It’s time for the first Kpopalypse roundup of 2022! Come and join the fun for another year as Kpopalypse looks again each week at new k-pop releases!
Girls On Top – Step Back
The first AAA release of k-pop for 2022 features some of the coolest sounds that have ever been used on a k-pop track, but whoever wrote the vocal melody sounds like they weren’t even listening to any of that and just decided to do their own thing instead.
Kep1er – WA DA DA
All that Girls Planet 999 heartache for this bullshit. They should have just kept Pop!Corn and Unicorn together and done more songs like the ones those two groups had.
Kep1er – Mvsk
The first “live stage” track for 2022 is just as big a waste of my time as they usually are.
WJSN Chocome – Super Yuppers!
Starts off with a-ha’s drums, but evolves into kind of a less-good version of Fanatics-Flavor’s “Milkshake“, it’s still pretty great anyway so I guess that keeps Annie happy for another year and she won’t feel the need to get out the voodoo doll after reading my negative reviews of IU’s latest crap.
IU – Winter Sleep
Actually it’s good to see IU looking her age for once, just a pity that she’s sounding about three times her age.
IU – Next Stop
Acoustic guitars that don’t have holes centred over the strings are defective, take that shit piece of wood back to the store and demand a refund.
woo!ah! – Catch The Stars
Kind of what the last few BTS songs were trying to do but were just too bland to make any impact with. I’m up for girl-group BTS clones if they’re an improvement.
H1-Key – Athletic Girl
Not as terrible as the thumbnail and concept would lead you to believe, just thanks to having a chorus with unexpected harmony. I guess this is a “tall girl” concept group or something but AustralianSana still taller.
Alexa – Tattoo
I really like Alexa, she has tons of charisma and always looks great on camera even when being forced to carry the most outlandishly daft concepts. Now if only she had a song that I liked.
Blitzers – Bobbin
Agreeable heavy metal influences, not the best example of this I’ve ever heard by a long shot but better than R&B I guess.
P1Harmony – Do It Like This
One of those songs that’s just sort of ‘there’.
SF9 – Savior
Now that BTS and Seventeen have been producing stuff actually capable of making me occasionally form an opinion, I think SF9 is going to take their crown as “that average group that does average things that don’t make me feel anything in particular”.
Onewe – Universe
The song is boring but I’m loving the video because at 1:20 you see the drummer playing claps with a sample pad, which is actually how it’s done. Normally they just get the drummer to hit the snare instead for those things and you’re supposed to just accept it, full marks for miming realism.
Monsta X – I Got Love
Starts off really mellow and that vocal comes in and it nearly gave me a heart attack. Who thought up that for a hook, holy shit have a few less coffees in the morning damn.
Omega X – Love Me Like
It’s mostly just that one played-out riff over and over.
Omega X – Action
Why does their other song have nearly the same stupid rhythmic feel and riffs. Are there really that many unemployed flute players out there that we need to employ them like this.
Up10tion – Crazy About You
I remember when I went to K-CON and wanted to buy a CD of any one of the nine artists that were performing at the event, but Up10tion CDs were the only ones that were actually still left by the time I got there. Now I know why.
Bz-Boys – Find You
Look, I’m not deliberately trying to be savage with these reviews, but when I’m confronted with song after song like this, what am I supposed to do, be nice? Some of you think this is a “persona” I’m putting on or something – no, I’m just fucking bored of bullshit music, is that okay? This stuff needs to be called out by somebody, might as well be me.
Trendz – TNT (Truth&Trust)
I like it how they’re trying to look and sound badass, but then the music completely changes to some major-scale happy fun times stuff, yet the video keeps on with the dark mood with things randomly burning in the background etc This is what happens when your creative director is tone deaf I guess.
Trendz – Villain
Their other song is better because the mood is more consistent. I also feel like these guys would be really good at yo-yos. Whatever happened to yo-yos? Is there still a competitive scene? These k-pop boys would clean up, I swear.
Woozi – Ruby
Isn’t this the short guy from Seventeen? I love it how they’re making him dance in a little square indent in the stage so he looks even shorter than he actually is – they know they’re not fooling anyone. Props for not doing a Tom Cruise and making him walk in high heels or on a platform next to some chick while she wears flats, body positivity folks. Song is also a fair bit more rocking than I expected, the male Boram packs quite a punch.
BamBam feat. Seulgi – Who Are You
Actually not bad once it gets going. Red Velvet’s Seulgi (pretty sure that’s her) doesn’t really add much to it but props for at least appearing in the video unlike every other female guest vocalist ever.
