It’s time for Kpopalypse roundup! Let’s take a look at some new releases!
Viviz – Rum Pum Pum
Can Viviz break the rule of songs for the truly disastrous Universe app always being complete garbage? Well… no, of course they can’t. They definitely have the best song on that app so far, which I’ll admit is an achievement of a sort, but ultimately you’re only going to remember this for how good everyone looks.
Yooa – Melody
It sounds different and cool with that neat staccato guitar line which I’m sure is stolen from somewhere but I haven’t figured out where yet so whatever I guess. I’m really not that sure about what’s going on with Yooa’s vocals though, maybe they asked her to sing like a shark chiki chika chu
Yooa – Lay Low
Her other song’s actually decent too, but come on Yooa you don’t need to try and convince us that you’re actually singing that “lay-lay-lay-lay” bit in the chorus, we all know what a looped vocal sample sounds like, give your lips and jaw a rest.
NATURE – Limbo!
We were going really well here until 0:42 where the major third over the minor harmony comes crashing in and just fucks up all the built-up mood completely. K-pop songwriters, please stop doing that. Then the song kind of gets back on track until the last part of the first chorus where it speeds up randomly, like okay whatever I guess, and then of course we have a breakdown straight after that for no reason other than that everyone else also has one. There’s a straightforward, catchy tune hiding somewhere under all this mess that wasn’t given a chance to shine because the songwriters were too busy trend-chasing.
(G)-IDLE – Love
A waste of time without Soojin, this bland fans-only fluff really needed a hot bully-dol to spice things up. I would come to school with extra lunch money in my pocket just so she felt like she wasn’t wasting her time when she robbed me.
Jackson Wang – Fire to the Fuse
Speaking of G-Idle, although I wasn’t a fan of Soyeon’s work for League Of Legends, credit where it’s due – all the other versions of the same thing that have come out ever since by other people have been even worse. With 88Rising at the helm of this one, you know the result will be gutless and weak, how are incels supposed to have their power fantasies over this. It’s enough to make someone feed mid.
Highlight – Alone
They all go for the Michael Jackson thing with the upbeat songs once they get over a certain age, don’t they. I understand why, but it would sure be nice to have some new sounds in Korean man-meat-pop every once in a while.
Lim Kim – Veil
Well it’s better than her last half a dozen or so awful feature tracks, and at least she’s not trying to flog off clothes to us under the guise of ‘feminism’ this time. I’m trying to be as positive as I can about this boring crap here so she doesn’t feel too picked-on if she reads this, help me out below in the comments if you can.
Park Bom – Remembered
So this week is a bit light on the new releases from big artists because of the Itaewon Halloween tragedy, but apparently this release here actually got pushed forward because of that incident, I guess they were hoping that someone would donate to their Alzheimers’ fund. Fun fact: when I was young, because of my parents’ accents or maybe my own lack of ability to listen to a fucking word they were saying, I always misheard “Alzheimers” as “old-timers” so I thought that was the name of it and it was just some disease everyone got when they became old. Of course now I’m old enough to possibly find out if I was right, because I sure don’t remember Park Bom looking like this and I’m not sure if it’s because it’s an actress instead or if it’s just my brain playing up.
Gwangil Jo – Bubble Gum
Gwangil Jo isn’t good because he raps quick, or because he’s unusually thoughtful and self-reflective for a rapper (although I’ll admit the bar is low), he’s good because he actually has very good beats most of the time – most
Korean rappers fail on the beats time and time again, and when they do get it right it’s generally just a once-off. So when Gwangil Jo turns up with a somewhat below-average beat like this one, I’m more inclined to forgive him, if anyone’s earned some slack lately, he certainly has.
Lee Jinhyuk – Letter
Imagine people under the age of 95 actually listening to this tinkly piano noodling and enjoying it. It’s amazing what a bit of k-pop brainwashing can do. What a horror show of a world we live in.
Tiger JK, James An, Blase – POHANG HIPHOP
Clever how they’ve billed this as “Feel the rhythm of Korea with BTS”, implying that BTS actually had something to do with this song even though nobody from BTS is actually in it. I guess they figure that people are dumb and can’t read or pay attention and who can argue with that logic because you probably didn’t even read this far.
En Sokum – Cristal Love
This is the kind of thing that Yukika and Rainbow Note are doing, except much, much better. Quality melody and harmony writing makes a hell of a difference.
Oh Jiyul – Song of the Whale
She was only going to do the video at all if she could have her favourite plush toys in there with her. Good work sticking to your guns, kid. These are the heroes we need for a better tomorrow.
Meaningful Stone – Psychomania
Korean attempts at grunge are competent but just a bit too polite. This really needed some more noise, feedback and screaming.
Suyeon – Walking on the stars
The only difference between what we have here and Busker Busker is there isn’t a TV show there to hook you all into Suyeon enough to make you give a shit. K-pop fans and corporate mind control are like bees and honey.
