It’s time for QRIMOLE! Let’s take a look at this month’s questions for Kpopalypse!
Tim Henson from Polyphia did a guitar video in which one of the questions he answers “What makes a great guitar solo?” (You can see the video at around the 2 minute mark) I think his answer of being able to “sing” the solo was fantastic and hints at the fact the difficult and fast solos aren’t necessarily the best solos. If you can sing it, it’s more memorable that just hitting a bunch of notes. So that got me thinking, if you agree with him and what does Kpopalypse think makes a great guitar solo?
I agree with him. I also think Polyphia doesn’t have any solos like that, because damned if I can sing to myself in my own head a single thing that he plays. But I’d agree with him that Queen does!
Hello, I was bored and decided to search for older weekly round ups, and found that Billlie’s Ring x Ring was extremely praised in the weekly round up post but then didn’t appear anywhere on the year end lists. I love that song so much, it was on my top 5 of that year. Did you forget about it or was your praise for it actually ironic and my autistic self couldn’t tell
I didn’t forget, nor was I being ironic. “Ring X Ring” was one of the MANY songs that year which I liked, but not enough for it to get on any lists. There’s only so much room on lists and there were other songs that I liked more that year. I have to cut the list off somewhere. Every year there’s a ton of songs like this, but don’t ask me what they all are.
Do you play any videogames? If so, which ones?
Answered here. For a more specific answer, Receiver 2 is a current favourite and the gun mechanics in it actually helped me write parts of my novel. Everyone who likes FPS or horror should play it… or at least attempt to.
With the recent success and rise of popularity of New Jeans, have you changed your mind about the group and songs? I remember you didn’t quite like some of them
I don’t care about success or failure commercially, I only care about what I like. If other people like something that’s great, good for them, may they enjoy it – but it doesn’t affect how I feel. I thought “Ditto” was a reasonable (if not outstanding) song, easily their best. Everything else they’ve done I just find awful, and I mean musically, putting aside my opinion about anything else surrounding them…
(Beware of the possible bias given that this TikTok belongs to an independent music label.)
Is this TikTok accurate?
Do you think signing with a major label is less useful/impactful compared to twenty years ago? Also, are they generally still worth it despite the less-than-favorable contracts?
Yes, the TikTok is accurate. This topic discussed by me in depth here and here.
Signing to a major label is absolutely not worth it. I know quite a few people who’ve done it and they all regretted it. You have to be doing massive, massive volumes of sales for a major label deal to be worth considering, financially. If you’re not as big as Michael Jackson, just don’t. Even independent label deals should be scrutinised carefully, but major label deals especially so.
I’m only familiar with piano and stringed instruments, but I’d like to eventually compose stuff including other instruments like woodwinds, brass, and percussion. However, I’m largely unfamiliar with those instruments outside of what they sound like. What’s a good way to educate myself about instruments that I don’t know much about?
I want to make sure that whatever I’m writing doesn’t just look like I just scribbled down a bunch of notes without any forethought at all about how anyone would be able to play it (like, for instance, making a pianist play 4-note block chords on each hand, jumping all over the piano with some chords needing incredibly long fingers). I’d like to write music by keeping the instrument’s strengths in mind
A small amount of research on each instrument you want to write for will help. Learn how to play each one physically, just to absolute beginner level. You don’t have to do this physically, although do so if you can, but just reading up will do. It’ll teach you the limitations of each instrument.
I live in a third world country with uber devalued currency but as a longtime caonima I genuinely want to support you in exchange for the work you’ve done throughout the decade (!!) I’ve been following you. So, where can I buy Show Me Love to ensure you get the biggest cut of the money (I’m assuming online retailers take a cut of the sales)? will it be available only on amazon?
Only on Amazon at this stage, store links here. This may or may not change in future depending on how things go with the e-book after launch, but so far Amazon is working out really well for me so I see no reason to change it.
