We’ve said the obvious before, but it still somehow bears saying: pop exists and is robust outside America. Korean pop (hereafter referred to as K-pop, the standard term) is one of the more robust sectors, and to coincide with its weekly churn of updates, Billboard has added the K-Pop Hot 100 chart, largely based on digital and mobile sales.
This is great. It’s useful to find new music, if most K-pop is new to you, and hopefully it’ll slow the trend of non-U.S. or U.K. pop only being covered when the Internet can decontextualize and wackify the music. It’s also great to refute a bunch of ridiculous arguments, like pop groups no longer existing because (getting people together is soooo hard!/people’s brains have miraculously evolved in ten years flat to only relate to solo singers!/they just don’t because economics!) Because as it turns out, the K-Pop chart is dominated by girl groups. Oops.
No. 1 is girl group Sistar, whose “So Cool” is excellent and something you should listen to right now. If the language barrier is stopping you, this is the Internet, where oodles of OK-enough translations for any mainstream pop song are just a Google search away. Or actually, here’s your sell: if you liked “Telephone,” you will like this.