Kpop: Guilty Pleasures (or Why It’s Okay to Like Big Bang)

My history with kpop (aka Korean pop music, for those of you new around here) is short and full of 180s. The group that drew me in (Super Junior) is no longer a group I pay much attention to (save one or two of its’ members). The music I used to listen to (by SJ, ss501 and others) changed from the straight up boy band sounds (akin to Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC). I’ve only been a fan of kpop since October of 2011 (just over a year at the time of writing this entry) and the change from the generic boy band sounds to what I like now was a gradual process. If I took some time, I could probably even tell you when things changed, but that’s way more effort than I’m willing to expend.

It really started when I, for whatever reason, started listening to a group called CN Blue. The group is made up of four idols (popstars) who play their own instruments, but are in many ways just like the rest of the boy bands out there. What sets them apart, aside from the fact that they’re an actual band, is that their music isn’t just limited to four voices singing in unison most of the time. Once I realized how much I liked CN Blue, the more I couldn’t go back to the groups where every song sounds the same (I’m only exaggerating a little). I do want to say that there’s nothing wrong with liking boybands and the pop music they present. It was a nice gateway drug for me and I have no regrets. It was just time for me to move on.

And that moving on eventually led me to Big Bang. But first I need to back up a little. When I discovered that kpop existed, everyone was into Big Bang. They were this annoying group with this guy who had teal hair and I was having none of it. I ignored posts about them, I decided that I would never like this group and … well, that should’ve been a sign. But I ignored it. It wasn’t until the spring of this year (after my friend H discovered the wonders if Running Man) that I began to fall under the spell of Big Bang.

I could talk to you about how attractive some of the members are (and they are). I could discuss how much I love their music (a lot). I could even talk about how ridiculous the shows they’ve been on (as a group, in pairs or by themselves) have been. But I won’t. Instead I’ll tell you that I refused to like them. Even after watching their two (hilarious) episodes on Running Man, I refused. I don’t like them, I said. They’re kind of cute, but that’s it. I’ll tell you how I started waiting IRIS (and not-very-good-though-everyone-loves-it-but-me kdrama) not because of Big Bang’s rapper, TOP (no, really, are you saying you don’t believe me?) but because I wanted to watch it since everyone was talking about how awesome it was (it wasn’t, I can’t even bring myself to review it).

And then I can tell you that the true downward slide began when I started listening to Kang Dae Sung (aka Daesung aka my favorite person in Big Bang).  There’s something incredible about his voice. I can usually pick out his part in Big Bang songs, but I love his solo stuff the best (I want him to release a solo album, please). It was his newest song, Wings, that really won me over. It was the beginning of the end. I’ve come a long way. I own some Big Bang albums, I’m waiting for some DVDs and I have no regrets (again). They’re not really a guilty pleasure anymore (as they were when I started writing this entry over 6 months ago. Mostly they’re my favorite kpop group.

Enjoy Daesung singing Wings: