In March and April, the K-pop scene sees three new groups – SM Entertainment’s EXO-K, Cube Entertainment’s BtoB and Pledis Entertainment’s NU’EST. Many K-pop fans were impressed with the performance of these three rookie groups.
EXO-K(together with EXO-M) is probably the most anticipated rookie group. SM Entertainment announced that the company will debut a new boyband since early 2011. Prior to their debut, they had released many teaser photos of the members, 23 teasers on Youtube, two prologues and a showcase. However, there were many netizens who voiced out that there were too many teasers that feature the visual of the group – KAI.
For BtoB, the members were wearing mask dancing, with the captions, “The wait is over. Be ready to be blown away. The world of K-pop is about to change.” Cube Entertainment has good reputation for producing talented K-pop idols such as 4 Minute and BEAST despite being a relatively new entertainment company.
NU’EST seem to be going for a “delinquent” image. Most viewers would probably notice the androgynous member – REN. Many female netizens gave positive comments regarding the member as being “pretty” and “cute”.
EXO-K’s title track – MAMA is just awesome. The song has elements of powerful dance moves, gregorian chant, orchestra, heavy base, rebust vocals and even screamo. Both the song and the music videos are epic. However, many netizens dislike the introduction of the music video regarding EXO’s origin of being from exoplanet
BtoB’s title track – 비밀(Insane) actually sounds very much like a BEAST’s B-side track. The track did not really attract me initially it actually started to grow on me after watching their live performance.
NU’EST title track – FACE is catchy especially the chorus which is addictive. The choreography is pretty unique. This song has a more “euro” genre as compared with EXO-K’s “MAMA” and BtoB’s 비밀(Insane).
Talent and Popularity
All the members of EXO-K are pretty strong in vocals and dance. In terms of vocal, the strongest is probably D.O (디오) while the dance machine of the group goes to Kai (카이). All the members have their own legion of fans as the members have different charisma and distinctive looks therefore it’s hard to identify the most popular member.
BtoB’ has really strong vocals, in fact strongest among the three rookie groups. It’s really a pity that their debut EP isn’t as strong as EXO and NU’EST. They also lack their own identity as they’re still being identified as the “second BEAST”. By looking at K-pop forums, both visual Minhyuk(민혁) and maknae Sungjae(성재) seem to be more popular than the rest.
NU’EST has got the youngest members (with 4 members born in the year 1995). Their style and urban synthpop genre are quite new in the K-pop scene. They can sing pretty well but the vocals of the members are not distinctive enough. Ren(렌) is probably the most popular member as he is receiving the most attention among the other members.
So, which is your favourite rookie group?