It’s time for Kpopalypse roundup! Let’s take a look at some new releases!
Twice – Scientist
It doesn’t have the melodic spark of the better Twice tracks, but it doesn’t suck, is fairly stupid-trend free and they’re looking better than ever. Antenna-hair Dahyun is the k-pop look I needed to see today.
T-ara – Tiki Taka
Two individually quite good songs that don’t really fit that well together at all. When they have to completely grind one beat to a halt before switching over to the other one, because there’s no way to do it seamlessly, that’s really a sign someone should have gone back to the drawing board. Hyomin cleavage though, so I can deal.
Oneus – Luna
Hey what a cool chorus, why didn’t they use that same pace for the rest of the song instead of doing all that other godawful crap.
Victon – Sweet Travel
The choice of completely clean guitar with clacky pick noises to drive the song is ultra-weird. I know Victon aren’t exactly A-tier but surely their producer can afford an effects pedal.
B.I. – Cosmos
I think B.I’s bass player actually has stolen the Victon guitarist’s effects pedal. That big fuzzy distortion doesn’t really belong with everything else here.
Joshua & Vernon (Seventeen) – 2 Minus 1
Okay seriously now, why is there a door to nowhere in the middle of the stage? Is this the Korean version of the monolith from “2001 A Space Odyssey” that has appeared to bless this band with the power to be a k-pop?
NiziU – Chopstick
That fucking annoying chopstick song everyone does on the piano in the music room at high school doesn’t actually sound that good when it’s fleshed out into a complete full-production pop song. Wow, who would’ve thought.
Billlie – Ring x Ring
Actually really great with unusual melodic twists and turns that aren’t typical for this style, but when the chorus comes in everything feels oddly empty. A few power chords or something would have really done this track a lot of favours.
lilli lilli – Barcode
Sorry, this one isn’t scanning, please wait a moment I need to call my line manager over.
Ichillin’ – Fresh
Just that typical Red Velvet style template, definitely not fresh whatsoever.
Bernard Park – Bad Influence
Okay so I was kind of getting into the sparse feel to begin with, with the bass and drums. Then he started singing. Oh no. This just isn’t it.
Emily Mei feat. Sorn & Amber Liu – My Domain
Not a bad song, at least it keeps the same melodic template instead of just going everywhere because it can (see Ichillin above). Also it’s by far the best thing Amber’s been in for years, and Sorn looks amazing. Why can’t the video just be Sorn.
Gree feat. Yerin – Sorry for loving you
Gfriend fans don’t be upset about Gfriend’s disbandment, be happy. You favourite group has divided into six so now you get six times as many appearances. Yerin’s face here looks smooth like a Saharan sand dune, like they sandblasted all the HYBE trauma off.
Eric Nam – Any Other Way
Definitely meets the bar for horse content and the song is also pretty good, like a more subdued “Blinding Lights”.
Blitzers – Hop In
I guess if you really like jumpers on guys this might be worth a look, otherwise no.
B1A4 – Adore You
B1A4 seem very impassioned about something do with some kid losing some balloons and falling off her skateboard. If I knew someone somewhere would sing a shit ballad every time I missed my ollie I’d probably be able to skate like Tony Hawk in about a week.
Dreamnote – Thank You
Any song called “thank you” is usually “for the fans” trash and here’s no exception. If Dreamnote want to thank me they can skip this garbage and just put a dollar in my Patreon a month, mind you that’s probably more than they actually earn at the moment so perhaps they can keep their dollar and just give us a proper song next time.
VAV – Cause I Miss You
And here we go again. There’s hardly any point even covering garbage like this.
Posh Girls – Fly With You
If you’ve ever wondered what vocal compression does, have a listen to this song which doesn’t have any (or at least, not enough).
Riona – Tell Me Why
Note to men: if you’re dating one of the girls from Posh Girls, don’t treat them mean or they’ll sing English-language hate-songs about you at the local beach. You don’t want every volleyball player and lifeguard knowing what an asshole you were.
