It’s time for Kpopalypse roundup! Let’s take a look at some new releases!
Loona – Flip That
The decision to farm off the “dat dat dat dat” hook to cut-and-paste vocal, instead of getting some fucking marimba to do it, saves this song from being the tropical disaster that it could have been. It’s far from Loona’s best but it sure fits them a hell of a lot better than their last few lycra-clad trainwrecks, and unlike so many other girl group songs lately at least it sticks to one idea instead of trying to juggle ten.
Kep1er – Up!
Speaking of which, Kep1er’s song is acceptable enough until they hit the skids for the same horrid scotch snaps and lame half-time drops that are ruining a ton of k-pop songs this decade.
Taeyeon – Toddler
The same mid-tempo vibes for “IMVU” work even better here, because Taeyeon is more vocally restrained, which suits her a lot more. I’m not sure why every single fucking song these days has to have the beat drop out in the pre-chorus, if we’ve got a great beat why can’t we just keep it going – but notwithstanding that minor trend-riding fuck-up there’s really nothing to complain about here.
Wonho – Close
This is the type of “fake live” crap video that I really shouldn’t even include in roundup at all, but making an exception here because 1. it’s actually a half-decent song and 2. it’s Wonho, which is a good reminder for you all to please fill out the 2022 Objectification Survey, which is still open at the time of writing and waiting for you to objectify the k-pop men and women of your choice. The more people who do the survey, the more accurate the results become, so make sure you CLICK HERE and have your say, because if you don’t you have no right to complain if your faves don’t do well!
Dawn – Stupid Cool
Definitely the best Dawn song on P-Nation, although if you’re going to base your chorus around a saxophone riff it’s probably a good idea to just double-check beforehand that you have someone handy who can actually play a saxophone.
Dami – Beauty Full
A punk-pop number very similar to Moonbyul’s “C.I.T.T“, and of about similar quality (i.e very good). I’m not sure which of the two songs I like more, “C.I.T.T” definitely has a catchier chorus vocal melody, but “Beauty Full” has guitars and drums that go harder than not just “C.I.T.T” but also half of Dreamcatcher’s full-group stuff these days and even better it doesn’t have that stupid tempo-lag thing going into the chorus – so who knows? Also Dami is absolutely killing this look, which is a good reminder for you all to please fill out the 2022 Objectification Survey, which is still open at the time of writing and waiting for you to objectify the k-pop men and women of your choice. The more people who do the survey, the more accurate the results become, so make sure you CLICK HERE and have your say, because if you don’t you have no right to complain if your faves don’t do well!
Brave Girls – Milipass
Everyone wants to love Brave Girls, including me – we all love a good rags-to-slightly-less-rags story, and it’s great to see that this video is an advert because it means the girls might be getting paid for it…. ah, who am I kidding, the agency will take all the money and the girls will just get 0.1% interest knocked off their debt, let’s be real. Pity about the song not being anything great but hey if someone says “hey here’s a big chunk of money, please make the most generic song you possibly can for us” why refuse?
Pixy – Villain
All the isolated sections of this song are at least reasonable, but the way it’s been stitched together is just a total disaster. I think I found the villain and he’s in the editing room.
Lapillus – Hit Ya!
Did they really censor “bitch”? Are we that fucking pissweak in 2022? I guess we are. Last I checked the word “bitch” was pretty successfully reclaimed as a positive thing, censoring it and turning it into the latest “slur” just undoes all that good work various other female musicians did reclaiming it, and moves society and culture backward into a more conservative past. Censoring words is always the wrong decision, no good ever came from it in human history. But then it’s k-pop where everyone pretends that they’re being woke and progressive while sucking gleefully at the teat of huge corporations exploiting workers with shitty working conditions and no pay, and how DARE you criticise their favourite artist’s new musically generic, corporate rubber-stamped organised-crime-funded song, so I have to expect some hypocrisy I suppose.
Omega X – Play Dumb
Why are they traumatising me with the sportball. Make it stop.
Drippin – Zero
The backing track is way cool and actually has some effort put into it, but whoever wrote the melodies sounds like they weren’t even allowed to listen to it, and the result is two parts that don’t fit together.
