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K-Pop Music Quick Takes Reviews

Quick Takes: July K-Pop Debuts and Comebacks

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Another month is at its end which means another month of new K-Pop to check out. So I’m giving my quick takes on all of the debuts and comebacks we got this month, and there are tons of new songs so let’s get started!

I’m only sharing the debuts and comebacks I actually paid attention to and not every single one that happened in the month. So if a favorite artist of yours isn’t in here, tell me about them in a comment and I’ll check them out!

Debuts

Wanna Know by IRRIS

I think this is a strong debut. It has a distinct sound that helps it stand out amongst other comebacks and debuts happening right now. It highlights their vocal prowess nicely. The only thing I didn’t care for was the choreography, but before I can say I dislike it I’d need to see it uninterrupted like in a dance practice video. Overall though, I enjoy this debut.

Starlit by UiU

It is a decent debut, but not the most exciting or unique one I’ve seen. I’m not a big fan of the chorus and I don’t think the song overall really showed off their vocals well. I do appreciate that, even though they didn’t have a huge budget for the video, it doesn’t come across as cheap. Overall, while this isn’t a big standout debut, they have potential.

Oasis by 1CHU (HeyGirls Subunit)

I have never heard of HeyGirls prior to this is truly a fresh viewing of these girls. And my first opinion is that I’m not a fan of their vocals. Not to say they are bad singers, because they are absolutely not. But the high-pitched tone is not to my taste, especially when both of them have it. Also not a fan of how they pronounce “oasis”. Besides that, I do think it is a fun, summer song. I personally probably won’t listen to it very much if at all again, but I wouldn’t be appalled if it came up on a playlist.

Copycat by CHOBOM (Apink Sub-Unit)

The video is kind of weird, not gonna lie. Don’t ask me what was happening because I don’t really know. The song itself is fine, overall a chill song. I don’t like or dislike it really. I’m not a fan of the bridge and think it shifts too much into a different sound.

Attention by Newjeans

It’s nice to have a more chill song for a debut because that rarely happens anymore. It still has enough energy to make it grab your attention (ha ha) but isn’t trying to blare into our eardrums to get it. All in all, an interesting start.

Zombie by FAVE1

FAVE1 is a group made of former members of 100% that will promote in Japan. I have no familiarity with 100%, so this is truly a fresh take. And it is a decent debut. I found some of the cinematography too shaky and it made it hard to watch the video, but the song and concept are fine.

Monochrome (Color) by ATBO

It’s a solid debut but I don’t know if I can pinpoint what their intended concept is. It mixes a few together without committing to any of them. I guess we will have to see what comes next for them since this was a bare minimum introduction.

Pop? Pop! by CSR

Not even a minute in and I can tell you that I am not the intended audience for this group. This is a song and thus group for younger listeners so my opinion of it doesn’t really matter since it is clearly not made for me. I do commend the production value though.

Comebacks

MORE by J-Hope

I couldn’t make a quick take on More, to be honest. It is a concept and song that I had to revisit a few times to really develop my thoughts since it is so unexpected for J-Hope. I’m generally a fan of when artists try new things and/or mature their work because it shows growth and diversity in who they are. And I do think that More is a solid song and actually ended up being my favorite song on the whole album. It is still a little mind-boggling to me that this is J-Hope of BTS, but that was the point. He really came out swinging to show a new side of himself and I think he succeeded.

Last Sequence by WJSN

Last Sequence is a solid comeback. I enjoy the track but I think I’m most impressed by how well the visuals work with and improve it. It is such a pretty video, they all look amazing, and it sets the vibe well. Overall this is a strong song and video.

Future Perfect (Pass the MIC) by ENHYPEN

I have a feeling this will grow on me with more listens, but I have mixed feelings. There are parts I like and parts I don’t. I find the story development in the video interesting, but the scenes at the shipping containers just don’t fit what I expect from Enhypen. I don’t know if I like the darker direction they are going, but I also don’t dislike it. Very conflicting thoughts I have.

Celebrate by TWICE

It’s bright and fun and perfectly Twice. It is Twice doing what they are best at, so it is hard to dislike it.

