Korean Pop Music: “K-Pop”!!!

by Sharon -- June 11, 2010

For all of you American pop music lovers, I am going to bring a new source of music into your lives: Korean Pop (usually referred to as “K-Pop”).  Just like fashion and general aesthetics of different cultures, I always notice different types of music from the countries that we visit.

The basic common trait of music from Asia is everyone’s love for English speaking music (mostly American).  We have heard all types of English speaking music in each country we have visited; everything from Elton John to Britney Spears (a lot of her), and from the Beatles to Akon (unfortunately).  It seems that English speaking music dominates the world.  (The funny thing about this was that we would hear one or two American hip hop songs OVER and OVER again in many countries, so much so that even all of the locals who don’t speak English would be singing this English hip hop song by sound…)

BUT, that being said, of course every country has their own native music.  Korean pop has been the only type of music in Asia so far that I can say I enjoy.

K-Pop music sounds a lot like American music, which is probably why I like it so much.  It’s just so catchy that you can’t help but continue to hum one song for days on end without meaning to.   Here are a few K-Pop artists that are absolutely on top of the charts in Korea:

  1. Rain: This guy is the Justin Timberlake of Korea.  He is their absolute biggest star and is a singer, dancer, and actor, and even starred in an American film last year called Ninja Assassin (though I doubt the movie got much publicity).  He is actually very talented, unlike many American pop stars whose fame is still a wonder to me (Ke$ha).

  2. Use the player above or right-click on this link and choose “Save As” to listen.

  3. Girl’s Generation: This girl group has 9, yes 9, singers ranging in age from 18-21.  They are all very thin, pretty, and can sing well.  The downside to this is that while their singing skills are probably okay, they are definitely lacking in the dance department.  Not that it matters, they are still nice to look at and they continue to release hit after hit.

  4. Use the player above or right-click on this link and choose “Save As” to listen.

  5. Wonder Girls: This girl group of 5 singers is a bit of an older group, since their oldest member is 28 (what a spinster).  They actually crossed over into American music as they were the first Korean group to break the Billboard Hot 100 and were also an opening act for “The Jonas Brothers”.  Their hit song “Nobody But You” was playing non-stop in every single country we visited, which can attest to their popularity.

  6. Use the player above or right-click on this link and choose “Save As” to listen.

  7. Super Junior, SS501, Big Bang, TVXQ, and 2PM: These boy bands are indistinguishable to me, so I won’t even separate them.  They are all very popular bands with anywhere from 4-13 members (13!!!!!!  Fact: Super Junior is the biggest boy band in the world), all ranging in looks from extremely feminine (very emo haircuts with bangs and low cut shirts underneath silver blazers) to pretty masculine (t-shirts and tank tops exposing a lot of muscles).  The interesting thing about these groups is that they are all much better dancers than the girls in many of the popular girl bands.

  8. Use the player above or right-click on this link and choose “Save As” to listen.

  9. Lee Hyori: My favorite one-girl-band!  This gorgeous 30 year old was once in a popular girl band back in the day, but ended up having a successful solo career.  She has a hit song out right now called “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”.  It’s my favorite song right now!

  10. Use the player above or right-click on this link and choose “Save As” to listen.

Without a doubt you will have your head filled with the catchy tunes of Korean Pop after listening to these songs….  Welcome to Korea!

Be awesome and help us share:

6 Responses to “Korean Pop Music: “K-Pop”!!!”

  1. Dude, you forgot 2NE1!!

  2. these are currently being downloaded to my iphone right now since I cant hear them on my work computer :) with girl generation is “oh” or “gee” a better song? oh well… I downloaded both. :) I used to have a K-pop cd and totally memorized the words to the songs (and they were in korean) and I have no idea what I was saying!!!! do you remember that korean rapper!?

    I would like to make a request!!! a entry about the interesting poses that asians make for picture. Besides the oh-so-popular peace sign. Im noticing this wonder girls group has an interesting pose!

  3. Hi Jason and Sharon,
    Nobody but You was a Jazzercise routine last year. Very catchy song. When I used to travel to Asia a lot, I noticed a lot of American music with local lyrics. Fun post.
    Carmen :)

  4. Oh, and have you heard of “Fahrenheit”? I think they’re a chinese boy band. My daughter, Celeste, loves them and sings along to their songs - in Chinese - but she doesn’t speak Chinese.

  5. Ninja Assassin was pretty big in terms of lots of adverts for it.

    Are the wonder girls doing the lucky cat pose?

  6. Britt: I did forget 2NE1 and I didn’t do it on purpose! I kept thinking I should add them in but I also kept forgetting. How mean of me!

    Holly-ah: I think “Run Devil Run” is far superior than “Oh” and I don’t know the song “Gee”. Maybe I’ll youtube it!

    Carmen: I love that song “Nobody But You” and Jason and I have sung it for months now! Your daughter singing along to a Chinese boy band is awesome- and hilarious!

    Clare: I’m surprised that it got a good amount of publicity. I never saw ads for it while I was back in the States, but then again I probably wouldn’t pay any notice to a ninja movie even if I heard of it!

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