Top 10 K-Pop Albums Of 2013 (So Far)
By Staff Writer | May 18, 2013 04:42 AM EDT
There is the old saying: numbers don't lie - and judging by the counts of album sales, 2013 is shaping up to be a pretty stellar year for some of most highly regarded K-Pop artists.
According to Instiz, the site that compiles the various charts used to rank music sales in South Korea, these are the top-sellers so far this year.
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#10 Super Junior-M Break Down
- Release date: January 7, 2013
- Albums sold: 50,505
The beginning of the year saw the return of Super Junior-M, the Chinese-language sub-unit of SM Entertainment's supremely popular boy group.
The highly anticipated second album was the mandopop group's first release in two years (since 2011's EP, Perfection) and their first studio album in nearly five years.
Break Down reached number 1 on the US Billboard World Albums chart as well as earning the top spot in both Taiwan and Thailand and in South Korea it ranked at the top of the Hanteo charts.
The lead single, "Break Down," is an energetic dance-pop song with a strong dub-step influence.
#9 TEEN TOP No.1
- Release date: February 25, 2013
- Albums sold: 76,917
Although the six-member boy group debuted in 2010, No.1 was their first full-length studio album. Its release was met with much excitement and positive reviews.
The Limited Edition version of the album completely sold out within two days and a repackaged No.1 with two additional tracks went on sale a month later.
Its peak position in the Korean album charts was at number two, and the lead single, "Miss Right," reached number seven on the US Billboard K-Pop Hot 100.
#8 B.A.P One Shot
- Release date: February 12, 2013
- Albums sold: 77,990
B.A.P may be relatively new to the K-Pop scene, having only debuted last year, but the powerful K-hip-hop ensemble have already seen incredible success. This year, they not only released their second EP, but are currently in the midst of a US concert tour.
One Shot literally shot up to the top spot on a variety of rankings including the Billboard World Albums chart and iTunes hip-hop download charts in the US, Canada, and New Zealand.
Known for their masculine approach to the boy band image and their heavy involvement in the creative process, writing and composing many of their own music, B.A.P did not disappoint fans with their lead single "One Shot."
#7 INFINITE H Fly High
- Release date: January 11, 2013
- Albums sold: 91,958
INFINITE H is the first official sub-unit of the of the superstar male idol group INFINITE and is a duo comprised of members Hoya and Dongwoo.
Fly High was the break out EP for the pair and immediately after its release, it shot to the top of the charts, ranking number one on Naver, Daum, Nate, and many other major music charts in South Korea.
Before being released, there was already a lot of buzz about the two INFINITE members' side project and after nearly two weeks of teasers, they debuted their music video for the title single "Special Girl." The other songs from Fly High also performed well and were ranked within the top ten on the charts.
#6 CNBLUE Re:Blue
- Release date: January 14, 2013
- Albums sold: 118,666
To celebrate the third anniversary of their Korean debut, CNBLUE released their fifth EP, Re:Blue.
There were over 100,000 pre-orders for the mini album and it made it to the number one spot on the Billboard World Album Chart as well as the Tower Records' chart in Japan and Taiwan's Omusic.
The lead single, "I'm Sorry," was co-written by the group's leader, Jung Yong-hwa, and was the first time CNBLUE had used a self-composed tune as their lead single. "I'm Sorry" received a coveted 'all-kill' in the major Korean music charts.
The group is currently on a world tour that will take them around Asia and Australia.
#5 Cho Yong Pil Hello
- Release date: April 27, 2013
- Albums sold: 150,000
Definitely the surprise comeback of the year, veteran entertainer Cho Yong Pil wowed everyone with his first album in a decade.
Regarded as one of the most influential Korean singers of all time, the release of Cho Yong Pil's 19th studio album, Hello, was an instant hit among fans and fellow musicians.
The lead single "Bounce" not only skyrocketed up the charts (ousting Psy from his number one spot) but received rave reviews from many young K-Pop idols in the industry. The internet was a buzz as Shinhwa, Big Bang, and other notable acts tweeted their praise for the song and the legendary singer-songwriter.
