Month in Review: January 2016 K-pop releases

A list of some of the K-pop releases in January.

A new month and a new year! January is known for having few music releases, unfortunately. All the artists join the end-of-year shows and then boom! —Everyone seems to disappear. But, no need to despair… there are still a few groups that are releasing new music in January. Let’s go over some of their releases!

1〉 Dalshabet

First is Dalshabet with “Someone like U.” It’s good to see this band promoting again after two members left. I thought the MV had a fun little twist in it: when they confront the guy they shoot confetti at him and then go and have fun together. They also assert in the song that the guy is not worth their time, after treating them badly. Getting on with your life and having a good time is all you need to do sometimes. As for the song, I enjoyed it, their voices and the back track work together well. And the rap breakdown fitted in with the rest of the song nicely.

2〉 Teen Top

Next up is Teen Top. One of the best things about this MV and song is that, to me at least, it doesn’t feel like Niel Featuring the Other Guys. No, it feels musically equal, which is great. Teen Top are warning a girl that’s cheating on them. They are angry and know they should leave her, but they aren’t completely ready yet to really walk away. I will have to look up a live performance of this song, but from what I can see in the MV, the dance is different from the K-pop norm and great to look at. They have some cool formations and moves.

3〉 Stellar

“Sting” by Stellar is the next song on this list. They have been releasing some good music recently, but with very controversial MVs. This MV, however, is still interesting, but less overly sexual.  They address the issue of just being known for their looks in an interesting way. Of course, we can’t know for sure what message they wanted to portray. But, to me, it seems they are discussing the superficial nature of their popularity. The lyrics also tie into this somewhat. They are asking the guy if he feels anything for them anymore, or if he’s tired of them. Does he feel guilty? Is he tired of the relationship? As for the singing, I really enjoyed the contrast between their lighter vocals and the heavy beat. That can be tricky to pull off, but it worked well here. Good job Stellar! If you want to hear more of them, I suggest you check out the rest of this mini album, especially “Insomnia.”

4〉 Yezi

Last is the solo debut of Yezi from Fiestar. She released “Cider.” Talk about a heavy beat… Yezi raps about doing what she wants to do and not just focusing on what is “cool.” She’ll become famous in her own way, doing what she wants. And she knows she will succeed. Yezi looks great in the music video, she pulls off this “tough girl who doesn’t care about what you think” image rather well. My favorite part is probably around 2:22 where there is a male voice in the backing track, which works amazingly well with her rap. A well done solo debut!

January verdict

And that’s it for January. Not bad at all for a slow music month. There’s a lot more that was released this past month. For example, the solo debut of Ryeowook of Super Junior. Overall though, the big and well known groups didn’t release much, which gave smaller groups a chance to get more attention. So go explore and see what cool stuff was released this past month. And in that search you have to include Mamamoo’s “I miss You.”

(Sources: Hyperlinked YouTube Accounts)
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Dutch, K-pop lover, bookworm and secretly a poet.
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