Track: I’m A Loner | Artist: CNBLUE | Album: BLUETORY

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I’m A Loner is an uncommonly good debut track, and it set the tone for CNBLUE’s rise as one of the premier rock bands in South Korea.

As with many other K-Pop groups, CNBLUE debuted with a gimmick: every member stood for a letter of the word BLUE. He wasn’t just Jonghyun, the guitarist; he was Burning Jonghyun. He wasn’t Minhyuk, the drummer; he was Lovely Minhyuk. You get the gist.

This embarrassing, cringey premise was soon dropped, though, and CNBLUE would go on to have one of the most successful rock band careers in modern K-Pop. Also uncommonly, they would go on to become great producers, as well; while I’m A Loner was produced, written and composed by a third party, many of the group’s later releases would happen under their watch.

CNBLUE is also a good example of the kind of synergy that occurs across all forms of Korean entertainment media. While the group only debuted in Korea in 2010, their lead singer—Jung Yong Hwa—actually made his debut in 2009 as the second lead in a K-drama called You’re Beautiful. We’ve covered You’re Beautiful’s soundtrack in this column before; go listen to it again, and try to pick out his voice (it’s pretty distinctive).