5 K-Pop Songs For Morning Commutes

Getting out of bed is only half the battle during the week, but actually making it to work in a relatively decent mood is the next step. Music can serve as a great pick me up, so when you’re on your morning commute to work or school, listen to some of our favorite K-Pop songs. For people who like to take the day more slowly, there are some songs for you, while those of you who need something fast-paced to get you really revved up, there’s also that. Whether you’re in a car, on public transportation, or your own two legs, these songs will really hit home.

K.Will – A Bright Day

Before getting into anything that will definitely wake you up, take it slowly. Listen to A Bright Day; think about what the day ahead of you will hold. Will it be a great day, an okay day or, unfortunately, a difficult one? Hopefully, it will be a fulfilling one, and make this commute well worth it! Mediate for a few minutes while listening to K.Will, and then move on to some other songs in this list that are a bit more upbeat.

MBLAQ – R U Ok?

You’re already awake and on your way, but you may not be completely awake.  The soft snapping and piano instrumental at the beginning of R U Ok? transitions into a faster beat that will wake you up a little bit, to the point where you may be bobbing your head along to it.

 

Also on KPOPme: 8 K-Pop Jams For Your Next Workout

EXO-K – Angel

If you still have gunk in your eyes and you’re not so sure if all of your buttons are done properly, you’re probably not ready for something really loud and wild. EXO-K’s Angel, from the group’s debut album, is a simple ballad that has some great high points throughout the song that will definitely lift up your mood. 

Roy Kim – Love Love Love

The singer’s acoustic guitar and gentle voice will gently raise your level of awareness. The melody has its fast points and also soft, harmonious moments that ends in a crescendo that will result in anybody feeling a bit more awake after listening.

Also on KPOPme: K-Pop Songs to Start Your Morning

SHIMMixes – K-Lubbing

This song is a bit jarring, so this may actually be a great replacement for coffee. It’s not a K-Pop song per say, but one of the greatest mash-ups of songs from May-September 2013 by SHIMMixes. The entire mix will have you dancing in your seat, so that by the time you’re at work you’ll be pumped.

What’s your favorite song to listen during your morning commute? We’d love for you to share your picks, and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.

K-Pop Songs to Start Your Morning

An array of K-Pop songs to get your weekday morning started off right. The following tune selections are upbeat and will get you moving during the morning hours. Because as we all know, it’s extremely hard to get out of bed in the morning, especially when school and/or work are the reasons for doing so. All of these songs will get the blood pumping through you and get you out of bed and excited to tackle the day.

Neon Bunny – Oh My Prince

Neon Bunny’s soft vocals are the perfect thing to wake up to in the morning. The bass and club-inspired music of Oh My Prince will have you tapping your feet and bobbing your head. It’s a great song to listen to as you begin to wake up in your bed. The song will get you out of bed and moving around. Oh My Prince isn’t too intense that it startles you as you start to wake up. Instead, it will aid in your level of coherence and it will help put you in a good mood to start the day.


BTS – 여기 봐

For a little Pharrell/ Neptunes-inspired tune, just turn to BTS’ 여기 봐. The song is made up of elements that will put you in a great mood. The tune, the music, the instruments, the vocals, the rapping, all of it flows together effortlessly and has an upbeat and carefree vibe. Blast 여기 봐 as you make your coffee and breakfast and dance around the kitchen. It might also be a good idea to pick out your outfit for the day since you will be in an euphoric state due to the relaxed feeling of 여기 봐.


History – It’s Alright

It’s Alright is quite different from the previous tracks on this list. But, the song has a great beat, and how can you deny a song that states “It’s Alright” throughout the chorus? A great way to start your day is by already telling yourself that everything is alright. If you’re familiar with History, then you are aware of their vocal abilities and flawless harmonies. It’s Alright is another upbeat song that puts you in a good mood, which is the best way to begin your day. It’s Alright also utilizes musical elements from numerous genres and eras, such as funk, the ’80s, and others. The different sound will enhance your mood.


Kanto – Fly High ft. Olltii & Sik-K

This next tune may seem like a buzz kill at first. And in comparison to the songs listed above, it kind of is… But Kanto’s rapping and vocal tone are captivating. The song builds upon itself, and although it starts out slow, you won’t want it to end. While listening to this song you become engrossed in the beat, music, and rapping. Not to mention that the chorus offers an inspirational phrase to start your day:

We can fly

When Fly High ends. you will feel like you can take on the world. And who doesn’t want to start their day off feeling like that?


Taeyang – Body

The final song to get your morning off on the right foot is none other than Taeyang’s Body. Just take the final 3+ minutes of your morning and revel in the vocals of Taeyang. This song will get you pumped up and ready to tackle the day and you will feel beautiful and loved throughout the day. That is the power of Taeyang. Aside from the lovable lyrics, Body is an extremely catchy song with a great beat and overall feeling.


These are only a few K-Pop tunes to get your day started. Let us know if you have a favorite song that gets you pumped up to start the day. Leave your thoughts in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.

Favorite Japanese Original Releases by K-Pop Artists

We all already know that K-Pop artists venture into foreign markets, especially Japan. So it is a no-brainer that they love to surprise Japanese fans with original releases. Some songs even make it first to Japan, and years later, they get their Korean version, but other don’t. Let’s take a look at one of our favorite tracks released in Japan by K-Pop artists.

