While most of our Mid-Yr Evaluation discussions zoom in on a specific facet — dances, albums, MVs — the comebacks category seems to be at the approach these parts have been put collectively. Does a comeback draw on the artist’s strengths and push them in sudden directions? Or does it fall back on cliches and get misplaced in generic trendiness?
Abigail, Celina, and Qing come along with three very totally different lists of comebacks that caught their consideration up to now this yr.
Qing: Our utterly totally different decisions will make for an fascinating discussion. A superb comeback, ideally, has the whole package deal: a singular idea, a well-produced and cohesive album, a significant and visually distinct MV, and choreography that showcases talent and emotion.
Most essential, although, is how the comeback matches into the artist’s trajectory. Each comeback on my record ushers the artist to a brand new place of their career, even when they lacked a few of the parts I mentioned. Seventeen hit all of the marks; CLC fall brief on the album, but nailed the concept; and where Oh My Woman lacked in originality of concept, they made up for with solidly produced music.
What drew you to our prime picks?
Celina: Music is what first draws me in so the lead single is an important facet of a superb comeback for me. At the start else, my picks have each melodic and fascinating lead singles. After that, in fact, is the MV, general idea, and the album. BTS ticked all of those bins for me. Taemin’s idea was just like his last one, however he advanced it. A.C.E was a surprise deal with as I wasn’t expecting much from them. Their general concept wasn’t utterly unique however their music, MV, and album have been all nicely accomplished.
Abigail: I principally based mostly my decision-making on how properly the comeback was executed. Different elements matter lower than how each artist works with what they’ve been giving with a view to execute the artistic vision correctly and meaningfully. I actually felt that Park Bom, Sunmi, and NU’EST made probably the most thrilling and well-put-together comebacks thus far. Bom made a triumphant, long-awaited return, whereas Sunmi passionate about a thought-provoking concept. Meanwhile, NU’EST finally reunited and launched a top quality bop that instantly drew me in as a first-time listener.
Qing: It seems most of those comebacks made our record for the inventive progress they showcase. Though inventive progress is often the objective of a comeback, it’s not so typically that it’s used as an specific theme. The totally different elements of Seventeen’s comeback work collectively to mirror this theme subtly but poignantly.
The MV is full of reminders of the journey they’ve taken, with units that reference their previous MVs. Likewise, the choreography incorporates level strikes of past dances. “Home”’s lyrics concerning the comfort of being with family members, the worry of dropping them, and the promise of being there for them can relate to several types of relationships. But piecing it along with the MV and dance, it turns into an trustworthy, intimate message from Seventeen to themselves and their followers. The heat and vulnerability of the title monitor spill over into the album as properly.
BTS’ “Boy with Luv” seemed like it will take an analogous course, but the MV and dance engaged minimally with the thought of their profession progress, so it didn’t make the minimize for me. Celina, what stood out for you?
Celina: Early in their career, BTS got here out with “Boy in Luv,” which was an aggressive and immature take on love. The MV was darker, their dance strikes have been large and onerous, and the lyrics have been virtually grunted out. With “Boy with Luv,” their outfits are extra feminine, their moves are gentler, and general the MV is brighter and extra colorful. The track is a softer take on love, and I loved watching them mature from their cringy previous.
In addition to their single, their album was nicely achieved with some buried treasures like “Make It Right.” The persona idea is tied by means of each track, creating a cohesive album and another chapter of their music history.
I’m truly a fan of 2NE1 but didn’t add Park Bom to my listing, though I was glad to see her finally come again to the music scene. Abigail, what about her comeback put her at the prime of your listing?
Abigail: Park Bom really did that. After suffering by means of unfair remedy each from her company and the general public, she was pressured into a hiatus which was brought on by issues that have been far from what she was capable of control. Whilst news broke that 2NE1 would disband, her guarantees for a comeback have been wanting less doubtless as the public never forgets the past. For some time, whilst a long-time fan, I felt as though we might never see Park Bom sing on another stage once more. But then “Spring” occurred. It was the end result of her ache and her loneliness all through these previous years that had her asking, “Will spring come for me again?”
The theme of spring and a flower’s inevitable bloom brings her profession into a full circle, as she has been by way of the worst and but is aware of there’ll all the time be higher tomorrows. The tender instrumentation with the backup choir added a layer of magnificence to the music. The visible was a phenomenal showcase of her aesthetics, which was further elevated by the inclusion of former 2NE1 member, Sandara Park. With a comeback like “Spring,” Park Bom proved that she just isn’t completed handing out these lovely ballads, and has a lot extra to show.
Like Park Bom, Oh My Woman had an enthralling comeback as nicely, they usually merely missed my prime three. Qing, you mentioned it was the music that earned their comeback a prime spot. Might you share extra?
Qing: Whereas extra widespread teams go for fashionable EDM and high-energy dance pop, Oh My Woman have been persistently creating an everlasting mid-tempo melodic pop fashion. Driving on dream pop and synth pop, The Fifth Season permits Oh My Woman’s ethereal vocal fashion to shine. Aurally, it coheres with the fantasy theme of the title monitor, which compares falling in like to the arrival of an imaginary fifth season.
