2011 New Boy Groups

I’m a person who is really into boy groups, that’s why I wanted to write about the boy groups debuting this year. I attempted to compile all the information I could find on each group, but for some there really isn’t that much information yet. I hope that this helps clear up confusion and not cause more.

**UPDATE**

When I first published this article there wasn’t very much information, but now (about a month later) there’s tons. For that reason I’ve now given each group their own article and will update that article with current information for one month after the group’s debut. You can access the articles by clicking the links below.

After School Boys – not debuted

A-Peace (Previously Double B 21) – no official debut date

Block B – April 15th, 2011

Boyfriend – May 26th, 2011

B1A4 – April 23rd, 2011

M-1 – not debuted

N-Train – not debuted

-When I originally posted this article somehow I made an epic fail and hadn’t heard of N-Train. I’m still gathering information on them and hopefully I’ll have their article up soon.

X-5 – April 22nd, 2011

Unknown Group from TS Ent. with Bang Yong Guk – not debuted

Unknown Group from TN Ent group produced by Tony Ahn – not debuted

Boyfriend

Group Name: Boyfriend

Company: Starship Entertainment

Number of Members: 6

This group was first revealed on the variety show Quiz The Changes The World as backup dancers for K.Will. Except that they weren’t really “revealed” as they had masks on the whole time. [1]

Here’s the clip of four members of Boyfriend as K.Will’s backup dancers with English subtitles. The subs are wrong at one point. “…the hosts aren’t saying that they look like SHINee, but they said they look like “shin-in” (신인), which means ROOKIES.” Youtube User: xCaramelSweets

Boyfriend has an average member age of 18 and the member’s names are: Dong Hyun, Jo Young Min, Jo Kwang Min, Noh Minwoo, Seon Ho, and Lee Jung Min. [2]

Members Young Min and Kwang Min are identical twin brothers.

In 2002 the twins appeared in the drama “Saxaphones and Mochi” [3]

Member Noh Minwoo was in K.Will’s music video for “I Can’t Find The Words”. [4]

Minwoo appears at 0:07 – 0:24 – 0:39 – 0:55 – 1:03 – 1:10 – 1:25 – 1:31 – 1:38

On April 16, 2011 Starship’s youtube channel uploaded a video of Minwoo dancing. It even includes the scorpion move, made popular by INFINITE.

Members Young Min, Kwang Min, and Jung Min participated in a photo shoot for CECI magazine.

Kwangmin (Left) Youngmin (Right)

During the interview they were asked to come up with explanations for eight phrases. [5]

“Jung Min’s:

In Common‘: All of the members share in common a tendency to get competitive. They’re always striving to improve themselves in order to not lose.

Opportunity Cost‘: Although they can’t be out and about with their friends, the members revealed that they instead earned singing and dancing skills, which they believe to be the cost of losing a social life.

Rule’: The boys made a promise to always remember to sit at the table and eat breakfast together no matter what.

Partner‘: Jung Min’s favorite senior? Powerful vocalist Insooni. To be able to stand on the same stage as her is his dream.

Role Model‘: He also looks up to none other than Big Bang’s leader, G-Dragon. Thanks to his talented ability of soaring on stage and his musical ideas, Jung Min chose him as someone he looks up to.

Turn the Table’: “We promise to show an amazing stage presence! We hope to become a fresh stimulation to the Korean music industry.”

Kwang Min & Young Min’s:

Motive‘: Twins born on the same day, at the same time. The two grew up as child actors in the 2001 sitcom, “They’re Twins“, and later earned headlines for being Kim Hyun Joong lookalikes on “Truth Game.” Youngmin used to play the younger role of Jang Dong Gun, and later began dreaming of becoming a singer after he caught the attention of the older sister of their casting manager.

Spec‘: “Our fresh youthfulness, which fits so well with Boyfriend’s image, is #1.”

Opportunity Cost‘: Kwangmin revealed that they didn’t have much time to spend with their family because of their rehearsals, but knew that it was a sacrifice that must be made in order to achieve their dreams. Youngmin cutely blurted out, “But I’m your family member too!”

Partner‘: Youngmin revealed, “I think it’d be dream-like to be able to perform a duet with seniorNaul. How wonderful would it be to have vocal talent like him?”

The Ultimate Goal‘: ”We want to become artists that have their skills acknowledged, as well as get our name ‘Boyfriend’ more familiar with the public.””

This video is a teaser for M!Pick and it shows each member and their name.

On May 19, Boyfriend released a teaser for their music video “Water Floor” [6]

On May 22, Boyfriend revealed some album jacket photos! Lucky for us they have the members’ names next to them. [7]

On May 25th Boyfriend released their debut mini-album titled “Boyfriend”. [8]

The album consists of three tracks:

Let’s Get It Started

You & I

and Boyfriend for which there’s a MV.

Boyfriend  will officially debut on May 26, 2011.

**Last updated May 25, 2011**

Block B (Info)

Group Name: Block B

Company: Brand New Stardom Entertainment

Number of Members: 7

Fan Club: BBC (Block B Club)

Block B is a hip-hop group created by Cho PD that officially debuted April 14, 2011. I talk about them in another one of my posts. [1] Cho PD stated that he wanted to create a group of artists that would have as much musical and social influence as Eminem. Their main point is rap, and the group has been learning from underground rappers and been trained for choreography. [2] During their training period Block B wrote and composed about 100 songs, as training to become singer-songwriters. [3] Cho PD, unlike most producers and agency CEOs, decided to give the group full musical freedom. This means that Block B decides their musical direction, not Cho PD. Cho PD stated, “Agency CEOs and producers working for only their own profit are not only selfish, but deprive the artists of the opportunities they need. If they really have a message or lyrics that they want to deliver, they should aid the members to find it and write it themselves. There are prevalent instances where people will add their names to the co-producers credits, and extort copyright when all they did was add the sound of one cymbal. But to me, that’s outdated and undemocratic, and I’m sure that such a system won’t last long.” [4] All songs are produced by leader Zico and Kyung. [5]

Most of the members have have been eliminated from something. From MBC’s “Birth Of A Great Star” [6] to the group itself. The ones that were eliminated from the group, of course, came back or else we wouldn’t have Block B. [7] The members are:

B-BOMB

JAEHYO

KYUNG

P.O

TAEIL

U-KWON

ZICO (Leader)

This is a video profile of the group, I’ve already stated most of what’s in it, but there’s a few additional things. (More photos & groups members almost debuted with)

On February 27, 2011 a rehearsal video of the group was uploaded to youtube. [8]

Loen Ent. uploaded a teaser for Block B’s song “Wanna B” on April 4, 2011.

