2021 was definitely the best year for K-POP fans around the world. Not only did the industry blow up in many countries like India, but fans also witnessed comebacks and debuts back-to-back.
Many would say 2021 was redundant, exhausting, and what not? But hey, we’ve made it to 2022 and we owe a considerable part of it to amazing music and performances which served as therapy. For fans of K-POP/K-Music, it definitely was a high year and we bet you’re still catching up with some of last year’s comebacks because we definitely are!
Team NH picked up some of our favourite music videos of 2021. So without further ado, *let’s skip to the good part!*
Ileeka’s Pick – Advice (Taemin from SHINee)
Released Date: May 18
‘Advice’ is by default one of the best solo comebacks. Advice is the name of SHINee Taemin’s mini-album which consists of a total of five songs, with the title track sharing the same name as the album. Girls’ Generation Taeyeon featured in one of the songs, ‘If I Could Tell You.’
Advice is built upon classical piano keys that give an artistic touch to the hip-hop genre which is later infused in the song. The lyrics are packed with various emotions and hence cannot be limited to just one. The lyrics hold deep meaning where some parts suggest that no one really knows him. He also sings about the gossips that keep piling up and how he wishes to deal with them. In the line “Best take my own advice” he is probably expressing his feelings on how he needs to do what he wants, and not what others want him to do.
Ileeka says, “The MV for advice is hauntingly alluring. The beautiful sets, Taemin’s styling & choreography, coupled with the beautiful execution of the video makes the MV of 2021 for me.”
The choreography too was in rhythm with the tune and the lyrics. Maybe, his back-dancers who were wearing specific colours represent his different sides, as the colours blue, black, and white were predominantly used in the video.
Sam’s Pick – Thunderous (Stray Kids)
Released Date: August 23
Album: No Easy
One of the most energetic music videos of 2021 in terms of choreography and music ‘Thunderous,’ is the title track of their album ‘No Easy.’ The album has a total of 14 songs. It bought Stray Kids flourishing fame for their extraordinary effort in the album and new additions to their fandom. This group is known for writing their own unique discographies, mostly created by their sub-unit 3RACHA (Bang Chang, Han, Chang Bin). Their choreographies are peerless and outstanding, and Thunderous is no exception.
Thunderous is historical themed with blends of modern elements in every aspect of the MV namely, historical buildings and instruments, accompanied by modern cars, clothing, graffiti, and of course the music. The song brings out the group under distinct light and Korea’s deep culture is also highlighted.
Sam says, “The song expresses the firm belief that no matter what we must never lose courage and stick to our principles and the music video portrayed exactly that. It is so well put together with amazing camera work and seamless transitions making it a visual treat.”
The members sing about how they make their way through the irrelevant comments and views that don’t hold importance to them, “Man I’m not sorry, I’m dirty. Keep on talking, we don’t play by the rules.”
Soumya’s Pick – Permission To Dance (BTS)
Released Date: July 9
‘Permission To Dance’ is BTS’ third English single, with Dynamite and Butter being their first and second, respectively.
This is a simple and sunny song, purely created to bring warmth to their listeners while watching the members spread hope in cute cowboy attires. The music and dance are light with no heavy choreography. The entire song is about keeping your mood pepped up, getting through these quarantine times, and not repenting on losing your days to the pandemic.
Soumya says, “It is what the world needs during a pandemic. Like BTS said ‘We don’t need to worry cuz when we fall we know how to land’.”
The MV has little details like purple balloons flying in the air and a newspaper that reads “purple balloons signal the end of COVID-19.” The lyrics “It’s the thought of being young” suggest that your age doesn’t matter and you just need to feel young and energetic to enjoy the COVID free world that we are creating.
Aaradhana’s Pick – The Real (ATEEZ)
Released Date: December 10
Album: ZERO : FEVER EPILOGUE
‘The Real: Heung Version’ is the second title track from ATEEZ’s new album “ZERO : FEVER EPILOGUE.” The Real previously premiered on Kingdom: Legendary War, but the newer version is mixed with historical elements and compelling trap beats.
ATEEZ is known for album concepts and theories, and these theories have links with their following albums. Their new MV has ATEEZ written all over it as the boys have once again given us unique music from their niche. The MV sees the group divided into factions with a rivalry between them.
Aaradhana says, “The idea of the members heading various gangs with different concepts ranging from traditional Kings to Jock Captains was something that just added to the overall feel of the revamped song. The VFX and animation fit the MV very well and the set design is too detailed to not appreciate!”
