K-Pop Hot 100: Indie Band Busker Busker Bows at No. 1
Busker Busker, the final contestant on the popular audition program "Superstar K3," is bringing something new to the Korean music industry. The band - comprised of Beom-June Jang (lead vocals/guitar), Hyung-Tae Kim (bass), and Brad Moore (drums) - made their official debut on March 29, and now immediately soar to the No. 1 spot on this week's Billboard K-Pop Hot 100. The indie band has truly found a groove with the compelling blend of familiar melodies along with their unique personalities.
All 11 tracks of their first studio album, "Cherry Blossom Ending," were written and composed by the singer/guitarist Beom-June Jang. The title track and this week's No. 1, "Cherry Blossom Ending" - built around a heavy guitar beat - is an appropriate track for spring as it paints the picture of falling cherry blossom petals.
Busker Busker's new album is full of medium tempo tracks with unique lyrics and simple chord changes which helps explain why almost every track from the album charted big this week on the Billboard K-Pop Chart; not to mention holding five of the ten spots in the Top 10.
Regarding their No. 1 debut, the boys gushed, "We made it to the No.1 spot on K-Pop Hot 100 with our rendition of Kim Kwang Jin's 'Tokyo Girl,' which we performed during our competition on 'Superstar K.' We never thought we would make to the top of the chart with our own song. We are more than overwhelmed and thrilled that people are listening to our music."
"We have been translating for our American member Ben Moore. I think things will definitely be different when we go to the States. We look forward to visiting America," Beom-June Jang told Billboard Korea, eying a potential crossover.
On other side of rock, idol band, CNBLUE - made up of members Jung Yong Hwa, Lee Jong Hyun, Kang Min Hyuk, Lee Jung Shin - released their third mini-album "EAR FUN" on March 26, making fan's hearts flutter all over Asia. The lead single, "Hey You," is a modern rock stylized shuffle that tells of a man suffering from his lover's absence with a silly, but extremely catchy, hook. Singer Jung Yong Hwa's powerful vocals and feel-good persona is a fun combination that helped the song jump to the No. 7 spot. Another song that Jung Yong Hwa co-wrote and composed, "I Still Love You" logged in at No. 26 (down from last week's No. 11 spot). Their Japanese debut single "In My Head," which earned them a golden plaque from the Japanese Recording Industry Association for selling over 100,000 copies, is included in this new album.
Meanwhile one of the queens of Billboard K-Pop Hot 100, Lyn, released her seventh studio album, "Love Fiction." The vocal maestro, who topped the K-Pop chart for a full month in February, is aiming for another big splash on the chart with her newest single, "Teddy Bear." Her new single is a medium-pop ballad which highlights her unique timbre.
Elsewhere on the chart, the former two-week chart topper 2AM falls to No. 5 while Ailee's "Heaven" clocks another week in the Top 10, this week at No. 10, with her mega-hit "Heaven." miss A's "Touch Me" has proved to be a long-lasting hit as well this week remaining at No. 30.
Next week look for the 2010 winner of Billboard's K-Pop New Artist of the Year award from the Billboard Japan awards, 4Minute, to make a big splash with their comeback single "Volume Up" and EP of the same name.
(Additional reporting and editing by Jeff Benjamin, Billboard)