TOP! Part 7 – Kpop Girl Groups

1 12 2009

Disclaimer: I know there are many, many more girl groups than the ones I have listed here.  I know I missing some of the big ones like Kara and T-ara.  But I don’t care.  This is a ranking of the ones I’ve heard.

It’s been almost a year since the last installment into my TOP! series, so I figured I would do another.  I’ve been really into Kpop lately, so here’s a ranking of the top 7 (for part 7!  hahaha I’m so witty) Kpop girl group that I’ve listened to (boys shall come later, fear not).

Bottoms up!

7. f(x)

Everything about this group strikes me as blah.  Sure, “Chocolate Love” was catchy, and some parts of “Chu~”, but it’s all been done already in the Kpop world.  I mean, really, they’re the ugly duckling (literally) of hip hop girl groups.  If I wanted to hear something like them, I can listen to 4minute.  At least they don’t have an ugly rapper who refuses to wear makeup and wishes she was T.O.P.  I mean wut?

6. After School

This group got notice from Japanese fans pretty quickly by their cover of Morning Musume’s “Love Machine.”  Albeit it is my favorite version of the song I’ve heard yet, everything else they have out is… well, just like f(x).  Old.  The groups that came before them doing the same stuff they do do it much better, I must say.  After School’s just a little dull.

5. 4minute

4minute’s okay.  I neither really like them or dislike them.  Some of their music is pretty good (“Hot Issue” for example), but I feel like this group should have a lot more rapping with two rappers, but they don’t.  I feel like, if anyone, this group would really be the “female Big Bang” (in contrast to 2NE1) if they got the right producers.  What really catches me about this group is HyunA, who used to be the rapper for international phenomenon Wonder Girls.  Unfortunately, I haven’t heard as much of her in this group as I would like.  So I’m still hoping here!

4. Wonder Girls

Wonder Girls got me into female Kpop groups.  They’re something different that you don’t see every day.  “Tell Me” and “So Hot” were both so addictive and amazing.  Unfortunately, then “Nobody”, the pathetic attempt to re-create “Tell Me” came about, and I sort of lost interest.  News of their American debut caused a stir, but to open for the Jonas Brothers, of all the artists they could possibly use to break into America…  I’m sorry.  I just can’t find respect for artists who play perfect poster-child puppet to Disney such as Miley Sirus, Selena Gomez, the Jonas Brothers, and now… very unfortunately, the Wonder Girls.  Perhaps if they come back to Korea someday they might be good again, but as far as their American career goes… I couldn’t be less interested from this point on.

3. Brown Eyed Girls

I looked away whenever I heard about BEG for the longest time.  I just started listening to them a couple months ago and I was hooked right away.  “Abracadabra” and “Sign” are two of the most addictive Kpop songs I’ve ever heard.  And man, do these girls know how to entertain.  Their live stages are always big and have something to keep you looking.   I also think that Miryo is one of the few genuinly talented rappers in Kpop girl groupdom.  The rap collaboration on this year’s MAMA (in which she did about half of the song alone) was absolutely stunning.  And my favorite part is that she’s feminine (like YuBin from Wonder Girls) yet has that rapper-spunk at the same time.

2. So Nyuh Shi Dae (SNSD)

I originally hated SNSD simply because they were the biggest rivals of Wonder Girls (back when I was a die-hard WG fangirl).  But then I heard one of their songs (Kissing You I think it was) because DongHae from Super Junior was in the MV, and they instantly caught my attention.  SNSD is the perfect blend of Japanese idol groups and their poppy sound mixed with that main-stream Kpop sound.  If SNSD tried to break through the Japanese market, I’d put my money on it that they’d make it big.  In fact, I think Tokyo is one of the stops on their upcoming solo Asia tour (I do believe they’re one of the first Korean girl groups to do this?  yes?).  They keep giving cutesy (“Gee”), yet sexy (“Genie”) and never fail to impress.  I’m really looking forward to what’ll come from this group in the future.

