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Thursday, Dec 4, 2014
The previous month in K-pop saw veteran artists go solo, rookie groups continue their hot streak, interesting collaborations, and a ton of solid music. It wasn't the most innovative month for the industry, but a lot of great execution regardless.

AOA – “Like a Cat”


“Like a Cat” is AOA’s third comeback this year, but that doesn’t mean we should expect anything new from the group. After the success of “Miniskirt”, the act’s collaboration with hit-maker Brave Brothers, FNC Entertainment and the girls have gone with the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” method and continued to put out essentially the same song as a title track three times this year. Fortunately, it’s a pretty good song. Brave Brothers has become a bit of a parody of himself, relying on the same musical tropes and production techniques in his songs, but you can never deny that the end result is successful. “Like a Cat” has a strong groove and an undeniably catchy melody. Like many of his other songs, including AOA’s “Miniskirt” and “Short Hair”, “Like a Cat” features a prominent wordless vocal hook in the chorus that, as lazy as it is compositionally, is just irresistible. He does change it up a little here, though, by utilizing processed guitars instead of the jazzy organ chords he normally uses to drive the song.


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Thursday, Nov 6, 2014
After a relatively lackluster September, the K-pop industry was back in full swing this October. From veteran comebacks to solo debuts, there's a bunch of great music to get into here.

Seo Taiji and IU – “Sogyeokdong”


Five years since his last album, Seo Taiji—affectionately referred to as the “President of Culture” among K-pop fans—is finally back with his latest release, Quiet Night. For his lead single, the veteran artist released two versions of the same song, one sung by IU, and one by himself. The two different music videos show opposite perspectives of the same plot, a heartbreaking love story set against a violent backdrop. Sogyeokdong, the neighborhood in Seoul where Seo Taiji grew up, was focus of activity for the Defense Security Command in the early 1980s. The DSC at the time was a sort of secret police/counterintelligence branch of the military under dictator Chun Doo-hwan. With this tense political time as its setting, “Sogyeokdong” shows the story of two young kids meeting, falling in love, and being torn apart by military action.


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Wednesday, Oct 8, 2014
Amidst tragedy and controversy throughout the month, September also offered up some more great k-pop, especially from veteran groups like 2PM, T-ara, and Girls' Generation-TTS.

September was another month marked by tragedy and controversy. At the beginning of the month, girl group Ladies’ Code was involved in a car accident, ultimately killing members EunB and RiSe. Less tragic but still shocking, at the end of the month, SM Entertainment announced that Jessica would no longer be part of the iconic girl group Girls’ Generation. The American-born singer was the first of the nine members to be signed to SM, but after tensions rose between her, the group, and their management from Jessica’s relationship and other business ventures, Girls’ Generation officially announced that they would “continue as eight”. It’s hard to imagine SNSD without all nine members, and this incident marks the end of one of K-pop’s greatest successes. Outside of this, though, there was plenty of good music throughout the month.


Tagged as: k-pop
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Tuesday, Sep 9, 2014
For the last month of the summer music cycle, K-pop has been an especially busy field, which made it tough to choose what to include in this roundup.

August has been one of the busiest and most exciting months for K-pop all year. With so many releases from big acts like Kara, Sistar, and Spica, along with some exciting debuts, it was tough to choose what to include in this roundup. It’s really felt like everyone rushing to put out a summer single before we move into the fall, which has left us with a ton of great music!


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Tuesday, Aug 19, 2014
Few can deny that Swift is a talented songwriter, but there are only so many times she can attack her "haters" before that trope feels as worn as a months-old US Weekly still sitting on the top of your toilet.

In the much-hyped media event revealing Taylor Swift’s big new single, not only did Swift announce that her new album will be called 1989, but also shared with us that this is the “first documented, official pop album” that she’s made.


So, forget all the country purists who called her a sell-out for the Max Martin co-pen “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” or the dubstep-indebted “I Knew You Were Trouble” or MOR pop mainstay “22” (all from her last album, 2012’s Red)—this album here is her real shameless attempt to become a pop star! It’s documented, even! Official! Notarized! With witnesses!


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