The year of 2018 has been filled with hard-hitting comebacks by artists and an expansion of K-pop in the global music scene. To wrap up the year, we asked each of our writers in the Officially Kmusic team what their favourite comebacks from this year are. Check it out below!
When GOT7 made their first comeback of the year with ‘Look‘ on March 12th, it did not meet many fans’ expectations. However, they soon proved themselves with the release of ‘Lullaby‘ on September 17th and its corresponding album ‘Present: YOU‘.
‘Lullaby‘ is an upbeat song that has EDM vibes. The introductory instrumentals are extremely catchy and will make listeners perk up in their seats. The MV is full of abstract settings and bright colours, which make for a happy atmosphere. For example, Jinyoung is in a flying bright blue car while Yugyeom is in an empty train station. Straight from the get-go, Jackson and Mark‘s raps will immediately captivate you. Each member is wearing a different coloured outfit; they have gone for pastel colours in this comeback. As usual, JB, Youngjae and Jinyoung‘s vocals continue to impress. The choreography of ‘Lullaby‘ has also become iconic. The first bits match the lyrics of the song, and the last part involves running on the spot which is really fun to execute.
At the 2018 Mnet Asian Music Awards in Hong Kong, GOT7 performed special versions of ‘Lullaby‘, which fans had been highly anticipating. This song is bright and bubbly, but these dark twists on the song definitely showed a different side of the group. They even changed up the choreography. Check it out below!
Pentagon gained a lot of attention this year when they released ‘Shine‘ on April 2nd. The addictive piano melody at the beginning of the song caught the ears of all the listeners. People also found E-Dawn pretending to play this melody very adorable. This melody is carried out throughout the whole song, which makes the atmosphere of the song very bright and cheerful. ‘Shine‘ is a feel-good song that could cheer anyone up. Not only is the choreography fun to dance to, but the vocals in this song will also impress the audience. Furthermore, the last chorus is especially adorable. Yanan exclaims “my baby” and the members also engage in some aegyo within the choreography.
‘Shine‘ is definitely one of Pentagon‘s best releases to date, and they took the world by storm with this song. Since its release, many people have taken the effort to learn this choreography and covered the song. The MV now has over 100 million views, which is very well-deserved.
Stray Kids’ ‘My Pace’:
2018 was a huge year for rookie JYP group Stray Kids – not only was it the year of their highly anticipated debut, but it was also the year that they achieved international fame and success!
‘My Pace‘ was the group’s first comeback since their debut in March this year. It is the title track of mini album ‘I am Who‘. ‘My Pace‘ is an upbeat song that will definitely energise you with its powerful beats, lightning-speed rap and fun choreography. The group are going for a sporty and athletic concept in this colourful MV. The members are wearing sports gear and running about throughout the MV. ‘My Pace‘ starts with a catchy melody that is sang by Changbin. Fans may find this rap comical upon first listen, but it will soon become addictive! Furthermore, their fun choreography matches well with their stamina. ‘My Pace‘ is the perfect song when you want to get energised.
‘My Pace‘ also showed Stray Kids’ different colours as it was a huge contrast from their debut song ‘District 9‘. While ‘District 9‘ was darker and edgier, ‘My Pace‘ was more light-hearted and fun. This comeback showed that the group are able to conquer all kinds of concepts – it definitely shows their musical versatility.
Now, the MV has over 50 million views, making Stray Kids one of the hottest debuts of 2018. Even though they only debuted nine months ago, they already have a huge following. We can’t wait to see what they have in store for us for next year!
BTS with intense ‘Idol’:
BTS returned with the highly anticipated ‘LOVE YOURSELF: Answer’, the final album in the ‘LOVE YOURSELF’ series. The album came three months after ‘LOVE YOURSELF: Tear’, their third studio album. ‘Idol’ was released on August 24th.
Their title track, ‘Idol’, is full of energy and has a strong party vibe. It’s catchy and, although some may have to listen to it a few times to wrap their heads – and ears – around it, BTS have made a popular track and left their own stamp on it. It incorporates “gqom”, a style of house music originating in South Africa, “gakgung”, the Korean horn-blow, and electronica. It also includes various styles such as pop, K-pop, and contemporary R&B.
Within the first 24 hours of release it gained over 45 million views, breaking Blackpink’s record for the most viewed K-pop group MV in 24 hours, ‘Ddu-Du Ddu-Du’, and Taylor Swift’s ‘Look What You Made Me Do’.