1. Super Junior K.R.Y. – Promise You

Super Junior’s sub-unit group Super Junior K.R.Y. released Promise You as their first official single in Japan. The song really enhances Kyuhyun, Ryeowook, and Yesung’s vocals. It has amazing melodies from the boys, and the electric drums and orgel sounds really make the song very special.

2. 2PM- I’m Your Man

Known as the beastly idols, 2PM dropped their though image when they released an original song in Japan, I’m Your Man. They showed us a more romantic and manlier side with this song. The track has a very sexy feeling that fits very well with 2PM’s sultry vocals.The video itself has a very sexy vibe (especially when the members are all dressed in suits), and, let’s be honest, who wouldn’t love it if any member of 2PM was telling you that he is your man?

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3.SHINee- Breaking News

It’s very interesting to see how SHINee’s original releases in Japan are always very different from their Korean releases. Most of their Japanese ones are very cute and bubbly, but when they released Breaking News, it was a closer concept to the ones that they release in Korea. They left that bubbly concept behind and came back to Japan with a tougher version.

The song really showcases everyone’s talent in the band, from Jonghyun and Onew’s amazing vocals, to Minho and Key’s rap. Not to mention the fashion was great in the music video, and the choreography was amazing, which is where Taemin really shines through as a talented dancer.

4. 2NE1- Scream

The ladies of 2NE1 always manage to keep their fierce and badass concept that they are known for. They released Scream as part of their greatest hits compilation album Collection in 2012. The song itself is so fierce that it almost made us forget about their staple song I’m The Best. The electronic beats and hard basses of the song make you want to get up and start dancing. The song was so good that two years later, 2NE1 released the Korean version of the song in their newest album Crush, but the Japanese version reigns supreme.

5. BIGBANG- Feeling

When BIGBANG released the Japanase version of their hit album Alive, they included an amazing song called Feeling in their tracklist. Not only was it an original song, but it also included a collaboration with german producer Boys Noize. Feeling is a really fun song that really gets you in the mood to go party. BIGBANG really lets loose on this song; you can actually hear how much fun they had when they recorded this song. And as their fellow labelmates 2NE1, they included the Korean version of the song in their repackage album Still Alive.

6. Girls’ Generation- Flower Power

When Girls’ Generation released their Japanese single Flower Power, they surprised everyone. Not only was the song very catchy, but the tracks’ music was really good. The bass that flows throughout the song enhances the sexy yet innocent vocals that the girls did. The song is perfect for when you are getting ready to go out with your friends. The chorus is extremely catchy, and who can forget the amazing choreography? Why is it that Girls’ Generation always release amazing original songs in Japan? We want more of this from them!

Which one was your favorite Japanese original release by a K-Pop artist? Don’t forget to let us know in the comments. We’d love to hear you thoughts and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.

Best of the K-Pop B Tracks: Part Two

Have you ever listened to a K-Pop group or artist’s comeback/debut song and liked it, but then found one or more songs that you liked even more on their album? This list continues to highlight some of the best B tracks from various artists. For more amazing B tracks check out the predecessor to this article, Best of the B Tracks.

Similar to the previous article on the Best of the B Tracks, we’re starting this one off with some SM Town love.

Artist: EXO-K
Album: Overdose
Song: Thunder

We start out the list with EXO’s Thunder. D.O.’s strong and soulful vocals lead us into the song and form there it only gets better. Thunder is a different pace for the sextet in that the production is slightly more scaled back compared to some of their other songs. The guys’ vocals all compliment each other and the style of the song very well. The chorus will surely have you singing along as soon as you hear it. Moreover, at the end of Chanyeol’s part of the rap toward the end of the song, the harmonies are brilliant. It’s a short bit, but it definitely adds depth to the song and reminds fans of the vocal abilities of EXO-K. Thunder is my favorite song off of their Overdose mini.


Artist: EXO-K
Album: Mama
Song: Machine

Although EXO isn’t that old of a group, they have an extensive music collection. So I had to add this song to the list as well. Machine is probably my favorite EXO song. The harmonies, the beat, everything about it is amazing! Although I cannot speak Korean, I find that I can sing the entire song. Now whether or not I am actually saying anything is another question.

Regardless, this song keeps a quick beat and, again, shows off the guys’ harmonies and singing abilities as a group. There must be something about EXO and the parts right after the rap verses, because Baekhyun and Suho’s lines are some of my favorites in the song. The song slows down as Baekhyun’s vocals take over, as Suho’s higher pitched part builds into the final stretch of Machine.


Artist: Taemin
Album: Ace
Song: Pretty Boy

Continuing on with the SM family is none other than SHINee’s Taemin. Taemin’s debut song Danger was a great song, but one of his B sides really stuck out to me. As his promotions for Danger got underway, Taemin performed Pretty Boy along with Danger on a few music shows, and I’m glad he did.

Pretty Boy begins with a trumpet and a swing/big band feel. In all honesty, for me, the song doesn’t really begin until the hook and the chorus. That’s when Taemin picks up the pace and adds more depth and passion to his vocals. Aside from being extremely catchy, Taemin’s use of English makes the chorus ideal for singing along to if you’re not fluent in Korean.


Artist: MBLAQ
Album: 100% Ver.
Song: 아찔한 그녀

For this next song, we’re going back a couple of years to MBLAQ’s fourth EP. What I like about 아찔한 그녀 is the beginning. It starts with a conversation between a man and a woman, and it’s clear that the girl is annoyed with her boyfriend. The music is light-hearted and the perfect paring for the short conversation and the backbone of this song. Every time I listen to 아찔한 그녀, I feel happy. MBLAQ’s vocals, the music, and the overall feel of the song is cheery and gleeful. The guys’ harmonies throughout are spectacular, and G.O’s high notes at the end… beautiful.


