Welcome to The Kraze’s weekly column, Throwback Thursday! What is Throwback Thursday, you may ask? The Kraze is throwing it back to great releases from different artists and groups each week, giving some fans a trip down memory lane while simultaneously introducing newer K-Pop fans to hit songs and artists they may have never heard of before!
This week’s Throwback Thursday spotlight is all about the boy groups in K-Pop. We will be throwing it back to some of SM Entertainment’s earlier boy groups: DBSK (now known as TVXQ), Super Junior, and SHINee. While all three boy groups have many songs to choose from, this week features songs from early on in their careers. Get ready to take a trip back in time as we look at songs from TVXQ, Super Junior, and SHINee!
“Balloons” - DBSK/TVXQ
Before being known as two separate groups, JYJ and TVXQ, the latter group, better known as DBSK, was a five-membered idol boy band from SM Entertainment. While they are not the first idol group to debut from the entertainment company, they were the start of a new era for the second generation of K-Pop. DBSK consisted of members U-Know Yunho, Micky Yoochun, Hero Jaejoong, Xiah Junsu, and Max Changmin. In 2010, the members split due to contract disagreements, with Changmin and Yunho continuing on as TVXQ, and Jaejoong, Yoochun, and Junsu becoming JYJ.
“Balloons” was released in 2006 and is considered one of DBSK’s more light-hearted songs. While DBSK is more known for their masculine and dance-heavy songs, “Balloons” is the epitome of an aegyo-filled track, and one of the group’s most sickeningly-cute releases to date. The song itself is bright and happy, with an addicting chorus that is surely going to get stuck in your head. The music video is just as equally bright and happy, featuring the members dressed up in brightly colored outfits (a stark contrast to their more recent releases) and animal costumes. Needless to say, DBSK has come a long way, putting this concept behind them, but “Balloons” will remain a K-Pop classic, with groups like ASTRO covering the song!
“Happiness” - Super Junior
Not long after TVXQ came the debut of Super Junior! Super Junior debuted in 2005, originally with 13 members. At this time, this was the first K-Pop idol band that consisted of a long lineup of members. Hankyung and Kibum, however, have since departed from the group and are pursuing their own respective careers. “Happiness” is a remake of a song from first generation K-Pop group, H.O.T., with Super Junior delivering their own rendition of the song. Released in 2007, Super Junior’s version of the song is not much different but, at the time, catered to the trending sounds in music, making it more of a pop song. The music video itself is filled with bright colors, with the Super Junior members up to their usual silly antics. What makes this specific release from Super Junior quite special is that it features the idol group interacting with fans in a guerrilla hug event. “Happiness” will surely bring happiness to listeners.
“누난 너무 예뻐 (Replay)” - SHINee
“Replay” is the song that started it all for SHINee. Bringing in a new wave of K-Pop fans, SHINee was the next boy group to debut from SM Entertainment following TVXQ and Super Junior. “Replay” was this iconic boy group’s debut song. Like the previous songs listed on this week’s Throwback Thursday, it showcases some of SMTOWN’s early legendary boy group releases.“Replay” is definitely one for the books, as it highlights baby-faced SHINee members and their monster-rookie talent. Through this, the bar for K-Pop was set even higher for groups to come, with rising expectations in choreography and more detailed concepts. “Replay” is a reminder to all K-Pop fans to go back to their favorite group’s roots, hopefully to see where all it began for some of these idols!
This concludes this week’s Throwback Thursday! There are still many more groups and songs to cover, so stay tuned for next week’s Throwback Thursday. You may see your favorite artist and song next week!