It’s time for Kpopalypse roundup! Let’s take a look at some new releases!
Aespa – Spicy
Actually starts off with a decent riff, but as the song drags on and becomes more and more overcrowded with vocal layers, it just starts sounding more and more generic as the good parts of the track are buried. This would have been great with about half of the vocal lines chopped out of it (preferably your fave’s).
Aespa feat. Naevis – Welcome To My World
Not sure who Naevis is (fucking nugu just like Nile Rodgers amirite) or where she comes into it exactly, but this lighter waving mush certainly could have been AI-generated. There’s something about scotch snaps and the epic feel they’re going for that just doesn’t mix.
TripleS +(KR)ystal Eyes – Cherry Talk
All of the high-gloss image and plausibly-deniable dogwhistling of pre-debut Loona but only 50% of the music, SSS have so far been a disappointment. Not sure why they’re spending so much time on their phones in this video, hopefully they’re texting their manager asking for better songs.
TripleS +(KR)ystal Eyes – Touch
That boring as fuck 90’s girl-group sound. It wasn’t that good when Australia’s Girlfriend did it, it wasn’t good when The Spice Girls ripped it off a couple years later, it wasn’t good when s.e.s then ripped it off again and it’s not good now.
NMIXX – Paxxword
If you try to hack an NMIXX fan’s social networking account, the odds of their password actually being “Paxxword” are now pretty good. Thank me by tagging me when you’re posting from their account.
LE SSERAFIM – Flash Forward
Not as bad as that shit from last week (Nile Rodgers is a nugu srs, admit it you had to look him up too – because all you crybabies made such a big deal out of it, I’m going to mention this every week for as long as it amuses me) but it definitely doesn’t have what made the better Le Sserafim tracks good.
PURPLE KISS – Autopilot
This week is the week of the throwaway B-side releases. Purple Kiss definitely have the best song this week to accompany their tossed off music video edited on no sleep and no pay by the company intern, and this really should have been a feature.
CLASS:y – My Love
As soon as you see that mobile phone format vertical screen you pretty much know to skip it.
ONEUS – Erase Me
I wish the changing up was a bit smoother but at least there’s also some dynamics involved, k-pop usually forgets that, so this one gets over the line.
THE BOYZ – Banana Chacha
Pororo collabs are the Bakhmut of k-pop – everyone in active service gets rotated through there eventually, but the rotations are short to (hopefully) prevent burnout or death. Momoland yesterday, The Boyz today, probably your bias next week (unless you’re Russian, or in Oh My Girl, in which case you’re stuck there until you die). With any luck The Boyz will come out alive, or at least unscathed by bullying scandals… not that I would know anything about that…
iKON – U
Imagine being in this group, you’re supposed to be megastars in theory but your songs just mostly don’t hit. I bet these guys can’t even afford their first molka nightclub yet.
BTOB – Wind and Wish
Maybe I’ve just been ruined by all the shit handicam videos this week, but this is a pretty high budget production for something that sounds like so much ass.
ALICE – Dizzy
Just another B-track, I really should remove these from roundup eligibility but there’s so many that it’s almost more effort to not include them this week.
Lapillus – Queendom
How are you going to get to KCON when you can’t even pick up your nugu-set chess pieces.
NINE.i – Paradise
It’s worth watching just for the clothes. Those “let’s learn to trace a curve with our scissors” first home economics class vests are all the entertainment my eyes need this week, sorry Karina’s white T-shirt I see what you did there but you can’t compete.
VI’ENX – On my way
Best idol boy group song I’ve heard in ages, maybe years. Who the fuck they are I don’t even know (nugus like Nile Rodgers amirite) but this actually rocks.
Giuk feat. Sunwoo – Love Virus (2500)
Those fretboard lights are cool, points for that. That’s all I’ve got to say about this one.
Koonta, Skull, Jo Gwangil – Gold
With a lineup like this, how could it be bad or at least not notable. As it turns out it’s a bit weak because it doesn’t really play to the strength of anyone involved but I’ll settle for just knowing that these people know each other.
Puer Kim – Birthday
Fuck aespa, where’s my ten minutes behind-the-scenes video of Puer Kim, complete with cheesy windswept hair and white T-shirt modelling shots in the countryside? Life isn’t fair, I tell you.
Colde feat. Lee Chanhyuk – Heartbreak Club
Every time I see Hero Chanhyuk I just think that he’s cool but I’d rather see the other half of AKMU thanks.
