Man, time surely is going by so fast! If I recall correctly, just a few months ago we were celebrating the entrance of the new year and now here we are, already counting down to the winter holidays. The year is not only prolific in terms of releases and idol group debuts, but also in terms of the music quality. Subjective to the author’s personal opinion and taste, here are The SLY Choice for K-Pop releases from the 1st half of 2018.
INFINITE | Tell Me
2018 marked the grand comeback of INFINITE who has been on rest for more than a year. Following the departure of main dancer Hoya in the previous year, the now 6-member boy group released a powerful dance pop song “Tell Me” which highlighted nothing but their talents. Along with “Tell Me” is their 3rd full length album titled Top Seed.
Golden Child | It’s U
Following their company seniors is the energetic 10-member boy group Golden Child. Just after their debut, member Jaeseok left due to health problems and their January 2018 comeback served as their first time going on stage without him. The title track for their second mini album Miracle is “It’s U” which showcased Golden Child’s youthful and bright sound.
gu9udan | The Boots
Gugudan shook the industry with a change of image from their cute and bright concepts to a sultry and intimidating one with “The Boots”. The song is from their second single album Act 4: Cait Sith and follows the group’s concept of integrating different forms of film or literature into music. “The Boots” is subtly experimental but is an enjoyable song.
CLC | Black Dress
CLC’s change of image from their “Pepe” style to “Hobgoblin” benefited the group immensely in terms of sales and popularity. While “Where Are You?” was shrugged off with a cold shoulder, CLC gained back the attention with the bad-ass “Black Dress”. The song is exceptional, not only as a song but as a platform for them to show their talents.
GOT7 | Look
After the sort-of-lackluster results of their previous mini album (which is more because of JYP’s incompetence), GOT7 came back stronger with the explosive dance track “Look”. Do not let yourself get distracted by Jinyoung and his tight pants and appreciate not only “Look” but also the whole album Eyes on You as well.
April | The Blue Bird
Out of all currently active girl groups in the K-Pop industry, April is the one that never fails to deliver amazing songs and exceed my expectations. They had been consistently releasing absolutely remarkable title tracks and “The Blue Bird” is truly no exception. With the right mix of vocals and good music, it’s a mystery why April still remains in the shadows.
Twice | What Is Love?
I mean, how can one not love Twice’s music? Sure they may be at times repetitive, but you cannot deny that they are very addictive. “What Is Love” is from a mini-album of the same title and, just like other Twice tracks, it is of a bright and feminine tune.
VIXX | Scentist
ALL HAIL THE CONCEPT KINGS! VIXX is definitely one of the most remarkable groups in K-Pop. With their artistic concepts, they bring creativity to the next level. With their prior release containing oriental elements, VIXX took a turn to the sultry side as perfumers in “Scentist”. They also released their 3rd full length album EAU DE VIXX.
Lovelyz | That Day
Want to know the meaning of blasphemy? It’s when Lovelyz songs underperform in terms of digital sales, views, and music video wins. The eight-member girl group joined hands with the legendary Sweetune and created yet another masterpiece of an album Heal with title track “That Day”. As usual, Lovelyz turned their loveliness into beautiful music.
UNI.T | No More
As a viewer of the now defunct KBS survival show “The Unit”, I expected a lot for UNI.T’s debut. Thankfully enough, the girl group consisting of soloists and members from several other girl groups delivered nothing but a hot bop. As the members fit the sexy image, they went for the provocative route with debut album Line and debut song “No More.”
AOA | Bingle Bangle
Right when people are doubting AOA’s future following ChoA’s departure, the now six-member girl group proved the doubters wrong as they came back stronger with “Bingle Bangle!” AOA released yet another fun and catchy pop-dance song which is perfect for parties!
DAY6 | Shoot Me
This list started with talent and so it will also end with talent. Our final song will be from this generation’s hottest band, DAY6! As the artists of my pick for best album of 2017, DAY6 bears a huge burden in outdoing themselves and their past releases. Naturally, the band performs only quality songs like the songs from their mini album Shoot Me: Youth Part 1, more specifically the title song “Shoot Me”.
Although I won’t go as far as saying that 2018 is my most favorite year when it comes to music releases, the first half already had a big share of songs included in my playlist. With few months left before we say goodbye to this year, there is still room for more expectations.