This week saw the announcement of comebacks from veteran artists Gummy, Fly to the Sky and Wheesung, with JYPE-created male group G.O.D also throwing their hat into the ring. Seeing so many artists from earlier years make a return must be exciting for long-time K-pop fans, and will serve as an introduction of these atrists’ legacies to newer fans. And who knows, we may even see more such comebacks happen down the road.
Which comebacks from old-school artists are you looking forward to? And which artists would you like to see make a comeback?
Pat: I’m definitely looking forward to the comeback of Fly to the Sky. I’m a fan of Brian Joo and I confess to never having heard any Fly to the Sky song so I’m really excited since this will be the first time I’ll actually get to see both Brian Joo and Hwanhee together.
As for which artist I’d like to see make a comeback, can we please have CSJH back? And not the duo composed of Dana and Sunday.
Gaya: I’m not very familiar with most of these groups, but having covered Gummy for our Spotlight segment, I am looking forward to her comeback. I wasn’t very impressed with the way she was kind of always in the background at YG Entertainment, so I was happy to see her get involved in stuff under her new label, C-JeS. I think more than for my enjoyment, I’m looking forward to her new release because it seems like she’s back to doing what she wants to, and that’s something to be celebrated.
And I have to admit, I actually liked “One More Chance,” but watching CSJH slay at acapella performances makes me wish for a reunion of some kind. In this case my anticipation is purely selfish — I love all-female groups doing acapella and I want more of it, especially in K-pop!
Camiele: As everyone probably knows by now, I’m beyond excited about Fly to the Sky’s comeback. Quite frankly, Brian Joo is my kindred spirit. And he’s just a positive person with such a great outlook. I’m also looking forward to JYJ. Not particularly “old school” as a trio, but it’s been three years since In Heaven and I just want to see if they’ll a) follow through with the hints they’ve been dropping and b) how their respective experiences has propelled their sound. I can’t wait for Gummy’s comeback, and with Wheesung also coming back… Can we get another collabo…?
I’m with Pat and Gaya: I need a CSJH comeback? That group was possibly the second best thing SM ever did (sorry to fans of Super Junior and SNSD, but vocally, SM had two groups: DBSK and The Grace).
Willis: I am highly anticipating both Gummy and G.O.D. I was introduced to Gummy with her song “There is No Love,” but I really fell in love with the soulfulness of her earlier releases — “Memory Loss” and “NO.” It has been a few years since her last full-fledged Korean comeback, so I’m quite excited to hear her new material. Can you believe it has been about 9 years since G.O.D.’s last release? Their popularity was staggering during their heyday. I am curious to hear if their sound will change and what kind of performance they will bring for their upcoming title track.
I feel embarrassed for not being too familiar with CSJH the Grace. In terms of old school girl groups, I would like to see S.E.S or Fin.K.L regroup again with a few new songs. S.E.S.’s “Dreams Come True” was my first K-pop song, so it would be nostalgic for me to see them perform as a group again. Also, I have recently rediscovered Lee Hyori‘s solo works (a little late for last roundtable) as well as her work with Fin.K.L. A part of me would love to see them bring an empowering mature concept if they ever staged a comeback.
Amy: I’d like to see Fin.K.L. too, just to see how they would interpret the modern-day girl group sound, but Hyori is TOO big a deal now for them to even consider it. Hyori is the Justin Timberlake of K-pop and there’s no way they would reunite. And also, Sung Yuri and Lee Jin are legitimately terrible singers and K-netizens are too sophisticated in their idol-bashing ways for them to hold up well at all, so why would they put themselves through that?
Camiele: I’m with Willis in being interested in a S.E.S comeback. I think the old-school girl groups have a valid chance to come back and show the newer generation how it’s done. All the groups nowadays, male and female, are all sort of gelling together. I honestly can’t tell too many of them apart. There isn’t anything really impressive vocally from any of them. Spica, okay, yes. But the majority of the strictly “K-pop” groups are just bland.
There seems to have been a bit more variety back in the ’90s and early 2000s, and I’m willing to bet it’s because this type of pop was just so new. Labels were more willing to experiment, if for nothing else to find what would make the biggest impact. When you’re dealing with a new genre that has the potential to change the landscape of the country’s music scene, I’m thinking you’d want to try a few things just to see what’ll stick. But anyway, I’m also curious to see how older girl groups would acclimate to the current K-pop scene.
Johnelle: I’m most interested in Seo Taiji‘s comeback. He’s been named the “President of Culture” in South Korea and many say that he was responsible for the development of K-pop and K-pop culture as it stands today. I wasn’t into K-pop when Seo Taiji ruled the world, but heard of him when several of my favorite K-pop idols named him as their idol. Of course I had to go look him up and discovered hits like “Nan Arayo.” Probably what impressed me the most was reading about the song “Come Back Home” and how it actually inspired a generation of South Korea’s homeless youths to return to their families. Listening to his music you can definitely hear influences from other genres like hip hop, rock and heavy metal, but I think it was his lyrics, messages and willingness to talk about social problems that made him such an influence in the 1990s to the early 2000s.
His persona was mysterious as one of the few South Korean celebrities who kept his private life, very private (like his secret ten year marriage to actress Lee Ji-ah), and he often disappeared for a couple years and then would come back with another hit album. It’s been a couple of years since his last release (2009/2010) and he said in 2013 that he was working on a new album to be released in 2014. I’m totally looking forward to what Seo Taiji has to offer next.
Andy: I feel like I should say all the artists mentioned in the old school comeback post. I’m excited about all those artists coming back.
To me, as much as I like some current JYPE artists, their original stable of artists were the best: G.O.D, Rain, Park Ji-yoon, Noel and Byul. Now that G.O.D has actually solidified their comeback, I’m super happy. Although I started listening to K-pop well after they were gone, I’ve been a fan of the group for quite some time. “To Mother” is such a fantastic song.
I’m over the moon about Wheesung and Gummy. They are two of the best, and anytime a legendary soloist comes back, I feel like doing cartwheels. Of course, now I just want all old YG Family artists to come back. Life would be complete if 1TYM and Jinusean reunited, or Masta Wu and Perry released new music officially. I know it’s not going to happen, but I can’t stop holding out hope.
Since people keep mentioning SM artists, I would like to add Trax. They are the most unappreciated group at the label. My sincere wish is for the original line-up to come back together, although I know as long as SM’s involved, it won’t happen. It would also be nice if they could dump the whole pop-rock music, and try to find a balance between the “Paradox” and “Oh! My Goddess” eras. Otherwise, Jungmo‘s talents on guitar go to waste.
(Images via: JYP Entertainment, DSP Media, Seotaiji Company, YG Entertainment. Wheesung & Gummy and Fly to the Sky images: credit to owner.)