Unstoppable quintet boy group BIGBANG thwarted IU’s quest to earn a five-week chart topper (and tie her own chart record set in January) in this week’s K-Pop Hot 100. The group’s newest single, “Monster,” from a special edition of their latest album, “Still Alive,” shoots up to the No.1 spot after a No.3 debut last week. “Still Alive” (at No. 4 on this week’s World Album chart) includes five new tracks, two of which, “Still Alive” and “Ego,” charted at No.5 and No.10, respectively.
The blockbuster quality music video for “Monster” amassed over 9 million views since its release on June 2nd, putting the group at No.12 on this week’s Billboard Social 50 chart as well as No. 11 on the YouTube chart. In a recent press conference, leader G-Dragon stated, “For our music video, we tried to reflect what our personal definition of a monster appearance was. With individual transformations along with CG effects, we focused more on the visual impact.” The group’s large-scale video is expected to hit around 25 million hits. Remarkably, the group has stormed its way onto four Billboard charts without any promotional efforts in either the States or Korea.
“Monster” follows the trademark piano sounds that has propelled them K-Pop icon status, but with more angst and detailed musical narrative. The boys croon and rap over the subdued emotional melody, which explodes in the chorus with their smoky, highly-charged vocals. The intricate yet volatile lyrics, penned by G-Dragon and assisted by T.O.P, angrily and desperately beg for some kind of recognition of the narrator’s lingering love. He pleads that he is, in fact, not the “monster” the rest of the world, including she, claims him to be.
Showing sonic and lyrical diversity though, the EP’s opening track, “Still Alive,” is an upbeat track with feel-good and confident lyrics about overcoming hardships, while “Ego” is a song that expresses a man’s frustrations with heavy guitar/rock sounds and soaring falsetto driven chorus.
Quintet girl group sensation Wonder Girls made a comeback with their jumpy and deliriously fun title track “Like This” landing at the No. 2 spot this week. The combination of electronic sounds with hip-hop beats emphasizes the group’s lively vibe. The response to their comeback has been explosive, as their music video for “Like This” has garnered over 3 million views within three days of its release. The “Wonder Party” EP, where “Like This” is lifted from, became the first K-pop album released with iTunes LP, according to Wonder Girls’ management JYP Entertainment. English-speaking fans can also look forward to an English version “Like This” the girls confirmed to have recorded.
Popular girl group f(x) also make their return to the charts with the electronic dance track “Electric Shock.” The girls made a mark for their funk and uniqueness in their 9 million-plus views like “Hot Summer” and “NU ABO”. The music video was marked as the “Most Watched Video,” “Favorite Video,” and the “Most Searched Video” on YouTube for garnering 1 million views in merely 15 hours of its release showing a true excitement over their return.
Elsewhere on the chart Verbal Jint, an underground rapper, makes this week’s biggest debut this week with his latest single “Good Morning,” featuring Kim Jung Yeol of Indie band 10cm, at No. 6. The song is about an intoxicated man’s accidental confession to a woman.
(Additional reporting and editing by Jeff Benjamin, Billboard)