Kim Jaehwan – Nuna
I’m noticing no bride here so I can only assume this is a gay wedding. It’s good to see Korea embracing gayness.
Junyong – Run
They try to perk things up a bit with the initial pace but dropping to half-time is the wrong decision for a song called “Run” that’s for sure. More like “brisk jog with several rest breaks”.
Pitta – Persona
It should have been more like this song, which is pretty damn cool. Also watch in shock as someone actually uses the Shure Super 55 microphone correctly for once. Okay, it would be better if he would stop touching it with his goddamn fingers, but you gotta crawl before you can walk I guess.
10CM – Yesterday You Left Me
10CM’s YouTube channel is one of the few in k-pop I’m not subscribed to, because I just don’t give a fuck what these guys do actually.
10CM – There’s No Way
There’s no way I would subscribe to their channel, even if they had weekly covers of Leezy doing piano versions of all their songs.
Mark Tuan – Last Breath
You have to wonder if the GOT7 boys stayed with JYP would he have made them keep the flow of shit R&B down to a bare minimum.
Tor Saksit feat. Nickhyun (2PM) – How Can You Be This Lovely?
There’s a real thing about JYP folks going over to Thailand lately, I wonder what kind of deal was struck.
Heartcore – 60 BPM
As usual Swervy just makes everyone else irrelevant, the guys may as well not even be in it. This song is 120 BPM in case you’re wondering.
Jo Yuri – Express Moon
I love it how Korean music video channels will just throw out the word “live” so randomly even if it’s the most obviously mimed thing on earth. Maybe they just mean that the performers passed a COVID test.
Xinso – How to wake up from a nightmare?
Pressing “stop” on YouTube would be my tip.
myssong, LEW, Dollarsignpark – Midnight
She seems like a nice girl, I was a bit scared watching her walk through all those dark alleys, I kept expecting a member of BigBang to pop out and start offering a limo ride.
Adios Audio – Letter to you
I was all about ready to say “adios” to this audio, but then it started rocking and I was okay with it.
Nlve – Party without u
I’m sorry I couldn’t come to your party, I was washing my hair.
Sohlhee – Freakin’ Flower
Did Dahyun actuallly plagiarise her antenna hair from Solhlee? Does someone owe someone “stylist royalties”?
Changmo – Moraesigye
Utterly boring shit that everyone will love because it has a string arrangement plus an “Eyes Wide Shut” video concept, so it looks “high class” or something. Did you know that Stanley Kubrick originally was going to call that film “Eyes Wide Shut, Fanny Wide Open”, much to the horror of everyone else working on the thing, and the only reason why the film isn’t called that, is because he died before the film came out so the producers breathed a massive sigh of relief and changed it?
Uzu – Fantasy
We’ve already got Uza, I know there’s a ton of artists called Uzi or variations thereof, now we have Uzu… someone had better quickly claim “Uzo” and “Uze”.
Woodae – Voluptuous
Not very voluptuous at all actually, I definitely did not get a woodae.
Retro Classic feat. Kim Kyung Ho – Messiah of the fallen angel
It’s a shame that nobody gives a shit about metal in Korea, thus forcing the bands to have to resort to cheap ass still-life kind of videos that look very un-metal.
Luke Kang feat. JungMato – Stray
Although miming your guitar in random locations is a slightly better option if you ask me. No point spending all that money on nice guitars and then not even having them in your music videos.
Hyerim Lee – Chak Chak Chak
Actually I’m reasonably sure that Hyerim Lee is the name of the model and the singer is Bobby Moon, but… who gives a fuck?
Cacophony – Reborn
Cacophony are one of the weirdest groups in Korea, they’re always doing something totally different. Unfortunately, such high risk-taking is rarely successful, but in such a conservative music scene I have to appreciate the effort even when it fails.
