It’s time for Kpopalypse roundup! Let’s check out some new releases!
Red Velvet – Queendom
Not that great of a song honestly, but it’s refreshingly trend-free and at least it’s trying to be a song. It’s about time girl groups got back to actually having songs with melodies instead of stomping and yelling a lot trying to convince us that they’re ‘bad girls’, so even though this is far from the greatest song by anybody lately, I hope this comeback is a success and helps move the needle back in the right direction.
Hyolyn, Dasom – Summer or Summer
Trying to ride two trends at once is difficult – the bossanova feel completely rubs up against the trap feel and the result is a rhythmic disaster.
Youha – Cherry On Top
Youha does crap bossa-whatsit much better because at least this song stays in its lane.
777 (Triple Seven) – Presente
Who knows how many people are in this group, but it’s all for nothing as it just sounds like KARD during their “the entire rest of the pop world is moving on from tropical sounds but we haven’t been given permission to yet” phase.
Enhypen – Billy Poco
You know straight away, before it even appears, that this video is going to have some stupid fucking CGI avatar of some kind in it.
NCT U – Maniac
Only has two NCT members on the song and none in the video, imagine spending years whipping and starving these young kids into being super-athletic dancers, just to then palm off the dancing to some rando chick. Someone must have really fucked up somewhere.
Kim Jong Kook, ATEEZ – Be My Lover
Nothing all that much, but there are worse songs this week (most of which are below).
Fei – Stalker
Absolutely great sounds, ruined by Fei being very boring over the top. An instrumental version of this track would be worth having.
AB6IX – Walking In The Rain
I guess it’s better than BTS’ thoughtless disco excursions but I’m not sure if that’s much of a compliment.
BDC – Moon Walker
Does it even count as moonwalking when you’re actually standing on a big platform above the moon’s surface? Neil Armstrong would never.
Hi-L – Too Too (22)
This has more tropical squirts than a Peter North In Hawaii special, but it actually remains mostly pretty good, at least until the usual post-first-chorus trap breakdown bullshit kills everyone’s boner.
MakaMaka – Hey U
My song submitter in this case helpfully pointed out that this is a remake of a 2000 Chakra song, which is on my dark ages worst list. However, even though this remake is also utter garbage I’m probably going to exclude it from the worst list this year just because I feel like leaning on someone else’s accomplishments like that is cheating. I don’t want to encourage a wave of people doing Little Psy covers just to get list notoriety.
MCND – Reason
Everything here is completely upstaged by the cheap-yet-creative backdrops which really have a cool early-2000s screen saver vibe.
JO1 – Icarus
I just want JO1 and SuperM to do a stage together. Probably nobody except me would appreciate that.
Omega X – Omega X
I was actually pretty blown away by this song at first because it actually had some pace to it – a real rarity for boy group music these days. Of course I spent the entire first pre-chorus and chorus going “pleasedontruinitwithatrapbreakdown pleasedontruinitwithatrapbreakdown pleasedontruinitwithatrapbreakdown” and of course they couldn’t help themselves, could they. Songwriters, get some new ideas, please.
Ten – Paint Me Naked
I remember this guy from back in SM’s past, he had some songs I didn’t care about years ago or something and then his label just forgot about him, like he was Katie or Lee Hi. I guess Station is a good clearing house for all those artists that SM just couldn’t be bothered promoting properly anymore. Or maybe I have the names mixed up and I’m thinking of someone else completely which just proves my point, really.
Park Jihoon – Gallery
Park Jihoon’s dull funk is slightly better than the average boy soloist’s dull funk I suppose.
N.Cus – Get Out
The anemic production means that even actual k-pop fans in the “fan” sense will probably struggle here. Oh wait, of course they won’t, nobody actually listens to the music.
Bz-Boys – Close Your Eyes
Where do Koreans always find these big stretches of road for music videos that nobody ever drives down? Do they have to have a lookout to yell every time a car comes so they can clear out quickly before they get run over, like I used to have to when I was a kid playing the sportball in my local street before I knew better?
F.able – Run Run Run
Just the usual nonsense.
Gray feat. Coogie – I Don’t Love You
The feeling is mutual, let’s just agree to never speak to each other again, okay?
Gray feat. Loco, Lee Hi – Party For The Night
Is Gray ever going to make good music? Probably not, but this video is good to at least confirm that Lee Hi still exists. Watch some idiot complain that her hair is just a little too frizzy and that this is racism or something.
Jmin feat. Jay Park – Dedication
This week has seven days in it, which means that it’s time for another Jay Park appearance in roundup. I really hope some OCD reader is keeping tabs on the regularity of Jay Park appearances and will one day show me the data, like that one time someone graphed Kpopalypse objectification survey results and trends over three separate years of boobs and ass and then wrote a mini-thesis about it (they need to update it by the way because there’s been at least three new survey results years since then).
Xydo feat. Moonbyul – Me Without You
Oh my god Moonbyul looks adorable. I’m not sure if this makes me a feminist or just really horny. Given that most of the women I know who have been involved in feminist gatherings have told me that they’re mainly just meat markets with political window-dressing, maybe there’s no difference.
2Z – East End
Not awful but why ruin a good video with sportball content.
Kim Jaehyung – Addiction
Literally his entire group dresses better than he does. Imagine turning up to the video shoot with everyone looking snappy and you’re in the same ugly yellow jumper that you wear when you eat in front of the TV and spill spaghetti on yourself.
