[Special] Looking Back: Best and Notable Albums

As part of a super special series, I will be doing rewinding the clock and reflecting on the years that have passed by focusing on certain aspects that have defined KPOP. All will make sense once I reach the end of this series.

In today’s ‘Looking Back’ post, I turn my attention to albums in the KPOP industry. Albums offer a lot of insight into an artist, as it gives the artist more opportunities to express themselves. We (the listeners) find ourselves delving into the albums of artists we like, and finding that ‘hidden gem’ or an alternative track that should have been the title track of the album. Other times, we give an album of a less familiar group a go to discover their music and potentially becomes fans of them! This is the power of the album, and it has definitely been an effective tool in the industry.

Nowadays, album sales are a very indicative parameter of how successful a KPOP artist is. Selling the most albums to date is BTS (no surprises there), with their 2020 release being the most sold album in KPOP. And more artists are joining BTS on the upper end of the most sold list, including NCT, Seventeen, TXT, EXO and Stray Kids. It is very interesting to note that physical albums, for the most part, were on the downtrend in the ’00s, with digital charts being the new way to listen to music. But I guess posters, photocards, photobooks and other merchandise included in KPOP albums have given them new life.

Below, I have listed the best and most notable albums of the year. For years 2018 – 2020, the album in the bolded text is the album that you all voted as being the best album of the respective year. In 2014 – 2016, the album stated in the bolded header text is the album that I chose to be the best album of the respective year. In 2011 – 2013 and 2017, I have retrospectively chosen two albums for Best Album and most notable album as there was not Best Album categories in those years. For each ‘Best Album’, I have also provided the Spotify playlist (sorry to WordPress app users, I don’t think you can see the Spotify playlists).

2020: -77.82*-78.29 (2nd Mini Album) – EVERGLOW

Other notable albums:

The Book of Us: The Demon (6th Mini Album) – DAY6
24 Part 1 (1st Studio Album) – Jeong Sewoon

2019: Love Poem (5th Mini Album) – IU

Other notable album:

The Book of Us: Gravity (3rd Studio Album) – DAY6

2018: The Story of Light (6th Studio Album) – SHINee

Other notable album:

Love Yourself: Answer (3rd Compilation Album) – BTS

2017: Palette (4th Studio Album) – IU

Other notable album:

White Night (3rd Studio Album) – Taeyang (Big Bang)

2016: Wings (2nd Studio Album) -BTS

Other notable album:

Carnival (5th Mini Album) – B.A.P

2015: 4Walls (4th Studio Album) – F(x)

Other notable album:

Basic (6th Studio Album) – DAY6

2014: Red Light (3rd Studio Album) – F(x)

Other notable album:

PLAY (1st Studio Album) – DAY6

2013: Pink Tape (2nd Studio Album) – F(x)

Other notable album:

Everybody (5th Mini Album) – SHINee

2012: Alive/Still Alive (5th Studio Album/5th Studio Album Repackaged) – Big Bang

Other notable album:

One Of A Kind (1st Mini Album) – G-Dragon (Big Bang)

2011: Wonder World (2nd Studio Album) – Wonder Girls

Other notable album:

Neverland (2nd Studio Album) – U-KISS

3 thoughts on “[Special] Looking Back: Best and Notable Albums

  1. YES! I think this is the part where I agree the most with you. IU’s Love Poem, BTS’ Wings, and F(x)’s Pink Tape all are eternal classics, and I am glad you enjoy them as much as you should!

    But for 2020, I’d put YooA’s Bon Voyage. And for 2011, TVXQ’s Keep Your Head Down!

    I disagree with the bookends, not the book!

    Liked by 1 person

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