Chae Chang Hyun – Don’t Be Shy
Rock music doesn’t work when it’s also smothered in Autotune and weak electronic beats. If you’re going to make a rock song just make a rock song.
Xxinnara – Birdie Chance
You might remember Xxinnara from a recent Nugu Alert, last time she was singing about magic milk or something, now I guess she’s finally reached the bottom of the barrel and has to sing about the sportball for a crust. We should support her so she doesn’t feel the need to debase herself like this in future.
Johan Kim x Chancellor – Beautiful
Speaking of doing humiliating things for money, I feel sorry for the actress who had to be in this, imagine having to pretend to be attracted to male Korean R&B singers for a living. Look at her facial expressions that radiate only the absolute barest minimum of giving-a-fuck about these sad leather-clad clowns. I hope the cheque was good but it probably wasn’t.
Mirani feat. Uneducated Kid – Lambo!
The chord progressions in the backing almost make it work, imagine how good a song they could have had if the rapper was literally anybody else except Uneducated Kid.
KittiB – Messed Up
I told you she wasn’t a rapper at all.
Hosun – Delight
Something is really wrong with the lip-sync here but I can’t quite place what it is.
Lanalogue – Nightcrawler
Oh no it’s the lame caption disease, like Borderlands, Tarantino films and Kris Wu, a surefire way to make me hate a song before it even starts.
KalRePa – YaYa
I think they put Korean rappers on the roofs all the time so the neighbours can get some sleep.
Junny – Hide & Seek
It just sounds the same as everything else.
DOES NOT MRCS SECTION
Tatoo – B Side
Does not mrcs
Loco – Moonlight
Does not mrcs
DJ Magic Cool J – Cat Suit
Does not mrcs, stop torturing the kitty for your dumb old memes, fuck
BONUS RANDOM VIDEOS OF THE WEEK
What Itzy eats in a day – in order
If you want to see some k-pop “spin”, check out Itzy being super-guarded and careful when asked what they eat and the editing and camera choice doing their best to imply that Itzy are eating a whole lot more per day than just one salad with chicken breast plus a few snacks. Yuna talks about what she likes to eat, with a huge smile on her face, before then talking about what she actually does eat with much less enthusiasm. Chaeryeong also talks about what she wants to eat, but the only thing she mentions that she does eat is vitamin supplements. Ryujin talks about eating ‘the food that I want that day’ while the camera shows a huge plate of food that she never actually specified she eats any of. Yeji says “I like salad but meat should be there too” as the camera shows a big sizzling beef steak, then “usually I have chicken breast” so actually chicken and salad once again, what a shock. At least Lia gets to hoe into the doughnuts – supposedly. Come on JYP, stop pussyfooting around the issue and just release your actual diet plan for these girls, we all know they’re not skinny by magic.
Slayer – Dead Skin Mask – drum cover by Ami Kim
It’s been a while since we’ve had a good Ami Kim Slayer cover in roundup, so here one is. I still prefer watching her do “Seasons In The Abyss” because that song has way more over the top drum fills that she executes perfectly so it’s great to watch, but any Slayer is good Slayer.
Kpop songs that do NOT stand the test of time
An overall entertaining video with some very good observations here and a lot I agree with on a musical level. He’s definitely right about how following musical trends dates songs to certain eras. However he misses the mark hugely in one area, which is his assessment of “dated lyrics”. Sorry but in 2021 we’re not in some post-interesting era where all lyrics are boringly squeaky clean and you can’t write about “problematic” concepts like cheating on your lover. Why is that problematic by default anyway, what if your partner is a complete asshole who deserves to be cheated on? I don’t care if it’s illegal in his backwoods area of the world, cheating has its place, morally speaking. Also misogyny in general in k-pop isn’t going anywhere, if this guy can’t detect any in Korean music these days he really just isn’t looking that hard…
That’s all for this week – more Kpopalypse roundup next week!