Yes online retailers always take their cut. I get a bigger cut of the sale from e-book sales, but a bigger overall amount of money per sale from paperback sales (because paperback has a lower royalty rate plus printing costs that I need to pay). Just do whatever works for you and that you’d prefer. The e-book is a lot cheaper plus you don’t have to worry about shipping to where you live, I did an e-book version mainly because I realise a lot of caonimas don’t have much money and would prefer a cheaper/easier to deliver option.
Thanks for your support!
Is this considered a city pop?
What is city pop actually? Is there any geographic landscape/location categorized as ‘genre’ if we could call city pop as one?
City pop is just disco, rebranded for the new generation to avoid the negative/dated stigma associated with the word ‘disco’. The music industry tried this in the 1990s by calling disco ‘acid jazz’ and they’re now doing it again and calling it ‘city pop’, there’s no such thing as a ‘disco’ release in 2023, only a ‘city pop’ release.
i have been attempting to songwrite and self produce on this bargain bin DAW for at least a few years now, but i kept declining to finish demos because i got bored/mixing with limited knowledge got tiring/etc. i finally released what is essentially demo using dumb choir keyboard noise as session vocalist, but i want to know more about using the daw.
My question: is there a good site/video you could recommend for help on the basics of mixing and mastering tracks using a daw, or any advice you could give? i’ve looked at your kpop music theory posts and i think i understand your points, it is just hard to put them into practice.
i also totally agree with the whole punk ideology stuff you posted before, i think good musical ideas/writing can be appreciated without the polish of a major company backing an artist, but this idea likely only goes to a certain point of shitty production value (counterpoint: the leagues of crappy garageband trap artists that have gotten popularity in the last few years)
Strange as it may seem, the actual instruction manual for any DAW is an excellent place to start. They’re often written in a very boring way, but the information is there. Yes you can go to YouTubes which will present the same information in less detail but more entertainingly, might be handy if you’re a visual learner. I don’t really have any resources I use for this though, as I cut my teeth on DAWs before online videos were really a thing.
What you’ll find however after working with more than one DAW however is that the principles of each one do apply to the other to a fair extent. There’s a certain level of standardisation these days between DAWs so I’d suggest that if what you’re using now isn’t that well documented, just make the switch to something which is (lots of people recommending Reaper right now for the budget-conscious, I’ve never tried it but could be worth a look).
haven’t been able to read show me love yet but after you’re done with the hana series, would you consider writing more books not about k-pop? and whether or not you plan to write more books, would you want them to lean more educational or more fiction and story-driven?
I definitely wouldn’t rule this out, but to write a book-worthy amount of words I have to be pretty passionate about whatever it is I’m writing about. On top of that, I’d have to be convinced that someone would be bothered to read what I have to say. Sure I could write a random book about topic x but who would care? People have all sorts of opinions about my k-pop writing, but love it or hate it, they all DO read it (because if they didn’t, I wouldn’t upset so many people). So yes a non k-pop related book could come by at some point, but not before I’m finished with Hana and I may never be finished with Hana because she’s so stannable and aegyo. I might have to do a Fast and Furious and end up sending her to space because I run out of other ideas. I think I’d definitely prefer to write fiction (“fiction” ahem) in any case.
I recently got into Seventeen, and I noticed the rappers all sing in Don’t Wanna Cry (with the help of a ton of autotune). Since autotune is already universal, and anyone thinking their favs don’t use it are just deluded, rappers can easily sing as well. So, I want to ask what exactly a rap does in a song when as you’ve explained before rapping is just speaking. Why shouldn’t a person sing instead of rap in certain sections in a song? I know some songs force in raps, which completely mess with the flow and often seems to be just contractual obligation to give rappers lines, but that’s just bad songwriting. Assuming good songwriting, what is the point of a rap?
