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K-Pop Music Quick Takes Reviews

Quick Takes: November 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!

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!

Pre-Releases

Lovin’ Me by FIFTY FIFTY

I’m really loving the gentle synthpop of this song and it makes me genuinely look forward to what the future has in store for this group. I’ll easily put this track on repeat to chill to.

Debuts

Higher by FIFTY FIFTY

Fifty Fifty really came right out of the gate with all their songs, so it took me a second to determine that Higher is their official debut. This is quite mellow for a debut song. I generally enjoy it, but I don’t think it is the best choice for a debut. Granted, if this is the concept they want us to know them for, then it works. It certainly stands out compared to the rest of the music from the month. I also wanted to note that they vocally sound amazing. really beautiful voices.

Fight Inside by Aimers

I don’t really know how I feel. It’s enjoyable, but not a standout. I got a little distracted by the sets of their video because they are being used a lot recently. And I shouldn’t be thinking about other artists when watching your debut. It’s not a bad song, but it isn’t a great debut.

Under the skin by &TEAM

This group’s sound and concept are like if you took TXT and Enhypen and turned them into a J-Pop group, which tracks given they are all the same company. Also, those are both groups I really enjoy, I enjoyed this as well. And I think it is a solid debut for the group, but hopefully, they can differentiate themselves from their label mates in future releases.

Magic by Artbeat

It sounds odd to me. And I’m not really sure what they are trying to market themselves as. With a debut being our first introduction, I would like it to have a clear and focused concept and sound. This is just a bit off from that, in my opinion.

Comebacks

Hair Cut by Xdinary Heroes

I’m personally not a fan, and it is more of a personal taste thing than it being bad. There are pieces I enjoyed, but overall it just isn’t my thing. I do think it was lacking energy, especially the last chorus because the bridge had a build-up to suggest a more powerful version of the chorus, but it just flatlined.

Limbo! by Nature

Whoever is doing their choreography recently needs to be fired, because it honestly makes the group look bad with the really strange, quirky moves. Thankfully it wasn’t as bad as Rica Rica was. For the song itself, it’s pretty good. It isn’t stand out special but I did enjoy it.

Back In Vogue by AleXa

I like the song, but it isn’t my favorite from her. I appreciate the style from her previous tracks, but it was missing something. I did enjoy the visuals of the video, and ZB Labels really went for it in that aspect. Also, I found the choreography to be lackluster, which is surprising because AleXa is an incredible dancer and has some impressive choreography.

Draw by Ichillin

It’s not bad but I also don’t really like it. There is just something about it that feels off and I don’t know how else to explain it. It lacks personality too, and I think this would have made a better b-side than title track.

Bad Cupid by YOUNITE

I like darker concepts, but at this point, everyone is doing them. So I need to see it with a twist to make it special, but the twist needs to be throughout the video for continuity. The twist here I guess is the tone shift in the bridge, which is just too odd for me. I don’t think tone shifts are as successful as these companies believe, because they can just throw off the entire vibe of the song. While this one doesn’t go too far, it’s still too much of a change both musically and visually. Especially when the rest of the video has set up a particular story and setting just to be discarded for a moment without much thought it seems.

Vagabond by TRENDZ

The video gives me Dreamcatcher vibes, as well as the song a little bit. None of that is a bad thing, especially since no one besides Dreamcatcher really goes for this vibe so having a boy group try it is fine. I don’t think Vagabond is as streamlined and focused as a Dreamcatcher comeback is since I really didn’t understand what was happening in the video. And I think the track could have pushed the rock vibes much further.

Alone by Highlight

I am so here for the vibe this song has. It has a relaxed quality without losing energy, and I could easily listen to the song on repeat. This is also the first time in a long time that I was really interested in the choreography and wanted to see more of it. Also, the video was just the right kind of visuals to fit the song, although some parts were a little unnecessary to me or they could have made a different decision in my opinion.

Young Boy by NINE.i

It is a very youthful and nostalgic comeback that I actually enjoyed quite a bit. It fit this group really well and for once I can’t really picture another group being able to pull this off, which is big kudos to NINE.i.