A full music video for “Freeze” was uploaded April 13, 2011. (I don’t know when the full MV for Wanna B will go up)

Their mini-album is called “Do You Wanna B?” It includes three tracks.

1. Wanna B

2. Freeze 그대로 멈춰라!

3. Is It Just Me? 나만 이런거야? 

They debuted on Music Bank on the 15th of April with “Freeze”.

Here’s the MR removed version.

Zico has proved himself to be an impressive rapper, and he even freestyles well. [9]

Here’s another example of Zico’s amazing rap skills:

On April 20th, Block B’s company, Brand New Stardom released a video of B-Bomb and U-Kwon practicing choreography. They are the dancers of the group and they’re both pretty good. [10]

(B-Bomb is on the left, U-Kwon is on the right)

Block B guested on MBC’s Starry Night radio program. On the show they revealed that their name “It’s actually derived from the term ‘blockbuster’, which is typically used to describe movies of larger, impressive scales. We hope to have the same blockbuster effect on the Korean music industry.”  It was also revealed that Taeil has a hobby of raising exotic fish and even had 50 at one point, he has 10 now. Other fun facts are: Jaehyo has ninja typing abilities; he can type 600 keys per minute, and U-Kwon’s favorite movie is “The Hangover”. [11]

Below are subbed videos of their visit on Starry Night radio.

On April 22, 2011 Brand New Stardom put a set of profile photos on Block B’s official fancafe. They certainly are handsome boys. I had to laugh a little, P.O is such a maknae. [12]

B-BOMB

JAEHYO

KYUNG

P.O

U-KWON

ZICO (Leader)

AllKpop reviewed Block B’s album on April 24, 2011, I’ve included snippets of the review, but you can read the full review here: [13]

“Block B consists of Zico, Kyung, Taeil, P.O., Jae Hyo, U-Kwon, and B-Bomb. The group’s main niche is rap/hip-hop – there are a total of three rappers, all of which have had experience spitting lines in the Korean hip-hop scene.  The rest of the posse are vocalists, with Taeil leading the pack as main vocals.

[…]

Block B are currently promoting their lead single, “Freeze“,  and just by the sound of it, it’s clear they’ve dolled the song up with glitz and glamor to give it that commercial feel.  Truthfully, it’s rather generic for a debut single, but I realized it was going to sound like that going in. Why? Because Block B are new and are trying to bridge the gap between hip-hop and pop music.  That, and the fact that they have to cooperate as a unit of rappers and singers now.

[…]

“Freeze” follows the books and does a fine job of transitioning between the verses and pre-chorus just like a good pop song should. The melodies, though, are where things fall right into place – they’re simple, catchy, and work well with Block B’s voices.

[…]

“Wanna B” is way more on point with the hip-hop style Block B is going for.  This song is chock-full of rap lines and you can really tell who’s rhyming what because each rapper has a distinguishing color to their voice.  One is super throaty (P.O.), the other is higher in pitch (Kyung), and then you have one who stands somewhere in between (Zico).  There’s diversity there and it stretches to the vocalists, who insert the necessary releases of tension built up by the rappers.

[…]

“Is It Just Me” alone, which doesn’t hit as hard as the previous two songs, does a good job of sanding K-pop songs down to fairy dust with its contemporary-R&B style. Now where Block B will have trouble convincing audiences in their current evolution is on stage.  In the recording studio, they are on top of their game, but they lose all the steam during their live performances (as expected from a rookie group).  Basically, Block B lack the endurance and the stamina to deliver a vocally cohesive and consistent live stage, and it has shown in their recent performances.

[…]

Regardless, as a whole package, as long as Block B continue experimenting with their style, working on their vocals, and getting a little more creative without losing that strong hip-hop punch they possess, they’ll really start seeing people take notice of their hard work.”

Overall Rating: 4.3/5

Brand New Stardom just released more profile shots of Block B; this time instead of casual shots, they follow the “Freeze” concept. [14]

B-BOMB

JAEHYO

KYUNG

P.O. (Maknae)

TAEIL

U-KWON

ZICO (Leader)

Jaehyo and U-Kwon appeared on “100 Points Out Of 100” this week, but unfortunately U-Kwon was receiving hospital treatment due to sever fatigue. [15]

Block B MNET Wide StarCam

Block B on MTV’s Let Me Show (with English Subtitles)

On May 25th Block B had an interview with News Vision E. (Translation from Allkpop.com)

Q. Your name, Block B, is very unique.

Block B: It’s a shortened form of the term ‘blockbuster.’  It’s an expression of our desires to become a big impact on the Korean music industry.

Q. Could you please introduce your debut track, “Freeze!“  Can you elaborate on what kind of song it is?

Block B: It’s an electronic track with a hip hop base.  The lyrics are about telling someone you love that keeps drifting, getting further apart from you to freeze for a moment, so that you can deliver your true feelings.  It’s got a hip hop feel with an added effect of electronic sounds so it’s modern in that aspect.  We all love the song and feel that it’s something that’s easy to enjoy.

