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!
Keeping The Fire by X:IN
It’s nothing we haven’t seen already a dozen times. Even the more unique vocals aren’t that unique. The song itself was pretty one-note and dull. And in the video, they looked a little amateurish. The most interesting part of this debut is the fact they have a Russian member, but a member’s ethnicity really shouldn’t be what makes a group interesting.
Perfume by NCT DOJAEJUNG
I have to admit that, even though I know NCT has great vocalists, I don’t listen to their music for the vocals. The rappers in NCT are just that impressive. So this is my first time focusing solely on vocalists in NCT. The song itself is fine and pleasant to listen to. It’s probably the least NCT-sounding song to be an NCT title track, which isn’t a negative. I’d listen to it again, but it’s not a new favorite I want to play on repeat.
Throw A Dice by Xodiac
It’s an okay debut song. It’s not very unique musically and the video didn’t capture my attention enough to be fully invested. I am hoping their future releases are more interesting, but this is still a fine debut track.
Already Go Ready by CMDM
I honestly don’t know what I think about this. The modern-day Back to the Future concept is interesting and for the most part I think they encapsulated that well with the video. Towards the end when they were cutting between different scenes, that you can tell were done in front of a green screen, things got a bit lost for me. Why are we seeing them in space when that hasn’t had any influence during the rest of the video? The song itself is fine, but definitely secondary to the video and concept. Overall it is an interesting start for this group, but we’ll have to see where they go from here.
BLUE by DreamNote
It’s been a good chunk of time since I last listened to DreamNote and the difference between then and this track are musically quite large. But I actually think both of them work with this group. This nostalgic pop ballad style feels natural for them.
D n D by Apink
I’m a nerd so the title of this song just makes me thing of Dungeons and Dragons, which has nothing to do with the song. That aside, I’m not really feeling this song. It’s not bad, but it doesn’t fit Apink to me. It’s not musically or lyrically all that special and could have been an okay b-side but it’s a really boring title track.
Bad Revenge by from20
I enjoy the beat and 80’s vibes, but the lyrics are hit-and-miss. The fact there isn’t a unique second verse isn’t a choice I like personally. Also I don’t understand why he pronounces “revenge” both correctly and incorrectly. I’ll probably listen to this way more than I think because of the music, but I’m a little disappointed since his previous release “Chemical” was so good.
People Pt.2 by Agust D ft. IU
I watched the premiere of the video and I was admittedly moments from falling asleep while doing so. The song itself has a soothing sound which didn’t help my sleepiness. I enjoyed the visuals of the video as it was warm and comfortable like the song. I will say that this song sounds more like a Suga song as opposed to an Agust D song. I also don’t tend to listen to much calm rap, preferring the more high energy stuff on the rare occasion I do listen to pure rap. However, me having preferences does not make this anywhere near a bad song.
While the above is my first impression after listening to it at release, my feelings have changed from listening to the whole album. You can read my developed thoughts on this track, plus all of my thoughts on each track, on the D-Day quick takes post.
Golden Hour by MARK (NCT)
The start of the song doesn’t even sound like Mark. And overall both song and video are just odd. I will say I didn’t hate the genre changes which is surprising since I usually do. The beat is probably what I enjoy the most, but overall this track is too strange and nonsensical.
I Am SHAMPOO by BIBI
I like it, but I probably won’t listen to it again. It’s a good song with an enjoyable backtrack and fitting vocals, but her voice and style is one that I have to be in the mood for.
Giddy by Kep1er
At this point I only pay attention to Bahiyyih when I check out Kep1er. According to those who calculate line distributions, Bahiyyih isn’t the bottom of the barrel. Her lines feel just as sparse and inconsequential as usual to the point she has more screentime than lines. Plus when she does have lines they get autotuned. So at this point I am just waiting/hoping Kep1er ends once their contracts are up so she can maybe get better treatment in another group.
Member treatment aside, I do like the song. I’m glad they have steered away from the overly bubbly and loud sound for once. I don’t really have anything negative to say beyond what I said about line distribution, but I also don’t have bountiful praises to share either.
I Am by IVE
I enjoy the verses much more than the chorus. The chorus is frankly generic sounding with weak lyrics. Kitsch would have been a better title track if they didn’t make it do the heavy lifting of getting us excited for their full album prior to its release. I Am is a mid-level, standard-sounding title track that has nothing to wow us or get us excited for the album.
Without You by KARD
I think Kard can do better. I don’t think the vocalists sound great and the only part I liked was BM’s rap. This song is generic and boring to me, the visuals looked lazy, and honestly, this comeback is only worth a digital release it got as opposed to an album title track.
Lemonade by DreamNote
I like the song more than I thought I would since it toes the line into an overall cute concept which I dislike. The video is fine but not very interesting. The choreography had some good moments and not-so-good moments. Overall it is a passable comeback that doesn’t really stand out from the crowd.
Dangerous by Tempest
For a song called “Dangerous” the thumbnail is the least dangerous looking one I’ve seen. I just found that amusing. Once you get into the video and song, they do fit together. I really like the song in particular and want to listen to it again already. It’s very catchy and fun and doesn’t sound too overly similar to other releases.
