It’s time for Kpopalypse roundup! Let’s take a look at some new releases!
STAYC – Beautiful Monster
I’m not sure if those big clanging brass stabs in the chorus were the right choice, but other than that, everything here works pretty well, even k-pop’s odd penchant for choked-out gated acoustic guitars. I wouldn’t marry this song but I’d give it a wedding invite.
NewJeans – Attention
I really like the promotional strategy a lot – no months of bullshit teaser videos and photos, just BANG here’s the fucking song, here it is, thank you for coming. Every agency should do it this way, all the time. Fantastic. Pity about the song itself, I guess Le Sserafim are the designated “good girl group music” flag-carriers at HYBE and NewJeans get the offcuts.
NewJeans – Hype Boy
There’s a million versions of this video for some reason, I just picked a random one. Which also seems to be the process that the songwriter used when matching that beat to the vocal meter and hi-hats. The verses aren’t too bad but as soon as the chorus drops the chaotic jumble of the differing amounts of swing in the various instruments and vocals starts colliding and the result sounds like an old man with a limp trying to do parkour.
NewJeans – Hurt
Truly disturbing and inappropriate, at the absolute highest level of sleaze, not surprising given that it’s HYBE I guess. All my surveys and lists plus all the wish-fulfillment sex fanfics on wattpad and AO3 put together aren’t even 0.001% as disgusting as this MV, which is so off-the-wall creepy that it makes April’s “Dream Candy” look like a “stranger danger” educational video. The fact that people will lap this up and not even notice that anything’s wrong proves that k-pop fans for all their fake-woke “concern” about “objectification” are way too far down the rabbit hole to give a single shit about the welfare of young performers.
Purple Kiss – Nerdy
Holy shit this rocks! Genuinely really, really good, with the melodic minor-scale ska feel recalling some of the better early SunnyHill stuff – now I can finally stan Swan and listen to decent music at the same time.
Hwasa, Loco – Somebody!
Well, not much is happening here.
Hyuna – Nabillera
Is Hyuna going to investigate singing another actual song anytime soon or what. Just tell us now so we can stop listening. For what it’s worth though, the beat isn’t too bad, she probably should have kept this one yelpy and shouty all the way through rather than having that weirdly melodic pre-chorus slamming the brakes on the tiny amount of momentum she had going.
Weeekly – Love
The original song by Brown Eyed Girls wasn’t interesting enough to make it onto any lists, and neither will this, except maybe a list called “top 30 pointless remakes of okay-ish songs that didn’t really change anything”.
ILY:1 – Que Sera Sera
I’m not trying to be negative all the time – most songs just suck, that’s all. I actually prefer it when I find stuff that I like. I sincerely wish I liked every song in every roundup… but I’m not going to blow smoke up your ass and tell you that I think something is great when I feel that it’s not. However this song here IS great, the keyboard work is phenomenal and it’s the real star of the show rather than the singing.
Chungha – Everything Goes On Remix
No more shitty mid-paced League Of Legends ballads or I will feed.
Yuju – The Killa
The other girl from Gfriend makes her solo debut and it’s too pedestrian to make an impact. EDIT: okay it’s not her actual debut, which just goes to show how forgettable Yuju has been ever since she went solo.
Enhypen – ParadoXXX Invasion
Well, the song title was promising. Of course given k-pop’s long history of disappointing me more often than not I didn’t expect much, and it’s just as well because I didn’t get much.
P1Harmony – Doom Du Doom
What a disappointment. Don’t put black metal makeup on the guitar player if you’re not going to let him play something like “Transilvanian Hunger“. Hey don’t laugh, it’s happened before, it can happen again.
Xdinary Heroes – Test Me
Oh look it’s Day7 and they are indeed “one louder” than JYP’s previous boy rock group. Now if we can only dump the lame pentatonic melodies and get the song right.
Sam Feldt & Monsta X – Late Night Feels
That clock isn’t beckoning to you, it’s giving you the fucking finger. Don’t get too close or it will trap you inside generic 2022 k-pop disco hell.
NCT U – Rain Day
Oh I used to have that same Metallica T-shirt in high school. I thought I looked so cool and I really didn’t, fuck I was such a loser in high school. Not much has changed hey. Oh, someone tell me what brand of guitar that is at 1:41. Can’t be a Fender due to the headstock design. Looks a bit like the Kino models that Sakura Yoshida plays, but inverted… but not exactly, so it’s not that. I need your help guys thanks. What’s that? Talk about the song? What song? Sorry what are you talking about? Anyway, next.
Younite – Aviator
The beat is good, but the song doesn’t seem to know what sort of melodic feel to go for, and it all adds up to something a bit too messy. Sticking to one thing would have worked better.
Soyeon – Ah-dda, It’s delicious
The music sounds as insubstantial as the food looks.
Kim Minju – Healing Game Song
More bullshit endorsement music that is so slight and anemic that I probably shouldn’t even be wasting your time reviewing it here at all. An actual song could have gone here.
Blitzers – Hit The Bass
There’s some fanservice here just saying.
TAN – Adorable
PSY Burger’s boat is doing the rounds of the nugus now. Where’s one of those Ukrainian neptune missiles when you need one.
GreatGuys – Blind Love
If the members of GreatGuys really wanted to protect their lovers, instead of dressing up as bodyguards just buy them some earplugs, it would work out a lot cheaper.