Q. It’s been a long time since there’s been an emergence of hip hop idols.  After the 90’s, hip hop has basically evaporated from idols and has since turned into a professional genre thanks to the efforts of Cho PD and other hip hop musicians.  There’s a strong fanbase of ‘hip hop manias’ for the genre now, so does that pressure you?

Zico: Honestly, I don’t think hip hop fans want idols to pursue the genre.  We did hear concerns of us following the tastes of the public and I think that people stereotype us as idols that are just pursuing hip hop with no real skills or talents.

We’re young and stand as an idol group so I think it’s inevitable that we’re stereotyped in such a way.  We want to break that with our efforts and talents since we still have so much more to show.  Please don’t look over us with a premeditated / certain view in mind, because over time, we will show something that is uniquely us.

Q. Have you always loved hip hop?

Zico: All of the members love hip hop,  I was a rapper underground and it’s been about six to seven months since I’ve taken up producing.  Park Kyung’s hobby is also rapping and he has always pursued hip hop music.  The passion of the other members don’t fall behind as well.

Q. You received a lot of attention for being trained by Cho PD, who’s regarded as one of the godfathers of Korean hip hop.  What kind of mentor is he to you?

Park Kyung: Off stage, he has a charisma to him that makes you think it’d be both scary and difficult to approach him, but he’s like a hyung to us that always tries to hear our opinions out.  He’s strict when he has to be but overall, he’s really caring.  Most of all, he tells us what what we’re doing wrong right on the spot and always asks us questions in a way that makes us think and come up with an answer our selves.  We really respect that side of him.

Jaehyo: I have a funny episode to share. Before our official debut, we performed at Lotte World.  Right before we were set to get up on the stage, Cho PD hyung pulled us together and told us with a serious expression, “Don’t think for a second that it’s a good thing that you got your name known ahead of everything like this.  If you don’t live up to expectations, you can receive double the criticisms.  It’s like a double-sided saber.”

But sabers are always double-sided, I think what he meant was a double-edged sword.  We were all about to burst out in laughter, but we couldn’t laugh out loud in that situation when he was giving us such serious advice.  We bit our lips and held it inside.  To this day, he doesn’t know that he made such a mistake.  “Hyung, I mean CEO!  It’s not double-sided saber, it’s double-edged sword!”

Q. Let’s move on to your personal stories.  I’m curious as to how each of you debuted.

Park Kyung: I was studying abroad in New Zealand but returned to Korea to debut.  I’ve been friends with Zico since we were in elementary school.  Zico had gone overseas to study in Japan and he told me one day that he had passed Cho PD’s audition and was now an official trainee.  Through that connection, an opportunity for me to audition for Cho PD opened up as well.

Before then, I wasn’t sure as to whether I should pursue music or not, but after talking it over with Zico and meeting Cho PD, I became determined.  The more I think about it, the more thankful I am.

U-Kwon: I first came tried music when I joined a band in junior high school.  I played the guitar and was the sub-vocalist for the band for a while, until one day I fell in love with all of the dancing at the concerts we performed at.  I wanted to pursue both singing and dancing, so I was determined to become a singer that could do both.

Honestly, two years ago, I was under a different agency and was training to become a member of a different group.  I was deeply wounded when that group couldn’t debut, but someone had been watching over me at the time and suggested that I audition for Block B, which is how I received the opportunity.

Zico: I was an art student while studying in Japan.  I had always loved listening and making music so recording and composing had always been something I had learned as a hobby.  Every time I came back to Korea while studying abroad, I’d perform at Hongdae clubs with a few close crews and met a lot of musicians like that.  Two years ago, I received the opportunity to meet Cho PD hyung.  He thought well of me then and let me come in as a trainee right away.

Jaehyo: I lived in Busan and went to see a dance competition with a friend for fun with my friend during my first year of high school.  I was street cast there and really worked hard because I was so glad to have been chosen, but I think I overdid.  I strained and injured my knee and reached a point where I had to nearly give up my dreams.  Right when I was about to give up, MBLAQ’s Lee Joon hyung gave me one last word of support: “Don’t end everything.”  Back in Busan, I went through surgery and recovered, and someone later introduced me to Cho PD.

P.O: In junior high school, my dream was to become an actor, or more specifically, a play actor.  After getting into Hanlim Arts High School, I worked hard to achieve my dream while keeping rap as my specialty.  One of my teachers had watched over me and introduced me to an agency for an audition.  After seeing the hyungs rap and make music there, I was just captivated with their charm.  Ever since, I changed my dream into becoming a singer.

B-Bomb: By chance, I had an opportunity to see Rain’s performance up close.  I really received a shock then and began learning how to dance and sing ever since.  After going through a few auditions, I did have the chance of debuting elsewhere, but I think fate tied me to Block B.  I learned a lot here and was finally able to debut with them.

Taeil: My story’s pretty unique in that I was preparing to enlist in the army before my debut.  I can’t call myself a professional singer, but I had promoted as a singer in a few places.  After seeing an advertisement for MBC’s “Birth of a Great Star“, I auditioned for the program and luckily made it to the camp episode.  Unfortunately, I was eliminated when they were cutting down to 30 members.

I prepared to enlist in the army until I received a call from our agency right after the show aired.  He said he liked what he saw, and soon after, I had joined Block B.  I feel like it’s a dream.

Q. Your debut stories are definitely something worth sharing.  Now let’s talk about the people next to us.  If you had to introduce the person next to you, what would you say?

Park Kyung: U-Kwon is so innocent that it doesn’t work to his advantage.  He’s like a child sometimes, but I think the fact that he’s so uncorrupted is his merit.  But it can also be his weakness because it makes the people around him kind of tired (laughter).

U-Kwon: Zico is someone that hides his prodigal qualities.  He has so much to show, and I don’t think he’s shown all of it yet, which I think is amazing.  I feel this when he writes songs because he’s able to come up with two songs that are of completely different colors.  It surprises me.

