This was the year that the genre truly moved out of Asia and into America – here’s your guide to the best K-Pop from the past twelve months7 December 2017
Text Taylor Glasby
Outside of Asia, K-Pop has its legions of fans but they’ve long been on the periphery of pop culture, and virtually unknown to the wider media and general population. Flurries of interest from the West around groups like Girls’ Generation and Big Bang were short-lived, yet none of the artists in question seemed to actually mind, getting on with being ridiculously successful in their original market and content with their existing international audiences. 2017 seemed to herald a change in that pattern, thanks to factors that range from social media power to a new generational audience with a far more open-minded stance than their predecessors.
BTS led the charge, making appearances on some of America’s biggest shows, from the American Music Awards to Ellen (and charming the hosts to death in the process), but behind them, interest in K-Pop was widening, particularly around its male artists. Seventeen, VIXX, Monsta X, and EXO were just some who successfully toured their shows in the US, Europe and Australia, co-ed group KARD slayed in South America and the enormous two-day fan convention, K-Con, enlarged their audiences yet again, landing in Mexico City and Sydney for the first time. Next year will a pivotal one in K-Pop’s potential expansion – but let’s not digress from the 12 months at hand.
There were the usual disbandments, most notably Sistar and Wonder Girls, but there were a slew of debut acts that bolstered the year. For the boys, A.C.E shook things up with the hardstyle dance of “Cactus” and Highlight (the group formerly known as Beast before ditching a member and their label) made a welcome return to the charts with “Plz Don’t Be Sad”. In the ranks of the girl groups, Weki Meki landed a killer chorus on “I Don’t Like Your Girlfriend” and LOONA, who are debuting members one by one, had a stellar year with the sub-unit ODD EYE CIRCLE, plus great songs from members Kim Lip and Yves.
Other notables included HyunA’s “Babe”, SF9’s “Easy Love”, G-Dragon’s poignant piano ballad “Untitled”, a smooth groove from EXID on “Night Rather Than Day”, and emotive electronic bangers from Nu’est W’ (“Where You At”) and GOT7 (“Never Ever”).
Bearing in mind this list is for idol releases, limited to one song per group (or artist), and takes into consideration both song and MV (music video), let’s jump into 2017’s best K-Pop releases.( Collapse )Source: DAZEDWhat are your picks, Omona?