Hahaha what a cheesy title huh?I AM BACK FROM THE DEAD!!! Finally! After suffering from days of no blogging, I’m finally able to come back with this; the Asia Reviewer Maniac Awards of 2013! Yes I know, a bit late past Christmas but hey, Christmas is family time peoples; I had to spend it with some of the special people in my life (even though you readers count as a portion of that, sorry!)
2013 has been a huge year for Asian pop culture, whether it is music, dramas or even animes. In particular, Kpop has been huge this year, where the international community has also begun to notice even more about what Korean music has to offer. Nonetheless, other aspects of Asian pop culture such as anime, dramas and other styles of music have also been shone in the spotlight and has been taken notice by other parts of the world as well. God I’m so proud to be Asian :3
Alright so the awards are all based on my own personal opinion, and also what I have been able to see and discover this year. Yes, there will be some categories which will be slightly lacking than others, but please understand that I am but only one person, and it is simply not possible to get around to everyone and everything >< If you aren’t that satisfied with the results I’ve concluded with, then leave a comment below stating what or who you think should have won what category. Also, if you haven’t noticed already from my blog site, it is pretty Kpop biased, so the Kpop section of the awards will take a major portion of the awards lol. Hope you all don’t mind that! And so, here goes!
The list below I discovered from Saphirya’s Kpop Award 2013 blog post. She has given a fantastic list, which is what I have based my results from. Go check out her blog site for more Kpop awesomeness! http://saphirya.com/
History wins the male rookie award for 2013 in my books, but you may be asking…why?
All I have to say is, have you heard their recent album? It is absolutely A-MA-ZING! The song “What am I to you (난 너한테 뭐야)” is really, really good, and it is one of the most addictive songs I have on my iPod at the moment. And that MV, the performance on in particular…damn that was good. History this year, ever since their debut in April, have consistently released all different kinds of music that seems to suit them. As LEON TREE states, they actually sing what they want to sing. Now that’s something refreshing. Congratulations History ^^~
Female: Lee Hi
Lee Hi has probably been one of the best things that’s appeared in 2013, what with her amazing vocals and sassy attitude within her music. She has been a really refreshing new talent in the Kpop industry. “Rose” was a really good song that I’ve kept playing all year round, since that style of music is really unique and catchy. I hope to see her continue down this line of success, and this style of music 🙂
Alrighty, this was really a tough one, but I ended up choosing EXO over the other comebacks despite the shock many probably would have, especially over the choice of SHINee. Please, let me explain myself before you throw any flying daggers in my direction.
Firstly, I have to definitely commend SHINee on their achievements this year. It has been a long and dangerous journey that both the boys and the Shawols have walked over the last couple of years. SHINee has been so successful this year, if winning Artist of the Year at the Melon Awards this year wasn’t a clear sign enough. And honestly, I think that SHINee is one of the best and most consistently high-performing boyband groups out there at the moment in Kpop.
So then, why did I choose EXO over them? Well, in all honesty, SHINee didn’t blow my mind away with “Dream Girl”, or “Why so Serious?”. Sherlock last year was MIND-BLASTING!! It was the best song last year hands-down. This year, despite SHINee consistently releasing new albums, singles and EPs, it didn’t really amaze me like Sherlock did. The quality of the songs they released never knocked me out like Sherlock did. At least, not until “Everybody” came out, which probably can go head-to-head with the epic awesomeness of “Sherlock”. But “Everybody” popped out in October, only two months ago.
EXO’s album on the other hand was released back in June, and honestly, every single song on that album is WONDERFUL AND FLAWLESS. I’m still playing that album now, with “Baby don’t cry” and “Black Pearl” being the highlights. After they released XOXO, every single song they released was equally just as great. They had consistently released songs that were worthy of blowing our minds away@ “Growl” and “Miracles in December” was exactly what EXO was made to sing and do, and in return earned them lots of love from fans and a new variety show (come on, admit it!) So congratulations to EXO, and SHINee, please don’t be disappointed; you were definitely second place in our hearts ❤
Female: Girl’s Day
Please remember people, this has all been judged based on my own personal opinion ><
Yes, Girls Generation did pretty well this year, with the ultimate success of “I Got A Boy” which has been unconditionally recognised by the entire international community. But, was their comeback the best comeback they’ve had? Not really.
Who did good then? Girl’s Day certainly did.
The last time I saw Girl’s Day before this year was roughly 2 years ago with their song “Twinkle Twinkle (반짝반짝)” when they still had 5 members and the whole cutesy concept still existed…geez that definitely wasn’t their highlight period *cringe* Anyway, I believe that they have made a HUGE improvement in both music and concept sooooo yeah, they win this one! Congrats Girl’s Day!
VIXX has been consistently producing numerous songs throughout the year, all that are just as equally brilliant and lovely to listen to. They venture out to try new things; concepts and themes that other bands don’t seem to even dare try in fear of being banned or banished by the government. Honestly, I think it just draws more attention to them, and makes them stand out even more sooooo a big thumbs up to them, seriously. I’ve loved pretty much all that they have produced this year – “Hyde”, “G.R.8.U” and “Voodoo Doll” have been songs that I have not stopped playing all year! Their recent album “Voodoo” have some really great tracks on there too, such as “Someday”.
