It’s time for Kpopalypse roundup! Let’s check out some new releases!
NCT Dream – Hello Future
And we start off another roundup with more pissweak bullshit music that makes no sense. NCT are specialists at banging on a tin can and pretending it’s a synthesiser but even by those standards this is incoherent nonsense.
Twice – Perfect World
Twice’s latest is also junk, going too far in the lame Latin direction that we’ve already heard way too much of. There’s a good song hiding here somewhere but the tired concept refuses to let it shine.
Itzy, Second Aunt KimDaVi – Break Ice
I’m sorry but having some old woman being all like “lol I’m old lol look at me I’m so old and not like a k-pop star lmao gosh isn’t this funny, are you laughing yet” doesn’t make the song any better.
Bang Chan, Lee Know – Drive
Drive this one off a cliff.
DAY6 (Even of Day) – Right Through Me
After that intro I was hoping for something rocking and punchy but… yeah, prepare to see guitars but not hear them.
Nell – Glow In The Dark
Nell have been rocking more and more lately which is weird because they always used to be so boring. I mean, they’re still boring, but they’re a rockier type of boring now, which is definitely progress.
NiziU – Super Summer
Enjoy this rubbish song and video for the three seconds that it exists before the Japanese label find it and take it down, and then we get some shit “short version” that’s even worse, if we’re lucky.
Jeon Soyeon – Beam Beam
There is a dancing CGI hamburger and Soyeon kicks it and then it rains French fries and ice cream from the sky, and that’s only one five second long scene. It’s like Hyuna’s songwriter took even more acid than usual.
Drippin – Free Pass
Mr. Gowon hair and friends don’t do so bad here, but would it kill them to bring out something more upbeat and less lazy-sounding?
Shinee – Superstar
Nothing much going on here musically so let’s talk about these botoxed faces. People of this age do NOT have smooth facial features and flawless skin like that. There’s a whole gender studies thesis in some corporate overlords giving these grown-ass men baby-soft skin and a bunch of fans pretending that nothing’s even wrong.
SF9 – Tear Drop
The synth bass can’t carry the complexity of a circle of fifths progression without just sounding too random for its own good. Such a weird clash.
N.O.M – Mega Punch
N.O.M have always threatened to have an amazing killer song, and finally here it is. 2021 you have redeemed yourself.
Yukika, Pat Lok – The Moment
I’m sorry, Yukika still just doesn’t have good melody. If she came out with N.O.M’s song it would be the best thing ever because she at least looks great here, but the song is average so I gotta watch dog-whistle gay to get my song quality fix I guess.
Alexa – Xtra
People think they can be Blackpink if they have a slow beat, lots of yelling and badassery but no. What you actually need to make it work is a songwriter who can write riffs, that’s where Blackpink keeps getting it right and all their clones keep missing the mark. Ignore BM in the title credits, he doesn’t do anything except hang out in the background.
BM – 13IVI
BM’s song is all farting synth and weird noises, it would actually sound pretty good without him even in it, but his grimacing is just slightly on the wrong side of comical.
Onewe – Veronica
Onewe finally get it right with a song that transplants the tropical house compositional idea to a rock base. The slight toughening up works, and the instrumental chorus is actually good enough to stand on its own, a rarity in this style.
BDC – Moonlight
The washed out synths are both the song’s greatest strength and biggest weakness. There’s some odd harmony going on which is very interesting, but so much synth happening all at once doesn’t give a lot of room for anything else to even be heard.
Dongkiz – Crazy Night
A bassline is not a song, and no I’m not going to do a cover of this. Some quality control, please.
Kingdom – Karma
If only it sounded as good as it looked.
BXK – Excuse Me
Just B – Damage
A better song could have been made by isolating that synth and bass hook in the chorus, removing the stupid boy vocals, and farming it out to some metalheads.
Omega X – Vamos
Do you remember back when the new groups you’d never heard of would do their songs at a cracking fast pace? I miss those times.
Platinum P.L.T – Mad City
And again. Goddamn pick up the pace a bit please.
Baby Lalary – Fireball
The same people who will fawn over this guy’s outfit because it’s “woke” or something probably slut-shamed AOA members into attempted suicide for wearing exactly the same clothing. Meanwhile I don’t even care because I just want a song and there isn’t one here.
Ghost9 – Double Click
Self-cam videos or whatever are generally a mistake. Unless you’re so in love with a group that seeing them clown around like fools touches your “must protecc” buttons (in which case let’s be honest you’d accept anything they did anyway), there’s nothing to care about.
Vitamin – I Wish
If you know anything about k-pop, videos like this will just give you the shivers. All you can do is cross your fingers and hope that someone behind the scenes is treating them right, but unfortunately they probably aren’t.
