Kpopalypse roundup – new k-pop releases 22/8/2022

It’s time for Kpopalypse roundup!  Let’s take a look at some new releases!

A lot of extreme nugu k-pop agencies are really just fronts for various types of sex work. Floating idol groups with no realistic hope of idol success isn’t always a lack of business nous, sometimes it’s because the agency’s real money game is on-selling the girls (or boys, yep) to clients with the “REAL k-pop idol” fantasy attached for a premium price. I can’t legally tell you who is allegedly doing this, but I’d just like to say thanks to the brave industry insiders who have been taking advantage of my new ultra-secure email inbox… keep doing that, thank you

BLACKPINK – Pink Venom

First impressions are great, but after a very good intro and first verse, the venom sac is deflated somewhat by a ton of flow-killing segues, a pretty silly rap break (the beat itself isn’t too bad but the lyrics are for idiots and it doesn’t work in context) and a strained chorus that sounds like Die Antwoord’s Yolandi Visser is still recovering from COVID.  It’s not terrible, and we all know Blackpink can and have done worse, but if we’re being honest even Blinks won’t call this their favourite Blackpink song once the new release hype dies down.

THE BOYZ – Whisper

Still, I’ll take Blackpink’s latest messy silliness over the fluffy, characterless boy-pop version of the same thing.

IVE – After LIKE

Whoever is behind IVE is writing actual songs and it’s scaring me.  Could this become a trend?  It’s telling when the part where they ripped off the “I Will Survive” strings solo is actually the least interesting bit.

ONF – Your Song

I dig the way the buildings just start appearing, that’s quite neat.  And that’s all I’ve got to say about this one.

Kwon Eunbi – Light

Unquestionably not as good as “Glitch“, but it’s still good to see that at least one of the ex-IZ*ONE members is investigating actual songs with ideas in them.

Yena – WithOrWithOut

It’s weird seeing Yena with a Bon Scott-era AC/DC T-shirt, given that he lived in my town for a while.  One of my friends still has Bon Scott’s old amplifier from when he was in Fraternity in the 1970s.  Oh, what… talk about the song?  Please – if she wasn’t wearing that T-shirt this wouldn’t have even gotten into roundup at all.

STAYC – Love

Hey it’s StayC, they’re sometimes okay, maybe they’ll lift up the song quality this week… oh wait a second, they’re all sitting down, never mind.

CIX – 458

Okay, what is that chorus.  Calm down now.

Jay Park – Bite

For every garbage waste-of-time R&B song Jay Park releases after his supposed “retirement”, he owes my girlfriend a bottle of soju.  Can you make it yoghurt-flavoured please, that’s her favourite, thank you Jay.

BAE173 – DaSH

And people really thought the lyrics for “Nerdy” were cringe?  Really?  Holy fuck, what drugs are k-pop fans even on, “Nerdy” is practically gold-standard lyrics for k-pop.  I can think of a thousand k-pop songs where the lyrics are so stupid that it feels like your brains are just falling out of your ears by listening at all.

CRAXY – Undercover

Cool thumbnail, but once you press play it’s all downhill.

Rocking Doll – Grey

Very nearly brilliant, but a little hamstrung by the nugu-level budget and a few concessions to weak trends like inserting beat drops where they should have kept the pace building up and up.  Still very cool and genuinely impressive given how impoverished everyone looks.

Rocking Doll – I Just Wanna Be With You

Their other song is just kinda bad, which is a shame.

Jiho – Espresso Love

They’re not even pretending to be interesting, are they.  Never mind espresso, this boy looks like he can barely handle a chai latte.

Jo Yuri – Maybe

Oh look it’s a new video from Universe app.  It’s always good to know when you can skip a song without even listening.

Luminous – Engine

Generic boy-groupisms.  Nothing to see here just move along.

TVXQ! – Utsuroi

Look at the “full version” in the YouTube title as if they’re doing a favour by not shortening the fuck out of this trash.  TVXQ are now a five-member group until SM lift their game.

LUCY – Play

Look at that quick plam-slide thing at 0:47, what the hell is a move like that doing in a song that sounds like this.  You can tell Lucy are frustrated metalheads who have been told very sternly by their parents to “turn down that racket” a number of times now.

Synsnake – Flip

While I really don’t like screamo style vocals, it works great in this type of context.  Could they have added more flowers in the fields just to drive home the contrast or something.  Anyway, this song is cool and in fact this entire band is pretty sweet and it’s worth checking out their entire channel, thank me later.

Xdinary Heroes – Pirates

Oh look it’s day 6.1 being boring again.  I could take a whole shit and wipe my ass between beats of this song.

Chic Angel – Last Festival

Yeah this is pretty fucking nauseating.

