K-Pop is expected to see more rosy days this year, as long-awaited boy groups are planning to make their comebacks come spring.
Two of the most anticipated boy groups, Big Bang and Shinhwa, will be coming back in March with new albums.
To Big Bang, this comeback means more than any of its others. Last year, member Daesung was involved in a car crash with staggering consequences, while G-Dragon was put on probation after being charged for smoking marijuana, rendering the group unable to stand in front of the public for some time.
Big Bang′s successful career in Korea and the world, which had been strong since even before the group made its debut in 2006, was hit hard by these incidents.
Still, while the group was on hiatus, it managed to become the first Korean group to win an award at the MTV Europe Awards, and the group even flew over to fly over to Belfast to claim the award on a televised broadcast. YG Entertainment had decided that because it was such an honorable occasion, it wouldn’t be polite to miss it.
But even despite these successes, Big Bang’s hiatus dealt a great blow, because the group had to stay underground in a period when the K-Pop boom was just starting to spread through the world supported by various social network services.
While other groups such as Super Junior, Girls’ Generation, Kara, 2PM and Wonder Girls continued to build their careers overseas, Big Bang had to stand aside and watch.
Fortunately, the time to rest has finally come to a close, and Big Bang reemerged as one in the 15th Anniversary YG Family Concert held near the close of 2011. In February, Big Bang will release a new album and actually start promoting, starting with its exclusive concert Big Show to be held from March 2-4 in Seoul.
The group plans to reassess and reaffirm its popularity in Korea through the concerts, which are estimated to bring in about 40,000 fans.
Also, as the longest-running idol group Shinhwa will be coming back at the same time as Big Bang, many music fans are looking forward to an interesting year.
Shinhwa will be releasing its 10th studio album in March, coming together once again for the first time in a long time. Although the members were signed with different agencies, they managed to hold their group together, and will finally be promoting as a group again starting on its 14th anniversary.
The members, excluding Lee Min Woo, who is still serving in the military, are currently actively preparing for their comeback by practicing their songs and dances. The group also plans to embark on an Asia tour starting with a concert in Seoul on March 24, its 14th anniversary.
Pop culture critic Kang Tae Gyu told enews, “In March, the trend-leading group Big Bang and the long-running idol group Shinhwa will be meeting each other for a fierce competition, but for music fans, it will be a time when they’ll be able to listen to a greater variety of songs.”