Luminous Elf – Roller Queen
These girls don’t even sound like they’re enjoying it one bit. I can picture them in the studio all being grumpily corralled into neat rows by an overbearing singing teacher. “No you can’t stop for a snack. No, you can go outside later. Everybody stop talking! Come on everybody 1, 2, 3, 4, here we go kids! Don’t forget to smile!”
Lucy – Driving
Usually I ban driving videos from roundup but this is especially lame and shit so I decided that you have to put up with it also.
Lee Daehwi – Creep
When I listen to this I just think about how young guys in Korea are apparently all super against women’s rights and I think maybe this song is less roleplay and more just truth in advertising.
Majors – Obvious
Speaking of which, I’m getting a real “women in danger” vibe here. Girls, all blink twice at once in your next video if it’s actually a thinly-veiled tenpro resume and you’re not being allowed to leave.
Outlet – You Make Me Crazy
Oh, so you want more co-ed groups? Well I’ve got something that might make you reconsider.
Epik High feat. Colde – Rain Song
I don’t remember Led Zeppelin sounding like this, and it’s probably just as well.
Boyz II Men, Yoon Minsoo (The Vibe) – Love Me Once Again
The original boring ballad boy group is back to show Korea how making people want to kill themselves from lack of music quality is really done.
Kevin Woo – Got It
This guy always gets interviewed by every western publication for some reason. Whenever some media outlet first discovers k-pop and is searching for a representative you know that an interview with Kevin Woo is on the way. Anyway since he’s so connected to western media maybe he’s actually reading this, so if you’re reading Kevin, please bring the uptempo bops back to k-pop and forget this balladeering crap. We want fast BPM and we want it as soon as we can get it. Hop to it, you’ve got six months.
Kyuhyun – Together
Now here’s a song that I totally didn’t anticipate to be kind of tolerably average instead of complete shit. I mean it kind of fucks up the chorus, but it’s still a hell of a lot better than anybody had any right to expect. Just shows that you never can tell.
Ha:tfelt – Summertime
Someone told her that her right side was her good side and she really went with it.
Park Soyeon – Beautiful Night
Not the Park Soyeon that you wanted, or the song that you wanted.
Beomhan ft. Roda – Sun’s Up
Look at that track and field starting grid with the bumps in it. Is he insinuating that Korean construction workmanship isn’t that good compared to overseas? He’s letting the team down seriously here.
Youme feat. Kim Kibang – You Me Star
Here’s what happens when someone writes a pretty decent backing track and just says to the singer “hey just do whatever”. Sometimes that gamble can pay off, but here it doesn’t quite.
Nlve – Escape
There’s a reasonable attempt at being catchy here but there’s just too much monotonality and typical boy-melody to really get across the line.
Luamel – Comet
Everyone’s going hard but it still sounds soft because the dull whimpering vocals just have too much free reign.
Bulgogidisco feat. Joongmo Do – Go
Oh shit, finally something that rocks! I expected another piece of gimmicky crap but this time they’re kicking out the jams. Moshpit-worthy.
Esna – Bad Boy
There’s a lot going on in this video for an R&B song that is definitely above average due to actually having some goddamn songwriting instead of the usual lazy random dribble. Mind you I could be a bit biased here because Esna’s very candid interview about collabing with Mamamoo really made me like her a lot. The only reason why I don’t put her in my bias list is because she only releases about two music videos every decade so I tend to forget she’s still doing stuff.
Kim Shin – Road
I just love watching this drummer, she’s so chill, like the female version of that guy in Khraungbin who always looks like he’s the most mellow dude on earth.
Cotoba – Things We Lookin For
I will tolerate this lyric video because it mrcs
Fist Bump – Rock ‘N Roll Baby
I had high hopes but this song is a little bit too much on the “baby” side and not enough on the “rock and roll” side.
11Degrees – Wave
One of those groups where it’s all floaty vocals and ethereal guitars drowned in reverb and only the bass player and drummer are allowed to sound like they’re in a rock band. It’s alright for what it is but you can hear this type of thing anywhere.
Trickyneko – Recollections
More floaty music that just doesn’t have anything spectacular about it. The music that is like this that works, works because of the dynamics, and here there really aren’t any.
Iris Kymm feat. Big Marvel – Treasure Island
This tropical poop is very not live. I wonder how much it cost them to rent this stage and pretend that this was a gig.
CityNoise – Bounces
Just keep bouncing on down the list, nothing worth looking at here.
Leenalchi – Please Don’t Go
So apparently Leenalchi is huge in Korea, as I found out when one of my readers pointed out top celebrity Chuu randomly dancing along to “Tiger Is Coming“. I still don’t get it. Leenalchi is something that someone is going to have to explain to me like I’m five.
