It’s time for Kpopalypse roundup! Let’s check out some new releases!
Yuju – Play
Some cool acoustic guitar starts this one off, which is quickly mushed into the noise floor as soon as the bass kicks in. A good song overall but just a bit too smooth for its own good, it needed something a bit more interesting in the mix to really kick it into high gear. Either double-down on the classical guitar with some wild flamenco soloing instead of the typical k-pop beat switch-offs, or maybe add some Eddie Van Halen divebombs in time-honoured Gfriend tradition, just something.
Pentagon – Feelin’ Like
Definitely one of the better Pentagon songs just thanks to having a harmony progression that makes sense. I don’t really know what that breakdown is, but it’s not trap so we’re good.
Victon – Chronograph
Pretty typical boy group stuff, with nothing really that outstanding about it, where they just add a few funk guitars over a beat and hope that the result will be as good as Infinite’s better tracks even though they don’t have the songwriting. Oh and with the trap breaks because it’s 2022 and that’s still a thing for some reason.
Blackswan – Get Up (SHARK Remix)
This boring retread of a crappy Baby VOX song that really didn’t deserve a remake did not make me “feel like a shark chiki chika chu”.
Nature – Rica Rica
If I was a racist or neo-Nazi or someone like that, I would do my very best to try to get people to care very deeply about “cultural appropriation” at every possible opportunity, and make a fuss about it as often as possible. That way, all the races would stay divided, and cultures would never mix or intermingle, because different cultures mixing and intermingling, and people getting to know and experience the wonder and joy of different cultures (even a lightweight pissweak version like this) is a powerful driving force behind ending people’s racism. I would also hate on this song for that reason, I’d hear the vaguely “eastern” or “ethnic” vibe or whatever it is and say “they’re ripping off culture x, gosh what a mess, so problematic, if you want to be a good person you have to hate on them” and that way, my followers would instead of being fascinated by the snippet of foreign sound and maybe then exploring some actual music in that direction instead of just a small sample offcut, would instead be scared to proceed further and start shitting on anybody who explores other cultures. A more racist world, achieved. However, since I’m not a neo-Nazi, I’m instead going to hate on this song for the more simple reason that because once you take away the three or four seconds of whatever “world music” sample CD they stole the flute hook from, you’re really just left with that boring overplayed latin sound all over again, and I’m really quite sick of that shit to be honest.
Sunny Hill – Hold Me Again
What, Sunny Hill is only two people now? At least they still have Kota, probably the most underrated second-generation singer of them all for sheer lung capacity. Hey, I’ve just noticed a pattern… Sunny from Girls’ Generation, Sunny Hill’s Kota, Sunny Days’ Soojung… next time a group or person with “Sunny” debuts in k-pop, please alert me, it appears to be a code.
Bibi & Milli – The Weekend (MILLI Remix)
There’s a whole shitload of remixes of Bibi’s “The Weekend” out this week, but I don’t care because the original song was boring and so are all the other versions. Even Milli can’t save it, so you know nobody else has a snowball’s chance in hell. In fact I have to thank Asian Junkie for even knowing about all these remixes, because he featured them over there in his “rundown” which he has now while is exactly like these roundups except he only covers about ten of the more popular things at a time because he’s lazy and wants to get back to watching the sportball game. Although he’s easy (and fun) to criticise, after slogging through nugu hell week after week I actually think he’s onto something.
Moonbyul – Lunatic
Again Moonbyul has a solo song and it just sounds like something Mamamoo would do as a full group, which kind of defeats the purpose of having a solo song at all.
22Bullets & Fedde Le Grand feat. Jamie – Wouldn’t Be Me
Day6’s Jae might have done it in a really juvenile way, but he was absolutely addressing an elephant in the room that needs addressing, and it’s a shame that he didn’t do it the right way, because now nobody will probably dare to go there ever again. The way I would have asked it is – how much of Jamie’s appearance change was because this is what she actually wants to look like, and how much is because this is what she feels like she needs to do to be able to secure a singing career, or some other reason? I’m not asking this as a means to “judge” Jamie (who can do whatever the hell she wants with herself for whatever reason, just like Oli London can) but more to evaluate how deeply the industry and societal pressure really cuts with k-pop performers, because that’s something that should be addressed. These type of hard questions should be asked, they just need someone more mature than Jae to do the asking. That’s why I have an interview series, so if you’re someone who is or was in the business maybe you should reach out to me instead of accidentally shooting yourself in the foot on SNS, because nobody in k-pop media will take your concerns as seriously as I will.
BamBam – Slow Mo
Definitely accurate song title of the week, but it’s not bad considering. At least they wrote a proper chorus for it.
BamBam – Subliminal
Other song is trash.
Mark Tuan – My Life
Similar to Wonho’s “Losing You” but a much, much more bland version. Songs like this live or die on their melodic writing, and Mark just doesn’t have it.
Luminous – All eyes down
Pretty typical k-pop these days where tonally things don’t really make any sense, so you just stop listening to the melodies and it just sounds like a chant-fest.
Enhypen – Polaroid Love
It’s enough to make the polaroid company go out of business. Oh wait, they already did, but then started up again? Polaroid are to blame for this song then, so let’s all not buy Polaroid shit so they go out of business a second time, hopefully for good.
P1Harmony – That’$ Money
There’s something about “songs about how great money is” and “getting shat on by Kpopalypse” that just go together. I’m not even arguing the point of money being good or anything, I just think money is something you should quietly enjoy if you know what’s good for you.
P1Harmony – Bop
Their “bop” certainly isn’t.
P1Harmony – Follow Me
The best one of the three, actually has some tempo to it even if it’s nothing mindblowing.
