Tag Archives: Billboard

[ARTICLE] 2NE1’s CRUSH Mentioned On Billboard’s “The 25 Greatest K-Pop Albums of the 2010s: Staff List”

K-pop may center around music, but it’s really an all-encompassing media package that comprises video, fashion, makeup, choreography, and concept (among dozens of other factors).

The album, then, is a strange and insular unit of measurement to apply: How are you supposed to gauge the success of a work when all you’re looking at is a cross-section? Still — since there’s no denying that K-pop is a significantly musical venture, there will always be value in tracing its sonic evolution, and the album is still the best way to do that.

It’s a fortunate fact when you consider that the story of K-pop music in the 2010s reads more like a riddle than a novel. Obviously, it’s not far-fetched for a 2010 track to sound like it’s from a different universe than one released in 2019, but there’s a much more defined musical shift in the decade, originating somewhere around 2015, that spontaneously erupted into a bottomless schism separating two very different musical attitudes in K-pop. It’s the distance between the angsty chaos of BTS’ Dark & Wild (2014) and the heady sonic explorations of its followup, The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, Pt.1 (2015). It’s the gap separating 2NE1’s meteoric potential as realized in Crush (2014), from the group’s devastating disbandment just two years later.

Pin it on the glimpses of global success that acts like Psy and Girls Generation afforded, but when K-pop’s record labels set their sights on global appeal in the early decade, they reached out for it in their music. Producers turned up the hip-hop and R&B influences. Synth sounds blossomed from electro-pop to encompass UK garage, house, and synth-pop. Budgets expanded. Everywhere, Korean labels scrambled to find the perfect mix between Western influences and their own instincts.

What resulted was a decade of K-pop music obsessed with experimentation and reinvention. The period’s best albums construct a brilliant mosaic of past and future, West and East, sophistication and camp, avant-garde and earworm. To commemorate the decade in K-pop, Billboard has compiled a selection of the era’s 25 greatest albums.

18. 2NE1, Crush (2014)

K-pop’s crossover trajectory in the States is often reduced to chart stats. It’s true that Crush hit No. 61 on the Billboard 200. But the LP’s real claim to fame in the U.S. is that it made 2NE1 a critical darling in a market where K-poptimism still hasn’t taken hold. The quartet’s sophomore album traverses a genre-blend of EDM, trap, and reggae — and standouts include the sensory overload of “Come Back Home” and the deceptively cheerful pop of “Happy.” But “MTBD” is the show-stopping centerpiece where CL’s ferocious flow takes no prisoners amid twitching triple hi-hats and the bass going “boom boom boom.” The relatively restrained full-length proved 2NE1 knows when to pull back after firing on all cylinders. — C.K.

Source: Billboard
* irrelevant parts omitted

[ARTICLE] Little Mix, 2NE1, t.A.T.u. Dominate Girl Group Week Readers’ Poll

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Fifth Harmony and Spice Girls also made strong showing in our second annual Girl Group Week fan poll!

Billboard.com’s 2015 Girl Group Week has come to an end, and to mark the occasion, we wanted to reveal the results of our second annual Girl Group Week Readers’ Poll, which let pop fans vouch for their favorite girl group songs, albums, videos and more. With thousands of votes cast in the three days that the readers’ poll was open, it’s time to congratulate Little Mix, 2NE1 and t.A.T.u. for coming out on top in some of the major categories! Continue reading

[ARTICLE] Will A K-Pop Girl Group Take Over The U.S. Soon (Or Ever)?

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What will it take for a group like 2NE1 or Girls’ Generation to break big in the States?

In the past five years, South Korea has looked to its girl groups to be the ones to break into America’s pop scene. Barring PSY‘s unexpected breakthrough with “Gangnam Style” — which many fans still don’t deem a “K-pop” breakthrough — a Korean group still hasn’t penetrated the scene in a meaningful way, despite fan bases that rival (and at times proven to be stronger than) One Direction, Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga. Will a K-pop girl group ever become a U.S. phenomenon? Continue reading

2NE1’s ‘Crush’ Is First K-Pop Entry on Year-End World Albums Chart

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The girl group ends a year of accolades by breaking one more record.

After breaking multiple chart records earlier this year, 2NE1 cap off 2014 with one more boundary-pushing victory.

The girl group’s Crush album ranks at No. 11 on Billboard‘s year-end World Albums chart. It’s the first time a K-pop act has notched an entry on the annual ranking that was first introduced in 1995.

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