1. 2NE1

I didn’t think I would like this group when they first started.  I was really excited because they were to be the “female BIG BANG” and their debut song was even a collaboration with the group.  But I absolutely hated “Lollipop” (and still do), so it took me a little bit of encouragement to listen to their other songs.  But finally I listened to “FIRE” and fell in love right away.  I can conifdently and boldy say that no other girl group in Kpop can pull of the hip hop/rap style like 2NE1 does.  Their songs are incredibly addictive and the style is just like something you would hear here in the States.  I do wish that Dara and Park Bom got a bit more attention in the group, as they’re both better vocalists than the other two, but man, does CL ever bring the energy.  She loves what she does and it seriously shows.  Minzy’s super spunky, but what shocks me is her age (she’s 15!!).  While that’s cool for Jpop, the type of music 2NE1 does and their dancing (good Lord, her dance parts in “FIRE”) is a bit too much for her age.  But nonetheless, she’s a great rapper and I’m sure I’ll appreciate her more when she… ages a bit.  😀

 

Now, a note to all you crazy obsessed Kpop fanclubs:

This is my opinion.  I am perfectly aware that you do not agree with my dissing of [insert your favorite group here].  You should be aware that I don’t give a shit.  You only make yourself seem stupid when you go out of the way to attack someone’s personal opinions.  Here’s a hint: don’t read it.

❤ Tsukiki

If anyone has any other suggestions for my TOP! series, I’d love to here them!  I have a couple more, but I’m running low.  Thanks!  😀

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7 responses

2 12 2009
Arbitrary Greay

Very interesting, espeically coming from a fellow H!P fan. I agree that the bottom three are very “done before” in terms of Kpop, but then again, H!P is one big mass of Tsunku/UFA rehash. Hell, almost by definition all idols are one big rehash of each other.
Which is why most idol fans, including me, let the girls’ personal touches sway our fandom. And I noticed that the higher-ranked groups generally had more comments on the girls’ personalities. That said, I don’t follow After School or 4minute either because their vocals are a little too shrill for me. On the other hand, while I absolutely love how awesome the members of 2NE1 are, both talent and personality-wise, their style of music(and most of YG’s output, for that matter) is kind of what I’ve been trying to get away from in American music.(beating the hook to death, not enough melodic variation)

Your comment on Disney also caught my eye. How are they different from Asian idols?(Not trying to troll here, I genuinely want to hear your opinion on this) My only beef with the Disney stable so far is the JB’s attempt to claim musical credibility(you’re idols, stop trying to deny it) and Miley’s diva ego. Don’t know enough about Selena. But in terms of “I just can’t find respect for artists who play perfect poster-child puppet to Disney”, how is this different from, say, MM playing perfect poster-child puppet to UFA? Or on the Kpop side, every SM artist? (I’m not bashing SM. Their artists are freakishly good at idolling, so I’m happily lapping it up.)

2 12 2009
Arbitrary Greay

Oh, and I think you’d really enjoy Kara. Their cutesy phase had music closest in sound to H!P, but with better vocals. XD And their personalities are pretty funny too, with their leader even having a more mature version of Sayumi’s narcissistic schtick going on.

I guess as an offshoot of my first two paragraphs, how much of your idol fandom is fuelled by music material(performances, songs, concerts, etc.) vs. non-music related activities?(TV show appearances mostly, but that covers so many things, like talks, games, trips, skits, etc.)

2 12 2009
Tsukiki

Wow. I almost feel the need to write another blog post just to answer your questions. Haha.

I agree with all that you said. And I suppose, hypocritical as it may be, the reason I like idols and not Disney is because a) idols are more mature and focus on an older age group whereas Disney focuses on teenyboppers and tweens, and b) idols don’t annoy me to death (most of the time). There’s something about American Disney stars that I just can’t get over… they were fantastic when I was five, but now five minutes has my ears bleeding.

I’ve actually been recommended Kara by quite a few people, and I wouldn’t mind trying them out, it’s just when I set out to get into an idol group with the intention of getting into them, it never works (which is why I still can’t like old AKB48). My love for my favorite groups, SNSD and 2NE1 in Kpop, Morning Musume in Jpop, all started as a ricochet off of something else by complete accident. In fact, I absolutely hated all of my favorite groups before actually listening to them. So it’s hard for me to suddenly go “Oh! Now I’m gonna love Kara!” If that makes any sense.

