It’s time for Kpopalypse roundup! Let’s take a look at some new releases!
(G)I-DLE – Allergy
Allergic to decent drumming by the sound of it. It’s not too bad I guess but some actual hard-hitting rock drumming instead of the weak drum machine sound would have really made this track come alive.
(G)I-DLE – Queencard
And again. Just a little more grit and this would be killer.
LAS feat. Miyeon of (G)I-DLE – Spring Song
As for this other track, let’s just move on for the good of humanity.
BABYMONSTER – Dream
We’re supposed to feel nostalgic for their ‘struggle’ and we only just found out who they were ten seconds ago. Settle down with the emotionally manipulative marketing there, YG. We already feel bad enough for them just because they’re on your label, there’s no need to go the extra mile to get the tears flowing.
IVE – WAVE
Not as good as their recent Korean songs but it’s at least tonally consistent which is enough to get it over the line.
Seventeen – F*ck My Life
This is what I say to myself each and every week when it’s roundup time, but you folks love it so I’ll keep doing it. Cheers and thanks for those of you who support!
Feverse – CHO
Talk about not knowing which side your bread is buttered on – what a massive marketing mistake to make this a “virtual group”. Instead of actually seeing Heejin (Loona), Hayoung (Apink) , Soobin + Luda (WJSN) and Eunbi (IZ*ONE) all in the one setting, we have to put up with these weirdly-lit CGI creations that don’t cast shadows or have gravity for some reason. At least they’re going for a fantasy style rather than trying to make them “look human” which never works, but honestly a decent resolution video of the real girls just standing in a room singing would have been preferred by nearly everyone.
ADYA – Per
They’re going for that NewJeans/SSS carefully crafted industry-gilded “casual but not really” look which is trendy now. It’s all fun and games until someone shows up in a Cannibal Corpse tee and then the bullying starts.
CRAXY – No Limit
Actually one of the better “change up” songs, because it keeps the same tempo. Even the rock ending is just a strict double-time multiplication rather than awkwardly shifting gears from A to A x ΔMi−1 = −αΣn=1NDi[n] [Σj∈C[i]Fji[n − 1] + Boram[n−1]] which is what these type of change-up songs usually do.
ICHILLIN’ – Siren
Just another song where the topline writer didn’t really know how to treat the backing track so they just did the typical minor thing in places where phrygian mode would have been a obviously better fit. This is what makes Dreamcatcher better than your bias.
Nicole – Selfish
Just some generic disco that Nicole and KARA’s discography in general is much better than.
TEMPEST – Freak Show
Nothing that interesting happening here but at least it’s quick and has a punchy riff, boy-pop in general is gradually clawing its way out of the downtempo doldrums.
AB6IX – Fly Away
This song is better, thanks to a nicely fast double-time chorus with some real catchiness that’s enough to make you look past the 70’s sci-fi jumpsuits.
Quokka N Sudal – Summer
Naming yourself after an animal that’s a lot cuter than you are is a dangerous game.
PENTAGON – Shh
As I watched this I became fascinated by the white drop-sheet that is back stage right, what’s it doing there? Is it a vantage point for the choreography coach to stand behind and yell at them while not being seen? A place for the group to hide contraband snacks from the CEO? I forsee a JAV concept in the future where the boys sneak behind the white barricade one by one to have gay sex.
Yuto – You don’t have to try hard
Well, Yuto certainly didn’t.
Xdinary Heroes – Good Enough
It really isn’t.
Xdinary Heroes – Bicycle
Obviously this song is better, but JYP has to keep spamming his non-organic rock bands at us like actual rock music isn’t a thing and we need this somehow.
Xdinary Heroes – Dear H.
The guitar solo is decent, but there’s also parts of this song where you could take a long, snaky shit and wipe your ass between notes.
AIMERS – Bubble
You’ve got to hand it to them for running with one of the most poverty-stricken concept ideas ever. “Let’s call the song bubble and we’ll blow bubbles for the video and have a fan offscreen blowing them around” is a real two-dollar shop way to get by in k-pop without expensive CGI but hey whatever works I guess.
