The first month of the year is done, 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!
Primrose by Primrose
It feels like something is missing to push it from good to great. What that something is I don’t know.
PANDORA by MAVE:
So this group is entirely made of AI, which you can tell. I don’t necessarily find this a bad thing since we have K/DA and aespa also using this concept. I know the concept of virtual idols is controversial in a few aspects, but I honestly think it is fine. As long as the actual voices are treated well, then I’m content.
On to the actual debut, I really enjoy the song. It is very much a song fitting a virtual group. I could hear K/DA do this song, and I enjoy K/DA so I enjoy this song as well. The song is honestly what I give most attention to since everything else is all animation and thus not done by the performers.
Tic Tac by 8TURN
I enjoy the song. The song itself isn’t necessarily the most unique or standout for a debut. They really put that energy into the music video. So the video might be more memorable than the song, but their connection may prove to be successful for the group.
Fly Away by BXB
It’s interesting that they chose to not have choreography or them shown singing in the music video. It works well with the song so I wouldn’t change that approach. The song itself I find enjoyable and deeply emotional, which is very uncommon is debuts nowadays. We’ll see if it pays off, but overall I like it.
Get Loose by THE7
It’s a fun song. I don’t think it is an exceptional debut, but I would like to see what they do in the future. I hope they actually commit to the fun concept for at least a while. It is a nice refresh from badass debut concepts, I just think the song isn’t that strong.
Madness by Moonbin & Sanha
This is probably my favorite subunit in K-Pop. I really enjoy this song and the overall vibe it has. It is catchy without being overbearingly so. I do think it isn’t as good as Who, but that is more a personal taste thing.
OMG by NewJeans
People are not gonna like me for this. The song is fine but I found it boring. I didn’t finish it. It is just more of the same from them, and the rest of the same is better.
Ponytail by Yugeom
Twinkle Twinkle by ILY:1
I generally am not a fan of their concept, but I found this song rather pleasant to listen to.
VIBE by Taeyang ft. Jimin
Formulating an opinion on Vibe was actually kind of hard. In general, it is fine, but it isn’t that interesting. I could name a handful of very similar-sounding songs both within and outside of K-Pop. I don’t think it actually highlighted either of their talents very well. I actually don’t think Jimin’s voice fits the song very well, and I love Jimin’s vocals. All in all, I can say that this is my least favorite collab involving a BTS member thus far.
Moonlight Sunrise by Twice
I enjoy this song, but I think The Feels is better. I do want to applaud the lyricists for Twice’s English songs because they do a great job. Moonlight Sunrise is a good song, but I personally enjoy many more of Twice’s songs more.
Stamp On It by GOT the Beat
I like it more than Step Back, but I don’t like it that much in general. I am just not feeling this group.
Beautiful Liar by Monsta X
It feels like it’s been forever since I really liked a Monsta X comeback. I still miss Shownu, but this song feels like a classic Monsta X comeback as opposed to their recent ones. It won’t become my favorite Monsta X song, but I do enjoy it and it makes me want to listen to the whole album.
Puzzle by SF9
It’s fine and I enjoyed listening to it. It won’t become my favorite SF9 song, but I don’t dislike it.
I ≠ Doll by Huh Yunjin
Yunjin is a member of Le Sserafim. I love how as a rookie she just came out criticizing the whole idol industry and the obsession with beauty. And the fact she did all the artwork for the video too just makes it better. Now is it the most amazing song ever? No, but I applaud her for creating it and sharing it.
Naked by xooos
I have no familiarity with xooos, so this is my first time listening to her. I actually really like the song and her voice. The video had some moments, especially in the first half, where it looked like her lipsync was off from the song which was distracting. And that shouldn’t be a thing with editing so that was just kinda weird.
Love War by YENA ft. BE’O
This is quite a change for Yena musically. After Smiley and Smartphone, this feels like an extreme departure. But I love when artists try out new concepts and sounds. I definitely prefer this style and concept since the cute concepts and sugary pop aren’t my favorites.
Aurora by cignature
Not my preferred style or song style. It would be a little unfair to critique a comeback that I already dislike the concept of, so I don’t really have an opinion beyond the fact I likely won’t listen to this song again.
Shooting Star by XG
The vocal line is who makes me really like this song. The raps are fine but I find them hard to understand what they are saying. The opening raps are also such a different vibe than the rest of the song, which I usually hate but thankfully the blending is done well. I think it would have been even better if the opening raps were actually the bridge. This is me getting nitpicky to be honest because it is good as it is.
Sugar Rush Ride by TxT
This wasn’t the genre of music I was expecting for the song, but I absolutely love it. I was already vibing with it like two lines in. I’m obsessed with the chorus and finally, someone got the genre mix up right. This honestly might be my new favorite TxT song.
