It’s time for Kpopalypse roundup! Let’s check out some new releases!
TXT – Sugar Rush Ride
Actually pretty decent until the big payoff and then we’re in “let’s pretend Blackpink’s ‘Whistle‘ was actually a song worth copying” territory. Probably still worth it for drooling over sweaty dudes covered in fluids if that’s your thing, just kill the sound before the chorus hits and you’re good to fap, you filthy degenerate, you.
NCT 127 – Ay-Yo
If you think I annoy people by hating on stuff all the time, trust me that’s nothing compared to how much I piss people off when I actually LIKE something. NCT 127 continue to be completely fucking useless garbage half the time and a really great showcase for forward-thinking pop songwriting the other half of the time. Breaking down why this song is firmly on the good side would take too long for roundup so I’ll save it for the music theory series maybe, in the meantime prepare your ears for every awful B-list boy group songwriters’ lame copy of this over the next 12 months that misses the point.
NCT 127 – DJ
Of course, when NCT start doing tossed off videos for B-tracks, then it’s just averagedom all the way like every other group. I guess I don’t mind the beat but the rest is just so nothingy.
NCT 127 – 1, 2, 7 (Time Stops)
That thing k-pop agencies do where they just lift the social media ban for a day and say “okay, just shoot lots of video of each other and smile a lot like back in the days before you joined our company and were actually enjoying life, if you can remember back that far”.
MAVE: – Pandora
This bargain bin CGI version of aespa sounds like… a bargain bin CGI version of aespa, funnily enough.
XG – Shooting Star
I feel like I should hate this a lot more than I do. I didn’t mind the chorus vibe, and sure the rapping is stupid but the backing track is good enough for me to let it slide. I can dig it.
XG – Left Right
That melody that happens at 0:24, I can’t remember what k-pop boy solo song I’ve heard that exact same melody but I’m pretty sure it was one by Kris Wu or some other rapist so that immediately biases me against this song. Nobody should start their songs with a melody like that for the same reason that it’s probably not a good idea to call your son Adolf.
Kwon Eunbi – Simulation
If we’re living in a simulation can it at least be one where we simulate better music than this.
ONEWE – Gravity
Some alright playing here but the ONEWE boys really needed to pick up the pace. It’s just not quite my tempo, they’re definitely dragging, not rushing.
8TURN – TIC TAC
The Jvcki Wai bunny ear hats aren’t doing it for me, but the song isn’t quite as shameful as these things usually are, just because the tone is consistent throughout. Okay, so consistent in this case does mean consistently fairly dreary, but the bar is low these days.
BXB – Fly Away
A pleasingly epic-sounding song complete with shredding guitar solos and a guest appearance by Kim Garam doing chalkboard art, this group have the right idea here.
TNX – I Need U
Stranded on rooftops, in school corridors, out in the desert, by abandoned buildings – this video is a really good montage of all the different places where you should leave boy groups like this and never find them again.
OnlyOneOf – Chrome Arts
Are you ready for your first BGP sorry I mean “true queer story” of 2023? Well you’re shit out of luck because this is just a dance video, but I like the “we couldn’t be bothered choreographing shirt-lifting into our routine, let’s just wear shirts that are permanently lifted” costume design, that’s a thoughtful touch.
AIMERS – Fireworks
For a handicam fans video to be relevant, you actually have to be at least a little bit known first.
Wendy & MeloMance – Miracle
It’s Melomance so you know it isn’t any good, I don’t care who else is involved. That dude could collab with Merzbow and it would still sound like restaurant music.
lunCHbox feat. Somin – Bella Noche
There’s exactly a 50% chance that this girl fucked Shannon Williams’ ex-boyfriend, which is about 50% more chance than there is of me actually giving a fuck about this song.
Jay Park, Slom feat. Paloalto, Nucksal, CRUCiAL STAR, Khundi Panda, SUPERBEE, Juvie Train, KAMBO, FANA, QM – WE REMIX
The weekly rap collab with Jay Park in it has no female rappers and that’s all you need to know about it. Next.
Seola – Something I Want To Tell Only To You
If you wanted to tell only me, my email’s right there in the “about” section, why release a shit song? I don’t understand these k-pop girls sometimes. It’s like when someone says to me “keep this a secret” so I do, and then I find out a week later that every other cunt already knows anyway. Like, what did you fucking ask me for.
Hyojung – Precious
Someone will ask me, so yes, this is mimed. If the fact that her voice doesn’t change one bit in volume regardless of how close or far away her lips are to the mic isn’t a dead giveaway already, just watch at 1:52.
Sujin – Say you love me
Very generic trot, nothing special to see here.
Yesung – Small Things
Playing coffee shop music while wearing rock guitars and rock t-shirts doesn’t actually change the music any. Laughing at all the people in the comments praising him on his “experimentation”, yeah in wardrobe maybe but that’s about all.
Jinyoung – Letter
You’re not signed to JYP anymore, cheer up and stop crying, fuck.
eSNa – Worth It
eSNa is a real caonima and I like her a lot. I don’t like this song though, but she’s earned the right to release a few shit songs in my opinion, I don’t even mind.
STARDAYS – Closer
There are much better examples of this type of weeb shit out there but I guess I don’t mind this one, because while the presentation is puke and the tweeness of it is annoying, take those elements away and it’s decent enough. I’ll take this old-school nerdiness over the latest overhyped “AI/CGI project”.
