MUSIC

Vote for Popdust's 2019 Best K-Pop Group Award

Which K-Pop group is your favorite?

Unless you've been living without wifi, television, or any access to the world at large for the past several years, you probably have at least dabbled in the world of K-Pop by now.

K-Pop, simply put, is Korean pop music. But in reality, it's so much more than that. It's an art form, a spectacle, a phenomenon, and a multi-billion dollar industry. K-Pop groups eat, sleep, and breathe their craft, dancing more skillfully than just about any western group and releasing pop songs so catchy that you don't need to speak Korean to get the words stuck in your head. But with so many K-Pop groups out there, is it possible to say which group is the absolute best? Well, we'll leave that up to you. Vote below for your favorite K-Pop group!

EXO

EXO is made up of nine members: Xiumin, Suho, Lay, Baekhyun, Chen, Chanyeol, D.O., Kai and Sehun. SM Entertainment formed EXO in 2011 and debuted in 2012. Their music is a mix of hip-hop, rap, EDM, and R&B, and they release music in Korean, Mandarin, and Japanese.

BLACKPINK

This incredible South Korean girl group was formed by YG Entertainment, debuting in 2016 with single album Square One, which included "Whistle," their first number one hit. The group is comprised of Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé, and Lisa.

BTS

Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V, and Jungkook form perhaps the most popular K-Pop group: Bangtan Boys AKA BTS. This 7 member group formed in Seoul in 2013, and have since gone on to help popularize K-Pop across the world.

MONSTA X

MONSTA X is composed of seven members: Shownu, Wonho, Minhyuk, Kihyun, Hyungwon, Joohoney[2], and I.M.

From South Korea and assembled by Starship Entertainment, the boy band was formed through the 2015 reality show No.Mercy.

TWICE

This group of talented musicians was formed in South Korea by JYP Entertainment through the 2015 reality show Sixteen. The nine members of the group are Nayeon, Jeongyeon, Momo, Sana, Jihyo, Mina, Dahyun, Chaeyoung, and Tzuyu. The group debuted on October 20, 2015, with The Story Begins.

TVXQ (DBSK)

This duo, whose name stands for Tong Vfang Xien Qi, is comprised of U-Know Yunho and Max Changmin. They offer a wide multicultural appeal, releasing songs in many different languages. They are known as Tohoshinki for their Japanese releases, and are sometimes referred to as DBSK, an abbreviation of their Korean name Dong Bang Shin Ki which roughly translates to "Rising Gods of the East."

GOT7

Got7 is a South Korean boy band formed by JYP Entertainment, composed of JB, Mark, Jackson, Jinyoung, Youngjae, BamBam, and Yugyeom. They've been around since January 2014 when they released their first EP, Got It? They're known for their incredible stage performances which incorporate martial arts.

SEVENTEEN

Members of this boy band—which debuted in 2015 with Pledis Entertainment—are Woozi, Wonwoo, Vernon, Mingyu, Jun, Hoshi, The8, Joshua, Jeonghan, Dino, S.Coups, and Seungkwan. This group is known for self-producing, as many of the members are actively involved in songwriting, choreographing, and producing their own work.

TXT 

Tomorrow X Together (TXT) is a South Korean boy band formed by Big Hit Entertainment. The group consists of 5 members: Yeonjun, Soobin, Beomgyu, Taehyun, and Huening Kai.

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MUSIC

SEVENTEEN Satirizes Pop Music with New Album "An Ode"

"An Ode" is still a really good pop record, though.

SEVENTEEN wants you to know they've grown up.

[M/V] SEVENTEEN(세븐틴) - HIT www.youtube.com

They're no longer the charismatic lovesick teens depicted in "Oh My!," and they no longer have the relentless optimism of "Call Call Call." Ok, they're still charismatic as hell, but it's more complicated now. Summer is over, and Seventeen has been on an absolute tear in the K-pop scene since they began. "I want a new level," the hip hop unit raps on "Hit," their latest comeback single and intro to the boy band's third album An Ode. "We're so hot," the vocal unit sings on the refrain, (the 13 members are divided into three separate units: vocal, rap and performance.) The members of the K-pop ensemble are painfully aware of how talented they are; every release since their debut in 2015 has shot them further and further into the stratosphere of superstardom. But they want a new challenge. They're bored with how easy it is to make good pop songs. "Hit, hit, hit, hit, hit sound," they sing on the chorus.

It's hard to hear An Ode's "Hit" as anything but satirical considering the "wow, wow, wows," the autotune, the abrasive EDM instrumental, and the rap unit stating blatantly that "this is a hit."

It becomes difficult to distinguish whether the boys are genuinely pushing "HIT" as their big crossover smash, or if they're just making fun of the formulaic ease with which popular music is made. While impeccably well-choreographed, the music video is a mish-mash of classic western pop archetypes, like aggressive rain-dancing. Right before the chorus takes hold, the ensemble calls out, "From this day forth, we're free, jump!" which is a melody that sounds eerily similar to the way the Backstreet Boys chanted, "Backstreet's back, alright!"

Regardless, the "Carats," as their fans are called, are eating it up. To point out the formulaic nature of their music is not to say that SEVENTEEN doesn't deserve the same acclaim as other K-pop groups. Their music, while thematically much more focused on the stresses that fame brings, is melodically primed for western radio. "Network Love" is a tight, tropical house-infused pop song that shows the vocal unit in their prime. "247" is a fantastic R&B slow jam, and "Snap Shot" sounds like Chance The Rapper and The Jonas Brothers made a musical baby.

An Ode is a compelling pop record that paints a more complicated narrative than your average K-pop group. In fact, it seems painfully easy for SEVENTEEN to make radio hits, which isn't exactly a bad problem for a boy band hoping to find international fame.

An Ode