DPR Live – Yellow Cab
I know all my Brazilian readers hate CSS because they’re seen as the epitome of last generation’s empty-headed hipster idiocy or something but they had a few good songs and this song sounds a bit like some of their better ones so you’re just going to have to deal with me stanning Lovefoxx even though I could probably only tolerate her for about 30 seconds if I actually met her.
D’allant – Neptune
It’s okay but for a song with such an emphasis on the bass guitar why did they squeeze all the bass frequencies out of the final mix – this, I ask you.
Livin – Next To You
When Russ Meyer said “breasts are the best special effects” what he really meant was “stick some random woman in your music video and just film her doing random stuff and nobody will question it like they will if it’s some guy”.
Scribbling Alice – Black Desert
The Autotune really fucks this one up. It’s rock music, why not actually sound like it? Let go of the “perfection” aesthetic, it doesn’t work for this type of music.
Guntac – Aurora
More artists with good names and somewhat dull songs.
Kyongji – Naval Commander of the Three Provinces
The vocals are WAY too high in the mix here. Come on guys, let the band be heard!
S3gasu – Love Alone
Yeah nah. Sometimes trot can be cool but a lot of the time it’s too conservative to have an impact. There’s a real art in straddling the line between old school and catchy without being just boring.
Yun Taehwa – Snap Snap Snap
And again. Even if those horrible chorus backing vocals weren’t there, this would still be very average.
Seoul Pistolz with Gwangaeto Samulnori – Sujecheon
I don’t know what I expected, but this wasn’t it. I don’t know how to feel.
Rekstizzy feat. Jay Park – Fake Laugh
The warning at the start “if you watch this video you will become stupid” – it’s for real. Don’t do it.
BB – Bad Thoughts
Send this one to the Bad Thoughts Room.
Dohwa – To My World
Lots of visual style, no song. We are bored over here.
Sirup feat. Sumin – Keep In Touch
Actually a cool keyboard riff, but did the rest of it have to be so fucking mellow?
P.G.Lemonade, Smoothjam – Mocktail
A mocktail is basically a cocktail without the only thing in it that makes it worth all the money you pay for it, but still sold at the same price. This song will make you feel like you’ve been cheated in much the same way.
Musm feat. Meenji – In Blue
Speaking of which here’s a good drinking game song, take a shot whenever that bass player misses a note she should be playing, or plays an extra note that isn’t actually on the recording.
Kik5o – 54 Reasons
This is the worst type of R&B/trap singer, the one who isn’t phoning it in, but is “really into it” and thinks this kind of warble actually has some artistic value.
Room306 – Blue
More R&B trying to pass itself off as insufferable art wank just by having a trained dancer and a two minute intro of ambient nothing. Everybody knows this type of music is for fuckwits who ask you what your star sign is at the club, stop trying to pretend you’re doing something important, nobody is fooled.
Yawwa – Midnight
If you’re going to do mumble rap you might as well go all the way and smoke your entire body weight in tobacco before recording the track.
Dialogue, DJ Tiz feat. Taebin – Boredom
I was all prepared with my “accurate song title of the week” joke and it actually turned out to be unexpectedly good. Well, there goes that plan.
Grace feat. SP Band – Wake Up In The Morning
The girl with the most awkward stare in k-pop is back. Has anyone politely told her that she looks creepy like the twins in The Shining yet? If she turned up in the hallway at my hotel I would just run outside quickly before the walls started turning into blood and chasing me.
San E & Raina – A Midsummer Night’s Sweetness: Summer Again
It’s exactly the same song from a few years ago, they’re just milking it again for another video and I don’t really mind as Raina’s facial surgery has settled in a bit with a bit more of her natural chub coming out – or maybe they just filled her full of botox like those SHINee boys, who really knows for sure. Anyway it’s kind of interesting to watch just for that reason alone.
BONUS RANDOM VIDEO OF THE WEEK
Leezy – The Promised Neverland OST – Isabella’s Lullaby (piano cover)
Thanks to the 57 readers who pointed me in the direction of Leezy’s YouTube channel after I asked about it in the July QRIMOLE. Leezy is of course Lee Haein from the infamously non-famous Gangkiz, it’s good to see that she’s now making some bank from music with her prodigous piano skills, because I’m sure Gangkiz itself didn’t make her any. Can you feel the emotion emanating from her playing? I feel that much of it is coming from behind her left arm, for some reason I find myself glued to that spot, it must be the power of her left-hand arpeggios.
That’s all for this week! More Kpopalypse roundup next week!