Posted by : KPopRanter December 29, 2012
2012 was undoubtedly the year of scandals, relationships and Americanism. Although their were apparent traces of the K-Pop we once knew it was (the innocent-styled K-Pop, way back when girl groups still danced Gee and still sang about how much they loved their oppas, HyunA didn't consistently hump the floor and boy groups didn't consistently grab their crotches), K-Pop has finally crossed over from "original" to "the-Korean-version-of-American-music". And though I honestly didn't like most of this year, there were still elements to that I have to acknowledge the parts that I did like about K-Pop in 2012 which stood out to me more than any other passed year.
1. More talented groups are showing up.
From SPICA's undeniable vocal talent to even EXO's flawless reiterations of Engrish, it seems apparent that companies are now realizing that looks aren't everything. Nowadays, there are more members in groups in which actually sound somewhat decent live and aren't just worthless additions because they can aegyo and sing a constant, flat note. In relevance to this topic, there are also more groups that have the arguably perfect amount, 4 to 5 members, and not just groups in which exceed the number yet have the minority of members who can sing above the average standard, a few who can dance a little bit and the rest not even proving their purpose (Girls' Generation, Super Junior, etc.).
2. There were more scandals.
I know what you're thinking, "Who wants scandals?" and "How is this something to like about K-Pop?" but I can say that the scandals give us more to contemplate and discuss about which in result, makes K-Pop more interesting. In honesty, I would rather see reports on Korean Entertainment news sites about how Eunhyuk and IU had a sex scandal or T-ara's Hwayoung was bullied and neglected by her fellow members than see news about groups performing at Music Bank or see a selca of a barely relevant idol group member as he/she shows of their plastic face. Having controversies not only adds more entertainment to the otherwise boring Korean pop but also brings more variety and a spice to the industry.
3. There was a change in positions.
Not only was 2012 the year of scandals, relationships and Americanism, but 2012 was also the year for YG Entertainment. Though 2NE1 didn't have their supposed and always postponed comeback, the presence of artists such as Big Bang, PSY, Lee Hi, Epik High and more was evident and made an obvious impact in their position. YG Entertainment once claimed second place in the Korean pop industry, however, with PSY going global, Big Bang releasing arguably their best album yet and other groups proving their relevancy, they surpassed SM Entertainment and proceeded to reign as Korean pop's number 1 entertainment company. This change not only impacted YG Entertainment, but also subtly impacted other entertainment companies, too to produce more effort for next year... making me assume that 2013 will be just as great if not better than 2012.
4. Oppan Gangnam Style.
Another confusing point for many people is that I actually do enjoy the Gangnam Style hype. Not only did this breakthrough for K-Pop create an effect throughout the world and made K-Pop known, but it also lured in more fans into the music. Not only that, but it was great seeing an actual artist who deserved the popularity make it in the market as opposed to the other try-hards. I also have to note that this song was catchy, exciting and one of my favorites of the year.
Though leaving out some of the other elements I enjoyed about this year, such as new concepts, catchy songs and some of my favorite group's comebacks, I have to say, these elements of 2012 stood out the most to me and concluded 2012 to be a glorious and exciting year.
What did you like about 2012? Do you agree with some of my points or do you disagree?