From scandal, to sub-units, and even a near-Hallyu takeover, I think it’s safe to say the world of K-pop has been pretty busy so far. It seems, though, as if the summer heat will be making things even busier, as it brings out the some of the pop scene’s best idols and their comebacks to follow suit. It really has been too long since our (or at least my) favorite idols have promoted in the motherland, and it seems just about time that they did. Will the summer melt over with aegyo or burn up with charisma?
Let’s take a look at who is making an official comeback in Korea this summer. Even though Big Bang already made a titanic return to the music scene with Alive, they are already teasing us with shreds of another comeback single titled “Monster,” to keep things alive (pun intended). From the looks of it, BB is going to stick to the darker, melodramatic undertones we saw with the Alive album, but so far it’s been working to keep me under a spell, so why not. Although the group will be foregoing local promotions of Still Alive in lieu of their world tour, the new material should still be enough to keep fans happy for the summer months ahead.
Also from the YG camp, the baddest females of 2NE1 will make a comeback around mid-June with a rumored full album after a long promotional period in Japan. What direction they will go with next hard to say — since their last Korean promotions with “I Am the Best,” “Hate You,” and “Ugly,” I wouldn’t be surprised if they once again approach their comeback with the ‘triple threat’ tactic, as they not only did it the last time they were in Korea, but also with the three promotional tracks off the To Anyone album, “Go Away,” “Can’t Nobody,” and “Clap Your Hands.”
All six of these songs have the club vibes to them, complete with endless bass and synths and even autotune, so it wouldn’t be completely out of left field to anticipate three more similar songs. However, it may prove to be repetitive, which is why I hope YG and these ladies put a twist in somewhere to keep us guessing.
JYP’s infamous quintet the Wonder Girls are also making a comeback on June 3rd with their third mini-album Wonder Party. While I love the Wonder Girls to death and think their old-school concepts and mo-town and jazz influences are just to die for, it’s time these girls got a revamping.
From the looks of the teaser photos, it seems as if JYP is still going with a mod-90’s look for the girls, but you can never really tell how the teasers will match up with the actual song, so we’ll have to wait and see if WG goes a punk-pop route or something a little more classy in sound, or perhaps even pull a wild card on us. All the same, I couldn’t be happier for the Wonder Girls to be making a comeback, I just sincerely hope they stick around long enough to enjoy their own fame back home in Korea.
T-ara, who will be undergoing member additions throughout the rest of the year, will be debuting as an 8-member group this July. If you caught me ranting earlier about this mayhem, then you know I have a bitter opinion of T-ara’s label, Core Contents Media, as it is: their plan is to add two new members to T-ara over the course of the year in order to keep the rest of members competitive, even though the majority of them never actually sleep.
T-ara will finish promotions in Japan, kick off a 6-city Japanese tour on June 18th, and then rush back to Korea for a comeback in July with their first new member, who is supposedly a “beautiful 12th-grader with great musical abilities.” The second new member is currently a 9th grader who is expected to appear in T-ara’s newest Korean MV. It will interesting to see how adding more youth to the group will change T-ara’s music, formation, and group dynamic, and what route the
monster CEO of CCM Kim Kwang Soo has in plan for T-ara’s aesthetic and musical future. Even though I am hoping for the best, as a T-ara fan, it’s still kind of upsetting. T-ara doesn’t need to be next SNSD (9 members) or After School (continuously changing group dynamic), but who really knows–maybe it’ll all work out in the end. T-ara has a way of surprising me.
Another comeback that’s going to consume my life is B2ST!
FANGIRL SQUEAL B2ST has gone from being underdogs to A-listers in just a few short years, and I couldn’t be happier for them. Fiction and Fact was an album that changed my life as a K-pop fan, and it was hard to believe the group of “rejects” from other companies came together with so much harmony. This time around, B2ST should try their hand at something a with a little more bass and some club vibes.
They’ve done the pretty boy look, they’ve done typical pop, and even went the ballad route, so I think it’s high time for some serious energy. I want Junhyung rapping center stage and Yoseob and Kikwang to scream with their high pitched voices and Doojoon to balance them out, this time with more than like four verses, Dongwoon needs to remove his upper body clothing and keep looking pretty and Hyunseung…. Hyunseung gets an angst makeover. Done. I’m sold.
The sexy pop queen Lee Hyori will also be making a comeback to the music scene. H-Logic and the Gaga-esque “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” was the last we really saw of Hyori musically, but she has been keeping herself busy since. From fighting for animal rights activism, finding a boyfriend (FINALLY), and hosting her new show You and I, Hyori has managed to stay in the spotlight by branching out her interests.
To me, Hyori has never really been disappointing in terms of the pop scene — she embraces sexy so well and rocks her choreography every time. This natural born entertainer is an original in this generation of K-pop, and if the epitome of sexy pop for the rookies who look up to her. I’m curious to see what direction she goes with her music this time, since “Mr. Big,” “U-Go-Girl,” and “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” were all faster tracks. Hyori has done a lot of maturing over the years, so it’ll be exciting to see if her music and concepts will reflect that growth as well.
Other familiar names that will be returning to the Korean scene this summer include After School, Teen Top, Rainbow and Dal Shabet as well as 2PM‘s Wooyoung and 2AM‘s Jokwon for their debut solo album endeavors.
Now apart from the officially announced comebacks, lets take a moment to speculate on who else just might be making a comeback this summer. It’s been a while since DBSK has been on the K-pop scene, and their promotional time table suggests that they may very well be back in Korea sometime in mid-to-late summer. Super Junior also just wrapped up Super Show 4 with encore concerts in Seoul, and announced their 6th album will drop before Leeteuk enlists in the military. No other official news, however, has been released about the impending comeback. It’s high time f(x) made a return to K-pop, now that all members are in tow. So far, the hearsay is that their summer 2012 comeback is in the works, but no official word yet either. (Dang that’s a lot of SM to have in one summer)
It’s been a couple of months now since the Block B-Thailand controversy, and knowing sensationalism and K-pop, I don’t see why the boys couldn’t make a comeback later this summer. 2PM is also busy touring Japan at the moment, but as a group they have been MIA from the K-pop scene for a while now too, and their promotional schedule also implies that they are due for a Korean comeback. (Also I need by eternal bias lover Jun.K to come back. I mean really, they’ve been gone for like ever now.)
Well, that’s quite the lengthy list, but it’s also promising. It looks like this summer is going to jam packed with new songs and comebacks from some of the biggest artists we know — hopefully each and everyone of them dazzles us with something new and inventive from what we’re used too. With that said, all that’s left to remind you is to have fun and keep your eyes and ears open for this, hot, hot summer! (again, pun intended).