It’s time for Kpopalypse roundup! Let’s check out some new releases!
Aespa – Next Level
Like most SM-purchased western song remakes (the most well-known one being Monrose’s “Hot Summer“, but there are others), the Aespa version is a brighter, sparklier, more fleshed-out version of the original. Unfortunately in this case, neither are actually any good, and Aespa’s version isn’t helped by the weirdly clunky lyrics which try for some kind of Blackpink-meets-Loona catchphrasey esotericism but it’s just too nonsensical for its own good.
Fromis_9 – We Go
The video just shows the creators stitching together any old random crap and expecting people to like it, which is kind of how the song feels too.
Rocket Punch – Ring Ring
Just a little screechy and over-bright, the song sounds best in the parts where nobody is singing. It’s still the best girl group song in a while.
Yuqi – Giant
Reminds me of “Winter Flower” but nowhere near as good due to poor vocal writing and not much dynamics or ambience.
ICU – Look At Me
Lifts the melodic ideas and general tempo from Orange Caramel’s “Catallena“, and the percussion from all those early Wonder Girls songs, which is a pretty good combination of influences but it’s a worse version of both.
Icecream – Feel Me Up
Okay, so either this agency has nobody on their staff who is fluent in English, or perhaps they have just one person who is and who is pranking everyone else in the building.
Amber Liu – Make It Better
I wish Amber would make the songs better, they almost all have that same type of melodic inflection that she always does and it’s just not that interesting. Nothing f(x) ever did sounds like her post-SM solo stuff, it’s clear they had the reins on her for a reason.
Wonho ft. Kiiara – Ain’t About You
Does Wonho get his shirt off? Yes. Does anything else here really matter?
Oneus – Black Mirror
It’s just that disco-pop thing all the k-pop groups are doing when they’re not doing the slow trap-yolo thing instead.
Onewe – Feeling Good
I’ve never seen kids with guitars mosh out so hard to such a lightweight song. If you’re going to bang your head make sure the song is worth the effort.
Lee Jinhyuk – Asteroid
On the other hand JinHyuk here looks like he sincerely doesn’t know what to do. I’m pretty sure he’s never done this “rock” thing before.
Blitzers – Breathe Again
Awww, new groups look so cute when they’re trying to be badass.
B.I, Destiny Rogers, Tyla Yaweh – Got It Like That
The usual trap stupidity.
Jay B (feat. Sokodomo) – Switch It Up
Maybe if he had actual porn for his moodboard pictures instead of some lame half-assed “it’s art, honest” crap, the “ideas and things” he had would have made a better song.
Pawky (feat. Bonggeun, Lee Taiyoung) – Space Tourism
Never underestimate the ability of extreme nugus to sound and look just as generic as everything else in k-pop.
Yesung – Fireworks
Lazy-ass drawing videos I usually delete from roundup without even letting the intro finish, but in this case it’s someone vaguely famous so I figure someone out there might give a fuck about me being bored out of my brain by yet another lame dose of “shitty pop”.
Second Aunt KimDaVi – Up!
I’d put something like this in Nugu Alert just out of sympathy but the thing has over a million views which is surely more than anything I ever have done plus everything I ever will do on YouTube put together. So therefore she deserves no sympathy and I feel okay about saying that I totally don’t “get” this nonsense, which looks like it might be trying to be funny or something.
Hong Ja – Glass of Tears
Here’s one for those who like their trot with a weird “Zorba The Greek” feel. I was waiting for it to gradually speed up and it never did, but the song wasn’t too bad anyway. The melody writing here is good enough to help me ignore the cheesy over-orchestration and ultra-wide vibrato for no reason.
Yang Jieun – Taste of life
Finally, “producer credit” is actually relevant, as Cho Young Soo was responsible for some classic T-ara tracks. As you might expect, the song has complex early T-ara style harmony and catchiness, which is melded with just a bit too much vocal wandering for my taste but the results are still quite decent anyway because, for once, the song is there.
015B ft. Dawon – Uncertainty Principle
015B’s second song with Dawon in as many weeks isn’t too shabby either. When they don’t even bother to dress properly for the video that’s often a sign of confidence that you can let the music do the talking.
Luli Lee – I Feel Your Love
In every Luli Lee video, it seems that the bass guitar gets a little bigger and she gets a little smaller.
OurR – Mung
I don’t mind the sonics here which are kind of on the good side of whatever “shoegaze” is, but the song itself is nothing much.
Idool – Hula Hoop
This is as mindless as any other music I’ve ever heard in a gay club, so if you’re a gay club DJ here’s your next track I guess.
Wilcox – Drive Thru
That weird moment when the song starts and you think that perhaps someone you’ve always shat on finally did something good, and then the vocals start and you laugh at yourself about how stupidly optimistic you can be sometimes.
10CM ft. Lee Suhyun – Slepless in Seoul
No, she’s not in the video, so this automatically goes into the “worst songs” shortlist just out of spite.
Eze – Reminisce
I could have passed on the horrible squirt sounds but the song manages to rise above it, making this one of the better attempts at tropical shithouse.
Band Nah – Colours
Bamsem ft. Owell Mood – Angel
Visually impressive given the constrained budget, but the melody grinds on all the way through doing more or less that exact same phrase, you’d want to be stuck in that glass cube yourself just to get away from the sound. It reminds me of that time I met Arcadey at K-CON and I was jealous because he had to do radio interviews in a glass booth which meant that he got to spend most of his day in a soundproof environment away from the screaming fans and shitty music, that lucky bastard.
Maddox – Knight
They’re using brushes on the snare drum to do that slow swirly thing. All drummers know this is an offence against music. Cancelled.