Poison Rose by Craxy

I have such a love-hate relationship with Craxy. Thankfully I do really like this overall. The song suits them, and I think they are most successful with darker concepts. The video is fitting, perfectly dramatic without going over the top. The use of practical sets helps a lot since when they’ve veered into special effects it rarely looks good in my opinion. It may not be as extravagant of a comeback, but it’s more important to me that everything fits together. And this comeback does.

Virus by Victon

When it comes to the song specifically, there are parts I like and parts I don’t. Some parts feel a little disjointed, so the song doesn’t sound balanced to me. Oddly enough, the video had more continuity than the song did. I think it needed a little more finessing to perfect it.

The One by Drippin

I wish they leaned into the rock influence a little more, especially in the chorus. Or blended in the electronic sound from the bridge/break to strengthen the last chorus. That could have made a good comeback great.

Selfish by YooA

Eh, not a fan of this concept. It is too overexaggerated for me, not just with the effects but with her expressions and acting. And I don’t really like the song either, even though I wanted to because it has potential, but didn’t go anywhere with it for me. I was honestly looking forward to it being over, so I could then go a listen to a different YooA song that I like a lot more.

Tap Tap by VeriVery

It is two different songs shoved together, which I notably dislike. Each of the songs that could have been would be good, but mashed up they just aren’t.
There is also too many talking bits in my opinion, and some of them are cringy. This isn’t the VeriVery I’m used to, and while I like when groups deviate from their norm, that doesn’t make it always good.

Me=(NANEUN) by JUST B

I don’t really know how I feel about this one. It is decent, there is nothing substantially wrong with it, but I doubt I’ll ever listen to it again.

Rollercoaster by woo!ah!

The song is fun and the video matches. I actually like the verses and bridge more than the chorus which isn’t usually the case.

TAP by Secret Number

It is an enjoyable song, but not one I see myself listening to very much. And the video is fine, but not spectacular.

Dragon by Tempest

I like the song, excluding the chorus which isn’t very interesting. And the concept doesn’t fit them in my opinion. This is a concept that few groups can really pull off, yet every group tries to do now. So unfortunately my main thoughts watching the video were “Ateez would do this better”.

Forgive Me by BoA

This wasn’t what I was expecting at all, and I consider that a good thing in this instance. I anticipated maybe a ballad or something similar, given the song title. But that isn’t what this is at all and I am happy with what we got. The only thing I don’t love, which unfortunately can’t be changed, is BoA’s range vocally. I want her to be able to go higher in some parts, so there is more complexity in the sound. Can’t really change her voice to suit my wants, so I don’t actually weigh it too heavily in my opinion of the song overall.

♡TiCON by CSR

CSR’s concept is just not for me, but it fits them so well that I don’t dislike it. I actually enjoyed the song and the overall vibe. It is somehow cute without driving me nuts, and that probably is because it feels natural for them.

얼음 땡 by TO1

The exaggerated sound effects already lost me. And in the overacting, and then the video because a distraction instead of an enhancement to the song. I will have to listen to the song independently to actually make an opinion on it.

Old School by NTX

I got halfway and just didn’t want to watch or listen anymore.

Nirvana by KANG DANIEL ft. pH-1, WDBZ

I love Kang Daniel’s voice, so I was immediately soothed by this song. The energy is perfect, and the overall vibe and video really complement the song. And I can’t think of any other artist who would fit this so well.

Birthday by Red Velvet

I am always hesitant going into a Red Velvet comeback because their recent music is just not for me. However, I actually like this song. The video is bizarre, so I don’t want to give it too much attention and potentially worsen the song for me.

Hot & Cold by 4MIX

4MIX is actually a Thai group, but I’ve shared their debut so I decided to also share this release too. And it is definitely an interesting comeback. Musically is where I find it the most interesting, as it has a uniqueness to it compared to everything else I’ve heard this month. I think it still needs more finessing to make it a more complete song because something felt missing.

When I Move by KARA

I have very little familiarity with Kara, so this was a bit of a blind listen to the group. And I enjoyed the song and how their voices blend together. I think it is nice that they came together again for an anniversary comeback despite having disbanded.

Back Down by P1Harmony

I like it, but not as much as their previous comebacks. It’s good and fits them, I just like their other title tracks more.

