I had a lot of outside issues in life this year that kept me from really keeping my eye on the ball of music releases on a regular basis. Thankfully the last quarter of the year was less hectic which allowed me to mostly catch up on what I missed out on.
The first thing I spent a lot of time catching up on was the third season of the Produce 101 series called Produce 48. This collaboration between Mnet and AKB48 had train wreck written all over it on paper. But it ended up being a rather enjoyable music reality series. Seeing the various 48 members get schooled through the house of hardcore that is the K-Pop machine was the most interesting aspect of the show at the beginning. And by the time I got to where the field was narrowed down to the final 30 I didn’t really care about that as much and was more concerned about whether my favorites would be voted into the IZ*ONE or not.
And yes, all the girls I liked throughout the show (Yu Jin, Ye Na, Chae Won and Eun Bi) were all made official members. Yet Cho Won did not make it in which saddened me. She could have easily replaced one of the pretty “useless character” members like Hye Won or Min Ju. I mean you don’t really need two pretty and awkward girls in the group right? Anyway, what’s done is done and the actual end result is not as bad as I expected. Yes there is a great disparity in numbers between Korean and Japanese members but does it really matter?
Other than providing some simple entertainment Produce 48 also re-ignited my interest in K-Pop. I had given up on it after the disbandment of the groups I followed. Thanks to some of the songs that were covered by the trainees I was able to find a different crop of girl groups to dedicate some attention to.
Even though I haven’t been able to write about music as often it doesn’t mean I haven’t been trying to actively listen to stuff. As mentioned earlier I’ve been playing catch up and I think I’ve managed to gather enough to put together a decent list of my favorites from the year. Let’s start with the singles.
January – June 2018
AKB48 – Teacher Teacher
BiSH – Paint It Black
BoA – One Shot, Two Shot
CocoSori – Mi Amore
David Guetta, Martin Garrix & Brooks – Like I Do
E-girls – あいしてると言ってよかった
EXID – Lady
Imagine Dragons – Next To Me
きゃりーぱみゅぱみゅ – きみのみかた
lyrical school – 常夏(ナッツ)リターン
MONDO GROSSO feat. Aina The End – False Sympathy
Shift K3y – Only You
鈴木愛理 – DISTANCE