THE7 – Chemistry
One of the better boy-pop songs lately. There’s a surprising lack of turgid nonsense this week.
DIGNITY – RE-ZERO
Warning sign: coloured fluro tubes pinned up to a rear wall in random patterns.
Rocking Doll Roa & Ahri – Star in the sky
Lots of doll but not much rocking to be had here, the setting they’re in looks like a green screen even though it obviously isn’t. I like it how they’re in a fenced off area, it’s probably best for your safety that you keep at least 50 metres away from ballads like this at all times.
Yu Jun Sang, Romin & Wonjun – Ay Mamita
I doubt that there’s a song in the entire history of the world called “Ay Mamita” that’s actually any good, because it’s just one of those cursed song names, but even if there is, this one isn’t it.
Ra.D & Sori – Always
Well, Sori’s “retirement” didn’t last long. Maybe what she really meant was that she’d just stop doing music we cared about.
DALsooobin – Tanaka San
What is this fucking annoying shit. I think it’s supposed to be “fun” or something but strangely I find listening to a good song more “fun” than hearing someone say “Tanaka-san” over and over like they’re begging Hitomi to come out of retirement.
Sungmin – Lovesick
It’s all ruined by the microphone positioning. Tsk tsk.
Hyuk feat. Nerd Man – Be Myself
Is it so hard to do the other strap of your overalls up. If this song is implying that that’s Hyuk’s staking of his individuality, I weep for society.
Lee Gikwang – Favorite
I saw those floorboards and I just felt sorry for whoever’s got the penthouse room. I hope they’re not trying to sleep with those dancers clunking away up there on the roof.
WOODZ – Drowning
I feel a bit mean for shitting on Woodz so much and to be honest his sanitised ripoff of Radiohead’s “Creep” here is tolerable enough if not exactly exciting. Look at that bass player though, that 5-string Yamaha Broadbass is bigger than she is. She’s the real star of this video, put her up the front and fuck Woodz and his yelping vocals off to the background somewhere.
Woosoo – Boyfri end
This guy could n’t even write wor ds withou t putti ng in needle ss space s everywh ere so he’s best ignored, instead here’s your weekly lesson in black music. I’ve been deliberately neglecting rap music in these weekly roundups, simply because like R&B it’s music black people tend to get stereotyped with, but there’s still definitely plenty of good stuff worth your time and here is some. Fun-Da-Mental were a group of Islamic British Pakistani rappers (who are apparently still around although they don’t seem to have done much recently) and their anti-racist violence vibe was so intense that they legitimately scared people when they first appeared. They freaked out snowflaky British neo-Nazis with the “Dog Tribe” video above to the point where the record label received death threats, which the group then decided would make a nice intro to their debut album. A old bandmate of mine got to play didgeridoo with them when they played Adelaide’s “WOMADelaide” world music festival in the 90s, and they sure were the standout act musically. The polite upper-class world music crowd definitely wasn’t prepared for Fun-Da-Mental’s intense performance and sheer rage, as the fans of the group quickly transformed the place into memorable chaos, it was also the first time I’d ever seen an ambulance drive right into a moshpit to pick up injured hipsters who presumably had their overpriced festival food stall lattes slapped out of their hands and burned themselves. I remember some middle-aged white woman asking me “I don’t get it, I came here to see music from different cultures and relax, why are they so angry?” and that pretty much sums up people missing the point as a whole. It’s a shame that absolutely zero live footage of this group exists of any quality, there is some if you search but the sound quality of it is all ass and it definitely doesn’t come close to capturing how good they were. You had to be there.
RBZ – Love But Hate
Apparently someone from Block B is in this, someone tell me who and where, cheers.
Younha – Kaze
This woman is directly responsible for the highest position that a BTS member has ever placed in a Kpopalypse Top 30 annual list, just putting that out there so you little seven zombies put some support behind her. Maybe use your powers of group organisation for good instead of just harrassing, cyberbullying and doxxing people for a change, now there’s a thought.
