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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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:
4. The BOSS
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?
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:
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.
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:
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:
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.
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:
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.
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:
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:
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:
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.
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.
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?