It’s time for Kpopalypse roundup! Let’s take a look at some new releases!
Jimin – Like Crazy
Hey the instrumental track here is actually fantastic. Just a shame about whatshisname falsetto-boy being given all that rambling over the top to do instead of an actual melody, not sure if he wrote it or not but if someone else did they really did him dirty. The parts of the song (such as at 2:00) where he actually shuts up are great.
IVE – Kitsch
One of the best pre-choruses leading up to one of the worst choruses in k-pop history. It’s brilliant in places, this could have been outstanding – so much wasted potential here. Fans won’t like me saying this but if “fans” think this shitshow is good enough they are insulting these girls, I’m the actual fan of all these idol groups in roundups because I demand that they be given the music they deserve. If you want a Hallyu wave, fucking act like it.
SUNMI, BE’O – Lights Out
Really really bland especially considering the talent involved, both of these people have done way better.
ATEEZ – Limitless
ATEEZ are rocking those sexy fascist-inspired black military uniforms, I guess they’re here to discriminate against people with bad music taste, because this song is actually quite good. The tough syncopated drums and quick tempo here should be enough to oppress anybody without a sense of rhythm.
MAMAMOO+ feat. Kim Junsu – Chico Malo
Weird how the “Mamamoo+” subunit should really be called “Mamamoo-” or maybe “Mamamoo/2” but whatever. It’s like they’re implying they’re gaining something by losing two members, if I were Hwasa or Wheein I’d be insulted and I’d make my own subunit called “Mamamoo ∞, no returns”.
CRAXY – Nugudom
The total respect that I have for these girls and how they actually called their song ‘nugudom’ and based their concept around how everyone is giving them shit. It’s the right attitude, they might as well own it. I don’t know if I want to stop giving them shit as a reward, or give them even more shit as a way to encourage them to keep doing cool stuff like this in response.
ICHILLIN’ – Alarm
Sort of a slowed-down version of “Likey” in the harmony. The leaden beat and the big, heavy brass probably isn’t the right choice for it, but hey we’re back at the Paradise Diner again and one girl shoots laser beams with her eyes so you gotta take the good with the bad.
KINGDOM – Dystopia
Kingdom have the best looking videos out of anyone in k-pop right now. Imagine a boy group that combines Kingdom’s incredible visual style with OnlyOneOf’s “true queer stories”. If anything could turn me gay, that certainly could.
Girl Crush – Oppa, do you trust me?
Oh never mind, guess I’m heterosexual after all. Song and video of the year, no competition. Why the fuck is there a tadpole in the group though, now I have to cover 25% of my screen. These agencies…
Juju Secret – Lonely Night
Everything by ex-Lovelyz members has been total poop so far, so I was quite surprised when I found myself enjoying this collab between Mijoo and some actress. Whoever thought that breakdown at 1:28 was appropriate should probably donate their brain to science as they’re clearly not using it, but that’s only a short interlude and the rest of it hits all the right 80s pop notes. If you’d like a better version of this song, here, I fixed it for you.
Yeeun – Strange Way To Love
She seems pretty happy, I guess CUBE never let CLC members out of the cage long enough to spend time at the beach back in the day.
BOBBY feat. SOLE – Drowning
Just kind of rambling and dull, nothing to see here.
HORI7ON – Dash
My song submitter tells me that “HORI7ON is a global boy group a la XG composed by philippine members and they are trained and managed by MLD Entertainment”. So is this a k-pop? I’ll go with a yes given that a Korean agency is behind it. In any event it’s certainly shit enough.
JO1 – Tiger
The songwriters certainly don’t need any JOI they’re doing just fine.
HI CUTIE-J – No Thanks
This group are too young to have a subunit, it shouldn’t be allowed. I’m completely serious about this. Those readers who know what k-pop subunits are actually for and why groups do them will understand completely. No thanks, indeed.
Fatou – You Go Up
It’s almost the same melody as V-Nasty’s “Play Around” but the video has no silly waving guns and drugs around for no reason. So in other words all the fun has been removed, what’s the point.
