Korean music's TOP10 Ranking

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31 Dic 2011, 2:01

Hi everyone. It's been a while since I last made a ranking, but this 2011 was a great year for Korean pop music in my opinion. A lot of great groups debuted, many established bands made a comeback, and I discovered many great bands from the past. I would like to say that I've had many Last.fm accounts and what I did to come up with this ranking was to sum up all my scrobblings in these different accounts and this is the result:


To be honest, I've always loved cheesy music, and that's probably why I love Asian music. So, when Orange Caramel just debuted back in 2010, I fell in love with them at the first sight. Their cute concepts were great at the begining, and this year the shift in their style and image was even better. First we had 방콕시티 (Bangkok City), a dance song which captivated not only me but a lot of people who didn't think they could release such a great song; the song was cool and their outfits and looks really weird, and I think that's the greatest charm about OG. After that, we had their best song in my opinion, 샹하이 로맨스 (上海之戀), a Chinese-themed song which saw them cosplaying from Bruce Lee to even Chun Li! Nana was so hot in those outfits. And well, there's no much to say about Orange Caramel, Nana's hotness, Raina's talent and Lizzy's charisma are enough to tell us what they're about.

9. 아이비 (Ivy)


When I checked out my charts, this was such a great surprise. Despite Ivy has not released anything in the last two years, this 2011 I re-discovered her former albums just to realise how great they are. My favourite one is her second one called, A Sweet Moment, which in my opinion is one of the best albums ever released by a soloist singer in South Korea. There are no fillers in that album, every song is great and despite some conflicts (a plagiarised MV, for instance) Ivy is one of the strongest singers and performers in that part of the world. I'm craving for her comeback, let's hope it will be soon!

8. 김완선 (Kim Wan Sun)


During a lot of years I was looking for the discography of the 'Korean Madonna'. And well, this year I finally was able to get all of their albums! This allowed me to get to know the different stages Kim Wan Sun has lived, and well, she is absolutely amazing! I love all of their albums ranging from her early singles such as 오늘밤 or 나홀로 뜰앞에서 to her last ones in which we could include Shall We Dance. With many albums and more than 20 years of career, this year she made her awaited comeback with two songs, Super Love and Be Quiet (feat. 용준형) proving she is the undisputed queen of K-Pop.

7. 에이핑크 (A Pink)


Another great surprise of this year. When they just debuted, I wasn't too interested in new Korean music so I didn't pay much attention to them, however, their last comeback was without a doubt, perfect. And why did I say this? Since I'm a big fan of 90s K-Pops, their MY MY single reminded me a lot of I'm Your Girl, S.E.S's debut single and one of the most important events in Korean music, I think this song was one of the first influences in what we know these days as 'idol music'. So, MY MY was able to capture all that old school sound but in a current concept, making a lot of people become a fan of this young band. Special mention to Eunji, main voice in the group, I'm in love with her. I think they are the future in idol groups, I'm sure of it.


I remember this was the first group debuting this year within the big wave of new girl groups. And despite they don't have a strong vocalist or something which makes them stand out, Dal Shabet has proven to be a hot yet talented group which has been able to be the only rival group for A Pink. Their catchy songs, funny concepts and of course their beauty have alloved them a promising future in the hard market of Korean music. I love Serri, Sunye's lookalike, and I hope they'll be having a great comeback this January. Let's wait for a great 2012 to the Supa Dupa Divas.

5. 자우림 (Jaurim)


Jaurim's the most different artist in this ranking. They're known as one of the most solid alternative groups in South Korea, and they've gained this title through many years of hard work and patience. With Kim Yoon Ah in vocals, Jaurim made a comeback this year with the song IDOL, a different track to what we're used to. And well, their previous albums were what I'm digging the most, with perfect melodies such as heartbreaking's 파애, or stronger sounds with songs like VLAD. There are plenty of music by Jaurim to listen to, so I recommend them, and if you can't look for their albums just ask me, I wish they'd be more popular in western countries.

4. 김윤아 (Kim Yoon Ah)


I've just talked about Jaurim and now it's the turn to talk about her great vocalist, Kim Yoon Ah. In my opinion, the most talented artist in South Korea, Kim Yoon Ah has been able to make either a soloist career and one in her band. She reminds a lot of Dolores O'Riordan as they share a similar biography, being established artists and cool mothers. This last point has been crucial in Yoon Ah's life as it was one of her inspirations for the release 315360 her last soloist album after six years. Beautiful melodies which include jazz, rock, pop, tango and many other styles, touching lyrics and her unique charisma make Kim Yoon Ah is a truly musician.


This was an intense year for After School. As they added a new member, E-Young, they lost one of their earlier members, 베카, and this was a big loss for this group. Bekha was the member who gave After School a unique touch, something to stand out as she was an English speaker and her rapping skills/voice was smooth. I'm still suffering about her withdrawal. Anyway, the show must go on and that's why After School made a Japanese debut, which has gone pretty good, with two singles during the year and a future album and single. About their Korean releases there are no many things to say: Shampoo was a beautiful song, but I was expecting something sexier as Bang! proved to be last year, and their unit releases wasn't a good idea, at all. Anyway, they used to be my favourite girl group from South Korea but this has changed, the reason? They've lost a lot of what they made them great; from being the sassiest group in town, they've become an average group. But anyway, I still love them a lot, and for instance, Diva (2011 New Korea Ver.) has been a good reminiscence of their former releases, as Diva will always be my favourite song by them. PS: Be careful Pledis, if you manage to kick out Jooyeon from the group, I'll seriously become a serial killer and find all your managers.

2. 티아라 (T-ARA)


T-ARA has to be the group with the catchiest songs ever. That's why I'm still stuck with Roly Poly, the most successful song of this year in South Korea and a song that never gets old. And well, this is what has made a great year for the girls and a runner-up in the ranking. I don't know what to say about T-ARA, I'm not a faithful fan of them, I just listen to their music and I've watched some movies by Jiyeon and Eunjung (they're good actresses!) but apart from that, I don't follow them a lot. I hope they'll be releasing their new single, Lovey Dovey, soon because we need to watch the final part of Cry Cry's MV. And it would be nice if they can manage to conquer the Japanese market, because they deserve it. That's it!


1. 소녀시대 (Girls' Generation)


For the people who know me, this shouldn't be a surprise at all, as GG has become my favourite Korean band for a while. In few words, they're simply what a pop group should be like: beautiful girls, catchy tunes and a great production. With a flawless Japanese debut album, GG came back to Korea in the latter part of the year, but this was not a obstacle to have one of the highest album sales with The Boys, their last Korean album, and one of my most played ones in the year. It's hard to explain how much obsessed I've become with their music, but it's probably their personas what I love the most. Because every member has something special to deliver and to make them indispensable in the group. The voice and talent of 태연, the beauty of 제시카, the aegyo of 써니, the hotness of 티파니, the friendliness and dancing skills of 효연, the character of 유리, the mind and personality of 수영, the looks of 윤아, and the hardworking maknae서현. They all make up a havenly group which I'm pretty sure it has no comparison in Korean music. They've become very important in my life, and I wish I can see them performing as soon as possible. With music ranging from ballads, pop, dance, electronic and other specific styles, Girls' Generation is in my opinion the most important girl group of the whole world, and in this 2012, they'll conquer more and more people with their unique charisma. I just love you girls because Girls' Generation make you feel the heat.

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