Best K-Pop Boy Groups of 2014
Need help deciding which boy group should get your vote for Best of 2014? Here, our staff members tell you which artist is getting their vote, and why YOU should vote for them too!
The final vote is up to you, but if you need a refresher, check out our list of videos!
(Also check out our girl group list here!)
BEAST had a huge year – it was their five-year anniversary, and they produced two mini-albums, thanks almost entirely to Junhyung’s Good Life team. Now, most groups might just thank fans for their fifth anniversary, but BEAST decided to create a full mini-album to really show their gratitude. It worked… they took my money and my heart all over again. Oh, they also won the most trophies on music shows this year because when BEAST makes a comeback they sweep the charts, and rightfully so.
I’ll be voting for EXO in the 2014 Soompi Awards because, let’s face it, I’m biased because they’re my favorite group. But why are they my favorite group? I’ve been with EXO from the beginning and have seen every single up and down they have had, and I know all of their personalities. Aside from the fact that they are solid singers and performers with the charts and awards to show it, they are also so strong.
Yes, they lost two members this year, both of whom I love dearly, but they still carried on to become stronger than ever. Even though things have been and will be hard, I know they are in it for the long run.
2014 has been another busy year for INFNITE. They had two concerts, and released their second full-length album and a documentary movie to boot. The boys participated more in the making of the album with Woohyun, Sunggyu and INFINITE H working on the lyrics of their solo tracks. Their summer concert, “In The Summer 2,” is one of the few of its kind in K-pop in which they had concerts (in a small concert hall) for seven days in a span of two weeks. Not only that, 2014 welcomed another sub-unit – INFINITE F which consists of L, Sungyeol and Sungjong. These boys have worked hard since their debut and have come so far.
Anyone else always up to date with “VIXX TV?” These six boys never cease to make me laugh with their antics. Not to mention that they have also done pretty well this year between their concert tour and picking up some awards. I’ve been with them since the beginning – since MyDOL – and it’s been great watching them grow from awkward rookies trying to find their footing to professionally awkward boys who create great music. All in all with their antics aside, VIXX are all very skilled at what they do and clearly love it.
Block B has been through a whole lot since their debut, and a particularly difficult year in 2013. Nevertheless, they have managed to rebound with a boom in 2014! Overcoming all hardships they have previously endured, Block B came back with a fantastic single in the form of “Her,” which had many bopping their heads to the catchy tune. Zico has also had a particularly busy year, managing to MC a music show and releasing a solo rap single of his own. Now that they’ve proven that they are able to be relevant despite difficult situations, Block B only has a way up from here, I’m sure!
2PM has had an amazingly successful year. They made their return after a year and four months; JYP mentioned they are his company’s biggest-selling artist. They had a great comeback with “Go Crazy,” which was written and composed by Jun.K himself. They also had an amazing world tour visiting many different countries.
No K-Pop can be complete without TVXQ, the Kings of Hallyu, on the list! 11 years into their career, U-Know Yunho and Max Changmin of TVXQ are true masters of their craft and have matured into two fantastic, versatile artists who complete each other in both music and personality. In 2014 in particular, the incredible duo brought their musicianship and also K-Pop into a completely new realm with the stellar musicality and ground-breaking choreographies of “Something” and “Spellbound.” Not only did they outdo themselves in Korea, they also broke record after record in Japan this year, again solidifying their place as the single most respected Hallyu stars in Japan.
And besides, who could resist the eye candy that are Yunho looking oh-so-classy in traditional hanbok in the drama “The Night Watchman” and the 8-pack abs that Changmin revealed during their concert “TVXQ! Special Live Tour – T1ST0RY?” With their undying friendship with each other and the love and respect they give and receive from their 800,000-strong fandom Cassiopeia as support, TVXQ will definitely have my vote as best boy group of 2014!
One of the more pioneer groups on the list, Epik High dominated the charts in late October with their eighth studio album, “Shoebox,” and took home several trophies for their title track “Happen Ending.” Epik High never fails to prove that they remain on top of the game. This year, they shook the music scene by firing back at the haters together with established rap icons and YG’s raw talent B.I, Bobby, and Mino. Setting them apart from many other nominees, Epik Highpride themselves in producing their artistic but mainstream-friendly albums themselves. Album after another, the trio continues to deliver fresh music without compromising their signature style, and that is exactly why I will be casting my vote for Epik High.
Being one of the most mature boy groups that is still extremely successful, Super Junior is certainly the best candidate for Soompi’s Best Boy Group Award. Their 2014 album “MAMACITA” was a huge success and Super Junior’s achievement can be seen through the YouTube view count of “Mamacita” (almost 20 million), the song winning first place in all of the main music shows, and international success of “Mamacita” as the song recently reached the number one spot for Japan’s Oricon Weekly Singles chart. Moreover, the members have been active in different areas of Korean entertainment. Kyuhyun, with his digital single “At Close” is still high in charts today. Even the M members, Zhoumi and Henry, have been both active with digital single and variety shows.
CNBLUE started the year by capping their first world tour, including stops and playing to audiences in the United States and South America. Afterward, they released their fifth mini-album in Korea, “Can’t Stop,” containing tracks that reflects some more of what they can offer in terms of the direction and versatility of their music. I am choosing CNBLUE because they’ve shown how good music and passionate performances can thrive in the K-Pop world, even if it is slightly different from the dance tunes we have come to expect. CNBLUE is my choice for Soompi Awards this year.