It’s time for Kpopalypse roundup! Let’s take a look at some new releases!
Brown Eyed Girls – Abandoned
The Brown Eyed Girls comeback album doesn’t have any new songs on it, they’re actually old Brown Eyed Girls songs that didn’t make the cut when they were first released, so I’m not sure why anyone thinks this crap is going to fly now. (EDIT: actually it’s a covers albums, apparently? Who cares, it still sucks.) It’s good to see them back though, even if they don’t have any songs this time around, if anything it just made me remember how generally lackluster their entire catalog always was apart from the very small handful of standout tracks everybody knows. Bring on the Gain solo, maybe that’ll be better.
Brown Eyed Girls – Wonder Woman
Holy shit I swear that girl with the short hair in this group looks just like that guy from N-tic. Who knows which one she is, BEG is “Gain and the other three” to me. Actually Gain looks weird too, they’ve given her this strange boxy look that doesn’t suit her, it’s like they’re trying to hide the fact she exists.
Taeyeon – Spark
Taeyeon also looks odd here, I wouldn’t have even recognised her if her name wasn’t on the video. Did everyone in Korea book into the surgeon the other day for a Black Friday special or what.
Gfriend – Fallin’ Light
At least Gfriend look better than ever. Not so keen on the song itself which is just a bright but fairly flat and nothingy Japanese twist on “Time For The Moon Night” but oh well.
Yubin ft. Yoon Mi Rae – Silent Movie
For someone who is said with such revered tones in the Korean rap community, Yoon Mirae sure churns out a lot of soft, weak fucking bullshit collabs.
Hinapia – Drip
Sorry Kyla, I really wanted to like this, but this debut from your Pristin ex-groupmates is legitimately musically painful.
Jessi ft. Jay Park – Drip
The other “drip” this week isn’t much better, although for a nice change of pace Jay Park is actually the best thing about it. Wow I never thought I’d see myself writing that sentence.
IU – Love Poem
I couldn’t be bothered waiting for an official video for this because there probably isn’t going to be one. This almost-heavy-metal ballad in places is definitely a cut above the usual ballad trash due to some decently understated writing and not too much sappiness all at once.
WeGirls – Heart Beat
Hey it’s alright I guess but there’s nothing all that special about it either.
Monsta X – Follow
The last hurrah from the Wonho-version of Monsta X isn’t too bad either. People were mentioning that it was interesting that all that controversy stuff about Wonho blew up just when they were coming back, but Monsta X have been busy bees this year so the probabilities of shit going down when there’s a comeback on the horizon are high generally. Mind you, we know what anti-fans are like, chances are some of the fans of those bigger k-pop boy groups are trying to chop off Monsta X’s legs before they ascend too far, you know, the same thing that happened with certain girl group fandoms in 2012 who watched T-ara get too big for comfort.
A.C.E – Savage
I was looking forward to another gabber romp but sadly this is quite ordinary.
WayV – Moonwalk
This isn’t anything much either.
BDC – Remember Me
Mainly slow ballad boredom with a big but uninteresting synth chorus and lots of guys looking very sullen and intense.
OnlyOneOf – Sage
Just wait, some fake wokester dipshit (like the ones who are harassing Kyla for saying “stan Dreamcatcher” because “dreamcatchers are sacred and it’s cultural appropriation”) is going to try and get this new boy group cancelled because they think the fans embedded into that circle thing in the background are swastikas. You read it here first.
We In The Zone – Loveade
The best boy-group comeback this week has a stupid name and more purple lipstick than you can handle.
M.O.N.T – The Korean Island Dokdo
Seems like nothing all that much, but turn the subtitles on and get ready for a whole new level of entertainment. They got the lyrics straight out of Wikipedia! Nationalism has never been so hilarious, I now want Japan to invade Dodko by force just so M.O.N.T can write a diss rap where they count the exact amount of square meters of Korean land in Dodko that they want the Japanese to give back, plus the average rainfall and humidity per year.
Oneus – Level Up
This one didn’t get a video and it’s probably just as well, it just sounds like everything else now from boy groups.
TXT – New Rules
TXT’s “let’s promote it anyway” non-feature track isn’t as generic as most of what landed on roundup this week, it’s more just kind of annoying and silly.
Kim Yonja – One’s Beloved
She’s going to sing her ass off and then tell her son that he’s got no business being a k-pop if he can’t do it as least as well as she can. Go, mum!
Jeongmin – Why?
At the radio station for a while we had those word-magnet things but I think they got taken away because people kept rearranging them into “problematic” combinations. You really can’t have fun anymore in this world.