Drippin – Game
Dumb kiddies who are probably too young to be reading my inappropriate garbage at all like to complain that I don’t talk about the music enough in roundup reviews, but what am I supposed to say about your faves’ new piece of shit: “sounds like all their other runny musical turds?” I could do a deep musical analysis of this hot garbage if I could even be fucked but it’d probably be too many words in a row for your baby’s-first-attention-span, so maybe it’s best if you fans just shut your fucking mouth and act grateful when I completely sidestep the musical content and talk about their hair or whatever.
Superkind – Watch Out
Starts promising with that cool riff but they don’t do enough with it, deferring to generic k-pop boyisms too much for the song to really develop.
Kang Daniel, An Yujin feat. Kim Yuna – Move Like This
Okay this is pretty good. It works because the vocals are fairly monotone, so it doesn’t get in the way of the busy backing track, it’s just enough to complement the harmony and not much more. K-pop usually fucks this sort of thing up completely so it’s good to hear them get it right for once.
Young Ki – Anyway
The sounds are cool, but the song itself, not so much. It really needed just a little bit more to it.
woo!ah! – Switch Up
More weird cut-and-paste songwriting – the rap section that starts at 0:15 actually sounds good, but it also sounds like it belongs in a completely different song to everything else around it. Korean pop songwriters are either taking too many drugs or not enough drugs, I’m not sure which but please change the dose and see if that helps.
Girls’ World x ICU – Rapunzel
It’s early Gfriend/Apink/SNSD but with an incredibly clumsy musical arrangement that gives away the amateurishness. It reminds me of the latest Malmsteen album where everything’s just a little awkward and out of time for no reason other than Malmsteen probably thinks he’s god these days and doesn’t need to try.
Lil Cherry x K Reality Show feat. Jvcki Wai – GGOOM
I normally wouldn’t feature something like this at all but it has Jvcki Wai in it so this is just a public service announcement to let you know that she’s still alive and doing stuff. Don’t get your hopes up about the music, there’s nothing to see or hear here of interest, this is an FYI only.
Ulala Session – I Am Fine
Given Ulala Session’s history it’s nice to have a periodic reminder that the current members are all healthy and happy, but boring disco music is still boring disco music.
BDC – Blue Sky
People often feel insulted by my negative reviews, but the fact is that it’s the companies who release this trash who are insulting you by releasing endless waves of cookie-cutter crap and expecting you to just lap it up like a dog. I’m doing my best to look out for your best interests by demanding that they do better, don’t thank me all at once now.
MustB – Veil
The “dad joke” of k-pop groups is back. They “mustb” crazy if they think we want to listen to this, I “mustb” moving on and reviewing other songs, etc.
Rocky – S#1
Primary, Pphk feat. Dynamic Duo – Seat Belt
It’s no good reaching for the retro beats if you’re going to reach for the smooth retro beats. This is the kind of bullshit music that started the gradual decline in quality of rap music from its Public Enemy-led heyday into the kind of trash we have now.
Jung Joonil & Sunye – Can We Love Again
Until you get better music taste, let’s just be friends.
LIONESSES – Bon Voyage
This group are still really musically quite bad, and as usual it’s the vocal writing that is the problem. To be clear – because k-pop fans misunderstand this constantly – there’s nothing wrong with the singing itself, which is good enough to do the job, it’s the writing of what’s being sung that is bad. This is actually the problem with about 50% of everything I say bad things about in these roundups, it probably just pains me more with Lionesses than most groups because their vocal writing is a lot worse than most groups, yet they don’t fall into a lot of the other ways in which k-pop groups can be shit, so it means they could be really good one day if they ever bothered to fix this one aspect.
Holocity – Like a cinema
Like a boredom.
BLSG – Time To Over
When I watched this I started daydreaming and not really paying attention and that’s usually a good sign to just skip over something and delete it from roundup completely, but I wasted so much of my time daydreaming that the song can stay in here anyway, because now I feel like it fucking owes me that three minutes of my life back.
Conch – Redsun
Nice socks, I guess. Sorry, that’s all I got here.
