Let’s check guide about K-Pop albums if you are a newbie!

The ultimate guide to K-Pop Albums and their types. Check it right now if you are a newbie in K-Pop. So interesting!

One thing that I’ll always find fascinating about K-Pop is that the indisputable fact that its music industry is so systematized and arranged in a way that’s vastly different from mainstream music. it’s different sets of principles and processes which can come off as confusing especially for fans of the new generation. one in every of the confusing stuff new fans or maybe old fans should encounter are the various album types. If you’re an exponent of Western music, you’ll be conversant in ‘albums’ and maybe ‘extended plays’. However, in K-pop, it’s more complex with the inclusions of ‘mini albums’, ‘repackages’, and more.

Let us take quick take a look at the differences and similarities of K-pop’s different album types.

Usual Album Inclusions

Before we tackle the various forms of albums, we’ll first discuss whatever of these albums have in common (aside from the music within the CD, of course) within the physical aspect. K-pop albums are very unique thanks to these specifications, and most fans buy albums just for the sake of getting this stuff. Every album may express more unique ideas, but these three are the foremost common specifications of each K-pop album.

Photocard – A photocard could be a hard card with the image of a certain idol/artist. If the album is from a soloist, the image will essentially be the soloist. But if the album is from a gaggle, which member’s photocard you’ll get is all by accident.

Poster – An advertisement in every album purchase is additionally common in K-pop. They differ in size but you’ll be able to always hang them wherever you wish.

Photobook – this can be a book… of photos. It’s simply a book containing all concept photos shot for the album’s promotions. Usually, the photobook also contains the tracklist, credits, and a few messages from and for the artist(s).

As mentioned, some artists take this manner more seriously and creatively that they incorporate unique concepts into their albums. as an example, VIXX‘s Chained Up album contains “slave contracts”, following the group’s slave concept. Meanwhile, Gugudan‘s Chococo album features a “golden ticket”, following the group’s Charlie and therefore the Chocolate Factory concept.

Mini Album

Definitely the foremost common album types out there’s the mini-album. A mini-album consists of around five to seven songs that will point style. A mini-album usually has the title track and a minimum of one ballad/slow track. Some mini albums even have intro songs, which last for around one minute, and instrumental versions of the title tracks.

Studio Album

Studio album otherwise referred to as full-length album is a smaller amount common than mini albums in K-pop. These albums may have eight or more songs and a wider type of music as compared to mini albums because of their larger amount of tracks. Intro tracks and instrumental versions are more often seen during this sort of albums.

It’s unusual for K-pop groups/artists to debut with a studio album, and only a few had done so, including Lovelyz’s Girls Invasion, Winner’s 2014 S/S, and KARA’s the primary Blooming. Another thing I’ve noticed about some studio albums is that they sometimes contain title songs from mini-albums/single albums that were released before the said studio album. as an example, miss A‘s second studio album HUSH, which was released in 2013, contains tracks Touch and that I Don’t Need a person, both of which were title tracks from prior mini albums Touch and Independent Women Pt. III.

Having any number of tracks may open doors for groups with many members to indicate their individual talents through solo/sub-unit songs. INFINITE’s Season 2 and Golden Child’s RE-BOOT have solo songs from main vocalists and sub-unit songs from the remaining members, which showed their talents in numerous forms of music.

Studio Album Repackage

Just as its name suggests, it’s a repackaged version of a previous studio album. It actually goes without saying that in K-pop, after a studio album usually comes a studio album repackage. this sort of album adds two to 3 extra tracks on top of its original album and is released with a brand new title song. for instance, INFINITE’s Be Back is that the repackage of Season 2. Season 2‘s title track was Last Romeo but when it got repackaged, two more songs were added (Back and Diamond) with Back because of the new title track.

Mini Album Repackage

While mini albums are more common than studio albums, mini album repackages are very unusual. a bit like studio album repackages, these are albums that add two to 3 more tracks on top of its original mini-album, with a replacement title track.

Single Album vs Digital Single

The main difference between single albums from the opposite varieties of albums is that it only consists of two to four songs. If there’s only 1 song, it’s not one album but a digital single because they won’t have a physical album to be sold within the market.

For example, BESTie debuted with a song titled Pitapat. it’s a digital single because it isn’t among the other tracks and it’s no physical album sold. On the opposite hand, Lovelyz‘s single album Lovelinus consists of three songs and sold physical copies of the album. Additionally, the identical group released a digital single titled Wag-zak!, which was only released online.

Digital singles are common in groups from not-so-well-known companies. These companies usually work on a smaller budget and may only afford one song, so their groups/artists only debut with a digital single.


Mixtapes are like albums but are released not for the aim of selling but solely for showing the music to people. they will be like mini/studio albums, but aren’t sold within the market and are quite released online free through music streaming sites like Soundcloud. These are self-produced by the artists and are presumably by hip-hop artists/boy group rappers.

Kihno Album

Kihno albums are quite techy and new. This could be available in either single, mini, or studio albums. The way it differs is that you simply play the music not by employing a CD, but using the Kihno device and a gadget with a Kihno player and earphone jack. Note that no album is released only in Kihno format; it’s similar to a unique version or variant of the initial album.

Technically, the device doesn’t contain any audio files in the slightest degree. It’s a style of a key that if you set to your gadget, it’ll grant you access to the music of the album through the Kihno App which you’ll download before use. While this format could seem quite unnecessary since streaming sites like Spotify or YouTube music are readily available, many fans still buy Kihno albums for the sake of the album’s specifications and for the sake of collection.

Not all K-pop albums include a Kihno album variant; only selected companies including SM Entertainment, DSP Media, and Jellyfish Entertainment are affiliated with Kihno.

If you’re unaccustomed to K-Pop, you’ll be confused about those different types of albums so I hope after reading this text, you may understand its similarities and differences. it should be very confusing initially, but it’s quite simple and straightforward to grasp.

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