpoppy’ as composers/producers etc. were trying to appeal to a more Western audience and thus following our ‘trends’ (i.e. skimpy clotes, dubstep etc.) and so it lost it’s charm i.e. what makes Kpop… Kpop. Just my theory, though :)

    • I actually have a theory that Gangnam Style did more to hurt Kpop than to help it. Check it:

      Kpop was trying for a while to break into the Western Market, but not that many people paid attention to it. Psy came along. He was a hilarious old fat guy getting covered in garbage singing an awesome song with a fun dance. The world paid attention. They heard that he’s Kpop, and so they looked online to see if Kpop is like Psy. Except it’s not like him at all. What they found instead of fun and silly videos was videos of Korean teenagers looking sexually angsty. That’s not what people were looking for. So they looked away to something else. How about some Harlem Shake instead?

      Kpop had the world’s attention, and lost it. It’s not Kpop’s fault. It’s just that Psy set up unrealistic expectations. Psy is Psy. He’s not Kpop, and shouldn’t be labeled as such, and the mislabeling might have done more harm than good.

      • Liam Sullivan

        ^ This. So many people think K-pop is ‘comedy’ because of Psy, not that his songs weren’t catchy, successful or just plain good….they just weren’t K-pop, yet that’s what it was marketed as, now if you ask someone if they’ve heard any K-pop it’s Gangnam Style…and you just want to face palm.

      • I think you’re absolutely right. Gangnam Style was so different from what I was used to, which is why it was so exciting when it came out and I watched it about 10 times over. Kpop can be a little ‘out there’ but not in the same sort of slapstick way – more of a ‘strange outfits’ kind of way. And that’s actually what I like about it. However, whilst it did do harm, you’ve gotta admit that it did still bring attention, so some people actually got into what they saw. At least if I mention Kpop now people actually know what it is. So on the one hand it set people up and let them down (when they may have come across it later, without expectations, and liked it) but it also brought in people who may have never heard of it and who liked it for what it is. I guess it’s 50/50? That’s my two cents, anyway.

        Sometimes I feel bad because it seems like Westerners are this kind of big mystery to those working in Kpop in the sense that they’ve tried so many things in order to break into the Western market. And then here’s me going “Hey! Hey guys! Look at this funny cat video I found!” Psy wasn’t trying to break into the Western market, and yet he did, which is pretty amazing and even a bit sad in a sense.

        • ☆Just because...

          Whilst I agree that most of kpop isn’t funny like Psy’s Gangnam Style & Gentleman, there’s the element that caught on that I think is rather kpop, the catchy dances. For me, when I got into kpop in 2009, the big thing that got me into it was how ridiculous the dance was of Sorry Sorry, such a literal sorry dance move and it was funny to me, I hadn’t really payed much attention to dance in pop music before. And then before you know it, I’m imitating it and Gee and all that, now the rest is history.

          So yeah, ok, it is probably disappointing for most people when they look for more kpop after hearing Psy and finding it’s all these young, good looking people taking themselves very seriously (at least in their MVs) but I don’t think we can say it’s been a fail. Getting kpop recognised is just the start, and hopefully people will get to know the most prominent sides of kpop more despite the misleading introduction.

      • kitten_lilac

        Absolutely right. When people ask me about Gangnam Style, I just say that it’s the Macerena. Because that’s all it really is to people who didn’t know anything about kpop. It’s a fun sounding song with a silly dance that’s easy to copy. When I was growing up, no one knew what the Macerena was about or any other songs in it’s style, but they knew the song and dance.

        Not even Psy could keep the world’s attention with his next song (hardly anyone outside the Kpop world knows about Gentleman). So it was silly of Kpop companies to try to emulate the response Gangnam Style got.

        • Diane Schon

          Exactly! Asking someone if they like K-Pop and them saying, Yeah, I like Gangnam Style, is like asking someone if they like Latin music and they say, Yeah, I like the Macarena. UGH. Same feels right?