FL1X – Like A Movie

I don’t know how old these guys are but they look old enough to know better than to write trash like this.  I’m definitely old enough to know better than to listen. 

Jaehyun – Forever Only

I feel like there was a lot of missed potential here to have scenes with Jaehyun with his shirt off by the beach.  I feel like these k-pop companies need to start catering to the needs of my readership a bit more.  “Talk about the music” fuck off, dickhead.  This sounds like shit and we all know it, just give us Jaehyun with his shirt off by the beach so we don’t have to care.

Fatou – Castle Key (Roll)

Everyone’s going to say this is the best thing ever purely for Internet-point-collecting reasons, but there’s no getting around the fact that this is like an Ursula Rucker song if Ursula Rucker wasn’t a fucking word-genius but just some k-popper doing shitty raps.  Still, just the fact that Fatou actually reminded me of Ursula Rucker’s existence is commendable, so there’s demonstrated potential here for her to do more than just look impressive, will she ever get to use it is another question. 

F.HERO x Youngjae feat. The Toys – Irreplaceable

Thai rapper F.Hero must have done well out of “Mirror Mirror” because here he is hanging with the k-pops again, but it was Milli who made that song work, not rando k-pop boy #658.

DY – Will B Ok

Actually it’s not the worst song ever, this is about as good as the “sitting down on the lounge chair” genre gets, but boy does he look unexcited while singing it.  Perk it up there a bit, mister, there’s at least three people watching, you know.

Song Yuvin – Beauty (2022)

This is a remake apparently but it sucks so I don’t care.

Choi Heart – Million

It’s Stock Aitken Waterman up your ass all the way and it’s really not bad even if it’s one of the very rare pop examples where the Japanese did it better.

Ash-B feat. Lee Youngji – Girls Back Home

Actually alright because it has a beat, maybe Lee Youngji insisted on it because Ash-B normally wouldn’t know a beat if it tugged on the back of her G-string.

CielA – White Night

Eh, it’s okay I guess.

Doorlesshouse – Summer Break

A nice song by nice people who probably shouldn’t be tainted with the stain of Kpopalypse roundup, let’s just move on.

Ria – Ria Rising

I don’t know who this is (there’s a few Rias kicking around in k-pop) but it’s so short that I can’t really review anything here anyway.  Just bookmarking it because she’s kinda cool and has a bit of a Dahyun thing going on.

Young Jaundice feat. Owen – Michelangelo

Fucking rappers.

Yewon – Love Drive!

Hey it’s a cute video.  This is actually what happens when you find the love of your life, you stare at them like a moron with your mouth hanging open.

SINCE feat. Polodared – High Risk High Return

I don’t know why, it’s just more tolerable when the women do it.  It’s not anything sexual.  Maybe it’s just because we’re all so used to men being a bunch of arrogant twats that a specific music style that emphasises the arrogance and twattiness of the performers really isn’t a great fit.

RB NINE feat. DON MILLS – Bench Press

Like, look at these guys.  Don’t date anyone who is into this, it’s the only way they’ll learn.

Sojung – The song i loved

Nobody except me and a few others cared about Ladies Code originally, I was one of the very few people writing positive things about them until they had that accident and then everyone pretended they cared to hide the fact that they never did, so if you’re still pretending, this ballad is for you. 

Rudals – Sleep

How much do you think that girl was paid to look like she gave a damn.

CROWN J feat. UNEDUCATED KID – Bust It

Fuck these idiots, why not listen to this great deathcore group from India instead of boring cunt trendy fucktard slow autotune rap non-music for shitheads.  This definitely isn’t my favourite style of metal but I can recognise when it’s done well.  You can tell from the camera focus and the credits, that this group is all about that drummer, and why the fuck shouldn’t it be, holy shit she’s great.  Mind you nobody’s exactly coasting here. 

Park Boram – When I Look At You

Park Boram should join them, just for some contrast.  Imagine a deathcore song that breaks into “mid-tempo k-ballad” for 30 seconds before then going back into the mosh.  The pit wouldn’t even know what to fucking do, it would be great.

BONUS RANDOM VIDEOS OF THE WEEK

Loona Chuu, but it’s just the note from Hi High

Notice how in every single example except one (0:17), the note is exactly the same, that’s not because Chuu is a robot (I run the only real Chuu robot) but because Loona almost always mime to a pre-record.  Just like all your faves do.

I N V Ducks 2

The ducks are back!

Gwarosa: Working To Death In South Korea

Your semi-regular reminder that South Korea is a hypercapitalist hellhole that is so extreme that when North Korean escapees arrive there, one of the first things that happens is they are given counselling from people who say “this isn’t paradise, you’re at some point going to feel like you made a terrible mistake by coming here and you’ll probably try to go back to North Korea”.  The overwork of k-pop idols is actually symptomatic of the entire country, which is why idols get no sympathy within Korea – yeah they’re literally working themselves to death, but so is everybody else.  So it would be great if instead of just singling out and shitting on various individuals within k-pop for the system’s various misdeeds, someone actually took a look at the broader cultural problems across the entire country and tried to find some ways to make life better for everyone.  We can dream, right?


