The K-Pop 100: Idol Group Songs – #10~#1

[The K-Pop 100: Idol Group Songs]

Introduction
#100 – #91
#90 – #81
#80 – #71
#70 – #61
#60 – #51
#50 – #41
#40 – #31
#30 – #21
#20 – #11
#10 – #1

10. Fly to the Sky – Sea of Love

Fly to the Sky - Sea of Love

From Sea of Love (2002)
Label: SM Entertainment
Composition/Writing/Arrangement: Yoo Young-jin
Links: music video, audio, live

“Sea of Love” is what a lot of dance tunes, even many in this list, are not: evocative. A longing nostalgia pervades the song; the lyrics do part of that work, but “Sea of Love” works more effectively through its sounds. From the opening wave effects to breathtaking chorus, there is scale and wonder built into the medium-tempo composition that sets the song apart. Hwanhee and Brian also enjoy the best-balanced vocal rapport of their FTTS careers in this album, and it shows in their complementary harmony and weights that feel just right.

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The K-Pop 100: Idol Group Songs – #30~#21

[The K-Pop 100: Idol Group Songs]

Introduction
#100 – #91
#90 – #81
#80 – #71
#70 – #61
#60 – #51
#50 – #41
#40 – #31
#30 – #21
#20 – #11
#10 – #1

30. Koyote – 디스코왕 (King of Disco)

Koyote - King of Disco

From King of Disco (2004)
Label: Trifecta
Composition/Writing/Arrangement: Joo Young-hoon
Links: music video, audio, live

You rely on Koyote to deliver one thing: danceable jams. “King of Disco” is maybe their most danceable tune ever, lacking the minor chords and overpowered techno beats that characterize a lot of their work but instead filled with the titular disco embellishments and an easy singalong melody. Lee Soo-young (deservedly) won all the awards that year, but the runner-up was no slouch at all.

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The K-Pop 100: Idol Group Songs – #60~#51

[The K-Pop 100: Idol Group Songs]

Introduction
#100 – #91
#90 – #81
#80 – #71
#70 – #61
#60 – #51
#50 – #41
#40 – #31
#30 – #21
#20 – #11
#10 – #1

60. 2NE1 – Fire

2NE1 - Fire

From Fire (digital single) (2009)
Label: YG Entertainment
Composition/Writing/Arrangement: Teddy
Links: music video, audio, live

Our first meeting with 2NE1 was heavy in hip-hop, to the point where essentially all the verses were more rapped than sung. And that looked like a good, label-appropriate niche for this group to live in. Minimalist beat and repeated syllables ruled the day, and these women were fiercer and more aggressive than anyone else in 2009.

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Top 100 (Korean) Songs of the Decade:#20~11

Previous Entry (#30~21):

https://jdbae.wordpress.com/2011/01/04/top-100-korean-songs-of-the-decade-3021/

20. Nell – 마음을 잃다 (Losing the Mind)
Album: Healing Process
Release: 9-21-2006

Healing Process was a crucial album in Nell’s rise to a premier position in Korean rock. Almost universally acclaimed, the album served as the completion of Walk Through Me‘s emotional modern-rock style and a basis for the band’s next outing, the deviating Separation Anxiety. The most impressive component in Nell’s music is usually the lyrics; the music is always written excellently, the band performs flawlessly, and vocalist Kim Jong-Hwan has a very emotive, unique voice, but at the heart of Nell’s popularity and the quality of their albums has always been the poetry that this band weaves together.

“Losing the Mind” is a love song. Yet it manages to distinguish itself through the way it expresses emotion–the word choice, the diction, gives depth and dimension to the familiar topics of longing and loss. Nell doesn’t say “I still miss you” or “I still remember you”; rather, it asks,

“How long will you remain
Breathing inside me, alive inside me
When were you thinking of dying for me”

This kind of writing could easily turn melodramatic. But there’s no excess, nothing overdone in this song. Nell keeps “Losing the Mind” crisp and sharp, ripe with only solitude and pain. The instrumentation accompanying the soliloquy sounds almost like a traditional ballad, had it not been for the guitar plucking its way through the entire song. It creates a reverberating stage for Kim to cry his heart out. Both the music and lyrics leave a lasting aftertaste–something to remain in your head and make you think. And that’s exactly what Nell does best.

“As time flows, as my mind flows
So should you flow away
But it’s really easier said than done
Because of your memories, living inside of me
My mind, my time, all ceased
I’m unable to even make any memories
And remain in parting”

ANY CHARACTER HERE

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Top 100 (Korean) Songs of the Decade: #70~61

Previous Entry (#80~71):

https://jdbae.wordpress.com/2010/12/30/top-100-korean-songs-of-the-decade-8071/

70. Crash – Crashday
Album: The Paragon of Animals
Release: 8-9-2010

Thrash metal band Crash have always been innovators in their field–at one point, they even attempted a techno-based metal sound. Returning after nearly a decade of hiatus, it appears that Crash decided to return to its roots. “Crashday” is more than a little thrash–it goes somewhat heavier, but the influence is there nonetheless. The immediately noticeable element is the technical excellence of the sound being offered here. The intricate guitars are equally richly placed in both the melody and the riff, and the explosive drums never rest for a beat in their tremolo. The song’s plethora of melodies and solos seamlessly merge, its wildly varying acts and sections flowing naturally. Vocalist and guitarist Ahn Heung-Chan growls, shouts and sings equally effectively, the latter as well-placed oases in the barrage of sound, and guitarist Yun Du-Byoung contributes ear-popping solos. The quality of the work speaks for itself: this took a lot of effort and careful composition. It took a return of the masters at the top of their form for the first truly satisfying metal track in years to emerge.

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Top 100 (Korean) Songs of the Decade: #80~71

Previous Entry (#90~81)

https://jdbae.wordpress.com/2010/12/29/top-100-korean-songs-of-the-decade-9081/

80. 김태우 (Kim Tae-Woo) – 사랑비 (Love Rain)
Album: T-Virus
Release: 9-3-2009

It’s always an exciting prospect when an established artist can find a firm, new direction to take his or her music. After a decade as the lead vocal of boy band g.o.d., a moderately successful solo ballad album, and two years of military service, Kim Tae-Woo returned in 2009 with a winning formula. “기억과 추억” (“Memories and Reminiscence”), an upbeat electronic-pop piece featuring the entire old g.o.d. crew with the exception of Yun Gye-Sang, was released early that year, a total departure from the man’s former music. T-Virus and its lead single “Love Rain” then hit in autumn, and perfected the approach attempted in the previous outing. The song is, quite simply, refreshing. In addition to the continual imagery of cleansing rain and the torrent of instrumentation, the uplifting and bursting rhythm knows not where to stop, the hook and chorus are instantly addictive, and the lyrics are so optimistically beautiful that it verges on idealism. Kim’s vocal ability hasn’t gone anywhere, and the artist’s clean highs and impeccable groove make “Love Rain” one of the most memorable pop songs of the decade.

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