Artist: BTS
Album: Dark & Wild
Song: 2학년

Let’s bring it back to 2014 now. The beat, the rapping, and the overall vibe of 2학년  is what makes me love this song. It’s the second to last song on BTS’ full length album Dark & Wild. The song opens up hard with an addictive beat and getting right into the song. Rap Mon further increases the face value of the song with his rap before the vocalists take over for the build up to the chorus and the actual chorus.

My favorite part, or parts, of this song are the rap verse by Rap Mon, J-Hope, and Suga. Listeners can clearly hear the guys’ different styles as they rap, and each one perfectly fits the song. During Suga’s rap, the music completely changes, which makes you pay closer attention all of sudden before you were lost in the music and knew what to expect. Then, BTS throws Suga’s part for a little depth and to keep their listeners on their toes.


Artist: Rain ft. Epik High
Album: It’s Raining
Song: My Groove

Now we’re really going back with Rain’s My Groove. I’m taking it back to my ’90s/’00s R&B and hip-hop days. My Groove reminds me, musically and production-wise, of a late ’90s, early ’00s R&B track. I love when songs remind me of growing up and bring on the nostalgia. Obviously, when you have any song with Rain’s sultry vocals and Epik High’s beats and rapping, it’s bound to be a good listen. And My Groove does not disappoint. The song may be repetitive, but there are a lot of English lyrics, and, as I mentioned, I can’t really complain about a song that musically brings me back to the 90s and ’00s.


Artist: Primary ft. Jinbo & Dok2
Album: Primary and the Messengers
Song: Mine Tonight

Primary’s Mine Tonight starts out with a strong beat. Listen to this song with head phones and you’ll really be able to tell. The music throughout the song obviously the driving force, but it doesn’t take away from Jinbo or Dok2. Jinbo’s smooth and laid-back vocals brings Mine Tonight to life. This song really doesn’t need much of an explanation as to why it’s great. Just take a listen and you’ll be able to tell for yourself. You might wonder how a rap can be incorporated into a song like this, but when Primary and Dok2 are in control, it will work out and it definitely does in Mine Tonight.


Artist: Crush ft. Zion.T
Album: Crush on You
Song: Hey Baby

If you haven’t listened to any of Crush’s music before, I suggest you do. He is an incredibly talented producer, musician, and vocalist. His voice is smooth as honey and has a quality that entices you to listen to him. Hey Baby is my absolute favorite song from his Crush on You album. And even if Zion.T wasn’t featured on the song, it would still be my favorite. The fact that two of my favorite Korean vocalists are on a track together makes me itch for more collaborations from the duo.

Hey Baby begins with an ever so addictive beat boxing introduction. The entire song is reminiscent of ’80s Michael Jackson and some modern Justin Timberlake. Crush’s and Zion.T’s vocals bring this song to life. The beat is super catchy and it’s easy to sing along to and best to do so with volume turned up all the way.

Share with us your favorite B tracks from your favorite K-Pop artists. Who knows, maybe they’ll make part 3 of the best B tracks. Leave your thoughts in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.

K-Pop Stand Out Remixes

What’s really amazing about K-Pop remixes is that they give you a new view on a song. They transform a dance song to a more acoustic version or make it ready for a dance party or a club. Sometimes they even make you wish the original version of the song was the remix. There are a lot of K-Pop remixes out there, but only a few stand out; from fans to recognized artists, the remix list is endless.

  1. SHINee-Hello (Glen Check Remix)

 SHINee’s track Hello is on of their most loved songs in their roster. It was without a doubt a great choice by K-Indie band Glen Check to create a remix of this song. This remix takes us back to the time when Electro was at the peak of the electronic music scene. Glen Check managed to take SHINee’s song and recreate it in a very unexpected way. Full of hard basses and electro beats, this remix really has a life of it’s own.

  1. G-DRAGON – Who You (Jake K Remix)

 G-Dragon’s song Who You talks about how much a man feels bad and really misses their ex lover. The original track itself is very fun but sad at the same time because of the lyrics. Jake K managed to make the song happier, thus creating mixed emotions for the listener. The song was made to a more upbeat sound while still managing to get the song’s message across. Add it to your Breakup Playlist and cry while dancing to this remix.

 

  1. 2NE1- I’m The Best (HUGLIFE Remix)

 2NE1’s staple song I’m The Best is already a very powerful song. Convert it to a Trap song and it totally brings out the fierceness of the song. The bass is so strong, and the drops followed by the “Oh my god” are amazing. This was really a great remix by HUGLIFE for 2NE1’s song. It would even fit perfectly as part of their show, really. It fits their strong personas perfectly.

 

 4. EXO- Growl (Sakana-P Mellow Remix)

 There is no doubt that EXO’s Growl is one of the best K-Pop songs released in the past  few years. Sakana-P’s mellow remix gives a more vibrant sound to EXO’s song while still keeping the wow factor of the original track. It was a really bold move to remove the distinctive sound at the beginning of Growl, but the piano is beautiful and goes very well with the song.

