The music shows this week were comebacks galore, as BTS, JJCC, Stellar, Orange Caramel, KARA, Lip Service, and Sunny Hill returned to the scene, while highly-anticipated Winner and Taemin are in full flush of their debuts. Impressively, Winner took home gold befitting their name on M! Countdown and Music Bank, while Block B finished up their goodbye stages and won on Show Champion and Music Core–interestingly, half these wins did not take place in person. I’ve picked my favorites below, but please leave yours in the comments!
“Pretty Boy” and “Danger” by SHINee’s Taemin feat. EXO’s Kai, M! Countdown, August 21, 2014
Two of K-pop’s most talked about main dancers unite on one stage in a coordinated explosion of energy to the delight of many, if the loud fanchants are anything to go by! Unfortunately, this stage is glaringly not live, but Taemin overall has been consistent in his lives at Show Champion and Music Bank.
“Too Fancy” by Lip Service, MBC Show Champion, August 20, 2014
Lip Service slay in this comeback, oozing attitude in every expression and movement. BiPa‘s strong rapping combined with upbeat, not-too-serious choreography is just plain fun to watch. With the addition of new member Anna to the duo of Cora and BiPa, the group has solidified their status among the top rookies to watch.
“Agape” by Zhang Li Yin, SBS MTV The Show, August 19, 2014
Zhang Li Yin’s voice is incredibly pure; she pulls off the ballad’s runs and steady vibrato with seemingly effortless composure. The backdrop is also a nice touch–it’s a circular background that gradually shifts from dark to light, framing her performance in a gentle woodland landscape. This is definitely a must-watch.
“Half of the World Are Men” by Sunny Day, SBS MTV The Show, August 19, 2014
This is perhaps my favorite performance this week, and it’s from Sunny Day (sometimes written as Sunny Days), a group I had never heard of up to now. Each member seems to be a vocal powerhouse, and their high energy connects with the camera. Their outfits are unconventional for K-pop, as is the choreography: They sport silver high-tops, red tulle skirts and tailored blouses, and their male dancers kneel at their feet, only for Sunny Day to emphatically push them away. I would love to locate a translation of the lyrics, so if anyone finds them please let me know in the comments!
“Danger” by BTS, KBS Music Bank, August 22, 2014
So BTS’s music is not my style at all, but I have to admit that this stage is quite impressive. Each member pulls their own weight and really attacks the stage; even small hand gestures are crisp and in-synch. Their performances in this comeback are quite consistent, as well.
“Mamma Mia” by KARA, MBC Music Core, August 23, 2014
It’s taken KARA a few stages to get back into the swing of things, but I feel confident in saying that this is their best performance of the week, vocally and energy-wise. The voluminous, crimped hair is a great look on them and hairography always adds spectacle to a stage!
“First Car” by Kim Kyung-ho, KBS Immortal Song 2, August 23, 2014
It’s not that common to find rock performances even on Immortal Song 2, but famous rocker Kim Kyung-ho goes for it full throttle. Pulsating guitars and long hair whipping around, complete with a leather jacket and powerful voice make for an explosive experience.