[An editorial of 'Who Would Have Guessed' 2012 series]
This week’s article continues to look at artists and absences – both ones who were able to break through a long hiatus, and those that weren’t. One group who managed to weather this long hiatus without being too severely damaged was 2AM. About 16 months elapsed between 2AM‘s Saint O’Clock and their latest release, Scott Fitzgerald’s Way of Love. At their break through in 2010, with Can’t Let You Go Even If I Die, the song topped the Yearly Download charts, while the group later ranked 4 songs in the Top 50 of the 2010 general yearly digital chart. With such a performance on the yearly charts, 2AM imposed itself as a digital force to be reckoned with.
Therefore, all eyes were set on the digital charts upon their return with the title track, I Wonder If You’re Hurt Like Me. Ranked second for the month of March and twelfth on the half-year charts, the song has enough ground to secure a spot within the Top 30 yearly charts; a reasonable feature though not as impressive as their last comeback (You Wouldn’t Answer My Calls being released in the dying months of the year, it is actually their biggest success to date). 2AM reassured their fans and admirers alike, that they are still in the general audiences favour despite such a long silence. So what were the keys to 2AM’s successful comeback?
I Wonder If You’re Hurt Like Me
For one thing, 2AM did not leave Korea during their break. Each member remained active with most notably, Jinwoon‘s critically acclaimed indie solos and Jo Kwon‘s wondrous variety skills. They constantly managed to stay in the public eye, while they also stayed true to their ballad nature with their comeback album. As BEAST unfortunately experienced, operating a u-turn in terms of concept and music style after being separated from the audience for a long period, can have a devastating effect with the public. But 2AM’s return to the scene looking and sounding exactly the same as when they left us, and that was a determinate key to their success. 2AM also has a prestigious asset upon their fellow idol groups, they’ve always been critically acclaimed and are repeatedly mentioned or nominated as talented and sterling singers.
Despite the long wait, 2AM has thus perfectly handled their hiatus and comeback. A tiny drop in their sales were EXPECTED but were not alarming. For every idol who has ideas to take temporary leave from the Korean musical scene, 2AM is definitely the example to follow.
Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely of the individual and not of hellokpop as a whole.