Ranking boy groups based on their images is much much harder than with girl groups, because most boy groups don’t have images as easily defined as ‘sexy’, ‘cute’ or ‘badass’. Some do, but most don’t. So this list is really more about what my general impression of them are, without taking the actual music into account, and how much that impression appeals to me. Not music, just my general opinion about a very shallow impression of them. I split this list up into two parts, since it’s much longer than the one about the girl groups and this is numbers 11-21. And, as before, the criteria that means that I have to include a group here is that I can name all the members.
LC9’s debut mv for ‘Mama Beat’ was very violent, but almost cartoonishly so. And there’s not really anything about them that says ‘badass’. Nor are they cute. LC9 haven’t even been around for a year yet so it’s understandable that they haven’t really found their niche yet. But me not being able to define them earns them the bottom spot on this list.
B1A4 debuted in 2011 as a very cute and silly group and while they have certainly moved away from the overly silly cuteness with their latest releases, silly and cute are still the first things I think about when I hear ‘B1A4’. I’m sure that they’ll change that for me pretty soon, but so far my initial reaction to their ‘image’ isn’t very positive. Silly isn’t really my cup of tea.
My initial reaction when I think about 2AM as a group is sad ballads. I know that they’re a ballad group, but all I ever hear from them is sad. (This is not ranking the music, since I’m not saying how good I think it is) Sad songs can be fine, but as a solid ‘image’, it’s not very captivating.
BTOB has been around for less than 2 years so it’s quite understandable that they haven’t completely found their niche yet. But even though I really like the style of these boys, they have shown a striking similarity to B2ST. It’s not very interesting for a company to debut a new group that’s in style strikingly similar to a group that they already have. I see lots of potential here, they just have to find a distinct sound that’s further away from what B2ST is already doing and they’ll be set.
17. Super Junior
Super Junior is an old and popular group. Their fans are die-hard and they’ll get a hit even if their music’s bad. When I think about Super Junior the first thought that pops into my mind is ‘untalented’, which is not good. I know that they have some very talented members but even an ELF has to admit that many of these guys can not sing. Which makes sense, since Super Junior wasn’t really formed as a singing group. They’re designed to be a group that can dominate on many different playing fields, be it singing, dancing, acting or MCing. And I think they’ve achieved that fairly well. It’s not a concept that I love but I can understand and accept it.
16. Teen Top
Teen Top started out as being noona-baiters, and since I’m not a noona to any of them, that really doesn’t work on me. ‘Don’t Spray Perfume’ didn’t make me squeal, it made me feel a wee (a massive) bit disturbed. Their image at first was very immature, both in concept and execution. ‘Miss Right’ is where their image started to become a bit less stupid (even though the concept of that song was slightly weird) and with ‘Rocking’ they really hit it home. You can be cute and charming, without creeping people out, okay? It’s great that their concept is even more dance-based nowadays, since it’s something I really like about them.
B2ST has a certain masculine feel that I really like, but I’ve never found any of their concepts that memorable. There’s nothing wrong with it, but it’s never been incredible eye-catching, at least not to me. They do always seem like a very talented group though, which is always the best kind of concept to have.
(I decided to have a photo with Dongho in it for my friend who lost her bias. And who’s now trying to steal mine. Back off!)
U-KISS has kind of the same problem image-wise as B2ST, they don’t have a very memorable concept. I like the focus on memorable dances though, and the overall angsty-but-party feel. U-KISS and B2ST are very much on the same level so I’m not exactly sure why I put U-KISS first, maybe it’s just because I like them more?
VIXX has been around for less than two years and even though I’ve really loved the dark and gothic concept they rocked for ‘Hyde’ and ‘Voodoo Doll’ I’m not confident enough in that they’ll stick with it to place them higher. I’ll wait and give them more time. Let’s see where they end up next year, shall we?
NU’EST is still a fairly young group, considering they’ve been around less than two years. And so far, their style and concept has been quite diverse. They went super electronic and addressed social issues with ‘Face’ and ‘Action’ but then they went cute and sweet with ‘Not Over You’ and ‘Sandy’. Not aegyo cute, but cute. ‘Hello’ was… something and ‘Sleep Talking’ was cool and funky. So while I’ve liked every concept they’ve done (except maybe for ‘Hello’, I’m not sure what that was), the lack of consistency lands them lower on the list. The gender-bending that is Ren gives them an extra boost though, I’m a sucker for androgyny.
Yes, I’m doing it, I’m going with TVXQ pre-breakup. While I have no delusions whatsoever about them getting back together and I support all the members in what they’re doing now, I can’t bring myself to put them on this list as two separate units. And this is coming from someone who didn’t get into TVXQ/JYJ until after they split up. It doesn’t matter that I wasn’t there when they were five, youtube is filled with interviews, performances and music videos from when the kings were still the right number, five. But I’m completely losing track of what I’m supposed to be doing here… TVXQ pre-breakup were the most perfectly balanced group in kpop history. That’s the thing I think about first when I think about them. That’s a very good thing, but my emotional investment in their overall concepts hasn’t been very high, hence their lower position on this list.
There it is, the first part of this list. The second part will be up next week. I know that these lists might seem like a really random concept, but since I’ve written them, it’s only right that I upload them!
Let me know what you think about my list and what your opinions on these groups concepts and images are in the comments below!
If you have any suggestions or opinions for Sunday’s random post, Tuesday’s review or next Friday’s list of the week, then leave me a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
– Admin A