There’s so many answers to that question, but I’ll give you one you probably won’t get elsewhere. I think that because rapping is closer to talking, it’s more direct, it’s more like direct communication. Someone making a point in a rap song has a different, blunter emotional impact from them singing the same lines, and aspects of rap delivery allow vocalists to deliver different kinds of lines to what would actually be possible in a singing context. You probably could sing a song like this instead of rap it, but it’d definitely lose a very large part of what makes it work in the process.
I agree however that rap doesn’t work very well in a lot of pop songs, and I think that if I mainly listened to a diet of only pop songs, I’d probably ask myself “why the fuck are all these raps in there, they don’t add anything, why don’t they just sing it” as well. Rap was never supposed to replace the guitar solo in popular music, it just kind of has done that anyway, but it was always meant to be its own thing with its own energy. However music constantly evolves and twists, and whatever’s popular will always find a way to work its way into everything else.
I’ve been thinking about dyeing all of my hair one color (as opposed to parts of it). You mentioned your gf changes her hairstyle often; does she have any colors she found particularly fun?
I asked her, she said she personally loved electric blue the most.
So I really like kpop obviously why else would I know this blog exist and Glitch
best song 2022 fight me and I’m so hoping Limelight doesn’t let me down I loved all their releases pre debut (we’ll know when this comes out fingers crossed) but I feel like the overtly clean sound of kpop has kinda made me love jpop that much more and how unapologeticly terrible they are but how much they’re putting into it
like god none of these girls can sing but they’re trying and they seem like thye’re having fun and I enjoy that so much more.
I agree Glitch is good, but I find that I like the sounds they’re using more than the actual music.
I actually enjoy the spirit of “we’re kinda shit but we’re gonna give it a go anyway” spirit of j-pop which actually reminds me of punk music, that’s actually one of the good things about j-pop that I honestly wish k-pop would embrace more. The problem with j-pop isn’t the presentation or the attitude, it’s the songwriting and production style.
I read in your previous QRIMOLE you are part Asian. Is that true?
This question comes up all the time and I can never figure out why, so I put the answer here.
Shownu started his military service on July 2021 and will be done in a couple of months. Before leaving he filmed a large amount of content to be released gradually while he was away. This worked so well that many people didn’t notice he was gone and he even placed high on your objectification surveys in 2021 and 2022. Do you think that should be the standard for male idols to follow? It seems like a great idea to stop people from forgetting you and moving to a different fandom.
I think it’ll become the standard but I’m not sure if it should be. Western artists go two years between albums and nobody gives a shit. I’d like to see Korean music take a while to smell the roses. I’m willing to wait for quality.
Looks like “healthy pornography for men” strikes again, this time hitting a 16 year old boy…
This got me thinking about MBK’s survival shows that airs on MBC, “Under Nineteen”, “My Teenage Girl”, and their upcoming “Fantasy Boys”, all of them have a heavy focus on young trainees. It’s even weirder that, starting from “My Teenage Girl”, MBK’s new CEO, Cho Seunghee (former member of DIA who left the company in 2016 but rejoined in 2018, just before Under Nineteen aired) recruited Han Dong Chul, the one who made the “healthy pornography for men” comment. Their concepts always seem age appropriate but it’s still something to think about.
Anyways, I said all this to say, Mnet putting a 16 year old on the jumbotron to act sexy isn’t an Mnet problem, but a kpop problem. Moreover, it’s not a sickness, but a symptom. My question: Why? Are the producers just too horny to hold back their obsession with kids? Is there really a big enough demand for kids to be doing all this for them to fill in the gap in the market? Or is it for noise marketing, as seen with the massive backlash “My Teenage Girl” got while airing? Why does this song kinda sounds like something ITZY would make?
The reasons are surprisingly mundane. It’s because the sooner you introduce someone to the k-pop scene and make them a star, the longer you can market them for before people will feel like they’ve been superceded. Given the amount of money agencies invest in each person, they way to recoup on that investment for the longest possible time window that they can. Knowing MBK the “planet sexy time” caption was probably just someone not understanding English well enough to know the implication, I’ve got those T-ara and Gangkiz photobooks, I know exactly how clueless they are when it comes to English usage.
