It’s time for Kpopalypse roundup! Let’s take a look at some new releases!
The Kid LAROI, Jung Kook, Central Cee – Too Much
Every week it’s some guy from BTS with some other randos from around the world riding the coattails hoping to grab some shine for themselves. Can BTS kids not do anything on their own? It must be weird when your whole life is like a nursing home with someone else constantly wiping your asshole.
Sunmi – Stranger
If Sunmi was going to pull an NMIXX style change-up trendy bullshit disaster out of the hat she might as well have just stayed on JYP and done it there. It’s even worse in this case because the individual parts here are all great and would have made excellent songs on their own but they just don’t fit together whatsoever. We were just robbed of not one but three great Sunmi comebacks, which would have made a real difference to song quality this year. The opportunity cost here is enormous.
Chuu – Howl
At least Chuu knows how to do one thing well, which is be a Chuu. I’m really enjoying this era of Chuu being in Chuu videos because she’s like every girlfreind I’ve ever had. This song takes its time getting going but the chorus is worth the wait.
SEVENTEEN – God of Music
I guess today was the seventh day.
NCT NEW TEAM – Hands Up
Are SM ever going to move on from the whole NCT thing or in 20 years from now are they still going to be churning out “NCT even newer team this is the newest team now we promise pinky swear”. SM always got to go extra with their boy groups’ marketing in some stupid way nobody cares about, when all we want is a group of people performing songs that don’t suck.
TREASURE – B.O.M.B
Treasure’s new song is a bit bland honestly but it’s not tragic either. I wouldn’t put this on by choice, but if this came on at my gym instead of the usual doof doof music I’d probably be okay with it in that context.
Youha – Flight
Youha does something a bit different for her in that she’s actually not very exciting this time around. However I’m very fascinated by her clothing here. Is that just a normal t-shirt that she’s sort of pulled up a bit so it meets required Asian Junkie half-shift standards, or is that some kind of weird design where the shirt always looks crumpled at the front but it’s really not and is just meant to look like that? Does this mystery need an entire episode of Kpopalypse Fashion Class to unravel? I hope you all appreciate my willingness to go where nobody else dares and ask the big, important questions in k-pop today.
Billlie – DANG! (Hocus Pocus)
What, there’s only five members of Billlie left? Soon there’ll be more consonants in their name than people in the group at this rate. Anyway the song isn’t very good and the quirkiness from debut era really isn’t here either, so the rest of them may as well leave too, fuck it.
YOUNG POSSE – Macaroni Cheese
The Young Posse team didn’t take any issue with the lyrics to “Macaroni Cheese” when we were making the album because our vision for original and wholesome music was crystal clear to us. 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, we 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…
QWER – Discord
Artists are naming themselves by face-mashing the keyboard now. I mean it’s not a bad idea, no matter where your nose hits the keys the result is probably still going to be better than Elz 7Up or whatever. The song is sadly a bit pissweak given that it’s all blues-based so it just sounds like someone noodling on scales, but at least it’s quick. This group have the promise of filling the hole left by AOA’s band concept, let’s hope the CEO doesn’t decide to switch it up once they start flopping.
QWER – Harmony of stars
This dreary ballad is very skippable though.
Queenz Eye – This Is Love
Kind of weak disco nonsense.
Kep1erving – Tape
What a missed opportunity to call this subunit with five of the nine Kep-one-er girls “Kep-0.5555(recurring)-er”. It wouldn’t be the most awkward k-pop group name ever.
Xdinary Heroes – Pluto
Pluto isn’t really a planet, and a rock band that Autotunes their vocals isn’t really a rock band.
YOUNITE – Love It
Stalking so aegyo, you’re so pretty give me your phone number please what do you mean you don’t want to talk to me, guess you’re an ugly bitch anyway boing boing heart shape
E’LAST – Kiss me baby
Let’s just be friends.
KINGDOM – Coup D’Etat
I’d probably take it to the next level with the guys in Kingdom though. I mean, since I’m now officially a 30 year old twink according to very knowledgeable people online who definitely know all about me, I might as well embrace it. If I were going to choose one k-pop boy group to follow that destiny with it would probably be Kingdom because at least they always know how to dress to make an impression. You want to look good on the streets as well as in the sheets.
SUPERKIND – Beam me up
These guys are stepping it up too. The male boobs-harnesses are definitely in effect.
Loco feat. Minnie – Not Ok
This guy already did collabs with Hyomin, now he’s got all the new k-pop idols on his tracks… come on Loco, there’s other rappers out there starving for a token k-pop idol collab, don’t hog them all for yourself that’s just rude.
Jay Chang – Rockstar
I hope this helps some of you.
Jay Chang – I’ll Be There
What’s worse than a furry? A furry with a low polygon count.
Wheein x Hwasa – 17
Just an excuse for these two to get paid to do vocal warmups. Good for them I guess. When I saw the title I thought that the song was only going to be 17 seconds long and that would have been nice because that’s about the limit of my tolerance for listening to vocal scale exercises.
CNBLUE – Synchronize
Not bad at all if you like the boring as shit end of j-rock and are basically an uninteresting person.
