May 9, 2014

Beautiful B-Sides Part 3: Hidden Treasures From The Boy Group Island

Well friends, we have finally made it. This is sadly the third and final part of my "Beautiful B-Sides" segment, and we have arrived at the last stop on our journey. I've been really looking forward to this particular part, since most of my favorite groups are male and I have a better knowledge of their music. Not to say I follow every single boy group out there, but I do actively follow at least 5. I do fear this post is going to be even longer than the previous one, but I am not sorry and neither will you be after reading it.

I'm going to start with Infinite, because I love them and I also love their music. Well, mostly anyway. Some efforts have been more successful than others but in general they put out catchy tunes that have a unique sound that Infinite has made their own. I didn't really have a clue which song to choose because there are quite many good ones. Although I would like to include all of their latest mini album I have settled with 1/3, a song of their first full album. I just love the sound of it. They also performed a pretty rad remix of this song on one of their concerts, so I recommend checking that out as well.

Speaking of favorite groups, there's SHINee, who manages to capture my heart over and over again. I already mentioned them in a previous part of this segment, but I am going to mention them again. The obvious choice here would be Symptoms, because everyone (including me) loves that track, but that would be too boring. Instead, I have dug deep and far into their early material, and wanted to share with you one song off of their second full album: Obsession. This song is very Jonghyun-biased, but so am I so that's more than fine.

Beast is a group I follow mainly because of their music, and I am always eager to hear what new music they come out with. Their last album was a great album, but it wasn't particularly memorable in the same way Fiction and Fact was. One of my absolute favorite songs is actually a quite old song, but brilliant nonetheless. Lightless is one of my most replayed tracks, both the original and the unplugged version.

Although B.A.P's very first full album was a bit of a disappointment, all their prior material have been spot on. The mini albums have always been consistent, high in quality and overall great releases. I would have wanted to include the all the tracks on One Shot and No Mercy, but my most played song of theirs is actually even older than that. When I first heard What The Hell I instantly loved it and I still do.

Continuing on with the rock influences we have CNBlue, who never fail to impress me. I am definitely a rock girl at heart, so a lot of the music this group puts out is music I would listen to even if I weren't into Kpop. Just like with SNSD, I have listened a lot more to their Japanese material. Up until recently, a lot of their Korean releases contained either Japanese remakes or songs written by other songwriters, so I just didn't give them much thought. It's maybe no surprise then that one of my favorite CNBlue song is Eclipse, an absolutely breathtaking song written by member Jonghyun, off of their Japanese album 392.

With only two more to go, I've decided to go back to rap with none other than BTS, Bangtan Boys or whatever you want to call them. I personally like a lot of their music, it features a lot of rapping but there's also some really nice singing and great melodies. When I listened to their latest mini album I fell in love with Tomorrow. This song is just so relatable and so horribly familiar, and it definitely hits you right at heart.

Yes, we've made it to the final song! I wasn't going to have this post if I could not include at least one tune from Block B's Blockbuster album. I don't think it was as flawless as some people make it out to be, but it was still a very well made album with some great songs. The song I'm going to share with you is Movie's Over, which isn't really what you might expect from this group. Yes, Zico is singing the majority of the song and there's not that much rapping, but it feels so genuine and nice to listen to.

Well, I said it was going to be a long post didn't I?
Anyway, I hope you have had fun and maybe found some new songs to listen to. Kpop is really a goldmine, but sometimes the actual gold can be a bit harder to find and may require some extra work, but the outcome can definitely feel rewarding enough. So next time you find yourself unwilling to listen to an entire album due to a bad title track or general disinterest, remember that you may be missing out on a lot of wonderful music.

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