Kpopalypse roundup – new k-pop releases 22/5/2023

It’s time for Kpopalypse roundup! Let’s take a look at some new releases!

Mate, are you havin’ a go, cunt?


A paper-thin baby’s-first-goth visual veneer and Kim Lip’s missile silo can’t hide the fact that this is just that tired “Latin” sound gasping for its last breath.

Verivery – Crazy Like That

That tinny rhythm track really isn’t doing it for me, the Duracell bunny’s been putting in overtime sending songs to k-pop agencies lately. A pity because the track would be quite decent without the NewJeans-tier drum programming.

N.Flying – Blue Moon

N.Flying will clearly never top their debut but what we have here is acceptable enough, at least until the rap kicks in.

Mijoo – Movie Star

Mijoo’s been in great form lately, first Juju’s Secret and now this, an excellent song that recalls the better tracks from IVE. Meanwhile the rest of the former Lovelyz members are still stuck in ballad hell.

Black Swan – Karma

I’m aware that there’s no Koreans left in this revolving-door of a group (probably because Dr Music’s reputation is so shit in Korea that nobody would consent to training with them) but the nationality of the performers doesn’t matter for roundup eligibility, it’s still the k-pop industry driving it, so it gets in. The song is far from the heights of Rania’s best, but it’s also not as dreadful as Fatou’s solo stuff and her raps actually fit pretty well here. It’s all pretty generic but nothing about this is too shameful.

IVE – Not Your Girl

This has none of what makes the better IVE tracks great, and should have just stayed as a B-side.

ATBO – Next To Me

There’s something wrong about this and I can’t quite place it, like these kids have never heard a 90’s P-funk beat before (possibly true).

The Wind – Island

It’s “Into The New World” but with mostly underage guys instead of mostly underage girls. Let’s be honest, those new laws about minors in k-pop aren’t going to be doing shit to help anyone anytime soon, are they.

MIDNATT – Masquerade

From my song submitter: “Midnatt is Lee Hyun’s alter ego, member of 8Eight and Homme, groups under Big Hit when BTS didn’t even exist”. Turns out the song is pretty decent, although the visual similarity to Ill Bill’s “My Uncle” video is a bit interesting and makes me wonder exactly what drugs get passed around over there at HYBE.

Taeyang feat. Bryan Chase – Nightfall

Taeyang’s entry into the “let’s try to be The Weeknd” category isn’t too bad but I’ve also heard better. At least it has some punchy drums instead of mice running across a floorboard.

Joohoney – Freedom

Joohoney on top of a tall building ready to dive off, Joohoney locked in a cage with “struggle” written on his face… gosh someone’s upset with their contract. I guess if you can’t actually have any freedom, singing about it might be the next best thing.

HYNN – Heaven

Ailee was at her peak when she recorded “Heaven” and this cover isn’t significantly different, although I’m not sure why she chooses not to sing the song’s big hook.

Queen Wasabii – Coco Cherry Cake

Queen Wasabii didn’t take any issue with the lyrics to “Coco Cherry Cake” when she was making the album because her vision for original and wholesome music was crystal clear to her. Slang terms aren’t taught in school and not everyone is familiar with them. It’s impossible for people to be familiar with every idiom and offensive term out there and predicting their reception around the world is an even more challenging task. To be sure, she consulted with English professors, professional interpreters, translators and native speakers about this issue, who suggested it isn’t a commonplace interpretation and one they had to look up as they were unfamiliar with it themselves. The common thread in all of their opinions was that it’s very problematic to put total confidence into any one interpretation, that a person’s understanding relies on a mix of objective facts and personal experience, and that this must all be considered together in a wider context. They added that the term “coco cherry cake, all over your face” is also not a commonly used slang term for anything sexual and therefore not problematic in itself, but that any listener could take the word to mean something different depending on their personal experience and exposure to certain slang meanings.

Snap – Pick-Cat

Okay, this song sucks ass, but at least the video has the people in it that you give a fuck about. Feverse take note.

Charismatic – PICK on the top

And again.

3YE – My Eye

I love “fan song” in the title, it’s like they’re apologising for the song existence by saying “only a fan could love this crap”.

Amber Liu – ILY

Last time Amber released an album it was called called “Z”, a few weeks later the Russians painted all their military hardware with the same letter and then invaded Ukraine. If missiles start striking Taiwan next month with “ILY” written on the side we’ll know who to blame.

YOUNITE – Waterfall

They are playing sportball and I’ve already overdosed on that shit thanks to my Australian post, so let’s just move on.

BTOB – Day&Night

I like it how ‘live clip’ in Korean pop music just means that the performers were probably breathing at the time they recorded it.

OKPOP – Take My Hand

We already know international k-pop fans are the most racist people on the planet, proving it with yet another gimmick ‘project’ group as if Chad Future, EXP Edition, Kaachi etc never happened isn’t telling us anything new. The experiment is done, the data is in – go away now and stop handing in last year’s thesis like it’s fresh work. The song isn’t bad at all actually and I would have liked it a whole lot more without the exploitative YouTuber stink all over it.

ChoCo1 – 85 In

Just painful.

INI – Fanfare

It’s okay, nothing that memorable and I’ll probably have forgotten how it sounds by the time this is published, but a bit of punchiness in the backing track goes a long way.

