There were so many great comebacks this year, but these are the videos I was watching on repeat. And I definitely know some of the dances by now…
“Crazy” by 4Minute
I swear half of this video’s 43,000,000 views are from me. In general I like tough hip-hop concepts better than cutesy pop ones, and the girls of 4Minute (including Hyuna of “Gangnam Style” fame) pulled this one off perfectly. The song is fierce, with great dance and rap parts. I love the effect of the black and white with occasional pops of color. And those hats!
2. “Dope” by BTS
BTS is a younger group but they’re already one of my favorites. This song is a total earworm, and the video’s choreography is probably my favorite this year. I love the “profession” costumes the boys are in, both because it fits thematically also because it helps the viewer tell them apart.
BTS always has very personal lyrics (rappers Suga and Rap Monster in particular always write their own parts); at first I liked how they’re proclaiming their hard work, but after watching so many times, Suga’s line about “Even if our youth rots in the studio” started to make me sad. That’s kind of the double edge of K-pop. I like the product, but it’s important to remember that there are real people underneath.
3. “Like Ooh-Ahh” by Twice
Can you believe this is their debut? Although this is more on the cutesy side, it’s also energetic, funny, a little sexy, and shows the girls’ personalities. Plus zombies are always cool. The first time I heard this song I was already singing along to it. I also love the fact that this group includes three Japanese members and one from Taiwan; it’s a big group but they are all so talented. I can’t wait to see what’s next for them.
4. “Lion Heart” by Girls’ Generation
Despite losing a member, Girls’ Generation had a big year with a great Japanese single and three Korean hits. I kind of liked the tough concept for “You Think” better, but “Lion Heart”‘s video is just so original. It has a cute story in addition to fun choreography, and the girls all look so beautiful. I love the different period costumes and styling, and I love how colorful it is—that’s something that just screams GG to me.
5. “Just Right” by GOT7
You have got to turn on the closed captions and read the lyrics of this song while you watch. This concept of the doll-sized guys running around a little girl’s room could totally have ended up creepy, but instead it is just so sweet. I think this is the most touching, uplifting music video I saw all year.
Other Honorable Mentions:
- “Shake That Brass” by Amber feat. Taeyeon—f(x)’s rapper gets a solo with fun attitude and cameos by all her K-pop friends. Plus you can watch her whip and nae nae.
- “Only You” by miss A—The everyday scenes in this veteran girl group’s video make it feel very relate-able.
- “Ice Cream Cake” and “Dumb Dumb” by Red Velvet—These girls were rookies last year but have managed to have two of the biggest hits this year, both with creative concepts and fun choreography.
- “Zutter” by GD&T.O.P—BIGBANG released a slew of new videos this year, each weirder than the last. This rap video is hilarious, disturbing, confusing, and artsy, with a lot of references to other media (and apparently some wordplay in the lyrics). It’s kind of on another level.
- “Hold On” by Axodus feat. Key—An EDM song with vocals by SHINee member Key; the video is composed of a series of clips that transcend their mundane nature to become beautiful and expressive.
- “Twenty-three” by IU—The solo artist has a winning combination of meaningful lyrics, a catchy tune, and a whimsical Alice in Wonderland concept.