That’s all for this post!  Kpopalypse roundup returns next week!

14 thoughts on “Kpopalypse roundup – new k-pop releases 22/8/2022

  1. I was in love with IVE’s new song the moment I heard it, these girls are actually killing the game and dare I say restoring some of my faith in kpop songwriting

  2. I also support the notion of Jaehyun showing off more of his bodily assets, it would bring me a great deal of exuberance and contentment in multiple ways. A fair tradeoff for less than stellar music ventures.

    I quite like the “I Will Survive” string interpolation in After Like, it gives an already excellent tune a sense of melodramatic flourish. I’m quite fond of WJSN’s discography (although I know your musical perception of them is at best a mixed bag bar Chocome), so I will tentatively hope the compositional torch is passed down onto their junior sextet.

  3. ive are absolutely murdering the game right now. of course, their next song is most likely going to be them in latex jumpsuits screaming over a meringue-trap beat, but fingers crossed for some actual consistency.

  4. After getting through both nights of KCON here in LA, I’m still vibrating pretty happily (even given the odd inconsistencies of how the first night started a little late, then the second started very early and ended without ANY closing announcement [like, say, ‘That’s it for this year, see you next year!‘ or something].

    WJSN, Lightsum, Loona, Stayc – all of the girl groups really brought their A+++ game (even Nmixx, who after the whatthefuckwasTHAT which was “O.O” – in live performance they’re really amazing, especially as dancers). I was really pleased and impressed with the “Challenge” segment where two of Loona and two of Nmixx did a great quartet cover of Mamamaoo’s Decalcomanie – look out, Solar & Co., some of these newbies are ready to take over for you if you ever give it up!
    The boy groups? Well,….. yeah. Song-wise (musically speaking), the lousy stuff you’ve already talked about in other posts (like NCT Dream’s Hot Sauce – which of course they did perform) actually work fairly well in live performance in front of thousands of [literally] screaming fans with a great light show, sound levels louder than a Concorde takeoff, and onstage pyrotechnics. I enjoyed all the boy groups (even The Boyz, who I was prepared to not like) even though I knew their songs are just blehhhh, because a lot of those groups really gave 257% when they threw themselves all over the stage. It’s impressive and does definitely blunt some of the trashy aspects….. SOME of them.
    >__>

    Anyway, thanks for some more interesting stuff this week – I’ll definitely check out some of these things here because either the thumbnail or your description made me want to look and listen further.

    • Oh man, I’m glad you enjoyed the TBZ/NCT block because it was pretty painful for me (no offense to them, they don’t write that shit), but then again I was probably still just bitter about the StayC girls getting TWO FUCKING SONGS.

      • “. . . I was probably still just bitter about the StayC girls getting TWO FUCKING SONGS.”

        Right???
        I thought that was pretty lame and uncouth, too.
        I’ve bought all their releases so far and was really impressed with their stage presence, dancing AND singing abilities as well.
        They deserved to do at LEAST three songs!

  5. The review of Pink Venom here has made me feel a bit less embarrassed because I don’t hate it. It’s not ‘good’ in the way Pop? Pop! is, but it’s… Interesting? BP sure are good at making songs that I find it impossible to form an opinion on after one listen. I’ve listened to it several times and I still don’t know what I think. Agree that the rap break is cringe. I just crack up laughing seeing Jennie in her Manchester United crop-top… I do like the sci-fi look of some of their outfits though. Very Dune, very Alien, especially with the creepy black goo and beating hearts.

    IVE’s song arguably doesn’t even need the sample, I totally agree with you! Wow. Really surprised as well that Wonyoung does the bulk of the singing as well, but I guess she’s super popular and experienced and I don’t object to her voice. Her thigh gap terrifies me, but hey ho.

  6. I actually liked the rap break in Pink Venom solely because of the beat, did not pay attention to the rap lyrics at all. The rest of it was what I expected from a bp song, although the chorus was a bit different.

    After Like was breathtaking, it made my heart flutter, gave me literal goosebumps and wrinkles cuz my brows were furrowing at how good it was! Their songs have really been improving with each comeback, I just hope they can keep it up like this.

    The other stand-outs for me this week were Eunbi – Light, Synsnake – Flip, and Ash-B ft. Youngji – Girls Back Home. The transition to screamo in Flip was quite funny.

  7. lmao I thought of die antwoord immediately on first listen of pink venom, and I thought “Somehow I imagine kpopalypse had similar thoughts…”

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