It’s time for Kpopalypse roundup! Let’s check out some new releases!
IU – Strawberry Moon
2021 has been a very strange year for k-pop and one of the stranger things about it is that IU just can’t come up with anything all that good. Sure, she looks great as always, and is looking better and better with age, but that’s definitely not translating over to the music quality, at least not at the moment.
NCT 127 – Favorite
The thing about being the boy group that is ACTUALLY “paving the way” musically, is that it’s risky. Sometimes you hit gold, sometimes you get a massive turd for your trouble, and sometimes your song could have been great but is ruined by just one shitty idea. See if you can guess what it might be.
CL – Tie a Cherry
CL’s outlandish fashion steals the show and makes me miss 2NE1’s more visually hyper-styled output a little less. Once again, no real song though.
DJ Snake, Ozuna, Megan Thee Stallion, Lisa – SG
Is this even a k-pop? I don’t know if it’s even eligible for end of year list consideration, but I’d better put it in this roundup at least so people don’t constantly ask me about it. The presence of Lisa doesn’t make this snoozefest any better or worse.
Seventeen – Rock With You
Another weird thing about 2021, Seventeen are actually starting to get some good songs this year.
Twice – Candy
Another shit music warning sign: when they’re all wearing nice clothes, but sitting down.
CNBLUE – Love Cut
Who remembers when CNBlue were a rock band? It seems not CNBlue themselves.
ONEUS feat. Choi Yerim – Intro: Window
I don’t know what this even is, but nope.
Kingdom – Black Crown
Kingdom are going to be that next group that blows people away with super visually impressive videos and then spends the next six years making zero money because they have to constantly pay back the production debts.
BugAboo – BugAboo
This one’s definitely all “bugA” and no “boo”.
Girls Planet 999 – Shine
The usual TV show cringe. Why are they telling me to “make it pop”, isn’t that your job?
Girls Planet 999 – Another Dream
It’s not any less creepy than when the North Koreans do it.
Tri.be – -18
I like how they just play random notes in the backing track these days and figure that’s good enough, the kids will buy it. I guess they’re probably right.
Tri.be – Got Your Back
Only one of them is sitting down but that’s enough to make the song suck.
Pixy – Moonlight
Not too bad, but could they have picked a more awful visual style, whoever made those hideous perspective-warped drawings needs a good talking to. Some art styles just shouldn’t exist.
INI – Brighter
if this song actually had a cracking fast beat instead of the half-tempo bullshit they went with, it could have been really good. Oh well, another failed song to throw in the fire pit.
Luminous – Home Alone
Locking ballad singers up in their own personal cells is the right idea, just make it a soundproof one next time.
Vitamin – Dear ME
Hey this is alright musically, but I don’t think people so young should be made to Frenchface, it’s just not right. Can we please wait until they’re older and can make their own decisions about whether to be so problematic.
Rookie – Oppa
I love it how all of these “girls crushing on some guy” videos have the girls all co-operating with each other in mutual adoration instead of back-stabbing each other to get the prize like in real life.
Nam Woo Hyun – Calm & Passion
Too much calm, not enough passion.
Eunhyuk – Be
I’m pretty sure he filmed part of this in same aquarium that Velvet visited. I guess she was visiting the sick.
Eunhyuk – Red Muhly
Actually all jokes aside Eunhyuk’s music is sounding a lot like IU’s music lately. As if IU wasn’t boring enough this year now we have her #1 crush doing the musical equivalent of taking off his jacket and putting it over puddles in the footpath so IU doesn’t get her feet wet when she walks down the street.
Lay – Flying Apsaras
Ah it’s the old “let’s chuck a few traditional instrument soundbites from a sample library over the top of our generic trap bullshit so people think we’re culturally relevant” trick, straight from Agust D’s playbook.
Jeon Woong – Starlight
What is this bullshit seriously.
Stella Jang – Some Days
Remind me that this song has flexible time when I do a new music theory post and have to explain what flexible time is and can’t think of a single k-pop example, thanks readers.
Yunsae – Our Youth
At least the dog is cute.
Budung – Lovers
When the first thing you see in a k-pop video is a sportball, you know there is no good music here.
Sindosi – Transform
I wasn’t really into the music but I enjoyed the random-ass video.