After its release, the track inspired an internet dance challenge, the “Idol Challenge”, where people would dance to the chorus, trying out the choreography.
On September 6th, a second MV was released with Nicki Minaj, with additional scenes and some clips of the “Idol Challenge” from fans.
Monsta X with explosive ‘Shoot Out’:
Monsta X returned with their second full-length album, ‘Are You There’, just seven months after releasing ‘The Connect’, featuring the dark and dynamic title track ‘Shoot Out’. The group had been busy with promoting their world tour and in Japan since ‘Jealousy’.
‘Shoot Out’ was composed by Daniel Kim, STEREO14, and Ti, and written by Seo Ji Eum and I.M. The MV features intense choreography and a dark concept to match the fusion elements of the song, depicting frustration from loss and agitation, while searching for redemption. The rapping ultimately stole the show, but the vocals gave a nice, smooth contrast.
The members portray the seven deadly sins in the MV. What sin do you think each member portrays?
Kihyun – Wrath – cute mother hamster who tends to nag the other members
Wonho – Lust – sexy bunny who often rips his shirt off on stage
Jooheon – Pride – proud bee who always wants to do his best
Hyungwon – Sloth – sleepy turtle, what else?!
Minhyuk – Greed – loud puppy who is very talkative
Shownu – Gluttony – hungry bear who loves his food
I.M – Envy – the envious wolf who was lonely during the ‘No Mercy’ days
‘Are You There?’ was released on October 22nd.
- INTRO: ARE YOU THERE?
- Shoot Out
- Heart Attack
- I Do Love You
- What are you doing (MOHAE)
- Oh My!
- By My Side
- SPOTLIGHT (Korean Version)
Monsta X also made history as the first K-pop act to headline iHeartRadio’s Jingle Ball on November 30th.
Day6’s ‘Shoot Me: Youth Part 1’:
‘Shoot Me’ is the title track of part 1 in DAY6’s ‘Youth’ series. The song showcases the DAY6 member’s vocals with their voices matching extremely well the song’s atmosphere and the overall concept. The ‘Shoot Me’ concept is not uncommon yet it is one that DAY6 conveyed very well. Like some of their previous tracks, DAY6 took on a darker image with their fierce visuals and strong lyrics for the song. What was impressive though, was how well-rounded the album was.
The title track ‘Shoot Me’ is fierce and strong yet their side tracks were able to show what a versatile band they are. ‘Warning’ displayed a similar mood to ‘Shoot Me’ although it was more upbeat. ‘Feeling Good’ and ‘혼잣말‘ just like it’s title are both upbeat and make listeners feel good. They are tracks that get you feeling excited in a special way only DAY6 can. The other two tracks ‘어쩌다보니‘ (‘Somehow’) and ‘원하니까‘ (‘Still’) give off a completely different feel to ‘Shoot Me’. Both are very emotional and are the type of ballads that are totally ‘DAY6 style’. They are emotional but still get listeners grooving to the soft beats and singing along.
Every song has their own deeper meaning that is extremely relatable making this album even more special. DAY6 really showed off their amazing musical talent through ‘Shoot Me: Youth part 1’ and excelled themselves, with all tracks on the album being title-worthy! As many people know, DAY6 are highly involved in all of their tracks, making their music even more personal to them and impressive. No wonder DAY6 are known for the quality of their music!
Mamamoo’s ‘Yellow Flower’:
Released earlier in March this year, ‘Yellow Flower’ by MAMAMOO really wowed with all songs in the album! The title track ‘Starry Night’ is one filled with MAMAMOO‘s unique charms. ‘Yellow Flower‘ encompasses the group’s music quality and vocals, painting their own colour in the K-pop scene. ‘Starry Night’ is a sexy, slightly fierce yet smooth song, all qualities that MAMAMOO delivered perfectly. From their cowboy-like styling uncommon in the K-pop scene to the unique dance moves, MAMAMOO showed once again their ability to pull off any concept.
