It’s time for Kpopalypse roundup! Let’s take a look at some new releases!
TWICE – Set Me Free
One of those less-good Twice songs that’s still kind of okay but even diehard fans know that they have better than this. Jeongyeon’s one second of screentime is great though.
Kai – Rover
Nothing all that special happening here except some above-average visual design. Has anyone else noticed that SM lately have really committed to making their box music videos a lot less box-like?
NMIXX – Young, Dumb, Stupid
You know the nursery-rhyme bullshit aesthetic for fuckheads has gone way too far when they start including actual nursery rhymes. Remember kids, ‘camp’ just means ‘I have low standards and like having my intelligence insulted’.
Cherry Bullet – P.O.W! (Play On the World)
It’s a “play on the world” alright, or at least a play on the world’s k-pop music fans. After a run of excellent songs nobody expected the new Cherry Bullet to be this shit, but it is. Somehow this song manages to combine almost everything that went wrong with the worst girl group songs of the last five years.
PIXY – Karma
Just average. You’ve heard this song in countless variations dozens of times before.
CRAXY – Cypher (Positions)
A great video theme that’s right out of “Show Me Love” territory, CRAXY always deliver with the drama videos. The song (or “songs” or whatever) isn’t bad either, appropriately moody. They’re getting better.
Anne-Marie, Minnie – Expectations
There’s something really generic and awful about the melodies here and I can’t quite place it. I would normally like something a bit rockish like this, but here I really don’t. The vocal synth that’s been doubled with the guitars is pretty cool sounding and that’s about all this song has going for it.
Yuju – Without U
Bland as shit. Go get the band back together.
Nicole – Mysterious
Like a lot of the other disco-ish comebacks lately from veteran performers but slightly better because someone actually decided to write some harmony for this one. Trivia: when writing Nari into the book I actually envisioned her physique as somewhere between Nicole and Midori from Lovebites.
Kerrigan May – Daddy
Holy shit, where the fuck did this come from. Definitely not what I expected from Kerrigan May, and definitely excellent.
TAN – Fix You
A pretty decent comeback that will take you back to the times when boy group tracks were pacy and had melody.
TO1 – Hug
Nobody needed a cover of this best-forgotten TVXQ song, so instead it’s time for your weekly lesson in black music, pay attention class. As a well-known connoiseur of only the absolute best that R&B has to offer, someone naturally asked me the other day (as one well might) “what is THE ultimate R&B song? The R&B song that puts all other R&B to eternal shame?” and here it is. The song works so well because… oh wait, what you do mean this isn’t R&B? What, you mean to tell me that the origins of the term R&B are actually deeply rooted in racism and that all R&B music, and by extension all R&B fans, and especially all people who like R&B in k-pop are in fact participating in the perpetuation of systemic racism? Wow that’s so interesting. Anyway, despite the stereotype of rock music being for white people, black people pretty much invented rock music and almost all the big leaps forward in guitar style had black people at the forefront. Chuck Berry was the first person to really do modern guitar solos in a rock context, Jimi Hendrix was the first person to push the upper limits of what standard electric rock guitars could do sonically, and in the 21st century we now have Tosin Abasi who took the building blocks of 80s metal guitar technique to create a whole new method and craft of playing that still hasn’t been surpassed. This song is twelve years old but could have been recorded yesterday, and modern guitar players are only just now starting to catch up to where he’s at. We’ll probably have to wait another decade or two at least for the next big innovation in rock guitar playing, and it probably won’t be from a bunch of white guys.
DXTEEN – Brand New Day
Bright, sunny and not too offensive, I don’t mind it I guess.
XODIAC – Calling
The nugu boy groups are definitely better than the established ones. So much of the veteran groups are doing aircraft noises while the unknowns these days have actual songs.
Kwon Eunbi – Goodbye
At 0:02 I already knew that nothing good was going to come out of this song.
Henry feat. Yuna – Real Love Still Exists
On the other hand I also thought this would suck at about 0:02 but it ended up being not too bad, because it embraced a bit of subtle texture and not following the usual k-ballad cliches. Sometimes it’s really worth listening for those extra few minutes.
Lee Jinhyuk – Follow Me & You
Good luck trawling through the boring intro footage to even get to this dull song.
CODE KUNST feat. Baek Yerin, Wendy – 55
I like the really chaotic violent video matched with the dull music, but I would have preferred it the other way around.
LA POEM – The Fire
LA POEM are great because their existence proves that everything k-pop fans say about singing and how they only stan the most talented artists is total bullshit. What’s even better is that this time (for once) their song is actually pretty decent, if you can get over the cringe of the “rum pum pums”, but then if it was good enough for f(x) it’s good enough for these guys.
My Yellow Pony – Neon Ocean
Cool song, cool sounding instruments, correct microphone use, what’s not to like?
SeongEun – Tell Me
Not much of a song, but 10/10 for cardigan wearing styles.
JT&MARCUS – Sentimotion
Your friend just got married, why can’t you just be happy for them instead of being such a cunt?
