Ok, first things first, not that I like repeating myself, but just in case you didn’t read my other article about the Top 10 Rookie Groups That Missed The Mark, lets make it clear, this is just my opinion. I tried to take in consideration the general opinion I have heard or in some cases the lack of, on the groups for these lists. In both lists are groups I like and don’t like and if they ended up on the list it was because the main opinion I heard on my wanderings on the internet gave me the impression they weren’t as good/bad as I thought they were.
One thing before I go further, I, err, had a little trouble getting the list down to 10. I’ve tried six ways from Sunday to thin it out but I really feel these 15 groups are the stand out rookies of the year. Soo without further ado let the countdown begin.
#15 Odd Eye – Catch Me If You Can
Not necessarily the strongest debut but definitely one of the most unique. Not only are they all classical trained musicians, but their song had such a different sound to what is the norm for Kpop at the moment. The three ladies of Odd Eye all play string instruments, dance around on stage, sing and rap all while wearing high heels! They released two other music video’s since their debut “Follow Me” and “Never“. Here’s hoping that 2014 is a good year for them!
#14 Airplane – So Pretty
Now this group I may be placing on the list with complete bias. While they are not my favorite group of the year their song has been stuck in my head since the first time I heard it, considering that was back in January, that’s a long time. On top of that the lyrics are amazing! Throw in some awesome vocals and you have a sure fire way to create a good buzz about your debut.
#13 2Eyes – Don’t Mess With Me
2Eyes opted for a more bad girl image and a hip hop heavy style and it worked for them. The original debut MV just features the girls dancing and unfortunately I did find their dancing slightly lacking. I don’t need every groups moves to be perfectly in sync but they should still seem to be on time with one another. To make up for the simplicity of their first music video a second version was released about a month after. And that was the show stopper! From robot arms that fired off like missiles, girls who kicked butt and a drop dead gorgeous bad guy, none other than Kim Woo Bin their second MV was a winner from the start. Perhaps if it had been the first video released they might have been higher on this list. They released their comeback track “Shooting Star” in November, it had a slightly softer and more pop sound then their debut but it wasn’t bad.
#12 TINT – Love At First Sight
Perhaps another group that snuck onto this list because of my feelings for them. While a girl group debuting with the cute “ageyo” style is not that unusual and not something I normally go for, for some reason TINT really appealed to me. After reading some of the comments on their video I had to agree with those saying that it was possibly that they had a more Japanese Pop sound to them then Kpop. It didn’t hurt that their vocals were good, the song used English perfectly, the chorus was catchy and the dance was fun. Also, I want one of those teddy bear belts!
#11 NC.A – My Student Teacher
I had almost forgotten about NC.A when I saw an article earlier today reminding me about her. You might be saying if I didn’t remember her, how did she end up on this list. Well as I said, not all the groups on these list’s are my favorites. NC.A seems to have gotten a lot of love in Korea from what I have read. And it is well deserved. The young 18 year old singer does have a lovely set of vocal chords on her and she knows how to use them. I also read somewhere that NC.A admitted she isn’t a good dancer, I found this rather cute and gutsy. Just a reminder that it isn’t NC.A in her debut MV, she had Girl’s Day Hyeri playing the student instead. But if you check out her comeback track “Oh My God“, and I highly recommend you do, you will get to see her performing.
#10 GI – Beatles
Before they even debuted I had my ear to the ground for them. Their entertainment company had released statements saying that GI or “Global Icon” wasn’t going to be debuting with the cutesy look most girl groups go with but instead were going with a “tomboy” look and feel. I was curious and when “Beatles” was released in April I wasn’t disappointed, in fact I was more pleased than I could say that the “tomboy” image wasn’t as tomboyish as I thought it was going to be. While all 5 members sported short pixie style hair cuts and their style was definitely hip hop they also wore crop shirts, and in particular one set of outfits was a perfect combination of skinny jeans, kick-ass shirts and some awesome ankle booties. Add in an addictive beat to a song that’s perfect to grove to and you have a great debut. They released a follow up track in October, “GI-YEUK“, they kept to their “tomboyish” concept which I was glad to see.