Choi Eunkyung – Unlock My Heart
She’s addicted to match-3 games just like Wonho, how cute.
Ryu Jihyun – Green Light
This is how to do coffee shop music right – turn the fucking drums and bass up. It’s not that hard.
YOUNgHOOD feat. Zuimin – Dial
Since Younghood or whatever fucking sucks dick, it’s time for your weekly lesson on black music and black musicians, which of course is what all k-pop fans everywhere are forever interested in, so I’d like to take this week to give a special shout out to honestly my favourite drummer in any music style anywhere who is Donald “DJ” Johnson from Khruangbin. All three of these musicians are tight as a celibate elephant’s nutsack but the drumming here just drives the whole show and is just so utterly good that it defies description. How the fuck anyone can play those beats with such perfect timing and dynamic precision I have no idea, and when he eventually swaps over to the piano he’s of course just as amazing and equally subtle and beautiful on that too because of course he is. All musicians should aspire to be as zen as this. Worth noting that this video is great to keep coming back to every few months because there’s always a new crop of “how completely in time is the drummer” jokes to read.
Joosiq – Too Late
Back to the k-pop and we’re millennial-whooping our way into boredom here. A better chorus would have really helped. Notice how the drum machine in this song somehow doesn’t sound as in-time as Khruangbin’s drummer even though it’s digitally perfect.
Able – Think About You
I didn’t think about this song so much that when this post initially published I left this review blank and now I forgot what I was going to write here.
Ryu Garam – Holiday
They think this is relaxing, like fuck it is. Why are you hanging out of the window like a bitch? Put your seatbelt on for fuck’s sake. Get your feet off the dash too. Are you trying to die?
Beenzino – Put It Down
Listen to this mumbling, artless, talentless garbage. This has over 300k views in just one day which is more than most people reading this will ever see on any content they create in their entire lives, on or off the Internet. Let’s take a moment to weep for society.
Moon Sujin – Never Let Me Go
Not awful I guess, at least they got the lyrics right. They definitely did a better job than Twice on that.
Jichoomy feat. Jay Spazz – B2B Fly
I will forgive the lack of beat because there’s a female rapping. Only women should be allowed to rap. Mind you the guy is actually alright here, but probably only because he agreed to be on the track with her.
NSW Yoon feat. Deepflow – Forward2
I always like it when they go for the epic orchestrated feel in rap music, even if this really isn’t one of the better examples. Mind you it’s still better than when G-Dragon tried it, remember that mess… no, I didn’t think so.
KHAN – Night In Seoul
There are too many rappers in Korea.
Champion Belt – Hadash Music
Really. Let’s just stop with the average-ass rap music for this week.
Bella – Your Story
I’d rather take this girl playing keyboard and singing, even if her keyboard sounds out of tune in places. There’s an illusion that happens with keyboard playing where some parts of the range can sound flat even though they’re not, so piano tuners actually tune pianos a little bit out of tune to compensate for this, maybe they didn’t do that here. Anyway, video still mrcs
Lov3rboi – Elon Musk
This song works for me about as well as Elon’s latest social network acquisition. If you’re one of the three people who actually came here from my Twitter account this week (because that’s about all the traffic load Australian Twitter can handle these days before it falls over in a heap thanks to the mismanagement of Apartheid “it works for me” Clyde) glad you made it, enjoy your stay.
BONUS RANDOM VIDEOS OF THE WEEK
Sorn – recording on an island part 2
Sorn has two of these videos, they’re both mega long and she doesn’t show a single bit of actual studio recording footage on either one of them. That’s because recording songs in the studio is actually boring as fuck. Trust me you would rather see her just swan around on an island doing random shit instead and so would I.
Legacy 3 – Blackpink “Shut Down rock cover
Most of the rock and metal covers of Blackpink’s original are weak because they miss the point – the song is already a rock song, just one that didn’t realise its full potential because of the treatment. To make things better you just need to change the textures. What you don’t need to do is add a million confusing extra djent riffs into the mix. Legacy 3 get it right here – less is more even when adding more.
Dal Shabet ft. BigTone – Hit U
While not as good as T-ara’s versions of the same thing musically, the focus on guitars is appreciated and the video is one of k-pop’s most pleasingly violent. I guess they had to use pink blood to please the censors, but for my colour-blind ass it doesn’t matter and still hits just as hard. I have to say that she’s a much better shot than Hana.
(Oh and for the person who keeps asking, I always felt that the electro-swing style “Have Not” version of “Have/Have Not” is slightly better than the more generic-for-the-era but still quite good “Have” version. I thought I mentioned that in my 2012 best list but it turns out that I didn’t, oh well. Mind you these days I think time has been a little bit kinder to the “Have” version, the sounds haven’t dated as much. And yes I really do believe it’s “Have/Have Not”, not “Hate/Don’t Hate”, given the obviously glam/deglam videos I’m pretty sure that’s what they meant even if that’s not what they wrote. I think that’s a fuckup on the agency’s part, and it wasn’t to be the only thing they fucked up with Dal Shabet back in the day…)
That’s all for this week! Kpopalypse roundup returns next week!
2 thoughts on “Kpopalypse roundup – new k-pop releases 30/1/2023”
I’m obsessed with Ay-yo… those synths… and is that an organ in the backing during the verses?! Usually I hate NCT music but I’ll make an exception for this, lol.
I haven’t enjoyed an nct127 song like this since Superhuman. Very nice. Always appreciate roundup.
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