07 February 2015

K-pop boy bands part 2: 100%. South Korea #2

In December I wrote a blog post featuring some songs I like from a few K-pop (South Korean pop music) boy bands. And I mentioned I am probably writing a sequel / sequels. This is the first sequel to that post and also a one kind of favourite artists post.

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The K-pop boy band featured in this post is called 100% (백퍼센트 in Korean). I was originally going to feature this group in my previous post, but I simply couldn't choose just one song from them. They are definitely my favourite K-pop boy band. Hence I am making this separate post dedicated to this group.

100% debuted fairly recently, just under two and half years ago. The group is signed under the label TOP media and is also known as sort of a little brother group to their label mates Teen Top. 100% has had good success in the South Korean charts with their releases all besides one charting within top6.

I first heard of this group soon after they had debuted and totally fell in love with their debut single right away. They debuted with a song called Bad Boy (나쁜놈 in Korean), which is the song above. It is a break-up song and overall has a bit darker shade to it. I also find it nicely dramatic and catchy. I especially like Rocky's part at the start of the chorus (Uriga wae...); It immediately grabbed my attention. Even after couple of years I still listen to this all the time and it still hooks my every time.

My absolute favourite song from 100%: Beat (심장이 뛴다 in Korean, which means heartbeat). Beat was released last year as part of their mini album BANG the BUSH. I believe this is their most successful song so far, at least if looking at the sales.

This is currently the most played song in my iTunes. I actually find this song very touching. I don't know what makes it: it probably is the combination of the music and the vocals. It is dramatic, but there is something very deep to it. The lyrics are very beautiful and touching too: "The heart is beating, It’s beating toward where you’re standing. I’m going backwards in time to the moment we met. If I keep going, will we meet?". (You can read the entire translation here: http://www.kpoplyrics.net/100-beat-lyrics-english-romanized.html)

It is by default very hard for a song to touch me very deeply since I am not a very sensitive person. But this song manages to do that every single time.

By the way, as you can see there is only five members here. They are still officially a seven-piece group, but one of the members is in army and one is taking a break. For me it doesn't matter how many of them there is: they are as great with any number of members.

Want U Back. The song was released in 2013 as a part of a mini album Real 100%, which is their highest charting release along with their newest one (SUNKISS).

I find this song very catchy. It is somewhat dark and has a kind of sad feeling to it. But the beat and the lyrics make it also highly catchy. I don't believe I have ever read the lyrics, but from the singing I get a feeling of a broken heart with deep anger to it. It is actually surprisingly touching for a such strong beated song.

This song is called Guy Like Me (나 같은 놈 in Korean). Comparing to the previous three songs, this is highly different. This one is almost acoustic ballad. The previous songs had a strong and dark feel to them, but this one is very light and easy-going. There is still a lot of emotion to it.

The music is beautiful and sweet, but I get a sad feeling from some parts. Especially the end of the chorus. So for me this song feels bittersweet. Their voices sound very nice in a ballad too and I am always impressed when artists (/producers) manage to make a good rap part into a ballad. Ballads and rap parts are in my opinion a combination that rarely work very well, but in this song the rap part too is actually touching.

Last up is a song that is also quite different from the previous ones. This one is called U beauty (니가 예쁘다) and it is their most recent single, released last summer. I was actually quite surprised that they released this kind of song (and video). I am use to K-pop girl groups releasing this type of material, but on a boy band front not so much. Especially since other singles from 100% have been pretty much sad and darker songs.

But it was a pleasant surprise whatsoever. I find this song very catchy and cheerful. This immediately got stuck into my head. Especially catchy is the part where Hyukjin (at least I hear only his voice in this part) sings "niga yeppeuda". This song puts me into a happy mood each time I listen to it. It is lots of fun.

And here is where you can find all these songs from:
Bad Boy on We, 100% single album, released 2012
Beat on BANG the BUSH EP, released 2014
Want U Back on Real 100% mini album, released 2013
Guy Like Me is not part of any release, but was released as a digital single in 2012
U beauty on SUNKISS single album, released 2014

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