      • lady_kire
        lady_kire

        I agree with this argument. My friend and I love Kpop (though he’s a more Jrock guy) and we both agree that Gangnam Style got the attention of the Western market, but it devastated us knowing that people will only know Kpop for that even though technically, Psy isn’t Kpop.

        We thought that while we found Gentlemen to be better, Kpop will not be taken seriously. Seriously, if I try to talk to my dad about Kpop, he’ll just say that they all sound the same, they can’t sing, and they all look the same. However, he likes Gangnam style, and kept annoying me about that one member of Pussycat dolls that no one cares about. How is it different? I mean even at the YTMA, people wouldn’t accept that SNSD won and didn’t know that they were a definition and example of Kpop and what it is.

        I think Psy ruined the definition of Kpop. Maybe not the industry as a whole, but definitely the definition. Kpop is not a fat old man being goofy all the time. It is a serious industry where people can dance better than you, try really hard, have meaningful lyrics, and (a huge percent) sing really well live. Also, he put an expectation for the big 3 companies that they may as well never achieve.

      • Michael Duangdara

        The thing is for me is that Gangnam Style is really an anomaly in the Korean Music Scene. Ever since that song went viral, the Kpop industry as a whole has been more and more longing for global recognition. Ever since SNSD won their award at the YTMA, its been named dropped every damn time they get brought up. Its almost propaganda like, with the need of the industry as a whole trying to be taken so damn seriously. The heads over at YG Entertainment must think that they are the s*** right now with the viral blow up of PSY. It really shows in their media plays; from their FB/Twitter accounts, the Fuse News “Loves Seoul” interviews, and that “The Bachelor” 2NE1 “advertisement” with the YG media spin (which was so blatant, it felt like a bad late night info-commercial.)

        With all this wanting to be taken seriously by western media, they are ever so defiant of trying to break back into to the market like Psy did. That really scares me to be quite honest. I don’t want to see the furthering westernization of Kpop just for the sake of trying to break out. It is feeling that the genre is really starting to loose the niche sound of a blend of the classic 90′s sound with the modern elements of today music. Now with all that being said, I have no problem with the industry still marketing in both the Japanese and the emerging Chinese markets. The niche sound is still there and I would even argue that some of the best songs of Kpop groups are actually Japanese releases or Chinese versions. (SNSD Paparazzi, the JPN version of Oh!, EXO-M title tracks, SUJU-KRY, SUJU-M, After School’s Shh, etc).

        As with the Kpop industry today, I think they just need to refocus on their home markets first. Stop trying to chase the viral sucess of what Psy gotten and just make good music. Stop trying to cater to Western tastes and focus on what makes Kpop sound so good and nostalgic. Mr.Mr. is a great step in the right direction.

      • Lillie Lane

        I agree too. It was worse when people actually figured out that I listen to Kpop and they say, “so do you love Psy, is he like your favourite singer or something?” I said no, because he isn’t, and I tried to explain that Psy is not the whole of Kpop but people just don’t listen….. *sigh*

      • Steve Kendrick

        I have to disagree, PSY opened a door for other artists. He put all of his stuff online, including his great concerts. At that point it was time for all the companies to put their music on the music services such as Xbox Music, Rhapsody, Beck Music …and on and on. What did they do instead of this, they concentrated on the Japanese Market which was collapsing. YG is the only company that made any effort to open the US market, but of course they limited what they distributed. Well now the moment has passed. PSY has to keep delaying his album because his concern about an album mostly in Korean will do in the US market. So now it seems that he is redoing that album with established US artists using more English. Which may make the album sell better in the US, but is that going to help K-POP??????? This year K-POP has been its own worse enemy, everything that is coming out this and last year sounds like mainstream music or just new groups that are just directed to a young domestic audience. Has the K-WAVE died?..no way K-DRAMAs are doing great and are being distributed by a ton of companies HULU, DRAMAFEVER, MBC and VICKI. These companies are not afraid to distribute on XBOX and ROKU. So why …why is K-POP not doing this????