JO1 – All Hours

The group and song name, plus the lyrics like “I can handle this”… I see what you did there. They’re just taking the piss now.

SM Classics Town Orchestra – Hello Future

I can’t believe this even exists, but then I guess I can because it’s SM and they haven’t a care in the world. Mind you I did enjoy this slightly more than the original, but that’s more due to good luck than good management. Even a broken agency is right twice a day.

Yel – For You

One of the girls that you ignored from Fiestar is back with a dull song so you can ignore her some more.

Chen – Before the Petals Fall

Snore. No objectification survey rankings for you this year.

DeVita – Naughty

I continue to like everything about DeVita except the music she makes.

Hoon – Mea Rosa

Not a Commodore VH with mags in sight. What a let-down, would have worked so well with my Australian post too.

10CM – My Ultimate First Love

10cm have heard all about how k-pop fans love underage performers debuting super young with adult concepts so much, so they brought you this cute school romance song for you to swoon over, isn’t that so sweet uwu heart shape

Kim Feel feat. Tablo – Love You

I really wish Tablo would put more of his justifiable rage into his music, instead of his podcast or whatever. You wouldn’t know he was the most unfairly fucked-with entertainer in all of Korea (surpassing even T-ara for sheer “look at the Koreans just running with lies so they can hate like a bunch of morons” shitfuckery) by the way his music sounds. He should be screaming his tits off like Kathleen Hanna but instead we get mid-paced chill every time, how boring.

Yuri feat. MC Sniper – Save It

I don’t really care for the mid-paced rap ballad but at least this is visually entertaining in all the right ways, it’s one Hitler salute/crab dance combination away from greatness.

Colde – I’m Still Here

Unfortunately so are we. Anyway you don’t want to listen to this so here’s your weekly lesson in black music instead. Think I’ve run out of black guitarists to feature? Think again – Rocky George was one of the best guitarists in the 80s punk scene and his playing helped Suicidal Tendencies bridge the gap between metal, punk and rap back at a time when all of those three styles lived in completely separate camps and never dared meet.

Umu – The Party Song

Could have been brilliant but that half-time chorus just kills all the energy stone dead.

Sooflower – After Thing Night

This is what pretentious people call “city pop” and people who actually know music history call “disco”. Yes I will keep harping on this point because it annoys people and gives me life.

Bulgogidisco – Dagaga

Cool riffs pretty much carry this song which has nothing else really, but sometimes cool riffs are enough.

9001 (Ninety O One) – Upside Down

I was like “who is that hot chick sleeping in the thumbnail” and it turned out to be a dude, guess I’m a gay twink after all. Come to Kpopalypse dot come for all your gay twink k-pop writing needs, I guess.

Handam – Maze

Hey I liked this. Just a really nice handle on melody and not too much of anything. Or maybe I’m just saying that because the guy has his shirt open and rain is dripping on his abs… yeah I’m gay. At least for the next three minutes.

iiso – Salad Days

All the nugus are going to have this pissy-ass beat that you can barely even hear thanks the success of NewJeans “Ditto“, gotta have a new shit trend to replace all the old ones that are dying I guess.

Rainbow Note – I wanna be free

I really want to like this group because I’m generally biased toward their casual clothes-wearing energy which doesn’t seem ultra-rehearsed and formulaic like how idol groups do it where everything is carefully colour-matched like a stylist picked it out of 300 choices. Also they have cool guitar solos sometimes and they even know how to use microphones correctly. However the songs just don’t grab me.


Here, have an entire Red Velvet concert. Never say Kpopalypse doesn’t give you anything. Rip it quickly before the video uploader gets approached by shady people on behalf of a big k-pop company and subtly threatened to take their content down, not that I would know anything about that…

IU – ‘My Sea’ live – The Golden Hour concert

If you look at which part of this video is the most popular, it’s the high note, of course. That’s because all k-pop fans are dumb and think music is sport, and it’s all about being able to hit that high note, instead of, you know, singing a song that people might like. So instead of actually listening to that song, they play the high note over and over again like a bunch of zombies and go “gosh what a nice high note” while disregarding the function of the note in the broader context of the music. It’s the same reason why people get offended by words without looking at or understanding the context in which those words are presented. We are raising a generation of five-second stupids. Fight back against this global societal rot today by listening to the song all the way through… or not at all, cos it’s kinda boring tbh LOL

s.e.s – ‘Cause I’m Your Girl

If you’ve ever wondered why s.e.s are always written in small letters, it’s to make them easier to ignore. Nobody actually cared about this group even back when they were huge, least of all their own company (who still doesn’t host most of the group’s own old videos on their channel), they were just the token “girl group” on SM because they had a huge boy group so they needed a girl group too just for gender balancing. When I was first introduced to k-pop it was in 2000 and the girl who spoke to me about it gushed about H.O.T (note: capital letters) for about an hour and then was like “oh yeah, and s.e.s, I guess they exist too, anyway back to H.O.T and…” which pretty much summed up the feeling back then. However there is one (and only one) thing I like about this song, which is the “we like s.e.s, y’all” intro which is deliberately said to sound like just the “we like sess” that was cropping up in  rap songs at the time, which makes s.e.s k-pop’s first pro-marijuana group. In that aspect at least, they paved the way.

That’s all for this week! Kpopalypse roundup returns next week!

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