PIXY – Whisper
Standing politely behind microphone stands isn’t always a deal-breaker, but it is generally a warning sign. At least they gave them modern cordless mics and not vintage mics they don’t know how to use.
DIAWINGS – We Are
Diawings are one of the most successful groups ever to have featured on Kpopalypse Nugu Alert so I have to be kind of proud of them even though this song is boring and the way they’re holding condensor microphones like ice cream is just weird.
Leewoo, Yuju – Happiness Index
Wow an adorable drama video where two people meet, fall in love, find happiness, do stuff together and that’s it, that’s all that happens! Just like my book! Who needs plot when you have feel-good romance, that’s what I think.
Jang Woohyuk – Feel It
Apparently this guy was in H.O.T so he’s old like Kpopalypse but he’s doing his best here to convince you that he’s young and capable of not putting his back out here with these flashy dance moves. I respect the effort, we old cunts have to stick together in this ageist society where you’re an ‘old man’ or a ‘hag’ as soon as you’re 18 years and 1 second old.
Shinhwa WDJ – BamBiNun
There are quite a few montage videos of never-been-performed songs where the video editor carefully sifts through archival live footage of completely different songs, and tries to make it look as much as possible like the people you’re watching are actually singing the song that’s being presented. I always really respect that kind of effort. Pity none of it was made in this particular video where clearly nobody gave enough of a fuck about the shitty song to sync up a damn thing but then to be fair I wouldn’t bother either.
Ha Sungwoon – Spring has come
You know, if I was a visual artist, and someone asked me to paint some objects to express how I felt about the k-pop scene in general, some stairs painted like clouds that lead absolutely fucking nowhere except straight into a flat gyprock wall that’s also painted like clouds, would just about sum it up.
LØREN – Folks
This guy was a DJ at Burning Sun but never had to answer any questions about what went on there in the press. Also, his dad owns Naver, wow what a coincidence. Just putting that out there. Again.
Baby Blue – Would You Smile
Bobo ft. Tablo – Pain
A song by Tablo (or at least with Tablo on it) that’s good. It’s been a while, usually he’s doing weak-ass nonsense lately but this actually rocks. Less of the ‘woe is me’ Tablo and more of this shit right here yes please.
Adios Audio – Ping
I’m not really into the song but I just appreciate that it goes off, if that makes any sense. I’d be impressed if I saw this live.
Rosy&nn – Toothbrush
Just a reminder to brush your teeth because you hip-hop kids probably need it.
015B feat. Minjeong – Re:14
At first I thought she was a lefty guitarist, but no, they’ve just mirrored the footage for some reason. If I actually was a lefty guitarist I’d be insulted by this, it’s kind of like ‘leftyface’. The oppression of left-handers throughout history is quite real (ask my mother who went to one of those psycho schools where they whip you if you write with your left hand before that’s ‘the devil’ or whatever) and even now their struggles continue especially in the guitar shop.
Suho – IDGAF
Neither do I so instead here’s your weekly lesson in black music, and not only that but black left-handed guitarist music too. Mdou Moctar isn’t black American but is from Niger and he’s just great, I thought I’d better throw my African readers a bone and feature him because no k-pop tours ever go down that way, it sucks way worse than my crappy country, so it’s the least I can do to highlight their music a bit. Mdou Moctar’s “desert blues” (whatever that hipster genre-speak even means) is simultaneously very blues-rock influenced and at the same time exactly like nothing you’ve ever heard before in your fucking life. How this guy even has fingers left after a set I don’t know, I’ve tried playing just like this every now and again when I forget to bring my pick to band practice and after ten minutes my whole hand is fucked, and I’ve been playing guitar for longer than most cunts reading this have been alive. So he’s good, and you could do a lot worse than check out this video here, plus this other one of him jamming out for the locals, those kids know that this is the best thing ever and so should you.