Zico: Jaehyo is a hyung that has a handsome face, but a pure sensibility.  He’s like a child, but he’s also the hyung so he’s kind of greedy in that he won’t ever let go of his three favorite things: food, girl groups, and rest.  (Jaehyo tried to retort but failed).  His preference in food is fast food, and girl groups.. Mmm, kind of dangerous to reveal, but he likes a newly debuted group associated with the color pink.  And he also loves resting in his second floor bed no matter what.

Oh, there’s also one more characteristic about him.  He’s got a lot of upper body strength, but his legs are quite weak!

Jaehyo: P.O. isn’t like the maknae, but he’s still the adorable maknae.  I think he wants to become an adult fast because he doesn’t act like a maknae sometimes.  To us, that’s still adorable and he’ll forever be our maknae no matter what.  Oh, and another thing is that I never thought he’d become so handsome when I first met him, but he really did become very cool.  His cuteness turned into a charm which is pretty surprising.  Both his heart and his physical look… have become prettier.  I think he’s always improving.

P.O: Main vocalist Taeil hyung is someone that really loves singing and is very good at it.  Even though he’s so talented, he practices as if his life depends on it.  He’s always living inside of the training room, and I learn a lot from watching him.  He’s one of the oldest hyungs, but he’s really innocent and cute.  He loves reading comic books and raising fishes.  I think he’s a really cute main vocal.

Taeil: B-Bomb is a friend I’m really thankful for.  We’re the same age, and he’s also the first person ever that taught me how to dance.  Unlike his cold impression, I have a lot of memories with him where he’ll help me up when I’m tired from dancing.  I’m thankful for him.

B-Bomb: Park Kyung is like Block B’s endorphin.  He’s always energizing the team and lifting everyone’s moods.. although that does tire us out sometimes (laughter).  I’m joking.  Even though he’s my dongseng, he listens to everything regarding the team very maturely.  I’m proud of him.  If you exclude the bad manners he commits in the car, he’s a really great person.  Because of Kyung, we think very important of the ventilation in the car. (Park Kyung tried to retort this statement as if his life depended on it but was ignored by the other members).

Q. What kind of music will Block B show in the future?

Block B: One thing we’re definitely sure about is that we’re going to be showing music different from the standard idols.  With hip hop as our base, we’re going to try bringing in a variety of different genres as actively as possible.  We want to be remembered as a group that’s both unique and different.

Q. To you guys, what kind of group is Block B?

Block B: We’re a very free group.  We’re not forced into a frame like other idol groups, nor are we pretty.  We may be rough, but we have a definite meaning to our identity and feel that we deliver it directly.  We’re a group that has a color of our own, and it’s always going to be like that into the future.

Q. One concluding statement of determination?

Block B: We’ll be releasing our mini-album in June and beginning our activities then.  It’ll consist of everything we couldn’t show through our debut single, so please watch over us and give us your support. [16]

**Last updated May 25, 2011**

**Note: This article will not but updated any further, as it has been over a month since Block B’s debut.

B1A4

Group Name: B1A4

Company: WM Entertainment

Number of Members: 5

Intro Video: (with subs)

B1A4 refers to the fact that within the members one is blood type B and the other four are blood type A. It also stands for “Be The One, All For One”. [1]

B1A4 was introduced through a webtoon.

B1A4’s agency said, “There are a lot of interesting pieces of information about B1A4 in their webtoon,” [2]

JINYOUNG

Jinyoung is the leader of B1A4, is blood type A, and was born in 1993.

B1A4’s agency said, ‘“Our agency is receiving a flood of calls asking for more information. Jin Young is the team’s leader and has been trained in composing, singing, and acting for a while now. He’s exceptional in musical talent, and their upcoming album will feature a song composed and written by him.”’ [3] The song he wrote and composed is “Bling Girl”.

Here’s a video of Jinyoung’s profile photoshoot.

BARO

Baro is the rapper, is blood type B, and was born in 1993.

“A representative of WM Entertainment, the agency of B1A4, stated, “Unlike his cute looks, Baro actually has a charismatic rap tone. He took over the entire rap making for their debut album, and has exceptional skill talent in that area.’” [4]

GONGCHAN

Gongchan is the maknae, is blood type A, and was born in 1994.

“A representative of WM Entertainment stated, “Gongchan is the maknae and the main vocal of the team. He not only has vocal talent, but impressive acting skills as well, so he will be able to promote in a variety of different areas.’” [5]

SANDEUL

Sandeul is the main vocalist, is blood type A, and was born in 1993.

“A representative of WM Entertainment stated, “Sandeul is always smiling, so he makes people feel happy. He’s serious when he sings, though, which is why he’s the member that we all feel deserves to be the main vocalist.”’ [6]

Sandeul has a really good voice; here’s a video of him singing at a music festival.

He even won a Daesang. (A Daesang is the Golden Disk Awards’ most prestigious award.)

CNU

CNU both raps and sings, is blood type A, and was born in 1992, making him the oldest.

I can’t figure out how CNU’s name is supposed to be pronounced. If you pronounce it like a word it ends up sounding really weird because there’s no vowel between the C and the N. If you say it like C.N.U it’s better, so maybe that’s what it is. If you said if fast if sounds like “seein’ you”.

“WM Entertainment stated, “CNU is a health enthusiast. He’s an impressive member with talent in both singing and rapping. CNU’s masculine and a bit on the quiet side, but has a charming smile that captures the hearts of women.”’ [7]

In 2009 CNU performed at a youth song festival. He’s the one in blue.

