Somewhere Over the K-Pop Rainbow
K-Pop music is a spectrum. From mind-blowing, dreamy ballads to bass-blasting hip-hop, K-Pop is a fascinating genre because it takes the best elements of music from all around the world and blends them together into a fun, new sound.
In the wake of immense sadness within the K-Pop community, it’s important to remember that after even the hardest rain, a rainbow can appear—which got us thinking: could K-Pop be considered on a color spectrum too? Here are some of the most colorful songs in K-Pop.
“Red Flavor” - Red Velvet
As cheery, fun, and sexy as a cherry, Red Velvet’s “Red Flavor” was a summertime splash hit single that dominated 2017. It was also Red Velvet’s fifth single to sell over a million copies and charted in the Philippines, Japan, and the U.S. The song features a funky, glitching vocal that chants in between verses to create a fun duality between the girls’ high, lilting voices and its low, repetitive sound. “Red Flavor” is a mood-brightening track with cutesy choreography, and most importantly it’s nearly impossible to get out of your head after the first listen.
“Catallena” - Orange Caramel
Orange comes in the form of girl group Orange Caramel and their single, “Catallena.” The track takes inspiration from the Indian Punjabi wedding song “Jutti Meri Jandiye” and weaves it together alongside peppy disco to create a refreshing, positive, and addictive track. “Catallena” is a song that is unafraid to stand out, most obviously seen in its eclectic music video, which has the members as pre-packaged mermaids and different types of sushi. The video’s quirkiness immediately caught the attention of viewers all over the world; in just one day, the music video for “Catallena” had accumulated over one million views.
“Yellow” - Minje
Minje is an artist who deserves more recognition. Released in March 2017, the music video above is a combination video of his two songs, “Yellow” and “Welcome Lover,” from his Welcome Lover mini-album. Dreamy, plush, and gorgeous, the two tracks are songs that you could drift away listening to. The tracks complement each other well; one is very experimental and melodic, and the other has a calming, almost shoegaze sound. If you’re a fan of western experimental bands that dabble in dreamy sounds like The 1975, then Minje is an artist you need to check out.
“Green Light” - Girls’ Generation
Beep Beep! Girls’ Generation’s “Green Light” is a hidden gem amongst a group of star-studded singles on the group’s fifth album Lion Heart. If you were a fan of the group’s comeback “Party” from the same album, then this song is not to miss. “Green Light” is a bubblegum pop song with a catchy chorus and Katy Perry “T.G.I.F” vibe to it. While it’s not a song that has a lot of depth, it’s easy to enjoy “Green Light” for what it is: a carefree, upbeat party song to blast in the car as you drive around with friends.
“BLUE” - BIGBANG
The first comeback single from their Alive EP, “BLUE” by BIGBANG hardly needs an introduction. This song is K-Pop royalty; it’s sold over 3.5 million copies since its release in 2012 and has accumulated over 110 million views on YouTube. It’s easy to see why it is so successful—with songwriting by Teddy and G-DRAGON, “BLUE” is a heavily melodic up-tempo track that deals with the blue feelings associated with a bad breakup. “BLUE” was also BIGBANG’s first time achieving a perfect all-kill—meaning that the single charted number one on all Korean music charts and also attained number one on the Instiz weekly charts. “BLUE” wouldn’t be BIGBANG’s last all-kill comeback, which shows just how legendary BIGBANG is!
“Purple Line” - TVXQ
A throwback for the ages, TVXQ’s “Purple Line” was originally released as the group’s 16th Japanese single and re-released in Korean less than a month later. “Purple Line” was produced by Lee Sooman and was also the first time a foreign male group reached the number one position on the Japanese Oricon weekly charts. According to the members on their radio program Bigeast Station, the “purple line” refers to the thin rays of sunlight seen at the end of a sunset. The song has an early 2000s sound, and to this day still feels like something that could be heard in a club.