 

  1. Red Velvet- Happiness (Lee JeSup Remix)

 Lee JeSup’s remix of Red Velvet’s Happiness is truly outstanding. It’s completely ready for the club, and it managed to keep the song’s happy mood. He brilliantly keeps the intro (which lets face it, nobody likes) but lowered the volume of it so it wouldn’t stand out as much. The electronic beats of the remix track mixes well with Red Velvet’s vocals, and them being a very young group, the remix fits them well.

 

  1. KARA- Mamma Mia (Lee JeSup Remix)

 KARA’S comeback with Mamma Mia is so fun. It’s a very cool ode to the ‘80s, and Lee JeSup kept that same vibe on the remix. The clapping sound that he added makes the listener feel like if you are watching a live performance from KARA. It makes you want to stand up, get your disco pants, and start dancing.

 

  1. Got7- A (‘collapsedone’  Acoustic Remix)

 Got7’s A is a very cute and addicting song. An official remix by ‘collapsedone’ appeared on Got7’s GOT LOVE mini-album as an acoustic remix. The voice track that is used doesn’t have an acoustic arrangement, but ‘collapsedone’ managed to add an acoustic track to the song. Close your eyes while listening to the song and imagine the members from Got7 playing guitar and singing to this song; it’s magical!

 

So there you have it, a few stand out K-Pop remixes. And because mashups remixes are always fun here, we say goodbye with a mashup of SHINee’s Lucifer and Super Junior’s Bonamana.

 Which one was your favorite remix? Don’t forget to let us know in the comments. We’d love to hear you thoughts and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.

Best of the B Tracks

During an artist’s debut or comeback, they promote one or sometimes two songs from their recent release. I find more often than not that there are songs on the album that I enjoy much more than the title song, or songs that I think warrant the same amount of popularity as the promoted track(s). I will highlight a few of my favorite B tracks found in my K-Pop collection. This is by no means a definitive list; it is solely based upon my opinion and the styles of music I tend to gravitate towards.

There is no rhyme or reason as to how I chose these songs. If I enjoy the beat, vocals, instrumentation, etc. then the song is most likely on the list. I also looked at how many plays these songs have on my iTunes. That’s a pretty good indication of if I really like the song.


Artist: SHINee
Album: Dream Girl: Misconceptions of You
Song: Spoiler

When I first heard Spoiler I thought my iTunes somehow messed up the first song. I thought it re-downloaded Sherlock (Clue + Note). I rewinded the song a few times before I decided to keep listening to see if it really was Sherlock. SHINee got me good with that one. I realized after the first 10 seconds that it was indeed a different song. When I first listen to a song, I tend to listen to the beat and the music of the songs as opposed to the lyrics. For K-Pop, that’s really all I listen to since I don’t understand 98% of the lyrics. Anyway, Spoiler has a sick beat. There’s no way around it. There are so many different elements in the song, but they all fit together and don’t take away from the song or overpower the vocals.

Speaking of vocals, all five guys have a dark tone to their voices throughout the song, and especially leading up the chorus. This was the first SHINee album where everyone’s vocals really shined and impressed me. Obviously, Jonghyun and Onew always had great voices, but Key, Taemin, and Minho have all improved tremendously and Spoiler gave fans a hint of what to expect, vocally, on the rest of the album. I already loved the song, but after I found out that Jonghyun wrote it, and that it was a song that introduced the songs on their Misconceptions albums, I fell more in love with Spoiler, which is aptly named.


Artist: SHINee
Album: Dream Girl: Misconceptions of You
Song: Punch Drunk Love

I want to highlight another song from this album. Initially when I started to compile this list, I wanted to stay away from repeating an artist and definitely stay away from choosing more than one song on the same album. But as I went through my K-Pop collection I had to choose Spoiler as well as Punch Drunk Love. They are two songs that I will never skip over in my K-Pop collection. Alright, Punch Drunk Love. Listen to it with headphones. That bass is brilliant. The entire musicality of the song is a blast from the 60s, 70s, and a few elements from every era afterwards.

The instruments used and sound of the song was one reason I was initially drawn to Punch Drunk Love. The whole thing was different from the K-Pop songs out at the time (and even now a year and a half later). But the main element that made me fall in love with this song, aside from the super upbeat and funky vibe, was the harmonies of these amazing men. You can hear their wonderfulharmonies throughout the song, but it isn’t until the last 5 or seconds that the music cuts out and all we’re left with are the angelic voices of SHINee. Definitely the best 5 seconds of that song.


Artist: f(x)
Album: Red Light
Song: Dracula

Keeping it in the SM Town family, my next B track favorite is f(x)’s Dracula. Before I ordered their Red Light album, I listened to all of the songs online to make sure I enjoyed the majority of the album. I’m one of those people who tends to only like a small amount of songs on an album. But Red Light’s songs were all different and enticing in their own way. Dracula was one that stood out to me for a few reasons.

The first reason is the amount of English lyrics in the song. Obviously there are two native English speakers in the group, but I couldn’t help noticing and appreciating how good Luna’s, Victoria’s, and Sulli’s English pronunciation is.

The different tempo changes throughout the song all work really well together. The song starts off with a deep, dark voice and then goes into an uptempo beat. The transitions connect each tempo change perfectly. The leadup to the chorus brilliantly showcases Luna’s and Kyrstal’s voices. And that chorus, so simple, yet so so memorable. The song overall has a catchy beat throughout and an easy chorus to sing along to, and that stays stuck in your head (in a good way). Honestly, how can you go wrong with a song titled Dracula? Well, I’m sure you could, but f(x) certainly did not.