Throughout the course of the MV, these groups face off each other through a dance battle proclaiming it as their ‘style.’ Though in actuality there seems to be a hidden motive to it, which is calling out to member Yeosang. The track has a deeper level of traditional instrumental giving it a bit of a modern yet traditional feel. Not to mention the choreography which has been the same with their robust and impactful moves. The MV is full of energy making it enjoyable and energetic at the same time.
Saakshi’s Pick – ONLY – Lee Hi
Released Date: August 27
Album: 4 Only
Lee Hi’s ONLY is part of her fourth studio album ‘4 ONLY,’ a much-anticipated comeback from one of the best R&B soloists in the South Korean entertainment industry.
This is one of the most touching MVs that shows a heartwarming, mellow love story of the protagonists’ one and only love. The timeline is a transition between the present and the past. The couple share an everlasting love that they cherish at every step of their life together, and reminiscence about their youth. The concept of “my only love” was put forward beautifully through the plot.
Saakshi says, “While this music video was quite simple, it was very heartfelt and touching. In addition to Lee Hi’s warm vocals, the acting of Lee Je Hoon and Won Jin Ah made this my favourite and most-watched MV of 2021.”
Towards the end, much later in the future, the female protagonist is in a hospital bed unwell but warm in her husband’s hands. The MV ends with the wordings “I stay where your calendar stopped.” An emotional yet sweet ending about their wholesome life together.
Varsha’s Pick – Dumb Dumb (Somi)
Released Date: August 2
‘Dumb Dumb’ was first released as Somi’s solo comeback, which is now part of her recent album ‘XOXO.’ When the artist made her much-anticipated return with Dumb Dumb, the upbeat, merry track created a lot of buzz on many social media platforms.
She is a high school student in the MV who is head-over-heels for a student from the sports team. She plays the role of a typical high schooler in a rom-com, who tries to impress the male lead, but also makes it seem like she’s trying too hard. The MV is really funny to watch as she drops cute hints and finally brings up the courage to be in the spotlight of her school’s Prom. The boy is impressed by her dance and jolly character and finally asks her out to watch his game. It’s a cute video and Somi looks absolutely stunning with her long, blonde hair. The choreography is simple and perfect for Instagram reel dance trends.
In case you wanted the male lead’s Instagram – Choi Yeon Kyu
You’re welcome 🙂
Klirika’s Pick – Peaches (Kai – EXO)
Released Date: November 30
‘Peaches’ is EXO Kai’s second mini-album which has a total of six songs, with the title track sharing the same name as the album. After the release of his first hit album ‘KAI’ in the year 2020, Peaches had fans desperately waiting for its drop.
‘Peaches’ follows a classical concept and the song is R&B, which beautifully compliments Kai’s soft voice. The sweet peaches were compared to the heartwarming and romantic moments spent with lovers. Kai and the song’s composers use peaches to express their desires to stay with that one person who makes life a paradise. Everything about the song is soft, including the choreography, where moves from both classical and modern are incorporated. The slow movements are compelling and dreamy to watch.
Klirika says, “The MV is as soft as the song. the colour grading, set and costumes- everything is so on point. Personally, the MV has one of the best fusions of street style and Korea. Traditional attire looks so cool.”
BONUS Pick – Switch It Up (Jay B – GOT7)
Released Date: May 14
Although this is a live clip, we had to add this! Jay B grabbed hearts with ‘Switch It Up’ and he is continuing to make amazing R&B and Hip-Hop music. ‘Switch It Up’ begins with a soothing synth with Jay B’s beautiful vocals which instantly draws one’s heart towards the track. The beats again add a solid layer of heaviness that combined with the chorus in the background gives a calming feeling. The lyrics here in contrast to the music, hold a sensual feel and talk about the phase where two bodies become one soul. The balance between the lyrics and music creates a beautiful effect on its listeners. The concept of the video is another aspect, with a minimalist setting in a dense forest and focus on the artist alone as the MV follows him around. Another important part is the rap performed by ‘sokodomo’ which adds another element to the song making it more interesting.
Nicki says, “Did you ever imagine that Jay B would sing something like this? The MV with live vocals and the minimalistic settings is a mood. The lyrics is of course sensual but ‘Switch it up’ shows that Jay B is navigating as an artist and bringing out the kind of music that he wants. As a fan of Jay B, I’m happy to see this switch!”
Which was your favourite 2021 MV? Can’t find yours in the list? Comment and let us know which music video/videos you enjoyed the most last year and do check out our favorite K-POP songs of 2021!
Brace yourselves for 2022!