On April 21, 2011 they released their mini-album “Let’s Fly”. [8]

01. O.K

02. Remember

03. 못된 것만 배워서 (Only Learned Bad Things)

04. Bling Girl

05. Only One

06. O.K (Inst.)

On the 25th they released the full music video for their title track “OK”. [9]

0:32, 1:23 – Sandeul (I think he’s the one singing chorus, he wears yellow shirt)

0:36, 0:43 – Gongchan (the one who sings love me baby and tell me now repeatedly, he wears white)

0:45, 1:49 – Jinyoung (he wears a vest and red shirt)

0:57, 1:04 – CNU (the one with eye glasses and long hair, the one wearing grey shirt)

1:09, 1:35 – Baro (rapper, he wears blue and a hat)

Youtube User: Acinat05

Music Video Bloopers:

B1A4 debuted on Music Core with “OK” on April 23, 2011. [10]

Here’s the MR removed version:

B1A4 also debuted on M! Countdown, Inkigayo, Music Bank, and Music Core.

This is a video profile of them. Most of it I’ve already covered, but feel free to watch it anyway.

On May 1, 2011 AllKpop.com reviewed B1A4’s mini-album “Let’s Fly”. I’ve picked the parts I found most relevant, but you can read the entire article here. [11]

“For rookies, B1A4 have two things going for them: solid vocals and a great stage presence. Those two aspects of music are key to succeed, not to mention vital in the world of mainstream music.

B1A4, as most pop groups, has one main vocalist, led by Sandeul, and he’s making quite the impression.

“O.K.” is glowing with the signature elements of a Korean pop song; it has a very average – or – okay arrangement, familiar instrumentation, and the same cheerful texture in the vocals that we’ve heard before, but the pace is very much there and it correlates well with this time of year.

The feel-good vibes of “O.K.” is matched on stage with high energy movements and choreography.  During their live performances, B1A4 are literally jumping, running, and laying it all out like it’s nobody’s business. Even more impressive is that Sandeul (main vocalist) is carrying most of the vocals on his shoulders while he’s kicking and flying around with the rest of the gang, and surprisingly, he maintains a balance and control over his voice through the duration of the song. It only caught my attention because he’s singing the majority of the song.

[…]

“Let’s Fly” as a mini album is solid, but it lacks that extra push to make it memorable.

Both “Remember” and “못된 것만 배워서” are well sung and well produced, but aren’t as innovative as they could be, especially now when these kinds of songs have been released by previous groups of this same caliber.

[…]

The one track that stands out is “Only One.” It’s the slow tempo song on the album, and what is note-worthy about this song is how classic it sounds. There are traces of early 2000s in there and it reminds me of something that Western boy bands of that time would have sung to a crowd of roaring fan girls. It’s a very understated track for the most part, and only showcases a couple power vocals at the climax, yet it soars like a good pop ballad should.

[…]

It’s hard to tell where B1A4 will go from here, but what they’ve delivered so far is a well rounded first dose of solid vocals, solid songwriting, and an understood style that is woven through each and every song.

Overall Rating: 3.9/5″

B1A4 had an interview with Osen on May 25th. (Translation from Allkpop.com)

“The group’s rapper, Baro, stated, “It’s been about a month since our debut and there are already fans who recognize us. More people came to our fan signing than we expected, so we were all surprised. We promise to work hard so that we can show the public more of who we are.”

Leader Jinyoung added, “Thanks to our unique group name, fans have given us unique nicknames like ‘paper idols’ and ‘blood idols.’ Apparently, ‘paper idols’ comes from the fact that our name reminds them of A4 papers, and ‘blood idols’ comes from our blood types. We’re satisfied with the nicknames and glad that people are taking an interest in us.”

CNU continued, “Each of us has a different charm. Baro is good at voice imitations and beatboxing, while Sandeul and Jinyoung are good at cooking. Gongchan may seem cool, but he has a lot of aegyo. Baro and I have taken an interest in writing and composing lately, so we’re practicing very hard.”

Overall, the group endured two years of training, which helped foster their relationship as a team.

Main vocalist Sandeul revealed, “At our dorm, we play speed games or bingo together. These days, we’re busy rehearsing when we have free time, but playing games with the other members is one of my biggest joys in life these days outside of training.”

Now that they’ve made a successful debut, what do they hope for in the future?

Maknae Gongchan replied, “I want everyone in our nation to be able to recognize us. I promise to work hard to make that goal come true.”

Jinyoung concluded, “We consider g.o.d. as our mentors. Their music was great and they’re loved for such a long time still. We’re determined to work hard with everything we’re given.”” [12]

**Last updated May 25, 2011**

**Note: This article will not but updated any further, as it has been over a month since B1A4’s debut.

A-Peace (Previously Double B 21)

Group Name: A-Peace (Previously: Double B 21)

Company: Golden Goose Entertainment

Number of Members: 21 

This group technically debuted in late 2010, but that was only one of the sub groups (sub group issue will be explained later), so they’re still a 2011 group. This group might be a bit confusing because they’re supposed to have 21 members, which alone is sure to be confusing, but their ‘debut’ music video only had seven members in it. This is because they’re split up into four sub groups. [1]

Last October they released a music video for their song SOS. The music video isn’t what you’d think of when you think music video. It’s footage of a photo shoot; the good part is that we glimpse all 21 members. [2]

The video on linked article was deleted, so here’s a different one.

I like the song, but my head is spinning because there are SO MANY MEMBERS! I’m someone who is bad with names, it took me quite a while to learn all 13 Super Junior member’s names and match them with faces. I hurts my brain to even think about learning 21 members. However, like I said they’ll be debuting in sub groups of seven members, and learning them seven at a time should make it easier.

Most places say there are three sub groups, but I’ve found names for four. They are: Sky (which debuted August 25), Earth, River, and Burning. The sub group Sky is comprised of the seven members: [3] I’ve included addition information about the members I’ve found. [4]

Im Hojung

Blood Type: O

Kim Wancheol

Birthday: 04-13-1992

Height: 185 cm

Hobbies: Basketball, singing, dancing.