Artist: Zion. T
Album: Red Light
Song: 지구온난화 (Feat. 양동근)

Zion.T. I could leave my explanation for this choice at that. But I will elaborate. Zion.T has a unique voice that I absolutely love. It’s so smooth and has a tone I haven’t heard before. Every song he sings and features on is amazing. I love hearing his voice and 지구온난화 gives fans a different side on Zion.T. The song is heavily influenced by reggae, which is one musical genre that I love. Pair a reggae track with Zion.T’s voice and you win. Hands down win. The song has a chill vibe that will have you swaying and falling into Zion.T’s vocals.


Artist: 2PM
Album: Grown [Vol. 3]
Song: 오늘부터 1일 (First Date)

This song is in the top 5 of my Top 25 Most Played Songs playlist on iTunes. And that is saying something. 오늘부터 1일 (First Date) starts with a piano and Nichkhun’s attractive vocals. The piano is prevalent throughout the song and keeps an upbeat tone as the guys sing of their love. We’re able to hear everyone’s vocals throughout song, along with Taecyeon’s rap. The piano is paired with horns as the song gets to the chorus, which adds another layer and more texture to the sound of the song. It’s a fun and cute song that fits with any season and always makes me happy when I listen to it.


Artist: Beast
Album: Good Luck
Song: We Up

Alright, alright. I’m breaking my own rules with this one. Beast did promote We Up with Good Luck, but I couldn’t overlook this song. For starters, the beat. I mentioned it before and I’m sure you have noticed, but if a song has a solid and catchy beat, I’m already into it. And if Junhyung’s “Give it to me now” in the very beginning doesn’t pull you into the song then his singing definitely will. Whenever I listen to We Up I find myself moving my head and shoulders to the beat.

The chorus, which Dongwoon begins, draws you in with the opening word “tonight” then Yoseob finishes it off with his beautiful vocals. I really can’t explain why I like this song so much. All of the elements are there. The music, the vocals, the beat, the tempo, the overall feeling. I’m not sure what We Up really means, but this song always puts me in a good mood. It’s perfect for blasting in your car with the windows down, not a care in the world.


Artist: Yong Junhyung
Album: Flower EP
Song: Slow

My next choice I’m going to Slow it down (pun intended unfortunately). This song is off of Beast’s rapper Yong Junhyung’s debut EP. Slow showcases Junhyung’s delicate singing as well as his attractive rapping. I usually do not enjoy slower songs, but Junhyung’s producing skills clearly pull at my heartstrings. Somehow, he manages to make me listen to the entire song without a thought of skipping over it. And that, my friends, is a great feat. I love the song. The beat, I love the beat and the fact that Junhyung is singing as well as rapping (I love his rapping). It’s a good listen.


Artist: G-Dragon
Album: Coup D’etat
Song: 너무 좋아 (I Love It) Feat. Zion.T, Boys Noize

Zion. T makes another appearance on my list, this time with Big Bang leader G-Dragon and Boys Noize. 너무 좋아 (I Love It) is off of GD’s most recent album Coup D’etat. The first time I heard this song, I was in awe. I think I replayed it at least 5 times afterwards. The beat, piano, vocals, rapping, production, overall mood, everything are all amazing. All of these elements fit effortlessly into this song to come together and create one of my favorite songs. It’s not only my favorite song on this album, but from out of all of G-Dragon’s solo collections.

And, can we just take a moment to admire the gritty vocal tone of Mr. GD himself? I LOVE IT (the pun is obviously there but not intended, because I’m being sincere). The singing and rapping fit together like missing puzzle pieces and they create a beautiful end product. Zion.T’s vocal quality and tone added to GD’s gritty, raspy vocals creates a beautiful pairing that should be utilized many, many times in the future.


Artist: History
Album: Desire EP
Song: I Got U

If you read my previous article about History, you’ll know that one thing I love and admire about these boys is how well their voices go together. Their harmonies are impressive, and they sound like they have been together for years! I Got U is the leadoff track of their latest EP, Desire. History promoted Psycho, which honestly took more than a few listens to grow on me. But as soon as I heard I Got U, I was hooked. I don’t know if it would have been a better promotional song, but I’m glad I came across it. I Got U is one of the reasons I bought Desire.

History’s always-present harmonies are sprinkled throughout I Got U and, again, that beat. It always draws me in… Always! However, the bass is definitely what holds this all together; it’s strong and prevalent throughout the song. But, I can’t just write about I Got U without mentioning History’s vocal abilities. It seems like this song excels at it all: harmonies, falsettos, strong vocals, soft vocals, sexy vocals, deep vocals, and pretty much EVERYTHING. These guys deserve more recognition!


Artist: CNBLUE
Album: Can’t Stop EP
Song: Like a Child

To close out this article I leave you with CNBLUE and Like a Child. From the title alone, you know this song is about innocence and the beauty found in the simplest of things. CNBLUE melts my heart with the melody of this song and Yonghwa’s vocals. I actually also put this song on my “Easy Listening K-Pop Edition” playlist. The piano and strings blend perfectly with the drums and guitar and bass. Everything fits so well and the song makes me feel weightless and happy.

I picture CNBLUE performing this song in a lush, green field with a light breeze and the sun shining upon them. The English translated lyrics say:

Like a child, just like heaven, a melody to spread all over the world
Like a child, just like heaven, a melody to make you smile

How can one go wrong with the feeling of being a child again and the glorious elements associated with the belief of Heaven? Like a Child is a song that fits any season and any mood. This song can be played all day every day. If you’re feeling a little down, play Like a Child. If you’re in a great mood, play Like a Child. If you’re getting ready for a job interview, play Like a Child. It’s a mood changer and a mood maker; a beautiful song.

