It’s time for another episode of Kpopalypse Nugu Alert! Let’s check out some more nugus!
Observant caonimas may have noticed that one of the submissions for the most recent Kpopalypse roundup at the time of writing was a song called “Fly Away” from a group canned Nonstop:
Now I didn’t really have a lot to say about this song or about Nonstop in particular, as the music was really nothing to write home about, and the whole package just seemed to be another one of those average poverty-stricken nugu attempts at a boy group song that tends to clutter up the middle of roundup each week. However what I did notice, is that their label Future Idol Entertainment are a haven of nugu k-pop girl groups. From a YouTube comment on one of their many videos, which reads like a cross between a k-pop press release and wishful thinking from an eternally hopeful employee:
Future Idol is a dance academy owned by Rainbow Company. One of their former trainees includes EVERGLOW’s E:U. The company has another project group named Ice Cream planning to debut in May 2021. They have a lot of project groups waiting to debut and are also looking for more trainees.
One thing that scouring submissions for Kpopalypse roundup makes clear, is that there are a lot of k-pop groups out there, and also a lot of k-pop companies, that you or I have never heard of, with more being created all the time. Maybe will probably disappear without so much as a trace of recognition with audiences even within Korea, let alone anybody in the English-speaking kpoposphere. So for this roundup I’ve decided to do something slightly different and focus only on the recent girl group offerings from Future Idol Entertainment. Let’s take a closer look!
Usual rules apply:
- Less than 20,000 views on official channels
- Probably not coming to a brand reputation rankings chart anytime soon
- Relevant to Kpopalypse
Magic Girl – Magical Girl
With some smooth strings and a bass player doing their best to carry the show, “Magical Girl” isn’t too bad musically, coming off like a (much) cheaper sounding version of the kind of track AOA used to do in their hip-shaking prime. Speaking of which, there’s some interesting hip movies here too, even if those pauses where they lock their hips in position do seem a little strange in a “Sexy Love” kind of way even if I doubt looking robotic was the intention here. The room they’ve decided to do all of this in is also pretty well selected, with the bold colours contrasting pleasingly against the girls in their various black and white clothes. For a package that looks like it was all shot in the same house and probably cost a four digit sum, they’ve really done well to make it look like perhaps it cost a slightly larger four-digit sum, so if you wanted to produce your own music video and be a k-pop yourself, this is a pretty good example of what can be done with not much, as long as you’re happy with debuting at #621 on Melon.
Youtube views at the time of writing: 10701
Notable attribute: clearly nobody could be fucked moving that heavy glass-door cabinet so they just left it in the corner, fuck it
Nugu Alert rating: very high
Lemonade – Lemonade
Here’s Future Idol now having a crack with another group rocking the early Apink sound, and the results are similar – also cheap sounding, but not too terrible and certainly better than could be rightfully expected. Okay so we get an obvious stray-ass piano note at 0:37 but overall the melody writing and general feel of the song is actually pretty good, if they’d restrained the wayward melody a little bit in the chorus this could have almost been end-of-year list material. The visual presentation struggles a little bit more however, with the girls saddled with bland lookalike clothes and crammed into a pastel room that just isn’t the right fit for such a large group. It’s hard to think pure aegyo thoughts when the girls on each end of the scene are almost clipping the walls, doing their best to complete their routines and form heart signs without clocking themselves in the funny-bone in the process. Still, I’m sure the larger rooms come at a premium they can’t afford, so for an agency debuting so much new material I’m sure we can let it slide, here’s hoping those elbows recovered since this was filmed.
Youtube views at the time of writing: 6008
Notable attribute: poorly edited shot at 2:17 has one of the girls staring off to the side after singing her line, probably looking at the clock on the wall because she wants to know if it’s break time yet
Nugu Alert rating: very high
Sparkling – Cheerful
How about a darker concept? There’s nothing like girls posing against wire mesh backdrops to give a video a “mature” feel, and “Cheerful” has drab (and conspicuously non-sparkling) metallic backgrounds galore, if you ever wished that k-pop videos looked more like featureless corridors from your favourite cyberpunk-themed computer games then you’ll enjoy the visuals on offer here. It takes a while to notice, but Sparking are actually given three different separate boxes to do their dance in, or maybe it’s just the same box but they were able to move the walls around (as the floor covering doesn’t change and the cracks of light under some of the walls suggests they are easily portable). As the most recent video out of the three here, it seems that Future Idol are refining their craft visually. It’s a pity that the music here is the worst of the three, and while it’s not completely awful there isn’t exactly a whole lot going on of interest with this mid-paced semi R&B/pop. I have to say though that the rap delivered by the group’s token androgynous shorter-haired member is pretty cute though, even if I couldn’t work out whether she was smiling out of enjoyment or embarrassment, it’s not often I listen to a k-pop song specifically looking forward to the token rap section, so I consider this quite an achievement.
Youtube views at the time of writing: 2454
Notable attribute: a couple of the girls here have genuinely thicc thighs, it’s good to know female idols at Future Idol are eating well
Nugu Alert rating: extreme
That’s all for this episode of Kpopalypse Nugu Alert! Kpopalypse will return soon with more nugus!