Apr 25, 2013

My Lists: 10 favorite k-pop male idol groups

It's time for another list and this time I'm listing down my top 10 favorite male idol groups.

I'm not even going to lie, while most of these groups are insanely talented, they're also very pretty. And the pretty was what initially drew me in. So thank god they also happen to produce genuinely good music, this helps me justify my irrational fangirling.

This list is not in any real order - as they tend to shuffle depending on who's recently made a comeback, who's starring in my favorite variety show, or who's music is currently on my playlist. I also tend to bump some groups off when rookie groups make a fantastic debut. So this list is by no means a be all and end all of my favorite k-pop boybands ever. For all I know, this could change by next week. But nonetheless, here we go.

2PM - Though they've been gone for what seems like forever, and while I'm happy they're making a comeback soon, I'm not quite sure if I've missed them enough. There have been so much happening in k-pop that even while 2PM focused on their Japanese promotions, nothing really seemed amiss. This makes me sound as if I don't like 2PM, but to tell you the truth, these guys are the reason why I'm a k-pop fan right now. One look at Nichkhun on the variety-reality show We Got Married and I was sold. Eventually, when the other members kept popping up in the Khuntoria episodes being all hilarious and adorable, it was hard to proclaim myself a Hottest without knowing their songs. So, I fixed that. And thank God I did. I sincerely love their music, and believe you me, no other group in k-pop can do the stunts that these guys pull off on stage so effortlessly.

2AM - One cannot simply be a fan of 2PM without realizing how impossibly awesome their brother group, 2AM, is. Where 2PM produces more upbeat and dance-y tracks, 2AM is their ballad counterpart. And good God, can these boys sing. Each and everyone of them. Eargasms all the time. Plus, these guys are hilarious, and I don't just mean their leader Jo Kwon. I mean, ALL FOUR OF THEM. Watching them do their girl group dance numbers, or even just goofing off offstage, it's hard to believe how serious they can get once they're on the stage. Lastly, even though 2PM members are known for being "beastly" idols, what with their chocolate abs on display most of the time, that's not to say that the softer-imaged boys of 2AM are lacking physically, coz damn, these balladeers have abs like you wouldn't believe.

Infinite - Having grown up as a dancer, great choreography and talented dancers draw me in so fast. I could forgive all other flaws if the guy could dance his ass off. So it's a doubly good thing that while Infinite is mainly known for being amazing dancers with precise movements and great synchronization, not to mention memorable choreography, these guys can also sing. And that includes their two rappers, Hoya and Dongwoo. Usually, k-pop groups would designate their lead dancers as rappers, which only means they can't actually sing. But such is not the case with Infinite. Their rappers are triple threats in that they can dance, rap, and sing. And with the likes of Hoya, a quadruple threat - that boy stole my heart acting the role of best friend with a one-sided love for the male lead in Reply 1997.

B.A.P - This group is quite new to my list. And to be honest, I only really like 3 or 4 of their songs. But, the songs that I do like, I listen to on repeat and I've grown quite addicted to them. These songs are "No Mercy," "Warrior," "One Shot," and "It's All Lies." And I'm mostly a fan because of Yongguk's deep rapping voice and Daehyun's insane vocals that reduce me to tears all the time. And maybe Himchan's face. And Jongup's dancing. And Youngjae's lips. And Zelo's insane amount of talent. Okay, maybe I'm a bigger fan than I'd initially thought. B.A.P is a relatively new group, so I'm really excited to watch them grow as artists and see where they end up a few years from now.

CN Blue - Being one of the few idol bands out there who play alternative music, it's not hard for CN Blue to stand out. Especially, with such pretty members. But also, with genuinely good music. While a lot of their current songs are very pop-rock with an alternative flair, a lot of their older stuff are grittier and rougher which totally reflect the time they spent honing their craft in Japan's underground rock scene. I don't claim to have known of CN Blue during their Japanese era, I'm no k-pop hipster, and God knows I only know them because of CN Blue leader Yonghwa's second lead role in the drama You're Beautiful.

FT Island - Like label-mate CN Blue, FT Island is a band of young talented guys who play instruments and rock out on stage. And I guess you could say that great things come in small packages, because even though its members are relatively on the shorter end of the idol spectrum, they very well make up for it with enough talent. FT Island's lead vocalist, Lee Hongki, has one of the rawest and most captivating voices this side of k-pop. Much like how I stumbled upon CN Blue, it was via the drama You're Beautiful that I discovered FT Island, where Hongki compellingly played the lovable character of Jeremy. I'm not really all that familiar with the other band members (aside from Hongki and Jonghun) because in my opinion FT Island basically equates to Hongki's amazing vocals.

