The KPOP industry this year is filled with twists and turns, from scandals from big companies to small companies as well. Events like The Sewol tragedy and World Cup affected many especially the plans of various companies to release music and also to an extent, the quality of albums. Therefore we saw a unique trend, which is many good quality albums being released at the same time. It inevitably divided the attention of everyone, affected the public’s choice and also made it more difficult for albums to stand out.
Then again, there are no lack of strong competitors, especially YG, from their new artists to the more experienced artist, all had good results. We have listed some examples, these artists were able to made a name for themselves despited the tough competition – these artist had style and sales, and hence winning the TOP 10 Best Album of the Year.
#1 – Rise
RELEASE DATE: 3rd June 2014
REASONS FOR RECOMMENDATION: Harmony between vocals and melody
Coming from the Big 3 agencies are expected to release something big every year. But YG chose the unconventional route this year. YG released a bomb on the industry – the releases swept the industry, wiping out soloists and groups. Starting with 2NE1 at the beginning of the year and AKMU in spring. Coming to spring, they released (Prince/Sir) Taeyang – Dong Young Bae. Originating from BIGBANG, Youngbae has established his own branding be it fashion or his music. This is also why YG was so daring to release his album during the World Cup fever a period where many other artists try to avoid.
As a Full Album, Taeyang’s RISE was filled with energy, the melodies of the songs pushed the limits and was out of the world. The title song, ‘EYES NOSE LIPS.’ weakened the melody and rhythm’s presence in the song. It also showcases Taeyang attention to details with his sexy vocals that was able to make listeners pour their feelings endlessly. And also, GD – the person that always help Taeyang whenever he releases a new record, was also featured. This time, they collaborated with “THE FLIPTONES” for ‘STAY WITH ME’, the piano and rock acoustics came together harmoniously. Something worth mentioning is YG’s previous releases were all proven to be of best quality, and this time, Taeyang was able to set the standard, raising the bar. He was able to show to a greater extent – his uniqueness and individuality by avoiding the release of similar styled trancks. ‘RISE’ was able to help Taeyang RISE up.
#3 – 2014 S/S
RELEASE DATE: 12 AUGUST 2014
RECOMMENDED TRACK: “EMPTY”
REASONS FOR RECOMMENDATION: A band nothing like their precedents
There were plenty of reasons for us calling WINNER a band nothing like their precedents and one example is from the idea to realization, WINNER and iKON has been groomed by Yang Hyun Suk for 9 years, there isn’t an old hen more tiring than Yang Hyun Suk (article described Yang Hyun Suk as a hen and WINNER X iKON as eggs), and also there wont be eggs like WINNER and iKON. YG described WINNER as unconventional and not so YG (swag) style. Indeed, you can’t deny WINNER’s unique members allow them to have a wide variety in styles that are unpredictable. WINNER is the first artist to debut with a full album in 5 years, it was also the first album that the members was able to take part in its producing, and also it was much rarer to see an artist debut with a cross-genre/soft-hiphop song as its title track.
In terms of packaging, WINNER was chic and extravagant – this caused worry whether YG was able to create another “MONSTER ROOKIE“. However, WINNER – artists with good looks, talent and fashion sense undoubtedly became a runner for the Best Rookie of the Year. The dual Titler Track – ‘Empty‘ and ‘Color Ring‘ received a flurry of good reviews on various music charts. ‘2014 S/S‘ reinforced YG’s high quality release and did a good job this year. Something worth mentioning is WINNER’s vocal line is able to showcase emotions, rock and definitely hiphop. WINNER is a symbol the possibilities of YG’s new generation and their force to be reckoned with in the future.
#6 – CRUSH
RELEASE DATE: 27 FEBRUARY 2014
RECOMMENDED TRACK: “COME BACK HOME”
REASONS FOR RECOMMENDATION: Strong and domineering
From ‘I AM THE BEST‘ you can see 2NE1’s strong vibes. Since debut till now, they seem to have pasted a tag that says ‘I AM THE BEST’ on their fo
rehead and stepped pass other rookies and established themselves. However, like career minded women that lack love, they are a girl group like that as well. Therefore, upon the release of ‘MISSING YOU‘ during last year onwards, 2NE1 showed their emotional and soft side. The explosion from their soft side can be seen in their album ‘CRUSH‘, ‘CRUSH’ was an album filled with songs of above average quality. It was filled with a variety of genres like R&B, Electronic, Hip Hop which was full of style. The only solo from the album came from the leader CL, the solo track was unusuall
y nice to listen to.
The double title track, ‘COME BACK HOME‘ and ‘GOTTA BE YOU‘ was filled with swag and devilishness, especially ‘COME BACK HOME’ where the shadows of ‘I AM THE BEST’ can be faintly seen. You see, they are obviously swag girls, by allowing
them to act reserved and soft is a little too unconvincing. You can tell that these YG styled swag and aloof girls is a disadvantage when they can’t be soft enough. The not bad song ‘Good to You‘ had lyrics that caused tears to roll. 2NE1’s maknae has also reached maturity and grew which formed this group 4 different main vocalist. Her good singing skills are needless to say, her control was present too and it was convincing to hear her sing ballads. If their music was the only one that has been bragged about, they will never become the nation’s ideal type. Although 2NE1 is currently struggling to convince their listeners of their beauty, who says they can’t be the ideal type for people that like music first?
Source: Sohu Translated by: @B0Minator via ygunited