Additional Info: Former member of Xing

Kim Seunghyeong

Height: 187cm

Ji Hyeonseong

Jeong Mansoo

Lee Hanuel

Birthday: 12-23-1991

Min Jinhong

Birthday: 10-24-1993

Maknae

Sky came out with a music video called One.

They did a live stage for One on August 25, 2010

“Here are the members: 0:53 – Im Hojung 1:01 – Hyeongseong 1:15 – Kim Wancheol 1:32 – Min Jinhong 2:29 – Kim Seunghyeong (on the right) 3:04 – Jeong Mansoo 3:20 – Haneul” Youtube User: sujuaddict0115

During their debut stage they also performed “Stand By Me”, and I have to say, their English is pretty good.

I discovered a short clip from a variety show, which I believe to be MNet Rookies judging by the logo in the upper left hand corner. In the clip A-Peace’s sub group Sky goes around offering free hugs.

On December 6, 2011 a music video was released for “A Ring Mark (반지자국)” This time it’s actually a music video with a story line and everything.

Getting back to A-Peace as a whole. On March 27, 2011 AllKpop reported that they were getting ready to debut in Japan, and after would return to Korea. A few interesting facts also reported by AllKpop are that all 21 members stand at or around 185 cm (about 6 feet) in height and were cast and produced by Kim Kyung Wook. If you don’t know him, he discovered and worked with idols like H.O.T, Shinhwa, and TVXQ. [5]

A-Peace has released two teasers for the song “Lover Boy (러버보이)”, but have yet to release a full music video that I can find.

First released was an audio teaser, released March 27, which is again, a photo shoot video.

The second is labeled as the “black version” teaser, which is again for the song “Lover Boy”, but with vocals now too. This one is, you guessed it, another photo shoot video, it shows some up close shots of the boys, and at 0:21 there’s some chocolate abs. This one was released April 1, 2011. [6]

Their official twitter http://twitter.com/#!/apeace221 put up a photo of all 21 members.[7]

There are a few other pictures on their twitter, including a photo of dance practice and one of the member’s abs.

In early March, A-Peace performed a live showcase on BBS Station with their song “Lover Boy”. [8]

They start with 5 members on stage, but soon the rest pour on as well. For such a large group their synchronization is pretty good.

“The group are set to embark on their music careers through Japan’s “K-Theater” before making their official debut in Korea.”

On May 12, 2011 A-Peace released their music video for “Lover Boy” [9]

Here’s the dance version:

**Last updated May 22, 2011**

Best MR Removed (Live) Boy Groups

This will just focus on boy GROUPS, so I didn’t include

soloists: because they’re all by themselves,

bands: because they don’t have to dance while they sing, and most only have 1-2 members singing, or

sub-groups: because they’re already part of a group.

I picked the 10 groups that I thought sang the most and best live. Then I chose the best two MR removed songs from each group. Based on those two songs I decided what order of the top 10 using a points scoring system based on (1) the amount of the song sung live, and (2) the quality of each member’s voices.

The following are, in my opinion, the top 10 music recording removed (live) groups.

1. TVXQ

Wrong Number

The MCs at the beginning are a bit annoying, they seem to be imitating someone. However, as soon as Xiah Junsu opens his mouth one forgets about the MCs and is captivated by his perfect live vocals. The rest of TVXQ, as expected, is practically flawless live. Who needs a back track when your live vocals sound exactly the same as the CD version? Not only were their vocals perfect, but they sang the entire song, start to finish, not missing a word. There is no doubt in my mind that TVXQ deserves to be number one on this list.

Rising Sun

I would have really liked to find an MR removed version of a DB5K song, but maybe because removing the music recording is a fairly new thing there aren’t any. Even so, HoMin still put on an amazing performance. Admittedly, it’s not as flawless as Wrong Number, but it’s still one of the best MR removed performances I’ve seen. These two have been performing for a long time, and their expertise shines through their great live vocals. They never let their dancing effect their singing, which is really amazing with some of those moves. I love how they really get into their performance too. They aren’t just doing the choreography, they’re really dancing, if that makes sense.

Other TVXQ MR Removed Performances:

Before You Go

Keep Your Head Down (Why)

2. SHINee

Hello

SHINee is a group that most people already know is amazing live.  Jonghyun and Onew have amazing voices, and the other members are pretty good as well. Not only do they sing 99% of the song live, but they do it very well. Onew and Jonghyun even sing their background parts during Minho’s rap at the end.

Lucifer

You’d think that with a song like Lucifer the choreography would get in the way of the vocals a lot more than SHINee lets it. Even with the complicated choreography they still sing the entire thing live, excluding a few words here and there. Jonghyun and Onew in particular were very impressive. Key’s voice at 2:25 “cracked” or was strained a bit, but other than that he was pretty good, and SHINee totally deserves their spot on this list.

Other SHINee MR Removed Performances:

Amigo

JoJo

Juliette

3. BEAST

Easy

BEAST sang the entire song, missing nothing, which is not surprising as there was no choreography to get in the way. It really showcases the amazing vocals of Yoseop, Kikwang, and Hyunseung, as well as showing that the other members have pretty decent vocals. During the performance one might forget they are actually watching a MR removed performance, it was really great.

Beautiful

BEAST really has some great singers, Hyunseung almost made it into BIGBANG, Kikwang used to be a solo artist, and I’m pretty sure Yoseob just dropped from vocal heaven. Except for some parts, particularly the chorus, they sang the entire song. Yoseob’s cute shout out to their fanclub B2UTY was a nice touch. It’s no surprise BEAST is so high on this list.

Other BEAST MR Removed Performances:

Breath

Bad Girl

Shock

Fiction

Mystery

4. The BOSS 

Admiring Boy

I feel like The BOSS is one of the most underrated groups in Kpop. This is their debut song, and their actual first broadcast performance was only the day before this. I find it amazing that a group with only one broadcast under their belt was able to give such a high quality performance; they didn’t skip a word, but sang everything live. Mika’s voice is practically perfection, and the other members are great vocalists as well. They’re cute, they can dance, and they sing amazingly well. What more do you want?

