This week, we get a nice mix of guy and girl groups making a comeback, other groups into the second (or more) performance of the promotion cycle, and a good mix of solo acts.

One particularly note-worthy segment was the Music Bank ending dedicated to showcasing the career achievements of Cho Yong-pil, who won this week’s K-chart. It certainly is impressive to see that even as K-pop makes up much of Korea’s music exports these days, a legend still matters in his own country, and that the K-poppers in the studio also cheered when his song was played.

Here were some other note worthy performances:

Secret’s “Only U” and “YooHoo”, KBS2’s Music Bank, May 3, 2013


The hairstyles have certainly gotten more conservative and the outfits less flashy, but the group is still performing to the standards of the past. While “YooHoo” is as inoffensively safe as girl groups get, I am liking this as the antidote to the electronic layers of loud that seem to plague most girl group songs’ these days. Plus Secret is certainly a very cohesive unit when performing, where everybody appears to be at the same level.


T-ara N4’s “Jeon Won Diary”, KBS2’s Music Bank, May 3, 2013


I would admit to not being much of a fan of this song, given how it is a generic mess of euro-disco beats as a whole, but it’s here for a good reason. The parts that work are actually pretty good. I am liking Hyomin and Eunjung’s stage presence in the performance, and they actually do attempt to sing above all that vocal processing. Also, SPEED’s Taewoon makes a decent stab at rapping, with decent flow. However, good performers only can do so much.


Roy Kim’s “Bom Bom Bom”,  MNet’s M! Countdown, May 2, 2013


I now feel rather churlish for having missed out on him during his winning run on SuperStar K, for Roy Kim is very impressive on this single. The acoustic guitar-driven song suits his pleasant voice perfectly, and I like how it is a complete breakaway from the other dance-heavy boy group songs on Music Bank. That he looks handsome and is appealing to girls is probably icing on the cake, and nice to see him make a run for this week’s number one.


Seo In-guk’s “With Laughter Or With Tears”, MNet’s M! Countdown, May 2, 2013


K-Pop’s Golden Boy might have been midway through his promotion cycle, but he certainly shows little sign of flagging. This downbeat ballad is certainly a change from the usual R’n’B / Pop influenced material, but his voice is versatile enough to cope. I am also liking the simple stage set-up, which suits the mood of the song to a T, as well as focusing the performance on what matters the most – the singing.


Younha’s “Reason”, KBS2’s Music Bank, May 3, 2013


It’s certainly good to see Younha putting out new material on a regular basis again. While “Reason” does lack the punch that seemed to define most of “Supersonic” (the song and the album), there is a pleasantly laid-back vibe to this performance that grows on the listener with time. Another thing that adds to the song would be Younha’s vocals, which reach the various highs and lows the song needs and at the same time is easily identifiable as uniquely hers.

And those were some of my picks for the week. What are yours?

(YouTube [1], [2], [3])