K-Pop in 2016: The year of the long-awaited comebacks

K-Pop has taken a very drastic turn in 2016. Fans have watched groups disband, debut, or make a comeback after several years. Some of the groups that waited to make a comeback experienced extreme changes in members, concept and music, while others continued the image they always had. Let’s take a look at these groups, who made their comebacks this year!

Block B: 1 year, 9 months

Block B made their comeback with Blooming Period, with pre-release single “A Few Years Later” and title track “Toy”. Their last comeback was in 2014 with their mini-album, H.E.R. While on hiatus, Taeil, Park Kyung and Zico all released solo works, unit BASTARZ made their debut in early 2015, and Block B held a tour across Japan. Block B, for this album, had a more sensitive, emotional image in comparison to the concepts they’ve done in the past. “Toy” is a hip-hop ballad about a boy who feels used by the girl he loves, with Block B being able to fully incorporate their sad acting into the song. Block B has been known to be able to do a variety of concepts, and this is no exception.

Brave Girls: about 4 years

Brave Girls first debuted in 2011 with a tough girl image, but after their last comeback in 2012 the group went through drastic changes. To start off, three out of the five original members left the group, leaving only Yujin and Hyeran. Brave Girls did release one final song together, “For You”, in 2013.

Brave Entertainment revealed that Brave Girls would be returning with five new members, Minyoung, Yujeong, Eunji, Yuna and Hayun in February, after being on hiatus for several years (rumor has it that Brave Brothers was going to produce a full album for the girls in 2014, but put it aside to work with AOA). Their newest single, “Deepened”, was a sad hip-hop song about a girl questioning why her boyfriend has changed so much. Brave Girls gained notoriety for wearing sporty outfits, consisting of leggings, sports bras, loose t-shirts, etc. They have recently released their second mini album, High Heels with title track “High Heels” in June, changing their concept to sexy workers, with a hint of aegyo.

NU’EST: 1 year, 7 months

NU’EST focused on Japanese activities for the majority of 2015, releasing Korean single “I’m Bad” earlier that year to thank fans for spending three years with them. In February of this year, NU’EST made their long-awaited return with mini-album, Q Is., with title track “Overcome”. NU’EST became knights for this comeback, singing about protecting the girl they love. This is one of the best songs they’ve released since debut, but unfortunately NU’EST didn’t gain much attention to this comeback due to their company, PLEDIS Entertainment, focusing on their newest boy group SEVENTEEN.

Ladies’ Code: 1 year, 6 months

Ladies’ Code made a surprising comeback in February with single album, Myst3ry and title track “Galaxy”. This is the first official comeback without members Rise and EunB, who both died in a tragic car accident after their “Kiss Kiss” promotions back in 2014. The girls spent the majority of their hiatus healing, releasing single “I’ll Smile Even If It Hurts” on the one year anniversary of their accident. For this album, the girls made a complete 180 degree turn with their concept; having a sultry, ethereal image. “Galaxy” is a soulful-pop song about a girl longing for her crush to “take her to the galaxy”. They plan on releasing two other parts to the Myst3ry trilogy, so keep on the lookout for more from Ladies’ Code!

Honorable mentions:

TWO X will be making a comeback after three years and five months with single “Over” on August 23rd.  SPICA will be making a comeback after two years and seven months with single “Secret Time” on August 25th.

You can find me lurking in a trash, waiting for upcoming girl groups to finally debut

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