I met three friends from Uijeongbu over the weekend and had a nice conversation over lunch. While I'm not sure how we got on the subject, one of the topics we discussed was music and, in particular, what bands we liked when we were in middle school. Since two of the people I met were women in their mid-20s we ended up talking about Korean pop music that was popular circa 1998-2000.
One friend said that g.o.d. had been her favorite while the other was apparently very big on the boy band Shinhwa. They both had posters of their favorite members hanging on their bedroom wall - which brings to mind images of classmates showing off their New Kids On The Block memorabilia when I was in fourth grade - and started an animated discussion of their favorite songs and albums from the time.
Personally, I'm rather fond of the material that S.E.S. released at the time, though I didn't discover the group until their popularity was waning. My friends seemed surprised that I was familiar with so many of the pop artists of the late 1990s, though a lot of that probably comes from visiting Korea during the winter of 2002 (buying plenty of CDs while I was here) and enjoying a wide variety of music in general. I can tell I'm growing old since I don't know any of the dance moves that contemporary singers have made popular but still occasionally listen to older singers / groups like Koyote and Lee Jung Hyun.
And somewhere in the United States I have a few discs filled with tracks from the likes of H.O.T., Fin.K.L., Baby VOX, 1TYM, Jinusean, As One, Tasha (now recording as Yoon Mi Rae), and NRG. With YouTube providing easy access to all kinds of videos I'll include one from S.E.S. to go with this entry. "Dreams Come True" is the first song I heard from the group and one that I still hear playing from shops in Uijeongbu from time to time: