It’s time for Kpopalypse roundup! Let’s take a look at some new releases!
LE SSERAFIM – Impurities
If you think people get upset when I throw down my opinion on a song, that’s nothing compared to how upset I make people when I don’t throw down my opinion on a song. Everyone and their cat was bummed because I missed out Le Sserafim from last week’s roundup, but as it turns out there wasn’t much to miss, so it probably would just have been one of those reviews where I talk about my cat or hot tub streamers or JAV or whatever random guitarist I’m listening to this week or anything apart from the actual song just to piss you all off.
LE SSERAFIM – No Celestial
Their other song is much better, pity that the agency decided to record the audio for their original dance practice video with a 1980s cassette player in the corner of the gym, so I made this new version which uses studio quality audio instead, don’t thank me all at once you’ll clog up the Internet cheers.
STAYC – Poppy
“Poppy” oddly isn’t, with a weird chorus that seems to be designed to be put in the background of TikTok videos of your mum trying to twerk rather than used in a song you would actually listen to all the way through. The black and white outfits in the chorus and the purple guitar are the real stars of this show.
CSR – LOVETiCON (♡TiCON)
I feel very conflicted because this is a fantastic song but the lyrics are about MBTI and supporting MBTI is only a stone’s throw away from supporting racism (for real: just like with race, people use MBTI to illegally discriminate when hiring) so I really don’t know whether to put this in the favourites list or the worst list. I guess it’ll probably end up in the favourites list because apparently I have no morals plus I’m actually Hitler because I hate R&B or something. (I’m a metalhead, we ALL hate R&B, you dumb fucks.)
woo!ah – Rollercoaster
Apparently the person responsible for Twice’s “Talk That Talk” also wrote this, and I wouldn’t say this song is quite as good but I do hope they keep writing. I especially enjoyed the excursion into very old-school rap instead of the usual trap garbage for fuckheads so that indicates that they actually have a clue.
DRIPPIN – The One
Nice backing track but I feel like the vocal writing over the top is too soft, it would have been great if they were given more to do than the typical boy-isms.
VICTON – Virus
When I was looking at this song on livestream someone pointed out that Rolling Quartz were doing a free online concert right then and I was like “what am I listening to this shit for, why don’t we all just go and listen to the free online Rolling Quartz concert instead” so for the rest of the livestream that’s what we did. Victon’s song sucks so I removed it from this roundup and replaced it with the concert link so now you can listen to Rolling Quartz live instead of Victon as well. Don’t let it be said that I never think about my lovely readers, the show starts at about 26 minutes in you’re welcome.
JYP feat. Gaeko – Groove Back
JYP does his best to make a simple dance go viral for the people who remember back when that sort of thing was a thing, and while I don’t think it’s going to be replacing The Chicken Dance at your mum’s bucks night just yet, it’s still a lot of fun. It’s helped along a lot by a great video featuring a cameo from pretty much everyone so even if the song isn’t your speed you can have fun trying to spot your bias (mine is at 2:31). JYP may also have the distinction of being the first k-pop star who has ever appeared in a music video driving a car that he actually owns and has paid off.
BIBI – Bibi Vengeance
No wonder Bibi has the odd issue with stress from time to time, she pumps out a new music video every couple of months and they are all fantastic next-level shit like this. Sure, she’s yet to have a really good song under her belt but honestly who even gives a fuck at this point, she’s paid her dues just stan her anyway.
B.I. – Keep me up
Han Seo Hee needs to get out of jail and give him more drugs so he can make better music.
Skull, Koonta feat. Muzie – Meet the Reggae, Jamaica
Speaking of which, Skull is just good these days. I have no idea what’s happening here but it’s clear that someone responsible for this had the munchies.
Ryu Sejeong – Pink Moon
Oh shit did someone who was in Lovelyz once finally do a song that doesn’t lick a fucking ballsack? Well not quite, there’s something genuinely weird happening in the chorus here, like they didn’t tune the guitars properly, or perhaps just winging that one funk chord all the way through wasn’t the shot. Listen at 1:18-1:19 and tell me you don’t hear the sound of atoms colliding improperly.
