Welcome to another Kpopalypse roundup! Let’s take a look at some new releases!
Sunmi – Heart Burn
Comes off like a lounged-up version of “Noir“, which really isn’t the direction that song needed to go in, but it still comes out pretty good even though it theoretically shouldn’t, much like Sunmi’s red hair. Huge bonus points for not having a shit breakdown two-thirds of the way through the song like every other Sunmi track ever. Also have a bonus even more mellow band version that of course isn’t actually live for real (don’t be silly now) but you might dig it if the studio version goes a little too hard for you.
J-Hope – More
The last time I took my late 90s Daewoo hatchback in for a service before I wrecked it in a car crash, the mechanic said to me “these cars are quite reliable, nothing much goes wrong with them just because they’re so simple that there’s not that much there to go wrong”. That’s how I feel about “More” – it’s okay I guess but it’s just so fucking empty, there’s almost nothing in it at all – in a few weeks I’ll probably forget that it even exists. Still, it could have been so much worse, I’m grateful for the inclusion of something vaguely resembling an actual beat and not some triplet-hi-hat trap garbage, so credit where it’s due.
Rocket Punch – Fiore
Definitely not as good as their Korean songs by a long shot, with some awkwardly busy melodies getting in the way of the catchiness, but the keyboards hard carry the show and save everything from disaster.
aespa – Illusion
The original video that SM Entertainment did for “Illusion” was a lyric video, and those are ineligible for roundup, so I ignored it at the time. Now they’ve released a dance practice video via the SMP Floor channel and I was fine to include that, but the audio quality for it is hot garbage because it seems like they just used the mic attached to the camera to grab the audio from the PA in the corner that SM are using to blast the song into the gym. So I cobbled up this video to combine the lyric version audio with the dance practice visual, just to get this on the same level playing field as other dance practice videos by A-list artists. That was a lot of effort to go to just to find out that I don’t like the song all that much. It’s not anything to be ashamed of, but it lacks dynamic contrast once it gets going – the high points of “Savage” absolutely shit all over this.
Enhypen – Future Perfect (Pass the MIC)
Why are they threatening to beat up a guy tied to a chair as part of the dance routine? Oh, what’s that? The person in the chair is symbolic of the listener, being tortured by this lame excuse for music? Ah, it all makes sense now, thanks for clarifying.
Monsta X – Whispers in the Dark
Starts off ultra-boring but when the beat kicks in and gives the song some motion, it is saved. When you see a “for the fans” montage video you’re normally in for some total bullshit and yes this is still pretty cringe and the lyrics are puke but a fair amount of care actually went into the songwriting, which doesn’t usually happen with this type of content.
OH MY GIRL Hyojung, Arin X IVE Wonyoung, Leeseo X CRAVITY Serim, Jungmo – Blue & Black
This Pepsi commercial is pretty stupid but it’s still better than anything all of these people except the IVE members have managed to do in their own groups this year.
Siyeon – Entrancing
Clothing meets required standards, what a great looking video. “Why don’t you talk about the music” – try showing me some music worth giving a fucking shit about first, then get back to me on that.
Taeyeon – Some Nights
People accuse fans of being perverts yet SM shoves
Mina Taeyeon into a nightie and goes to every effort possible to highlight the sexual suggestion, what are we all supposed to do, avert our eyes? I see now why k-pop fans have got no problem with their faves doing Saudi Arabian concerts for blood money, it’s because these fans want to take us back to Saudi Arabian levels of woman-hating misogyny all in the name of “protect my bias”. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. If you want to counter the creepy sexuality-denying nature of k-pop fandoms, and be a force for good and sex-positivity in the world, don’t forget that this is the LAST WEEK that the Kpopalypse Objectification Survey will remain open for submissions! CLICK HERE and cast your all-important vote before voting closes!
XG – Mascara
I realise some people have a problem with these “international project groups” because it’s “not really k-pop” or whatever the fuck, but it’s still within the Korean system so it counts as k-pop as far as I’m concerned. I deliberately define k-pop as loosely as I can to be as inclusive as possible – you know, inclusivity, that thing that k-pop fans say they like but actually they only like it when it suits them and act like little gatekeeping Hitlers the rest of the time. I really would have preferred these cringe sloganeering lyrics in a language that I couldn’t understand though.