#9 LC9 – MaMa Beat
What do you get when you throw 6 good looking guys into a street fight thats well choreographed, add some fun special effects, a wicked beat with an easy to remember chorus and the sexy voice of Gain from Brown Eyed Girls? Well that would be “League of Competition #9” or LC9. They debuted back in May and definitely grabbed my attention as well as many fans. I would have liked to place them higher on the list but they haven’t made a comeback since their debut. They have released a couple of cover songs showing both a more serious side themselves with Nelly’s “Just A Dream” and a lighter one with One Directions “What Makes You Beautiful“. Lets hope they make a comeback soon!
#8 Boys Republic – Party Rock
I panicked for a second when I first saw the title for their debut song back in June and realized it was indeed a party track. I was like ouch, I hope they didn’t copy LMFAO, but that wasn’t the case. The name and the fact it’s a dance song is were the similarity started and ended. “Party Rock” lives up to it’s name and I still love to jam to it. I also loved the concept for the video, that poor girl! Lol! They released a comeback track in October “You Are Special“. Very different from the party song of their debut but not enough so that I felt that they were jumping from the image they started with. I love the chorus even though the first few times you listen to it, it seems like it doesn’t fit the rest of the song. After you listen to it some I found that all of a sudden it didn’t matter.
#7 Topp Dogg – Follow Me
Oh boy was I not looking forward to their debut! 13 members! Why do the entertainment companies do this to us! But I was wrong! Individual photo teasers, mix tapes, appearances on their label mate EvoL’s television program, I almost feel like Topp Dogg have been around longer than their actually debut in October. “Follow Me” has an easy repeatable chorus to sing along with, which in my opinion is always a good thing when it comes to a debut. Helps get fans involved. I was concerned how they were going to divide the parts, and as in the case in any big group we aren’t going to see everyone with lines in every song, but thats ok, better to make a good song then cut it to pieces so everyone gets a part. Theres always the next song, which is exactly what they did. Topp Dogg already released a second track “Cigarette” which was more R&B than hip hop. They have a large following and according to some news sources are already getting requests for appearances outside Korea.
#6 AlphaBat – AB City
Another large group to completely mess with our bias lists! And are they ever accomplishing that mission! They only debuted a month ago and for a rookie group have already racked up over 200k views on their music video. Though the overall concept for their song wasn’t something we hadn’t seen before, the concept for the group seems to have managed to grab enough attention to have people giving them a chance. Calling them selves “AlphaBat” the group has taken stage names from the Greek alphabet, C:ode, D:elta and G:amma to name a few. It seems hip hop really is the way to go if you want to get a following these days. Seeing they only debuted a month ago they haven’t planned a comeback yet but did gift their fans with a Christmas present in the form of an “ageyo” filled photo shot video for the song “Surprise Party“.
#5 Ladies Code – Bad Girl
Ladies Code hadn’t even debuted and already had a following. All the members were already in the public eye for one reason or another. One had participated in the Miss Korea competition, another was an internet dance cover sensation and another had a famous reporter for a relative. So some smart person saw the potential in them, threw them into a group and got themselves a winner. Their debut MV in March was just a load of fun! Who wouldn’t want to knock out some good looking guys with a sleeping drink and draw on their faces and make them wear wigs! Lol! These girls are pretty busy too, not only have they made a comeback since their debut but they have made two! “Hate You” was released in August and really showcased their singing abilities. Their return in September with “Pretty Pretty” was dang funky. Not only was the MV full of fun imagery but the song had a fun and funky beat to it.
