20140407_seoulbeats_aomg_jaypark_simondIt’s a fresh new month, and with it we have a fresh batch of comebacks! If February and March were for the girls, then the boy bands are going to be the focus of April and May.

Which boy band(s) are you looking forward to the most?

Lo: If solo artists, count, I’m going with Jay Park and Simon D‘s “Metronome.” If they don’t . . .I’m still going with Jay Park. He has this sense of genuine-ness that I adore. When he’s singing love songs, I believe he’s in love. Same with his party anthems, sex jams and hip-hop numbers, and instead of seeming preposterous, he comes off as a person who has multiple facets to his personality.

Lindsay: After watching his teaser, I am extremely excited for Eric Nam‘s “Ooh Ooh” comeback. The song is catchy and upbeat with a nice hint of classic swing music. I’m not sure if the MV is going to be more like the jazz band dance scenes in the teaser or more like the barely dressed candid shots, but either way I’m going to be happy.

There are rumors of a comeback by History this month, which would be simply stellar. They’ve been a group I’ve kept my eye on since the beginning — what with their intense vocal power and unique debut — but I didn’t really fall in love with them until their last single, “What Am I To You.” I’m holding out on committing one hundred percent to their fandom, though, until I see how I like their next single.

And last, but not least, of course I’m excited for Exo. Although, honestly, I’ve found all of their photo teasers to be sub-par in styling and quality. But no matter how much I may dislike their hair, or their clothing, or their makeup, I can’t deny that I love their albums.

Pat: I would automatically say Exo, if only to see how much Exo-K has improved. Back during their debut, Exo-M definitely had the better promotions and their promotions last year were, without a doubt, uplifted with the combination of the two units. So I definitely want to see if Exo-K can pull out some quality stages or will it continue resting on the natural charisma of Kai, Chanyeol and D.O. Exo-M will have no problems at all.

And Jay Park all the way. I am just in love with everything the man produces and how he performs.

Amy: Exo’s gonna eat everybody alive, but I really hope that it’ll be because their song is good (a la “Growl”) and not “JUST CUZ” (ahem, “Wolf”).

20140407_seoulbeats_akdongmusicianGaya: I don’t know, Amy; Exo will have the fans, but Akdong Musician are popular as well; I think they have the strongest chance of anyone to beat Exo on music shows and charts. I’m disappointed that YG wimped out on giving us a “boy band war” by debuting Winner (because only girls should be pitted against each other) but I am happy that AkMu are finally going to debut. Their teasers looks so pretty and I can’t wait to hear the album.

Amy: If Exo releases something as pleasing to the mainstream ears as they did with “Growl” it doesn’t matter how well Akdong’s music is gonna be. They’re not at Busker Busker level yet. Exo already has a rampant fanbase, even without appealing to the mainstream, but with the right combination, they can have their fans AND the public, which would be a monstrosity.

Mark: I hate to rain on everyone’s Exo parade, but K-hip-hop is going to be the main event of April. Mature adult hip-hop is the name of the game and it’s been busting through the charts ever since Baechigi teamed up with Ailee to make the gem “Shower of Tears” last year. That was followed by San E‘s “Story of Someone I Know,” Mad Clown and Soyu‘s “Stupid in Love,” and Junggigo and Soyu’s “Some.” And guess what? They are all coming back this month!

Look for Mad Clown and Hyorin‘s “Without You” to make some serious nose, and also keep your eyes peeled on who Junggigo is paring up with next. If it’s one of K-pop’s top trending female vocalists — Ailee, perhaps — then watch out!

Willis: Assuming their comeback isn’t the instrumental album, I’m curious to see how Infinite‘s return to the scene is handled. I believe this is their first group promotions post SM C&C and Woollim merger. Toheart‘s promotions are winding down now, and that unit seemed to signal SM & Woolim’s approach as an attempt at being ostentatious and creative. To me, Infinite has always had that uniquely distinct quality to work, so I wonder if their sound will change with this upcoming release.

140311_seoulbeats_toheart_woohyun1Joyce: Add me to the list of people infinitely excited for their comeback. Considering that Infinite is Woollim’s main moneymaker, I’m always thankful that a lot of attention and effort is put into their activities and development. For their impending comeback, I just want another song that hits the nail right on the head. I think it says a lot, that the one Infinite song that any random person on the street knows, is still “Be Mine” from 2011.

“The Chaser” and “Destiny” were great songs, but both were missing a little something that would make a non-fan drop everything and jump onto the Infinite ship. In addition, since Infinite is never one to skimp on their side Bs, I’m really just anticipating their album as a whole, for more gems such as “Going To You” and “Inception.” Hopefully, Infinite H and Infinite F will make their appearance somewhat soon as well!

Lisa: I am also most looking forward to Infinite’s comeback! I’m hoping they release something as inspired and quintessentially Infinite as “The Chaser,” which has been my favorite single to date. Their variety show appearances are always a treat as well. However, I’m concerned about the possibility of burnout, since This Is Infinite just wrapped, Woohyun will be going straight into group promotions from Toheart, and both Infinite H and new sub-group Infinite F also have promotions coming up at an unspecified time this year.

Joyce: Similar to Infinite, Beast hasn’t quite been able to replicate the mind-blowing success of “Fiction”. So, it definitely seems like the formula for the perfect song is quite a tough nut to crack. However, they’ve always delivered unique and stable releases, so they will definitely be on my radar this time round again.

2PM is another group that I’m keeping an eye out for. I was never really a fan of their clubbing, head-banging type of music, although it did have its success with the masses. However, with their last comeback, I was greatly surprised with their mellower and more sophisticated style. “Come Back When You Hear This Song” was my jam for a good period of time, and I’m excited to see if 2PM will continue in this direction, or attempt to go back to their roots.

20130724_seoulbeats_beast_shadowMiyoko: I am excited for Beast. I will always be excited when those boys have a comeback. I’ve followed them for a while, and they are one of the few groups where I look forward to their music. They always seem to be developing and growing, specifically Jun-hyung with composing.

Joyce:Block B‘s comeback has also just been confirmed. For a group that has been around for only 3 years, they certainly have had quite a tumultuous past, and I’m glad that things have finally settled down for them. Their music is gradually gaining its own footing; in fact, they barely blipped on my radar at all, until their last comeback. Considering the competition they are up against, they are unlikely to replicate their first music show win from last October. However, good music should be appreciated nevertheless, and I hope they deliver.

And of course, with many comebacks, come many variety shows. Who else isn’t looking forward to the variety-sphere heat up with all these cheeky idols messing around?

Andy: Having been a fan for three years (and a stringent one for two), I always look forward to their releases. Block B really has a style of their own and embrace it fully. They generally shuck any semblance of a typical boy idol group and experiment with all sorts of genres, which is why they attract attention. It should be interesting to see how they will tackle the concept for “Jackpot.” Just the thought of Block B doing a real group dance is amusing, since we know they are typically far from doing that sort of thing. While I logically don’t expect them to win on music shows, they will sell. People come out of interest in the craziness and stay for the good music. At least that’s my theory.

(Images via: Woollim Entertainment, AOMG Entertainment, YG Entertainment, Cube Entertainment, Ceci)