Zico – Balloon
I’m going to use this review to answer a question that I deliberately held back from the latest QRIMOLE because I hadn’t seen the video at that time:
ZICO released a new MV for one of his tracks. The music sounded like pure garbage to me but the metaphors in the scenes intrigued me. What are your thoughts about:
The dude who grabs him by the ankle and gets shot down by the “dead” girl?
The creepy fantasies where every “kid” in “paradise” that feed them with their own hands and stops them from eating otherwise?
Pretty clearly the video is an analogy for fame in the k-pop world. He’s “chosen” by the staircase and ascends, sees a lot of other people falling down (their careers failing) as he gradually climbs. One person even warns him not to do it. He struggles on and eventually he gets to the top (is successful) but finds that he has no freedom or autonomy, life is comfortable but he has to do exactly as he is told, by the masked people behind the scenes who control everything.
MC Mong ft. Park Bom – Chanel
WHERE IS PARK BOM I DON’T WANT TO SEE SOME GODDAMN MODEL IN THIS SHIT SONG GET THIS BONY WOMAN THE FUCK AWAY AND BRING ME THICC PARK BOM YOU CUNTS
MC Mong ft. Moon – Desert Island
I dunno what Moon looks like, and thanks to this, I’m less upset about her not appearing here in this equally shit rap ballad.
Hoody ft. Gray – Adios
Oh yeah what a terrible song, Hoody is always horrid.
Hoody – Good And Evil
This is bad too, but at least it’s “different bad”.
Nam Woohyun – When Fall Comes
Oh dear. More of this crap.
Hoody ft. Ugly Duck – Stay
Hey at least we have some cool dancing. It must have been a pretty polluted day in Seoul for them to whitewash the background that much.
Lee Young Ji – Dark Room
Seems to be a quality rapper, but there’s no beat here. Imagine what she could do over some actual music.
Guckkasten – Hunt
Unlike a lot of stuff in this roundup, Guckkasten have always been pretty good. They’re going a bit more commercial than usual here, but given how obtuse they usually are it’s probably not a bad thing for them to embrace a little pop sensibility.
2&Star – Playground
Kids shouldn’t have to worry about being a k-pop at this age. However it’s probably one of the better kid projects so good luck to them I guess.
Eric Nam – Love Die Young
Right THAT’S IT I’VE HAD ENOUGH ALL LYRIC VIDEOS BANNED FROM ROUNDUP FROM NOW ON. If you don’t like it blame Eric he’s the straw that broke the camel’s back!
N.Flying – Kick-Ass
Okay so here’s how you do the “big synth chorus” properly – make it fast!
Hyuk – A Long Night
Okay so maybe I was a but harsh and I should give lyric videos one more shot, I mean surely there has to eventually be a good song in one of these fucking thi… OH NOPE NOPE NOPE FUCK THIS SHIT I’M OUT
Yoyomi – Worried Our Love Will Have Pain
I think our love will be just fine if you can do less songs like this one.
Samuel Seo – Playaplayaplaya
It’s like they’re trying to do one of those “before the beat” grooves like The Roots but they couldn’t quite figure out how it was supposed to work and it just ends up sounding like nobody can play in time.
Poppin Hyun Joon – Genie 2019
I feel like there’s a story here that I’m not clued up on, because I feel like a song like this needs a really specific kind of excuse to be created at all.
Horim & Jinbo – Groove
All those people who get relentlessly triggered when I continually shit on k-pop’s R&B trash will probably dig this, so if you’re one of those people here’s your recommendation I guess.
EK ft. Munchman – Go Straight
I don’t actually know what he’s continually chanting in this song but wow my ears don’t like it when he does that, and he sure does it a lot.
Icey Blouie ft. Masstige – Get Money
I don’t know anything about this Masstige guy except that he got on my worst of 2017 list and he’s making another solid attempt here. Cheer for him (or don’t).
Jun ft. Reddy – My Way
On the other hand I know these guys well enough, and they’re not much better.
Tan – Woh
Oh dear. This looks like the k-rap equivalent of Unicorns Killed My Girlfriend and it’s probably going to age about as well.
Leenzy – It’s Alright
Wow, an R&B song that is just kind of average. This puts it in the top 0.1% of R&B songs ever created.
Huh Gak & Jeong Eunji – Let You Go
I don’t give a fuck about this drama video crap, I’m trying to find a picture of Eunji I was happy enough with to replace for my Asteroids sidebar link and she’s not even in this fucking thing, ripped off!
Song Hee Ran – Starry Night
The song is okay but she looks barely alive hanging onto that mic stand for dear life, is she okay? Any particular reason she’s sitting down? Do I need to call someone?