Check them out if you don’t know them already 😉
Female: Girl’s Generation
Girl’s Generation have been pumping out tunes all year round as if it was as easy as breathing. From “I Got A Boy” to “Galaxy Supernova” to finally finishing the year off with “My Oh My” clearly shows why Girl’s Generation has been the group of the year, simply because they are worthy of being it. Some of their songs may not have been the best that they can do, but you can’t ignore the fact that they have done them. It’s almost like last year with U-Kiss with that amazingly packed schedule of theirs *shiver* hopefully Girl’s Generation doesn’t end up being burned up ><
Male: EXO (Growl)
The dance is simply flawless.
That’s all I need to say.
Check out the post I did for it; it probably speaks for itself better: https://asiareviewermaniac.wordpress.com/2013/08/06/exo-growl-%EC%9C%BC%EB%A5%B4%EB%A0%81-fap-fap-fap-fap-fap-fap-you-know-the-drill-2/
Female: Crayon Pop (Bar Bar Bar)
Now I didn’t give Crayon Pop much credit this year; I initially thought that they were simply a joke when I first heard about them (please don’t kill me guys) But gradually, I got to understand their popularity and ended up being sweeped in for the fun as well, epecially since Crayon Pop themselves even came to tour in Australia. That was probably when I realised that this s*** was real people – it was seriously happening. So Crayon Pop, you have earned this best dance award just because almost everyone else in Kpop probably would deem you guys to be 🙂 Also, a big pat on the back for their success – they have seriously sacrificed a lot to gain this enormous amount of fame and popularity (those helmets must have sucked during the summer time) ^^
Solo: Seungri (Gotta Talk To U)
Yep, hands-down this is the solo dance for the year! What a great comeback for the Big Bang maknae! The song itself is great, which allows the dance to be even more suiting! Those moves…damn dude, I always knew you had it in you but…damn! It’s time for some sexy-moving Seungri time (wait, does that even make sense?!) I am a-hustling hustling~~ Congrats oppa :3
Male: VIXX (Voodoo Doll)
This MV is perhaps the most goriest Kpop MVs all year, possibly ever. It’s unique film-style, dance and music makes this MV an impossible one to forget. I made a post about the song and MV in the past so check it out if ya wanna read a bit more into it (and possibly see some more “nice” pictures muah-ha-ha-ha!) https://asiareviewermaniac.wordpress.com/2013/11/25/vixxs-%eb%b9%85%ec%8a%a4-voodoo-doll%ec%a0%80%ec%a3%bc%ec%9d%b8%ed%98%95-mv-is-gruesomely-disturbing-yet-chillingly-awesome-all-at-the-same-time/
Female: Spica (Tonight)
Spica has always been an underated girl group (in my opinion). Vocal-wise they are simply flawless. But now, they have produced an MV that makes them seem flawless in EVERY ASPECT POSSIBLE! I made a really really short review on the song months ago, but not a huge amount about the MV itself. I just have to say, the cinematography of the whole thing is simply breathtaking and beautiful; I’ve never been more grateful for slow-motion cameras in my life than when I watched the MV. Accompanied with the MV is a fantastic and addictive song that proves to us what Spica is made of *fistpump*
Solo (male): TOP (Doom Dada)
I love this MV.
Nah, just joking! You may be wondering why I like it. Well, the reason is simply due to the fact that it is quirky, fun and FULL of movie references which I adore! *Sigh* Oh TOP, you never seem to surprise me.
And what I love most about it is the fact that the entire MV screams TOP! Well duuh because he is in it the entire time BUT what I mean is that this MV is totally TOP’s style, and what he would do if he had the honours of directing a movie or short film etc. And honestly, if it were something like this, I will so be finding any cam-recordings and just watch it, regardless of how bad the film-quality would be! The song though, to me, is quite meh (please don’t kill me guys and hear me out first!) simply because it just isn’t me style of music I ususally listen to. Same with Taeyang; Ringa Linga is probably an amazing song, but my ears apparently don’t think so. Sorry BB fans, I really support Big Bang, but I really like them when they’re together rather than separated (though Seungri’s style is something I’m totally digging hehe)
Solo (female): Song Ji Eun (False Hope)
UNNIIIIIIIIII~~~ God I love you, but that only isn’t the reason why I’ve chosen this MV as the top female solo artise MV of 2013. The way the entire MV has been taken and edited is simply eye-dropingly gorgeous. Having the whole MV be shown in only colours such as red, grey and black makes the whole MV look more sophisticated and polished, and very very pretty~~
Other female solo MVs did well, but this is the one MV that truly stuck out in my mind when I thought all this through ^^
Best Solo Act:
Junsu has been bu-sy this year, what with his first solo tour for his album “Incredible”, which meant that we Aussie fans even got to see him!!! Despite my once-in-a-lifetime chance of meeting him (which I absolutely regret!), it was great and heart-warming to see that Kpop has finally included Australia more widely in the whole ‘international’ definition!