DIH – Not Enough
Not bad at all, but slide guitar in a heavy rock song? Just trade in the shitty Gibson Les Paul for a real guitar with a tremolo arm and then you can do dive-bombs like a normal person. The only good thing about Gibsons being overrated firewood is they fetch excellent prices on the secondhand market, there’s so many deluded boomers out there who think the brand is still worth something that they’re only worth buying to mark up and then sell.
FIFTY FIFTY – Higher
I love how they’re aiming for a floaty Apink debut-era vibe but they couldn’t find a dressmaker to fit all the white dresses in time for the video shoot so they just sent the girls out on the set in pink and white track pants. Being smart with money is a skill.
FIFTY FIFTY – Lovin’ Me
After all they’d already blown the white-dress budget in the video for this much better song. If you’ve ever tried to organise someone’s wedding, you know how much this shit costs, you don’t want to do it multiple times if you can avoid it.
FIFTY FIFTY – Log In
Their other song has a real problem with tone and pulls the listener in all sorts of directions. Flashes of brilliance and just as often completely laughably inept, I have no idea what I’m supposed to even think of any of it.
SECRET NUMBER – Tap
I think the secret number is 2.
ARTBEAT – Magic
I’m colour blind and even I can tell that there’s some serious crimes being committed against the retinas here. Someone needs to start an outreach program to find out if that girl in the beret is okay.
JUST B – ME=
“Me equals nothing”? Okay, you’ve convinced me to skip it.
CRAVITY – Knock Knock
Trust this group’s best song to be some lazy self-cam shit that their label couldn’t even be bothered putting money into because they were busy wandering around looking for every last dick to suck.
AIMERS – Fight Inside
This week’s Paradise Diner video (that’s a genre now) has a surprise, the sign on the fence that says they’re now holding fight clubs while you wait for your food! I have no idea what style of martial art a “mingginyu fight” is, but I’m betting on the guy at 1:07, he’s holding that lemon like he means business.
withus – Barricade
I’m reliably told that this nugu group have been going viral lately due to having incredibly cheap, kitsch looking videos, but I’ve got news for you, there’s a whole lot of this type of stuff in Korea, you folks just haven’t been searching very hard because you’ve been too distracted by chasing your favourite A-list boys and girls around trying to catch drops of their groin sweat on your tongue. Anyway you’d actually be surprised how little CGI is used in the big labels’ high budget box videos, and withus demonstrate here pretty clearly why the big agencies go for a real-life backdrop whenever they can.
PATTERN – Malibu
You see, this is cheap as shit. These guys just recorded this video backstage at a theater somewhere using whatever dusty crap was lying around in the storage room for props, yet this isn’t going to go viral despite being just as decrepit as anything withus have ever done. There’s a real randomness to Internet virality that no scientist has cracked yet.
Queenz Eye – Before&After
K-pop fans are thick as dogshit, and if I were running a k-pop agency I’d exploit it by calling my new girl group “Queens something something” and that would implant the idea of them being “queens” in the heads of fans and they would go “YASS QUEEEENS” and line up like sheep to call them “talented” even though the voice on the record isn’t even theirs and I had to train each of them for three years just to get them to do dance steps in time. The song here is alright though, and I like how the obligatory rap breakdown has two different parts signaled by a higher inversion of the brass chords, why didn’t anyone else think of that.
Stars – With You
I said I wasn’t going to review Future Idol groups anymore but I’m just leaving this here because the people who just jumped onboard the withus train really need to know that there’s an entire agency dedicated to debuting a brand new group doing a cheap-ass doomed-to-failure video like this every fucking week and you people have been sleeping on them all this time, you’re welcome.
Soulbysel, I.M – nvrmnd
R&B? Autotune? Vertical letterbox video? Three strikes, you’re out!
Bigone feat. Goopy – Star
It’s the same set as Pattern above, they just dragged in a few more trollies with lights on them. That’s what you can do with more money I guess.
Homies, UNEDUCATED KID, Transfixion – Become One
You know how you can sometimes just tell what a song will sound like, from the names of the artists and their prior reputations alone? Well, you definitely can’t in this case! I swear everyone involved here has been reading my shitty reviews for years and just recorded this to say a big “fuck you” to me and prove that they could do something I’d actually like.