Retro Classic feat. Kim Kyung Ho – A Story Only You and I Know
So overdramatic. Settle down on the wailing, there’s other fish in the sea. Koreans need to just chill out about love and romance a little, all this angst is surely driving off any prospective partners.
ChoMyo – Mint Choco Shake
So smooth it may as well not be there at all.
Up Star – Muscle Car
Not very muscular at all.
Grass – Peter Pool
I mean, this rocks harder. Step it up a bit please.
Gaho – Ride
Cool riffs ruined by lame vocals. Pretty normal situation for k-pop unfortunately.
Yewon – Under The Weather
This girl reminds me of someone but I don’t know who. Anyway song is okay I guess and the video looks pretty good for someone I’ve never heard of. Sorry I’m being rather boring here but I got nothing really.
Lazybone – Riverside Bicycle Gang
A pissweak chorus really lets down what could have been a good punk song.
Son Min Su feat. Ravi – ParaPara Queen
Korea’s Nicolas Cage only turns up here to slow things down.
Jang Minho – That’s Life
Very smooth. We just have to fix the microphone use here and we’re all good.
Kris Kim – Faith Is A Lie
The name “Kris” is kind of ruined in k-pop now, isn’t it. Just like you wouldn’t ever call your son “Adolf”, I think there’s going to be a sharp decrease in babies being born called Kris this year.
Koonta feat. Jambino – Replica
Just because trap sucks doesn’t mean acoustic guitars sound any better as a substitute. Just try writing a fucking song instead of rambling, see how that goes.
Bloomfield – Bloomfield Revenue
It always surprises me when I heard Korean rap songs with actual beats in them that don’t suck, not because they’re good, but because how do they manage to suck so much the rest of the time.
Snzae – Born
See, Amoeba Culture should know better, and I’m convinced they could do good rap songs if they wanted to, but they just… don’t? There’s like a guy in their office whose job it is to stop all the good music from actually getting heard.
Smiley DeBron feat. Ovrsize – Wrong
I never want to go to the beach ever again. I’m really glad my girlfriend isn’t into the beach. If we went to the beach a lot, I might meet someone shooting a video like this and I might have to run over and punch the guys repeatedly in the head to get them to stop, until the police come and break it up. I’m sure I wouldn’t get into legal trouble because the cops would probably just look at these guys and recognise that I was doing a good deed, but punching people really hurts your hand especially when they have those stupid metal teeth and piercings that all the yolo kids have now.
Yeseo – Let It All Go
I’m not into this song much but Yeseo likes my cat so she’s alright by me.
10CM – Go Back
“Go back” is great advice whenever you see 10cm in your YouTube “what’s next” list.
Castle Jun – Twin Flame
I felt good looking at this video and seeing he’s got the same brand of guitar as me, but a cheaper version, it made the song better somehow.
Gu Lyuk – Peggy Gou
Okay so imagine a Korean version of LL Cool J’s painfully sappy “I Need Love“. Or better yet, don’t. LL Cool J invented the “sleazy rappers pretending to be ‘nice guys’ for chart appeal” rap ballad (that 2Pac later built on and made even more disgusting) and that’s not an energy we need in hip-hop, now, then, or ever in the future.
Love X Stereo – Rebel Dress
Love X Stereo is here to save roundup this week and I appreciate it. It’s not their best song, but Love X Stereo’s worst song is probably still better than your faves’ best song.
Bearchild – Bullet of Liberty
Oh here we go cunts. M.O.N.T had better come back with something strong because if not I think Bearchild have just claimed their throne as Korea’s #1 patriots. They even put a “this song is not to cause hatred between Korea and Japan” disclaimer in the YouTube description so you know they’re keeping it real.
GUITARS WITH DIAGONAL FRETS SECTION
Re:A – Redemption
After seeing them in videos for years I finally got to play one of those guitars with the weird diagonal frets the other week (new things take a while to get to the backwater where I live) and I’ve got to say, I’m happy to leave that shit in the cheap Korean visual kei knockoffs where they belong.
Bae Giseong – Magnet
So what I want to know is, I’ve never seen guitars like this before in Korean music videos and now there’s three in one week. Did the shipment that was stuck sideways in the Suez just arrive or something.
Vanillare – In The Dark
These guys even went to the trouble of colour-matching the guitar with the car. You have to acknowledge that sort of effort especially when it’s some nugus you’ve never heard of playing some guitar you’ve also never heard of.
LETS CATCH UP ON WHAT OLI LONDON’S BEEN UP TO SECTION
Oli London – Koreaboo
Just seeing the crazy ratioing on Oli’s videos is something else. I mean yeah the music here is bad, but that’s hardly the point and it’s certainly not why people are clicking dislike. Proof that whatever the fuck this is, it’s working. Legit good splits from the lady at the start actually.
Oli London – Diss Track
His “diss track” remix is exceptionally weak though, because he’s so terrible at choosing his targets. Going after Kaachi and random YouTubers just looks petty, especially when he doesn’t even get into specifics, leaving the listener to guess what the problem even is or why we should care. They all come out of it a lot better than he does and I actually found a few new people to follow just because he name-checks them. “Any publicity is good publicity” is a double-edged sword, you’d think Oli would know that better than anyone, but I guess not.
RANDOM BONUS VIDEO OF THE WEEK
How to make an SM 2021 song
Thanks to the person who sent this in. I thought this video was pretty funny and while I don’t necessarily agree with it, I still think it’s a good exercise in actually paying attention to backing tracks, which is something that I wish k-pop listeners would do a lot more of. There’s a lot more to k-pop than vocals.
That’s all for this week! More roundup next week!