And it’s not just this reason alone that I have deemed him best male solo artist of the year; it is the fact that “Incredible” is FAN-BLOODY-TASTIC to listen and dance to! And 11AM has also been a joy to listen to. I honestly just believe that Junsu hasn’t stopped working, whether it was for his own promotions, or for OST-related stuff (he sung for both The Fugitive of Joseon and Empress Ki this year) sooooo a big thumbs up for you Junsu-oppa!
And watch his hard-working dance practice for “Incredible” too..it’s pretty hot in there 😉
Her huge anticipated image-transformation with the album “Modern Times” definitely gave her a huge watchful eye from all fans across the globe, which wasn’t wasted obviously with the amazing quality of the entire album. I hardly ever end up liking an entire album especially with an extensive list like this one, but this album has had to be an exception; it is SOOO GOOD! Like, really good. Not too sure about the whole image-transfer, but she definitely ventured out into a different style of music, which seems to complement her voice just as well.
And her recent release of “Modern Times – Epilogue” reminds us once again why she is so widely popular and loved-by-all; it is just simply lovely to listen to (and watch ;D)
Below are the posts that I made in relation to this album; they’re not long, since nothing much needs to be said as her voice will do the talking for me 🙂
Led Apple has been amazing before, but this year, they definitely went out and beyond by constantly producing content for their fans to listen and follow. Over at their Youtube channel, Led Apple has been consistently producing covers of some of the most popular songs that had dominated the charts in both Korea and across the globe. The covers are great, and seem to really capture the musical-ability of the whole band. Yes, some may say that it is dominated mostly by the lead vocalist Hanbyul but considering that most of the videos requires someone singing in them, it makes sense that the lead singer pops out most of the time. However, I have to agree, it would be nice to see the other members step it up and challenge themselves by also contributing more in terms of vocals.
Also, may I also remind you all of the amazing song Led Apple released this year called “With the Wind”? It is a fantastic song that I’ve been playing ever since it came out. I wished it was something that was promoted a lot more prior to its release (in order for it to gain more attention) but *shrug* there are way too many bands and groups out there to keep track of all the time.
Below is a review I did about the song and MV. I honestly think it is their best song yet, and I hope to see more stuff like this in the future!
Artist of the Year
Okay okay, this may not seem fair for the reasons I am going to give here is not the most ‘fair’ ones many would probably say. But please, like I keep saying before, let me explain myself first before jumping to conclusions.
Ailee has been an active performer all year round, whether it is her releasing her own singles and albums or on other variety shows, such as Immortal Song 2 (which I have to say, she has done a splendid job on!) “U&I” was also a great hit, reminding the rest of Kpop her sassy and amazing skills in the R&B department.
But obviously, an event we can’t ignore this year is the huge controversy involving a couple of revealing photos and a really sick ex-boyfriend. However, despite the negativity of the situation, Ailee was still able to step out of the event looking as confident and beautiful as ever! Congratulations girlfriend, and I can’t wait to see what you have prepared for us for your next comeback!
Song of the Year
JaeJoong (Just Another Girl)
This was so hard to choose! The other possible winners for this title were just as worthy, but this song really took the crown. This year has been pretty huge for JaeJoong, with a release of his first solo album “I/MINE” early this year, literally. Then, close to the end of the year he released another full solo album called “WWW”. Both albums have been exceptionally successful, and has gained him more fans from Japan than ever before (seriously, those Jap fans can be quite…how should I say this…supportive??)
Anyway, “Just Another Girl” has been one of my favourite songs to listen to up until now; before it “Mine” was definitely something that I didn’t stop listening to throughout 1st semester and the first half of 2nd semester at uni! The MV also was crazy yet seductive beautiful to watch, with the song being so suiting for the entirety of the MV. If ya interested in me rambling more about the beauty of the song and video, click on the link to go to the related blog post ^^
Album of the Year
And so, we finally have come down to lucky last, our album of the year. Honestly, this wasn’t too hard for me to pick, despite the endless amount of high quality music we have seen this year. This one album has been the most played album be far this year, and I believe that I will still continue to play this album through to next year without much thought.
EXO has not disappointed their fans all year, with consistent releasing of songs that are probably some of the best Kpop we’ve heard in a long time (in my opinion anyway!) This entire album hasn’t got one song that I seem to dislike nor have a problem replaying over and over again. It is amazing how great their songs are, and how their vocals seem to suit with any music style they attempt. I wish them all the best for 2014, and that their success won’t run out soon (pfft, like that’s gonna happen?!) Below is the post related to the album I wrote earlier this year:
So, there you have it folks, my Asia Reviewer Maniac Awards 2013 part 1. Part 2 will hopefully go up live tomorrow (if everything turns out to be on schedule *fingers crossed*) I do understand that it is really a very very lengthy post (over 3000 words…WTF?!) but this wasn’t exactly something that I threw together at the last minute; I’ve been planning this out for days now without my trusty laptop by my side *tear drop*
Hope you all had a wonderful and lovely Christmas, and I wish you all a great New Year! Spend some of that time with your family yo!
❤ Yami Hyunnie ^^~