Cozi – Our Fire
A heavy rock sound doesn’t mean a good song. You still have to write music at the end of the day.
VVON feat. Kim Seungmin – Step
It’s okay but I yawned and grew older while waiting for something to happen.
IODIO – fxxk with her
I only realised just now, after all this time on the planet, that people spell ‘fuck’ as ‘fxxk’ not because they’re trying to lessen the offense, but so the YouTube algorithm doesn’t pick up their song and bin it or demonetise it. Wow I’m so fucking dumb.
Stella Jang – KeeB Going
Someone make it stoB.
N.CA, Prody – We’re breaking up a while
I haven’t seen N.CA in a while and she still mrs – k-pop’s reigning fuzzy jumper queen. Anyway I can tell you from personal experience lugging road cases that a Roland stage piano weighs about 16 kilos and that’s a hell of a lot of weight to carry around just to pretend to play a song badly, next time Prody save yourself the lifting, nobody will write mean stuff about you on the Internet if you use a cheap plastic arranger keyboard, if they do let me know and I’ll send Hana around.
Hondam – Say
And here’s how to not do fuzzy jumpers. There are too many colours here.
Kim Taekyun – Whisky On The Rock
Nice try with the bar singer vibe but nobody’s going to believe you if you hold the microphone like that.
Kang Butter feat. Rothy – Shower Dance
No dancing in the shower seen in this video, 0/10 on the shower dancing scale.
Link – Thirsty
He can’t really write beats but I appreciate just turning up in a white t-shirt and the pissiest necklace ever, in a style where rappers get scammed hardcore due to shady retailers exploiting their materialism he’s setting a good frugal example.
Yozoh – Unknown Horses
I didn’t see any horses in this video, so that makes this accurate song title of the week.
Economy Choi, Holmsted – Freepass
This week’s rap is all shit of course so I’m just going to link this so you know that people out there are actually making stuff that doesn’t suck you’re welcome. Yeah Vinnie Paz is a moron (guy who raps third) but at least he sounds the part, try to ignore it and the music’s alright.
Xaoil (415) feat. P-TYPE – Thanatophobia
R.A. The Rugged Man gets better and better with each new thing he does and your bias can’t rap, that’s just a fact.
BONUS RANDOM VIDEOS OF THE WEEK
JYP – Groove Back dance practice ft. Shindong
JYP ain’t perfect (ain’t that the truth Twice pre-debut weigh-in staff) but he has a sense of humour about himself which immediately puts him above every k-pop CEO ever and if there was any doubt about whether he reads this site, I think we now know. He’s doing his part to make sure Shindong retains top ten placings on the objectification survey for 2023, bless him for making my difficult task finding new and unique Shindong content to share each year that little bit easier.
Jvcki Wai – Go Back – live moombahton version
Far from a dance version, the added harmony gives the original track a more maudlin feel, I think I still prefer the original but it’s cool that this new version exists. I really wonder if Swervy is going to have beef though, she’s always crapping on about bunnies or whatever for some reason and now Jvcki has this pierced bunny hat thing, are they going to fight over who has the right to claim the bunny ears? I hope they both are friends and get along fine just for their own sakes, but hey if they really do have an issue with each other at least we might get some cool rap battles about it, imagine the great diss tracks we will get if these two start going off at each other in rap battles, if they don’t hate each other I think they should just pretend to for the sake of a good musical concept.
2NE1 – Don’t Stop The Music
There were several great endorsement songs in k-pop’s second generation, and discovering them actually taught me that an advert could have good music in it, something that was quite a revelation to me at the time given how pathetic western attempts at writing songs to make people buy shit have always been. “Don’t Stop The Music” however definitely wasn’t one of those great k-pop endorsement songs, and instead was just a weak retread of the same ideas from 2NE1’s much better songs like “Fire” and “Can’t Nobody“, just toned down a bit to meet required advertiser-jingle-friendly standards of the day. It’s a bit of a shame that the music was nothing all that interesting as 2NE1 certainly brought out their signature presentation in every other aspect, and checking this out again for this roundup actually made me binge-watch their other early videos and mourn the fact that most k-pop MVs tend to highlight the similarities between members rather than the differences, to nobody’s benefit.
That’s all for this week! Kpopalypse roundup returns next week!