On the 5th day of K-Christmas, K-Pop gave to me
6 Groups That Rocked Their Niche,
And One Epic Comeback!
The world of K-Pop can be a tough place to establish yourself as any K-Pop fan who survived 2014 can tell you. One of the things that makes life so tough for groups is the struggle to find an identity that both fits the members and is unique. The ability to do this is what has set these 6 groups above the pack. These groups have struggled, some longer than others and some against seemingly insurmountable odds to rise to this moment, to these videos.
Not much can be said about VIXX and ‘Error‘ that hasn’t been said already. But I can say some if it again: VIXX has found the thing that they do better than anyone else. We started seeing it during ‘Hyde‘, ‘On and On‘, ‘Voodoo Doll‘ and even saw hints of it in ‘On and On‘, a dark style of K-Pop combined with emotional vocals and top-notch dancing. This song is pretty close to perfection.
AOA “Like A Cat”
Despite being still classed as rookies, AOA have had an amazing year. Their first two songs ‘Miniskirt‘ and ‘Short Hair‘ were catchy and perfect for them. The dance for ‘Miniskirt’ has been one of the most popular for boy-groups to cover this year. However, ‘Like A Cat‘ cemented AOA’s place among the best girl-groups in K-Pop. The dance is sexy but not trashy and the video is absolutely genius.
No list of groups that found a style and made it their own would be complete without mentioning BTS. When they were first debuting, there was question among at least the international fans as to whether they would be popular domestically, whether Asian sensibilities were ready for this kind of hip-hop. The answer has been a resounding yes and fans all over the planet couldn’t be happier. One of the best things about BTS is that Big Hit is giving every indication of letting them do what they’re good at not shoving them in to conventional molds. The songs that get released and get videos may be slightly on the pop scale but one listen to the rest of their albums shows that these boys excel at classic hip-hop. ‘Danger‘ is the song that most bridges the gap between pop and hip-hop as well as positioning BTS for a long and successful career as a group and as solo artists.
Boyfriend is a group that hasn’t really struggled so much as they’ve been laboring under an intense amount of aegyo that can’t be maintained as a group ages. Lucky for them, they had ‘Janus‘ under their belts so when ‘Obsession‘ rolled around, it wasn’t a total departure. Man was it an amazing song, with good choreo and an intriguing video. It seems that Boyfriend is being allowed to age along with their younger members which is something that will keep them popular and relevant for years to come.
JYJ enjoys wide popularity and yet in many ways they are still struggling to get full out from under the pall of SM and their messy split from TVXQ. For that reason, this song, deserves to be on this list. It is such a triumph to see JYJ shining, doing what they’re good at; smooth and sexy tracks guaranteed to make you dance no matter where you are. Here’s to hoping that we’ll enjoy many more years of this caliber of work from these three talented men.
Orange Caramel ‘The Gangnam Avenue’
Orange Caramel is truly a magical sub-unit, possessing an insane amount of talent and personality that is not diminished in the slightest by being culled out of their original group ‘After School‘. Everyone is familiar with their first single of the year ‘Catallena‘ and the more recent ‘My Copycat‘. To be honest, ‘My Copycat almost ended up on this list instead, that video is genius. However, the lesser known song ‘The Gangnam Avenue’ is just as good if not, in some ways better.
As hard as it can be for groups to survive and distinguish themselves from the pack, when it happens on the grand scale of these 6 groups it is something worth celebrating. In fact, I would go so far as to say that it is a little K-Christmas miracle. What do you think? Is there anyone you would like to see included? Let us know in the comments below!
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