Fireworks by Aimers
A very sentimental song. It is an enjoyable listen and I like the casual feeling of the video.
Chrome Arts by OnlyOneOf
OnlyOneOf really deserves more love. They have really strong songs and this one is no different. It’s not as memorable as some other title tracks like LibidO, but it’s still a great song.
Ay-Yo by NCT 127
I am mostly happy that this is better than 2 Baddies. I also like how Ay-Yo feels like an experiment for them. This kind of sound is not what I immediately associate with NCT, so it feels refreshing. The only thing that I can firmly say I dislike is Taeyong’s spiky hair.
Pull Up by VIVIZ
A Viviz song I actually like! Not to say their previous releases are bad, I just was underwhelmed by them. By Pull Up is right in the sweet spot for songs I enjoy. It’s an enjoyable listen that you can vibe to or dance to easily.
What new music have you been enjoying this month, K-pop or not? Tell me about it with a comment!
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I’d only heard the Twice song before your post, but have now gone through and clicked on the vids that seemed interesting, so… here we go:
Primrose – Primrose — It was okay, but like you said, not great. To me it seemed to rely a bit too heavily on EDM sounds and short phrases with long pauses between them, which to my ear interrupted the flow so it felt like the song was constantly starting and stopping to me. It wasn’t “bad” it just didn’t hook me either.
Pandora – Mave — Had I simply been listening to the song I think I would have liked it more. As it was… holy uncanny valley Batman! If this one came on the radio I think I’d turn it up, though. The song itself “did it” for me.
OMG – New Jeans – I’m pretty sure I’ve seen some of their videos in the past, but if I did they were completely forgettable to me, so I didn’t have high hopes going in, especially not after your comments. Having to scan forward to 1:37 before the music even began was annoying. i assume the long intro is part of some background lore/story they’re incorporating into their concept? Anyway… as to the song itself — started slow, took 30 seconds to finally kick in to gear and even then it was just a repetitive sound in the verse. The chorus wasn’t awful, at least. The video was boring. Overall… meh. As with you, I didn’t finish. Got to about the 4 minute marks and just went “Nah, moving on. Next!”
Twinkle Twinkle – ILY:1 — Another one that I liked the song itself to listen to, but the video didn’t do anything for me. It was nice and bright, just nothing caught my eye about it either. Still and all, the music itself did it for me.
Moonlight Sunrise – Twice — Typically I fall prey to Twice’s “superpower” of simply finding myself smiling when listening to or watching their videos. This one didn’t do that for me. I don’t mind it, but it’s also not one that I think will stick in my head and I’ll find myself drawn back to watching it again either.
Stamp On It – Got the Beat — I think I liked Step Back more, honestly, and I didn’t really care one way or the other for that either. The harmonies in the choruses were pretty good, but the different sections of the song felt disjointed to me. I’m not sorry I listened/watched, but I won’t be revisiting it either.
I != Doll – Hu Yunjin — Had I not seen your comment saying she did the artwork used in the animations I wouldn’t have thought anything of the video at all. As to the sound of the song, it’s nice. Again, not one I think I’d care to listen to again, but I’m not sorry I listened.
Naked – Xooos — I’ve never heard of this artist before either. The way they had her made up and dressed seemed to try to make her look like IU, and the early part of the vid seemed to emulate a few IU videos I’ve seen also, so I’m wondering if they’re perhaps trying to piggyback a bit? The song itself was fine but didn’t really hook me either.
Love War – Yena — I made it about halfway. It didn’t do it for me at all.
Aurora – Cignature — I made it about 20 seconds in. I don’t know if they processed the voices to sound like baby talk or if that’s just how they sang it in the 1st place. Either way, it was like nails on a chalkboard for me, so…. moving on.
Shooting Star – XG — I almost didn’t make it past the opening rap. The actual verse into the chorus was pretty good, but then they went back into the rap and that underlying beeping/chiming/whistling melodic line was like nails on the chalkboard to me, so I stopped it there. Nothing against the rapping itself, just the accompaniment. Weird.
Pull Up – Viviz — My wife really liked Loveade, but overall I’ve found their prior stuff forgettable. This one’s more of the same to me. good enough I listened through to the end, at least, but not a song I’ll be coming back to later either.
And becuz you gave it 5 hearts I actually listened to Sugar Rush Ride, despite my antipathy for boy groups and…. made it about 1:20 in. Just didn’t do it for me.
And that’s all he wrote…..
I showed Mave’s “Pandora” to my daughter since she really likes anything to do with animation and she loved it, immediately re-watched it, then watched it some more on her own throughout the evening. This morning she said she liked the music more than the animation, but she still loves it either way, so … kewl.
My wife watched Viviz’s “Pull Up” last night also and liked it. Maybe she’s becoming a Viviz stan?