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I thought it would be a super fun game throughout the year to do my own Battle of the Bands!
I will say, I am disappointed that I only really listen to male KBands, so in the latter half of the year, I hope to discover more female/female led bands to make another version. The only one I can really think of that I like is Jaurim, but this is the year of getting back into discovering more Korean artists ♥
The lineup is below:
I chose to partner CNBLUE and FTISLAND because they were the first kbands I listened to and I still very much enjoy their music (side note: Lee Hong Gi has one of the best voices ever!). Back in the day they also did really fun battles and collabs. This special stage on SBS Gayo Daejun is probably my favourite, you can watch that here.
There was even one with SHINee’s Onew, f(x)’s Luna, IU and Junsu, which you can watch here.
FTISLAND debuted in 2007 under FNC Entertainment. The members are Lee Hong Gi (Main Vocalist, Visual, Face), Lee Jae Jin (Lead Vocalist, Bassist) and Choi Min Hwan (Drummer, Vocalist, Maknae). Song Seung Hyun left the group in 2019 after his contract expired to focus on his acting career.
CNBLUE debuted in Japan in 2009 and then in Korea the following year in 2010 also with FNC Entertainment. The group consists of Jung Yonghwa (Leader, Main Vocalist, Guitarist, Rapper, Face), Kang Min Hyuk (Drummer, Vocalist) and Lee Jung Shin (Main Rapper, Bassist, Vocalist, Maknae).
Side note: if anyone cares, my biases are – CNBLUE: Jung Shin ♥ and FTISLAND: Hong Gi ♥
For the songs, I thought instead of making it an overcomplicated process, which would cause me to hyper-focus on the task for hours, I just went to Spotify! There are seven rounds: five songs of each band are from the “Popular” section and then the final two were chosen by utilising the shuffle button.
I have linked the songs in the title, so you can play along too!
Starting Over (CNBLUE) vs. Heartbroken (상심) (FTISLAND)
Starting Over from Stay Gold (8th Japanese Album) – 2017 || Heartbroken from Memory in FTISLAND – 2011
CNBLUE’s Starting Over is a Japanese song, and I don’t like how it starts. I don’t like how Yonghwa’s voice sounds lol, however, the song picks up and it’s overall fun. The video is also really cute.
On the other hand Heartbroken by FTISLAND is a Korean song and while I love a ballad, it’s a bit boring…
Loner (외톨이야) (CNBLUE) vs. 사랑앓이 (Lovesick) (FTISLAND)
Loner (외톨이야) from Bluetory (debut 1st mini album) – 2010 || 사랑앓이 (Lovesick) from Cheerful Sensibility (1st full album) – 2007
Lovesick by FTISLAND is a great title track for your first album (the video is also so extra!). Hong Gi sounds great and he’s still basically a baby at this point! The rap/shout talking part… not so great.
On the other Loner by CNBLUE is iconic! I absolutely love singing along to it. My love for this song has not decreased since it first came out! Like what an amazing song to debut with! ♥
Can’t Stop (CNBLUE) vs. 지독하게 (Severely) (FTISLAND)
Can’t Stop from Can’t Stop (5th mini album) – 2014 || 지독하게 (Severely) from Grown-Up (4th mini album) – 2012
Can’t Stop is cute and everything, but the sheer drama and explosive emotion in Severely is practically untouchable! This is an easy win for FTISLAND!
Love Girl (CNBLUE) vs. 바래 (I Hope) (FTISLAND)
Love Girl from First Step (1st full album) – 2011 || 바래 (I Hope) from Cross & Change (3rd full album) – 2009
CNBLUE’s Love Girl is another cute upbeat song. I think it works best when you watch it with the mv. However, while there is somewhat a story in FTISLAND’s I Hope, the song definitely stands on it’s own. It’s fun and the vocals are wonderful.
Love (CNBLUE) vs. 좋겠어 (I Wish) (FTISLAND)
Love from Bluelove (2nd mini album) – 2010 || 좋겠어 (I Wish) from Five Treasure Box (4th full album) – 2012
I have a soft spot for Love by CNBLUE. It’s one of the songs that the group was promoting during We Got Married and Yonghwa lost his ring live on Music Core and it was so funny 😂
But I Wish is the better song. The upbeat, more rock sound really suits Hong Gi’s voice and the chorus is great! I also really like how they interwove acoustic elements into the song as well. I also own this album because of how much I really like I Wish ♥
Love Light (사랑 빛) (CNBLUE) vs. Hello Hello (FTISLAND)
Love Light (사랑 빛) from Bluelove (2nd mini album) – 2010 || Hello Hello from Return (3rd mini album) 2011
As soon as I saw FTISLAND’s Hello Hello, I knew it was going to win. I mean this song is soo good! It opens strong with a few lines from the chorus and all the members sound great! Some of the raps in these rounds aren’t great, especially as they haven’t been from very recent releases, but this song is solid throughout (also yes, I do still do the hand motion on hello hello. This was truly my peak kpop era where I was invested to the max! 😂).
It’s a shame that CNBLUE’s Love Light is up against Hello Hello, because it is a cute and sweet song. The vocals are pretty and it’s relaxing. I still highly recommend it ♥
싹둑 (Love Cut) (CNBLUE) vs. 관둬 (Quit) (FTISLAND)
싹둑 (Love Cut) from Wanted (9th mini album) – 2021 || 관둬 (Quit) from Zapping (7th mini album) – 2019
When CNBLUE came back with Love Cut in 2021 I was excited! I don’t like cowboys, but the concept in kpop is great (for instance Suju’s Mamacita *perfection*). The vocal’s are great and the music is cool and felt current without sounding generic.
Another, more recent-ish song, Quit is from 2019 and is beautiful! Lee Hong Gi sounds stunning ♥
This was the closest, but I think this depends on my mood. Right now, I prefer Love Cut, but just know these songs are both great and you should definitely check them out if you haven’t already!
Who is your winner? Do you agree with my choices? Let me know in the comments!
Thank you for reading!
I hope you’re having a lovely day and staying safe ♥