Max Changmin, Ha Hyun Woo – Hybrid
Ha Hyun Woo is from Guckkasten, I guess he’s been well and truly captured by the machine at this point given how much of his distinctive voice is absent.
WOODZ – Ready to Fight
Did I say Woodz was shit last week? It’s hard to remember, but nothing has changed much, even with him turning up the guitars and screaming “motherfucker” a bit it doesn’t make much difference really.
Bang Yongguk – Ride or Die
I can’t remember who this guy is or why I should care but this song is boring. At least fall off one of those motorbikes or something.
U&I feat. Bumkey, Anandelight – Power of Love
Do you care what Bumkey is up to, I sure don’t so here’s your weekly lesson in black music, and here’s… wait, what’s Guns N Roses doing here? I thought this was a black music section? Oh, it just so happens that their guitarist Slash (Saul Hudson) is black. That’s true whether you know it or not, just Google “slash guns n roses mother” for an education. Slash’s guitar work did more than just about anyone else in the late 1980s to straddle the line between the hair-rock scene that was fast disappearing up its own ass, and a dirtier guitar approach which culminated in the rising popularity of grunge and the 1990s punk revival. Nirvana might have nailed the coffin lid shut on the 80s glam rock scene but Guns N Roses built the box with Slash’s guitar solos making up a key component, always slippery and fluid but never sacrificing melody at the altar of speed and showing off like so many of his contemporaries did at the time. Why not listen to some black music today?
Fantamony – Social Friends
I’ve got a lot more time for acapella groups when they’re not acapella, so this gets a pass just for setting a good example.
LONG TIME NO SHIT – Metropigeon
Good to see one of my featured Nugu Alert bands doing well with great songs, high budget videos and… oh never mind.
Thama feat. Lil Cherry – Andrea’s Song
If you’re going to bore us to death by putting country music and trap together at least do the decent thing and put Lil Cherry in your video. But then maybe he sampled and looped her voice and she doesn’t even know she’s in this shit.
Kang Hyeyeon – Gajimayo
If you recognise her, that’s Hyeyeon from BESTie, doing the most old school trot that ever was old school, like your friend who plays you late 80s thrash metal bands you’ve never heard of and insists they’re the best thing ever. Like your friend, she’s wrong, but also like your friend you have to admire the passion.
Jang Hyeri – What is love
Here’s a more modern take on the trot thing also known as “absolute first trot”. It’s actually very cool, with only a weak chorus letting it down, the rest of it is great.
Jang Hyeri – Gasibeosi
Don’t expect me to stan with rubbish microphone placement like that though.
Hurricane Kimchi – The Journey
Here’s this week’s “someone explain this to me please” entry.
Dbo feat. Don Millis – Culture
This is mainly notable for being a Dbo track where Dbo isn’t the worst thing on it. Somehow Don Mills beats him at his own game.
Leellamarz, NSW Yoon, Street Baby feat. Skinny Brown – Rap Lesson
At least there’s nobody dressed like an NFT ape. Have to be grateful for the little things.
Young Ski feat. Paloalto – Funky Chunky
I was expecting the worst but it actually sounds like a Korean Funkdoobiest so that’s cool. Let’s leave it here before it gets worse again.
BONUS RANDOM VIDEOS OF THE WEEK
Aespa feat. Naevis – Welcome To My World – behind the scenes
This is what I was talking about earlier. These videos are nothing but porn for people who like how the girls looked in the video and wanted some longer shots of them in the same clothes but with less editing. And yes it’s porn when Wonho does these too. Nothing wrong with that. Like Jesus said, let the person who did not click on either aespa or Wonho cast the first stone [John 8:7].
MAVE: – Wonderland (IDYPIA)
Not really eligible for roundup due to its length, because it’s basically a j-pop style “short video” (ugh), just letting you know that A. it exists and B. I don’t care about it. If you’re going to do shit AI music stop making them look as tortured as the real thing, at least try to make it a bit fun or something.
Teen Top – Rocking
Nobody does these heavy fast-paced synthesiser jams ever since 2NE1 and BigBang stopped doing them. That’s one thing that the third-generation YG groups left behind and the entire rest of the k-pop world did too. In today’s dull half-time trap-infused k-pop landscape Teen Top’s “Rocking” actually comes off as kind of refreshing even if it’s obviously a weak clone of other groups active at the time. The relatively poor melody writing is the main thing holding it back, as much as this is kind of fun there’s no denying that Rapey and The Molkas did it better.
That’s all for this week! Kpopalypse roundup returns next week!