Hyojung, Yooa, Jiho – Say It To Me
The all-ages-friendly feel of this CGI video is kind of wrecked by the t-shirt with “KRIS” emblazoned on it, isn’t it. “Oh but it’s just a name”, yeah well so is “Adolf”.
NCT 127 – Sticker (Will Not Fear Remix)
This remix of “Sticker” sounds more like Hitchhiker than the stuff Hitchhiker actually put out this week.
Enhyphen – Blessed-Cursed
Just another song that goes too slow. Yawn.
SMTOWN – Hope from Kwangya
So SM Entertainment have finally fucked up our planet by burning all their carbons making box videos so they’re just going to piss off to Kwangya and leave us to pick up the pieces, that’s lovely. There’s only two girls left in Girls’ Generation, isn’t there. One more member down and they’re going to have to call it “Girl Generation”.
SMTOWN – Dear My Family
Remember that time I put this song in my worst of k-pop list, not realising that it was actually the 67th time SM had released it?
A whole bunch of cunts – Better Together
I guess Kaachi are officially a k-pop if they’re being invited to nonsense like this. Oli London, where’s your shit-eating COVID collab? Better step up your game, pal.
The Rose – Beauty and the Beast
Not sure what’s going on here but is the “beast” just meant to be some guy with his shirt off because if so I think The Rose might have misunderstood the tale.
Stray Kids – #LoveSTAY
Here’s the usual “for the fans” crap where these people try to convince you that you’re their entire world. In a way they’re probably not wrong (they’d be financially fucked without your blind adulation of course) but “I engrave your name in my heart for the first time / after counting how much I love you / as many as the countless stars in the sky” what horseshit. Stop insulting your fans and just sing “thanks for the money / I will buy something nice / please talk about me on social media a lot” or something.
Meng Jia – The East
Yeah yeah yeah, JYP is so horrible and blah blah. You should pray your favourite kids don’t leave him, they’ll just end up making fools of themselves somehow. If not by dumbass public statements, then certainly by bad music.
JR – Doom Doom
Any song with the word “Doom” in the title in k-pop just means they’re going to say “Doom” over and over a lot in an exaggerated deep voice, squirt a lot of bass at you and call it a day.
Eric Nam – Lost On Me
Actually not awful, I didn’t mind it once it got going, even if watching Eric Nam flounce around has serious professional wedding video vibes.
Kim Yo Han – Dessert
So much disco around these days, it’s the only type of upbeat most k-pop seems to know how to do. What a drag.
Max Changmin – Fever
Why is he yelling and growling so much, can he not just calm down a bit. It’s not so bad being in SM surely.
HyunJun Hur – Let Me Drown
The music is as bad as that red suit with the weird splits on the shoulders.
Moonbyul feat. Seori – Shutdown
Not sure why it took two people to do this warbling nonsense, but the lesbian-dogwhistle happy families cosplay might be worth a look for some.
BF – Adonis
Hey this one’s okay. Some odd sonic choices let it down a bit (too much Autotune, weirdly muffled bass) but the key ingredients are there.
Dongkiz – 2021 (Memories)
What are you talking about? 2021 sucked, stop romanticising it and just fuck off.
INI – How are you
This song is as unpleasant as when someone asks you “are you okay” just because it’s “R U OK day” and you’re actually not okay and you just want to bash them for daring to even ask you that when they clearly didn’t give a shit on any of the other 364 days of the year.
EbM7 – Palette
I was all ready to write up some thing about “let’s not be mean to this, these are just a bunch of kids doing a project, it’s probably better than anything my loser ass was capable of coming up with in high school, good on these young people for giving it a go, cheers to these brave kids” but then he started doing slap bass on the keyboard instead of an actual bass guitar and I was like “fuck these losers I hope they all get bullied until they pee themselves”.
Silhouette – Siren
That “Future Idol” label that keeps appearing in Nugu Alert has another thing out and I’m not going to earmark any more of their stuff for Nugu Alert anymore because I think we all kind of get the idea by now.
Lala Girls – Dimwit
Apparently a remake of some old trot song that was bad and they didn’t really change it and make it better or anything.
Jay Park – To Life
Jay Park is quitting? Well that’ll make writing roundup go about 30 seconds quicker each week from now on. Thanks Jay, I’ll buy my girlfriend one of your new sojus, if I can find a bottle where I live.
Kim Wansun – Feeling
I didn’t like this as much as I thought I would, but at least it’s a song – that’s a step above most stuff this week.
Austn – Drowning
What’s going on with the drums here, why do they sound like sandpaper.