The pre-released single gave fans a taste of what to expect from the full length album which sold 150,000 in less than a month.
#4 INFINITE New Challenge
- Release date: March 21, 2013
- Albums sold: 158,084
Fueled by the tremendous response to the debut of the group's first sub-unit in January of this year, INFINITE came back with their fourth mini album in late March.
The lead single, "Man in Love" got a lot of love from fans and the idol group got an all-kill after winning first place on all the music broadcast shows during the first week of April.
The single earned INFINITE two major distinctions. First, they were recognized as the first winners of MBC's Music Core after the producers had implemented a new ranking system which allows for fan votes. They also were recognized as the first artist in 12 years to win number one on all three of the major TV networks with the same song.
Fresh off their success in motherland Korea, INFINITE is preparing to release their debut Japanese album in early June.
#3 Jaejoong I
- Release date: January 17, 2013
- Albums sold: 206,740
Apart from working as a member of JYJ (and formerly TVXQ), Jaejoong has had a rather successful solo career. He has collaborated with or been featured on tracks with many other singers and has recorded several singles for TV and movie soundtracks.
I is, however, his first solo EP and it looks like it was long overdue. The mini-album debuted at the top of both the Hanteo and Gaon charts in Korea and broke pre-order records in Japan. It also topped the iTunes rock charts in nine different countries. It also debuted at number teo on the Billboard World Albums chart.
To celebrate the album's release, Jaejoong held a special concert in Ilsan, South Korea on January 26 and 27, which also happened to coincide with his birthday. Sixteen thousand fans came out to celebrate with the singer and all the seats to the show sold out in record time.
Also selling out quickly, the repackaged version of the album, titled Y, sold out all 50,000 copies within 24 hours.
The lead single, "One Kiss," was released digitally ahead of the EP on January 8 and topped iTunes charts across Asia and the album's title track, "Mine" impressed fans with its hard sound and cutting-edge music video.
#2 Girls' Generation I Got a Boy
- Release date: January 1, 2013
- Albums sold: 282,760
One of the most popular and recognizable K-Pop acts in the industry is the bubbly girl group, Girls' Generation. With every release, the ladies of SNSD prove their star quality, with hit singles and high record sales.
I Got a Boy is no different. The album reportedly sold 265,000 copies in January alone and was praised by Billboard as containing "polished K-pop confections."
The group's fourth Korean album, I Got a Boy contains recordings dating as far back as 2008, most notably "Dancing Queen," the pre-release single that was meant to be the title track for Girls' Generation's first mini-album, but was temporarily put on hold due to copyright issues. The group's breakout single "Gee" was chosen instead and "Dancing Queen" was added nearly five years later to the most recent album.
#1 SHINee Dream Girl - The Misconceptions of You and Why So Serious? - The Misconceptions of Me
- Release date: February 19, 2013 and April 29, 2013
- Albums sold: 283,189
For their third studio album, SHINee split it up into two distinct parts: Chapter 1. Dream Girl and Chapter 2. Why So Serious? Each part has a different theme and feel - the first is upbeat and poppy while the second is a bit darker with a dreamy atmosphere.
Both parts of the album saw success on the charts, reaching number one on all the major rankings in South Korea. The Misconceptions of You peaked at number two on the Billboard World Albums Chart while The Misconceptions of Me was able to reach the number one spot.
The ideas behind the album's title and themes were discussed by various members of SM Entertainment's team. The first part is about "my misconception of you... the world wrapped around me... reality" and the second installment is about "the misconceptions of me (SHINee), the dreams I slowly wanted for myself, and the misconceptions of ideals," according to SM director of production, Lee Sungsoo.
Director of Visual and Art Directing for SM Entertainment, Min Hee Jin, also urged fans to "please break your misconceptions and prior judgement you have on SHINee."
The lead singles for each part are "Dream Girl" and "Why So Serious."
With so many great albums released so far this year, we are looking forward to hearing what is in store for the second half of 2013!
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