SM Classics – Growl
The main problem with EXO’s “Growl” in its original form was the mind-numbing Daft Punk levels of repetition – the whole song was basically just one riff that did absolutely nothing. Now it’s one riff that does way too much and it still sucks just as much, I’m not sure how SM pulled that particular feat of sorcery but they’ve managed to do it, increasing the complexity but retaining the same low, low quality, like a biochemist using genetic engineering to increase crop yields from the same soil, but instead of feeding starving people rice, we’re feeding idiots shit music.
Chanyeol – Good Enough
This song is significantly better than SM’s orchestral wankfest just because it’s actually a song. Yes, the bar is low.
Unbalance – Never
Apparently “a project group composed by some comedians, an actor and a 2PM member formed through a tv show”, thanks song submitter for this valuable context because now I know exactly why it sounds both laughable and outdated.
Min Soo Hyun, Kim Jung Yeon, Park Min Su, Gong Hoon – Real Man
Is this some trot super-collab, I guess so. I don’t see any of my faves though.
SMUZ – Permeating Me
What is this.
You Dayeon – Down Down Down
I kind of have a headache at the moment so that’s making me like this nothingy song more than I probably would.
Sora – Hit The Road
This song isn’t good enough to praise or bad enough to shit on so let’s instead have our weekly black music feature! This week we have Oceans Of Slumber, and damn they’re great. This group should especially appeal to those of you who care so much about vocals and complain whenever I shit on k-pop singers who are good vocalists but have no goddamn songs. Why the fuck anybody who cares even 1% about vocals would even care about k-pop at all is beyond me, people with a passion for singing should simply not waste their time in k-pop where almost every performer either can’t sing, or can but is faking it most of the time anyway. In heavy metal, decent vocals actually has a function in some contexts, and their singer Cammie is one of the best melodic-style metal vocalist out there right now for pure technique, listen to her just do everything effortlessly even live you’re welcome.
Haera – Go Away
Rainbow Note – I mean
Rainbow Note have the sound but they still badly need a song.
Balming Tiger – Moving Forward
Balming Tiger just do whatever on their tracks and sometimes that works but usually it just sounds like they didn’t have any ideas.
Giriboy – Part-time Job
Keep that part time job, you’re going to need it to fall back on when your music career tanks… hah, who am I kidding, people love dogshit like this.
Adios Audio – Flower
The cool thing about the Yamaha Revstar guitar is that the concept of their look comes from Yamaha’s motorbikes so if you shop around you can actually get a guitar to exactly match your motorbike, or a motorbike to match your guitar, now that’s pretty neat.
Axolotl – Ghost
It’s kind of rocking so I can dig it, it’s actually got a little bit of that “pirate metal” vibe in the chorus, which is a worry but I’ll give it a pass because guitar solo.
WAY1 – I can’t write sad songs anymore
Someone’s been reading my roundup reviews and is taking all the criticism of ballads personally. Don’t be sad, it’s just my opinion, man. For what it’s worth this guy’s song is decent anyway so I guess a bit of abuse helped him out. Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind.
015B feat. Minjeong – I Deserve Happiness
Not only that but you also deserve a better song, and a more interesting backdrop.
GB9 – Unfollow
Don’t mind if I do.
Buddy feat. Gong Jin – Blink
Is she really a Gfriend fan though. I have to wonder.
Shin Jihoon – Lonely Heart
Someone really wanted me to review this dull, generic ballad for some reason so here you go – it’s dull and generic, yay. Let’s stop reviewing songs now while I still have some sanity left.
BONUS RANDOM VIDEOS OF THE WEEK
OSSC – Korean girls react to 10 most popular categories in adult video
“I think about butt 90 times per day” – the girl on the left is a real one.
HUP! – Can Translators Translate Their English? (feat.LIL CHERRY, GOLDBUUDA)
This is a good example of what I was talking about in my rap primer post (which is 8 years old now but still applies to this day), with regards to international fans evaluating the rapping of Korean hip-hop artists, and how that realistically looks kind of silly to anyone in Korea. Watch here how much the Korean translators struggle to grapple with the meaning of the English lyrics here, keep in mind this is just Lil Cherry and Goldbudda who are lyrically pretty straightforward, and these people here are translators for a living. Now imagine how those translators would do with something actually complex. Then flip it the other way and pretend it’s westerners translating Korean – now you have people on western k-pop forums throwing down about their bias in some group. How well do you think they would do? Not even as well as the people here, by a long shot. Self appointed Korean pop forum “idol rap experts” need to be quiet. (EDIT: someone pointed out this video has been featured before, and they’re right, it has. But I just wanted a chance to shit on ‘k-pop rap analysts’ once again. Also Lil Cherry looks great here, that’s important.)
Girl’s Day – Something
I’m not wild about this song, the rhythm track is decent but it’s also pretty bland melodically and not much happens, hence why I’ve never devoted any time to reviewing it. I do have a soft spot for it however ever since I saw Girl’s Day perform it live. It worked a lot better in that context, probably because I was bored out of my fucking mind from the sausage-fest that was Sydney’s 2017 KCON and Girl’s Day were really the only lengthy respite from the endless boy groups. Just having that different energy on stage with the sound being sultry and sub-bassy and the entire arena being tinted red like the inside of a strip club sorry I mean very artsy burlesque show for those three minutes was just a cool change from boy groups tiresomely being “badass” in 20-minute blocks. Not really worth the money, but still good times.
That’s all for this week! Kpopalypse roundup returns next week!