Ballads dominate K-pop albums in 2006

SG Wannabe 3rd Masterpiece

I keep an occasional eye on what’s top of the music charts. I’ve been noticing that one or two of the album’s I’ve bought have been appearing there. Whether it’s because I’m at the cutting edge of K-pop I somehow doubt. I just tend to buy the things I come across in the blogosphere because I’m interested in hearing what other people are listening to. And then I learn not to buy a particular artist ever again.

One trend in the first half of 2006, according to KBS, is the dominance of ballads. (I get confused between what’s a ballad and what’s R&B, but that’s by the by.) Seven out of the top 10 in the first half of the year fall into that category, including SG Wannabe’s third, Vibe’s third, and Baek Ji-young’s disappointing fifth. Plus I noticed the singles chart had a fair smattering of entries from Lee Soo-young’s seventh.

What’s with the glum taste? Where’s the sense of fun? Are South Koreans just feeling a bit downbeat right now, or is it a quirk in the statistics – for example the poppier stuff is all downloaded rather than purchased in a CD shop and excluded from the count?

Fly to the Sky - Transition

The top seller in the first six months was SG Wannabe (233,000 sales), followed by Fly to the Sky (144,000 sales). KBS says the market is in the doldrums. Let’s hope for a cheerier second half.

I haven’t invested in the Fly to the Sky album. Can anyone recommend it?

One thought on “Ballads dominate K-pop albums in 2006

  1. I’m a little biased when it comes to the Fly to the Sky since they’re my favorite artist and all. But I’ll try…

    Their sixth is pretty good with a bunch of stand-out tracks such as #2 Pi, #3 Namja Dabge (it’ll remind you of SG Wannabe), #5 Haru Ga Ga, #6 Saranghaeyo Oori (it’s the combination of FTTS’s & Gummy’s vocals that make this one special), and #12 Shim Jang. It also has it’s share of a few fillers… #5 and #11. Out of all their albums, this is probably the most mature.

    My favorite FTTS album is their fifth… mostly for sentimental reasons. It’s the album in which Brian’s vocals strengthened the most… my favorites are #2 Gravity (my all-time favorite song), #3 Goodbye (a remake of All 4 One’s Not Ready For Goodbye), #5 Rest of My Life (amazing R&B ballad), #10 My Neverending Story (it’s fun… and not like anything they’ve done before), and #11 For You (which I also believe is an All 4 One song).

    While their 5th had a lot of pop ballads, their 4th album is the most R&B influenced of the all. Personal favorites include, title track, #2 Missing You, #4 Seub Gwan (Poison Ivy), #8 Only One, and #9 Good To You. This one is easily my favorite after their fifth.

    Their 3rd isn’t an album I’d recommend to first time listeners because there are a lot of solos in it… they just sound better together… like yin and yang… and the quality of the songs aren’t as good… with the exception of #2 Condition Of My Heart. It’s a beautiful and touching song. One of their best actually.

    Their 2nd and 1st… I also wouldn’t recommend to the first time listener since their vocals haven’t developed to what they are today just yet… unless you’re just looking for a simple pop album… but you can see definitely see the potential. Hwanhee’s voice changes dramatically from their 1st to their 2nd… it gets much deeper and continues to change with future albums.

    Fly to the Sky is primarily a ballad duo. If your looking of serious ballads, go for their latest, if your looking for pop ballads and some fun, go for their 5th, or if your looking for R&B ballads, go for their 4th.

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