Best of 2009: November #12 - #7

IT'S CHRISTMAS EVE!!!!! Hope you guys have a lot planned for tonight and tomorrow - I do! LOL.

November was the month I was most worried about - about 2 weeks in I only had maybe 4 songs on the list but towards the end all the music started flowing it. Turns out it's the month with the most entires, tied with June. (let's just see if December can beat it.) Let's start, shall we? There's a lot to cover.

#12: Taegoon - Step by Step
Taegoon is one of those guys I know by affiliation - he's Jaejoong DBSK's best friend and one of his music videos also featured Jaejoong so I had to check him out. He makes standard kpop, nothing new or groundbreaking and he doesn't exactly have the most beautiful voice in the world but something about this song just makes me want to listen to it more and makes me curious about just what exactly this guy can do, given good songs.

#11: Secret - 3년 6개월
I decided against putting in their debut single I Want You Back because one, it sounds like a 2NE1 rip-off and two, it just bored me to death. This song though did the trick and triggered me to add Secret into my best of list. Of all the girl groups from the smaller talent companies that sprouted out along with them (including HAM), I honestly thought and still think that Secret have the best vocals and the most potential if they just get a good songwriter. This song in particular isn't any different from all the other crap coming out at the moment but what it does is show off these girls' voices. They're OK, better than a lot, and they can do a heck of a lot better. BUT, if this is what they've shown with just their first release, then they have the potential to compete with more talented groups in the near future.

#10: JLS - Only Tonight
JLS, JLS, JLS. With all the hype surrounding them and their talent, I got into them because of the brilliance of the singles they'd released but when the album was released my expectations weren't met. The spark that their two previous singles had just wasn't there anymore and the songs weren't up to standard. When I reviewed the album this is from I named Private as my favorite song - but the more I listened the more I got addicted to this track. It's a pretty song and the vocals are good, as usual.

#9: Leona Lewis - Don't Let Me Down
I gave Leona a chance this year and might I say, I enjoyed Echo, I really did. Consistent with my review of the album, Don't Let Me Down has still got to be my favorite track. It has elements from US music but it also has an unmistakably British sound - I love it. The gorgeous string section (like duh), the gorgeous piano, the brilliant melody and Leona's vocals make it deserving of it's spot on my best of list this year.

#8: U-Kiss - OK!
U-Kiss were back this year with a whole new sound - like a whole heap of other groups they went the generic, processed, eurocrap loop-infested way. Despite the heavy processing courtesy of their production team the Brave Brothers (think the RedOne of Korea - big hits that all pretty much sound the same), OK! turns out to be a very good song. It's got everything a kpop staple should have delivered surprisingly well, if I may so. It's happy without being cutesy - very lively. I don't know if it's single material (it might be) but I can listen to this a few times straight without getting bored.

#7: IU - 기차를 타고
IU is one of my frustrations when it comes to the Korean industry - she's got so much talent yet it doesn't show until you listen to the tracks that never become singles, most often ballads. She debuted as a ballad singer with a beautiful, epic ballad but it didn't sell so her talent agency forced her to go cutesy - the result is that now she's singing in a mustache about marshmallows. It's sad, I know. Seeing talent like hers going to waste makes me so damn angry. I mean here you have a 16/17-year old girl who sounds her age and who can actually sing as opposed to this 20-something pop star who needs processing and studio tricks to sound somewhere near decent - of all people to turn into a laughing stock with stupid, cheap, crappy gimmicks WHY the one with talent?


  1. JLS. Hurrah. Leona Lewis. Hurrah. Two artists who genuinely have done well from the x factor and come out with solid pop music that is well sung, well harmonised and totally enjoyable.


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