Stumble Stumble

The BOSS sings less of this song live, the most notable parts being the “oh oh oh oh” part during the chorus and some of the echos. However, most of it is live, and they do a really amazing job, I’d say this is almost CD quality. The BOSS is becoming popular in Japan, but I wonder why they’re so underrated in Korea. They’re very good vocally, and dance pretty well too.

Other The BOSS MR Removed Performances:

No One, Anyone

5. Dalmatian

The Man Opposed

Dalmatian is another underrated group. This was completely live, and the vocals were great too. Dalmatian has three very good rappers, who also do all of their parts. I think I’m in love with Jisu’s voice. How he can sing that high and not sound like an adolescent is beyond me. Something about Youngwon’s voice seems slightly off, but it might just be me. In all this was great, and I wish that Korea would love Dalmatian more because they certainly deserve it.

Round 1

This was their debut stage, which I find incredible, as they sang the entire song live, and not only that, they sounded good while doing it. All three of their rappers are nearing 30 years old, but you wouldn’t know it with the energy they display on stage. Honestly, I thought they were in their early twenties like the rest of the group until I looked it up. Also, you’ve got to give them credit for even doing the “woof woof woof” parts. Jisu sounds just like the CD, and his part at around 3:00 was very impressive.

Other Dalmatian MR Removed Performances:

Lover Cop

6. Infinite

Can You Smile

This song shows that Infinite isn’t a group that can only dance, and even their rappers can sing. Dongwoo sounds a bit shaky at the beginning, but the others are really great. Even the maknae, Sungjong, who usually keeps his live singing to a minimum does really well. I like his voice a lot, and I hope that he will sing more in Infinite’s future songs. Infinite has some very strong vocalists, and I feel like Sungkyu’s voice may almost be better than the recorded version. Hoya is very talented in that he’s both a great rapper and singer. While Dongwoo’s singing here wasn’t perfect, his rapping shines. The end of this performance is great, at 2:40 and 2:51 I was shocked and amazed. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised though, as it’s well known that Sungkyu has great vocal talent.

Before The Dawn

This song’s choreography is the kind that might interfere with singing, and it does in places. However Infinite still sings quite a bit of this live. Their vocals are very impressive, my only complaint is maknae Sungjong. I like his voice so much, I wish he would sing with more confidence. During the chorus after their scorpion move they sing less than in previous choruses, but that may be directly related to the scorpion move and the freestyle dances that come after it. I think Infinite is usually recognized for their great dancing ability and synchronization, but it should also be known that they have impressive vocals as well.

Other Infinite MR Removed Performances:

Nothing’s Over

Come Back Again

7. BIGBANG 

Love Song 

TOP is someone who is known for his incredible rapping, but here he sings, and it’s actually pretty nice. He’s not a powerful singer, but has a quiet and relaxing voice. Daesung and Taeyang, as expected are powerful and CD quality. I’m not really in love with how G-Dragon sounds on the chorus, it’s not really singing, and it’s not really rap. Seungri proves why he’s called “Strong Baby”, and though it has nothing to do with vocal talent, I want to point out that he looks really nice in a suit. TOP comes in near the end with his golden rapping. Taeyang really owned this song, as I’m pretty sure he had the most lines. They only missed a few lines in the entire song, it was mostly just the “Oh”s on the chorus reason being that they needed their hands for the choreography.

Tonight

G-Dragon not only sounds great, but his English is pretty impressive. With rappers like G-Dragon and TOP there’s no way you could dislike BIGBANG. Not only that but Taeyang and Daesung are amazing vocalists. Seungri has really improved throughout the years, and now his vocals are really nice. The chorus was a annoying to me. When they sing “tonight, tonight, tonight, tonight” it seems like they’re all on different pages. On the CD it’s autotuned and in the live it just doesn’t sound all that great. They sing almost all the song live, except G-Dragon doesn’t sing his part near the end because he’s too busy smashing guitars. BIGBANG is an extremely talented group, one of my favorites actually, and it’s no wonder they’re as popular as they are.

Other BIGBANG MR Removed Performances:

Stupid Liar

What Is Right

Cafe

Somebody To Love

8. MBLAQ

Oh Yeah

Mir’s rapping is probably one of my favorite things ever, and he sounds just like the CD. I knew GO was a really good vocalist, but I didn’t realize Lee Joon had such a great voice. I’d always thought of him as more of a dancer and visual, but he’s actually pretty good vocally as well. Leader Seungho’s live vocals don’t fail to impress either. Thunder’s rapping is a bit lacking here compared to how good he is now, but it’s still pretty decent. They don’t miss much except a few “oh yea”s, but that can be attributed to some of the choreography.

Again

All of them sound just great here, Thunder has really improved. They don’t sing the “try” parts, but that’s because they’re dancing and jumping, so that can be forgiven. GO’s voice at 1:20 – 1:25 sounds a bit raspy, and  it comes out a few more times during the performance. During this time Mir was recovering from back surgery so he didn’t participate in the choreography, but it was nice to see him do his rap, which Thunder actually performed in later performances. I like MBLAQ a lot, sometimes their choreography gets in the way of their singing, but one can still tell that they are good vocalists.

Other MBLAQ MR Removed Performances:

Y (Why)

Cry

G.O.O.D Luv

9. ZE:A 

Mazeltov

This is another group who did amazing on their debut stage. They have nine members, and most of them sing well, there are a few who aren’t great, but they’re not bad enough to be called people who can’t sing. They sang the entire song live, which as I said before, is impressive for a debut stage. For all nine members to sing and dance at the same time is pretty splendid. There’s a lot of English in this song, and they pronounced it very well, a few of them actually speak fluent English, so I guess that’s not a huge surprise.

