Girls' Generation members pose in this promotional photo for their fourth mini-album "Mr. Mr."
By Kim Ji-soo
Korean women are coming to the fore and taking lead roles in various sectors of society.
At the just-ended Sochi Winter Games were Korean female athletes such as speed skater Lee Sang-hwa, and figure-skating champion Kim Yu-na. Coincidentally, it's the girl groups and female solo singers that are having the best of times. In just two months the girl groups have industriously put out new songs and dazzled with image changes since the start of the New Year.
Female solo singers have joined in, demonstrating that women power is a force to be reckoned with in the popular music sector. Sunmi, Ga In and Park Ji-yoon have all released new songs. Sunmi and Ga In are faring well. The former, a member of the Wonder Girls is once again barefoot for alluring performance for her new song "Full Moon." On the Naver music chart, the song has charted at No. 5. Right behind her are Ga In, a member of the Brown Eyed Girls, whose "Truth or Dare" and "F***k U" featuring Bumkey are both on the charts, and Park Ji-yoon with "Beep."
On the Melon chart, Ga In again has charted with both "Truth or Dare" and "F**k U."
The three are able to pull off the right mix of sex appeal with music that is easy on the ear as well. Their sexy appeal is full of confidence and the straightforward sass of modern-girls.
2NE1 released its second studio album Thursday, instantly topping charts with songs from "Crush." / Korea Times file
Following in their footsteps are mega K-pop female stars — Girls' Generation and 2NE1. After debating whether to postpone the release date for the fourth mini-album when they lost footages of the music video, the group on Monday released all six songs from the album "Mr. Mr" via Melon, Genie, Naver Music and iTunes.
The songs range in the music spectrum from ballad, dance and synthesized pop. The lead track "Mr. Mr" is a dance number with an R&B sound. After its release the track sat atop real-time charts of nine online music services — Melon, Mnet, Olleh Music, Naver Music, Daum Music, Bugs, Soribada, Genie and Monkey3 — as of Tuesday morning,
The song was well received on iTunes real-time charts, topping the Top Singles Chart in Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. It was ranked fifth in Indonesia, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The album also rose to the top of iTunes album chart in Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Taiwan and Mexico and sixth in the United States. The Underdogs produced the number. In a service to fans, the group on Wednesday released images of them off-stage via the home page, http://girlsgeneration.smtown.com.
The physical album hit the shelves on Thursday, and the nine members will present a live show on M.net's M! Countdown in Seoul on March 6.
But Girls were taken over by 2NE1 who topped the charts when it released its second studio album "Crush" Thursday. Leader CL showed off her music-writing abilities for the album with three songs.
Following the release, "Come Back Home," the main track from the "Crush" album topped real-time charts of 10 services, including Melon, Mnet, Olleh Music, Naver Music, Daum Music and Bugs.
Another major song, "Gotta Be You," came next on those charts while most of the remaining tracks also placed high.
The hardcopy album will be released on March 7. The group will entertain fans earlier than the Girls' Generation.
As part of its "All or Nothing" tour, 2NE1 will perform on March 1 and 2 at the SK Handball Stadium in Jamsil, southern Seoul.
The four members will then travel to 12 cities in nine countries, giving a total of 15 performances.