Best K-Pop Girl Groups of 2014
Need help deciding which girl 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!
2014 is definitely A Pink’s year. After releasing two mini-albums, their latest one, “Luv,” went on to slay the music charts. Alongside group activities, Eunji wowed the crowd with her performance in “Trot Lovers,” while Bomi and Namjoo formed the sub-unit “A Pink BnN.” These girls are definitely on a roll. Plus, tickets for their upcoming concert in January sold out in two minutes!
It’s the year 2012, and a band of angels sings as they fly down from the heavens. As they landed upon the steps of FNC, the angels’ eyes glistened with hope. Their songs would soon be heard by all far and wide. It would be a glorious occassion. Fast-forward one year and AOA proved to be more like Ace of Mummies rather than Ace of Angels, gaining little traction during their first year, drowned out by the overwhelming success of Girl’s Day. However, 2014 was to be different. Carrying what little momentum they had with “Confused,” the flight of angels threw away their guitars and donned a set of miniskirts for their hit single called, yes, “Miniskirt.” The song was a massive hit, and from there, AOA just kept on soaring, releasing “Short Hair” and “Like a Cat” in quick succession.
Suffice it to say, no other group this year matched AOA’s output or consistency, which is why you should all vote for AOA. If you don’t, then you’ll make Jimin very sad.
The resident sexy queens Sistar had another very strong year with their summer smash hits “Touch My Body” and “I Swear“. Not only did they perform strong as one of the top girl groups in the country, but they also proved successful in their solo pursuits – Hyorin showed off her impressive vocal skills in her version of the iconic Frozen soundtrack “Let It Go,” while Soyu owned the charts with her collaborations with Junggigo (“Some“) and Urban Zakapa (“The Space Between“). Dasom kept herself busy with her acting in the popular drama “Melody of Love.” It’s Sistar’s world now, and we’re all just living in it.
2014 hasn’t been the kindest year to Girls’ Generation with two members revealed to be dating before their comeback, two more afterwards, then losing another member. Even with things that should be a distraction, they have proven why they earned the title Nation’s Girl Group. Their fourth mini album “Mr. Mr.” became the best selling girl group album of the year with their sub unit, TaeTiSeo, coming in at number 3. Leader Taeyeon also participated in SM the Ballad‘s 2nd album Breath by collaborating with SHINee‘s Jonghyun. The veterans also showed their international success by completing their Girls&Peace Tour, their 3rd Japan Tour, conducting fan meets in China, and having their The Best album top the Oricon charts in Japan. Each member has had hand in various individual activities such as dramas, varieties, and MC this year adding on to their already busy schedules. What I am most proud of is despite the year they’ve had, Girls’ Generation still managed to perform before a sold out crowd of 50,000 fans during their The Best Live: AT Tokyo Dome solo concert.
Despite the success of last year’s “Expectation,” perhaps nobody thought Girl’s Day would make the difficult step up from middling girl group to top-level pop act. But, with the release of “Something,” the fabulous foursome managed to do just that, sweeping almost effortlessly into the top tier of the K-pop industry. They were the first of many acts to go with the often-controverisial “sexy” concept, but managed to pull off this difficult look without looking forced or awkward. And then, a few months later, they returned with “Darling,” a brave comeback that saw them completely ditch the raunchiness of their last two releases. Incredibly, it worked, and the group won its first-ever number one spot. It will come as no surprise if 2015 sees Girl’s Day go on to even brighter things now the girls have firmly established a seat at K-pop’s top table.
Sure, 2014 might not have been the smoothest ride for 2NE1, but that doesn’t mean their releases were not up to par. “Crush” is arguably one of the best girl group albums of the year – if not the best – and the album has been a huge commercial success with well over million digital downloads. Making the piece even more special, leader CL took part in penning the lyrics and producing the beats for the album. 2NE1 follows the trends but never loses their unique sound, and having released three stunning music videos and an extremely polished studio album, 2NE1 certainly deserves to be crowned this year’s best female group.
Spica has always been underrated, but no one has ever argued the undeniable vocal talent of all five Spica members, Bohyung even taking the win on the show “100 Seconds.” From their powerful ballad “Ghost,” released in November, to their fun swing number “You Don’t Love Me” in January, the group never fails to impress. With a U.S debut and unit SPICA.S’s debut in between, the group no doubt has proved themselves on several fronts, having flawlessly taken on both ballads and dance numbers.
2014 could not have got off to a worse start for KARA. Losing not one but two of your most popular members is something that most groups might not have expected to get over quickly. The group labored on as a three-piece for a few months, and the act’s agency, DSP Media, caught a lot of flak from hardcore fans when it initiated the Baby KARA project to search for a replacement. Yet, with “Mama Mia,” KARA managed to pull off arguably the comeback of the year – a catchy, lively song was coupled with a sexy, yet mature concept, and it all worked a treat. As talented as Nicole and Jiyoung are (and they will surely both go onto achieve great things in their respective solo careers), the new four-piece KARA looks like one of the tightest, most energetic and exciting groups in the K-pop game.
I’m voting for Orange Caramel in 2014 because they’re right up there with 2NE1 and Crayon Pop in terms of successfully establishing their own trademark image and sound – not a trivial accomplishment for a subunit group. This year, Nana, Raina, and Lizzy went places explored by no other group in K-Pop history: becoming pieces of sushi which are eaten by themselves, delivering the first-ever K-Pop “Where’s Waldo” and “Spot the Differences” (“My Copycat“), and incorporating a sample from a Punjabi wedding song.
I’m voting for Orange Caramel because I love their music and I love their image – an insanely catchy and fun audio and visual trip!
f(x) will never not be the sweet electro princesses of my heart! Although their 2014 release “Red Light” was not as strong as an album as their fantastic “Pink Tape” album, f(x) still proved that they are willing to push boundaries through it. Not only did f(x) release great, solid music, they also looked extremely good, with a refreshing aesthetic that was much needed among all the ridiculous, overly-sexual getups that most other girl groups went for in 2014. Although Sulli caused some concern with her hiatus which cut promotions short, f(x) still left an impression that was stronger than most.