KPop: A History?
August 25, 2012 12:51 PM   Subscribe

What are some good resources and musical groups for someone who would like to get into kpop?

I looked at the previous questions and they're mostly about music videos. I'm looking for more of a list of recommended bands from the perspective of Metafilter, as well as any good internet resources for analysis and context.
posted by winna to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Girl bands:
SNSD: the biggest music group in Asia, period. I've heard that comparatively, nothing is as popular in North America as SNSD is overall in East Asia and parts of Southeast Asia.
Wonder Girls: the old vanguard. 'Nobody', 'Like This'. Also famous for 'Tell Me', although I like SNSD's cover better.
T-Ara: they might be on their way out, given the recent bullying scandal, but they've got some classic super-catchy songs.
Miss A: 'Bad Girl, Good Girl' is a must.
KARA: just had a new song, aka a "comeback" -- 'Pandora'. My favourite song of theirs is 'STEP'.
Sistar: Loving U is a nice piece of summer pop. Alone also sticks out. Particularly popular internationally for the subgroup Sistar19, which released 'Ma Boy'.
Hello Venus: mostly interesting for their debut song and video, 'Venus'.

Boy bands
Big Bang: I don't know too much about them but they are certainly the most praised boy group by my friends.
TVXQ: great live performers.
Shinee: I like 'Sherlock'.


And I'll promote again: reddit's kpop subreddit.
posted by demagogue at 1:02 PM on August 25, 2012

Best answer: I found this primer on Super Junior pretty edifying, with the caveat that the focus is a bit more on fandom/fanfiction aspects than on music. Still, as far as context and analysis go, it's very helpful.
posted by kagredon at 2:06 PM on August 25, 2012

Best answer: Some popular girl groups not mentioned above:
2NE1: probably rivals SNSD in popularity; got a lot of overseas music press attention with "I Am the Best"
Brown Eyed Girls: best known for their hit "Abracadabra," they're a bit more mature than SNSD, and some of the members are also lyricists / songwriters
After School: they've gone through several member changes, as they have a system of "graduating" and "enrolling" members; my favorite track is "Because of You" which was when original leader Kahi and rapper Bekah were still in the lineup

Boy bands:
Big Bang: probably the most popular boy band in Korea right now, members G-Dragon and T.O.P. have also had a number of notable solo hits, as well as together as a duo; "Lies" was their breakthrough hit
SS501: they haven't performed together since 2010, although not officially disbanded, but in their heyday rivaled DBSK/TVXQ/Tohoshinki in popularity; songs to check out are "Deja Vu" and "U R Man" (actually from a 3-member SS501 sub-unit)

Sort of in the second tier of boy bands in terms of popularity, but which I like a lot are:
U-Kiss: "Manmanhani" was their big hit; I've found I prefer their Japanese releases, such as "Tick Tack"
Supernova/Choshinsung: they're more popular in Japan than Korea; I like "On Days That I Missed You (그리운날에)", they also had a joint track with T-Ara called "T.T.L. (Time to Love)"

A solo artist to pay attention to is Younha - she debuted in Japan (probably best known for "Houkiboshi") but has had a number of hits in Korea, such as "Password 486"; she is transitioning to being a singer-songwriter, and her latest album is in the pop-rock vein.

Dramabeans, while mostly focusing on k-drama, does have some thoughtful pieces on k-pop as well as good recommendations.

10 Asia is the most thoughtful site I have found discussing all aspects of Korean pop culture. Some of their content is available in English in the Korean Wave section.
posted by needled at 3:30 PM on August 25, 2012

Best answer: I really like Eat Your Kimchi's Music Monday feature. They review the most popular music/videos, and they also do round-up features on less popular music (for instance, indie k-pop). Part of what I like is that they put the music in a cultural context -- what other songs does this song reference? Does it partake in any trends? Does it reject any trends? What are people saying about it? Plus, they're just charming and funny and I love watching them.
posted by ourobouros at 12:59 PM on August 26, 2012

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