Let us take a look back at some of the K-Pop songs of 2013 that really stood out
By Taylor Morphis
2013 was a big year for K-Pop music. Although many say that there were not a great number of songs that stood out, the songs that did stand out will be remembered for years to come. It was also a big year for solo artists and members of groups branching off to do their own style of music. New trends, great dances, and hidden meanings, 2013 had several songs that will stand the test of time.
Ailee – U & I – July 11, 2013
Ailee has done it again, bringing us a song that only a person with a powerful voice could pull off. She delivers the song with conviction and emotion that most singers nowadays cannot portray. Much like her other cover song, “I Will Show You”, this song is about a break up. However, unlike her previous song where she was trying to impress the guy, in U & I, she is showing how she is doing fine and arguably better than when she was with him.
Taeyang – Ringa Linga – November 7, 2013
The addictive chorus of the song is what catches most fans’ attention while listening to “Ringa Linga”. For me though, the dance was the highlight of the song. The original video has people dancing with ribbons and yo-yos, while the dance version is pure hip hop. Both versions promote the freedom of expression. This is by far the coolest dance of the year.
Block B – Very Good – October 1, 2013
One of the more anticipated comebacks of the year, Block B, returns with a song that is as unique as ever. Following the trend of some of their other songs, “Nalina” and “Nillili Mambo”, their new song is powerful all the way through. Each member has a distinct voice and two of the members are rappers. Combined, Block B brings a forceful edge to K-Pop.
EXO – Miracles in December – December 4, 2013
EXO may be known for their upbeat hits “Growl” and “Wolf”, but it is their slow ballad, “Miracles in December”, that will go down in the books. This is due to the setting and the release date. The song’s video is set in winter, the name has December in it, and the song was released in December. Winter is often considered a romantic time and many people can relate to being in love or loss near the holidays.
Henry – 1-4-3 – August 21, 2013
This song has a great message. 1-4-3 stands for I-love-you in English. They also say 4-8-6 which stands for the number of brush strokes it takes to write I-love-you in Korean. This song helps to show that relationships with people from different ethnicities can work. Henry’s other cover song, “Trap”, also crosses boundaries. After the song’s Korean release, Henry released an official English version, since he is fluent in English and Korean.
TVXQ – Something – January 1, 2014
Not quite 2013, but it was really close. TVXQ is known for their techno songs, such as “Catch Me” and “Humanoids”. Cutting away from their usual genre, “Something” is a jazzy swing song that will get you up on your feet. The dance is complex, yet suave at the same time, matching the style of music perfectly. It is never explained what ‘something’ is though.
U-KISS – Standing Still – March 7, 2013
Korean songs are known for their Engrish, but U-KISS is known for their excellent English pronunciation. Two of the members are completely fluent in English and another member is fairly fluent. “Standing Still” follows their time trend that “Stop Girl” started. However, “Standing Still” is a bit more depressing in meaning, but it is a lot more upbeat.
VIXX – Voodoo Doll – November 24, 2013
The relatively new group VIXX is one of the only groups out there willing to do darker sounding songs like “Hyde” and “On and On”. Due to the song being about voodoo dolls, the original video was so violent that it was banned in Korea until a ‘clean’ version was released. This made fans speculate as to if the video was released with the foreign fans in mind. The original dance had the members stab each other with the scepter, since they were representing voodoo dolls. No matter which version I watch, this song is still my favorite song of the year.
G-Dragon – Coup D’Etat – September 1, 2013
This song is an English teacher’s dream. You can pull symbolism out of everything in this song. The steady rhythm of the song is a big leap from other G-Dragon and Big Bang songs like “Heart Breaker” or “Fantastic Baby”. “Coup D’Etat” uses a mas h of English and Korean to form seemingly incoherent sentences and rhymes that help to show the theme: It does not matter what society thinks of you.
T.O.P – Doom Dada – November 24, 2013
This song had, by far, the weirdest video of the year. However, this weirdness makes references to Daoism, evolution, and movie clips. The video being black and white also helps to support the old-timey feel of the rest of the video. The abstract noises making up the music may also be referencing the primitiveness of most of the video. T.O.P is one of the fastest rappers out there, yet he is precise with his pronunciation.
Every year brings new K-Pop artists, bands, trends, dances, and styles. Here’s to 2014 being full of new possibilities.