Fullmoon Project – Sansega
There’s no way that the voice we’re hearing could possibly be coming out of the woman we’re seeing. Look at the smile on her face. She thinks this is ridiculous too.
Nohys (Yoonsang x Lee Junoh) – Apocalypse
I guess if we’re going to go the CGI avatar route, why not just be as transparent about it as possible.
Navi – Fallin’ in love
Mirani feat. pH-1 – Asphalt
Okay so the word “assfuck” just got its k-pop debut and that’s all you need to know about this song. Recommended, obviously.
AP Alchemy – Freaky
Swings just knows he’s a complete piece of shit and he doesn’t care, which at least makes his rapping here somewhat interesting. Everyone else here is boring.
Yng & Rich Records – YNR Shit
“Shit” is correct.
#gun feat. AnnaCha – Geuleonikka
I was ready to shit on this one too but then it took me back to the days of 2NE1 ballads and sure they weren’t very good either but they were better than the majority of crappy Korean rap music this week.
BONUS RANDOM VIDEOS OF THE WEEK
The secrets of Karina’s fit body are revealed
People whine like little bitches about my ‘objectification’ content but the fact is that idols work very hard to be that person you want to objectify, they devote their whole lives to training themselves to meet required standards. The least you could do is show a bit of fucking appreciation for all that hard work and throw a respectful fap or two their way. Don’t be so selfish and unappreciative and uptight you fucking cunt, you’re not ‘pure’, you’re just an asshole like everyone else.
Why metalheads are happier people
A good, true and correct video. I suggest the other main reason not covered here is that the parasocial and media circus elements are so much lessened with metalheads. Yes that stuff is there, but it takes more of a backseat. We’re just trying to enjoy the music, we don’t think that our favourite bands are perfect just because they do music we like. We all know Burzum is a racist fuckwit, and sure, we’d like it if it he wasn’t, but we know that’s not gonna happen. We all know Phil Anselmo has issues longer than his track marks and goes on a redneck rampage from time to time and yeah it’s a drag but it really doesn’t affect how we perceive the tunes. We take the music on its own merits (or lack thereof). When I first got into Korean pop and discovered how much the fans actually cared about scandals, it blew me away. How fans could suddenly hate their favourite song because of some rumours they hadn’t even properly confirmed. And even worse, fans on the more ‘critical’ side actually following scandal media reports like they matter, reveling in the ‘mess’ like it’s something to be concerned about instead of disregarded. Mindblowing. Korean pop fans could learn a hell of a lot from the ‘community’ aspect of metalheads and how they behave, and how they don’t take things so fucking seriously, but they probably won’t.
BoA – My Name
We all want to like BoA but the fact is that a lot of her early feature tracks (aside from the truly excellent “No.1“) just weren’t that good. “My Name” is basically just one chord all the way through and a bunch of random riff circus, little more than a beat and some instrumental noodling for her to show off dance moves with. That’s a very valid purpose of course, but it can’t hide the lack of a song. Unlike BoA herself, “My Name” has definitely aged poorly, and would have sunk without a trace if it debuted recently by some nugus.
That’s all for this week! Kpopalypse roundup returns next week!
8 thoughts on “Kpopalypse roundup – new k-pop releases 13/3/2023”
I have to admit, I was kind of hoping for you to take “Set Me Free” and cut the rap out, as i think that’s whats holding the track back. Ah well. 🙂
Yeah that rap breakdown was quite the slow-down. Me no likey
Thanks for the new recommendations. Kerrigan May and Nicole are excellent. I had no idea about Animals as Leaders. They scratch all my early 80s King Crimson guitar punishment buttons and more.
In terms of R&B all-stars, punk rock lost Spot this week. Bands would always bitch about his barely-there production, but you know, they never sounded quite as good when they stopped working with him.
Wow, this week sure has some good songs! thanks for the recommendations. I have to be off my feet post footsurgery so this is the perfect time to catch up.
Oppar I had to come back crying at how you were right about the Tan song bringing back boy-group memories of rhythm and melody. Now I understand why you expect so much of melody from songs and I am sad at the dearth of it. Wah
No fucking way Aussie Lily didn’t notice wardrobe gave Haewon a shirt that said “cunt” and didn’t lose her shit over it waiting to see what would happen lmao
i would think she’d be the one to point it out and be like, “aye mate, i think you gotta crop that.” haha
Twice’s “Got The Thrills” from the Ready To Be album really should’ve been the title track I think. So much more fun and upbeat than “set me free,” with no silly rap breakdown. But I guess it doesn’t go with the mature concept they’re trying to go for now.
Also, glasses Jeongyeon is superior!
Really like Tan’s “Fix You,” I found it last year when it was a shorter version and a B-side, glad it was made into a full song.
Very into the My Yellow Poney song, they got one or two more songs from their album that I like too.
Animals As Leaders is amazing, really cool of you to share these underrated Black artists, really helps me to discover cool new songs.