‘Starry Night’ was impressive because it was a concept that MAMAMOO really pulled off. It is also not common for girl groups to take on such a concept, making this something fresh and intriguing! The album consists of seven tracks including the intro and all are so worthy to listen to. With more slower ballads to groovy R&B, MAMAMOO really don’t disappoint. ‘From Winter to Spring’ is the intro leading to ‘Star Wind Flower Sun’ which is a slow and very emotional ballad. The MAMAMOO members really sing with their hearts in this song and listeners just feel their heart wrench with their soft vocals. Having a similar atmosphere to ‘Starry Night’ yet different is Hwasa’s solo ‘Be Calm’. Slower and having more sexy sounds, ‘Be Calm‘ is sure to get you feeling it! ‘Rude Boy’ has the same sexy atmosphere yet has a slightly more classy feel to it. This style of R&B has become majorly popular and MAMAMOO really nailed it! ‘Spring Fever’ is a groovy medium tempo ballad whilst ‘Paint Me’ has more dramatic sounds and is very emotional.
MAMAMOO really pull off every song in the album despite the different feels each songs gives off! Each song on the album is a great song to listen to and it’s even better that the members were involved in the making of the album!
Sam Kim ‘Sun and Moon’:
‘Sun and Moon’ is Sam’s second EP album with a total of eight tracks. The title song is the same title as the album ‘Sun and Moon’. Without a specific concept, this album showed off Sam’s colours and growth as a singer-songwriter with his involvement in all tracks. Unofficially debuting in season three of ‘K-pop Star‘, Sam has received lots of praise for his outstanding guitar skills and soulful voice despite his young age!
The title track ‘Sun and Moon’ is an emotional ballad that has some groovy beats to it. Sam’s voice is strong and hopeful in the song and the music video is beautiful. The song conveys emotions that would probably not be expected from a 20 year old! The second track is ‘It’s You’ featuring Zico and this song is playful with a hint of innocence. It is upbeat and sweet, making it completely different from ‘Sun and Moon’. It is a feel good song that can be listened to at any time. The third track is ‘Make Up’ featuring Crush and this song is stronger with its R&B sounds. The song is very groovy and somewhat sexy with Sam’s airy voice and Crush’s sexy vocals. ‘Sunny Days, Summer Nights’ is one of the calmest tracks on the album. Sam’s soft voice gives off the feeling of it being a lazy, warm summer night. The trumpet sounds also give the song a slight sense of retro-ness to it! ‘The One’ is a soft yet at times fiercer track, ‘Would You Believe’ is very slow and has slight jazzy feels to it making it seem like a soulful 80’s song. ‘The Weight’ is a ballad that is extremely deep, with many probably being able to relate to it. The last track ‘If‘ is soft and calming. The acoustic sounds and Sam’s gentle voice puts listener’s at ease.
‘Sun and Moon’ is a perfect album. It is also an album that would suit a large audience with it’s variety of high quality tracks. Sam is an extremely talented artist and through ‘Sun and Moon’ he was really able to show his own colours and his growth throughout the years! ‘Sun and Moon’ is an album everyone needs to listen to at least once in their lives!
To mention one of the most impressive comebacks of the year, one must be Mino’s solo debut! Mino from WINNER has showed off his talent since the YG survival show ‘WIN‘, ‘Show Me The Money 3; and various variety shows. In 2018, Mino finally got to release his own solo album ‘XX’ with the title track ‘Fiancé’.
‘Fiancé‘ is composed and written by Mino himself, as well as all the other tracks in the album. What’s different from the rest of them is that the song is not merely a hiphop single, as it is blended with traditional trot music, which not many artists have ever done before.
Through ‘Fiancé‘, Mino shows his irresistible desire towards the woman he loves, as he sings “Wherever you are, I will come and find you“. By layering the song with an iconic verse from ‘Soyanggang Maiden’ which was sang by Kim Taehee in 1969, the song lures and tells more to listeners about the story Mino wants to display. The uncommon combination of trot music and hiphop makes the whole song fresh to the ears. With Mino’s cleverness in remixing skills, the addictive song makes listeners keep pressing the replay button. This is why ‘Fiancé‘ is a song that everyone praises.
Apart from the music, the choreography is also the highlight of Mino’s comeback. According to Mino, it is the first time for him to dance to strong music like ‘Fiancé‘. He also self-directed the stage design for music shows. Innercircles surely enjoyed a lot from his stage performances.
Do you agree with our choices? What are your favourite comebacks of 2018? Let us know in the comments below.
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Written by Lindsay, Vicky, Karen, Janelle
Edited by Lindsay