K-Pop Conversion Step 7: The Essential Gents
The K-Pop community continues to grow, reaching as far as the other side of the world. With more acts breaking into the Western music scene, audiences are increasingly becoming aware of K-Pop and are rapidly showing interest. Time and time again, this specific formula for dragging others into the hype of the Hallyu Wave has proven totally successful. This week we will take a look at some of the songs by boy groups that are absolutely essential to know when immersing yourself fully into the Hallyu Wave.
“Replay” - SHINee
Admittedly, it was incredibly difficult to choose just one song from SHINee to include on this list, since there are so many iconic releases from them. But ultimately, it’s almost impossible to tread through the K-Pop world without hearing “Replay” along with everyone in the room screaming the iconic “noonan neomu yeppeoseo” from Jonghyun’s opening line. Despite being the debut track, “Replay” still holds a lot of merit and has become a K-Pop classic.
“Haru Haru” - BIGBANG
“Haru Haru” released back in the early days of BIGBANG 10 years ago. Probably the most well-known classic from the group, “Haru Haru” is a dance track iconic enough that the group still performs it on tour. I attended their 2015 U.S. tour and one of the most surreal and touching experiences I’ve had to this day was the massive crowd belting out the iconic lyrics to “Haru Haru” along with the members, sometimes even serenading them instead of being serenaded. There’s no question that this track holds an incredible amount of emotion not only for BIGBANG, but for fans of K-Pop as well.
“Call Me Baby” - EXO
I may be slightly biased since this song in particular is what got me dragged down into the K-Pop life; however, EXO’s “Call Me Baby” still reigns as one of the best releases from the group to date, with a catchy tune, stunning choreography, and the participation of Chinese members Lay and Tao (am I China line biased? Maybe so). Still, to this day I haven’t met a person who doesn’t like this track or who doesn’t end up bopping to it without realization. EXO has had some great releases since, but nothing has lived up to the hype of “Call Me Baby.”
“Just Right” - GOT7
GOT7 finally broke through their lack of notoriety and attention in 2015 with the release of “Just Right,” potentially the purest and most wholesome release, well, ever. The cute, catchy song promotes the idea of self-love and acceptance, and the soft, warm demeanor of these cute boys makes the heart warm and fuzzy. Before this release, GOT7 was often overshadowed by more well-known groups, especially in Korea. “Just Right” gained a lot of international attention and arguably started their popularity in Korea and the rest of the world. Some days we could all use a cute, positive song telling us we’re perfect the way we are, and GOT7 came to deliver that!
“Mansae” - SEVENTEEN
It didn’t take SEVENTEEN long to prove their talents and gain an insane amount of popularity. “Mansae” was the first comeback of the group after their debut “Adore U,” using the popular schoolboy concept that every boy group covers at one point or another. But what is it about “Mansae” that seemed to solidify SEVENTEEN’s position at the top-tier of boy groups? For one, the track is groovy and addicting and doesn’t lose its novelty with time. Add that on top of a group of 13 super talented members with unique choreography and units that specialize in vocal, rap, and performance, and you’ve got a perfect formula.