On October 15, 2009, a five-member group called MBLAQ officially made their debut at Rain’s Legend of Rainism concert. Then composed of Seungho, G.O., Mir, Joon, and Thunder, the group has had a colorful career—releasing a number of hit songs, touring the world, and winning several awards.
Following the departure of Joon and Thunder in 2015, MBLAQ has taken a hiatus on group activities. With Seungho and Mir still in the military, the now-trio’s future is still unknown. As A+ patiently wait for what’s to come, let us commemorate their 10th debut anniversary by listening to 10 noteworthy songs that defined the group’s career.
1 | Oh Yeah
The bop that started it all. “Oh Yeah” is a dance-focused track that showcases the group’s dance skills. Choreographed and produced by Rain, the song establishes the goal MBLAQ had at that time, which is to thrive under the K-Pop star’s tutelage.
2 | Y
Did you know that this song was initially meant for Rain’s album? This dance-centric, electropop track speaks about the mixed feelings involved in a heartbreak.
3 | Stay
At around this time, the members are slowly moving away from Rain’s shadow and having a hand at producing their music. “Stay” is part of the result, a display of musically interesting parts that combine slow verses with a catchy chorus and quick rap parts.
4 | Cry
“Cry” leans more towards an R&B ballad, making you wish that your jowa (hypothetical or real) won’t leave you. Plus, the choreography is stunning!
5 | Mona Lisa
Of course, “Oh Yeah” is MBLAQ’s first song with borrowed Spanish influences, but the group took the influence a step further with “Mona Lisa.” Channeling a strong tango influence and hypnotizing beats, there’s no doubt that this song is the best one in their career.
6 | This is War
MBLAQ continued to experiment with different genres, and “This is War” is definitely a noteworthy mention. With a more melodic inclination, the song is amplified by the MV, which is a five-minute K-Drama in itself as it contains romance and assassins.
7 | Smoky Girl
The group brought sexy back with “Smoky Girl,” bringing smooth rhythms, classy suits, and neon explosions in the MV.
8 | No Love
MBLAQ was always seen as a charismatic, mature, and sexy group, but “No Love” shows their softer side. With the lilting piano instrumental and shots of the members working behind the scenes, it’s hard not to fall in love with them through this song.
9 | Be a Man
Aside from returning to a more dapper style in the MV, “Be a Man” is another ballad from MBLAQ that features more R&B tones rather than the powerful, charismatic image majority of their discography is made of. There are many things to love about this song—the falsettos, string instruments, and the Justin Timberlake vibe.
10 | MIRROR
There’s just something bittersweet and poignant about this song, possibly because this is the first title track of MBLAQ as a trio and the last song they have ever released before the group halted their activities. The melancholic tune jives well with a monochromatic and symbolic cinematography.
Happy 10th debut anniversary, MBLAQ! Which song from their discography is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!