While K-Pop consists of amazing girl groups in abundance, there are some that pave their way far beyond mainstream K-Pop power. These few groups have become a global phenomenon.
While we idolized groups like 4minute, KARA and Girls' Generation in the past (and some still do today), no one can deny that the three top girl groups today are none other than TWICE, Red Velvet, and newcomers Black Pink!
But what exactly makes them worthy of the title? Check out the reviewer opinions below for all three groups, resulting in who seems the most promising so far.
3rd. Black Pink (YG) - 6.8
They only have a handful of singles, which makes them hoobaes compared to the other lovely ladies in our lineup. From their music to their MVs, everything they do burns with attitude. However, Black Pink rank 3rd because they seem to be a bit overrated in the reviewers' opinions and haven't shown their full potential just yet.
Total MV - 6.5
EDWARD: Score - 6 Despite only releasing 4 MVs, it is quite clear that their style is flexible and out there. Despite the evidently distinct 2NE1-esque about them, the girls of Black Pink set fire to the scene with their unique fashion, sounds and dance moves to boot. While I enjoy all the glitz and glam, there is no underlying message or story to their already-heard-it lyrics. They don't go hand in hand, it is simply meant to wow you.
ERIC: Score - 7 Everything in their MVs is meant to draw the male gaze -- and they do that extremely well. Even in a toned-down offering like "Stay," their beauty is on obvious display. Beyond that, everything is flashy, stylized, and ultimately plotless.
Total Sound - 7
EDWARD: Score - 7 Although they sound excellent, I can't get over the feeling that it is still bumming off of 2NE1 a bit. Like it or not, Black Pink is YG's future 2NE1. It is a different sound that no one can easily replicate which is why Black Pink are trying to imitate them as much as possible.
ERIC: Score - 7 Their sound is extremely urban, much more so than other bands. Incorporating stomping house beats with trap and hip hop, the net effect is a ferocity that really grabs your attention. They have that club aesthetic that I love.
Total Live Performance - 7
EDWARD: Score - 7 Favorite Song - "Playing With Fire"
I will admit, I am giving Black Pink a high score because the ladies own the stage and proved on more than one occasion that they can sing (Thank heavens)! Being exclusive to 'Inkigayo' - which I thought was a bit much, the girls still know how to put on a show, draw in the crowd's attention, Youtube views and fill out the stage in a well executed manner. However, I still feel they are overrated and that their first releases like "Boombayah" were nothing special. "Playing With Fire" made the difference.
ERIC: Score - 7 Favorite Song - "Boombayah"
But this is where they shine. Their debut stage of "Boombayah" on Inkigayo was bombastic. They pulled out all the stops, dancing around a ginormous head while mortars belched fire, confetti rained all around, and the LED screens painted a dynamic digital landscape.
2nd. TWICE (JYP) - 7.1
The lovely girls of TWICE place (ironically) 2nd and here is why! TWICE's debut had every ingredient needed to be a big hit. A great refrain, effortlessly sexy style, and charming vocals. But did JYP simply mesh together 9 beautiful girls that you can't stop loving no matter what? These girls debuted with the high-energy "Like OOH AHH," but they switched gears to happy and light and poppy became their signature sound since then.
Total MV - 7
EDWARD: Score - 7 Regarding Eric's statement, TWICE released exciting MVs more than once in the past but "Cheer Up" is, without a doubt, pure ear candy! If "Like OOH AHH" didn't solidify their spot to fame, "Cheer Up" certainly did. However, their latest hit "TT" is a bit disappointing. People seem to only like "TT" because it is simply coming from TWICE. The MV and song are still cute enough for me!
ERIC: Score - 7 While I have to give them high marks for "Like OOH AHH" and the awesome zombie concept, I wasn't all that sold on the cheerleader schtick. The Halloween-themed "TT" was slicker, but not quite as fun as their debut.
