While K-pop acts are a common sight on the Billboard charts today, there's an entire generation of Korean musicians who laid the groundwork for their successors but have no chart stats to claim for it. Now, one of the biggest boy bands of the late '90s gets their shine.
SECHSKIES' new album The 20th Anniversary enters at No. 9 on the World Albums chart this week, marking the group's Billboard chart debut nearly 20 years after their first album was released. SECHSKIES debuted in 1997 under DSP Media (the future home to KARA, Rainbow and K.A.R.D) with their debut single "School Anthem." The sextet rivaled other top boy bands like H.O.T before disbanding at the height of their popularity in 2000, but not before setting a major wave through the industry and helping keep the boy band trend going strong through present day. After holding a reunion on television more than a decade later in 2016 (without original member Ko Jiyong, who retired from the entertainment industry altogether), five of the six members later signed with YG Entertainment (current home to PSY, BIGBANG and CL) for their official return to the K-pop scene marked by this anniversary album.
The 20th Anniversary album boasts three new tracks, along with remastered hits from the band's past discography that included more than five full-length albums. The new songs "Be Well," "Sad Song" and "Three Words" were written and co-produced by Epik High member Tablo, and showcase why the act can still be a formidable force in the scene today. "Sad Song" has a modern-day, electro-pop groove that any boy band would kill to get their hands on while "Be Well" proves they can still nail a ballad. Meanwhile, the buzz track "Three Words" -- which Billboard named as one of the best K-pop songs of 2016 -- ultimately acts as a promise that the group won't leave fans again as they sing, "I'll always be here for you... / I missed you."
SECHSKIES' 20th Anniversary album is also the best-selling K-pop album in America this week, all hinting that the '90s/'00s generation of K-pop fans are supporting their favorites while these acts gain new fans in today's YouTube age.