Super Junior - One cannot discuss k-pop boybands without mentioning this super group. Originally comprised of 13 members, they have since been trimmed down to 8-11 members, depending on how many members are currently serving in the army. The thing with Super Junior is, you don't just get two hands full of singers and dancers (and let's admit it, not all of them are good at both skills); you also get a huge bag full of actors, models, choreographers, radio DJs, TV hosts, comedians, songwriters, and musical theater actors. There's definitely someone in the group who will catch your attention, what with so many of them - all with very different personalities and physical qualities. And there's just that certain je nais se quoi about them. Just watch this live video of "Superman" to understand what I mean. With very simple yet concise movements they still somehow captivate their audience and let them know that they are in the midst of legends.

SHINee - In the beginning, it was so easy for me to dismiss SHINee as so-so. And I totally blame it on bad overall marketing. Their music videos are mostly silly and their clothes even more so. Can we please fire their stylist? I'd dress these boys free of charge. Or you know, get hugs from them as payment. Pedo-noona is cheap, apparently. Anyway, before I get too far with that train of thought... It took some live videos for me to give them a second look. First was Jonghyun's cover of Brown Eyed Soul's "Nothing Better" on a radio program, second was Onew's performance of "Nessun Dorma" at the SM Town in Paris concert, and third was their dance practice video for "Sherlock." And it just snowballed from there. I started realizing that SHINee could possibly be the biggest thing in k-pop since DBSK, and that's saying a lot. Boys can sing their lungs out, dance their butts off, and are super charming to boot. Now if only SME realized this as well and managed them properly.

JYJ/TVXQ - It's hard for me to even try to list these 2 groups separately. To be quite honest, I'm not that impressed with JYJ's couple of albums since their departure from SME. And neither am I HoMin's biggest fan right now. I'm just not feeling it. But they're both on this list because, damnit, DB5K was freaking awesome. It's just so hard to quantify how much I love the groups now that they're split in two. While I support them no matter what they choose to do in life, nothing beats having all 5 of the boys on one stage.

DB5K were legends for a reason. And the sum was always bigger than its parts. Sure, all the boys are talented on their own and could all carry solo careers very well, Junsu and Jaejoong have proven this. But they were always so much brighter when they shined together. Some of my favorite DB5K moments were when they sang their Japanese power ballads, specifically written for 5-part vocals. Those were insane. "Bolero" was never not impressive. And it physically pains me whenever I remind myself that we are never going to hear the boys sing those ballads again. TVXQ won't, it will never sound quite the same with only 2 vocalists. JYJ can't, copyright issues. Thank God for YouTube, eh?

Big Bang - My love for Big Bang knows no bounds. I can quite honestly say, that while I have a bunch of posters and other k-pop merch of other boy groups, I only own 2 original physical CDs - Big Bang's Alive mini album and G-Dragon's One of a Kind mini album. Both of which I bought from Seoul. And I only have, thus far, been to one k-pop concert ever, Big Bang's Alive Galaxy World Tour. There's just something about them that I absolutely love. Perhaps it's their unique ahead-of-the-trend style. Or maybe it's their insanely passionate performances. Or their penchant for urban hip-hop and R&B and electro-dance music. Or their particular blend of rapping, singing and a hybrid of the two which I refer to as rappsing (a G-Dragon go-to style when composing his music). Or maybe it's their ingenuity, and genuine talent, and free creative spirits. I love that YGE has given them enough free reign over their craft and style, and the boys, in return, are just taking that freedom and flying with it. It's awesome.

But also, I like that, despite the fame and the ego and the swag, all that is still pretty much their alter ego. On stage they are G-Dragon, Taeyang, T.O.P, D-Lite and V.I. But once the lights go down, we still pretty much see that their humility knows no bounds. They are still Kwon Ji-yong, Dong Young-bae, Choi Seung-hyun, Kang Dae-sung and Lee Seung-hyun.

Who are your favorite male idol groups? Let me know!


  1. Hi! I am a biggg SHINee Fan :) i like them cus i realized how talented they are, aside from their looks. I like artists that can truly bring what they have to the table. These 5 boys trained since young, and almost all of them can sing. I always thought how incredible it would be if netizens realize this even soonerr. they deserved bigger recognition and awards

    1. Yes! SHINee is currently one of my favorite groups and I'm so proud of how far they've gone. And they've been continuously improving and taking risks and just growing as artists. :)