DeVita feat. Dawn – Ride For Me
Woo Yerin – Red Rose
She can use a Shure 55 correctly so that’s already a pass from me.
Yea Song – I Went To A Party
I skipped all the ‘indie’ stuff this week because it all made me feel like this song does. I suggest she goes to a different party that’s a bit more lively.
Colde – Island
Sometimes this guy’s okay, but what is this dreary nonsense. My grandmother would throw rocks at the stage and scream “get off, softcock”.
Hijvc Kid feat. Cherry Boy 17 – No More B*tch
Oh my god something with a pulse. It’s a bit silly and pointless but at least it didn’t make me fall asleep.
THUGBOYY feat. NSW Yoon – Tango
Anyone with “thug” in their name, just don’t even press play. It’ll be nothing good.
Standing Egg – Say Yes
Your semi-regular reminder that I’m happy about not doing a radio show anymore because there was that one person who used to request Standing Egg all the time and I really don’t like that group, but I also made it my policy to always play requests if I had them to do the right thing by the listeners, so I’d end up playing a ton of their songs that I didn’t really like. I don’t know how many times I’ve already told that story in roundup but I’ll continue to tell it for as long as Standing Egg continue to traumatise me.
BONUS RANDOM VIDEOS OF THE WEEK
nirvana – Beware of this predatory k-pop audition: U2U
Remember how I’ve been telling my readers for years how a lot of k-pop recruitment processes are really just gateways to various aspects of the adult entertainment industry? Well, here’s one of many such possible gateways – and far from the most extreme example, as cam streaming is fairly benign compared to what some people (male and female) end up doing. As the video creator says near the end, it’s not a problem if you know what you’re signing up for and that’s what you want to do, the issue is the deceptive practices used to get people involved who otherwise wouldn’t be. So if you’re thinking of heading down these kinds of pathways, do your research very carefully, and assume everything has the potential for exploitation unless you have solid proof that it doesn’t.
wemezone – “you just wouldn’t get it” kpop songs
Whenever k-pop fans are faced with criticism (especially criticism they miss the point of, such as my roundups), they tend to run to one of a few consistent defenses (“it’s camp”, “you just wouldn’t get it”, “you’re an [insert identity group x]”, etc etc) because they’re insecure enough to feel that they NEED a defense instead of just saying “well you don’t like this song but I do and that’s totally fine”. Enjoy eye-rolling at some of these inane defenses here.
Girls’ Generation – Kissing You
It probably works okay during a live set as a “goodbye fuck off we’re leaving the stage now, no encores fuck you” song but outside of this context what we have here is total trash. No wonder Taeyeon hates this, she probably has some decent music taste and doesn’t like pandering to pedos any more than IU was forced to back in the day.
That’s all for this week! Kpopalypse roundup returns next week!
3 thoughts on “Kpopalypse roundup – new k-pop releases 15/5/2023”
Good reviews as always. Two questions:
– Why did WordPress disable Twitter login commenting, forcing me to make another account I’ll never use? Do they think I’ll bother to actually start blogging just because I had to sign up with them?
– Who’s Han Seo Hee?
1. It’s related to some sort of deal between WordPress and Twitter that fell through when Elon Musk started recently charging for Twitter API access that was previously free.
2. This article sums it up but I may have to write my own better one given some of the incorrect information here: https://www.vizaca.com/han-seo-hee-controversies/
Jesus christ, that CGI supergroup roster would sweep the floor with all the visuals. Super bad move not putting the real people in it.
As a VIXX fan I hope that Hyuk’s questionable fashion choice of leaving off a suspender strap was supposed to be his “not sure who I am” stage to the “be myself” glow-up (now I’m hot with makeup) stage, ha.
Also, I’m sorry to say as a long-time reader I missed out on your Standing Egg confessions. Enduring that level of cringe for your listeners…no wonder you have so much patience for your site. Pretty hardboiled, man.