Kpopalypse roundup – new k-pop releases 30/9/2019

It’s time for Kpopalypse roundup!  Let’s check out some new releases!

I have no idea why Sulli is here… but I think Chuu+ knows.

Twice – Feel Special

It’s not that shocking that this is kind of boring and mediocre, with Twice diluting too much of their signature sound into the pool of what’s currently trendy.  What is however quite surprising is that the girls don’t even look any good.

Jessi – Who Dat B

There’s a potentially great song here somewhere with the moody chord changes and pizzicato strings, but Jessi’s typical trappy yoloisms over the top just ruin everything.

Hara – Midnight Queen

A pretty good throwback to golden age KARA, which doesn’t quite capture their original vibe but comes close enough.

AKMU – How Can I Love The Heartbreak, You’re The One I Love

Even before AKMU modernised their sound, they were never this bad.

Sonamoo – We Are Legendary

The production values of this computer game collaboration seem weak compared to something like K/DA but the song makes up the shortfall and is actually way better.

Sleepy ft. Bang Yongguk – Trouble

Meanwhile TS Entertainment’s other latest victim also sounds suddenly a lot better now that he’s left.  Rappers are always at their best when they’re angry about something.  Someone lock him in for another ten years of bullshit and no pay so we get another good song like this at the end of it instead of the typical R&B garbage he always does thanks.

Sandy – Dolmeng-EE

Speaking of which I’m sad to report that another Kpopalypse prediction unfortunately comes true as Sandy the “Teen Swag” school rapper inevitably embraces R&B garbage.  However even this weak-as-piss backing track can’t completely take the edge off her rapping and she actually almost saves it.

Fin.K.L – Like The Song Remains

Imagine your bias groups today reuniting like this years from now… and producing a fucking piece of shit like this.

j-hope ft. Becky G – Chicken Noodle Soup

Honestly I thought it would be a lot worse.  A reasonable beat saves this nonsense from the absolute bottom of the barrel.

Jackson Wang – Bullet To The Heart

I guess he’s singing about his fantasies of being a police officer and shooting rubber bullets into the chests of Hong Kong schoolkids.

Loopy & nafla – Flex

Seeing these guys illuminated with night vision reminds me of watching Iraq war helicopter footage.  Clearly they are the enemy.  Wouldn’t it be neat if the USA invaded Korea to stop all trap.

Hoody – Miro

This is literally a beat and some random dribble.

K-Tigers Zero – Odd & Beautiful

Actually surprisingly good, for the same reason that Yoona’s ballads were good.  The K-Tigers girls clearly can’t sing at all, which means that they can’t really do the typical ballad bullshit, so the producer opts for an ultra-simple approach that works within their very limited abilities.

Pony – Divine

Pretty and blandifying, which seems appropriate for a makeup artist’s debut.

Minty – Arcadia

Minty’s Sia-style “ha ha you can’t see my face” gimmick is a bit trite, but to be fair, if I made music this bad I wouldn’t want people to know what I looked like either.

Super Junior – The Crown

The old “photoshoot pretending to be an actual MV” trick isn’t just for nugus!

Jessica x Giriboy – Call Me Before You Sleep

If you call Jessica before you sleep, she’ll come over to your house and sing this for you.  Insomnia cured!

Sik-K x Coogie – Wet The Bed

I don’t think this song title, or this song, sounds as sexy as the people who made it think it does.  Looks like Sik-K has escaped his crib again.

Narae Lee – Swimmer

This girl has a really smug grin and I just want a meteor to fall from the sky and hit her in the ass and trip her over or something.

Peggy Gou – Starry Night

This is just a dance track with a few words yelled on top, super not interesting.

Rhythm Power ft. SOLE – 6AM

When it sounds promising but then you realise that’s just the intro and the song is something way inferior.  This seems to be a common pattern.

Gaho – Pink Walk

When he’s painting the girl, look at how he’s got every colour in the rainbow on his palette thing but the picture he’s painting is just one bland wishy-washy colour.  I guess they use the same kind of creative process for the music.

Kwon Jin Ah – Shape Of Me

I’m over songs from this woman where a chamber orchestra plays in a room and the camera slowly zooms out or around them while she sings.

Kwon Jin Ah – I Got Lucky

No, really.  Just stop it.  Or at least stop your guitar player from wearing the yolo gear, this isn’t a fucking Jay Park video.

dress, sogumm ft. Jay Park – I Wonder

On the other hand this is (partially) a fucking Jay Park video and it sucks.  I think she’s on the phone screaming to JYP, Jimin Park style.  “I need a song!  Gimme a song!”

Yongzoo – Cause It’s You

The thumbnail tells you everything you need to know.

Jjax – Run Away

They should just ban any video where they do the whole thing in an Instagram window.  At least BOL4 used the full screen size.

Woody, Francis – Vacation

More trop-slop.

Noh Sabong – Woo Ah Song

Your parents want to be a k-pop too.  This seems like a good an argument as any to talk them out of it.

Bray ft. Sohlhee – Movie on Weekend

Those Rhodes chords just sound like a kid randomly bashing the thing in a music store.  Mind you I guess that just manes it has a lot in common with all other jazz ever since the Rhodes was invented.