There are so many amazing B tracks out there and this is only a very (very) small portion of them. If you have suggestions of B tracks that I should check out, leave your choices in the comments below! I’m always looking to broaden my K-Pop horizons.

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Best English Covers by K-Pop Artists

We recently talked about K-Pop Instrumentals, now let’s look at a few of our favorite artists covering some of our favorite English songs. Occasionally, K-Pop songs have a few English words and/or lines throughout them. Unfortunately, the pronunciation and even use of the word(s) are oftentimes not correct or irrelevant. It sometimes makes you wonder whether or not these idols could hold their own with an English song. Well let me tell you, a lot of them definitely can. It takes a lot of practice and confidence to pull off a cover of an English song. Especially when there are so many fans from Western countries.

EXO: Open Arms
First is EXO singing Journey’s Open Arms. Baekhyun, D.O., Chen, and Luhan all demonstrate why they are the vocal line. These four gentlemen showcase their amazing and powerful vocal talents, as well as English pronunciation, in this wonderful song. And can I just say, those harmonies, whoa… Beautiful, absolutely beautiful! These types of performances are nice because fans really get to experience another side to their favorite idols. In a group as big as EXO, and one that is made up of many parts (singers, rappers, etc.), it’s rare to have a song of just great vocals. This is a treat, and I’m so glad fellow writer and KPOPme co-founder, Thuc, suggested it.

Eric Nam & Boa Kim: Say Something
In all honesty, this cover of Say Something, was the first time I actually heard the song (I don’t listen to the radio that often). You may consider this one slightly cheating because as we know, Eric Nam is indeed from Atlanta, Georgia, and therefore he is fluent in English. Either way, his voice is amazing, and I like to hear him sing. But, Boa Kim, a member of SPICA, holds her own and then some in this song. Her vocals perfectly match the mood, tone, and energy of this song. Her pronunciation is flawless, and I could honestly listen to this cover all day. The music video is also done quite well.

TaeTiSeo: DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love
Next is TaeTiSeo singing Usher’s DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love. TaeTiSeo is made up of Taeyeon, Tiffany, and Seohyun. Again, Tiffany can speak fluent English, but that’s not the point. The point is that Taeyeon and Seohyun sing their English lines very well with confidence, which is the key to a great cover; this is a live performance full of energy that keeps the crowd pumped up throughout the song. It also doesn’t hurt that EXO joins the trio during the rap part of the song. Let’s be honest, can one really go wrong with an Usher cover? No, no one cannot. Also the numerous cuts to the middle-aged man dancing adds to this video.

SHINee: Just Dance
We’re throwing it back to 2009 with this little gem. SHINee give Lady Gaga’s debut single, Just Dance, their own Gaga flare. With this cover, Key is the frontman, because his English is the best out of all of the members. The performance may be short, but SHINee’s Gaga-inspired outfits and their dance moves keep the audience interested from beginning to end. I would love to hear another cover by these guys today, since their pronunciation is much better now.

Changmin & Kyuhyun: Just The Way You Are
These SM artists love their English cover songs, and you’ll hear no complaints from me. On their own Changmin and Kyuhyun have amazing voices, but put them together, singing a Bruno Mars cover, it’s magical. I’d like to thank Alexis, co-founder and writer for KPOPme, for suggesting this cover. I couldn’t find a great video of the duo, but you can still feel their passion and talent. I’ll stop talking now and let Changmin and Kyunhyun do the rest.

Minzy: Halo
I have to show some love for the female power vocals in Kpop. First up is Minzy of 2NE1. She took a bold step and covered Queen B’s Halo. I think she did an amazing job. Her pronunciation and vocal range is amazing! I’ve always loved Minzy’s voice, and this cover is reason enough to love her. The song on its own is a hard one to sing, and Minzy gives it her all. She is a true talent.

Ailee: I Will Always Love You
The last cover song I want to talk about is Ailee’s rendition of Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You. We all know Ailee has a phenomenal voice. When I first heard that she covered this iconic song, I wasn’t sure if she would be able to live up to its reputation. Don’t get me wrong, I love Ailee’s voice, but I Will Always Love You has so many nuances throughout the song that need to be met in order to be a good cover. Nevertheless, Ailee owned this song; her performance was amazing! With flawless vocals, she was powerful when she needed to be and still had that finesse in her voice that complemented the song.

Although some of these idols may not be fluent in English, they could definitely fool me based on their amazing performances of English covers. This is only the beginning of a long list of great covers, what are some of your favorites? Don’t forget to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, TwitterInstagram, Tumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.

6 Songs Non-K-Pop Fans Can Like

[Disclaimer: Information is solely based on personal experience]

If you’re anything like me, you have lots of non-K-Pop fan friends who generally don’t support your favorite music genre. However, you still play them song after song in hopes that there will be one they actually like. And although my actions have often been unsuccessful, there have been some instances where it works. Alas, here’s what you should try with your friends if you want them to ride the Hallyu wave with you:

2ne1 1

This is probably the first K-Pop music video I ever saw and liked (although I had no idea who they were, what language they were singing, or what I was getting myself into), so this song was a no-brainer as the first choice for introduction. It may be the visuals, or the clothes, or the dances, or the epic intro, but this song captivates you right from the get-go – everything about I Am the Best is meant to lure you in. And boy does it work!

