Can you believe half the year is over already?! Where did the first six months of 2014 go?
I guess I was too busy fangirling to realize that today is now July and I’m thismuch closer to Christmas (shudder).
How about we just ignore that fact for a bit, and focus on the past six months instead? Sound good?
January through June was sure a busy time in the K-Pop world!
We had some great comebacks by huge names: TVXQ, Girls’ Generation, CNBLUE, Taeyang, Rain
Amazing first-place wins by my favorite boy groups: INFINITE for Last Romeo, VIXX for Eternity, EXO for Overdose, B.A.P for 1004 (Angel)
Beautiful/adorable concepts from some of my favorite girl groups: Girl’s Day with Something, Spica with You Don’t Love Me, AOA with Miniskirt and Short Hair
And a slew of rookie acts: JJCC, BTL, Troy, Akdong Musician, Mamamoo, GOT7
I know I’m forgetting a big chunk of groups, activities and releases, but I can barely remember what I wore yesterday, so this is the best you’re going to get from me. 🙂
With that said, let’s recap the first half of 2014, shall we?
Presenting my Half Year Top 10 Favorites of 2014!
1. Favorite Concept
Orange Caramel – Catallena
This was my favorite concept of the past 6 months, by far. No comparison. No contest. It was quirky and goofy and quite a departure even for Orange Caramel, who’ve done quirky before. Though the girls managed to be goofier than ever, they somehow still managed to keep the cuteness.
I loved the pretty, fluffy dresses and food-themed costumes at every performance, the various food head-wear the girls wore, the annoyingly catchy–but super cute–song, the adorable choreography, the insane music video that turned them into human sushi (and made me hungry!), and the girls’ plucky attitudes throughout promotions. They maintained their beauty and composure despite the silliness, and I adore them all the more for that.
2. Favorite Look
Ravi’s blue hair
You’ve probably seen my previous squeeing about this particular topic in past blog posts, but come on! How can you not squee?!
It’s Ravi! With blue hair!
Aagh! This is seriously my favorite hairstyle of all of VIXX’s comebacks so far. And it’s definitely my favorite look of the past six months.
3. Favorite Comeback
Rain – La Song, 30 Sexy
In the first half of the year, there were lots of comebacks from many of my favorite groups. I could have easily chosen any one of those comebacks as my favorite and it would have been justified.
But picking a group just didn’t feel right when my main man was right there waiting for me to choose him.
To say I was excited for Rain’s comeback would be severe underselling. To say I was as excited as a starving doggy being fed Filet Mignon would be completely accurate.
The last time Rain released new music was in 2010 with Hip Song (a darn fine song that was) and then he went away for military service!
But then he finally returned in late 2013 and excited me to no end when he performed at the MAMA Awards in November. If you’ve never seen that performance, here it is and you’re welcome. 🙂
And then he finally released new music in January 2014. Woohoo!
So, for purely sentimental reasons I had to choose Rain as my favorite comeback. The good thing is though, his comebacks songs–La Song and 30 Sexy–were fantastic!
Wow. Away for so long and he still didn’t miss a beat when he returned. That’s a class act.
4. Favorite Rookie Group
There seemed to be a lot of new groups that debuted in the first half of the year. JJCC and Troy were just a couple that sparked a little interest in me. And Mamamoo, who also debuted this year, is exactly the kind of girl group I love.
But my absolute favorite rookie group is GOT7. You had to know it would be. I only tend to write about them on here like all the time!
I thought it was the 2PM factor that drew me to GOT7, and I guess it really was the reason at first. GOT7 just reminded me so much of early 2PM and I loved it!
But GOT7 really has grown into their own group in just a short time and I’ve been incredibly impressed with the results of that growth.
Their variety show skills are on par with more seasoned idol groups, their songs are catchy, their choreography is exciting, and they are all just so adorable! You want to pinch their cheeks and feed them ice cream! Okay, maybe that’s just me.
5. Favorite Concert
B.A.P Live on Earth: Los Angeles Attack!
Los Angeles has been blessed with so many K-Pop concerts already this year: CNBLUE, U-Kiss, the KBS Free Open Concert, TEENTOP, the annual Korea Times Music Festival. And I’ve been fortunate enough to attend many of them, but my hands-down favorite was B.A.P.
Daehyun’s live voice, Jongup’s phenomenal dancing, Yongguk’s everything, and all the incredible fan service! And I was in the second row for it all! How could this not be my favorite thing ever so far?