“Boys World” but only saw girls, I feel like they’re false advertising,… unless there’s something I don’t know about this group. Song only sounds like Itzy in the sense that it’s a pop song and I don’t like it much just like I don’t like most of Itzy’s songs.
Since you find Chinese and Metalcore sexy, I thought I’d recommend this band that has both:
Here’s their bandcamp that has more of their music:
I guess I don’t mind them but they do remind me of this a little bit too much for comfort.
I feel like Viviz’s Pull Up could be effective if it has second chorus/post-chorus like Bop Bop or Mago. Anyway, kudos to Eunha and Umji who always rocking their looks each comeback! Question: Why SinB who dubbed as Jessica-look-alike never quite impressed me with her visual after this redebut?
Yeah Pull Up could have been a lot better than it is. Nothing drastically wrong with it but it feels like it’s missing something. I never thought SinB looked like Jessica but I guess I’ll let readers be the judge…
I think one of peak ability women in Kpop is to perform with ridiculously long and intimidating fake nails. Like … one wrong move you could be hurt or scratched badly.
I’m genuinely surprised and amazed we don’t hear much about incidents involving fake nails.
I think it’s because there’s a social stigma against complaining about nail accidents. “Oh you busted a nail, poor you” sarcastically, etc. I’m sure a lot of those nails get fucked up but we just don’t hear about it.
Seeing how global Kpop is right now, we keep seeing a blurred lines between what defined as Kpop or not. We also often see foreign groups attaching their music adjacent to K-Pop promotion techniques (Z-boys/girls, XG) to gain popularity. Do you think people could brought the (Kpop industry) standard to their own native countries and gain success?
Theoretically possible but it probably won’t happen, at least not soon. K-pop in the modern idol sense exists partly because of the unique set of cultural conditions in Korea that don’t exist in quite the same way elsewhere. For better and worse.
As a person who followed Loona from their pre-debut phase, the company (staff, at least from what I saw on Loona TV) is good and generous enough for buying them sneakers, foods, and frequent abroad shoots. Some of this ‘generosity’ also extended to some kind of weird ineffective decisions (Loona 1/3 flying abroad back to back just to finish a photoshoot or exterior shots, GoWon had to blond her hair, dye it black, then re-blond it, Yves’ MV is literally wasting apples by dropping them from like four-story building). I don’t think company would be this dumb to spend on their money, right?
With that in mind, it is hard to believe that BBC would make a dirty contract that splitting the cost production to the girls right from the start, since it would be too risky to get the money back, considering they don’t have much leverage beside the buzz of the project. Do you think they sign an addendum because of the company’s worsening financial situations?
Anyway, congrats on your novel! Do you edit it on your own or you asked professional to do that? I’m currently struggling on editing my own manuscript because it feels ‘too close’ to me. Do you have any tips for that?
Fuck knows but k-pop companies are shady and they don’t give a fuck. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t good people within those companies doing good things, nor does it mean that the CEOs are necessarily the incarnate of evil all the time, but everything’s still a slave to capitalism at the end of the day, and for the machine to turn a profit a lot of very strange sacrifices are made. In Blockberry’s case they spent up VERY big on Loona right from debut so they were looking for a mega-group that they could build just from hype, and they kind of almost got there, ending up with a B-list group internationally and a C-list group in Korea. They received one of the biggest marketing pushes I’ve ever seen of anyone, and it sort of worked, but at the end of the day you still need that one song that really hits it off with the general public to get the group over the line and Loona never really had that (and when they did, they started fumbling the marketing ball right at that time).
