Time for something a little different! This month's battle is gonna take you back to the past to find some GG hits that kick ass. We're starting off in the first half of 2010, the beginning of the just-passed decade, when the world—and the K-pop world—was a very different place. If you're an older fan, it's time for a trip down nostalgia lane... and if you're a newer fan, here's your chance to discover some new old favorites. Which girl group release will stand the test of time?
2NE1 - FOLLOW ME
Rookie group 2NE1 dropped "Follow Me" in February without any prior announcement, and due to the song's popularity it received an MV in March. While it was originally created to promote a cell phone, it has all the high production quality and crazy fashions that YG Entertainment is known for, and would later be included on the group's first full-length album. Combining electro-pop and hip-hop elements with a healthy dose of Auto-Tune, it's a song that will get stuck in your head, for better or for worse.
lovelyable: yg certainly isn't following any kpop trends right now, which is both hilarious and awesome.
jyusou: It's so crazy and whack (stormtroopers!), I love it! Hate the song, love the vid 8D.
4MINUTE - HUH (HIT YOUR HEART)
Another rookie group that garnered lots of buzz, 4Minute released "HuH" in May 2010, just before their one-year anniversary. Its thumping, synth-driven pop sound shows some clear Pussycat Dolls influence. Pure early-2010s goodness. Hyuna was still clearly the face of the group, but the other members were given a bit more time to shine compared to their previous releases.
choconoir: i wasn't impressed by the song itself, but the mv was so fierce i love it *___*
jyurian21: I freaking love it! and the lyrics are all about "GTFO THIS IS MY LIFE AND I DO WHAT I WANT WITH IT" I LOVE IT SFM
AFTER SCHOOL - BANG!
After School are mainly known for two things: their constantly changing lineup, and the way they took their comebacks to the next level by learning new skills. For this March 2010 comeback, the new member was Lizzy, and the new skill was marching-band-style drumming. The group trained for five months for this Drumline-inspired concept. Their hard work paid off; "Bang" quickly became one of After School's signature hits.
luna301: It's so high energy and they really got the marching band sound to come through. Love the beat.
frequency: i like the vid, but it's not saving the song for me, haha.
FOXY - WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME
There's not much info out there about the short-lived duo of Foxy, but they made some headlines with this March 2010 release due to the sexual content of the MV. It seems pretty tame by modern standards, but it was enough to get the video banned on SBS, KBS, and MBC due to showing skinship and "promoting sexual relations." While it's clear they weren't working with a huge budget, the song is pretty standard synth-pop fare for the day and it could be a decent B-side for a more famous group.
gekkonorondo: It's not like... academy award winning or anything, but it's already stuck in my head.
aures: lookin' hot like this, dnw change
F(X) - NU ABO
In May 2010, f(x) finally released their first mini album, with the eccentric "Nu Abo" as the title track. The lyrics refer to blood type: f(x) are just so special and mysterious (mysteric~) that they can't be categorized as A, B, or O. And the song itself is just as unique; it's built around crashing synth-waves, a slow, pounding beat, and a crowd cheering in the background. The only standard thing about it is the MV, a textbook example of SM's style from the fashion to the sets to the choreo.
kneekalies: Love this concept and video. The choreography makes the song 10 times better.
jasmineakaiumi: I liked the "mystery, mystery" part of the choreography but in general .. underwhelmed :/
GIRLS' GENERATION - OH! & RUN DEVIL RUN
By 2010, SNSD had already proven their place in the upper echelons of K-pop stardom. They started off the new decade with January's "Oh!", a continuation of their catchy discography and overall cute image. But it's not just another cutesy song; it's rather interesting musically, with some unexpected twists and turns and a videogame-like synth backdrop. The music video leans into the colorful cuteness with a cheerleader theme that suits SNSD's leggy beauties perfectly.
duriancake: the ending is really intriguing... next concept, maybe? looking forward to it!
cairistiona: Sunny and Hyoyeon and Sooyoung and Tiffany and...omg they're all so gorgeous in this.
As many predicted, the teaser at the end of "Oh!" led up to an SNSD comeback with a totally different image. March's "Run Devil Run" marked the group's first foray into a more dark, mature concept. The song was written and originally recorded by Kesha, but SNSD made it their own and included it as the lead single for their repackaged album. The MV is a classic example of SM's "dance in a box" style.
shopaholism: like the song, I love this. they look good. huge upgrade from oh.
lovemydanger: i love the song (i prefer kesha's version) but the mv is a little boring =S
KARA - LUPIN
In Februray 2010, Kara took it high-concept with a single based on a famous literary character by early 20th-century writer Maurice Leblanc. With a more mature image compared to their previous releases, "Lupin" is a fast-paced, thumping synth-pop tune that contrasts dark-sounding verses with a brighter chorus. Kara were already known for their iconic point choreo, and this single answered fans' expectations with the "emergency exit dance."
lilykt7: probably one of the the best new songs from an idol group this year.
lydzi: Cool beans and if it's combined with a kickass choreo, it can really top the charts.
MISS A - BAD GIRL, GOOD GIRL
Ah, the excitement of a new JYP girl group debut. You may have experienced it in 2019 with Itzy, or in 2015 with Twice. Well, in 2010 it was Miss A that burst onto the K-pop scene at the end of June with the maddeningly earwormy "Bad Girl, Good Girl". The group was branded as the "Chinese Wonder Girls" due to having 2 Chinese and 2 Korean members. Their debut song, with its simple, memorable hooks and choreography, was an instant #1 hit and remains one of the most iconic girl group songs to this day.
cinho: You don't know me, so shut up boy! lol this is already stuck in my head.
xcherryblossomx: Is it just me or... Is there no weak link in this group? They are all pretty, they can sing and they can dance!!