Loveade by Viviz

It’s fine. I wasn’t a big fan of their debut, and I feel the same with this comeback. I do like this more than Bop Bop though. But I just think that their music style and concept are not currently to my taste. I don’t want to say it is a bad song, because it isn’t. Just not for me.

CHEERS by SVT Leaders (Seventeen Subunit)

I like it, and I have a feeling that if I was a Carat I’d love it. I wish I had more of an opinion than that, but it’s all I got.

#MOOD by MCND

I don’t know what it is about MCND, but even if I don’t like their comebacks I still want them to succeed. As for #Mood, I do enjoy the energy it has and the music. Some of the lyrics are a little ridiculous but that is semi-common for them. I do think this is a fun and solid comeback for them. But I will say that I enjoyed their pre-release single W.A.T.1 more.

Girls by aespa

I want to like it, but aespa’s title tracks have become too formulaic. There is always a high note, the song structure is always the same, and the energy/intent of the songs are the same. The only change is that the beat is consistent instead of the experimental stuff from before. But I want something new. I want diversity in their comebacks. I don’t want to go into comebacks knowing what I’m going to get, and that is exactly how I felt with Girls. I didn’t even watch the teasers so I knew nothing going in and nothing in Girls was a surprise. Instead, it is predictable and honestly boring.

Sparkling by Chung Ha

This is definitely a summer song for her. It is quite the departure from her most recent releases. But she really kills any concept. Chung Ha is very talented and that is undeniable regardless of what concept she does. And I like it, but I will say that this styling and concept has been seen a few times on this list already, let alone in K-Pop in general. So it is good, but not very special.

SCREAM by SF9

I like how, while the video went very heavily summertime themed, the song itself stands out from the typical summer songs we get. The concept didn’t have to be summer-themed based on the track, which in my opinion gives the song more longevity and universality.

Clap Clap by NiziU

I only ever listen to NiziU when it pops up in my recommendations, so I haven’t heard any of their music since Chopsticks. Even then, it is so clear they are a JYP Ent. group. The song and video are very JYP Ent. doing JYP Ent., which is generally not a negative because I generally enjoy JYP’s style. It’s a very fun song, definitely catchy and entertaining. Overall I really like it.

Cloud 9 by F.able

Yet another summer song. I shouldn’t be surprised since we’re right in the middle of it. And I do enjoy fun and bright songs, but the huge influx of them in the summer makes me a little exhausted. For Cloud 9 specifically, it is fun and enjoyable, but generic.

Run by H1-KEY

Another generic song. I swear I have heard something similar to it before. And even the video feels generic, again I think I’ve seen something similar.

Arson by J-Hope

Unlike with More, I had a quick opinion formed on Arson after the first watch. To me, it is like More but without as much alt-rock influence. The subject matter is the same and the tone is generally the same. And I think More is better. That doesn’t mean Arson is bad but when there is a clear ability to make a comparison, one has to end up on top. And in my opinion, that is More.

Sneakers by ITZY

It is very generic Itzy, maybe even just generic in general. I like when artists try different things, which Itzy has done in the past, so this generic pop song is not very interesting. Also, compared to other Itzy tracks, even ones I don’t like, I think this is forgettable.

NO THANKS by HYOLYN

I’m glad to see a Hyolyn comeback that isn’t sexual for the sake of being sexual. At this point, we all know that Hyolyn is sexy, but now we also got to see her playful and badass. And the song is a good song that really plays up those different parts.

_WORLD by Seventeen

Based on the intro, this was not the song or vibe I was expecting. I genuinely thought we were getting a dystopian/apocalypse concept at first. And I think I would have liked that better only because this song and concept are very familiar for Seventeen and reminds me of quite a few of their recent comebacks prior to this. And I like those previous songs better too.

Better by BoA X XIN

the song is an enjoyable listen and I would listen to it again, even add it to my playlist. I didn’t pay much attention to the video, to be honest.

Que Sera Sera by ILY:1

Even though I’m not the biggest fan of this kind of sound, I do think it is a good song for them. And it is an improvement from their debut both musically and visually with the video.