Esol – CYW
It’s surreal how good this is given the impoverished budget, I’m not sure what’s in that blue water but perhaps the Korean music scene needs more of it.
72 feat. Jeong Hyeji – Nemo
Hey it’s actually really cool how they allowed the token model to say a few words at the start of this video, because I often wonder how they feel about it, whether they’re being tortured or whatever, like you never really know for sure. Blink twice if there’s a gun just out of frame.
OTWO & Johnny Wonder – Respectnhope
Writing this type of rap track’s backings actually isn’t hard, you just have to find two chords that don’t suck when they’re played next to each other in a sequence and then loop them over a beat. Evidently that was too much work here, someone do a GoFundMe and spring for a beginner’s music theory book for these two.
Juto – Romance
You’d have to be in love with the dude to like this, or at least be into guys in general to some degree, because I can’t think of any other possible reason why someone would care about what’s happening here.
Kim Jaehyung – Unforgotten Sadness
Not a great song but I’m really enjoying the presentation cribbed from flower power era rock TV shows, if only the music leaned as much into something that actually rocked.
Jung Daewang – Pull
I guess with Korea’s aging demographic, young k-pop boys coming back with stuff like this makes total sense.
WeAr – Palace Seoul
Less than 50 views when I clicked on this, watch it just to help them feel better about themselves.
Rosanna – California Hotel
Welcome to the California Hotel, where you can out check anytime but you can leave never.
Mateo – Smile
I’m not sure what’s with the guy sitting behind the singer, maybe he was a North Korean spy who was caught and the official punishment is to be tied to a chair and be made to listen to Korean ballads with paper mache over his face so nobody can hear him scream.
Yerin feat. DNYDK – Want It
A promising disclaimer but don’t get your hopes up for anything to happen because it doesn’t.
slow_eye – Love Diary
I removed this song because it had something to do with MBTI in the video title and you can’t be too careful about spreading misinformation. Yeah I know MBTI is just a bit of fun for you kids out there but the problem is that when you keep using it and using it, it propagates to the point where corporations actually start to use it to dictate hiring policy and your “bit of fun” has now caused real world harm in the same ways that racism, sexism etc can. So why not have a guitar video instead, I promise it’s much better.
Reena – Say You Love Me
Didn’t Robin Thicke get in trouble for singing lyrics like “I know you want it”? Mind you I guess Twice is considered acceptable these days so I suppose so is this. So much for us living in politically correct times, clearly there’s nothing to worry about.
NIA – Stay inside you
Speaking of socially responsible messaging, unless the intention is to get someone pregnant (which is generally a bad idea), you should always pull out afterward straight away while holding the base of the condom with one hand, because otherwise leaks are much more likely to happen. So that makes this song very wrong and problematic and can we cancel this guy thanks.
Woonizi – My Star
That guy with the green/blue guitar clearly didn’t get the memo. Imagine the fights on set. “BLACK or WHITE, how hard is it? What do you not get?” “This is the only guitar I have, are you going to go out and buy me a new one, cunt?”
Mona – This is not a love song
Not the song I was hoping for, but then I can’t really imagine anyone in Korea doing something like that. Maybe IU, one day.
Bobae – Wonton Noodle Soup
Eh. Talk about the music? I will when I’m given some music to talk about.
Feel B feat. Be Bold – Groove
Rap guys really think that this is what we want to hear. Pity them.
Pylat feat. Sleeq – Nightmare
They’re trying to be all scary with the visuals but the real nightmare here is the music.
Owen – Jungle
You could assume right from the first “yeah” before the video even hits 0:01 that this is going to be total garbage, and you would be assuming correctly.
RANDOM BONUS VIDEOS OF THE WEEK
Ploopy678 – Zico’s forgotten brother – Woo Taewoon
I thought SPEED were great back in the day so it’s good to know that Taewoon is getting into songwriting now because he might actually get some proper income that I’m sure he didn’t get back in MBK days. I guess all those industry connections were stored in his brother’s golden phone and he never shared.
Sorn – boring self-care day with me (dyeing my hair, cutting my bangs, hair extensions)
Aside from the self-care info which caonimas may potentially find useful, and Sorn generally being very entertaining to watch, this is a good example of how much people can transform their look in general for the camera. Sorn doesn’t even discuss makeup here but it’s honestly the biggest change that happens in this video, the entire contour of her face changes completely. Sometimes it really isn’t surgery (or at least not just surgery), if you’re struggling to look like your favourite idol, keep in mind that they probably don’t even look like that.
BTOB – Thriller
A reasonable song that probably would have been received better by me at the time if it wasn’t so overcrowded with vocal, there’s some cool string arrangements here putting in work that you barely get to even hear because there’s always some boy going “wooahh-oooh-aaahhh” over the top. Mind you, the sheer claustrophobia created by the vocal lines does do a fair bit to take the edge off of that St. Anger-tier snare drum sound that the producers mystifyingly went with, so maybe it’s all for the best.
That’s all for this week – Kpopalypse roundup returns next week!