And heeere we go! It’s the end of the year countdown!
Wow. We made it. This year was definitely a tough one for this blog, what with my school schedule getting surprisingly busy. With the end of this year, I have finished off my undergraduate college experience. It has been quite a ride, and I am definitely looking forward to what the future has in store for me and this blog.
For now though, it’s time to bring back the tradition. For those of you who are returning, you know the drill. For my new readers, let me lay it down for you:
After watching and reviewing approximately 150 music videos, I have compiled a list of what are, in my opinion, the best K-pop music videos 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 2015 on New Years Eve.
Now I’m not going to pretend that this list is non-negotiable. Every listener experiences music differently. I have used a multi-factor number scale to try to objectify my scores, but of course that still leaves room for personal preference. I did my best not to let my personal biases influence which artists I include in this list.
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 150 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 2015:
#50: Big Bang – Bang Bang Bang
While Big Bang came back with video after video this year, this was the one that we were all waiting for. The scale of the whole video is really epic, with different sets specialized for each member and a grand finale at the end complete with backup dancers and fireworks. It is rare that we see choreography in a Big Bang video, and this one definitely impressed. Criticisms I may have had when this first came out are minimal compared to how memorable this video is and I predict will be for years to come. With this video, Big Bang did indeed come back with a BANG!
#49: Eric Nam (ft. Jimin) – Dream
I was very excited about this comeback, simply because I love Eric Nam and I was excited about an ErMin duet, but this music video was definitely much more than I was expecting. I was so surprised to see sand art used in this music video, but it turned out beautifully, as sand art naturally does. Through sand drawings, the video tells a story about a boy daydreaming about a girl, drawing her, and then falling into a real dream in which he meets her. It is simple, but told in such a beautiful and magical way.
#48: Romeo – Target
Hello Boyfriend 2.0. With rap and hip-hop taking over the K-pop industry, it was really refreshing to get a more light-hearted, aegyo video. I’ve missed these. Now normally, videos with overacting and cheesiness don’t tend to make it to my Top 50 lists, but the cinematography and dance really make this video stand out from others of its kind. The colors are really nice throughout the whole thing, and the dance is just something else. This is the first exposure I’ve had to Romeo, and I can tell by this video that they are a group to be reckoned with.
#47: Monsta X – Trespass
Of all the new groups to debut this year, none left a better first impression than MONSTA X did with this video. They debuted with a pretty solid song, pretty solid dance, and pretty solid music video. The song simply demands attention with it’s intense raps throughout. “Excuse my charisma” is now officially on the list of my favorite English lines. All in all, the video is put together really well.
#46: Park Kyung (ft. Park Boram) – Ordinary Love
This video shows the adorable progression of Park Boram’s budding relationship. There is something so sweetly innocent about both the guy and girl in this video, which we often see in K-pop videos, however it is not overly acted or cheesy as most videos of this kind tend to be. It simply shows the couple going through the motions of getting closer, with facial expressions that reflect unfamiliarity rather than exaggerated shyness, resulting in a really sweet video. Who knew hardcore underground rapper Park Kyung could give us such a sweet song?
#45: A6P – Face Off
A6P introduced themselves to the music world utilizing all of the best parts of K-pop: an insanely catchy song, a mind-blowing dance break, and dedication to a concept. They did something with this video that I only rarely see in K-pop, usually only with VIXX; they sacrificed time to look pretty in front of the camera for the sake of keeping up their concept of mysterious, masked men. All members remain masked until their part in the song, at which point they rip the mask off and show off their skills. What is most impressive is that one member remains masked the entire time, which keeps a bit of mystery present throughout the whole video as well as creates hype for their next video in which he will finally reveal himself. It is such an interesting way to debut.
#44: UP10TION – So Dangerous
OH MY GOD. Talk about an amazing dance. This video showcases UP10TION’s incredible dance formations, which alone is impressive enough. Additionally, the video includes some really sleek CGI effects, making it more than simply a dance-in-a-box video. Today’s group of videos seems to be full of debuts. Just as the videos above, UP10TION did an amazing job at making a name for themselves with their debut.
I just learned that UP10TION is the “little brother” group of Teen Top, which explains how they got such amazing choreography. TOP Media definitely knows how to do their dances.
#43: Ailee – Mind Your Own Business
As always, Ailee’s voice shines in this song, but with this video she also gives us a fun story that just screams girl power. The story of Ailee and her crew getting back at a jerkish guy leads to some really fun images, such as the guy crying over his messed up car or watching him have to call a bunch of girls to save him from…other girls. Also, who doesn’t love that final scene of Ailee and her crew posing for their mug shots?
#42: Psy – Napal Baji
While Daddy was clearly the follow-up to Psy’s Gangnam Style reputation, I actually preferred the video for Napal Baji of Psy’s two comebacks this year. This one seemed more like Psy in terms of musical style. I love that the lyrics are almost entirely in Korean. That and the fact that the whole concept is paying tribute to the Korean 80s shows that Psy didn’t completely sell out to the English-speaking world when he became a global icon. With all of the colors and dancing, it is overall a very fun video.
#41: Lizzy – Not An Easy Girl
This is probably one of my odder choices to be included in this list. Hey, I happen to have a love of trot music. Sue me. While it may be very different from mainstream K-pop, this video is actually done really well. The whole story is portrayed like an old historical drama. I am happy that they actually make it look really old. It’s unique and I think Lizzy definitely deserves some love for taking a well paid-off risk.
That’s it for now! Check back in tomorrow for #40-31!
Wanna talk K-pop? Follow me on Twitter @mystification86!