6. Favorite Variety/Reality Show
This is INFINITE
So much cuteness occurred these past six months! I couldn’t even keep up with it all. B.A.P had their B.A.P Attack! episodes. GOT7 had their I GOT7 show. All my favorite boys did Weekly Idol and Afterschool Club.
But I just had to choose my ultimate bias group–my boys in INFINITE. These boys are spectacular in variety shows (especially Sungkyu), so it came as no surprise that they’d be extra spectacular in their own show. I haven’t laughed and swooned this much for a reality show since INFINITE’s Ranking King.
Have you ever seen anything cuter than this?
7. Favorite MV
B.A.P – 1004 (Angel) and B.A.P – Where Are You? What Are You Doing?
I’ve been on a B.A.P kick for months now. I thought it would subside after seeing them in concert in April, but nope. It’s actually getting worse as the weeks go by.
These two music videos are the bookends to the six month B.A.P haze I’ve been in, with 1004 (Angel) being released in early February and WAYWAYD being released in June.
1004 (Angel) shocked me with its drama and beauty. The boys looked spectacular in every outfit, especially Youngjae in that long, houndstooth blazer. Gorgeous.
And Himchan! No! I gasped and cried at the end, which wasn’t good, as I was in a hospital waiting area while watching it for the first time. Sorry, fellow hospital waiters. 🙂
Then Where Are You? What Are You Doing? was released and my heart melted.
For the pure fact that B.A.P usually thinks outside the box (literally, SM. Get your artists out of that box.) with their music videos, I had to choose both as my favorites.
8. Favorite Underrated Song
Be A Man – MBLAQ
Every year there’s one song that barely makes it above the radar. It’s a great song, has both good choreography and an amazing performance to go with it, but for some unknown reason, the song doesn’t move up the charts like it should.
That’s what happened to my favorite underrated song, Be A Man, by MBLAQ.
But why? It’s so great! It really should have won at least once.
9. Favorite Song
Love, Love, Love – EXO
There were numerous songs I loved so far this year. They just happened not to be the singles. I found a few gems on the track lists of almost every CD I bought this year.
Some of those gems were:
Tomorrow – BTS, Skool Luv Affair
Alone – INFINITE, Season 2
Body & Soul – B.A.P, First Sensibility
I Like You – GOT7, Got It?
But my absolute favorite was by EXO. And it wasn’t Overdose. It was Love, Love, Love.
Actually, the whole Overdose Mini-album was pretty great, with stand-outs being Moonlight and Thunder. So good!
But Love, Love, Love was my favorite song, by far. It’s actually in my top 10 most played songs on iTunes, and it’s not even two months old!
Everything about this song is exactly what I love about EXO. D.O.’s beautiful, lilting voice, Baekhyun’s power notes, and ’90s style slow-jam R&B. Plus Suho’s silky, lovely voice! What more do I need? Well, maybe Chanyeol’s deep voice to wrap it all up in an irresistible package. Oh, and Kai’s sexy “Will you stay with me?” to just finish off that package with a pretty bow.
Way to destroy me, boys!
And then when EXO-M sing it? Aagh! Chen and Lay both kill me with their vocals. So gorgeous. Yup. The perfect song.
10. Favorite CD
Skool Luv Affair – Bangtan Boys
Lots of great music came out in these last six months, but only one CD pushed past all the others for me–Bangtan Boys’ Skool Luv Affair.
I’ve had this CD on repeat since it came out, and I do not exaggerate when I say I play it EVERYDAY. It is my go-to music to listen to when driving. I just don’t feel complete unless I’m listening to BTS in the car.
As well as the great singles Boy In Luv and Just One Day, the CD is packed with amazing songs.
The super adorable song Where Did You Come From? just hits you right in the heart and makes you swoon over J-Hope and Suga. Or maybe that’s just me.
Tomorrow and Spine Breaker are just brilliant songs. They had me mesmerized at first listen.
Sandwiched in between those songs is BTS Cypher Part 2, a powerful, aggressive display of rapping prowess by RapMon, Suga, and J-Hope. You’re seriously exhausted after listening.
I’m just supremely in love with this CD. If you don’t have it, you must get it. And if you want to win it, check out my giveaway here!
So, that was pretty long. Sorry for the length, but I really wanted to fangirl over all my favorites, and I think I did. 🙂
What were some of your favorites over these past six months? Did I mention them here? Let me know in the comments below!