Test Me by Xdinary Heroes

K-Bands aren’t really my thing, but sometimes I find some songs I enjoy. Test Me is one of them and I’m a little surprised that I did enjoy it, since their debut was a little much for me. And maybe that is because I can see the K-Pop influence on this track so it leans closer to what I enjoy.

Nabillera by HyunA

I’m not a fan and honestly don’t think it is a good song. The chorus is annoying and has no energy. The song in general has no energy and is stagnant the whole way through. HyunA has and can do better and this song should have ended up a reject.

Beautiful Monster by STAYC

I really like the beat and music in this song. It’s catchy while being chill, and it overall makes for a pleasant song. And the video concept fit the tone well.

Seoul Drift by Zico

I was pleasantly surprised with this, mainly because the tone and vibe weren’t what I anticipated. Granted I don’t have a ton of familiarity with Zico’s discography. Either way though, I enjoyed the music style and overall vibe of the video and song.

Doom Du Doom by P1Harmony

I do enjoy the song, and I always like how P1Harmony gives us something new every time. The song is a new sound and the video is fun. Is this my favorite P1Harmony song? No. But I do still enjoy it. Also shout out to the guitarist and the guy holding the “Final Chorus” sign.

Blind Love by GreatGuys

I’m a proponent for show-don’t-tell when it comes to anything performing arts and entertainment. So when the description for the video story came up I kind of disconnected from paying attention to the video. And I was intrigued at the start of where it was going to go, but if you have to tell me because you aren’t able to show me, I’ll be disappointed. And after watching the video, this was a plot line they absolutely could have shown us instead of telling us. And all of this distracted me from the song, which also means the song wasn’t strong enough to get my attention. Which is really unfortunate because I’m one to cheer on this group and want them to succeed. But this comeback just flatlined for me.

Hit The Bass by BLITZERS

I kind of forget Blitzers exists sometimes, and I think that largely has to do with the fact they haven’t found their signature yet. And Hit The Bass is the same. I like the song, but a number of different groups could have done it. It’s not super unique and it doesn’t make Blitzers stand out.

Nerdy by Purple Kiss

It’s fine but I’m not a fan of the song. It reminds me of their b-side Pretty Psycho but a watered-down version. Plus it seems like this was mainly Swan’s song over the rest of the members. I don’t usually focus on screentime, but it didn’t feel very even when previous Purple Kiss videos have been. This was not their best.

Aviator by YOUNITE

It’s fine and enjoyable. It isn’t a very unique song sound-wise, but it is still pleasant.

Walking on the Moon by TAN

The video concept and the song don’t really go together in my opinion. It isn’t terrible, but I think something else could have worked better. As for the song, I do like it and would listen to it again. It didn’t blow my mind, but it’s a good song.

Just A Dancer by Sunye

I have no familiarity with Sunye beyond knowing she was in Wonder Girls. Just A Dancer does make me interested in her other music though. The beat though sounds very familiar so that was a little distracting, but overall I enjoyed the song and video.

Drummin by TO1

It’s fun and a little silly, which isn’t a bad thing. It’s a solid summery song that can stand out in other seasons as well. It’s not the most groundbreaking, but it is enjoyable. The fact they tapped into a bright, summer vibe while also having it not strictly a summer song helps it rate higher for me.

Guerrilla by ATEEZ

It is very Ateez and I like the song and the concept. I actually think the concept and video are stronger than the song and would have liked a more rock influence in the song to better fit the overall vibe. I think that would have made a good song great.

Let’s Go Buddy by Ferry Blue

It’s cute and has a sweet meaning to the lyrics. I don’t really like the music because it reminds me of a children’s sing-a-long song too much. The video is the best part in my opinion and really fits the song and theme they went with.

Time Out by Stray Kids

Only Stray Kids would go “Oh, you want a summer song? Okay, but we’ll do it our way.” and give us a rock summer song. And I love them for it because it’s so refreshing from all of the pop summer songs we get. It’s fun without being stereotypical, fits them so well, plus we got a blooper reel at the end of the video.

What new music have you been enjoying this month, K-pop or not? Tell me about it with a comment!


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