Ferry Blue – Let’s Go Buddy
Boring song but if they are actually talking about GFriend fans in the lyrics maybe I’m into it, who knows.
Super Junior – Analogue Radio
My point is, why can’t Jeongyeon BE a director and direct all the Twice videos? Then she’d get some fucking screentime. But that won’t happen, because sexism. Just saying.
Zico – Seoul Drift
The reason why that future bike-thing has a golden trail behind it is because it’s powered by the batteries in Zico’s golden phone.
Youngtak – Bye Gimnyeong
Boring but mrcs
Sunye – Glass Heart
Was this the girl in the Wonder Girls who went and joined a cult? I can’t even remember. No, I don’t mean JYP, I mean another cult.
Ahn Yeeun – RATvolution
Not sure what the video’s about but it looks interesting, pity the song is unlistenable because of that horrid old-school trot voice thing.
EZE – Blossom
That ribcage is going to haunt me. I hope I’m wrong and that she’s healthier than she looks and is really fit and healthy and happy and enjoying life, because it sure doesn’t look like it.
Aila – In a Day
Just kind of bland but the location photography is decent. Why haven’t more k-pop people sung songs on the penis bridge?
OOHYO – Sand
I like to keep up to date on the Ukraine/Russia war because I think the war is horrifying and sad but also important, and because of this I end up seeing a lot of combat footage. Recently I saw a video of a group of Russian soldiers standing around in a field doing some Russian soldier things when a grenade dropped from a Ukrainian drone lands right next to them. One of the soldiers was knocked out cold and the rest of them realise they’re in danger and run off into a car, they’re about to drive away when the drone drops a second grenade right through the sunroof of the vehicle and makes their day very unhappy. I thought to myself “if they were playing OOHYO in the car stereo that probably wouldn’t have happened”. Yeah I know, I’m a terrible person, but am I wrong? Peace and OOHYO.
The Whales – But You!
The bass player is playing pick style and finger style in two different parts of the song, that’s pretty cool and I should think of how to integrate that into my bass covers, because I always find those two options to be a bit mutually exclusive.
24Hours – Stereotype
Hey this isn’t bad, I really like the instrumental work. I see they’re playing Gibson SGs so they must enjoy tuning their instruments between songs because you have to do a lot of that when you own a Gibson SG.
zin feat. Paloalto, PUFF DAEHEE – Never Know
They’re going for that So Solid Crew type of sound but it doesn’t go hard enough, there’s too many lounge music concessions.
READER – Carrier
Why does everything sound so nasal. It’s very rare that a singer’s vocal tone makes me dislike a song, but it does here.
NBIRD – Try Everything
Someone explain the drama video to me because it looks quite interesting.
GyeongseoYeji – Words I want to say
It’s a ballad, and it’s actually kind of nice. There, I said it.
Soulights – Break Through
It’s okay I guess but mainly I’m just thankful that they didn’t call it “Seoullights” or so some kind of lame “Seoul/Soul” pun.
Nam Seungmin – Yolo Yolo
Thanks to whoever named the song, now I know not to even listen. Saved me three minutes of roundup writing time.
Ag0 – Plastic Love
A dull song but visually I thought this was kind of cool. Anyway it’s still better than most of everything else you haven’t heard of this week, which I just deleted so I could end roundup quicker because trust me you don’t care about any of these songs.
BONUS RANDOM VIDEOS OF THE WEEK
Bibi crying on Instagram live
If you want to know who in the k-pop world actually knows about the music business and who doesn’t, play them this video, and also show them the reactions of both Bibi and CEO Tiger JK after it was aired, and then ask them about it. The ones who don’t have any experience or real knowledge of the business on the inside, will be cynical – “why isn’t the company looking after her better” etc. The ones who have actual experience in these situations will completely understand what happened, won’t be cynical in the slightest, and won’t blame her or him. Both parties here acted exactly how I would have in their situation. The fact is that creating is fucking stressful, it’s a job, there are times when you don’t want to do it, and if you’re a female in the sexist, youth-obsessed k-pop world, you’ve got a very limited window in which to make the most of what you have, so you have to keep producing content quickly to stay relevant. We all know how fans lose their shit when a k-pop artist doesn’t do anything for a year or more, if Bibi stops moving forward she’ll be overtaken and she knows it. If you want someone to blame, blame Korean music culture for boxing her in. Bibi is on an independent label where she doesn’t get bossed around or get her hand held, hence why the CEO had no idea how stressed she was, it’s not the job of independent label CEOs to mentor their artists emotionally and dictate their work schedule, or poke their nose into the creative process in any manner. This situation sucks for her but no doubt she feels better after having vented and also now that her CEO knows she’s been struggling and has probably come to the party with some emotional support (hence the quick flip around to family-friendly label feelings), and it’s better than the alternative. If she was on some shitty idol label this video wouldn’t have even been allowed to come out at all, she would instead cry alone in her room and nobody would know or give a shit.
IU – ‘BROKER’ Japan Stage Greetings Behind Film
A bit of a look at IU getting ready for a public appearance. Do you have any idea how long this shit takes? A long fucking time. She starts this routine as soon as she wakes up, by lunchtime she’s still getting shit done. Being pretty is a talent.
Velvet has a big mind
Thanks to one of my askers on Retrospring for finding this! It’s good to see Velvet talking candidly outside of her aegyo video content persona, and discovering that she’s just as much of a caonima as I had hoped. Stan Velvet.
That’s all for this week – Kpopalypse roundup returns next week!