2014 Picks: An Introduction

It's been a roller coaster of a year for K-Pop -- member departures, "scandal," and general tragedy left and right. At one point of the year, my friends and I just gave up on K-Pop like nothing could redeem this year. But to my surprise, as I was putting together this year-end countdown I realized that 2014 was a really, really great year for the music side of K-Pop. I usually have a hard time narrowing my favorite tracks down to 50, but it was especially difficult this year -- I spent days just staring at my playlist and wracking my brain trying to cut a list of more than 70 tracks down to 50. K-Pop releases have come a long way since I heard my first K-Pop album, not just in terms of production quality or productivity but also in terms of the range of styles and creativity the industry showcases. If 2014 is the end of an era like many say it is, then as far as the music is concerned it's a pretty great way to end this K-Pop boom.

Year in and year out, I insist that my “best of” lists are a reflection of my personal preferences -- what I’ve listened to over the course of the year and the songs I’ve enjoyed, some more than others. But year in and year out, I also get a lot of flak because my lists aren’t “objective.” And in reality, they’re really not! I don’t claim to be an authority when it comes to my year-end lists because as I always say outright, the fifty songs I write about every December are the fifty songs I personally enjoy. It’s a way to look back on my tastes during the year, and even throughout the course of my blogging career. So if you see the odd K-indie or ballad track that doesn’t seem to fit in, it’s because that’s how my taste goes -- if a like a song, I like it. No questions asked.

Which is why after five years, it’s time to rebrand -- from "The Best Songs" of the year, to "2014 Picks." I’m making a very small change, but I think this will clear up any misconceptions about what I do every December.

The basic rules remain the same:
  • All songs must be on an album, single, EP (mini-album) or digital single first released and promoted between November 29, 2013 and November 25, 2014.
  • The song must have been performed and either written, composed, produced, or any combination of, by a Korean artist, songwriter or composer regardless of the territory they were released in.
  • Each artist is entitled to one unique entry wherein he/she/they is/are credited as the main (and not the ‘featuring’) act, per territory, country, and/or language. An artist is allowed a second entry of the same language/territory if it is a collaboration.

Pop Reviews Now's 2014 picks officially starts tomorrow
with songs #50 and #49!


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