It’s the end of the year countdown!
This year seriously flew by for me. It feels like just a couple of weeks ago that I was writing up my end of the year review for 2013. Even though it felt so short, I am in such a different place now. My mind has matured, the state of my family is different now (hopefully for the better. We were in a strange, somewhat bad place this time last year), and even this blog has changed.
As always, thank you to everyone who has stuck around with me this year, and thank you to all of my new readers! I will hopefully have much more planned for you all in 2015.
For now, however, let’s take a look back. While last year seemed to be the year of subunits, this was the year of collaborations! There were so many collaborations that took place this year, and nearly every single one I saw was beautiful. I will be talking about a few of those music videos in this list.
This was also the year of SM solos! Taemin, Henry, Zhoumi, Kyuhyun…and it looks like 2015 is only going to bring us even more with Jonghyun and Amber. I am so happy that these often overlooked members are finally being given the opportunity to showcase their real skill. SM went through a lot of negatives this year, but these solos were definitely huge positives.
And of course, it was the year for some big comebacks. Super Junior, Epik High, Park Hyoshin, and many other older groups came back this year. For the first time, I really saw just how different K-pop has become since I first got into it. Until I saw Super Junior competing against all of these hoobae groups, I didn’t realize just how many new groups there are! The next generation is really taking off, and while I am sad that the groups that brought me into K-pop are looking to be on their way out, I am proud of how far some of these new groups have come. (Seriously though, I was really starting to feel old this year.)
I spent the past year sharing review after review with you of the latest comebacks in K-pop, and I spent the last week on my own looking up all of the music videos I didn’t get to talk about and rating those. 160 music videos later, I have compiled a list of what are, in my humble opinion, the best K-pop music video to come out this year. This takes into account the song, story (if applicable), cinematography/appearance of the video, wardrobe, and dance (if applicable). The effectiveness of each factor in keeping a viewer entertained as well as how well the different factors balance each other out all equally contribute to my ranking of them in this list.
Every day, for the next five days, I will share with you ten music videos, in order, that I feel were put together with the best care, starting today with #50 and ending with the #1 best music video of 2014 on New Years Eve.
Again, this is just my opinion, and I tried to be as unbiased as possible. According to the system I use to rate music videos, these are all music videos that I rated higher than a 4/5. If you’re favorite video isn’t on the list, just remember that I had about 160 music videos from which to choose, so I had to make some cuts. If your list differs from mine, leave me a comment and I would love to read it!
So without further ado, here are the Top 50 Music Videos of 2014:
#50: f(X) – Red Light
The girls are here to run the world! The five ladies of f(X) absolutely slay with their comeback for Red Light. The song is amazing, the video dark and mysterious, and the dance perfect. They put together the perfect combination of feminine and tomboy with this concept. I am particularly impressed with how well all of them suit this concept. While usually it is Amber dressing as a tomboy with the other four members dressing girly, all five of them take on this secret agent, army-girl look and run with it. From the first second, it is so easy to lose yourself in their world.
#49: Lim Chang Jung – Shall We Dance With Dr. Lim?
I found this video particularly nice to end the year with. The main storyline is Lim Chang Jung walking around, spreading his happy virus to the people he encounters, but the majority of the video is simply the sharing of smiles. Every few seconds we see images of different famous singers, actors, and MCs showing us their smiling faces. Even if you are not a fan of Lim Chang Jung, chances are there is someone in here you like. Like Lim Chang Jung’s video last year, it is full of smiles and laughter with his hilarious persona and dance.
And come on. This song sounds like it’s straight out of Bollywood. How can I not include it?
#48: Taemin – Danger
While it may be all the way at number 48, this was probably one of my favorite videos to come out this year, and quite possibly the one to cause me the most excitement. Taemin, after years of being the shy youngest member of SHINee who would hide in the back, only to slowly break out as the dancing machine of the group, finally goes all out in his solo music video. I have seen him slowly but surely grow into a confident man, and this video came at the perfect time in his career. He totally takes on his edgy, “dangerous” character in this, showing off his flawless dance skill and his versatility in singing in different styles than the typical SHINee sound. The final product is just full of pure Taemin talent.
#47: Toheart – Delicious
While Taemin was preparing for his solo debut, his SHINee brother Key was off joining INFINITE’s Woohyun for a really fun duet project. Toheart is one of the first inter-group subunits I have seen (second to Troublemaker?) and I loved it. Key and Woohyun have great chemistry in this, in both the harmony of their voices, their acting, and their charisma in the dance. This video has a fun and humorous story of two best friends who fight over a girl, and is accompanied by a light-hearted dance with a story of its own. I never expected these two to be so great together, but now I can’t wait to see more from Toheart.
#46: EXO-K – Overdose
EXO may have had a lot of controversy and drama this year, but that did not stop them from producing one of the best music videos of the year. Overdose is…yes…a typical dance-in-the-box video, but while they may be overused, no one said those videos weren’t entertaining. EXO makes similar use of the one-take concept they had in Growl, but this one filmed it in a much more interesting way, focusing on the members dancing in an crazy-cool looking room, lined with EXO’s electric logo. The dance is dynamic and offers something really interesting to watch. Also, the more I hear this song, the more I love it. I have never loved an English line as much as Overdose‘s “Someone call the doctor.”
#45: Henry – Fantastic
Don’t worry, this list won’t be all SM videos. It is just a coincidence that I had so many in a row. I have to say Fantastic is probably the most underrated of all of SM’s videos this year. Henry finally got to showcase his violin talent. The combination of violin and K-pop, as well as violin and dance, is what makes Henry unique and what makes this video so likable. Along with the added benefit of having a symbolic storyline, this video brings us a song that really stands out in the K-pop world, and Henry performs it flawlessly.
#44: NELL – Green Nocturne
On the surface, there does not seem to be a whole lot to this video, but sometimes simplicity is exactly what we need. This video takes us along the lonely path of a man, singing about his regrets. The song is soft and beautiful, perfect for the winter season, without being overly cheesy and Christmasy, and the video captures landscapes that at some moments are just picture-perfect. Maybe it is because of my interest in photography, but I absolutely love the colors in this video. It is so pleasantly serene and simple.
#43: BTL – Too-G
Talk about a strong debut! BTL arrived with an intense video featuring the members as part of some supernatural world with powers and floating objects and cool costumes. The whole video felt like one of those montages right before the big fight scene in an action movie. There are some really cool moments in the cinematography and dance of this video as well. The real reason why this video is on this list is that, as B.A.P was praised for back in the day, BTL came out with very strong, confident personas, the perfect way to get the right attention at one’s debut.
#42: ZE:A – Breathe
So many things were done right in this video. It had a nice story that wasn’t too complicated, a sweet song, and a great dance. The video takes place on another planet, and the different landscapes gave the video a really cool fantasy element. Breathe is the perfect escape to ZE:A’s planet, where they sing to their lover in hopes for her to wake up from her perpetual dreams. The song, story, sets, and dance all fit together so nicely in this video and the whole thing is a joy to watch.
#41: GOT7 – Girls Girls Girls
Bringing up the last of the 40s is another great debut video. GOT7 rose to popularity immediately following this video, and for good reason. It introduces GOT7 with their incredibly unique image: Hip-hop mixed with aegyo. The members show off their dancing skills as well as their perfectly adorable facial expressions. This video is also filmed in a really cool, creative way. It is like a one-take video, but somehow with two different camera angles using a split-screen effect. I still can’t figure out how they did it, but it’s really cool to watch.
That’s all for now! Check back in tomorrow for #40-31! Question of the Day: What did you think of these ten videos?