I edited my novel myself. I did give my novel to a few people to find mistakes and they all proceeded to not find any. I spent about three months writing and one month editing and tidying up. The final book has only one mistake in it that anyone has found (which is probably removed from new copies by the time you read this). Editing your own manuscript is good if you can do it, but if your levels of English are anything less than “my mother was a part-Chinese ex-schoolteacher of English who would make me read books in bed every night since birth and even when I was sick” then it’s probably better to get a pro to edit it. Mind you pros are expensive af to the point where I think perhaps I should be openly soliticing my editing services to people. AI tools like Grammarly can help with edits but I installed that shit and personally I jut found it irritating, I removed it because it kept just picking up idiosyncratic things that I’d written into the book deliberately instead of actual errors, it actually slowed me down. MS Word’s proofreader is okay too, but it also gets things wrong sometimes, my book would have loads of mistakes if I 100% trusted it. If you’re “too close” to a manuscript then I think getting someone with fresh eyes to look at it is the only way.
General opinion of Rainbow and songs you enjoy from them?
Haven’t seen you talk about them much in general outside of Black Swan so just curious as they happen to be a group I like. Cheers if you get the chance to reply, hope you’re doing well!
Yeah Black Swan is the only song of theirs that made me go “wow that’s so great”. It’s so unlike everything else they’ve done, as well as so unlike k-pop as a whole. Nothing else of theirs really hits for me. Mind you they don’t have too many clangers either. Just average overall, hence why I’ve never really talked about them much, I tend to disregard the average and talk more about the extremes.
So I was listening to Superstar performed by Karen Carpenter, then I read somewhere that her brother arranged their songs specifically in a way that she could use her lower register, which I suspect is the reason I enjoy her vocal performance very much. This all led me to wonder why so many kpop songs made for girl groups feature incredibly (annoying) squeaky vocal lines aka chipmunk voice? Is it because of gender roles? Or is it more in line with what is expected of the product being sold ie. upper registers being more frequently associated with youth or whatever. Does it deter your listening experience at all? I would love to hear your thoughts on this.
Yes, gender roles. Also, higher songs are easier for young women to sing along with. But mainly gender roles. Same thing in the west, there’s tons and tons and TONS of very very good pop singers in the west who are female and have deep throaty voices and almost none of them can make it as pop stars because their voice doesn’t line up with the type of noises that the people running the show want to hear women make with their mouths. The sad reality.
do you have any advice for leaving a bad home situation with little to no support?
If your family sucks try your friends instead. If you have a really good friend see what they can do to help. Maybe you can move in with them, or if they can’t do that then perhaps they can put the feelers out for you. You don’t want to be homeless, so make sure you line up something reliable. When I moved out I did it with friends because I knew nothing about living away from family. I was broke a lot though, but that can still be better than a toxic family situation.
this will probably be resolved by the time you respond to this but i’m curious anyway to get your thoughts. so about two nights ago i booked a trip to greece with my cousins & sister. i was really excited about it, i’ve pretty much never traveled outside my country and it was an excellent deal. last night i called my one cousin just to chat and it’s hard to explain exactly what happened, but he had a tantrum bc i told him to stop complaining about women on dating apps who don’t respond to him and that they don’t owe you attention. he started coming for my dating skills, my social life, just starting shit for no reason and i just laughed in his face and hung up. he texts me and says he’s cancelling my reservation. obviously im fucked up about this. my sister tries to reason with him but he’s just not having it and being very difficult about giving refunds (because of course he is, he’s filthy rich, and you stay rich for a reason). what should i do if he doesn’t give me the money? i feel like i’m fucked no matter what we do. i dont think he cancelled the reservation yet, so the options are we either get our money back and be rid of him, pretend everything’s fine and we’re very sorry just so we can go on a nice vacation, or go just the two of us.i think the last one seems like the best option, but the problem is they’ll be there on all our excursions, and we’ve never traveled alone before. i have once but it was still in the country. plus me and my sister get sick of each other after being together for so long, and as much as we could just go off on our own, we both have crippling social anxiety. idk. there’s no right option here oppar. regardless of what happens we’re done with him, he’s had these toxic patterns for a while now and ive been saying it and no one’s listened to me.