PLZY – Back
Nia – Be With You
I’m sure that they want us to think they’re just trying to enhance the mood with that lighting, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the makeup girl was running late for the video shoot so they just dimmed the lights and carried on without her.
Arden Cho – Dive In
I don’t know about that triplet rhythmic hiccup in the bass. It’s like the rhythm track is burping in my face. It kind of kills the smooth feel they’re going for – but then maybe that’s a good thing, perhaps it’s there to stop me from getting drowsy.
Joonil Jung – I Know But
Comment below if you agree that you couldn’t watch the last part of this without wanting her to run up behind him and push him off that building.
Inwook Hwang – Sad Drinking
For a country with such a drinking problem, I’m surprised they don’t have more “happy drinking” songs. Korea needs to fuck off with the stupid ballads and discover “beer metal“.
Nida ft. Feb – Call Me
Not sure why this is shot in super-crappy interlaced mode but I’m never watching this again so I don’t care really.
Gogang – How Much More Do I Need
Although I didn’t mind this shoegazey maudlin jam, the girl seems to be dancing around like she’s listening to a much better song than this one, and I wish I was listening to whatever that is instead.
Soulights – Warp Drive
There’s so much terrifying driving in this, people crossing lanes illegally, straying outside the white lines… how does anyone even watch this. Scarier than any horror film.
No Brain – Let’s Roll
No Brain are still average. I don’t like the boring Green Day clones in my own country either.
No Brain – Everything Goes On
Oh and here’s a ballad, because it doesn’t matter what music style you are, everybody in Korea has to have 26 of these. Weirdly, IU’s ballad this week is heavier.
D-Hack – Genjitsu Dakkan Sakusen
CaptainRock – Blue Night
I sense a mutiny on the horizon if this keeps up.
Gem i – Accessory
Another annoying trap song where they say some stupid thing over and over.
Yoon Daum – This Coffee
When the song has coffee in the title, and the video has people in it making coffee, you know that you’re not exactly in for something that’s going to blow you away.
1/N – I’m So Tired
Me too. But actually, this isn’t too terrible.
HanSeungHee – Calling You
Like that guy who Ellin supposedly scammed, I think I’m supposed to feel sorry for him or something, but I really don’t.
Kyunwoo – Just Autumn
She looks pretty happy to be in this nonsense, she must be getting paid a fair bit. Well okay, probably not actually, but maybe someone lied to her and told her she might.
Radio9 with Na Yoon Kwon – Bad Love
Just open up the “read more” on YouTube and look at all the people who were roped into the production of this crappy ballad that everybody will upvote and leave a comment about how great the vocals are but nobody will watch twice.
QUEENDOM SECTION JUST IN CASE ANYBODY CARES BECAUSE THEY ACTUALLY HAVE ORIGINAL SONGS THIS TIME
AOA – Sorry
AOA have been so surgically modified over the years that girls who used to be the blandest are now the most distinctive. Also, have a laugh at everyone talking about the “fantastic vocals” on this stage and then watch at 4:13 as Jimin completely forgets the words and fucks up the lipsync. Vocal fakery, how likely is it in k-pop? Fuckin’ likely.
Lovelyz – Moonlight
Another song that really could have done with almost anything except that played-out Latin feel and why is everyone wearing dishrags.
Park Bom – Wanna Go Back
Thicc Bom is looking great and just look at her eyes. That stare is intense. Here is a woman who has been through at least as much shit as Sulli and survived.
Oh My Girl – Guerilla
This song is bland and the members of Oh My Girl all look like the heroine in a B-grade post-apocalyptic Bollywood musical filmed in Coober Pedy.
(G)I-dle – Lion
It’s quite sad that although that awful “Pop Stars” song that two of the members last year did is rubbish, it’s still probably the best thing they’ve got.
Mamamoo – Destiny
Actually, Mamamoo have the best song in Queendom, and it’s actually… dare I say it, rather good. The chorus actually has some energy and life to it, makes a huge difference.
BONUS RANDOM VIDEO OF THE WEEK
JISUN FROM FROMIS_9 ASMR – INAUDIBLE MOUTH SOUND
People think that ASMR is a new discovery because the acronym is fairly new, but it’s closely related to “frisson“, which has been known about since forever. The triggers and emotional aspect are slightly different though. Anyway, whatever you want to call it, Jisun does a pretty good job of inducing ASMR if you’re susceptible to it, which not everybody is, so this video is either going to be a wild ride into chilling territory, or half an hour of a girl being underpaid to sit in front of a stereo microphone, swallow her own drool and make mumbling clicking noises.
That’s all for this week’s roundup – Kpopalypse roundup returns next week!