With South Korean artist PSY’s song “Gangnam Style” transcending its viral video status to become a global music chart phenomenon, it’s impossible not to see the ascendence of K-pop. I find k-pop so fascinating it is the sound of the future. Glistening surfaces, immaculate sound construction and hyper-processed vocals make it sound like music conceived for world melded with technology. It is the aural realization of authors like John Shirley and William Gibson. So let’s explore some of the other catchy K-pop delights K-pop has to offer:
Girls’ Generation – The Boys
A nine-piece girl group from South Korea, Girls’ Generation definitely lead the K-pop pack as frontrunners of the Asian music industry and beyond, currently holding the record for the highest peaking K-pop album on the U.S. Billboard Top 200 Album Chart. Their hypnotic choreography and insatiable dance gems like “Mr. Taxi” will dazzle pop music fans. Girls’ Generation has demonstrated their growing international presence and global appeal, and they will surely make any rival solo artists feel hopelessly outmatched.
Ŏm Chŏng-hwa – D.I.S.C.O
Uhm began her career as a chorus member of MBC, one of the three major South Korean broadcasting companies, in 1989. Dance and electronica became more prevalent in her later recordings, with some disco influence. Always finding ways to reinvent her music style and fashion trend, the D.I.S.C.O EP is notable for featuring popular artists from YG Entertainment, including members T.O.P and G-Dragon of Big Bang and 2NE1’s CL.
BoA – Girls on Top
Debuting her first album in 2000 at the age of 14,is often referred to as the Queen of Korean Pop. To date, BoA has released (excluding singles and compilations) ten Korean albums, seven Japanese studio albums, and one English album. An amazing feat considering that the pop prodigy is just 25-years-old. Girls on Top, released in 2005, was notable for the change in BoA’s image into a more self-confident musician. Fun fact: the title track (“Girls on Top”) was later re-recorded in English for her 2009 U.S. album.