Acy Blue – Please Don’t Save Me
Too washed-out and dreary, both musically and visually, for me to give a fuck.
The Vish – Magnolia
Starts boring but by the end of the song it’s picked up the pace a little and thank fuck for that.
Hanroro – Mirror
I got completely sick of this kind of retro-rock lighter-waving shit in the 1990s but you might get some value here, I dunno. Boomers will probably like it, but I just kept nodding off before they switched the guitars on.
Elly – Alive
I thought this was going to be LE from EXID but no, it’s just some other chick doing the marble-mouthed “indie voice” thing over a slow beat and boring me to death, oh well.
Sansa – Floundering
Actually not bad, the visuals are different and the guitar washes are nice, even if it’s a bit directionless.
Eian, Merende – Laundry Day
Oh no they ripped off Jennie’s “Solo” concept, let’s bring out the plagiarism accusations…. oh wait nobody cares if these guys do it, because they look like they can stick up for themselves and would probably just trace your IP and then come around to your house with a baseball bat if you talked shit about them online
Junoflo – Sweatpants
When rappers try to be crooners, we are all poorer.
Legit Goons – Deadstock
They don’t quite get the beat right but at least they’re trying, that’s more than I can say for most of these rap guys.
King Quan x Hii Loff feat. Ji Hyeon Min – ATR
Spare me from your fucking “crew” please. Posse raps are mostly so boring, I delete most of them from roundup without even listening. They usually just prove that nobody can tell any of them apart, and in the rare cases where you get one decent rapper in the mix, they make everyone else redundant so you just end up listening to their bit only on repeat, defeating the entire purpose of having a posse rap in the first place.
SAAY feat. Colde – Summer In Love
Just admit it, you don’t like this either.
Inya – Dear My Friends
Code Kunst, meenoi with 11kitties – Take Me
mrcs x 11
BONUS RANDOM VIDEOS OF THE WEEK
Try Not To Have Gay Sex With Yves 4: A New Hope For Not Having Gay Sex With Yves – teaser 712 of 259
The new Kpopalypse computer game will be released this coming week! Please expect it fondly, and in the meantime enjoy this teaser, because if there’s one thing the k-pop world has taught me, it’s that you can never have enough teasers, especially if they don’t resemble the final product in any way.
Mighty Mouth & Eunha do a thing
Freedom from HYBE means more Eunha collabs, I calmly accept.
aespa Next Level ep.2 SM culture universe thing
I don’t have 17 minutes to watch some CGI garbage, someone watch this for me and tell me if it mrs
That’s all for this week – but don’t forget that the Kpopalypse Objectification Survey is now live for 2022! Don’t forget to CLICK HERE and cast your all-important vote! Kpopalypse roundup will return next week!
10 thoughts on “Kpopalypse roundup – new k-pop releases 20/6/2022”
Nothing this week really interested me, so I decided to post another translated poem:
All kinds of flowers in spring, the autumn moon,
the cold breeze in summer, winter’s snow.
When you take it leisurely, when there’s nothing troubling your mind,
suddenly, there are good days in the world of humans.
This is one is one of my favourite Odosong, for two reasons:
1. It rhymes, which is not very common in East Asian poetry in general. Besides its content, it just sounds nice too when you read it out loud.
2. It is pretty simple to understand. Let me give you a literal translation of each Hanja (Chin. characters) in the first two lines to explain what I mean:
Spring has hundred flowers, autumn has moon,
Summer has cold wind, winter has snow.
Even when reading it like this, it is easy enough to understand what it is supposed to say. Of course you need to know the Hanja and also understand which ones are used as a grammatical tool and which are just words, but it’s nonetheless pretty simple even with just a basic understanding. There are some expressions I used to make it a more enjoyable or “readable” as a stand-alone English poem, of course, but I think I didn’t add anything unnecessary or take anything away from the still simple beauty of the original.
As a translator, I find this to be very nice, just because ancient Korean (and Chinese for that matter (you might know that ancient Korean was exclusively written in Chinese characters and it still took hundreds of years after its invention for Hangeul to really be used generally, especially by the literati)) is difficult to comprehend, especially in the form of poems, and even more difficult to properly translate once you grasp what it means.
