After starting with the nominees for the overall KMA categories last week, this week we started to have a look at the nominees for the genre categories. So far we’ve covered Best Rock and Best Modern Rock , and now it’s time to look into the albums and songs nominated in the Best Pop category.
Best Pop Album
Go Chan Yong – Look Back
Go Chan Yong won the second Yoo Jae Ha Music Competition all the way back in 1990 and then proceeded to form jazz/funk rock band Strangers. The band released two albums, 1993 & 1996, before disbanding, and Go Chan Yong released first solo album After 10 Years Absence in 2006. In 2012 followed second solo album Look Back, offering more funk with a bit of fusion jazz.
Busker Busker – Busker Busker
After reaching nationwide fame and finishing second on Superstar K3, Busker Busker released a self-titled full-length album end of March 2012. Claimed to make music for the heart to listen to, Busker Busker’s acoustic pop numbers soon reached top spots on the Korean digital charts as well as on the Billboard K-Pop Hot 100.
In addition to getting a nomination for Best Pop Album, Busker Busker got nominated both for Artist of the Year and Rookie of the Year. Two of the songs from the album also got nominated for Best Pop Song, with “여수 밤바다” in addition to that receiving a nomination for Song of the Year.
Yoon Young Bae – 좀 웃긴
Yoon Young Bae participated in the 5th Yoo Jae Ha Music Contest, held in 1993, after which he held a career as a song writer, among others working with Lee Han Choul and his Bulldog Mansion. The first EP from Yoon Young Bae came out towards the end of 2010 and in the beginning of 2012 followed second EP 좀 웃긴, produced by Jo Dong Ik. Although the title translates to “kind of funny”, the lyrics are somewhat dark.
In addition to 좀 웃긴 being nominated for Best Pop Album, the song with the same name is nominated for Best Pop Song.
Jung Tae Choon, Park Eun Ok – 바다로 가는 시내버스
Although Jung Tae Choon was awarded the Special Merit Price at the 4th Korean Music Awards in 2007 it seems he wishes to add more to his legacy. Having released his first solo album in 1978 just as his partner Park Eun Ok, in 1984 both teamed up for a joint folk project. Jung Tae Choon and Park Eun Ok together released ten full-length albums until 2002. After holding a 30th anniversary concert in 2009, in January 2012 came eleventh full-length album 바다로 가는 시내버스 with lyrics said to blur the border to poetry.
Choi Baek Ho – 다시 길 위에서
Choi Baek Ho released his first album in 1977 and proceeded to release seventeen full-length albums more until 2000. In October 2012 he returned with his nineteenth full-length album 다시 길 위에서. Mixing jazz, tango, latin music and more, the album was made together with some of Korea’s most prominent musicians in the field, there among jazz songstress Malo and former KMA winners such as guitarist Park Juwon, harmonica player Jeon Jeduk and jazz tango band La Venata.
In addition to a nomination for Best Pop Album, 다시 길 위에서 lead track “길 위에서” is nominated for Best Pop Song whereas Choi Baek Ho himself is nominated for Artist of the Year.
Best Pop Song
Gain – “Bloom (피어나)”
Brown Eyed Girls member Gain released her second solo EP Talk About S in October. Lead track “Bloom (피어나)” soon became subject to controversy because of the erotic lyrics and perhaps even more so for the masturbation scene in its music video. The song is written by Lee Min Soo with Kim Eana writing the lyrics, the same team that wrote IU’s “Good Day (좋은 날)” which claimed both Best Pop Song and Song of the Year at the Korean Music Awards in 2012.
Busker Busker – “여수 밤바다”
Busking band Busker Busker rose to fame on talent show Superstar K3 where they placed second. The trio’s first full-length album, released in March 2012, was much appreciated with the songs ranking higher on the charts than much of the competition from idol bands. While album lead track “벚꽃 엔딩” may have been the most popular song of theirs at the time, “여수 밤바다” was a close second as it invited to a walk by the Yeosu night sea.
“여수 밤바다” is nominated also for Best Pop Song alongside “벚꽃 엔딩” below, while the album the songs come from is nominated for Best Pop Album. Busker Busker themselves are nominated both for Artist of the Year and Rookie of the Year.
Busker Busker – “벚꽃엔딩”
As one out of four artists with double song nominations, Busker Busker’s debut album lead track “벚꽃 엔딩” too has a chance on Best Pop Song. When the album as released the song soon hit the top of the charts, claiming the top spot on the Billboard K-pop Hot 100 where it remained in the top 10 for an additional ten weeks. With a title translating to “cherry blossom ending”, the song holds strong sensibilities of spring.
Yoon Young Bae – “좀 웃긴”
Songwriter Yoon Young Bae released his second EP 좀 웃긴 in January 2012. It opens with guitar pop number and lead track “좀 웃긴”. The KMA compliments the song for its witty lyrics even though they linger between ideas and dreams, angst and clouded thoughts.
Whereas “좀 웃긴” is nominated for Best Pop Song, the EP with the same name is nominated for Best Pop Album.
Younha – “Run”
Singer-songwriter idol Younha won Rookie of the Year at the Korean Music Awards in 2008 for her Korean debut album 고백하기 좋은 날, although she’d already made her musical debut in Japan in 2004. With releases both in Japan and Korea, Younha’s fourth full-length album Supersonic before becoming a contestant on I Am A Singer 2. With a total of three lead tracks, “Run” was the only song promoted with a music video. It receives praise for its rhtymical bass and electronic sounds on what is otherwise primarily a rock album.
Choi Baek Ho – “길 위에서”
Veteran singer Choi Baek Ho returned with his nineteenth full-length album 다시 길 위에서 in October 2012 and with that ventured into new genres. Lead track “길 위에서”, title translating to “on the road”, shares the story of a long road delivered by a lonely yet relaxed and discreet voice. KMA also points towards the slow waltz rhythm and elegant piano as reasons to pay special attention to the song.
While “길 위에서” is up for Best Pop Song, album 다시 길 위에서 has a shot at Best Pop Song and Choi Baek Ho could claim Artist of the Year.