Then and Now With My Top Five

I’m feeling nostalgic right now and as the entertainment circus is still at a standstill, there’s nothing new for me to review. So I’ll be looking at where my five favorite kpop groups started out and where they are now. This is a classic feature in all parts of pop culture, and culture in general, so I don’t think it requires more of an introduction than this.

SHINee

Then:

 

Oh my beautiful babies… Sorry. This is one of kpop’s most classic debut songs, and many people still see this as one of SHINee’s absolute best singles to date. And I’ll have to agree. This is a smooth r’n’b song, perfect for when you’re just way too tired for their more recent singles.

SHINee deviated from their more r’n’b-ish roots very quickly, and ever since the follow-up single ‘Love Like Oxygen’ their style has been much more electronic. I like both, but I would say I prefer their more electronic stuff. That’s just the SHINee I know and love.

SHINee were the ones who started the whole concept of noona-baiters, and now when young male groups serenade their noonas, they all wish they did it as well as SHINee. The whole concept of noona-baiting has always seemed very creepy to me, especially when the guy in question is as young as Taemin was in this video. Here’s a rule: if it’s illegal, it’s not cute.

It’s very interesting to see SHINee at an age were they could all be guys I go to school with. (Except for Taemin that is, he’d be going to school with my little sister) Now, where can I find 18-year-old Jonghyun? He must be around here somewhere…

Now: 

 

Wow, have things changed! This is the furthest SHINee’s gone into the electronic style so far, and this song is the closest to dubstep I hope they’ll ever go.

The reason why I really prefer this way of doing electronic music to their old songs ‘Ring Ding Dong’ and ‘Lucifer’ is that those songs were so auto-tuned, especially the former, that I didn’t think they could sing. I much prefer those songs live, for that reason. I’m not saying that this song hasn’t had work done on the singing, because all songs do, but here you can really hear their true voices.

I’m so proud of them. That’s all I can say. They went from being adorably cute and promising boys between 14 and 18, to what they are now, men in their early twenties who’ve all improved so much. Their dancing is still tight, everyone’s vocals’ve improved and it’s all so much more polished.

They all still look so good. While I’ve long accepted that Minho and Taemin have both had nose jobs, and I’ve for a while thought that Jonghyun does look a little different, though I can’t put my finger on how, SHINee does still very much look like the same guys, No one’s jaw is half shaved off, and no one has eyes twice the size that they were when they debuted. And while I think everyone has the right to plastic surgery, if they want it, I do think it’s nice when kpop stars stay at least sort of the same as they were.

BIGBANG

Then: 

 

Wow, this is interesting. I just praised SHINee for looking pretty much the same as they did at debut, but BIGBANG, to me, look exactly the same. They’ve matured, for sure, and their styling is a lot better, but besides that they really look extremely similar. Not that I’ve ever suspected BIGBANG of getting plastic surgery, it’s just interesting to see. They might have had work done that I don’t notice though, of course.

To be honest, I don’t think this song is very interesting. The chorus is catchy, but besides that I think this song is kind of boring. It’s not one of BIGBANG’s songs that I really listen to.

Wow, just as SHINee, BIGBANG has really changed their musical style since their debut in 2006. They used to be so classic hip hop, but what are they now? Well…

Now:

 

This isn’t really now though. This song was released over two years ago, but this is the most recent single we have from the entirety of BIGBANG. If I’m remembering this correctly, they’ll be coming back in the summer, and I really do hope that’s true. I need some BIGBANG!

BIGBANG are still quite hip hop, though maybe not so much in this song, but they’re way more electronic now than they were in the beginning. They’re also way more polished, and so are their videos. It’s all to be expected though, both from them and SHINee. BIGBANG debuted almost 8 years ago, and SHINee are very close to hitting 6 years, so if they hadn’t matured and polished up that would be quite strange.

2NE1

Then: 

 

I honestly don’t think it feels like 2NE1 has changed that much. Or well, their image is at least extremely much the shame. 2NE1 is still the in-your-face girl power group they debuted as, and they made it completely impossible for any girl group to ever try that concept without being compared to 2NE1.

I really like this song. It isn’t one of my favorites from 2NE1, but it is a classic, and it’s really very good.

What hits me the most when I watch this video is how different Bom looks. I know that this has been discussed to exhaustion, and we really don’t have any right to speak here. It’s her body, her choice. But it just hits me so hard, and I really do think she looked better back then. She’s still pretty, but she just does look a little strange to me now. I think Dara and CL look identical to how they look now though. Minzy has a new nose, but we all know that.

Now: 

 

I’m still loving this song. I’m so proud of what my girls came back as after last year, which just wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be.

