After some reminiscing, I decided to compile a list of 15 artists that I indulged in this year. This year was rather interesting because 2009 was the year that Korean pop culture decided to take over half of my life and reveal to me the beauty and awesomeness of K-pop. It’s as if my taste in music did a back flip and transformed, honestly. And this list is definite evidence of that.
This was a frustrating process, 1.) because I listened to VARIOUS artists – I didn’t even know where to begin, and 2.) choosing which songs summed up the top players of this year was an extra load of agony. But I did it. I even cheated a bit and added bonus contenders that were close to making my top 15 list.
[FYI: Many or some of these songs weren’t released in the year 2009, but were listened to by my humble ears, regardless]
Here is part 3 of My Top Songs of 2009
FT Island – I Hope (바래)
FT Island is one of my favorite Korean boy bands. Among all of the flashy idol groups, these guys have a pure, solid style of music and distance themselves from the other idols because they sing pop/rock ballads, rather than the R&B/bubble crap pop, very nicely. Also, Jaejin made the bowl-cut look super trendy this year, instead of uber nerdy as it’s known for. And it’s no surprise, but Lee Hongki is my favorite band member – I dunno why, but he has a genuine charm to his personality that sorta interests me. He can really sing, too. Besides that, though, they also play their own instruments! Which, if you don’t know, hardly happens in the K-pop realm. Their 2009 hit, I Hope, won me over with its cheerful undertones. I wish I had discovered FT Island earlier because they are a bag of serious awesome.
DBSK – Bolero
Jesus Christ, Bolero is the one – THE one – song that made me like DBSK or TVXQ or Tohoshinki or what-EVER. I had heard Mirotic early on in my journey of K-pop discovery and I was really not feeling it. I kinda don’t feel it now, but Bolero sorta changed my mind about these 5. One thing about me is that I absolutely adore ballads. As much as I adore flan, I am that serious. I should post a short list of some hardcore ballads that I enjoy later on in the future. (btw, ‘flan’ is a dessert of sweetened egg custard with a caramel topping, and if you haven’t tasted it, um, you’re missing out on life.) Bolero is everything that the great ballads in the world have been – overdone with the orchestration, woven with meaningful lyrics, and sung dramatically by grand voices. I couldn’t ask for more.
SHINee – Ring Ding Dong
If SHINee’s Ring Ding Dong wasn’t literally ringing in your head this fall, then where the crap were you? – cuz this song took over my life for a second, and it definitely took this group of kids to a higher level of cool on my scale. I had no expectations of this boyband before Ring Ding Dong, because frankly, everything else they’ve produced sucks eggs. But, Hello~! Transformation alert! They literally went from fruity nobodies to trendy hipsters. They’re handsome, sound good and, hopefully, they stay on this nice path, because I like it. And although this song is repetitive and meaningless, I believe we’re all aloud to indulge in something that isn’t too serious or compelling at will.
Lady Gaga – Bad Romance
This is probably one of the only few songs I like from Lady Gaga. She definitely has a vision – is she executing it as best as she can, I dunno, but this song was nicely made. It doesn’t really sound like her dreadful debut single, Just Dance, which may insinuate that she’s maturing as a musician, I’m not sure. Bad Romance sounds vaguely familiar for some reason. Most of her singles kind of do, if I think about it. I’m certain it’s due to the fact that she models her melodies from 90’s music, the decade of my childhood. 90’s pop was all over the place and WAY cheesy, which Gaga has managed to take and sorta modernize a bit. I give her kudos for that, and I wont lie, this song is still in my head to this very moment. It’s that damn ‘ra-ra ra-ah ahh, roma-roma-ma, ga-ga, ooh la la‘ – it has grown on me.
2NE1 – Fire
Aside from being a big admirer of 2NE1, I am particularly a big fan of Fire because it’s one of those songs I would love to see performed live. It’s a song that is defined by its charisma. Fire is an experience, and oh gawd, I wish I’d been there in its epicenter, when it was at its highest point of intensity. The rest of the girl groups in Korean pop culture aren’t as remotely intriguing as 2NE1. They found their niche in K-pop and they are, without a doubt, the HBIC’s (Head Bitches In Charge) of girl groups. Yeah, and what~!?
THAT ‘ S IT!
Although a lot of the 15 songs weren’t specifically released in 2009 (which wasn’t a rule or anything), I personally listened to them, and in addition, they also serve you a nice foundation to interpret my taste in music. Obviously, loyalty to one definitive genre doesn’t really fly with me. I listen to whatever I want. A go go go~!