Howdy, I"mNoodle, a new Op-Ed and Features writer for allkpop. I grew up inHouston, Texas and through my interest in Starcraft2, I"ve come to gain an interest in Korean music,television, and culture as a whole. My favorite solo artist is BoAand my favorite group is After School. I hope that I can neatly mergemy interest in kpop with my development as a writer to delivercontent that you can enjoy.
Life is full ofsurprises and every now and then you receive surprises within K-Pop that pleaseyou in an unexpected way. Here"s a list of my five pleasant surprises within thelast year of K-Pop that have left fans with a good aftertaste.
5dolls Gets Successfully Rebuilt asF-ve Dolls with "Can You Love Me"
5dolls was never very active,nor was their main group Co-ed School. After overa year without any releases and a scandal, the announcementof additional members and the re-branding as "F-ve Dolls" left thegroup with few lasting fans and a large mountain to climb in order toget back to the level of success that the group achieved with "LikeThis or That".
With their comeback single "Soulmate #1" lookingand sounding like a weak "Roly-Poly" rehash and the announcementthat Dani, the young and unproven member of T-ara N4, would befeatured on "Can You Love Me," expectations for the song werevery low.
But "Can You Love Me" turned out tobe one of the most underrated songs of 2013. It carries a verypleasant harmony and allows the members to showcase their vocaltalent. The new additions to the group get their chance to show thattheir inclusion was not for naught and allow the group to begin building an identity as the re-branded "F-ve Dolls." The use of Daniproved most surprising: CCM may not have given her a token rapsolo (her notes are pitched), but the unproven 14-year-old managed todo a good job, anyway. With this single, 5Dolls showed thatthey should not be looked over the next time they announce acomeback.
Lim Chang Jung"s "Open the Door"
Announced as a cover of theunderwhelming Wonder Boyz track, nobody was really sure quite what toexpect out of actor and veteran singer Lim Chang Jung"s release.
The musicvideo turned out to be super entertaining with a very fun dance andfunny story line. The song itself manages to sound catchier than theoriginal version and the overall product stands out as a success. A very nice and pleasant surprise.
Nine Muses Gets Productive
As a group ofmodels, Nine Muses" first few years had lineup changes and few produced songs. In 2010 they put out only two songs, in 2011 they became aseven member group and released only a single song, and in early 2012they added Kyung Li and put out their mini album Sweet Rendezvous.
But after adding SungA to the lineup in mid 2012, Nine Muses showeda surprisingly substantial increase in activities in 2013. Over theyear, the group released their second mini album as well as theirfirst full length album and two single albums. From January throughDecember, Nine Muses constantly placed themselves in the limelight,giving content to their starved existing supporters while gaining newfans.
Tiny-G"s "Miss You"
Tiny-G"sinitiation as a girl group full of short members standing 159cm (5"2") orshorter seemed like a weird concept at the start. Their debut hip-hopthemed music video featured a cringe-inducing part where they playbasketball and their second single"s aegyo concept didn"t reallystand out.
So it came as a surprise when their single "Miss You"ditched their previous showcasing of their height and hit the ballout of the park with one of the catchiest tunes of 2013. The song hasa guilt-free addictive chorus with good choreography to accompanyit, solid verses, and a nice high note in the bridge. Over a yearafter their debut, Tiny-G managed to strike gold with "Miss You".
Crayon Pop Makes it Big in SouthKorea
Crayon Pop debutedas simple girl group from a new company. Without the advantages ofbigger label, they focused on creating catchy and fun songs andmanage to gain a fair amount of attention from foreign fans sincetheir debut song "Bing Bing."
But struggling to get time on themajor music television shows in South Korea, the group remainedalmost unheard of in their home country and foreign fans wondered ifthey"d ever be able to generate enough revenue to keep them andChrome Entertainment from having to disband. And then Crayon Popreleased their music video for "Bar Bar Bar," which paired theirsignature simple and catchy songs with attention-drawing outfits andchoreography. The group"s recognition and popularity exploded andforeign fans no longer had to worry about Crayon Pop dying outwithout every achieving any success or recognition in their nativecountry of South Korea.
SEE ALSO: [OP-ED] 5 Pleasant Surprises in Kpop from 2013