This sounds like it’s a good situation because it’s bringing to a head an issue that’s been bubbling for a while. I think you should beat him to the punch and cancel it yourself. That’ll probably really piss him off because you’ve taken all the wind out of his power-play. Then, once he’s out of your life (OR once things are resolved) book it again…. with, or without him. Anyway I hope it worked out and I hope you didn’t have to resort to that, but that’s what I would do. A holiday tainted with misery is not worth going on, no matter how much of a deal it is.
Hi kpopalypse 🙂 thank you for all the great content, am a big fan. Two questions:
1. Was just wondering if you were a fan of tricot?
2. Is there any reason to only release part of a music video and then release the rest of it later? This happened with mimirose’s debut, Rose, and I was extremely baffled.
All the best to you!!
1. Not really. I like it that they exist, but they just don’t have songs that I like. It doesn’t matter how ‘indie’ you are, I still need a song that grabs me at the end of the day.
2. I don’t get it either, promotional strategy I guess. Universe App did this nonsense too, I hate it. Hopefully it doesn’t catch on.
Are you a gamer? I’m assuming the answer is at least somewhat, considering your interest and proficiency in making games, but I couldn’t find if you’ve talked about games you like in any posts. I’d loveeee to hear what, if any, video games you enjoy currently or in the past. Ideally not asking about porn games, you talk enough about those already, but if you’re going this question as a way to do more of it, I respect that move.
Bonus question: what pieces of video game soundtrack music are most memorable/strong to you? For me, I think it’d be Changing of the Seasons from Persona 3 () and Hopes and Dreams from Undertale
I don’t mind games at all. I play PUBG to relax sometimes, although I’m bad at it. I love Receiver 2 as mentioned above (and I like it much more than Gman did in his review below, even though I agree with the flaws he points out). I used to play Minecraft but I don’t have the time to build anything cool anymore. I like idle games because I like games that I don’t have to actually play but that I can just let run. And Wonho games of course. Sometimes I replay classic old games, every five years or so I replay the first two Thief games and the first three Deus Ex games, but overall my taste in games is more casual-ish and indie-ish because I don’t have time to play big epic games that require tons of time investment. I don’t play the latest AAA-tier games at all. I’d play Genshin Impact if it had mouse y axis invert but it doesn’t, which sucks.
I tend to turn the music off when I play games, although Genshin has outstanding music.
now who wanna suck my pussy period fart
Respond in the comments below if this seems like an appealing proposition to you, sadly the person who submitted this neglected to include a photo or any age/gender/location information so I’m not sure how viable the request is, but hopefully they read this and can fill us in on these important details and then you can make an informed decision about if their request is for you. Fans of this type of activity might also be interested to know that JAV of the month for February is BLK-618.
When I was a wee child whenever the TV news program did its routine reporting of the gory details of some murder/massacre/killing rampage of the day, my simple, innocent li’l brainlet simply cannot wrap itself around the idea of such hate to the point of wanting to kill someone.
But oppar, I started immersing/being acquainted myself in the “culture” of Kpop since 2009, now it’s 2023 and I’m 33 yrs old, and you know what? After all I’ve witnessed these past 14 yrs in this niche thing that is Kpop…
I get it now. Yeah.
Wanting to brutally crush their worthless skulls and shoving some rusty metalpipe up their queefy cunthole as they scream in absolute pain — yes that would be lovely me thinks. Especially right after you come in contact with the excrement that these sub-human faggot retards regularly post in Kpop SNS circles?
Oppar, do you sometimes have these feelings too? How do you deal with these kinds of extremely negative emotions?
I just transfer my negative feelings over to a fictional character and then put them in a story. I highly recommend this, it’s much safer, much more fun and almost completely legal.