ORANGE CARAMEL - MAGIC GIRL
While After School were known for their fierce, grown-up image, their first subunit went for something completely different. Members Nana, Raina, and Lizzy showed off their cute n' quirky side in Orange Caramel's June 2010 debut "Magic Girl". The song combines trot, J-pop, and electropop influences with a heaping helping of aegyo (down to the members' affectedly cutesy voices.) It was a polarizing release, but the album did extremely well commercially and is well-remembered to this day.
mayuyu: It sounds like ~disco trot~ I love it so much I have been waiting for a super cutesy concept again <3
juhli: i dislike everything but the hair.
SECRET - MAGIC
Yes, it sounds like they're saying "mazic". According to Secret, it's actually a combination of the words "magic" and "music". Now that that's out of the way: Rookie girl group Secret made their first comeback in March 2010, leaving behind the pop-meets-hiphop sound of their debut for a more grown-up and funky sound. The MV is simple and fully focused on the choreo and the members' healthy visuals. The song was much more successful than their debut, peaking at #2 on the Gaon chart.
bbgroove: I actually like the song a lot lol (^_^) girls deff changed it up for the better
absentspectator: The video wasn't intriguing but the song was enjoyable. I like that there was no autotune.
SISTAR - PUSH PUSH
Sistar built up a lot of buzz prior to their debut through commercial activities and vocalist Hyolyn's unique voice. They finally debuted in June with "Push Push", produced by the famous Brave Brothers. It has everything you'd expect from a 2010 girl group track: a pumping beat, simple, repetitive hooks, and plenty of Auto-Tune. It was a decent start, charting at #9, but Sistar would later go on to much greater success.
ginger_star: The song is okay... I think I'll have to listen to it a few more times to really like it. Video was cute.
pretzel_knot: meh not feeling it at all. they need some time to grow into their own style.
T-ARA - YOU DRIVE ME CRAZY & I'M IN PAIN
[ WARNING: strobing lights and lots of fast cuts in the above M/V ]
With a title like "You Drive Me Crazy", it's no wonder that T-ara's February 2010 comeback drew comparisons to Britney. The sound is similar to Spears' work in the late 2000s, with a pounding electronic Auto-Tuned sound and a catchy, repetitive hook. As for the MV... it seems designed to be aggressively unwatchable with all those fast cuts and flashing lights. If you're sensitive to that, you may wish to check out a live performance instead. The song was a #1 hit on Gaon.
youngwoonie: Love the song, love the energy, love the concept, but hate the editing.
scrambledtoast: Girls look gorgeous, but I got so dizzy because of the MV. O_O
"You Drive Me Crazy" was followed up in March with "I'm in Pain", a more relaxed song and M/V that's still danceable. While the dizzying cuts are mostly gone, their company instead made the strange decision to release multiple versions of the same video, labeling them as "part 1", "part 2", and "part 3". They're almost exactly the same, except they use different footage. Oh, MBK (then known as CCM). The song was not as successful as their previous hit, peaking at #31 on Gaon.
erbalurbal: They could have made one good video instead of 3 mediocre edits
onerainysunday: the chorus is quite catchy but what's up with the i want to strangle myself with my tie move
T-ARA, DAVICHI, & SEEYA - WONDER WOMAN
To start off the new decade, each of CCM's all-female acts (well, except the T-ara members that weren't Hyomin and Eunjung) collaborated on this January 2010 single, "Wonder Woman". It's a retro-sounding trot single with a simple, dance-focused M/V. While it peaked at a respectable #6 on Gaon, it was soon overshadowed by other releases.
girlknees: as much as i dislike the instrumentals for this, i'm loving the song. the lyrics are so fun! i wish there were more girl power!songs like this
evil_zucchini: It's not my cup of tea but their voices are really strong! I'm impressed! :)
WONDER GIRLS - 2 DIFFERENT TEARS
2010 was a year of many changes for the Wonder Girls. In January, they were in the midst of their massive international campaign when Sunmi announced her departure from the group. She was replaced by Lim, a JYP trainee who would have otherwise debuted in Miss A. Through these changes, the Wonder Girls remained strong, releasing the EP "2 Different Tears" in May. The title track was released in Korean, Chinese, and English simultaneously. Continuing their retro-disco sound, it was another #1 hit for the group.
yumi_maki: I really like the dance. I love how cheesy the MV is - it's fun.
pikapika217: LOL JYP! I LOVE that he never takes himself to seriously and is always the butt of the joke with the WGs. It's cute of him.
Special thanks to all past and present Omonians whose quotes were featured here! Sorry if seeing your 10-year-old comments makes you cringe... but I filtered out most of the poorly-aged stuff. Browse those old entries at your own risk. :)
[Choose your winner...]
So, now that you've seen the contenders...
CHOOSE YOUR WINNER!
T-ara, Davichi, Seeya
Source: YouTube: YG ENTERTAINMENT, 4Minute 포미닛(Official YouTube Channel), AfterSchoolCraze (1, 2), 1theK (1, 2, 3), SMTOWN (1, 2, 3), DSPmedia, missA, TSENT2008, starshipTV, MBK Entertainment [Official], wondergirls; GIF: Tumblr: kwonyuri
Omona, which of these songs do you remember and which are new discoveries? Have your opinions on the songs changed over the years? And what do you miss about this era of K-pop?
For more throwback goodness, check out waves_of_light's Flashback Fridays and aures' Gone but Not Forgotten!