Some people say 2012 was a bad year in Kpop, others say it was better than 2011. I've seen better than both, but the problem doesn't lie in Kpop as the bubble, but in those who blow it. If big agencies don't change, Kpop as a total
mayhem phenomenon won't change as well.
There were some good things in 2012 music and some bad things. Anything fresh and outstanding?
Now, let me allow ramble a bit about that last question. I really don't understand fandom sometimes. When a group releases an album or single with similar sound, they complain that it's boring and the same. When a group releases something different, they complain it's something unfamiliar and weird for "their concept and feel". Get your sh*t together, fandom, or else groups stop experimenting, even within some narrow margin.
And no, Gangnam Style is NOT Kpop and doesn't represent the whole industry.
If you want to browse 2012 list get here and spend few (long) minutes going through all those irrelevant girl groups and Clone Wars.
I didn't include all Busker Busker and 10cm here, because all that indie crap sounds exactly the same for me and people praise it precisely because it's indie. For some "indie" automatically means great, spiritual music that opens 9th gates to enlightment. I also wrote a lot about music along the course of 2012, so it's trackable.
Songs below are not in chronological order and not in relevancy order either. All of them belong to one category though - I played them more than once, some I enjoyed and squeezed the juices... (OK, let's stop here), and some were nice for 2 weeks, but I enjoyed them nonetheless.
Big Bang returned, but the only songs I liked were Still Alive and Monster. With Taeyang winning all awards possible for "The Most Outrageous Haircut in our Galaxy". 2012 was a year of comebacks, so not only BB but INFINITE came back too with "Infinitize" which half of the fandom hated because the mini has already distinctive Woollim sound even in upbeat songs like The Chaser. Speaking of Woolliment, Nell also made a comeback, one with album, and by the end of the year with mini, I wrote a little about that, so let's get over with, OK? In the same post I wrote about Casker new album, so no links here.
Urban Zakapa released new album and I think I spazzed enough on this, so now, only single from it called Hate You to not get everyone dozing off.
SHINee also came back with "Sherlock" mini and they did what no one has done before - made one song out of two others, kind of hybrid song. And I wouldn't be myself if I didn't mention that Jonghyeon wrote lyrics to two songs being perfect that he is (Alarm Clock and Honesty, which put fandom in tears). Songs got crappy musical arrangement so this nuna is not pleased for butchering them so much.
TVXQ also made a comeback with studio album, but nothing worth mentioning. And since we're grilling SM artists, BoA came back too, but Queen disappointed me and I won't mention that.
LedApple had this nice song but then they went FT.Island/CNBlue (those two sound exactly the same so...) way and nothing pleased me.
K.Will returned as well, and I mentioned this song and MV some time ago.
Epic High returned under YG, and I can't think but it's just EH's legacy that followed and led people into their new album, because it's... pretty bland. Not usual EH from few years back, without those twists both in lyrics and music. I don't expect all albums being the same, but tamed EH is not the reality I wanted.
SuJu also returned with an album, being slightly different from the previous Mr. Crap, and of course fandom was divided over this. Fandom got even more divided when repackage was released and new single from it - SPY. OK, I admit - I love
Ryeowook Spy, I like the fresh feel, the concept, the wicked lyrics, different sound and "go kick in the butt go kick it" phrase. Yet fandom hates when SuJu remakes Sorry Sorry, and hates when SuJu makes different song. Stay bipolar, ELFs.
2AM released nice mini, remaining one of few groups that rely on vocal harmonies (bless them for that). Jo Kwon may be the weirdest creature on planet, but damn, he can sing!
Let's not talk about Junsu and Tarantallegra. I still love him, but this MV has to go.
Lee Seung Cheol returned as well with a nice, albeit sleepy album. Shouldn't complain, man sings mostly ballads, which I like.
SHINHWA returned too. For all Eric's fans.
Not a big fan of hep-hap, but I'm aware of Dynamic Duo or Verbal Jint, so I watch whatever they release.
Baek Jiyeong came back with a dance song, followed by usual ballads, don't worry.
Not to forget about big trolling that some men did this year. For all drama fans.
Taemin and Ryeowook were on Immortal Song 2. I had my share of swooning, I need my heart still this year.
Ailee, girl known also from Immortal Song 2.
EXO-flop, kkk. ... Shoot anonymous anonymous... now what??
Lee Ha Yi with her dead fish charisma but fairly good voice.
Not sure if B.A.P should be here since they're technically from 2011, yet they hit it big in 2012 with Power and Warrior.
Did I miss something? Let me know if I did.
Or just watch another mix by Masa.