Welcome back to Best of Weekly Music Shows! The year is winding down, and the awards season is in full swing. The MAMAs happened this past week — and not without its fair share of drama — but that did not stop the weekly music shows from airing. SNSD‘s Hyoyeon and Jung Seung-hwan both made their solo debuts this week. B1A4, Laboum, and Sechskies were among those who held comeback stages. Female groups and soloists swept up the weekly music show awards. Mamamoo, Sejeong, Twice, and Black Pink all received an award, so congratulations to all the winners.
Without further ado, here are the performances that stood out to me this week.
B1A4’s “A Lie,” SBS Inkigayo, December 4, 2016
I want to preface this pick with some sadness that B1A4 only did a minute of “Nightmare” because I love that song. “A Lie” strikes me as a very B1A4-like song. Produced by resident songmaker, Jinyoung, it has those rhythms and bridges that feel very signature. The vocals do help to elevate it and shape its identity. While the dance is simple, the staging is lovely with the two carousels, mini ferris wheel, and barren trees helping to set the mood. I especially love the climax of the song as Sandeul and CNU both hit their high notes and the prop snow flakes started falling – a beautiful way to top off a solid performance.
Sol-T’s “Badgirls,” MBC Show Champion, November 30, 2016
Sol-T caught my ear this week as I was going through my rounds. While I haven’t heard much from the quartet, their bold image and the strength of their presence on stage drew me in. Sol-T are definitely a much-needed group in the K-pop space – especially given the void felt by many similarly bold girl groups disbanding this year. Hopefully we’ll continue to see and learn more about the group in the upcoming year.
KNK’s “U,” MBC Show Champion, November 30, 2016
KNK continue to impress me with their live performance of “U.” I think they have a fine set of vocalists in their repertoire and it shows in their stable live performances. In addition, they have some decent choreography they show off their synchronicity and footwork. KNK certainly have all the cards, so with some luck and another catchy song, they may find more success in the new year.
Mamamoo’s “Decalcomanie,” MBC Show! Music Core, December 3, 2016
While I am a big Mamamoo fan, I find myself less attracted to each successive title track they’ve done since debut. On the flip side, I find myself continually impressed by their live performances. They are on point with their vocals and their charisma is undeniable. I can’t help but get drawn in again as a fan when I watch them perform live — and I eventually end up enjoying songs that I normally wouldn’t. Maybe that’s the nature of the K-pop game, and it’s once again bested me in spades.
Astro’s “Confession,” SBS Inkigayo, December 4, 2016
Astro is probably the biggest surprise find for me this year. After Lindsay had me convinced of their talent at KCON LA this year, I’ve proceeded to backtrack through their discography and kept an eye for their next release. “Confession” keeps in line with their upbeat pop sound. More impressively – for me—is their sharp performance ability. Their choreography is slick and rhythmic, and they always seem to have an extra bounce to their moves. Astro is here to stay, especially if they continue to bring this level of quality with each comeback.
Ladies’ Code’s Sojung and Mamamoo’s Hwasa’s cover of Tashannie’s “Day By Day,” KBS Music Bank, December 2, 2016
These ladies both have exquisite, husky voices. They cover a classic Tashannie song and do it justice. Sojung has such a recognizable tone and Hwasa has her very characteristic sass. Both of their voices were surprisingly well paired given how unique each of their voices are. A collaboration that is just a nice gift for the season.
Hyukoh’s “Gondry,” KBS Yoo Hee-yeol’s Sketchbook, December 3, 2016
Hyukoh is everything. Their music fills you up and infiltrates your soul. There’s no need for extra frills here. However, the complexity comes from the sheer raw emotional connection that the band’s music evokes. When they started their Sketchbook performance of “Gondry,” you get lulled in by the deep blues and start to notice the patterned yellows before the climactic full band erupts into the starry night which propels you with such a dynamic resonance, that you can’t help but yearn for their next album, for the next time you can reconnect and experience’s hyukoh’s talent on display.