FAVE1 – Zombie
Apparently this group is just k-pop boy group 100% with a new name and company, it’s just a pity that their new song is too plodding to recall 100%’s best music. At least they went all out on a good video, even if I think the term “zombie” has been lost in translation because I saw very few zombie things in this video and a lot of non-zombie things.
Weeekly – Top Secret
No mosh, no core, no trends, no fun, no Jiyoon.
Hyolyn feat. Lee Youngji – Waka Boom (My Way)
Just letting you know that this garbage song with a pretty good rap verse has a video now. I hate how whether a Queendom song gets a video or not is always a lottery pick, because it seems unfair to review the live stages when the videos always have better quality audio, IF they get released. Anyway if Oh My Girl’s Yooa did this garbage song the knives would be out in force with everyone saying “there she goes again with the cultural appropriation tsk tsk” but because Hyolyn is doing it everyone gives it a free pass, go figure.
Yoojung – Begin
I love the backing track here but there’s something that doesn’t quite sit right about the melody, perhaps it’s the way it always seems to follow the same contour and linger on that one breathy indistinct note at the end, like the melody line is almost apologising for existing. At least there’s a lot of gay tension happening here in the video for people to enjoy, which reminds me that this is the LAST WEEK that the Kpopalypse Objectification Survey will remain open for submissions! CLICK HERE and cast your all-important vote before voting closes!
Lana – 222
Kpop fans are always racist so they will hate on this because Lana is Russian, but there’s a perfectly good shitty song here that you can hate on instead just for being a bad song that sucks, which is a much better reason.
Beautybox – Boggleboggle
PoshGirls-J – Lali:lala
Apparently, a Japanese subunit of k-pop group PoshGirls, according to the person who sent this in. I think I’ve seen enough of people in k-pop groups pretending to be a cat for one lifetime, these shenanigans do not mrcs.
Q6IX – Blue Heart
Ultra low budget and fascinatingly incompetent just on a basic music and visual production level. I’d squirrel this one away for Nugu Alert use but I just did a k-pop girl group themed Nugu Alert and this video here is probably going to exceed viewcount eligibility for that series by the time I get around to doing another one. So you’ll just have to enjoy it here, be sure to support these girls because they definitely look like they could use a little help.
Heize – Undo
One of the better Heize songs, she tends to do well when her music actually has a pulse.
Super Junior – Don’t Wait
A pretty throwaway song but worth it just to see LGBT icon Siwon stylishly flaunting his leather jacket, taking a leaf out of Rob Halford’s book I see. “A lot of homophobia still exists in the music world, in all kinds of music. I wouldn’t say it’s any more prevalent in metal than it is in rap or whatever this music is I’m doing now”. Ain’t that the truth. Need I remind you that this is the LAST WEEK that the Kpopalypse Objectification Survey will remain open for submissions? Probably not, but I will anyway! CLICK HERE and cast your all-important vote before voting closes!
ONF – Summer Poem
Hey it’s okay but the decision to half-time the chorus is a bit mystifying and really kills the momentum. I like it how one guy sings directly in front of a very temporary-looking office-divider style wall, the dorm must sure be a mess, or maybe he’s just making absolutely sure that his pinups are out of the frame.
ONEUS – Skydivin’
This is mukbang? Doesn’t look like it to me. My cat outsold.
Kim Sejeong – Swear On The Sword
I guess it’s a pretty good advertisement for the computer game because I really do want to play a computer game or two just to have a break and wake my brain up from these fucking boring ballads.
Coogie feat. Lee Hi – Alone
This is your semi-regular reminder that Lee Hi is a k-pop singer and she appears on songs from time to time.
Younha – Rain Song
Okay why does this boring ballad have a better hip-hop beat than 90% of rap music these days. How shameful – not for Younha, but for everyone in Korean hip-hop.
Youngtak – MMM
Why does his voice sound so utterly weird.
CraXilver – Dash
A reasonable effort and what a guitar solo, but the robot voice and rock music do not work well together. Korea, stop doing that.