If we ignore the bridge, this is definitely less electronic than their debut sound, but I actually prefer it this way.

My girls look gorgeous. CL has matured so well, and her styling is also a lot more flattering now than it used to be, and she looks beautiful. Dara’s stunning as always, and while I don’t like to say it, I do think that Minzy looks better with her new nose. Bom is still pretty, but not as much as she used to be.

With maybe the exception of Bom, I think that they all for sure sound better than they did at debut. I’m unsure what happened to Bom’s voice, but I just don’t think it’s as strong anymore, which is a shame.

Block B

Then: 

 

Block B isn’t at all an as old group as the others on here, since they just recently hit the 3 year mark. But wow, have they grown! While I don’t think this is a terrible song, it has a quite generic sound. This could be any group, and I would quickly forget them if they debuted now. This didn’t showcase their talents close to enough, and here they just seem like a bunch of attractive guys, like almost any other group.

Now: 

 

Wow, oh wow. Block B really found their sound when they released ‘Nillili Mambo’ (‘Nalina’ was great too though) and since then they’ve stayed pretty much within that range. They execute this type of music perfectly, and I think they’re just getting better and better. I couldn’t be more pleased, and I really hope to see them keep improving for many years to come.

Girls’ Generation

Then: 

 

Girls’ Generation are not natural, and I don’t understand how anyone could ever claim anything else after watching this video. It’s not that I think that all of them had huge amounts of work done, but they all look different to me in a way that can’t be explained in any other believable way besides plastic surgery. I’ve never looked down on them in anyway because of that, I just feel like it wasn’t necessary. Yes, Girls’ Generation are radiant goddesses nowadays, but they were beautiful even at debut.

This is one of my favorite Girls’ Generation singles to date. Sure it wasn’t as catchy as ‘Gee’ and everything released after that, but I do very much prefer this style of them. Girls’ Generation were for a long time just too aegyo and cutesy for me, and while they started out cute, this video does in no way give me the cringes.

Now:

 

While I wasn’t very fond of this song when it was first released two months ago, I now really like it! This song really grew on me, and now I’m more than happy with this comeback.

I’m. So. Happy. This is a Girls’ Generation that I can support with all my heart. They’re women now, and they’re finally allowed to show it! Thank you SM, it was about bloody time.

The girls all look better than I think they ever have before. I feel like there’s a stigma on saying someone looks better after plastic surgery, but there’s a reason why it’s so popular, and that’s because most of the time it works.

I just love that Girls’ Generation have some more complicated dances again! Their very first single actually had a legit dance but after they hit it big with ‘Gee’ they moved into a long period of quite simple and catchy dances. But ever since ‘The Boys’ I feel like Girls’ Generation’s dance team, whoever that is, have really stepped it up and given these girls some more high-powered and interesting choreography, which they handle beautifully.

————————————————————————————————————

Let me know what you would think about me doing this with more groups, it might be a good feature for when I don’t have anything else to review.

If you have any suggestions, comments, or requests for Friday’s list of the week, Sunday’s random post or next Tuesday’s review then leave a comment or email me at topofthekpops@gmail.com!

– Admin A

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2 thoughts on “Then and Now With My Top Five

  1. I’m only gonna comment on SHINee and SNSD since i know them the best. SHINee definitely grown so much especially these past years, from boys to men, they’ve changed physically and mentally, for the better. They are much more confidence and comfortable with themselves, but still very humble and sweet.
    Taemin definitely had a nose job, don’t know about Minho, he still looks the same to me, but regardless, SHINee is on their way to more success in the future in Korea and internationally, can’t wait to see what they’ll come up with next!!!

    As for SNSD, they turned from girls to women, but instead of doing overly sexual concepts, they are grown into classy, sexy ladies. Their album concepts was never overly done, I agree that SM did not mess with them lol.
    Mr Mr is my favorite release this year, SNSD never disappoints me one way or the other. The choreography of MrMr is good except for the second part of the dance break, I though it was odd that they just shook butts for 20 seconds, lol.

    I also think SNSD grown mentally since some if not all of them are dating, and i think with being in relationships it will give them different perspectives on how can they deliver their music in the future.

    Nice topic, keep them up!!!

    1. Yes, SHINee has really grown for the better and I can’t wait to see where they’ll end up! 😀

      Minho’s nose is a little different, it’s not a huge difference but it definitely looks like there’s been some work done there.

      I’m very pleased with the way that SNSD has matured! They could never have done a hardcore sexy concept, it just wouldn’t work, but turning into hot and confident women was perfect! And I’m really happy that they’re allowed to date openly, I find it so silly that idols often can’t.

      Thanks for the feedback! I’ll for sure keep these up when I don’t gave anything to review!

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