What is a K-pop Album? – The Ultimate Guide to Albums in K-pop

what is a K-pop album?

What is a K-pop album? K-pop veterans and beginners alike, we’ve all been there. 

We wonder what a K-pop album contains. And whether it is worth it to buy one. 

How is it any different from other western albums? 

Are all K-pop albums the same? How does it all affect us, as fans, the consumers?

Hey, our peers! Rejoice, for we have decided to do all the grueling hard work to present the answers to your questions.

So, what is a K-pop Album?

A K-pop album is a collection of records packed on a CD or another medium. 

Additionally, a K-pop album is a hundred times better than a regular album.

K-pop albums contain extra “inclusions” that add another value to them.

These inclusions are the main factor that K-pop fans consider when buying these albums in the first place.

What is usually in a K-pop album?

K-pop album photobooks

The answer to that varies, solely depending on different artists or companies. Some have more stuff inside it, while some albums have fewer. 

But we have enumerated the common themes among other groups below. 

These are the staple of what a certified K-pop album should include: 

Photobook  

Ah, the photobook, the “Holy Grail” of every K-pop album. 

Inside the photobook, you will find a collection of jacket photos. The photobook is the main content of a K-pop album.

CD (Compact Disc)

A CD is that circular thing you might find lying around the house. People also use it as a shiny drink coaster. 

But in all seriousness, you might find it helpful to have a CD player first.

Photocards 

Remember when we were kids and played with Pokémon trading cards? Yeah, photocards are like those but fancier. 

Most of the time, these photocards are randomized. You can trade them with friends to obtain your bias’ photocards. 

Tracklist 

Simply contains the list of songs included in the album. 

Lyrics 

Of course, this includes the lyrics of the songs. Sometimes, they credit the producers, songwriters, and composers.

Poster 

Posters are rare nowadays. However, some groups still include them. 

In addition, K-pop stores will provide you with posters if you’re willing to pay extra. 

Types of albums in K-pop

K-pop albums in pink

Here’s what’s going through your head right now, “my favorite K-pop group announced their comeback.

They are releasing a Full/Mini/Single album, an LP/EP, or a digital single release.

I don’t know what those words mean! Help me, kind stranger.”

But when you search the internet, the answers you find are confusing. 

After surfing the web, you find yourself with more questions in your mind than answers. 

Therefore, here are the most common types of K-pop albums that you’ll find on the market. 

Mini Album 

This bad boy is the most common type of album in K-pop. 

The reason? It’s cheaper and less time-consuming to produce. This variation usually contains 5 to 7 records. 

Mini albums over time are now associated with the term EP or “extended play.” 

EP’s were a primary classification of vinyl records which are half the length of an entire album. 

Full Album 

People in the industry also call these Studio albums or Full-length albums. Full albums are less common in the K-pop industry. 

It usually contains more than ten tracks, including intro songs and instrumentals. 

You might hear some mention of the term LP which originated from the phrase “long-playing” vinyl record. 

LP, in this sense, may be used interchangeably with a full album as they are the same thing. 

Single Album 

Single albums are a physical issue of K-pop albums containing one or two songs. It usually includes a title track and another record or an instrumental. 

These releases should not be mistaken for a digital single or “singles.” Singles are just the song itself without a physical copy. 

Digital singles usually come in a streamable song or a downloadable file. 

Repackaged Album 

As the name suggests, these are repackaged versions of previous mini or full albums. It includes the same tracks, with additional 3-4 new songs with a different title song to promote. 

Mixtape 

Underground hip-hop artists initially used mixtapes to promote themselves and their music among fans. 

In K-pop, rappers and hip-hop artists of a group release these mixtapes. 

Additionally, these are self-produced and maybe in the full or mini-album format in terms of length. 

Mixtapes are only available for free online through streaming sites and downloadable songs.

Is it worth it to buy a K-pop album?

At this point, you learned what’s inside every K-pop album. You also have an idea of the different types they appear. 

Now you might ask yourself the immutable question of whether it is worth it to buy one. 

The short answer is yes! If you have the means and resources to buy one, why not? 

But you’re not here looking for a quick response, aren’t you? 

Therefore, to help you decide, we’ll give you some pros and cons of buying a K-pop album:

PROS

  • You’re tangibly supporting the group. 

Yes, one can argue that there are multiple ways to support your Idols apart from buying albums.

But, in this way, you’re supporting them directly. Think about how album sales are sometimes criteria for winning a particular award. 

These artists also worked so hard to put their music out there. 

By doing this, you’re telling them that you’re willing to return the favor. 

  • Coveted goodies 

When you’re buying a K-pop album, you buy a lot of merchandise as well. You end up buying more than what you paid for in a single purchase. 

  • Collections 

You’ll be able to collect photocards and photobooks from some of the best people you’ll ever know. And that’s priceless.

CONS

  • K-pop albums are not cheap. 

When buying an album, you should first consider your financial situation. 

If you don’t have the money, it’s okay! There are many ways to support them without spending a penny. 

For example, you can stream their songs and watch their music videos on YouTube. 

  • Cleaning your collection 

Yes, this is an issue for K-pop fans, especially when you’ve already accumulated a significant amount of albums. 

It becomes hard to keep wiping off the dust, eventually becoming a chore.

  • Some K-pop albums are a disappointment. 

From pages falling out, designs that look like they took a minute to create, and missing photocards. 

These are just some of the frustrations you might encounter when buying a K-pop album. 

Therefore, we recommend buying from authentic and credible shops to avoid these troubles. 

Click the button below to find out where to buy K-pop albums online!

K-pop albums are galore!

As a new fan of K-pop, it might seem daunting at first to make your album purchase. 

But hopefully, we’ve given you the answers you need to make an informed decision. 

If there are any more questions you’d like to ask, feel free to comment on them in the section below! 

And we look forward to hearing from you. 

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