16 February 2011

2010: Kpop's Year for Comebacks

If 2009 was Kpop's heyday for debuting girl groups, 2010 definitely has something to brag- that it has been "the" year for some of the biggest comebacks. The international Kpop wave never ceased to conquer the world and it even marked for greater achievements this 2010. While SM Ent. strengthened it Asian dominanace, JYP had miss A as this year's best rookie group, and YG also created some of the best full-length albums (2NE1, Se7en, TaeYang, Gummy and Psy) which also topped internationally. 
For now, I would like to make a list of the best comebacks in the Kpop scene for the year 2010. We had numerous artists and group who are all strong contenders for this year's most successful comeback.

Psy (Right Now!) and TaeYang (I Need A Girl)
Top ten is a tight draw between TaeYang and Psy, The two share same record label (YGE). TaeYang released hi first full-length album this year after his successful release of several digital singles from 2008 and 2009. The album was well-received and TaeYang's growth as an artist was pretty impressive. Meanwhile, Psy, YG's newest artist is nothing new in the music business. He has been around for sometime and his confirmation of signing a contract with YG engineered him of releasing yet another critically-commended album which ha been successful.
KARA (Lupin)
KARA had to comebacks in 2010, one in February with Lupin and the other was on November with Jumping and my list gives the honor to the former. KARA's comeback this last November was a bit lousy and completely forgettable. While Lupin which was released earlier garnered much attention as it was group's most successful single in terms of sales to date.
Se7en (Better Together)
Though Se7en's comeback was 2010's most anticipated, it didn't much make it big, both in charts and sales. Concept photos showed Se7en's projected image which was strong, masculine and powerful, but apparently it failed the expectations of many Kpop onlookers. It wasn't floppy, somehow it managed to make YG some money, but considering Se7en's star value (note that he was marketed in the US) it was quite a disappointment. 
BoA (Hurricane Venus)
Back with a predicted track type, Hurricane Venus, it didn't much upgrade BoA's musicality considering her longevity in the business. BoA's Korean comeback, I believe, was rushed , completely obvious with the songs in the album, the MV and the over-all conceptualization of the whole comeback. Yes, she had some of those awards they give in TV but it didn't much prove anything about her growth as an institution among her fellow artists. Her comeback could be paralleled to Se7en's.
Rain (Love Song)
2010 was quite a good year for Rain for three reasons, first is for the movie Ninja Assassin for being casted as the lead, second is his winning as 2010 MTV Movie Awards Best Bad-Ass Lead and lastly his Korean comeback.  I actually love his album, though of mediocre quality, again just like Se7en and BoA. But among the three, Rain's comeback came out with an attitude, with fierceness and angst.
Lee Hyori (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!)
Probably the hottest (as in sizzling hot) comeback of the year, but certainly not the most successful. Palgued by plagiarism issues, which she denied at first and then admitted after a while, Hyori held the Kpop world by storm. If not for the before said issues, she could have nailed the Album of the Year award. Personally, her bad-ass carrier single, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was terrific and awesome. She promoted it with a stand-out and trendy fashion statement. Hyori had never been this hot. Yo! Gurl!
SNSD (Oh! and Hoot)
 These girls had superbly sustained its stronghold and infamous status they had acquired in 2009 through the monster hit, Gee. Their two comebacks in February (Oh!) and November (Hoot) were all total success. Both comebacks proved the group's superiority among fans. Though, the success Gee enjoyed is still unparalleled by the group, it was still a quite good year for them.
Secret (Magic and Madonna)
Secret comeback in 2010 served as their gateway to be recognized and be a fully-established hit maker and a worthy girl group icon. The group debuted in 2009 but their first venture was a failure. Sure! they were noticed through their sweet and candy-coated "I Want You Back" but it didn't earn them commercial success. Their 2010 comeback was one of the least anticipated ones, but after the MV was released (Magic), the group's fate shifted. Their follow-up ingle Madonna, a rip-off from Magic, boosted their success.
2AM (Never Let You Go)
After a year-long hiatus in 2009, the ballad boy group had an early 2010 start by releasing their first full-length album with carrier single Never Let You Go. Though they had an unprecedented wrestle with fellow comeback act, SNSD, the group never failed to impress. Follow-up track I Did Wrong equally matched the previous single' success. A pretty good year for 2AM, unlike labelmate 2PM which received a mild success for 2010.
2NE1 (Clap Your Hands, Go Away and Can't Nobody)
Talk about an epic comeback then you got 2NE1 on your bucket list. The girls took 2010 to create history by being the first and only Kpop artist to date to simultaneously promote three singles from an album. That's just not it! The album as well received an enormous success on foreign chart. It managed to top on iTunes for weeks and entered Billboard World Album at number 7. Their album was also a hit in Japan which secured their Japanese debut sometime from now. The three singles promoted showcased the variety of genre the group can perform. Astonishingly, these three singles all received awards from Mnet, KBS, and SBS. It Hurts, their follow-up single from their album, was released by with a spooky MV and the girls did it live amazingly.

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