2009 Year-in-Review: The Highs and Lows of the Boy Bands/Girl Groups




Who knows when Mandopop will experience a second coming of the golden age of boy bands and girl groups from several years earlier. All that is certain is that 2009 was definitely not that year, as relatively few groups made an impact as solo artists reigned supreme.

It wasn’t a total loss though, as 2009 was more of a rebuilding year for veteran groups, and the seeds were planted for plenty of new boy bands and girl groups to make their mark in what many hope will be a comeback year in 2010.

In the meantime, let's take a look at how the various boy bands and girl groups fared in twenty-oh-nine.

Fahrenheit
When people think of Taiwanese boy bands, both fans and anti’s mark down Fahrenheit as the flagship guy group. The group was formed back when less than five members or less was considered the in-thing. With Asian music having groups that span near or even pass double-digits (we’re looking at you, Super Junior), Fahrenheit manages to stay more than relevant even in a slow year for Taiwanese boy bands.


Highs
Studio album release to start off the 2009 year. Wu Chun's stint in another major movie as something resembling a pirate. Arron Yan not having sex scandal with Gui Gui.

Lows
Jiro Wang in total ratings-suck idol dramas. Arron Yan not having sex scandal with Gui Gui.

S.H.E.
Much as Fahrenheit served as the flagship boy band for Taiwanese Mandopop, you can safely mark S.H.E. as their female counterparts. Like Fahrenheit, S.H.E. came out at a time when having less than four members or less was considered the magical number. Relatively old for an era when Asian girl groups are still practically in high school (the average group age surpasses 25 years), the group has stayed relevant by churning out hits like a cow has moo. That staying power has kept the group in the minds of Mandopop music lovers, even though they haven’t really done much this year.


Highs
The release of their internet album “Map of Love 愛的地圖”. Their cute dance track "Long Live Adorableness 可愛萬歲" is an addictive caffeinated tune, and their touching ballad "Lock Up The Time 鎖住時間" is one of their best by S.H.E. standards.

Lows
The release of their internet album “Map of Love 愛的地圖”. Come on, only two new songs? Seriously?

Super Junior-M
The Chinese Mandarin sub-unit of Asian sensation Korean boy band Super Junior, SJ-M made the most impact as a guy group in 2009. That's to be expected from a group where most of its members trained in a pop music factory for several years before debuting. It's hard to really classify this group as a pure Mandopop group though, as only three members are Chinese (with the closest Taiwanese member being half-Taiwanese Henry), but with their songs reigning supreme on the charts, they were one of the few highlights in the
Mandopop boy band world.


Highs
They were good. Like really good. Pllus they had chart-topping songs and brought back the kind of boy band energy popularity not seen since Taiwanese boy bands F4 or Energy at their peak. Oh, and Super Girl being all the rage was cool.

Lows
They still sound a little too much like overproduced K-pop that happens to be sung in Chinese Mandarin. The group also brought their K-pop-style controversy with them, something that's thankfully rare in Mandopop.

F4/JVKV
The legendary Taiwanese boy band-turned-gentlemen have nowadays become more synonymous with their individual acting talents than with their group musical efforts. The last time the internationally-renowned group had a hit song together was with their 2008 single “Wish to See You Again” from their idol drama of the same name. Since then, F4 have made...well, nothing. At least they've been keeping busy with acting roles.


Highs
Vic Chou's amazing thespian skills in "Black & White". Van Ness Wu's coming-out party as a legitimate actor. Jerry Yan still being Jerry Yan.

Lows
Ken Chu. Oh, and lack of release of any musical material as a group.

Guy and Girl Duos: AK, By2



Highs
The debut of highly anticipated guy duo A.K. after several years. By2 still active.

Lows
None.

WAHSBBT Groups: Lollipop, Choc7, Hey Girl

Highs
They've been entertaining to watch on variety shows.

Lows
Lollipop and Choc7 ending the year on a bad note with fans retaliating to negative rumors. Hey Girl still suck.

J-Entertainment Boy Bands: 5566, 183 Club, Magic 1+1


Highs
The return of J-Entertainment in the music arena with Magic 1+1.

Lows
The passing of the torch of J-Entertainment's legacy from powerhouse five-member guy groups to a solo trio group, with the possibility of 5566 disbanding and with 183 Club a shadow of their former selves.



 
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