Here I Am

They didn’t sing parts here and there, but they sang most of the song. I usually think that groups this large can’t all be great singers, but in reality, almost all of ZE:A’s members have pretty good voices. Kevin, maknae Dongjoon, and Leader Junyoung are the three that really stick out though. I hope they keep the cute and romantic concept, as it fits them quite well.

Other ZE:A MR Removed Performances:

All Day Long

10. U-KISS

0330

New members Hoon and AJ are both very talented and make a great addition to the group. Soohyun has an amazing voice and you can tell he really loves to sing; he’s far to underrated in my opinion. Dongho, who previously had maybe two lines per song, now has an entire rap, and I’m very impressed with his ability. Kevin is always amazing, I can’t describe how much I enjoy his voice. Overall the entire performance sounds almost exactly like the recorded version. It surprises me that U-KISS isn’t super famous in Korea. They’re well known in other countries, but for some strange reason they’ve yet to even win an award in Korea. Their live talent is really great, and I hope they win something in the near future.

Round and Round

Kevin and Soohyun’s voices are so great, I’d really like to see them both get solo albums. Kibum’s voice isn’t bad, but I don’t love it either. He sings his entire part and does it with confidence, so I’ll give him that. The entire chorus is silent, as it involves choreography that makes it practically impossible to bring the mic up to one’s mouth. Alexander does well on his rap and Dongho’s three seconds aren’t bad either. What is it with U-KISS and not giving Kiseop or Dongho any lines?

Other U-KISS MR Removed Performances:

What’s This

Am I That Easy

Everyday

Honorable Mentions:

Super Junior obviously has very good live vocals. However, I found only two MR removed performances, and I don’t think that’s enough to really secure them a spot in this list. They’re defiantly a group who displays exceptional live vocals though.

Bonamana

F.Cuz is really quite amazing live. They can sing and dance at the same time. However, they only have two MR removed performances that I could find, so I didn’t think it would be fair to put them on this list based on just two performances.

Midnight Sun

SS501 is a very well loved group and I really wanted to put them on here. However, while some of their MR performances were close to CD quality, some were not so great. Regardless, I couldn’t go without mentioning them.

Love Like This

I’ve heard that 2AM is good MR removed, but I couldn’t find any videos of them.

Which groups do you think are the best live/MR Removed?

“Old” Idol Stars Who Look Young

Is it just me or do Koreans not age? I hope you don’t take that in a racist way, because I’m certainly not a racist. I’ve just noticed a lot of Korean Idol Stars who are at, very close to, or over 30, could pass for 25 or younger. There are tons of idols who are in their twenties who look like teenagers, but if I made that list it’d be way too long. BIGBANG’s G-Dragon is 22 but when he acts cute he looks young enough to be 18. BEAST’s Yoseob is 21, but one of my friends thought he was 17, and I won’t even start on Super Junior. Anyway, for those who are within a year of 30 or over there’s a shorter list. Actually, I’m sure there’s more, but I haven’t been into Kpop long enough to really know older idol groups very well. Now that I’ve given more than enough explanation, I’ll begin with the actual article.

Rain (비)


Birthday: June 25, 1982 (will be 29 this year)

Rain debuted as a singer in 2002, and has since released seven albums. He’s been in four dramas, playing a lead role in all of them. He’s also been in three movies, two of which are US films. He has equal amounts of charisma and aegyo, which I find pretty impressive. He’s a singer, dancer, model, actor, designer, and businessman. If I was him, I’d have grey hair by now, but he still looks as young as ever.

K.Will (케이윌)


Birthday: December 30, 1981 (will be 30 this year)

K.Will debuted in 2006 as a singer, but he’s also a vocal coach, dancer, composer, and actor. He’s released two full length albums, and two, eight track mini-albums, as well as contributing to 11 OSTs, and doing close to 20 collaborations. People like Rain, JYP, and actor Lee Minho have complimented K.Will’s amazing voice. He’s accomplished and experienced a lot, but his face doesn’t show how long he’s lived.

Dalmatian Inati (이나티)


Birthday: March 6th, 1981 (30)

Inati is one of the three rappers in rookie group Dalmatian that debuted in late 2010. The other two rappers Dari and Day Day are 26 and 27 respectively, but the other three members are all within a year of 20. Maybe it’s their youth that keeps Inati looking young. He also has a very sweet and fun personality, so perhaps that contributes to his young looks as well.

Brian Joo (브라이언)


Birthday: January 10, 1981 (30)

Brian debuted with idol group Fly To The Sky back in 1999, releasing eight albums. In 2006 he began solo activities, and has released three albums thus far. He’s also part of the Christian group, 3rd Wave. Since he released an album recently he was on variety shows. His personality is really nice. He’s very witty, and has good humor. In another post, (Brian Joo’s Amazing Humor)  I gave a few examples of his great humor. Maybe because he acts younger than his age, he also looks younger as well?

Tony Ahn (토니안)

Birthday: June 7, 1978 (will be 33 this year)

Tony Ahn debuted in 1996 as part of the legendary idol group H.O.T. He completed his army duty in late 2010 and is now promoting as a solo artist. He is also CEO of TN Entertainment, which is likely to be releasing a rookie group in the latter part of this year. (2011 New Boy Groups) He’s a very lively and cute person, even though he’s one of the oldest idols I know of. I was surprised when I saw his promotional pictures for “Top Star” because he looks younger than he did in his H.O.T days! I think that the 32 year olds I know need to be like Tony Ahn, but most of them think they’re too mature to act cute and silly.

I’ve come to realize that all these idols have very fun and cute personalities. I guess Proverbs 17:22 is right, “A cheerful disposition is good for your health…” (Message Version) So have fun, and laugh a lot, maybe it will keep you looking young. If not, it will at least keep you happy.