It seems that most of us have begun to settle into the new year, and most of K-pop appears to have done so. This week was most of the big comebacks unveiled, so it made for good viewing.

Below are five performances from this week that caught my eye.

Ailee’s “Singing Got Better”, KBS2’s Music Bank, 10th January 2014

While that might be as cheesy as titles get, I am inclined to agree with this one. Not denying that she had talent, but her previous songs always seemed to be vocal demonstrations first, and songs second. This on the hand, turns things around and wisely understates her vocal range, giving it more impact when it comes.

Dal Shabet’s “B.B.B”, MNet’s M! Countdown, 9th January 2014

This one is interesting for being a strong execution of a weak concept. Sure, the singing and the dancing is competent, but I think in the past two years, we might have seen endless variations of girl groups dressed in tight black outfits, doing sexy moves to tunes created entirely out of synthesisers and cowbells.

DBSK’s “Something” , MNet’s M! Countdown, 9th January 2014

Between the two “Something(s)” I heard for 2014, I would say that this one wins out if just for its sheer polish, and this performance is not an exception. Experience does show in K-pop performances, and after so many releases, their voices are starting to sound a fair bit more integrated, with that conspicuous gap in the midrange largely reduced.

Girl’s Day’s “Something”, MBC’s Show Champion, 8th January 2014

The other “Something” also makes my pick this week — not for the song itself, but for what the song has achieved. As much as my review for this song was mixed, a win is still a win, and probably signs for them they might be going places this year. Still, I am not going to deny their company knows which side their bread is buttered on (hint: the sexier side).

Rain’s “30 Sexy” and “La Song”, KBS2’s Music Bank, 10th January 2014

The two years in conscription might have given him some soldiering skills, but they certainly have not taken away his entertainer’s instinct. There are parts of “La Song” which would just appear embarrassing if done by other lesser performers, but under him, they just seem to be polished away, and given his individual air. I still think “30 Sexy”, mispronunciation of “thirty” aside, is the better song though.

And this was the week in music shows summed up! What were some of your choices?

(KBS TV, Mnet Entertainment, MBC TV, YouTube [1] [2] [3])