Dream by Seventeen

This is a Japanese comeback. It is overall pleasant and enjoyable. Not groundbreaking, but good.

Keep Me Up by B.I

Choreography is one of my favorite parts of K-Pop, but I do wish that this video had more diversity in the visuals. Especially when they had shots that didn’t even have B.I in them just to show more dance. If the versus had more shots of him singing, while the chorus had the dance focus, it would have been a nice balance. This was more of a performance video than a music video. Besides that, I really like the song. Easily added it to my playlist to listen to again.

Cheshire by Itzy

Itzy is very hit or miss for me and mostly miss, unfortunately. Cheshire is thankfully a hit and a definite improvement over the more recent comebacks. I’m indifferent to the video to be honest, but I enjoy the song which is a win for Itzy honestly. It’s not my favorite song from them, and I don’t think it is the best comeback recently by any group, but I do like it.

Paradigm by Ateez

This is a Japan comeback for Ateez, and I was a little surprised to see a performance version of an official video and not just simply a music video first. It alludes to an official video coming at some point, but since it isn’t yet we’re going with this one. Anyway, this is very much an Ateez song and I enjoy Ateez’s discography so my feelings are the same. It’s not very unique though and I kind of expect Ateez to push boundaries a little more.

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


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3 replies on “Quick Takes: November K-Pop Debuts and Comebacks”

All righty then…. after reviewing the ones I felt like, my super short thoughts….

50/50 – Lovin’ Me — I liked the sound of it. The video felt kinda generic and boring though. But like you, I could see myself listening to it on repeat.
50/50 – Higher — this one didn’t hook me. It wasn’t bad, but that’s it. The video also felt kinda generic and boring to me.
Artbeat – Magic – The video was quite colorful, but the song itself had some odd music transitions between the singing and rap sections that didn’t help, and it wasn’t a super-interesting sound anyway so… eh.
Nature – Limbo — I quite liked the sound of this one and I didn’t mind the choreography at all, so it seems I liked this one more than you did 😉
AleXa – Back Into Vogue – sounded like standard kpop fare to me. I wouldn’t change the station on the radio, but wouldn’t look for it to listen to either.
Ichillin – Draw – another generic kpop sound one
Craxy – Poison Rose – I watched this one last and have already forgotten anything about it, so.. take that for what you will.
YooA – This one was incredibly repetitive, so it got old quickly
Woo! Ah! – Rollercoaster — This one “got me.” Can’t really say why, it just made me happy to listen to. Enough so that I looked up several other videos by them. The others all seemed sorta like what I call generic kpop sound, but still felt perhaps a tad above average. None made me “happy to listen” like Rollercoaster did though.
Secret Number – Tap — I know i watched it, but I remember nothing about, so… forgettable
BoA – Forgive Me – I recall thinking it was really good while watching and listening, and even shared it with a metalhead friend of mine commenting “this is how good a veteran kpop singer is!” but now that a couple of hours have passed since then, I can’t remember anything about the song other than how it made me feel. I think I need a re-watch…..
CSR – Loveticon — I thought this was kinda cute but can’t imagine ever feeling the need to watch/listen to it again either.
Red Velvet – Birthday – I keep hearing the “Big 3” of girl groups includes Red Velvet, and after this song I return to questioning why. “Feel My Rhythm” is the only song of theirs I’ve even come close to liking. This one was just so “blah.” Nothing about it made me interested in it at all.
Kara – When I Move — I know one of the members does acting in kdramas now, but I couldn’t pick out the one I’ve seen on the teevee… then I went “Wait a minute! Didn’t Kara disband a long time ago and that was why she got into acting?” So I looked them up and… oh, a reunion album. Nice! Anyway…. I didn’t find the song to be particularly awesome or anything, but it somehow overall felt really high quality to me, like the members are mature, sure of their voices and their dancing, so it still really drew me in and I really liked it. Much the same feeling as BoA’s song to me in the “this is how veterans do it” vein.
Itzy – Cheshire – I liked their early stuff, but everything since “Not Shy” really just hasn’t “done it” for me. This one is no exception. it’s not bad or offputting it’s just.. not really good either, IMO.

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