Sometimes, K-Pop groups find a niche to fill as soon as they debut, and stick to that kind of concept due to how successful it is. Other times, and much more frequently, groups experiment with different concepts and aesthetics throughout their careers, constantly changing things up and keeping fans on their toes. Here are 13 different K-Pop groups who have seen a pretty drastic shift between their debut song and their latest.
1. NCT 127: From “The 7th Sense” (2016) to “Kick It” (2020)
Maybe not the most drastic change in concepts, but NCT 127 has played with a lot of different styles throughout their careers, and “Kick It” is much more hype, aggressive, and flashy than their chill and mellow debut.
2. MONSTA X: From “Tresspass” (2015) to “Follow” (2019)
MONSTA X tends to stick to edgier styles of music and more hip hop-heavy songs, which was what “Tresspass” was all about, but “Follow” had a unique Bollywood-type sound to it that was totally new to the group!
3. Red Velvet: From “Happiness” (2014) to “Psycho” (2019)
Of course, the most obvious difference between these is that Red Velvet added a member – but whereas “Happiness” was a cutesy, bubbly, typical girl debut song, “Psycho” is much more mature and elegant.
4. TWICE: From “Like OOH AHH” (2015) to “Feel Special” (2019)
TWICE does have a pretty common sort of aegyo or girl crush style that they stick to, but whereas their debut had a very youthful and playful vibe, “Feel Special” felt more grown-up and had a much more meaningful message.
5. GOT7: From “Girls Girls Girls” (2014) to “You Calling My Name” (2019)
Speaking of maturity, GOT7 has grown up a lot between their energetic debut song and their latest hit,”You Calling My Name”, which is subtly sexy and sophisticated.
6. CLC: From “Pepe” (2015) to “Devil” (2019)
Like some other girl groups, CLC started out with more cutesy, aegyo sort of concept, but found more success in edgier songs (such as “Hobgoblin”) and took off from there, with their latest song being sassy but fun at the same time.
7. KARD: From “Hola Hola” (2017) to “Red Moon” (2020)
KARD went from a summery, airy concept with “Hola Hola” quickly to more heavy and hard-hitting sounds, with “Red Moon” being the latest in this trend for the co-ed group.
8. BTS: From “No More Dream” (2013) to “ON” (2020)
BTS debuted as a very typical hip hop-heavy boy group that was intended to stay that way, but they ended up finding a whole new multitude of genres thanks to their experimenting with new concepts, which led them to their most artsy comeback yet with “ON” and “Black Swan”.
9. SF9: From “Fanfare” (2016) to “Good Guy” (2020)
SF9 debuted with a very dance-heavy, hard-hitting song with “Fanfare”, and has played with an assortment of different styles since then; their latest comeback showed a very mature and sophisticated style from them.
10. SEVENTEEN: From “Adore U” (2015) to “Fear” (2019)
Perhaps the most drastic difference on this list, SEVENTEEN’s aegyo-heavy “Adore U” is about as opposite as you can get from the dark and edgy “Fear” comeback.
11. NCT Dream: From “Chewing Gum” (2016) to “Boom” (2019)
NCT Dream came out as a very youthful – almost childish – type of group, but as they’ve gotten older, their styles have grown up as well, with “Boom” showing a much deeper and more mature side to them.
12. MAMAMOO: From “Mr. Ambiguous” (2014) to “HIP” (2019)
MAMAMOO is known for their quirky habits and concepts, and that certainly hasn’t changed, but they really seem to have found their niche between the goofy “Mr. Ambiguous” and the girl power-esque vibe of “HIP”.
13. EXO: From “Mama” (2012) to “Obsession” (2019)
EXO has been around long enough that they have tried an assortment of genres. “Mama” was a unique, alien sort of concept that really made them quickly explode in the industry, and “Obsession” was sexy and almost Halloween-like in its aesthetic.