Mad Monster – Mine Rudolph
If you’re a tubby bastard, just put a visual effect on yourself that makes you look like even more of a tubby bastard, so that when it’s turned off you look normal and everyone goes “wow, he looks okay actually”. Smart.
Kissta feat. Bigone – Pick Up Your Phone
The good thing about Autotune is that it allows people with ideas about singing but no vocal skill to be able to make a song. The bad thing about Autotune is that most of these people don’t actually have any ideas either.
Sokodomo feat. Jay Park – MM
This video is great and needed a MUCH heavier song to go with it. At least Jay Park gets to keep pace with Amber in the “most songs released this year” competition they seemingly have got going between them.
DJ Juice, Sikboy feat. Anandelight, Ha Minho, CaiD – Here Come A New Challenger
See, it’s not that hard to make a decent beat. They know how to do it, they just couldn’t be bothered most of the time.
D.Ark feat. Changmo – Genius
Usually this is about the best they bother to do. Certainly no “genius” here.
Johny Kwony (ft. Kim Seungmin) – Frisbee
Don’t rap in English, guys. You sound as dumb as I would if I tried to rap in Korean.
University ft. Gaeko – Midnight Travel
Supposed Korean hip-hop “legends” sure are pretty light on delivering the actual hip-hop most of the time.
BeaverTown – We Come Alive
Not much coming alive in this track.
Standing Egg – Everyday
This song will make you feel grateful for the things you think about every day. In my case, I think every day about how I don’t do a radio show anymore and therefore I don’t need to play any more requests from that one guy who always requested songs by Standing Egg.
Acoustar – Mother’s Arirang
I think there’s about 2350987 songs from Korea all called some version of “Arirang” and they may or may not all be versions of the same song, but I’m pretty sure they all suck.
Zisu – Summer Romance
Probably not quite enough cat footage to mrcs
Cho Hani – Looking Thought Your Eyes
She looks like Yuu Shinoda but thiccer in the face. Crappy song but I could watch this all day.
Lee Seok Hoon, Rocoberry – Ten Reasons I Love You
Not sure why the “2021” in brackets, maybe this is a new version of an old song? This stuff is so cookie-cutter, who can tell.
Bumjin – Adults and Children
Well, that’s an unfortunate song title. I’m sure he’s not really a pedophile but I’ll happily accuse him of it if it makes him stop singing ballads.
YDSJ – Listen, people who can’t sleep
The cure for insomnia, it is definitely here. Gotta give them credit for truth in advertising.
DoPaMine – Asian Lives Matter
Hey they had good intentions, but actually, no lives matter, and this song matters even less.
Poetree with Rooftop Moonlight – If you come at 4 o’clock
There’s a joke here about cumming at 4 o’clock but I’ve listened to so many shit songs by this point that I think I’m having stupid joke-telling dysfunction.
Seo Jieum – Spring Leaves
The weird golem thing from Red Velvet’s “Rookie” video gets a styling and makeover but unfortunately the stylist has no idea what the fuck she’s doing and instead wants to break into the Korean music scene as a signer in her own right. There’s a fanficiton here somewhere.
Zen Alone – It’s Over
It’s kind of different but I just wanted him to stop yelling and calm down.
Lee Sangmin – My Light
A really weird song that just doesn’t fit together all that well, and definitely has too much jazz wank.
A-Flow (ft. Eson) – Believe
White people doing the same type of awful overacting that Koreans usually do in drama videos just makes the cringe far worse somehow. I don’t know why this is – there’s a thesis here somewhere.
Lee Mingyu – You’re Doing Great
What is it about Korean nugu pop and traffic? Your traffic is not relaxing, people! It terrifies us!
Gravitational Wave – Earth
Some songs make me feel grateful that I bothered to check out every video that was submitted to roundup, before deleting 50% of them. This isn’t one of those songs.
Jungmo – Happy Ending
When ballad singers play expensive overpriced “road worn” guitars it’s such a joke, because there’s no way in hell they were ever going to play any instrument in a way that could scratch it up like that. Just buy a new guitar and give it to me for six months, I’ll “road wear” it for you for free.
THE BASS PLAYER RUINED THE SONG AT EXACTLY 0:36 BY PLAYING LIKE SHIT SECTION
WJSN The Black – Easy
Listen to the bass guitar trip over that one high note, playing it late and completely messing up the groove. I guess their hand was tired from fapping to the WJSN girls in suits, who can blame them I guess. I bet Annie is responsible for this somehow.
Hoohaa – Alone
The bass player here delays a note after the change into the verse, making the song sound like it has a swing feel by dividing the sub-beat into threes, but a few seconds later it’s revealed that this is a mistake and he was meant to divide it into fours like he then continues to do for the entire rest of the song. Too much fapping again I guess – or maybe not enough fapping leading to a lack of finger dexterity and muscle development. Who says porn is harmful? We need more porn – a LOT more. It’s not masturbation, it’s finger-gym.
BONUS RANDOM VIDEO OF THE WEEK
Rockit Girl – E3 Reality (La Boum OST) rock band cover
Kpopalypse favourites Rockit Girl look like they finally have an actual bass player again so Leeseul doesn’t have to unconvincingly mime the bass any more and can get back to doing what she does best, which is singing averagely and posing really really well. Also the drummer is unmasked now, and I’m not sure if he’s the same guy or not but to be fair I wouldn’t want to wear a fucking mask my whole drumming career either, I have no idea how Nyango Star doesn’t die from heat exhaustion inside that suit. Where’s Della though? She better not have quit because someone still needs to do the vocal heavy lifting in this group, they honestly sound a bit pissweak without her. I hope she didn’t read that QRIMOLE episode about female “wingmen” and get sick of Leeseul cramping her style.
That’s all for this week, Kpopalypse roundup returns next week!