K-Pop Conversion Final Step: Best of 2018
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. We’ve reached the end of our conversion series, and are focusing on just a few the best releases so far this year!
“Shine” - PENTAGON
The day that we shut up about how much we love PENTAGON’s “Shine” is the day hell freezes over. While the song sounds strangely plain in the first few seconds, it takes only a single listen of the chorus to get completely hooked for life. I’ve heard people complain that they can’t get it out of their head after having played it only once, and thus their obsession continues to grow. “Shine” is the song that finally brought PENTAGON some of the recognition they deserve, being their first track to even make it onto the MelOn charts. With a flawlessly executed cute concept and super catchy beat, it’s impossible not to fall in love with this release.
“Boss” - NCT U
The whole of NCT has been absolutely on fire in 2018, with release after release by different sub-units and even an appearance by the full lineup for the very first time. “Boss” kicked off the endless stream of quality music from the group, with two members finally debuting from the final batch of SM trainees revealed up to that point: Jungwoo and Lucas. The track is a fabulous balance of NCT’s strong vocal talent and catchy rapping, as well as impeccable dance skills (even if the choreography is a little strange). The badass concept was a perfect start to the NCT Olympics that followed for months.
“Fake Love” - BTS
Now, BTS is pretty self-explanatory in a sense, since nearly every one of their releases goes viral nowadays. But what makes “Fake Love” so great is the total contrast it portrays from previous release “DNA.” BTS is definitely in the top five list of groups notable for their execution of darker concepts, as they are incredibly well done, and after such a bright release it was nice to get that aspect of the group back in this title. In addition, Jin finally got a rather generous portion of the vocal lines, something that many fans have been advocating for forever (seriously, for as long as we can remember). It’s hard to deny the musical strength of “Fake Love” even from those not necessarily fans of BTS.
“Latata” - (G)I-DLE
(G)I-DLE may have had one of the strongest debuts we’ve ever witnessed. It seems that nowadays it’s exceptionally difficult, particularly for girl groups, to score much attention from the public amongst a pool of idol groups already overflowing with talent. It’s hard to completely articulate what it is about “Latata” that makes it so strong, but the easiest way to sum it up would be that it has that “it” factor. This element seems to be increasingly fleeting within the industry, so it’s a testament to the strength of the group in their ability to harness this phenomenon from the get-go.
“Get It” - PRISTIN V
PRISTIN’s first sub-unit made their debut just a few weeks ago but is already making a huge splash with their track “Get It.” The song is quite different from previous releases from the full group, but that’s what makes it stand out. “Get It” is much more hip-hop-influenced than most of PRISTIN’s discography thus far, and it has a darker theme to go along with it. The track definitely has a certain level of mass appeal, not to mention it is incredibly catchy, bringing more attention to this talented group of ladies.