As three of K-pop’s biggest acts 2NE1, CNBLUE and Girls’ Generation have reached audiences worldwide and managed to rack up a slew of international accolades, many in just the last 12 months.
Each group has held concerts past on their home continent, with CNBLUE most recently bringing its Korean rock to New York City’s Best Buy Theatre in January. All boast appearances on multiple Billboard charts, as 2NE1 and Girls’ Generation may possibly break Billboard 200 K-pop chart records this week. Plus, 2NE1 brought its hip-hop-meets-EDM sound to will.i.am’s “#willpower” album; CNBLUE continues to garner comparisons to Maroon 5 and Jason Mraz, and Girls’ Generation’s sugary-sweet “I Got a Boy” video won the very-first video of the year award at the YouTube Music Awards over Justin Bieber, One Direction and Miley Cyrus.
The top-tier acts all dropped new singles within days of each other — but which is the standout K-pop release? Vote now in the poll below to show us why “Come Back Home,” “Can’t Stop” or “Mr.Mr.” is the hottest release of the moment:
The lead single off 2NE1’s long-awaited “Crush” album, “Come Back Home” mashes up reggae and trap beats for a musical hybrid that also scales the girls’ emotional ranges: The quartet pleads a lover to “come back home” on the verse and chorus, but flips to seductive cooing when the beat drops. In less than 48 hours, the single’s CGI-heavy video has amassed 2.1 million views.
The title track off the band’s “Can’t Stop” EP, CNBLUE showcases a romantic side of Korean rock with this racing tune. The rock-pop track opens with somber lyrics and quiet percussion, but takes the listener by surprise and jumps into an uplifting, peppy hook on the chorus. The video has garnered 2.4 million views.
Girls’ Generation follows one of Billboard’s favorite K-pop songs of 2013, “I Got a Boy,” with a slinky piece of disco-fied electro-pop. Produced by American hitmakers the Underdogs, the synthy “Mr.Mr.” gets more intricate with each verse before modulating to a new key by its final chorus. Its accompanying video has earned 6 million views in four days.
Take another listen to each new single from 2NE1, CNBLUE and Girls’ Generation, and vote for your favorite now!