Welcome to another episode of Kpopalypse Nugu Alert! It’s time to look at the last crop of nugus to be featured here for 2019!
I’m often alerted to the fact that I’m not the only person in town covering nugu k-pop groups, and I was linked quite a few times by my lovely readers and Nugu Alert fans to the following video by a YouTuber called Ploopy678: who takes a look at “the least viewed k-pop music videos”.
Of course regular readers of this series will know “least viewed” is definitely a false claim, as I’ve documented many, many groups out there who have far less views than any of the groups featured in her video. Also it’s interesting that every single group that she features is a k-pop girl group, I’m sure there are some boy groups who are just as nugu or even more so. If anything the groups featured here are on the higher end of average for this series, even before factoring in the increased views that Ploopy678 generated for these videos simply by covering them. However I’m not about to complain as I’m still very happy to see more nugu girl group coverage!
Since this video was released, people have been asking me what I thought of these groups, so by popular demand I thought it would be a good idea to devote the last Kpopalypse Nugu Alert of 2019 to covering the artists here. Some of the groups that she has covered have been already covered by me elsewhere so I’ll skip those (including Flow Sister who made it into a previous Nugu Alert), and quite a lot of them are now well over Nugu Alert viewcount thanks to Ploopy678’s coverage, so I’ll skip those ones too. The rest of the videos that are eligible are below!
The usual Kpopalypse Nugu Alert rules are in effect:
- Less than 20,000 views on official channels
- Maybe Ploopy678 gives a fuck (bless her) but almost everyone else probably didn’t before she featured these
- Relevant to Kpopalypse
Let’s get started!
Flor_us – Masquerade
Flor_us seem to be going for a similar visual concept and musical sound to Gfriend’s excellent “Rough“, and that’s certainly a worthy goal (just ask Korean Indie), so I suppose I can forgive them for being another “underscore group”. However it must be remembered that Gfriend’s agency have much money up the ass to spend on music videos, which may not be readily apparent to some when actually watching Gfriend, but will become a lot more obvious to anybody when you watch “Masquerade” and see how things look in comparison with most of that money taken away. Clearly there wasn’t much cash in the bank for things like decent quality makeup, well-fitting clothes or interesting sets, and I really would believe it if someone told me that Flor_us weren’t cosplaying as school students but actually shot this video in the same school that they study in. The muted colours, bland cinematography and generally morose facial expressions of the girls give everything a weirdly sullen vibe which I don’t quite imagine was exactly what they were going for (even if the song is about school bullying or whatever), and certainly doesn’t fit with the backing track which is quite decent in places and definitely a lot more upbeat than anything else about this song. Still, they deserve lots of praise for the effort, and I have to rate the masks as a neat little budget visual touch.
YouTube views at time of writing: 17556
Notable attribute: possibly the worst synthesised flute solo ever heard in a k-pop song
Nugu Alert rating: average
S2U – ZZZ
S2U’s “Zzz” is just musically weird, mainly due to that strange keyboard in the background that is playing a semi-offbeat rhythm that none of the other instruments or vocals are doing, for no apparent reason. Everything in the mix sounds really mushy and boxy, it’s an incredibly unpleasant listen. However visually this package is more successful, with some well-chosen locations like a group of pretty European-style cottages, that old nugu favourite “the random beach” and even some fucking around in a field with horses. It actually occurred to me while watching this that horse-riding is definitely under-explored territory in k-pop music videos in general, even the A-listers don’t bother to get up on horses much. Maybe it’s the possible expensive delays that could result from a horse-riding injury, or maybe your average k-pop girl is just too anemic to actually stay upright that high off the ground for more than a few seconds without getting dizzy spells, but whatever the reason I feel like it’s something that k-pop agencies should think about as an alternative to making them all pretend to drive stupid sports cars for the 295th time. A warning that if you commit to watching this video for the above-average location content, you may struggle with getting past the cringe-tastic spoken English intro.
YouTube views at time of writing: 15672
Notable attribute: at least these girls eat well, the barbeque spread at the end is quality
Nugu Alert rating: high
Blity – Thump Thump
I think Blity definitely have the most listenable “disital single” here, and while it’s certainly nothing great it at least doesn’t embarrass itself heavily with anything really stupid or out of place. Sure, that oscillating keyboard pad in the background does sound a bit strange and probably could have been oscillated right into the trash can, but it’s a minor flaw and generally this song is at least of an acceptable musical competency level even if the vocal production is still a bit too bare-bones to really cut the k-pop mustard. They also have, on average, the most presentable looking performers by regular k-pop standards, except that one girl who looks like Loona’s ViVi if she was stuck in a Chinese prison for a year for not stanning Winnie The Pooh enough, mind you this could be partially a camera trick as I’m not sure if some shots have had their vertical aspect ratio slightly stretched in order to make the girls look even skinnier and more underfed than they undoubtedly are. Having said that, it’s those quirky “not quite k-pop looking” performers that in my opinion is part of what makes nugu groups special, so Blity are actually the least interesting group here just from a “what makes a good Nugu Alert entry” standpoint. Maybe this means they’re destined for mainstream success? Guess we’ll have to wait and see…
YouTube views at time of writing: 13692
Notable attribute: if you look closely at 3:03 at the tunnel on the right, someone in the distance appears and watches the group. Who is it? My guess is Pink Fantasy’s Daewang.
Nugu Alert rating: very high
That’s all for this episode of Kpopalypse Nugu Alert! Hopefully you enjoyed the series this year – Nugu Alert will return in 2020!