Saturday, 25 January 2014

My Top 10 K-Pop Albums of 2013

I know this post is pretty late, being nearly February after all but I had exams and other real life things so you're getting it now. I've also included 5 other albums that didn't make my top 10 because I wanted to mention them. I've just written quick blurbs about why I liked each album and then put which tracks I think you should definitely listen to. Also I wanna mention After School and their maxi single "First Love", couldn't technically put this on the list because it's a "single" but there's like three amazing songs on there so like obvs check it out if you haven't already. 

15. SISTAR - Give It To ME
14. BEAST - Hard to Love, How to Love

13. B.A.P - Badman
12. HyoLyn - Love & Hate
11. 4minute - Name is 4minute

10. SNSD - I Got A Boy

Released on Janurary 1st, SNSD got the year off to a very good start. The title track "I Got a Boy" was phenomenal and did something the k-pop world has never seen. A lot of people thought the composition was disjointed and annoying but after a few plays you start to realise the greatness of what the composers do here. How all the different layers of the song come together towards the end.. <3. The rest of the album was also great. No filler, making this probably the best Korean album SNSD have released to date. Highlights: I Got a Boy, 말해봐 (Talk Talk), Express 999 & 낭만길 (Romantic St.)


Over the past year VIXX have become one of my favourite groups. They have yet to release a bad single and 저주인형was no exception. The "째깍 째깍 다 이뤄지리라" bit is awesome isn't it? When I downloaded the album and listen to it I was pleasantly surprised to find it pretty good. Highlights: 저주인형, Beautiful Killer, Secret Night, Someday & 대답은 너니까

8. G-DRAGON - Coup de'tat 

We waited a while for GD's second full length effort and I have to say I was a little disappointed. Heartbreaker is still one of my favourite albums and Coup d'e Tat didn't come close. There are no boundaries being pushed here. GD puts the same things out again and again. 삐딱하게 (Crooked) sounds like it was composed last-minute in about 15 minutes just to create a catchy title track (and it actually was, Teddy said in an interview). The only song that comes close to being interesting is "Window" and that was actually a bonus track. It still makes my top 10 because what GD does, he does well and the feature with Missy is cool. I just want him to mix it up a bit. Highlights: 늴리리야 (Niliria), R.O.D, WINDOW. 

7. SeungRi - Lets Talk About Love

Fellow label mate SeungRi created something will a lot more substance. The title tracks is divine and production is flawless and the album makes number 7 just for that. The other tracks are pretty good though. Highlights: 할말 있어요 (Gotta Talk to U), Let's Talk About Love, You Hoooo!!!

6. 2PM - GROWN

2PM definitely grew up with this album. They produced a very mature sounding album. Al lot of long time fans were put off by this with 2PM being known for putting out dance tracks. 하.니.뿐. is wonderful and probably my favourite 2PM song ever (ok maybe except the classic Again & Again). If you're looking for a k-pop album with a bit more soul you'll find it here. They've also improved their vocals tremendously here. Highlights: 하.니.뿐., 이 노래를 듣고 돌아와, 고백 (Go Back) & Coming Down

5. Brown Eyed Girls - Black Box

When it come to vocals, there's no doubt that BEG are the best. Their latest full length album only solidified that. KILL BILL was just awesome, with this western yet modern feel. Also make sure you listen to 거짓말이야 it's brilliant. Highlights: KILL BILL, 거짓말이야, Recipe/the whole thing tbqh.

4. EXO - XOXO/Growl Repackage 

Oh how long did EXO fans wait for this? Well it was worth it. The two "subunits" or whatever finally came together to deliver an awesome dub-stepy//ooooofy title track. The rest of the album is so solid too, couple dud tracks but overall extremely solid for a first full length album. The repackage track "Growl" was also a jam and the MV was so slick. Highlights: 늑대와 미녀 (Wolf), Black Pearl, Let Out The Beast, Heart Attack, My Lady & Growl. 

3. SHINee - Everybody

OH MA GAAD. After one (I guess actually two) amazing albums earlier in the year I didn't expect SHINee to do anything else. But I was so wrong, you check out my full review here but basically SHINee's best song ever is on this mini "상사병 (Symptoms)", actually possibly the best song in kpop album track history and the whole thing was just generally amazing blah blah blah basically I'm a SHINee stan now. Highlights: whole thing, common it's only like 7 tracks you can do it. 

2. SHINee - the misconceptions

Before they released that awesome mini though we had the two/actually kinda three part album that I'm dubbing "the misconceptions". The title tracks like actually weren't that great although Dream Girl is actually quite a jam it just didn't have that quirkiness you kinda expect from SHINee. But the two albums as wholes were incredible. I still listen to them now on the daily. Just listen to them, I don't care if you don't like SHINee I guarantee to you that there will be a song on there that you will like. I'm gonna pick some faves but it's like picking your favourite child to me so. Highlights: 아름다워 (Beautiful), Dynamite, Nightmare, 오르골 (Orgel), Spoiler, Dream Girl. 

1. f(x) - Pink Tape
This was the best k-pop album of 2013, I don't care what you say. I can already hear the fangirls "But GD coup de'tat.." No, stop, sorry but yes these 5 girl blew your precious G-Dragon out the water. Here there is innovation, there is perfect execution, there is genre swapping with ease. 미행 (그림자 : Shadow) alone is better than most albums these groups put out. I mean 첫 사랑니 (Rum Pum Pum Pum) features a bloody round for christ-sake. I'm so glad f(x) (and SHINee to an extent) exists because SM really push the boundaries of what k-pop does and should do with them. Listen to the whole thing, enjoy it, give in to it's quirks and weirdness and you will become enlightened to a whole new level of the human existence. Hightlights: Do I even have to say?

Well done you made it through my ramblings! Now, what were your favourite albums of the year?

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