Idols Break Out Of Their Video Sets
Psy's "Gangnam Style" has proven to be a huge hit this summer, but viewers may find it interesting just how unique his video is to K-pop. The world of idol K-pop music videos is defined by glossy and expensive sets, yet the past year saw some of the biggest stars shying away from the controlled set to the real world for some refreshingly different visuals. Wonder Girls turned an outdoor mall into a flash mob dance party in the video for "Like This," which has collected 11 million YouTube views. SISTAR frolicked in the beaches of Hawaii for the "Loving U" video (3.5 million views) and Beast hit up New York for "Beautiful Night" (5.1 million). While this year saw a 15-minute video from T-ara and an almost 7-minute video from Girls' Generation with Japanse single "Paparazzi," sometimes simpler clips proved to be refreshing -- and successful.
Sunny Hill Makes Socially-Minded Pop A Hit
While GLAM debuted with the theme of universal love on "Party (XXO)," Sunny Hill has always been a group to bring social issues into their music. With provocative concepts in the past (check out their commentary on the K-pop industry in "Midnight Circus"), Sunny Hill made the most universal track of its career with "Is The White Horse Coming?" The song urges listeners not to judge others about their appearance, job, family, or material possessions, and instead focus on one's emotions to choose a partner. Sunny Hill says that this generation compares choosing a soul mate to making a product investment. Yet this track sounds like so much fun, its serious nature is almost deceptive.
K-Divas Make Big Chart Moves
Girl and boy groups seem to saturate the K-pop market, and as exciting as these groups are, the past year saw solo female acts making a big splash on the charts. IU earned the top song of the past year with "You and I," while Lyn is at No. 3 with "To Turn Back The Hands Of Time." The breakout star of girl group 4Minute, Hyun-a, is just below Lyn with her collaboration with Jang Hyun Seung, "Trouble Maker," further upping her status as a K-diva. Even rookie singer Ailee earned everyone's attention with her single "Heaven," the 16th biggest song of the past year. Don't forget about BoA ("Only One"), G.NA ("2Hot"), Ivy ("Torn Heart"), and NS Yoon-G ("I Got You"), who all successfully charted this year, too.