The production is balanced and has a crystal-clear high quality that makes the listening expertise clean. But the album additionally has quite a lot of surprises: the burst of percussion in the post-chorus of “SSFWL” and the Latin music-influenced “Checkmate” are specific stand-outs. There are robust hints of potential directions Oh My Woman might move in without abandoning their signature sound.
An excellent comeback reminds us what the artist is greatest recognized for, yet pushes that area of interest with something sudden that still matches the artist perfectly. Plainly each Sunmi and Taemin’s comebacks achieved that too.
Celina: Taemin undoubtedly advanced his sound whereas nonetheless maintaining with a sensual concept, just like his previous album. Actually, on first pay attention, it might look like Want is simply an extension of Transfer. Nevertheless, Want principally focuses on the thought of want. Music-wise, Taemin experimented with a more disco pop sound for his lead single and orchestral instrumentals for many of his different tracks. I like that he’s not making an attempt to push himself too out of his field, but in addition isn’t enjoying it protected in this album.
Taemin is called an excellent dancer, so dance tracks are undoubtedly his specialty, but he takes the time to point out off his superb vocals as properly with stripped down songs like “Truth” and “Monologue.” As well as, “Shadow” is a type of buried treasures that really exemplifies his potential as a musician. Its use of orchestral instrumentals provides it an alluring and haunting melody that recaptures your consideration midway throughout the album. In fact, the lead single “Want,” along with the MV, have been each mesmerizing. General, he just gave us a stellar comeback.
Abigail: Talking about stellar, Sunmi actually personified that description together with her comeback with “Noir.” Very similar to Taemin’s tracks, the track had a layer of sensuality to it that shone by way of the fashionable pop vibe of the instrumentation. Her viral hit, “Gashina” put her on the map as considered one of Korea’s hottest solo acts, while “Heroine” further established her artistry as a singer who might set up which means inside her work.
The visual for her comeback “Noir” sheds mild on the darkish undertones of social media. It speaks to society’s obsession with validation via likes and retweets that solely grants a short lived high until we start in search of the subsequent web source for our happiness. Sunmi also shamelessly excluded a dance routine for “Noir.” As an alternative, she took advantage of her freedom on stage to exert her own self-expression, which is admirable among the many company-calculated comebacks up to now that didn’t hit the mark as meant. Sunmi’s inventive freedom is what units her aside from her friends, and it’ll proceed to be her higher hand in turning out music that can make one dance and self-reflect abruptly.
Qing: Sunmi’s concepts pop with originality and character, but typically, you don’t want a totally new concept to face out. CLC have cycled via disappointing releases that fell back on conventional cutesy concepts, before trying the woman crush concept. It isn’t new, however with “No,” they discovered their own delicate, chic take that doesn’t just applicable the facade of a woman crush. It’s really underpinned by a message of female empowerment: they reclaim the agency to outline their own image.
Within the MV, they reject typical markers of magnificence, and the lyrics reject expectations placed on feminine idols to perform certain acts of femininity. No.1 was a letdown, but “No” itself makes unusual production decisions, drawing from lure and electro-pop, but emphasising a very pared-down soundscape that matches the laid-back confidence of the dance and MV to a T.
Celina: On the surface, A.C.E’s darkish idea appears fairly generic. I wish they expanded more on the “warning” symbols of their MV, however general the music and album gained me over. It’s undoubtedly not a gaggle that I assumed I might have placed on my prime picks, but after I reviewed their single, I noticed how spectacular their general comeback was to me.
Firstly, their high-energy title monitor is the right mix of rock and hip-hop. The MV has fascinating imagery but focuses on their biggest power — their dancing. The album has nice variety and has different high quality songs like “Mr.Bass.” This comeback actually exhibits off their talents as musicians. In the event that they keep it up, I can see them turning into prime contenders in the Okay-pop scene.
I observed NU’EST also featured a roulette desk of their MV. Abigail, what was it about this comeback that put them in your prime three?
Abigail: Since I used to be a first-time listener of NU’EST, I didn’t know what sound to anticipate from the group. However finally they climbed into my prime three due to “Bet Bet” and its addictive power that had me replaying their mini album ever since it’s launch. Like A.C.E, NU’EST went for a dark aesthetic that was primarily proven by way of the MV. The choreo was clean and uniform, the outfits have been dark and modern, and the fairytale idea stored me entertained and glad.
Not only did “Bet Bet” ship in the inventive division, but the production degree of their mini album Happily Ever After was strong as nicely. “Different” and “Fine” are specific standouts from the challenge. Each songs exhibit the boys’ uniform harmonies with energetic bassy hooks that parallel the addictive nature of the title monitor. This was definitely a long-awaited and much-anticipated comeback for the group since their time on Produce 101 that rebooted the group’s career. It’s onerous to not ignore the amount of onerous work and dedication each member put into this comeback after such an extended hiatus.
Qing: It’s fascinating how we had comparable criteria, yet wound up with such totally different decisions. But when something, variety is what makes Okay-pop a lot enjoyable. Right here’s to more selection in comebacks for the subsequent half of the yr!
(Pictures by way of Beat Interactive, Massive Hit Leisure, Cube Entertainment, D-Nation Leisure, Makeus Entertainment, Pledis Entertainment, SM Leisure, WM Leisure)