      • Steve Kendrick

        PSY is K-POP…watch some of his concerts online. He is KPOP …Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. RAP, Ballad and straight bring out the girls and do straight in your head for the rest of your life K-POP. Most Americans have not even listened to his earlier albums. SHAME SHAME SHAME ….

        • Emily

          That’s so true! It sucks how if you ask someone now about PSY they’ll just say “oh that guy in the blue suit. wasnt he just a one hit wonder?” Like, Gangnam style was a good song, but he has so many more and is pretty big in Korea (I think??). I remember when he made his comeback in july or something in 2012, i had just left for japan for vacation and a week and a half later i came back to the states it had blown up. pretty crazy, i think.

      • I think it’s a bit of both. I get really irritated that the only song most non-k-pop people know is Gangnam Style, but there has been some more coverage of K-pop in general since here in the U.S. iTunes now has more K-pop available that it used to (and it arrives in the iTunes store a lot faster) since Gangnam Style. Buzzfeed has also had a surprising amount of fairly accurate K-pop posts and just in general more people are talking about K-pop. the people who were never ever going to get into K-pop might perhaps stay stuck in Gangnam Style mode, but those who were curious might now see it as more socially acceptable to ask more about K-pop.

        I think that what is hurting K-pop more is how the agencies are so desperate to enter the western market, that they try to market K-pop to the west…but they FAIL because they aren’t marketing it properly. A lot of it is based on these stereotypical concepts of what the west wants (super sexy concepts mostly with lots of English) without bothering to actually think about what K-pop in a western market looks like. GD has done a really great job I think of working with US artists in his genre at trying to bridge the gap. I also am not sure why the agencies feel that somehow they’ll be more validated if they can make it big in the west. It annoys me that somehow the west is still so “prestigious”. There are HUGE fan bases in the US, Europe, South America, the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere that the Korean entertainment that I think Korea doesn’t fully realize. Just looking at the blog hits I get from all the different countries, and all the people I am friends with on Twitter is amazing to me. If the Korean entertainment industry (dramas and K-pop) really want to enter the western market, I think they should more fully tap into the already existent fanbase, see what they like and want, and then go from there. That just makes more business sense to me. There are some agencies that have started to be more international fan minded (like VIXX and BAP) who earlier in their careers have reached out for international concerts etc. VIXX also has an English subbed TV channel (and some other Youtube channels like KBS and 1theK sub their videos in English and some other languages). These are companies that understand how to reach out to the International fanbase a little better.

      • Okay, now I feel guilty for personally destroying Kpop as you knew it. I came in with Gangnam Style and have since become a major fan of Psy, whom I find quite attractive. I don’t particularly enjoy mainstream Kpop because I’m not into major choreography or even groups (my other favorite artists are Steven Page, Leonard Cohen, and Elvis Costello). I like 2NE1 and Spica, but as for the rest?

      • Yes. Psy has kinda ruined the impression (let’s put it that way instead of definition) of KPOP.

        Psy is part of KPOP but he’s a rather minor figure in the music scene that he doesnt even think Gangnam Style can break into the western market. For instance, indie music is part of KPOP too. It’s just a matter of popularity. Obviously, KPOP is dominated by the idol groups, which explains why Psy might not be considered as KPOP and affected the Kpop’s impression.

        Psy is famous because of the contrast that an Asian uncle can dance, which is different from what a traditional star looks like (with tall, slim, glamorous body). Most westerners find it funny because of the visual imagery being produced in Gangnam Style mv as they think it as a random mv, showing different things about Korea. Yet, people ignores the underlying message that Psy wants to convey.

        His song is not crappy at all. Psy is criticizing Gangnam. There’s so many meanings being depicted both in the mv and the lyrics, which is also different from traditional KPOP. And the idols are producing something pretty much similar. stadardised and related to romance. (This might be why @IAmDrPlatypus:disqus and me think MrMr is just “meh” and crappy.)