The Jaxx – Hero
This is more fucking like it. If you’re going to get heavy you need to take the machine out of the human and give the singer some free range to belt it out. Sorry, Chuu+.
Rozy – To The Sea
Supposedly Rozy is “the first Korean virtual influencer” according to the person who sent this one in, but the only thing I’m detecting here that’s artificial is my care factor.
Kim Hee Jae – Jjan Jjan Jjan
Just like most k-pop groups aren’t as good as that one group that got you heavily into k-pop in the first place, most trot music isn’t anywhere near as good as the Hong Jin Young stuff that you thought represented all trot music until you dug into the style a little deeper.
Glen Check feat. sokodomo – Blush
Glen Check are good, except when they sound like this.
Igloobay – The Boy of June
Listen to that drumming, he’s going off way more than any band with a “standing around in green fields” video that I’ve ever head.
Gong Hoon – We Are Rock
Well, they are in fact rock apart from the vocals. Robot voice ruining everything again.
A.TRAIN – 500000km NF SONATA
Who says there are no new concepts in Korean music. I don’t know what this is but I can guarantee you that you’ve seen nothing like it.
Trilla Gang, WALO, TAKUWA, Yooryeong, CHAIT, Bustabomb, New Champ, Kool Aid, SSUP, Hachi, LEEDACITY, Dino.T – Room Rapper Cypher
You can save yourself a lot of time when there’s a big posse rap like this – just check if there are any women standing around in the group and if there are, immediately search for their parts and listen to those. If the women suck, then you can safely stop listening, because the guys usually aren’t going to be any better.
Huh feat. JUSTHIS, Dynamic Duo – DDKD
I guess Gaeko was in an okay song last week and they’ve met their “once decent appearance every seven years” quota so Dynamic Duo are going to go back to being boring again until 2029.
Maddoaeji – Original
I think I’ve found the gang that Kim Garam rolls with. Drawing talent 10/10.
Viann X Son Simba – The End of the Road
Now that BTS are doing solo shit they could do something like this but they probably won’t dare.
Kaogaii, Kitsyojii – Drink or Nah
I’ll say nah on this one, thanks.
BONUS RANDOM VIDEOS OF THE WEEK
Ashley (Ladies Code) – “Truth or drink” with Sorn and Seungyeon (CLC) – spilling the tea on trainee life, idol days & more
Don’t get too excited, they don’t go that deep. I guess I’ll have to wait for the promised sequel when they’re 40. The most interesting thing here is listening to them talk about how the cute concepts were the most irritating of all to do because they have to perfect all the fake “aegyo” bullshit. You think they might hate the sexy concepts more but no, the part that’s the most unpleasant for idols is when they have to pretend that they are happy to see you. Just let that thought sink in for now because I’ll probably write more on it later.
Mago English versions (Yuju, Eunha, Umji)
Apparently the Gfriend girls were given a crack at writing their own vocal melodies for “Mago“. It makes sense that none of theirs are as good as what was originally provided to them – this follows on from what I was talking about the other week about idol songwriters. Sure we all have our biases and Gfriend are great but sometimes it’s best to just leave it to the experts.
Can Gwangil Jo also break the bias of the elderly?
These old fucks are weak as shit because they didn’t recognise the genius of “Acrobat” right from the fucking start but had to be sold the whole story of Gwangil Jo just to get on board. I don’t buy this idea that someone who has been speaking Korean natively for 60 years can’t understand fast speech – sure they can, they just didn’t fucking want to listen to him until they had some context that humanized him in their eyes, as soon as they had the background story of him as a rap underdog then they were more open to what he was doing. It’s a bit like how people think I’m a cunt and then they read QRIMOLE where curious and desperate people who need help with their lives ask me shit and then I reveal… that I’m still a cunt, guess that analogy didn’t work too well, hey. Anyway, Gwangil Jo is great and “Acrobat” is even better when you understand the words:
That’s all for this week! Also please don’t forget that this is the LAST WEEK that the Kpopalypse Objectification Survey will remain open for submissions! Don’t forget to CLICK HERE and cast your all-important vote before voting closes! Kpopalypse will return!