You guys, I’m in a KPOP rut. I don’t want to seek out other bands and there’s nothing new that piques my interest. I think I go through this once every few months. Each time I have basically done the same thing: listen to songs that made me fall in love with the genre and keep me coming back. Here they are and at the end, a YouTube playlist, too!
Super Junior “Sorry Sorry” March 2009
This was probably the first KPOP song I paid attention to. I had watched the Korean drama City Hall and a key scene was when the office workers did this song in a talent show and won. The dance, the super catchy chorus and all those band members! If this was KPOP, I was sold.
MBLAQ “Oh Yeah”* October 2009
While I haven’t kept up with them since the departure of Thunder and Joon in 2014, their music from the early years remain some of my favorite from any KPOP group. This song is a classic for me. With the stages and choreography, I absolutely loved it and was proud to be an A+ fan.
2PM “I’ll Be Back” October 2010
When I first started listening to KPOP, “Heartbeat” was the song I heard and it was EVERYWHERE. I didn’t really properly like it. So when “I’ll Be Back” came out, I fell in love. Even with the heavy heavy eye makeup and the shuffle dance, I loved it. Don’t make me break out into it!
Girls’ Generation “Oh!” January 2010
I don’t listen to many females groups, but f I had to pick one, it would be Girls’ Generation. They were so young and there were so many, but I love catchy bubbly pop music and I love this song probably the most. I’ve followed them through the years and they still impress me.
BIGBANG “Tonight” February 2011
My love/hate for BIGBANG is all too real. I had only been listening to them for a year when this single came out and I was dying for a full album. Then they gave us this song & mini album of the same title and like a starving child I ate it up.
BEAST “Shock” March 2010
I don’t know how to explain this. First off, I didn’t really get into this song until mid 2011. I saw them at an event in Vegas and had a crash course in their music because I only knew this song. This remains one of my favorites and has a ton of memories with a best friend of mine.
U-KISS “Stop Girl” September 2012
You guys, “Stop Girl” is PURE pop. I actually played the English version of this the most, but still, it is a JAM. The vocals are layered beautifully. It’s something you don’t notice at first, but just listen to the song with headphones and it’s there. I also made a ringtone of this. I am not ashamed.
DBSK “Mirotic” September 2008
There’s a reason why this has hundreds, if not thousands of plays on my list. The charisma oozing out of this song is thick. It still stands up to this day. And while they are no longer 5, the legacy is there. They have been successful individually and it is no surprise. As 5, they were potent. They still are.
miss A “Breathe” October 2010
I really enjoy miss A as well (yes, I do like more than one girl group!). While I wasn’t totally there for their last release, I can tell you that “Breathe” is one of my go to fun dance songs. Also, the video is colorful and I really like how they marketed their members in promotions.
INFINITE “The Chaser” May 2012
Can I tell you something? This is one of the few Korean songs I can sing in a noraebang. I have no idea why, I just know that I’m pretty obsessed with it and the dance. How did they know blue is my favorite color, too? JK JK… I like “Before the Dawn,” but I LOVE LOVE LOVE this.
SHINee “Lucifer” July 2010
Did you think this list wasn’t going to have SHINee in it? I have distinct memories with “Lucifer” and how it just blew me away. It showed me the beauty of fandoms (Hello Shawols!) and the power of great, consistent pop music. You’ll see more of them in my future playlists. That’s real talk.
What do you do when KPOP doesn’t excite you? Tell me about it below or tweet @cherylfornia
KPOPmaps is a Thursday column. It’s about KPOP, but without the assistance of GPS.
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