Total Sound - 7
EDWARD: Score - 7 JYP is no joke when it comes to weeding out vocalists. The girls all have a strong, sharp sound that varies from playful aegyo to sexy in a heartbeat, but I still wonder if some of the other members are capable of singing and that is why they suddenly started doing more cutesy, trendy songs rather than anything sophisticated. Still, songs like "Like OOH AHH" and even "Cheer Up" showcased that they are a bit different from the rest.
ERIC: Score - 7 Light, pop-oriented, radio-friendly, and fun. Their debut was fierce and incredible, sounding similar to Avril Lavigne or Pink -- loud, proud girl power anthems. They changed it up for a more accessible sound and it paid off.
Total Live Performance - 7.5
EDWARD: Score 8 Favorite Song - "Like OOH AHH"
Their lives are no joke! The girls know how to keep the audience engaged and have fun doing it. With 9 members it is easy to fill up the stage, so they do have an advantage over the other groups, but their in-sync choreography is always well done and attention grabbing. "Like OOH AHH" hands down out beats their other releases.
ERIC: Score - 7 Favorite Song - "Like OOH AHH"
Every performance is suffused with aegyo, which can be good or bad. The dance moves are a bit lackluster, but I love the way they position themselves at the start: each member hidden behind another to be suddenly revealed.
1st. Red Velvet (SM) - 8
The 5 ladies of Red Velvet take home the gold in the reviewers' book for many reasons. Despite originally debuting as a 4 member girl with the tragedy titled "Happiness," the girls did a complete 180* and shifted their style. Coming back stronger and dignified, the girls redeemed themselves with their vocals in "Be Natural" and found their fun identity in the songs "Ice Cream Cake" and "Dumb Dumb Dumb."
Total MV - 7.5
EDWARD: Score - 8 All of Red Velvet's MVs contain something whimsical, outstanding and aesthetically pleasing. Delighting all of our senses, MVs like "Dumb Dumb Dumb" and "Russian Roulette" are hypnotically unique and have some Japanese-influenced styles that make them more attractive and fun. Let's not forget their intricate choreography. What is not to love?
ERIC: Score - 7 Their videos are almost uniformly brightly colored and vibrant. Even slower pieces like "Automatic" have interesting camera effects. Typical of SM, they don't skimp on quality to save a few won. The only thing is "Russian Roulette" is downright unsettling, thanks to some of the blank stares.
Total Sound - 8.5
EDWARD: Score - 9 As I mentioned earlier "Happiness" was a rocky debut for me, even though Eric found it fun. Their vocals were alright but altogether the song was annoying and turned me away real fast. Fortunately, they revamped themselves with the elegant track "Be Natural" and really proved they could sing. Their vocals stole the show from there on in and I haven't looked back or doubt any member's vocals since then.
ERIC: Score - 8 They showed off their range quite nicely upon their debut when they released their first single "Happiness." Two months later, the girls come back with "Be Natural," a sultry R&B track. 'The Red' showcases their pop tunes ("bold and vivid"), whereas 'The Velvet' contains slow R&B and ballads ("classy and toned-down").
Total Live Performance - 8
EDWARD: Score - 8 Favorite Song: "Dumb Dumb Dumb"
Red Velvet are a sensation on the stage! With jaw-dropping dance routines, powerhouse vocals that hold to the steady tune and fashionable outfits, it is everything K-Pop is known to be! They never disappoint on the stage and are flexible in their images and concepts for each song. SM knew what they were doing when they created the Red Velvet masterpiece. Although "Ice Cream Cake" did grab the world's attention, it was "Dumb Dumb Dumb" that sealed the deal and earned them their top spot!
ERIC: Score - 8 Favorite song - "Ice Cream Cake"
I do share my fellow reviewer's enthusiasm for their live shows. The choreo is always lively and dynamic, and the moves look deceptively simple. I like how confident they are -- it's not done halfway. They seem quite accomplished, even when dancing in lit-up furs for "Ice Cream Cake."
After reading the review, who do you think deserves the top spot out of the special three? While the reviewers came to an agreement on their final choice, they seemed to go back and forth with what song actually made the group so special and which concept helped them out beat the rest! Let us know who you would choose in the comments below!