Kpopalypse roundup – new k-pop releases 1/3/2021

It’s time for Kpopalypse roundup!  Let’s take a look at some new releases!

Pity the poor k-pop fans who stupidly dumped T-ara in 2012 after all the false rumours and then decided to stan April next because “gosh they look like such nice harmless girls, I’m sure they’ll never have any bullying rumours”.

SHINee – Heart Attack

People begged me to cover this bland SHINee B-side and fuck knows why because it’s just a bland SHINee B-side.

Wonho – Lose

Wonho’s new song on the other hand knocks it out the park with an instrumental that sounds almost as muscular as Wonho himself, as he rocks far more peak-SHINee energy than SHINee themselves have managed in over a decade.

Wonho – Weneed

Oh and he has a ballad too, and it’s… okay, not that great, but not completely awful?  Can the man do no wrong?  Maybe he should go into politics?  He couldn’t do a worse job than Scott Morrison, surely.

Dreamcatcher – Wind Blows

A somewhat silly rap/chant break isn’t enough to ruin a flawed but pretty good Dreamcatcher song that sits fairly well against all their other flawed but pretty good songs.

Sunmi – Tail

Not Sunmi’s best but still mrs and mrcs

ONF – Beautiful Beautiful

Really very good – remember when boy group songs occasionally had actual melodies you cared about, instead of lame pentatonic improvs, dumb shouting, and major scale notes thrown awkwardly over minor key chords for no reason?  This song will take you back to those times.

Pixy – Wings

The kind of trash we’ve come to expect from new girl groups, as everyone wants to be “in your area” but has no idea what it takes to get there musically.

The Boyz – Breaking Dawn

This week The Boyz fans got shitty with me again because they found my interview with Eric’s alleged bully victim for like the 15th time in the last 12 months, but I think it’s silly to go around cancelling people honestly.  We all make mistakes in our school days.  The group are really all bully victims and the perpetrator is whatever songwriter wrote this crap.

Golden Child – Breathe

I’m sure The Bias List is already crowning it his song of the year but for the rest of us this is just Infinite with half the Infinite removed.  “Semi-finite” perhaps.

Cheetah ft. Jamie – Villain

A cool rhythm track completely wasted with nowhereish mumbling from Cheetah and a really odd choice of vocal line from Jamie that doesn’t sit well with the bassline at all.  It’s like someone remixed the backings into a different key after the vocals were done and forgot to retune everything.

Keembo – Inside

Finally Keembo stop fucking around with lame R&B and splash down with the killer moody track they always promised, a song easily worthy of their underappreciated Spica glory days. 

Wei – All Or Nothing

They’re going for that big riff driven sound that we heard with Stray Kids’ “God’s Menu” and Block B Bastarz’ “Zero For Conduct” but this is the pissweak version that shits all over itself instead of keeping the groove going.

Big Naughty – Joker

The joke’s on me, clearly.

Coco ft. G2 – Lonely

Coco’s k-pop career outlasted Sori’s – now there’s a plot twist.  Pity that the song is just the usual R&B once again.

CL – Wish You Were Here

I get that this is a meaningful song for CL and I know why she wrote it, but that doesn’t actually make it a good listen for the rest of us.  I enjoyed watching some of the archival 2NE1 footage here and that’s about all.

Ateez – Fireworks (I’m The One)

Zero momentum due to spending most of its time in lazy downbeat land, the payoff really needed to be better to make up for how turgid the rest of it is.

OLNL ft. Soovi – Papi

Generally pretty awful but she’s a bit more tolerable than he is just because she doesn’t sound like she’s dry-humping the microphone.

Marco – You’re My

I always wondered how they did that shit in heels, it always seemed a bit cruel to me, so if cross-dressing is what it takes to nail those dance routines, I’ll take it as a sign of positive industry reform.

Balming Tiger – Loop?

They’re learning.  This one at least has a cool beat for the first half and a trippy video to see you through the rest.

M.O.N.T – Beautiful Sunday

Mentioning kimchi in the lyrics – the Korean nationalism is alive and well, good work M.O.N.T scaring away the invaders yet again.

Pinn – Escape

I like literally everything about this except the melody writing.  Unfortunately, melody writing is important.

Sia – Frida

It’s a good roundup when even the instrumental art-wank impresses.

Mushvenom, Justhis – Take It

Strangely, I don’t hate it.

Huh! ft. Kid Milli, Gaeko – Uh-Uh

Nor this.  For music without a beat, it has a pretty good beat.

Meenoi ft. Yumdda – WGC

It must be something in the water, all the yolo music is semi-tolerable.

1iL – Turn On Netflix

I double-checked to see that it wasn’t G-Idle’s Soobin on that motorcycle.

Park Moonchi & Young K – What A Wonderful World

When the performers are really charismatic but the song just sucks so much anyway.

E:Rin – Pretend To Know

Don’t get excited, the girl is just a model and the song is just boring R&B by some guy.

Hwihyun – I Love You (new)

I don’t know what’s so new about this, it sounds like everything Korea’s ballad side ever produced in the last 30 years or more.

Paloalto ft. Khundi Panda, Sumin – Unsung Heroes

Does “producer top billing mean the song sucks” rule also apply if the producer is also in the actual song as an artist?  Seems like it.

ZanHyang – The Hill Of Wind

This is like a school-organised LARP where one person didn’t want to play and was like “fuck you elves I wanted a future setting why can’t I be a cyberpunk” and the rest of them tried to bully her out of the group but the teacher threatened them all with detention and was able to make them all quit their fucking moaning and participate anyway.  See, bullying scandals can be solved when the people in charge just grow some balls and do their fucking jobs for a change.

BONUS RANDOM VIDEO OF THE WEEK

Synk time with Winter

SM have pretty much binned the whole k-pop computer avatar thing for Aespa at this point because they realised they were honestly quite shit at it and nobody really gives a fuck if it doesn’t look at least as good as K/DA, so “Synk” has now basically just morphed into “v-log for the fans”.  In this one Winter plays with her dog quite a lot, so for those of you who are concerned about video content meeting required dog standards, Winter’s Synk time video should satisfy.


That’s all for this week – Kpopalypse roundup returns next week!

6 thoughts on “Kpopalypse roundup – new k-pop releases 1/3/2021

  1. Wow, ONF’s Beautiful Beautiful is really great. It’s one of the best boy group songs I’ve heard since Snuper’s Platonic Love and B.I.G’s 1.2.3

  2. It may be too early to say but I hope ONF’s Beautiful Beautiful ends up on you year-end list, I’d really like to see a more in-depth review/breakdown from you.

  3. A surprisingly solid week. Mushvenom/Justhis Take It, PINN Escape, Keembo Inside, Cheetah Villain, ONF Beautiful Beautiful, Sunmi Tail, and Wonho Lose – all great.

    La La La by Advanced, Jeonghyeon, and Mirriam Eka didn’t make your list, but is equally terrific.

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