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[Year-End Special] #1: Jimin – Puss

“I’m the motherfucking top madame”

I always knew Jimin was a tryhard from the very episode of Unpretty Rapstar and her performance during the first episode wasn’t too memorable or anything. However, when I watched the semifinals and saw this performance, my jaws dropped when I heard Jimin, this short little Korean pop idol, swear in English as she declares herself a “top madame”.

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[Year-End Special] #2: IU – 스물셋 (23)

“인사하는 저 여자 / 모퉁이를 돌고도 아직 웃고 있을까”

It really is unfortunate that IU has such jealous and and spiteful netizen haters that she had to be embroiled in such a petty “scandal”. A poorly constructed argument regarding IU’s “lolita” concept on her latest release managed to gain traction because, well, K-pop fans seem to operate with a hive mindset and throw truth and logic out the window in favor of a few articles written by butthurt antifans who are just mad that they can’t be adorable, self-confident, and talented.

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[Year-End Special] #3: Twice – OOH-AHH하게

“모두 나를 가지고 매일 가만 안 두죠 / 어딜 걷고 있어도 빨간 바닥인거죠”

With 22 million views on their debut MV, it would be a lie to say that Twice had a flop debut. Getting the public emotional invested in the members of Twice by having the girls compete for a spot in the girl group through a TV show worked brilliantly (so much so that it must be the inspiration behind the upcoming Produce 101). The show gave these newbies to the K-pop scene an already workable fanbase coming into their debut and thus, their success and popularity aren’t too surprising.

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[Year-End Special] #4: f(x) – 4 Walls

“소리 없이 다가와 / 내게만 펼쳐낸 신기루”

I did something grievously sinful on this blog this year and it was that I did not cover this album when it came out. It has become a tradition to cover f(x) albums when they come out but the last two came out during the summer, when I have more time, and this one dropped during the middle of fall quarter, when I was drowning in academia. The best I can do for now, I suppose, is to include it on this list and maybe a full review can follow next year.

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[Year-End Special] #5: Primary – 아끼지마 (Don’t Be Shy)

“don’t be shy 다가와 너무 고민 하지마”

Primary’s single releases this year have been spot on and “Don’t Be Shy” is no exception. Though Primary needs to be a bit more careful about his sampling habits to avoid plagiarism issues, when he’s on top of things, he produces some very interesting and chill music.

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[Year-End Special] #6: 퍼펄즈 (Purfles) – 나쁜 여자 (Bad Girl)

“자꾸 나쁜 여자라 하지마 / 날 만족시킬 줄 모르는게 더 나빠”

I will be honest, when Purfles first came out, I could not take them seriously because PURFLES. What does that even mean? My mistake though because Purfles actually has some serious pipes.

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[Year-End Special] #9: Fromm (프롬) – Moonlight Dancing (달밤댄싱)

“너무나도 짧아 그대와의 주말은”

I would lose my hipster street cred if I didn’t include at least one K-indie gem on my list and Fromm certainly deserves the spot. Her “Moonbow” album this year holds a special spot in my heart for being the soundtrack to my wanderlust, as I roamed around to various parts of Seoul alone during my study abroad adventure earlier this year.

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