        However, with the help of Psy, KPOP has definitely become the limelight these years. As the time goes by, the idols are just keep producing the same thing over and over again. Instead of saying Psy has set ip unrealistic expectations or the idols cant meet the expectations, what we’re looking for is the difference, no matter good or bad.

        2013 is worser than usual mainly because the scandals and the changes. 2PM’s nickhun car accident, Wonder Girls’s Sohee left JYP, T-ara keeps changing the members, KARA just got three members now and so on so forth. The industry is in a panic as the idols are growing and leaving so that there are countless gropus making debut every month. Yet, the market is nearly saturated. Those A-list groups look for changes but some might not like their changes. Those new groups still have not go the ability to replace the world stars. Also, the audience focus is being lead away constantly. Today I’m watching Got 7 and the next time I’m listening to Soyou and Jungjigo.

        When we’re thinking whether 2013 is better or worser, that’s an indication that some of us are feeling sick to the KPOP music industry right now, unless the industry changes or produce something really amazing, (like 2ne1′s sci-fi themed come back home mv) Otherwise, KPOP is really going downhill. I have been listening to KPOP since 2009, I really hope 2014 will be a better year.

        Anyway, please do a separate video or blog post about this topic instead of mixing it with the upcoming Music Monday. There’s just so much to express. LOL

        P.S. I don’t really think KPOP has lost the world’s attention unless there’s a strong rival coming up that everyone starts and keeps looking for that rival.

      • I agree with the statement. Not so much the explanation.
        I agree that Psy hurt KPop internationally, but not for setting expectations. He was the epitome of every negative and demeaning stereotype that the West ignorantly possesses about the Asian male. He got out attention, he was laughed at, lauded for BEING laughed at (even got to visit the White House) and then was forgotten like every other one hit wonder in the West.
        Some (me for example) found KPop to have the passion and expressiveness that most (as in 99%) of the music here in the West has been lacking for a LONG time. We used to have MJ, The Boss, JT, Britney (before she became a psychotic hot mess), Elvis, the Beatles, the BeeGees (don’t laugh, they were good!) And before that we had the golden age of Hollywood with all the stars who did it all and looked good doing it.
        KPop seems (at least to me) to be a return to that age. You can’t just be interesting in KPop, you actually have to have at least a modicum of talent (taking notes Ms. Cyrus?). I have not been moved by performers as I have been by GG, BoA, TVXQ, 2PM, Ailee, Rain and others (REALLY missing the Wonder Girls) in a long time.
        Judging KPop just by Psy would be like judging American pop by Justin Beiber.

    • Couldn’t disagree with you more. But I guess it comes down to tastes.

      It was a terrible year for title tracks. It was a great year for albums.

      Kpop was always made with the Western market in mind, given that it takes away factor from Western pop.

      • Not-Really-Normal^__~

        I agree. As a fan of SHINee I loved their albums songs but some of their titles while good there were better songs on the albums that could have been picked. e.g.. everybody vs symptoms. While Symptoms’s not as high energy it had, in my oppinion, an older shines feel like a mature replay . Though I still really like everybody, symptoms was just mind-blowing.

        • FayeG

          I just have one problem with this post. “As a fan of Shinee” is like you are making it like everything they come out with you will like just because you are their fan.

          Don’t mind me, I know what you mean, I just think other people will take advantage of this statement lol

        • Not-Really-Normal^__~

          nah I understand what you mean but thats not what I meant. I meant that I was a little disappointed in there title tracks and I was talking about them perticularly because I’m a fan and fallow there comebacks. Thanks for pointing that out. I just mis-worded it.

      • HOW DARE YOU DISAGREE WITH ME, THE GOD. YOU– Nah, I kid of course :)

        Just out of curiosty, can I ask how exactly you disagree? Maybe I’m just being stupid because I just woke up…

        I can’t say whether it was a great year for albums or not because, to be honest, I don’t often find myself listening to everyone’s albums unless I like the group or am particularly impressed with the title track. However, now that you’ve mentioned that I’m definitely going to consider doing it more often!