#4 Eric Nam – Heaven’s Door
So few solo act’s make a big impact on Kpop. It’s hard to compete with groups who offer choices for fans to choose as their bias. Eric Nam certainly defied that convention. With his amazing vocals one would think that would be enough to make fans do a double take, but his sweet and open personality just make it that much easier to love this guy. Now you maybe saying he debuted back in January how is he so high on this list. Well he decided to get himself a gig on the Arirang TV network and hasn’t left the publics eye. Add in that he’s gotten himself the job as an interviewer for some pretty famous people on their trips to Korea. Getting Amanda Seyfried to sing Exo’s “Growl” is sure fire way to get you some fans. Personally I feel that harmonizing with Jamie Foxx is pretty dang impressive and I hope Eric includes that on his resume from now on.
#3 BESTie – Pitapat
When BESTie debuted in July some of you may have went “Hmmm they look familiar” well that would definitely be the case. Three of the members of BESTie were originally part of the group EXID, who debuted in 2012, but left due to personally reasons. And am I ever glad they did! I almost missed their debut but then saw something about Jo Kwon from 2AM being in a music video and checked them out. Mind you Jo Kwon only shows up in the last few seconds of the song but I was still hooked. But it was “Love Options” their comeback track in October that sealed the deal for me. The frank lyrics and cute “do do do” shoulder dance was all just perfect in my opinion. Then they decided to kill their fans with cuteness for Christmas by releasing “Zzang Christmas“.
#2 HISTORY – Dreamer
Debuting with “Dreamer” in April HISTORY stepped onto the stage in slick black suits and sang and danced their way into many a heart, mine included. The chorus has me singing along every time and the start of the song just makes me melt. “Dreamer” has racked up almost 600k views but it’s HISTORY’s follow tracks that have sealed their spot on this list. “Tell Me Love” released in August has 2.5mil views! Not only that but we got to see a completely different side of HISTORY. With a techno beat cut into the song and a much more upbeat sound “Tell Me Love” was a great comeback. But they couldn’t stop there. In November HISTORY made their second comeback with “What Am I To You“. And to make this even more amazing, this video has almost achieved the same amount of views as “Tell Me Love” which was released 3 months prior! Going for the bad boy image this time around HISTORY reinvent themselves once more! I look forward to see what they will do for their next comeback!
#1 BTS – No More Dream
I have a feeling out of this whole list I may just get the least argument for my choice for number 1. BTS or Bangtam Boys have to be some of the hardest working rookies this year. Releasing not one, not two but four music videos over the course of 2013. Starring in their own television show “Rookie King: Bangtam“, uploading numerous videos of behind the scene footage onto their YouTube channel and also doing a video blog for their fans has to have kept the 7 boys of BTS on their toes. But for all that they seem to be thriving under the hectic schedule. Their debut music video back in June, “No More Dream”, was perfect. Show casing all their skills including their sweet dance abilities, individually and as a group. The lyrics of the song actually have a pretty deep meaning and them, the set, the boys all matched to make the trifecta for an amazing debut. But they weren’t satisfied with just doing this for their debut. They decided to make their comeback “We Are Bulletproof Pt2” just as stupefying. Keeping it simple this time, with just an indoor set they showed off just how hard they can go. Keeping the lyrics to this second song just as real as their debut and sticking to their guns on a style that they are making all their own. You would think that would be enough to cement your place as the best rookie for the year but BTS never do anything halfway. Releasing not only another comeback track but a concept trailer as well BTS made a second comeback in September. The only word I can think to describe the concept trailer is “sick“. They move in such perfect coordination and are so sharp with their moves it amazes me every time I watch it. “N.O” once again had lyrics that were deep and took a hit at the way society has parents treating their kids education. Though we didn’t get music video’s for the song’s BTS also performed “Attack on Bangtam” and “Satoori Rap” on some music programs and did upload practice videos for both. Winning and being nominated for numerous awards at the end of the year shows BTS clinched their spot of first on this list!
Now I’m sure I’ve missed someone, and I probably don’t have this list in the right order for anyone else but myself, but it is just my opinion. Please feel free to comment and discuss my choices, agree or disagree. I have one more article for this series and that will be on the rookies who almost or should have done better! Watch out for it!
Article by: Angelspatience
MORE RELATED ARTICLES