I can vividly remember fellow KPOPme writer Alejandro requesting it with me at a bar in our hometown and watching everyone dancing to it. And then see it happen again the next week… And the next… And the next! This works for every demographic: my gay and girlfriends love it for the fierceness and (a few of) my guy friends like it for the “hot girl” in spandex (or Bom, really).

exo growl

Similar to I Am the Best, Growl is well-liked by most of my friends, but more surprisingly, my EDM-groovy-soul loving straight guy friends. Everything I had ever listened to up to this point was “noise,” but this EXO song crossed cultural and gender boundaries. My friends praised the song for its funkiness and groove emulating Jamiroquai. The fact that 12 guys were singing and dancing was not an issue anymore, because the music was genuinely good.

Super Junior Opera

While Opera falls under “noise” to some of my guy friends, it’s the only K-Pop song some of my girlfriends like. Maybe this is due to it being the equivalent of drinking a Monster Energy Drink in one shot – it’s a blast of energy pumped forcefully into you. However, I never showed them the Japanese music video – that would definitely stir them away, and I don’t particularly want that. While I love Super Junior and I support their Phantom of the Opera concept, I wouldn’t shove that down my Westernized friends’ throats. It’s too much… I shall rely on randomly playing it in my car while they sing the chorus.

bigbang bad boy

Back in 2012, Gawker named Bad Boy the perfect pop song, validating what K-Pop fans have known for years: BIGBANG is awesome and crazy talented. Although blending pop and R&B is BIGBANG’s staple, they reached perfection with this song. I mean, who could resist T.O.P’s deep vocals, G-Dragon’s overall demeanor and style, and Taeyang’s soulful verses? Like I Am the Best, Bad Boy itself and its music video are eye and ear-candy (cue Baek Ji Young) – no one could resist this track! Not even a male writer at Gawker! I rest my case…  And even if I can’t really think of any of my friends liking this song, I recommend that you should recommend it because it is flawless.

brown eyed girls abracadabra

Abracadabra is a song about casting a spell on your ex so he’ll get back together with you and leave his current girlfriend. However, this completely escaped my friends, who only focused on the famous hip swinging dance and the chorus. This was perfect, since that is what I focused on too when I first got into K-Pop. Back then, it was all about the visuals, the dances, and the superficial appeal – which may be crucial to luring friends into liking K-Pop, that’s how I got sucked in! It didn’t hurt that this song, like I Am the Best, had the “fierce” factor Beyoncé-loving girls and boys crave.

lee hi 1234

With no conventional visual appeal or fierce factor, Lee Hi won some of my friends over with pure talent. This girl fought her way through K-Pop Star and fought her way through idol-dom as well in order to establish herself as a bright star among those dimly lit. If your friends judge all the girl and boy groups you like by labeling them “talentless,” they sure fall short of an insult with Lee Hi. 1234 is a fun song that could be sung by any Western diva if it were in English – and that’s what resonates with my friends.

If these songs don’t work on you non-K-Pop fan friends, then I don’t know what will. Have you tried to introduce your friends into K-Pop? What songs did you use in your endeavor? Don’t forget to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, TwitterInstagram, Tumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.

K-Pop Standout Instrumentals

There are plenty of good songs in the world of K-Pop, but only a few stand out for their amazing music. When you are a fan of certain idols or groups, we are sometimes biased about their music. But do we really like the song, or are we playing favorites?

There is nothing wrong with not liking a new song that your favorite group released. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but sometimes we get a little bit blinded by our love for them. Here at KPOPme, we have been guilty of that a few times.

So this time, we are going to forget all about the lyrics and voices. We are only going to focus on the instrumentals. Sometimes the best songs don’t make it into singles, but the music itself is amazing.

A song is constructed by an introduction, verse, and chorus, and sometimes ad libs are added to build the composition’s intensity. After a song is composed, the lyrics give life to the melodic story.

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One of the best examples of an amazing instrumental is f(x)’s Rum Pum Pum Pum (produced by Erik Lewander).  The song is a mixture of organic drums, guitar riffs, and synthesizers. The introduction itself starts with two different guitar riffs. The guitar really has its own voice throughout the whole song. The percussions start to kick in and rise at the chorus, representing the sound of a heartbeat. f(x) has many amazing songs, but this one really stands out for us for its originality.

We talked about how it’s not wrong to not like a song from one of our favorite bands, and this is what happened with EXO. When they realeased Wolf, we really didn’t like that song too much. It was so busy and full of dubstep, although the boys redeemed themselves with the next song, Growl.

Right off the bat, the song starts with the same melody as the chorus. The music changes completely on the bridge before the chorus and brings us down to a very smooth melody. The chorus hits and we hear the same beat starting again, just a little bit faster. The music is very funky and very sexy. This song has already become EXO’s signature. It really reminds us a lot of those great boy band songs from the 1990s, and we love it!

[Editor’s Note: “Growl” is probably the only song my non-K-Pop fan friends genuinely like]

SHINee’s Symptoms is a great example of a great R&B song in K-Pop. The Underdogs produced it, and it’s the perfect mixture of R&B and Soul. It’s very slow, but it builds up on the bridge. The drums give a feeling of explosion in the chorus that really make you feel the emotions conceived in this song. Then it drops again and keeps us on a roller coaster of sounds. The song ends abruptly when the beat just stops, giving us a metaphor of how a relationship could end all of a sudden.