Yoon Jiyoung ft. Car The Garden – A Will

Car, The Garden are one of those groups that are always boring for some reason.  One day they might do a BOL4 style about-face, but I doubt it.

Sweden Laundry ft. Lee Minhyuk – Late Goodbye

Oh jesus, just fucking look at these morose cunts.  They don’t want to be singing this song any more than you want to be listening to it.

Chan Hwi (7th Street) ft. Lee Kang Ho, Kim Dong Beom, Jung Sol – Let’s Go

This sounds like that acoustic dipshit pop that they use in American teen dramas.

Chan Hwi (7th Street) ft. Lee Kang Ho – Love Me

Their other song is even worse.

E.Da – Erase

I took the song title’s suggestion.  My “erased” remix uses precisely 0% of the audio from the original, and I think the improvement is tangible, I hope you enjoy it.  You could play the original here if you wanted, but I’m sure you’ll agree that my remix is better.

Hoa – Bud

It’s not great, but the song still sounds more interesting than the video looks.

Dusky80 – Color Of Sadness

I guess the official color of sadness is “diarrhoea brown”.

Wooks – Sabotage

This guy is clearly trying to get the award for the most gratuitous display of r*pe in k-pop.

Layone – 13 Reasons Why

Lots of grass fields in a k-pop video rarely ends well.

Rulee ft. Nung-ji – Shape Of Night

And more grass fields.  However this power-ballad with post-rock guitar flavours could have been a lot worse.

Yammo – 1999

This is not what Prince had in mind, I’m pretty sure.

Melody Pink – Hey U

No video exists at all for these complete nugus’ debut, and I can kind of see why nobody bothered, at least musically.


Love x Stereo – Call My Name

It’s actually really good, but it took a few listens to grow on me, I think I just got initially triggered by the problematic video that discriminates against my colour vision impairment.

Summer Soul – A.I

Some pretty odd textural choices elevate this one above the heap.

Twofive – What Is At The End Of The Universe?

Unfortunately the answer to this question seems to be “just another dull home-video style touring MV because punk bands don’t make money”.


What if I make Yuna Kim into a music?

This video is by OTHANKQ, the producer behind the short lived nugu k-pop girl group Mercury.  If you’ve ever wondered how composers conceptualise their songs, then what he’s created here is a really good example of that.  Of course he doesn’t discuss the theoretical aspect at all, but what he does demonstrate clearly is a key concept of all songwriting, which is that when writing a song if you want to be effective it’s the idea of what feelings you’re trying to convey with the music which should come first.  Yeah he’s pretty cheesy about it, but the fact remains that it’s a good example.  I’ll talk more in-depth about translating ideas into sounds in a future episode of the Kpopalypse music theory class, but for now this video is a good quick overview of tracing the idea through to the result.

That’s all for this week’s roundup!  Kpopalypse will return with more songs, and in the meantime this is the final week where the latest Kpopalypse survey will be open, so do it if you haven’t!  Stay safe, caonimas!

14 thoughts on “Kpopalypse roundup – new k-pop releases 30/9/2019

  1. nooo Twice finally hitting their slump (at least on Korean single), hopefully they can get a better material again

  2. Honestly, TWICE’s B-Sides are godsends and I know what they were trying to promote, but I wished they went with “Trick It” or “Get Loud” as their main title. It also sucks because JYP made their title track: he must be slipping since most of his penned TWICE tracks are gold!

  3. Love x Stereo has always had some good songs here and there, and it’s always when the New Order influences are at their most prominent. Saw them at a music festival in Singapore last year and I’ve been following them eversince. Have you covered them on nugu alert before?

  4. Twice had to get a nothingy title track eventually, but in trying to give the girls a more mature appearance, they were made to look really generic. Even Sana lost her distinctiveness.

  5. Twice’s latest track actually sounds pretty solid to my untrained ears. Feels a lot like it’s this year’s Knock Knock in a lot of ways. Relatively underwhelming in terms of sheer catchiness compared to preceding title tracks, but the background dance track is energetic enough if a bit simplistic, there’s a notable absence of grating aspects such as screechy verses/choruses or the usual chants (bar the unnecessary trap verse) and the song has some of their most earnest-sounding singing yet. Maybe there’s something (or a lot) I’m missing in the musical production, but ignorance really is bliss, eh?

    The AKMU song is pretty disappointing though. I was expecting quite a bit since Dinosaur sounded really good. Maybe next time.

  6. This Twice song and lyrics seem keyed to Mina’s problem, and makes them seem to me to be more human and caring, so I like it.
    Kwon Jin Ah actually has an extremely nice voice, and I guess if you’re an overstressed Korean worker you’d find her songs relaxing…
    But now for the horrific video of the week – Noh Sabong is like someone’s grandmother talked into gyrating sexily, but failing spectacularly. It’s like A-Force’s Wonder Woman! I did a test in the middle – if all her clothing suddenly disappeared, would I still watch her? Sadly, NO!

  7. Wait – why didn’t you include Dreamcatcher’s Deja Vu next to Sonamoo – We Are Legendary? Wasn’t in the same week? Would have been quite the combination, two girl groups doing a medieval computer game concept!

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