Blank Effect by Park Jihoon
So this is another one that showed up in my recommendations and I have no familiarity with the artist. I was intrigued by the dark concept since that is one of my favorites. However, I find the song is too one-note, with no highs and lows, and no climax to make it interesting. And with a concept like this one, I think we need those changes to add drama. As a first introduction for me, it was kind of disappointing and doesn’t make me want to listen to more of his music.
Royalty by MUSTB
This song doesn’t sound like it fits them vocally, and the concept seems too young and even childish for them with the colorful school buses and carnival setting. This is my first impression of them and this song just doesn’t seem right for them.
Show Down by Alice
Is it just me, or was the video a little too focused on their hips? It’s such a weird thing to mention, but the fact it is a noticeable trend is weirder. As for the song, I actually liked it. At first I was on the fence expecting it to get too cutesy, but it didn’t. So video aside, this was a pleasant surprise of a comeback.
Seven Sins by Drippin
I don’t know how I feel about this song. I think it’s going to be one that I’ll have to re-listen to a few times to decide if I like it or not. I mostly need to push back what I expected of a song titled “Seven Sins” since this didn’t meet that. So my opinion as it stands after one listen is a confused neutral.
Knock by Lee Chae Yeon
A new pet peeve of mine is when syllables of a word are either added or removed to make it fit the song. So the way she pronounces “your” like “you are” drives me a little nuts. And it is unfortunate because I liked the song overall, but the main line of the chorus is annoying to me. It might seem asinine to be bothered by it, but it has been happening a lot recently and I just don’t like it. If you can’t find a way to make the whole word fit naturally, find a different word.
Haegeum by Agust D
I expanded my thoughts on the song itself in my D-Day album quick takes, so I’ll talk more about the video. Unsurprising the video is so cinematic it is like we are watching a film. Since it’s part of a trilogy, seeing the parallels to previous videos is fascinating and fans are already deep diving into it. Overall Haegeum is a solid sequel to Daechwita both musically and visually.
Super by Seventeen
Seventeen really brings something different every comeback and I appreciate that a lot. This is probably one of the more interesting releases of the month since they don’t just reiterate the same trending sounds and music styles. I also love how the video just focused on the performance aspect of the track, truly showing us how strong they are as a group.
Macarena by Blitzers
A zombie concept with the song inspired by the Macarena is not something I expected to see in my quick takes list, but here we are. It’s so bizarre, but they really embraced that so it actually works well. I will probably never watch this again, but I will also never forget it. And to top it all off, I actually really like the song.
Rockstar by xikers
A strong song, but hopefully this is the last one that sounds so much like an Ateez track. Ateez’s producer is credited as a composer, so it’s not too surprising they have similar sounds. But I want this group to have its own identity, especially now that they have shown a strong start. Focusing on this one release though, I enjoy it a lot. It’s very powerful and performed well, and makes me look forward to their future music (albeit uncertainly).
Tantara by iKON
I was most interested to see what post-YG iKON would give us. It already seems like they are enjoying this style more, and it does fit them well. Compared to what YG was giving them just before leaving, I have to say I like this more too.
Freakin’ Bad by Xdinary Heroes
I’ve noticed a trend with Xdinary Heroes releases and my feelings toward them. I alternate between disliking and enjoying their title tracks, with the previous comeback my least favorite. So according to the trend, I enjoy this one. I also like how their title tracks are diverse in style within their primary genre, so we always get something fresh from them.
Sunshower by Epex
I enjoy it, but this groovy style is becoming more popular so it just doesn’t sound as special as it once did. Also, for a break-up song of sorts, it is surprisingly upbeat. Even though it isn’t necessarily unique, I do enjoy the song and find it an enjoyable and catchy listen.
YAOCHEN by YAOCHEN
This popped up in my YoutTube recommendations and I had no familiarity with Yaochen prior, really only adding it to my list because it is a JYP artist I hadn’t heard of. I did look him up so I could get context, learning he was in a C-Pop group previously.
I find the song to be a little bland and something I’ve heard numerous times before. And that’s uncharacteristic for a JYP release so it just seems odd to be coming from them. Also having a whole song be about yourself, including the title, is a little ridiculous.
Unforgettable by ONEUS
This is another style of song that we are starting to hear more frequently, so it doesn’t stand out to me anymore. Even the video’s concept has been done before. It’s still an enjoyable song, but I like it when comebacks are really strong and different personally.
Cheetah by Jackson Wang
This video is wild, pun not intended. It was actually kind of uncomfortable to watch, mainly Jackson himself who reminded me of an unhinged Joker from Batman. The contacts don’t help with that image either. As for the song, it’s okay although I was a little too distracted to pay it much attention. It reminded me of Michael Jackson’s music actually. Compared to previous releases from Jackson though, this just isn’t a favorite of mine.
I made this new category for when there are songs with a purpose other than an album, single, or OST release.
Zero by New Jeans (for Coca-Cola)
The cut to the advertisement lyrics made me laugh honestly. It comes across so randomly and also doesn’t really match the rest of the song’s vibe. It sounds like they took the verses of a song that they were working on and then shoved in the Coke ad. I’ll be honest and say this doesn’t make me want to buy Coke, just laugh at the suddenness of its presence.
What new music have you been enjoying this month, K-pop or not? Tell me about it with a comment!
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