If you were to name a great pop song, it would be BIGBANG’s Blue. It keeps a steady beat that slightly changes on the bridge and flourishes in the chorus. The guitar adds an acoustic feel, while the piano gives life to the piece. The electronic beats synch perfectly with all the instruments and create a very dynamic melody. The song also features different sound effects in the background. Blue has been one of the most successful BIGBANG singles in their career, and that’s because it is pure perfection.

Girls’ Generation’s Mr.Mr is the perfect example of a modern pop song. The beat reminisces the disco era, but somehow feels very modern with the added sound effects. The claps before the chorus even give it a feeling that you are there, hearing the song live. Unlike what they tried to do with I Got A Boy, the song mixed different genres very well and doesn’t seem that there are different songs in one. Why is it that when a song incorporates old music elements, it makes it feel modern?

Talking about old music, IU’s Red Shoes gave us a very creative and new edge in K-Pop. The song incorporates classical swing-jazz melodies that makes us want to stand up and dance. It perfectly captured the feeling of the 1920s and gives it a modern twist, with a few electronic beats at the beginning.

G-Dragon’s Shake The World gives us an example of a song that can speak by itself. If you hear the instrumental, you can really feel how much is going on in GD’s mind. There is a feeling of despair, a lot of screaming, and a lot of hidden emotions.

The song starts with a sound effect of a cash counter, really setting a scene for the ending. It makes us feel that he is running away from a bank they just robbed. The melody is full of personality, and that trap in the end is amazing. It’s really surprising, as it constantly goes up and makes us never want to go down. My favorite part of the song is the saxophone before the exploding chorus, it’s just so unexpected!

2NE1 always loves to mix genres, and, with Come Back Home, they nailed it. The song goes from pop to reggae to trap. This holds the future of K-Pop music, where mixing different styles create a very unique concept. They had done it before with other songs, but this one was perfection. Even if the song doesn’t have a fast beat, it still wants to make us dance.

Do you know any other K-Pop songs that have amazing music? Don’t forget to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, TwitterInstagram, Tumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.

8 K-Pop Girl Power Anthems

K-Pop’s filled with love and break-up tracks that we enjoy, but what about girl power anthems that make you feel empowered for being a woman? Not all girl groups’ songs revolve around boys all the time. Some female artists have great lyrics about being confident, sticking up for yourself, go about getting what you want, and friendship. Here’s a list of eight songs that cover those subjects:

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K-Pop’s Queen of Sexy Pop begins the list with “Bad Girls,” a song that teaches you what a bad girl is and how she acts. It’s all about being confident as a woman and letting the world know why and just how bad you really are. You’re sexy? That’s great. You like to get your hair and makeup done? That’s fine too. You’re determined and strong? Yep, definitely a bad girl by Hyori’s standards.

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Following Hyori’s mantra, CL reinforces the “being your fierce self” concept with her first solo song. Like her bad predecessor, 2NE1’s leader sings about embracing your ability to be a strong woman. Yes, “Baddest Female” might seem like a vain manifesto to some, but if you look past the “I am,” you’ll see that she acknowledges her worth and is confident in herself enough to flaunt it. This is the perfect anthem for all the grown women, as Beyonce would put it, out there.

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Miss A delivered a strong anthem for all the women who have been slut-shamed by a guy before with their debut song. The track calls out the ex-boyfriend for enjoying the girl’s freeness, let’s say, when they were together, but then talked ill of her when they broke up – the classic trope many of us go through after a break-up. “Bad Girl, Good Girl” says that there’s nothing wrong with being confident, forward, and sexy, and that what’s actually wrong is men’s hypocrisy.

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This song might not be a single, but it’s definitely one of f(x)’s most meaningful songs. “Toy” talks about not letting men mistreat you, not needing a man in order to live, and being your bright self. The concept is definitely a more mature one than what we regularly see from this group; I hope they continue this path in the future.

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Orange Caramel consistently delivers cutesy and weird style concepts, but “Lipstick” is a perfect example of being a go-getter. You know, a girl who doesn’t feel the need to act shy and is confident enough to pursue any man she likes. The song is the boy crazy type, but since it talks about going up to a boy and kissing him and tells him to stop playing hard to get, it’s inevitable to recognize the guts behind a woman who would do this. The girls seem coyer in the music video than what the lyrics say, but it makes the list nevertheless.

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Similarly to “Lipstick,” “Female President” is also a boy crazy song where the girl asks the guy what’s wrong with them being forward, I mean, they do have a female president in South Korea, so what’s the fuss? This song brings up the topic of it being modern times, and tries to normalize girls who seek out men and don’t just wait around to be pursued. Furthermore, in contrast with Orange Caramel, Girl’s Day did deliver a sexy music video, even if member Yura got in trouble with netizens for her nude colored dress.

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“I Like That” is a breakup song, but that doesn’t mean it’s full of bitterness and spite. No, this track talks about being ok with and actually liking doing couple things by themselves. The girls sing about going to eat BBQ for two, singing karaoke, getting home when drunk, etc. all by themselves. It’s a great song because it addresses a woman’s ability to be independent without having to be rescued by men.

8anthems

While this might be in Japanese, it doesn’t minimize South Korea’s most successful girl group’s message of the fun and happiness of being a girl. Moreover, the music video is a big party with lots of fans and drag queens at an amusement park.

Do you know of another girl power anthem? Share it with us on the comments section!  Don’t forget to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, TwitterInstagram, Tumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.