After almost half of 2015 had passed I was extremely unenthusiastic about the rookie groups of the year. I was very prepared to name this a very weak rookie year. But damn did things change! My opinions on some of the early debuted groups changed massively and some really awesome groups debuted/were brought to my attention. So now, when the year is over, I’m feeling very strongly about the rookies of this past year. Not bad, not bad at all.
This list is organized into four groups/sections:
Group 1: Groups that I haven’t downloaded anything from just yet, but that have peaked my attention. (3 groups)
Group 2: Groups that I have downloaded something from, but that I haven’t learned the names of just yet. (10 groups)
Group 3: A group that I have downloaded something from and almost learnt the names of. (1 group)
Group 4: Groups that I have both downloaded stuff from and added to my groups. Basically my favorite rookies of the year. (5 groups)
Within each group the groups are ranked based on how much I like them.
Isn’t that just beautifully organized? I think so. So… Now… Let’s tackle these tiny rookie babies.
Not something I thought I would be into, but something about these boys have peaked my interest… There’s something very catchy about the song, and it’s almost to the level that I want to download it. But just almost.
This was definitely a year for cute girl groups, and APRIL is one of the cutest ones. Their debut single caught my attention for being one of the most unapologetically adorable things out there, but it’s mainly their follow-up single “Muah!” that’s putting them on here. Something about that song just works for me.
ROMEO’s debut song “Lovesick” channeled Infinite and their follow-up effort “Target” definitely had some Boyfriend in it. Neither of it was a knockout for me, but on some level ROMEO appeals to me. I’ve even chosen a bias! (Seunghwan. Leader. Older than me with a margin. Not grossly cute.)
I don’t actually think Asha’s debut track “Mr. Liar” is all that good, but I still sort of like it. I’d actually forgotten about downloading it until I started writing this post… There is definitely something off about it, but there’s also some sort of very appealing funk to it.
9. Road Boyz
I just downloaded this song like a week ago and haven’t had the time to really look into Road Boyz. But this song is really really good! If they keep putting out stuff like this I can definitely see them climbing on to become one of my groups.
8. Awesome Baby
This is definitely one of the more groove-worthy tracks on here. Awesome Baby are full to the brim with talent and this summer they put out this slammer of a track that I’ve been absolutely loving ever since. They got next to no attention though, and don’t really have any label backing, so I’m afraid this is all we’ll ever get from them… Spam their video with views so that never happens!
Playback’s self-titled debut single was so amazingly catchy and very good in a simple way. There’s something about it that feels very unpretentious; it’s just good old fun. And their second single with Eric Nam, “I Wonder”, is pretty good too.
6. The Ark
I first heard this song on Music Bank, thought it was a great song (which it so is) and downloaded it. I actually never watched the video until today as I was putting together this list. And dear lord. Don’t make my mistake, don’t skip watching this video. Just don’t blame me when you sit there crying your eyes out.
I really liked N.Flying’s debut track “Awesome” from first listen and even though their second single “Lonely” has a very different sound, it too has really grown on me. I can definitely see myself learning the names of these boys, especially because there’s so few of them. And I’m pretty much already biasing Chahun, even though Seunghyub is also very intriguing to me.
4. MONSTA X
I’ve already written some about some issues I have with liking Monsta X, and those are still true. But I managed to grow to like their third single “Hero” enough to download it, and that puts them on here. I can see myself liking Monsta X for sure, but I still have some way to go.
I’ve mentioned before that GFriend’s debut was such a huge throwback to Girls’ Generation’s that it was almost a ripoff. I definitely didn’t fall for these girls from the get-go, but then they released their second single “Me Gustas Tu” and my mind just exploded with gloriousness. I loved it, and still do.
2. Oh My Girl
I kind of sort of liked “Cupid” when it was released, or at least I thought it was less of a snooze-fest than most of the other cute stuff being put out by rookie girl groups. The chanting was definitely my favorite part. But then they released their follow-up “Closer” and my mind was blown. That song is one of the prettiest things ever heard in kpop. And that is a statement you can quote me on.
This is definitely one of the rookie releases that I’ve replayed the most, and that puts them on top in this group. This is such a good song, and it’s clear that you think so too since you voted it in as one of the absolute best songs of September which gave DAY6 an album review.
I acknowledged CLC as less boring than most of the rookie girl groups from the start, but it took a while and some not-so-subtle pressure from friends for me to start to kind of like them. Their debut song is good, their follow-up is just short of being good enough for download but getting closer, and I almost always remember which one it is that is called what. You’ll probably see them among my groups quite soon.
I learned M.A.P6 accidentally because they came on Pops in Seoul, were funny and had easy names to remember. But I regret nothing! Their debut song is very worth listening to, and I definitely hope I’ll get to see more from them. I’m not a hundred percent sure of who’s who yet, but I’m very close and I intend to keep working with them.
Opinionated profile: will be posted on April 11th.
UP10TION’s debut track “So, Dangerous” was fire and I really loved it when I first heard it. And then when I started giving them some more attention I just fell head-first into a pile of a billion weird and awesome boys and now I love them. Their second single “Catch Me!” is also good and they even have one of those fanservicy behind-the-scenes music videos for their cute track “Come As You Are”, if you’re into that.
Opinionated profile: will be posted on April 2nd.
I didn’t like SEVENTEEN at all from the start but I was sneakily tricked into liking them!! I’m still amazed that it even worked… I’m not so into their second track “Mansae” but I’m so in love with these dumb boys that I can’t get out of this fandom.
Opinionated profile: here
iKON have been a long time coming, and while I didn’t love every single one of the three billion singles they’ve put out this year, they did not disappoint me at all. “Rhythm Ta”, “Anthem” and “Dumb & Dumber” are all tracks I love and since my love for iKON has been built up ever since WIN, of course I’m liking them.
Opinionated profile: here
I looooooove them. I’ve fallen for TWICE so damn hard and there’s no way for me to explain why. I loved watching SIXTEEN and I anticipated this debut a lot. And then I loved the song and my girls did so well and just… gaaaaaah. I looooooove them.
Opinionated profile: will be posted on February 3rd.
There we go! Do you at all agree on my choices here? Which is your favorite rookie group of 2015?