When we talk about K-pop, we usually mean record-breaking singles rather than a full album, because that’s how it’s been all along. However, we know that it is indeed impressive when not only the promotional singles, but the entire album it belongs to, manages to receive public appreciation! For starters, K-pop is like an umbrella term for a variety of genres, so it’s not really surprising to find that a song released recently is very different from ones that were dropped about two years ago. However, when an album manages to stand out even amid the ocean of new releases, the impact it had must have been very profound. They are influential, flawless and the best of K-pop music albums!
Here are the nine best K-pop albums of all time that are just perfect. The songs from these albums define a variety of Korean musical styles and have succeeded in giving a new direction to the industry!
9. DONE (2016) – Bigbang
The album marked Bigbang’s return after a three-year hiatus, but it contains the band’s signature elements – R&B and dance-pop mixed with contemporary trap and tropical influences. However, lyrically the songs were slanted towards the more mature side, with five songs being promoted as singles – the first to be released is “Loser”. Their second lead single, “Bang Bang Bang,” became a party anthem in the K-pop world, featuring explosive modern EDM buzz and snare breakdown.
Recently, the song has returned to the limelight with trending TikTok and Instagram reels, providing more exposure for the entire team. Celebrating their decade-long collaboration with the album, “MADE” is one of the best K-pop albums of all time, and every K-pop stan should own it!
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8. The Album (2020) – Blackpink
Power girl group Blackpink’s debut Korean studio album, “The Album,” unleashes an intense bombardment of catchy details and killer hooks with an eight-song track listing. The lead single, “How You Like That”, is culturally influential and is the only song from the music community to have over a billion views on the official music video as well as the band’s performance video on YouTube. The second single, ‘Ice cream’ featuring Selena Gomez, is one of the most popular K-pop songs at the United Nations! “Lovesick Girls”, the album’s third promotional single which focuses on the pain we feel after heartbreak, is definitely a track worth listening to.
Although it only had eight songs, the album captured both Korean and Western music styles beautifully and delivered an appealing package.
7. To Anyone (2010) – 2NE1
One of the earliest K-pop groups to gain influence in the West, 2NE1’s debut studio album “To Everyone” laid the groundwork for them to become one of the most popular K-pop girl groups. more legendary! The album was characterized by the empowering lyrics as well as the badass image of the 2NE1 girls who together produced a pop record integrating other musical themes like &B, dance and hip hop.
The album consists of twelve tracks, including the English version of the first single, “Can’t Nobody”, and two other promotional singles: “Clap Your Hands” and “Go Away”. The songs on this album certainly feature a lot of auto tuning, electro-pop madness and repetitive hooks, but in the best possible way! Indeed, “To Everyone” is one of the best K-pop albums of all time.
6. The Perfect Red Velvet (2018) – Red Velvet
Among many things, Red Velvet has built such an unrivaled reputation that every home in South Korea knows who they are, regardless of age, gender, and class. ‘The Perfect Red Velvet’ is the reissued version of the girl group’s second album incorporating three additional tracks, bringing the total number of soundtracks to twelve. The album showcased various K-pop genres including soul, R&B, hip-hop, synth-pop, and a bit of future bass and trap influences. Singles “Bad Boy” and “Peek-A-Boo” feature the best of the band members’ cheeky, R&B vocals.
It was the band’s first time producing something that featured a blend of ‘red’, the vibrant side, as well as ‘velvet’, the more sensual side of their artistry, creating a single bold yet sleeker personality. nuanced! The group performed “Bad Boy” in North Korea at the “Spring is Coming” concert in front of a crowd of fans, including Kim Jong-un.
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5. 1 of 1 (2016) – SHINee
There’s a reason SHINee has been influencing the K-pop industry for over a decade. The boy group has always aimed to get their hands on future trending K-pop music styles and create their own brand on them. Their fifth studio album, “1 of 1”, is another successful experiment by the group which uses the distinct and individual tones of the band members and creates sultry and yearning tracks like “Lipstick” and “Don’t Let Me Go”. The album is reminiscent of the 90s, with a twisted retro vibe with some modernization, featuring nine tracks in all, including the title number, “1 of 1”.
4. Modern Day Epilogue (2013) – IU
IU bid farewell to her bright, feminine “Nation’s Little Sister” image with her third studio album, “Modern Times,” moving on to other music styles like jazz, swing, and bossa nova. With her third studio album and her released version titled “Modern Times Epilogue”, the singer and songwriter has shown why K-pop is not just a musical genre, but a beautiful combination of various genres that can invoke gypsy jazz every times as needed!
The ‘Modern Times Epilogue’ tracklisting consists of fifteen songs including two promotional songs, ‘The Red Shoes’ and ‘Friday’. While “The Red Shoes” with dramatic developments and the elaborate chorus is a song with big band sounds that won several music awards throughout the month of its release, “Friday” has a pop-friendly theme that makes it stand out. is attached. Without a doubt, ‘Modern Times’ is one of the most impeccable K-pop albums in IU’s discography.
3. Pink Ribbon (2013) – f(x)
When it comes to flawless K-pop albums, it’s impossible to put this gem from girl group f(x) down. “Pink Tape” has received wide recognition among domestic critics as well as international critics. Based on the theme of first love, the album reflects the group’s journey of growth. The first dance-pop single, ‘Rum Pum Pum Pum’ held a spot on the top hundred K-pop girl group song of all time, while the album earned a spot on the top hundred K-pop albums. pop. With twelve songs on the tracklist, “Pink Tape” was made with untapped girl potential without using standard electronic loops or helium-induced choppy vocals!
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2. Wings (2016) – BTS
“Wings” is by far one of the most fan-favorite BTS albums with some of the best songs and music videos! Whether it’s vocals, instrumentals or choreography, the boys have smashed it all. The first single, “Blood Sweat & Tears”, then became the fastest K-pop music video to surpass 10 million views, and since then the group has made a habit of breaking records of their own! The album aims to address various social issues involving female empowerment, mental health, temptation and growth.
Combining a variety of musical genres like R&B, EDM, hip hop, dance-pop, tropical house and moombahton, ‘Wings’ earns a spot on the list of the top 25 K-pop albums of the decade. ! Originally consisting of fifteen tracks, the repackaged album was released as “You Never Walk Alone”, adding three new songs, “Spring Day”, “Not Today”, and “Outro: Songs”.
1. The War (2017) – EXO
“The War” was dropped when South Korean boy group EXO was at the peak of their career! The rich production and soulful vocals of the members show how an already established K-pop group can evolve and surprise critics with their artistry. Released in Korean and Mandarin, the album features nine tracks and three additional tracks in the repackaged version, “The War: The Power of Music.”
The first single, “Ko Ko Bop”, is an energetic reggae number co-written by the band members – Chen, Baekhyun and Chanyeol. The album had recorded pre-order sales of over 800,000 copies, which was the highest at the time for a K-pop album.
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