ChuJeong – Be Your Cat
Can you believe this does not mrcs? No cats in the video at all. Tsk tsk, reported to YouTube mods.
95z – Fly With Me
Who the fuck joins a rock band to play music like this? Only in Korea.
Jue – Lucid Dream
Isn’t a lucid dream kind of like when you’re asleep but you’re really awake? I think a lot of Korean musicians live in that kind of state a lot of the time.
Hongbi – Precarious
Okay I got a laugh or two out of the video. Good effort, guys.
Huh! – MBT
Sometimes the tune by the Autotuned loser with stupid tattoos is actually really good.
Kim Hongdam feat. 2Inzo – Going Up
I hope those girls are smiling because they got paid a lot.
HOOONiYONGi feat. Lee Changmin of 2AM – Welcome
Oh no. Kill it with fire.
Sean Park feat. Ki Hyun Lee – Idolized Fear
I wanted a Gibson Firebird right up until the moment I actually played one for the first time, and then realised they were the most awkward guitars in the world. For some reason the bass version called the Thunderbird is really comfortable to play, but the Firebird just feels like a C- in woodworking class.
from20 – F**k You
Ben – Come & Talk
The 80s Whitney Houston ballad style sucked at the time and it still sucks now, even if Ben isn’t trashing it as much as Whitney used to.
Dead Chant – A Girl Named Betty
I got my hopes up when I saw that spiked jacket but the music is surprisingly softer than the image.
Club AE’s – Fly Away
I thought it was Holland for a moment until I looked at the spelling. I was waiting for the ultimate rock music gay romance in the fields but it was not to happen. Shame.
Broccoli, you too? feat. Kim Sawol – The Possible
Kim Sawol’s best in a while sadly lacks the dynamics to really push it into greatness.
from all to human, Waveon Coffee – Say Good
We don’t want this kind of music, ever, thank you.
Jung Yup – Look at the Sky
The muted brown room vibes reminded me of the rehearsal room in the film “Whiplash”. These guys are definitely “dragging”, not “rushing”, where’s a spare cymbal when you need one…
sogumm – Prescription
Like that song from Long:D last year if it sucked instead.
Vanillare – Remedy
Hey, it’s great! Finally, something that rocks! Not so sure about borrowing Lars’ “St. Anger” snare sound but can’t really fault it apart from that.
Park Seo Jin – Heungharra
Why does the camera keep cutting his face off? Did they not want to see this dude just as much as I don’t?
OurR – Beyond the Nights
Look at the views on this shit! People love this group! Were they featured in a condom commercial or something?
Giriboy feat. Seori – That’s How We Ended Up
This is actually decent but it’s so slow and maudlin that I don’t want to praise it because I don’t want people copying this sound and failing.
NU ART feat. Slim.K – The Throne
This is not a “nu art”, it’s the very old art of boring me to death with stupid trap beats. Somewhere through it they do try and perk it up a bit but it doesn’t change the fact that they still don’t know what a beat is.
Kim Seungmin – Halfway Off The Rooftop
Someone push this trash all the way off the rooftop.
Deul – Red
After the thumbnail, the video was a let-down because I was hoping he’d get tortured a little more.
SoKuen – Chopsticks
I think romanticising the beginning of a relationship is really damaging because it makes people just crave that bit over and over. Why don’t they romanticise the bit where you decide whose turn it is to cook dinner and who gets to hold the remote control.
Pluma feat. Chillin Homie – Freaky
Sometimes songs are a special kind of shit. That’ll teach me for putting Chillin Homie in my favourites list last year, won’t make that mistake twice.
RANDOM BONUS VIDEOS OF THE WEEK
Fu Yaning’s high note in “Snake” for your enjoyment
It’s impossible not to stan Fu Yaning. She has a long career ahead of her as a k-pop, if she could be bothered.
Planfive plays “Try Not To Have Gay Sex With Yves”
Only the best Twitch streamers stream Kpopalypse games! Check out Planfive as he struggles his way through “Try Not To Have Gay Sex With Yves” on a controller, which sure is one way to up the difficulty. He did great although it’s a pity for him that he completely missed the tutorial book in the starting room, but it’s a very good effort and you should all follow Planfive’s Twitch if you’re into game streaming as he streams something most days, tell him I sent you!
That’s all for this week – Kpopalypse roundup returns next week!