It’s still pretty cold, but things are warming up in 2016 for the Best of Weekly Music Shows. January is sort of a funky month for music shows mainly because things tend to slow down post-holiday season. Since groups are dedicating themselves to attending every award show possible, there isn’t much time to devote to releasing new material. For the ones who are making their packed schedules work, I offer my sincere admiration — and condolences — because they must be exhausted beyond belief by now.
Suzy and Baekhyun took home wins as a duo for their song “Dream” on KBS Music Bank and SBS Inkigayo while iKON scored a trophy for “Dumb and Dumber” on Mnet M!Countdown. They weren’t the only big winners of the week as the Seoul Music Awards also took place recently. Congrats to all!
I’ve assembled a modest list of my favorite performances from the past week of music shows, but everyone is welcome to include their own in the comments.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8pcSRJVFCc?rel=0]
Monsta X‘s “Amen,” Mnet M!Countdown, January 14, 2016
I’m slowly getting into this group. Their title tracks haven’t wowed me, but I enjoyed this laid-back tune from the usually hype group. When groups take a risk and switch up their sound, it can pay off well with the right song. It also doesn’t hurt to include smooth and sultry moves that strengthen the appeal of this R&B delight.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwBlHP6oTZQ?rel=0]
Lucky J‘s “No Love,” MBC Show! Music Core, January 16, 2016
It’s been nearly a year since we last heard from Lucky J, but thankfully, things slowed down for Jessi long enough for this comeback. It’s no secret that a lot of K-pop borrows its sound from foreign countries, so when the inspiration is home grown, that increases its appeal. Tapping into their cultural roots for the song’s backing track, this group proves you can show pride in your heritage instead of piggybacking off someone else’s to sound cool.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dT6LRjN7M-Q?rel=0]
Shin Hye-sung‘s “Roco Drama,” MBC Show! Music Core, January 16, 2016
It was difficult narrowing down performances, but ultimately, I chose the one given by the Shinhwa member on Show! Music Core. For starters, I could hear him singing into his mic, so that was a huge plus. I also loved the intricate choreography for this song, but the Inkigayo staging did it better service. I went with sound over visuals, and I don’t regret it. He sounds so sexy here that it would be a crime to pick something with bad lip-syncing instead.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z91N58xSOCY?rel=0]
iKON’s “Dumb & Dumber,” SBS Inkigayo, January 17, 2016
Some have been tearing into this group for their perceived stage arrogance, yet I recognize their strategy to market themselves as the confident group who conquers various music charts. Although they may appear cocky on stage, their attitude works for this stage. I’m not a fan of YG‘s overwhelming tactic of pushing them as the next Big Bang, but I feel like iKON is gaining some level of self-identity now. The group manages to look like a cohesive unit here, which is what I’ve been wanting all along.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPnZgCNcroI?rel=0]
Turbo‘s “Reminiscence,” SBS Inkigayo, January 17, 2016
This song really taps into the nostalgia fans have for this first generation group. Admittedly, it’s tough to take Kim Jong-kook seriously as the cuddly teddy bear type when you know him as the Tiger on Running Man. His persona completely changes when he sings, so it can be jarring for fans not used to seeing this side of him. However, that charming smile says it all, and his group mates look equally happy to be performing again.
In case anyone is wondering why I didn’t include any Seoul Music Award performances, it’s because the audio was horrible, and the spider cam made an unfortunate reappearance. The artists deserve to be praised at their best, so I didn’t think it fair to display stages that didn’t match their abilities. If you did find some that you liked anyway, please feel free to mention them!