Kim Yohan – Landing On You
When I hear the name “landing on you” for some reason I think of when I went and saw Rollins Band and some girl got on stage and grabbed Henry mid-song before running into the crowd, looking elated that she had touched his man-flesh, he looked like he wanted to kill someone right at that moment. Now imagine doing that to someone in the mafia like Crayon Pop’s Choa, who actually could kill someone. You would be dead within a week. Did anyone ever hear from that Choa molester guy ever again, I bet not. I can’t even find any articles about that incident anymore. Erased by the mob.
FTISLAND – Who I Am
Some bullshit. Why is this called “Once”? Are FTIsland’s fandom also called “Once”? Did they have a fight with Twice fans?
YJP feat. Zuho – We Heung
So boring I forgot what I was even going to put here. Music theory post part 14 is JUL-848 you’re welcome.
U Sung Eun – Like Tonight
I guess it makes sense to wear such heavy-duty clothing when confronted with a strange stage. You don’t know what in those lights, they could be powered by depleted uranium or anything.
inQ – How can I live without u
What’s worse than a k-pop ballad? A k-pop ballad with trap-style R&B vocals. That kind of reads like a joke, but of course it’s not funny. Nobody is laughing because shit like this exists.
Albas – Blackbird
The furries are playing rock music now. Let’s move on quickly.
Ode – Call Me By Your Name
I didn’t mind the backings, it probably could have been alright without that sickening high voice yodeling everywhere.
Hyeyoung KU – With Pengsoo
Well, this is different, and it actually gets good once you hear where it’s going. Whatever you’ve been listening to up until now, I promise you this is something other than that.
PUSHFIX – Imagination
The verse to chorus transition is so jarring that it sounds like two different bands at first. The heaviness is correct and present but I’m not that sure if I’m into the actual song.
Kik5o – Forever
Oh god what a bait and switch, with that rock buildup and guitars in shadow, I thought I was going to get something awesome and then 0:11 happened.
Kik5o – Fall asleep
They’re using the Shure Super 55 correctly though. I guess a fap comic was what it took to finally get the memo across to the Korean music scene. Maybe I should start putting absolutely everything I want to say as a writer into the yearly fap comics, people actually seem to take notice of those.
ID:Earth feat. Dbo – Betting
A very ambitious song that gets trap forms and tries to make actual music worth listening to out of them. Of course it fails and it’s a fucking mess, but the effort is appreciated. Imagine what they could do if they just moved to the next genre over.
Kim Yong Jun – Beautiful
JAV has completely ruined me for library scenes in music videos. If she’s not giving him a footjob under the table or sneaking in a grope between the shelves it just seems wrong somehow. Anyway I liked the actual music, even if I found the scene where he completely ignores the girl at 0:35 walking by in the blue jumper with the big boobs to be completely stretching the bounds of credibility.
Jan Di Kum – Crossroad
I want to be the person who decides where the white pillars go in videos like these and has to order around the stage hands to set things up. “Sorry, that second pillar from the back needed to be three centimeters to the right, get it right this time you clown, don’t make us shoot the damn video again.”
Park Ja Hee – Sun & Moon
Respect to these male backing dancers, I always have to take my mask off at the gym because damned if I can do a whole exercise routine and still get enough air into my lungs, these guys must be nearly dying after each take.
Vidan – Wishing Buddhism to save my country
It’s bad enough that we have to put up with insufferable Christian dickheads in our kpops, now the other religions want in on the action too. Waiting for the first k-pop Scientology crossover. Hell, some reader is probably going to tell me that it already happened in 2005 and I missed it.
Kuhan – Meant To Be
Pause the video at 0:17, that’s my review.
NBRE – Sitcom
Look at these spotty nerds. I bet they all post on incel forums about how it’s unfair that girls don’t serve in the military but they have to.
Half feat. Chaerang – Me Without You
I think we should make “sitting down” a genre in music stores and streaming playlists. You always know what’s coming.
OKLA – Rose
How did this guy find so many streets in Korea to walk down that weren’t choked up with traffic and psycho scooters riding on the footpath.
Beombae – Dear Lady
My girlfriend just came up the stairs and handed me a dinner of kangaroo steak and sweet potato mash and it’s just the best kangaroo steak I’ve ever eaten in my life so I’m going to stop looking at shitty songs now and enjoy life a bit.
RANDOM BONUS VIDEOS OF THE WEEK – GUITARIST EDITION
Muna – I bought the cheapest guitar online ($76)
The really interesting thing about this cheap Stratocaster copy that Muna has purchased, is not how it looks (acceptable even if the finish is a bit sketchy), or sounds (pretty good for the price actually), but that it has the actual Stratocaster headstock shape which is a Fender trademark. This means that the company who made this cheap copy is probably going to go out of business because Fender is always very keen to aggressively sue anyone who infringes on their copyrighted headstock shapes, that’s why all the other Fender copies that you see in stores always have a slightly different headstock design. Not only the manufacturer but also the retailer could get into legal trouble here.
Park Kyu Hee – the “fake tango” performance that won nine international competitions
Impeccable technique from this Korean classical guitarist, with lightning fast speed runs that a lot of heavy metal players would struggle to keep up with. Holy fucking shit, I would let her win too. I don’t even need to see the other people play. Now this girl could have saved that Yuju track.
The biggest shred collab in South Korea 2021
This Korean shred collab isn’t as out-there with the pyrotechnic guitar madness as much as some of the ones I’ve seen from other countries, but if you want to get a feel for what makes a tasty melodic guitar solo that is still impressive without being just simple showing off, everybody here does a great job, even if they do start to sound a little samey after you’ve heard half a dozen of them or so.
That’s all for this week! More roundup next week!