I just realized that I already postet this exact poem last week and just forgot that I did, probably because nothing in the last few weeks has been interesting enough to remember. Well, fuck me then
I really like what you do, I especially enjoyed your take on “there are good days in the world of humans”, very beautiful and refreshing.
I have a very honest question. The literal English translation suggests the word “to have” in the first lines (Spring has hundred flowers, autumn has moon). If I’m not wrong, literal translations into Germanic languages will suggest the same word, while Romance and Altaic languages would prefer the word “there is” for that Hanja character. Obviously you went for the second option. Why?
Doesn’t the suggestion “to have” also imply that maybe the head monk of the monastery was considering seasons as sentient beings that can own things? Or perhaps he was simply trying to encourage that particular way of dramatic thinking. I absolutely do not think literal accuracy should be the main concern, especially while translating East Asian poems from early 13th century but why do various translations of the same poem omit that possibility? I hope I’m not being ridiculous.
I’m happy to hear you enjoyed my translation! Let me try to answer your question:
有 is a very common character that is usually used in sentences like “I/He/… have/has something”. This is the most common usage and that is why I used it in the literal, character for character translation. However, when “contextualising” the characters as a sentence, we always have to make some choice of interpretation. It is impossible to use all possible meanings of 有 in a translation, whereas they are all implied in the original just by using 有. It is, however, not as easy as to say that the writer envisioned every single possible meaning when he used 有, but it is, technically, entirely feasible to suggest that the poet indeed meant it the way you said. However, I don’t believe that to be the case simply because that is not common Buddhist teaching. The poet (Wumen Hukai) was a Chan master, meaning he was part of the very common, run-of-the-mill Mahayana school of Buddhism. “Sentient” is what contains the nature of Buddha, what is caught in Samsara and trapped on earth (also meaning that once you are enlightened and leave this earthly realm, you are no longer sentient, you are gone). There is no indication that I am aware of that the seasons are sentient and active in what they bring us. It would mean that Spring decides itself that it brings us all kinds of flowers. It is much more common to just describe spring as the time “many flowers here now”.
We can also cross-reference this with other monks from the same school: Dogen e.g. wrote the following:
Spring is a flower/
Summer is a cuckoo/
Autumn is the moon/
And in winter the snow/
is cold and clear./
“Spring is a flower” is commonly interpreted as “When you look at one flower, you can experience the whole of spring” (the reason being that everything is in your head anyway, basically). Spring is a sensation, the totality of flowers. This is why I think no one would actually translate it as “Spring has all kinds of flowers”, it’s just not common teaching.
I hoped that gave you a bit more insight! Please bear in mind, though, that I am not an expert by any means, just a guy that likes to study Buddhism and translate old poems.
i was really worried to see what you would say about flip that, but it looks like everything worked out
Nice performance of Energy by Eunha & Mighty Mouth.. As far as I recall this was the first major hit by Shinsadong Tiger, long ago in 2008. The original version featured Wonder Girls Sunye!
Glad you got to listen to Beauty Full, which was the best thing on Dreamcatcher’s Album of 1,000 Songs. And I agree about the Dami glow-up, she looks great with long hair.
In the fine kpop tradition the best chorus of the week comes from a fucking Gatorade commerical.
I watched the SMCU episode thing and while most of it was cgi nonsense I did find some mrs moments which included Karina’s possibly best ever boob coverage but especially the brief 2d animated ‘webtoon’ sections where all the girls mrsed harder than they ever have before especially webtoon Giselle who looks like the cute goth girlfriend I wish I had. Not a total waste/10
I was about to comment the same thing! That webtoon Giselle at 2:33 is so fine, if there was an object objectification survey she would be my #1. The cgi avatars are still atrocious (although the detailed model of naevis at the end wasn’t too bad), but the 2D animated scenes starting at 11:00 were pretty cool. I wouldn’t complain if that style replaced the ae-avatars in mv’s
I finally put my finger on what bothers me about Flip. It’s only the last chorus after the bridge that feels like it has anything going on. The rest just seems lame and washed out. Maybe that’s the power of bringing the harmonics in but still.
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