Uranus feat. Dok2, Man1ac – Live Life
Meanwhile, Korean rap sucks. The cohabitation of Korean rap music and NFTs is the saddest thing I’ve ever seen. A trend so stale that you can just about taste the mold, I’d make up a “ur anus” joke but it doesn’t even seem worth the effort. Let’s just end roundup here before it gets any worse.
BONUS RANDOM VIDEOS OF THE WEEK
PINK DROP = Pink Venom x MIC Drop by AleXa x Rolling Quartz
Blackpink songs work great as metal because their arrangements and riffs are all completely structured like metal songs, Blackpink essentially ARE a metal group in that sense. People have a hard time understanding this but I think Rolling Quartz make it fairly clear here, in a pop context their songs seem like they’re missing something, but add heavy instruments and suddenly it all just fits together and makes sense (the BTS element can mainly be ignored though because they’re using Blackpink’s riffs to drive it all). Plus the guitarists are playing way better now, and isn’t Alexa the greatest fit for this group ever.
Apink 10th Mini Album [SELF] Mood Film
My mood is good now that I’ve seen Apink. I don’t even care if their new album sucks, they’ve earned the right to a crappy album or two. Just happy to see them.
Chi Chi – Don’t Play Around
One trend that died about 10 years ago that I’m really glad never made it into the 2020s is that low-attack bass synth sound that’s on this song and is also on quite a few T-ara and 2NE1 songs from back in the day. Fuck low-attack synth. But anyway, apart from that this song’s alright I suppose, it’s actually dated rather well due to just being a bit pacy. Faster beats are gradually creeping back into k-pop and it’s a good thing, let’s keep it up people.
That’s it for the roundup! Remember the latest Kpopalypse survey is now live, so do it, caonima and have your say on my book, on Nayeon’s bunny teeth, on your favourite JAVs and other important issues affecting the world today! Kpopalypse roundup returns next week!
10 thoughts on “Kpopalypse roundup – new k-pop releases 27/3/2023”
Yeah man, I cant believe how hard Ive’s team dropped the ball on this new song. The chorus is horrible. And not just “Shouty mess” horrible, like its almost atonal in its awfulness. And then the verses kick in and you remember what Ive is capable of and it just makes the chorus all the worse.
I immediately thought of oppar when I saw that “Nugudom” song, very ballsy. Not sure what encourages their growth, either, I guess keep doing what you’re doing??
Also saw the Ateez song is their Japanese 2nd single, guess a former Axis power might be used to the fascist-Hugo Boss style?
What a week. Yeeun not rapping, an ex-Lovelyz member not sucking, Hi Cutie being totally not cute, and Girl Crush being sexy like it’s still 2015.
Naeun was my favourite member of Apink, but it will still be interesting to see what 5pink come out with.
Girl Crush won this week methinks. Apparently the song was written and produced by someone named Napkins (넵킨스), which is honestly perfect (I’m sure Sowon would agree). The only real negative is the presence of Ms. 2005, I hope she gets her grade school diploma eventually.
Ateez is also great mainly for the awesome workout footage and bicep shots, I could use the protein since Ive was such a let down. They’re releasing an album in a few weeks, so I’m gonna choose to believe this was just a one-off, and there will be better singles/tracks on the project.
The IVE chorus isn’t bad, it just doesn’t fit well. The song is still catchy and should be popular. Definitely not as good as their 2 previous bangers though.
That Girl Crush song absolutely SLAPS.
“Alarm” is blah and sounds nothing like Likey.
Catchy and good are not necessarily mutually inclusive. Piko-taro is catchy as hell in spite of being one of the most annoying songs known to mankind.
Why does that Girl Crush tadpole look so Bom-ified at 17? Jesus Christ, Korea.
unsurprising but i can’t believe you’d call like crazy’s melody “rambling” and then praise that ateez song that literally has no consistent melody throughout what a joke
That “Uranus” song made me promise myself to never click on a “K-hiphop” song again. The way that dude was tryna act swag was cringe as hell. K-hiphop in general just sucks, but it’s too bad that people listen to anything nowadays so long as it’s Korean.