Jang Min Ho – Right Answer
Now we’re talking. Listen to that bass. The space in the mix. The keytar. He even does the Roly Poly hand dance at 1:19. Truly a woke individual, how can I not stan.
Hitchhiker x 3RD – Alone
Not only isn’t very interesting, but doesn’t even sound very Hitchhikerish – surely anybody could have written this nonsense.
The Redemptions – Summer Day
I really don’t like blues-based [fill in the gap] but at least it rocks a bit. Someone might be into it.
The Jaxx – New World
Pretty damn heavy, which is cool, but just a little characterless. Lacks a really good riff to drive it home. Tip for camera guys: never, ever, ever zoom up on a guitar player’s face when they’re mid guitar solo. Nobody wants to see that. Thank you.
DGAF – Shadow
Kind of moody and rocking but also just a bit bland. Fitting group name I guess.
Momentsyumi – Wind
While I don’t mind post-rock kind of stuff, I also feel like most Korean music is slow and maudlin enough without them embracing this kind of sound.
Goopy – Don’t Kill My Vibe
Why not? You’re killing mine. I was all ready to try and determine JAV of the month for January and then I saw those animal face masks and I think I’m going to go on a fap hiatus.
Cotoba – Free Will
I guess Fender didn’t pay them enough for the whole group to use their guitars. Come on you tightasses, you don’t want to get a bad rep like Dean or Gibson, just pony up some more gear so Cotoba don’t have to play dodgy copies. “Navigator espionage bass”? What the fuck even is that? If you’re going to treat them like celebrities, give them the celebrity gear to take home!
The Whales – The Whales
Verycoybunny – Lack of Love
Okay, this is worth checking out.
High Tension – High
The Australian group called High Tension is still way better, but I’ve been following this group for a while and they’re always at least okay.
Radio Paradise – Good Night
Why do Koreans like this kind of saccharine elevator music that you can only picture existing ironically in a dystopian future nightmare world. I guess it’s because South Korea IS that dystopian future nightmare world.
No Sleep Club – Sammy
I had my “you guys failed, I slept through this” jokes all prepared and it actually turned out to be perky enough to keep me awake.
Davii – Now
Really the sort of smooth jazz music that should not be played ever.
11Degrees – One-Room Drive
Rock bands do not need synchronised dance routines. Stop that, Korea.
Woo feat. Ph-1 – Uniform
Just too slow and boring to have an impact.
Woo – Pandemic
Yeah no more COVID-themed rap music, ever, thanks a bunch.
Giant Pink – Pink
Once again, no beats worth a damn.
Side-B feat. Paloalto – Return of the Life
Even when they do get retro style beats right, they just copy the one soft song on the album that was squeezed between the ten or so hard tracks you bought the thing for.
Tamiz – The Museum
Turn off the shit trap music kids it’s time for bed.
Rumkicks – Proud Of Madness
I don’t know what this song means but I at least appreciate the look of it. They really made an effort with the matching white shirts and guitars. It’s both the most punk and the most un-punk thing ever.
RANDOM BONUS VIDEOS OF THE WEEK
MC Mong feat. Jamie – Sick Enough to Die
This doesn’t count for roundup proper because it’s just a new live performace of an old song of MC Mong’s from like ages ago, which you can kind of tell from the early T-ara vibes of the backing track, obviously I can’t count something like this as a new release. If I counted this song, then I’d also have to count every single song of every artist who ever went on a tour that was filmed, all their tour songs would then suddenly be eligible for roundup, including all their existing hits which may have previously made it into lists, which is a ridiculous situation given how way, way, way, WAY overstocked roundup already is with songs I don’t have time to cover. I thought this one was worth highlighting anyway just as an aside because I like it how Jamie just sort of stands around for about 80% of it doing absolutely nothing except glaring at the camera. I was expecting her to start pounding her fists on MC Mong’s chest and screaming “MC Mong, are you listening? I need to sing! I’m a singer! But I don’t sing! What is that?!“
Bomb At Track & Milli – Good Brats
I know it’s not a k-pop but I’m just checking in to see if you’ve started stanning awesome and very woke Thai rapper Milli yet. If you haven’t been able to get over the line yet because her Thai stuff is just a bit too light and fluffy, this weird heavy rock thing might help convert you.
Death – Crystal Mountain – cover by Ami Kim
While I like channels like You’s Drum and Ayeon, I really wish they would get heavier. Ami Kim has the right idea. Great to see she has an endorsement now too, worthy. Rest in peace Chuck.
That’s all for this week, Kpopalypse roundup will return next week, and every week thereafter until December 2022!