        You’re right in that it was always made with the Western market in mind, but I feel like it was, yes, just ‘in mind’. In my personal opinion I feel like they began making things more with the Western market as a purpose. But I could easily be wrong – there are so many theories that fit and I guess we’ll just never know. Someone else made a good point further down when they mentioned that ‘sexy’ concepts etc. started being used a lot because no one had come up with an innovative concept for everyone else to copy.

      • Elsa Green
        Elsa Green

        Listen to albums? Ain’t nobody got time for that!
        This is probably true for many artists. Unfortunately I just don’t have the time nor the energy to listen to all the albums of the groups I like. There are so many!
        Shame though, you can argue that if you don’t like the title song, you might like the album, but will you really go and listen to the album if you don’t like the title song? For me, the group has to have that little something for me to listen to the album. Or I don’t like the title song, but feel like they have potential. I really only listen to the albums of the 3-4 groups of which I consider myself a fan.
        I wish management companies would start picking the best song in the album for a title song, and not the one that they think the audience wants. Because they’re often wrong…

    • Elsa Green
      Elsa Green

      You are the life and soul of Nasties! Okay maybe not, but you said everything I wanted to say better than I would have. Your whole comment I was like “OMG YES! Thank you!”
      While I think that 2013 had some great songs – at the end of this post – it was not as good as 2012, which was the year a lot of iconic songs came out – that I’m not going to name because there are so many. I only got into Kpop in 2011, so I can’t really speak for previous years, but that one was good as well.
      I even stopped paying attention around September because I was disappointed. It made me miss some good releases but nothing too fantastic. There was a lack of cohesion, of general awesomeness that I feel the other years might have had.
      I really do feel like 2014 is going to be different though. I’m really looking forward to it!

      Good songs of 2013
      “Wild” – Nine Muses
      “Growl” – EXO
      “How to get girls” – Heo Young Saeng
      “Special Girl” – Infinite H
      “U&I” – Ailee
      “Expectation” – Girl’s Day
      “Smokey Girl” – MBLAQ
      “Gotta talk to you” – Seungri
      “One Shot” – BAP
      “Dream Girl” – SHINee
      “Love Actually” – Sunny Hill & Daybreak
      “Request” – Infinite – It’s a commercial song, but it’s amazing.
      “Cactus” – Woohyun & Lucia – Underrated song of the year, it is fantastic, I absolutely love it!

  355. I’ve been into k-pop since 2010 and I’m probably the only one here who actually likes The Boys and IGAB. I guess maybe it’s because I’ve haven’t listened to a lot of rap but I find both songs very enjoyable especially IGAB. I think for last year IGAB was one of the best songs for me anyway. I do love Mr. Mr. and I think you are right in that the editing i kind of ruined the video

  356. Justin Peterson

    Being a fairly new K-pop fan (started when gangnam style became big) i thought 2013 was pretty disappointing and the only big highlight for me was the Big Bang solo work, especially GD and T.O.P. Yeah Psy came out with Gentleman and some other things were good but in general not too many things stood out.

  357. Tene Jensen

    I’ve been into kpop since 2007.

    If you ask me the golden years were 2008-2010. Many of the older bands got they breakthrough during this period. I also think the Gayo Daejuns were a lot more fun and high-quality to watch back then.

    2012 was the: let’s-debut-as-many-bands-as-we-can-year. And most of those bands came back in 2013 with so-so songs and comebacks. Some were so bad promoted >__> With songs just as bad. I think
    If we keep debuting bands in Korea there will be a bigger part of the citizens that are in a group/band than regular citizens. rofl.

    Glad you noticed the so-so2013 as well Simon D:

    • bchay26

      Took the words right out of my mouth. Now I don’t even need to say anything. However, for me, I started in 2010 and kind of worked my way back in time a tad while also following the current scene.