Seriously though, remember that the most toxic people on k-pop social networking also have the loudest voices. It’s a version of “survivorship bias” – the most visible doesn’t represent the majority, and certainly not the majority of what you should care about. The vast majority of fans just listen to their favourite groups, watch their favourite vidoes and don’t bother anyone outside of their small circle of friends. Social media has a tendency to highlight the worst of human nature, but that doesn’t mean people are bad, it’s just a result of the media distortion, because normal behaviour doesn’t attract attention. So don’t be fooled into thinking that everyone is horrible, there’s plenty of cool people out there, and I know this, because they read this website which still gets thousands of views each and every day from around the world. I mean, I actually wrote a book and lots of people really went out and bought it, because they read my writing here and know that they can rely on the book to be appropriately caonimaish – so we know that the sane k-pop fans are out there, you just gotta find them. In the meantime try not to fall down the well of insanity yourself in response, because you’ll live a much happier life if you can disregard that toxic emotion. Beating and torturing people is only for protagonists in my novels and should not be tried elsewhere.
That’s all for this episode of QRIMOLE! This series will return next month! In the meantime remember that k-pop agencies are a hazy shade of criminal!
Oh, and do you have a question that you’d like to see answered in the next episode of QRIMOLE? If so, use the question box below, or if no box appears, click the Qri on the sidebar to open the box as a separate webpage! Kpopalypse will return!
4 thoughts on “QRIMOLE – March 2023”
Rare kpopalypse L. While disco is at its core, obviously, dance music, and hence focuses on your 4 on the floor beats, syncopated basslines, and memorable and catchy hooks, city pop, while undoubtedly drawing from disco stylistically, is far more about creating an atmosphere. It draws more on soft rock and yacht rock, and is consistently carries an air of melancholy that balances out the more upbeat elements. Disco is a genre made for the discotheque, but city pop was made for the Walkman, and the car cassette deck. The entire mood of the scene is defined by the context of the Japanese post-war economic miracle, with its new technologies, widespread urbanisation and economic growth bringing optimism and excitement for the future, but also creating somewhat of an identity crisis as Japan tried to understand what it meant to be Japanese post-modernisation, stuck between a seemingly Western vision of the future, yet a strong connection to the traditions of Japan’s past. All of this is represented in City Pop. Just go listen to September by Earth Wind and Fire, and then go listen to Sparkle by Tatsuro Yamashita. The similarities are obvious but so are the drastic difference in mood, as well as the kinds of melodies and rhythms used. If I had to sum it up in few words, disco pops and bounces, city pop wanders and observes.
I do agree however the song in the question is not city pop.
Good city pop you should listen to
4:00 AM by Taeko Ohnuki
A都市の秋(A Toshi no Aki) by Lamp (or any of their music)
Stay With Me/真夜中のドア by Miki Matsubara
Plastic Love by Mariya Takeuchi
literally anything by Tatsuro Yamashita
All those songs you listed are just rip-offs of disco ballads/quiet storm.
Of course, disco is more than September by Earth Wind and Fire. I’m not sure why you brought that up of all songs as an example of what people are talking about when they say city pop is just disco for weaboos.
And what do you think people listened to back then when they weren’t dancing at the discotheque?
It’s Got to Be Magic – Major Harris
I’m In Love – The Gap Band
Remind Me – Patrice Rushen
Quiet Storm – Smokey Robinson
We’re Gonna Make It This Time – Mtume
Sharing Love – Chic
My thought on other things being branded as k-pop is that k-pop is a marketing method and business style far more than it is a genre of music, and you could have someone else try to emulate it. But the k IS for Korean, it’s ingrained there, and it’s just not going to work exactly the same way anywhere else (for better or for worse.)
On another note, I have found myself enjoying most of NewJeans’ music. I like that it’s fairly simply while still being catchy (sometimes,) with clean vocals and no shouty nonsense.
I can’t stay whether or not the fact that their instrumentation is mostly cacaphonous nonsense helps or hinders, though.
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