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5 experimental K-pop songs from SM Entertainment: “Resonance”, “Zimzalabim” and more!

5 experimental K-pop songs from SM Entertainment: “Resonance”, “Zimzalabim” and more!

Feeling a rising trajectory since the 1990s, K-pop has become a melting pot of genres – from vivid and bright to sweet and fresh, as well as rock and grime.

As K-pop aims to defy traditional approaches to music and reinvent itself, listeners are offered a new musical flavor by targeting the experimental genre.

In the K-pop landscape, SM Entertainment is the father of experimental music. The entertainment label has established its title to produce songs that break the “normal structure” of a song, integrating more genres to generate a new, unique melody.

Proving SM Entertainment is one of the ancestors of this trend, some songs exemplify this genre.

Here are 5 experimental tracks from SM Entertainment

1. “Ko Ko Bop” by EXO

Hitting summer vibes, EXO has dropped Koh Bopa song that emits a mix of reggae and tropical sounds, enhanced with the style of electro-hip-hop boyband.

However, unlike other experimental songs created by SM Entertainment, this song calmed down to the beat of the island and was considered by fans to be “lost its potential”. Fans mentioned that while the song could get a lot of applause, there are aspects where it lost momentum, especially during the post-chorus.

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On the other hand, what surprised fans, especially EXO-L, was: Koh Bopan eclectic attempt at mixing sounds over a few turns – something that once set EXO apart from other k-pop boy groups at SM Entertainment such as NCT and SHINee

2. “I have a boy” generation of girls

SM’s experimental music roster will never be complete with this old but golden piece from the original national girl group, Girls’ Generation. “I Got A Boy” pushed the musical boundaries, keeping a consistent sound that fit the concept of the piece.

Many media have identified the song as surreal, unique, fresh, and complex during its release as it exhibited the innovative excellence of musical elements even though it was released in 2013. That’s why it was called a song that was “ahead of its time”.

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This song gave girls the power to dominate local and international charts, as evidenced by the fact that in the first week after its premiere it gathered 300,000 copies and was named by Billboard as part of The 100 best girl songs of all time ranked 21.

3. “Zimzalabim” by Red Velvet

Red Velvet is one of the SM Entertainment groups known for releasing experimental songs. Apart from “Zimzalabim”, Irene, Seulgi, Wendy, Joy and Yeri also performed “Really Bad Boy”, “Ice Cream Cake” and “Russian Roulette” which belong to the genre of experimental music.

“Zimzalabim” intends to introduce the audience to the carnival scene. Hence the sound of the song seems “incoherent and chaotic”, which suddenly mimics the sounds of a roller coaster. However, like “I Got A Boy”, this EDM-inspired song retained a musical coherence that undoubtedly represented the song’s concept.

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REVELUV and even non-fans have expressed that when they first listened to the song, they were amazed at its bizarre sound. Nevertheless, after listening to this song several times, fans learned to love it because it was indeed catchy and fun.

4. “Resonance” according to NCT 2020

Proving they are limitless but can unite as one vote, NCT 2020 featured “Resonance” as they raised the roof in fulfilling their potential, individually as a subunit and as a full group of 23 boys.

Hoping to open up a past-present portal and consolidate the throne of the experimental genre, NCT 2020 featured a remix Make a wish (birthday song), 90s love, work it, and Raise the roof for that main song.

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According to NCTzens, the song sounded ruthless and ambitious as it became a hybrid of four songs. However, it also showed the musical creativity of SM Entertainment as they successfully combined four different tracks to sound like one.

5. SHINee’s “Ring Ding Dong”


This off-limits track by SHINee is one expression of how the record company always has something to offer to feed the audience. Hailed as one of the K-pop anthems, this SHINee song has catchy lyrics, especially with the lyrics “fantastic, flexible.

SHAWOLs recommend that non-fans listen to the song fully to explain its meaning.

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As other entertainment also explores the genre, it proves that experimental music is more than “noise” music, as some claim. As this shows how the above songs have gained recognition, it proves that sometimes it is good to depart from the tradition.

What other experimental songs do you know? Share them below!

KpopStarz is the owner of this article.

With a script by Sophia Carson

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