    • At some point you just couldn’t keep up anymore… The debuts I mean

    • Oh wow. I agreed with everything that you said. I’ve been into KPOP since 2007 also. DB5K was actually the reason I got into KPOP and after the lawsuit I didnt think I would still be into KPOP, but there were still other griups who released really good songs so I stayed. After 2011-ish, KPOP just seemed to lose its charms and I was continuously disappointed with the releases and especially the oversaturation of groups debuting. There was just an abundance of mediocre to so-so songs from groups who weren’t ready to debut yet. Honestly, the last time I have been really excited was when U-KISS released Neverland and Kara released Step and that was a while back…

    • bbissou

      I totally agree with you :)
      I started listening to kpop in 2010 and when i went back through the 08-10 eras i could basically listen to anything and be satisfied with it.

      By the end of 2010 i became totally YG biased (ft. island being the only non-yg group i followed) and I stopped listening to much of anything else. By the time i went back to experimenting in 2012-2013 with other groups again i was so overwhelmed by the generic-ness and “blandness” of everything else that i didn’t bother keeping up.

      2012 was just debutdebutdebutdebutdebutdebut and 2013 was just and eh~ waiting period (except for a select few great comebacks)

      Its only March, and though im still immensely YG-biased, i’m really impressed with this year and excited for what’s to come :))))

    • Asha Blue

      totally agree, 2008 was the best simply because of DBSK’s mirotic

  358. I’ve been listening to K-pop for 8 years now, and back then when I started I had so many favorite songs (I’m not a person that would be a fan of just one band so I have my favorite songs not bands, but of course there are those bands I like more than others). All the songs back then were fun and I really did enjoy it but after (I think) SHINee’s Ring Ding Dong era I lost interest in K-pop. Almost every band sounded the same and then SOOO many new groups debuted, i got lost and I turned to K-Indie, K-rock etc. right now I only follow some bands and artists and I check their music but most of the time I just listen once (unless I really like it) and go back to my Indie playlist :P

  359. I’ve been into kpop since 2007.. it’s been slowly declining every since 2011 for me. On the topic of the song, it wasn’t my favorite SNSD song. It’s definitely better than IGAB or The Boys, but SNSD deserves a much better song. In my opinion, Mr Mr is just average, there’s nothing special about it. It could just as easily be a side track on their mini and no one would have thought it deserving of being the title song. My only big problem with the MV was the basic dance. What the heck is that supposed to be all about?

  360. I just got into K-pop a little after staying in Korea for a couple of month last year. I knew nothing about it before that whole ‘Gangnam Style Mania’ happened. If K pop changed, what specifically did? Vocals, marketing or style of bands? I’m curious (no reference intended ;) )

  361. brandon lawrence

    OMG Soo Zee had a speaking part hahha

  362. Fawe Denoir

    Hopefully we get 2NE1 next week…. 2 weeks of girl groups! :) Wow what a change that would be. (If only lower tier level girl groups could also get their Kpop Music Mondays…)

    • Diane Schon

      I agree! Music Mondays do seem to feature a lot of popular groups, but I do love that Simon and Martina do segments on underrated K-Pop acts. :) Gives a chance for the not as popular groups to shine. :D I know I’ve found quite a few good K-Pop songs from watching their underrated K-Pop song videos! :D

  363. I definitely loved the song more than IGAB! The MV wasn’t as exciting as it was hyped up to be, probably because of their production issues and data loss. IIRC they had to re-film the MV in 2 days due to everything they lost, and the pressure to release it on time after being dragged out for so long caused them to deliver a somewhat….amateur job. To refilm the scenes in 2 days, the MV was decent, but I agree! I thought I was the only one that noticed that guy waving in the back! I still have to check out 2ne1′s MV’s, and I’ve heard good things, but I’m not a fan of the music. So, music-wise – SNSD’s mini is great, while I’m guessing MV-wise, 2ne1 wins! This is going to be a great fan battle to watch *eats popcorn*.

  364. Dina Panda-Chan Kitiara

    first? second?

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