It varied for me. Because ultimately, what makes me like or dislike any kind of musical act are live performances. Then under that is the actual music, and that goes for any group/singer. When it comes to Jpop, I then look at things such as concerts, looks, photobooks, etc. because Jpop variety TV bores the hell out of me. I cannot stand it. It’s either absolutely insane or ridiculously boring. Now, Kpop, on the other hand, is a very different story. After performances and music, I love watching Korean variety. It’s for some reason always entertaining and keeps my eye. And I feel like you really get to know Korean idols more than Japanese ones.

So there’s that. If you have any more questions, I’d be glad to answer them~ :3

3 12 2009
Shanimuni Paradise’s Top 7 Korean Girl Groups! « International Wota

[…] TOP! Part 7 – Kpop Girl Groups (Shanimuni Paradise) […]

3 12 2009
Arbitrary Greay

Thanks for the response!

I think I can better understand your disdain for Disney stars now: that it’s more about the Disney part than the “play perfect poster-child puppet” part. That I can get behind. Disney’s current style of music is annoying for various reasons, and their stars’ interactions generally seemed forced because almost every Disney star does a 180 in image as soon as they get out. In a lot of cases(coughMileycough), they seem to be trying to do that before they even leave. XD Not to mention 99% of Disney productions from that sector scream “trying too hard”. Sure, Apop idols might actually also be diva egowhores, but if they were, the fact that they can conceal it so well would be impressive anyway. I can’t tell if they’re actually that nice or not.
But the ‘appealing to the teenyboppers and tweens’ part is kind of inevitable for idol groups in America. Ever since we got cynical, especially concerning the “Leave it to Beaver” happy family image, most people won’t buy the “girl/guy next door” stuff. They’ll believe that all idols are like the Disney crew. Which leaves fans of the Disney crew, unfortunately.

I agree about finding fandom by accident. If someone points me to something, I’ll usually look, go “cool!”, but not dive further until something else of theirs catches my eye later.

I had a discussion elsewhere about the difference between Jpop and Kpop TV.(It started with someone wishing SNSD had a H!M type show) It seems like Jpop TV is determined to humiliate their stars, whereas Kpop TV is always heaping praises upon their idols. Any humiliation is inflicted by the idols themselves for the sake of entertainment.
This also might be a result of idol Kpop still being quite young. The first real boy band debuted in 1992, and since then we’re only in the third wave of groups, with the big breakout of the current wave around 2006. Meanwhile Jpop idols began in the 1970s, and the current generation of idol stars is still mostly from those who debuted 10+ years ago. Even new Jpop stars usually debuted a while ago but are just now coming into prominence, as opposed to Kpop stars who gain hype before debut and explode onto the scene. In other words, idoldom has had more time to stagnate in Jpop, so of course Kpop seems fresher. (But I agree with you anyway. A lot of the Jpop shows seem unnecessarily cruel, to the point where idols just kind of take it right in the face, ugh. I got sucked into Kpop through Girl Go To School (SNSD’s debut reality show), and have never regretted it, because the badass is so very plentiful.)
But Strong Heart does resemble DTDX a bit.

4 12 2009
strawberrie

I agree with you with the whole Disney poster thing. Why JYP said they had the right audience I still think its a career killer to be known as a Disney Channel star.
I didn’t pay any attention to BEG until Abracadabra and Sign. I hope they have more sounds like that in the future.

3 05 2010
2ne1roxCLbestftw

i think 2ne1 really is the best the out of all girl groups cl is the best out of all of them i am an anti to all other groups but because they bash 2ne1 anyways 2ne1 is the best most talented and most prettiest and their only rookies ,plus i appreciate that they have the LESS antis out of all girl groups but with the MOST fans out of all other groups. 2ne1 best out of k-pop most famous most popular AND MOST PRETTIEST AND MOST HOTTEST AND MOST SEXIEST and YG FTW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
TO OTHER GIRL GROUPS FUCK YOU YOU’RE NOT EVEN PRETTY ESP. WONDER GIRLS

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