2013 in Review: Day 11 – Artist of the Year
[The 2013 in Review Series]
0. Prelude – Best Album Art
2. R&B and Soul
3. Rock and Alternative
4. Rap and Hip-hop
5. Dance and Electronic
6. Pop, Ballad and Folk
7. Jazz, Crossover and Other
8. Best Collaborative Work
9. Rookie of the Year
10. Song of the Year
11. Artist of the Year
12. Album of the Year
13. Staff Picks
14. Miscellanea and Loose Ends
15. Concluding Remarks
Again, there are likely no real surprises near the top today. Picking the Artist of the Year is a holistic assessment – musical accomplishments matter, as well as extra-musical influences and activity not necessarily confined to song and album releases. The kind of intangibles that allow the Tell Me‘s and Cherry Blossom Ending‘s of the world to rise to lofty heights apply here as well.
Honorable Mentions go back to alphabetical order today; they’ll switch to ranked for the last time tomorrow. As on Day 9, artists who have been recognized elsewhere in the series will get mentions in parentheses.
Artist of the Year 2013
The legacy of Cho Yong-pil only grew after the eighteenth (and, some supposed, the last) album Over The Rainbow (2003), but to many younger listeners and foreign fans the name was only that. His numerous hits are famous enough that folks were bound to have come across them, but these were songs and stories from a bygone era. Consider all of this changed in 2013: the man who is arguably the greatest musician in Korean history now has an army of younger converts. Adopting electronic and modern-rock sound trends, Cho proved concerns about an ill fit premature. He treated this adoption much like his past forays into opera, classical, and other such experiments: with utmost care towards both authenticity and completeness. The public responded, and we saw a record-shattering comeback.
Runner-up Artist of the Year 2013
Released EPs The Misconceptions of You, The Misconceptions of Me (compiled into full-length album The Misconceptions of Us), and Everybody (Honorable Mention Dance and Electronic Album; multiple Honorable Mention Dance and Electronic Songs)
The most prolific idol group of the year also released three of 2013’s very best dance releases. That kind of sustained excellence is what SM Entertainment’s current generation of idol artists have come to be known for, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. The “Misconceptions” series was perhaps SM’s finest work ever in terms of narrative construction and concept setting, and a convincing piece of proof that the five members’ performing skill has come to match the agency’s sound polish. Later, Everybody capped the year off with a collection of one killer single after another. Their path was a legitimately exciting one to watch this year.
Released single 빠빠빠 (Bbabbabba) and 꾸리스마스 (Lonely Christmas); EP The Streets Go Disco; guest appearance in The Ratios album (Honorable Mention Rock and Alternative Song)
Released single 너와나의 (Yours and Mine) and first full-length album Arrival (Runner-up Song of the Year 2013; Runner-up Pop, Ballad and Folk Album 2013; multiple Honorable Mention Pop, Ballad and Folk Songs; one category yet to be revealed)
Released singles Number 1 and All Right Remix; EPs A Voice and Her Voice; full-length album Goodbye 20; participated in two OST series (Honorable Mention Pop, Ballad and Folk Song)
Released full-length album Lento (Best Jazz, Crossover and Other Song 2013; Honorable Mention Jazz, Crossover and Other Song; one category yet to be revealed)
Released singles 다이하드 (Die Hard) and 불편한 관계 (Uncomfortable Relationship); full-length album Rap; participated in Brand New Music compilation and Incarnation of Money OST; ; participated in Bulhandang album (Best Rap and Hip-hop Album 2013; multiple Honorable Mention Rap and Hip-hop Songs; multiple Honorable Mention Collaborative Songs)
Released singles 당신을 파괴하는 순간 (The Moment I Destroy You) and 주인공의 노래 (The Protagonist’s Song); full-length album It’s Okay, Dear; guest apperances (Best Pop, Ballad and Folk Album 2013; multiple Honorable Mention Pop, Ballad and Folk Songs)
Instigated and ended “Control” diss battle; Released singles 줄래 (Would You) and A Real Lady; mixtape Swings #1 Mixtape Vol. II; participated in Brilliant Is project; guest appearances (Honorable Mention Rap and Hip-hop Song; Honorable Mention Collaborative Song)
Released single 뻔한 멜로디 (Two Melodies); full-length album Red Light; guest appearances (Best R&B and Soul Album 2013; Runner-up R&B and Soul Song 2013; Honorable Mention R&B and Soul Song 2013)