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!
Masquerade by Midnatt
Before I get into my actual opinion, I am going to explain who MIDNATT is and what his association with AI actually is. There was a lot of initial controversy over this debut because of the utilization of AI, and I don’t want to say it was unwarranted, but HYBE did a terrible job of explaining what they were actually doing. So let me clarify it for you.
The actual artist, MIDNATT, is Korean singer Lee Hyun. He says it is his alter ego, which I take as a similar situation to what Agust D is to Suga of BTS. He is a real person who has been in the industry for nearly two decades. Where the AI comes in is with the dubbed translations. The song is available in 6 different languages, all in MIDNATT’s voice, thanks to AI.
Now that we have that helpful clarification, let’s talk about the song. I initially listened to it in Korean and then watched the video with the English dub. Overall I enjoy the song and it’s chill yet groovy sound. Admittedly I preferred the Korean version, not because the video made a difference, but because the flow of the song sounded better to me. I think it is mostly to do with which version you hear first since my friend did the opposite order. Either way, I am interested in hearing what comes next from MIDNATT and this translation system. I’m still wary of AI in creative fields and don’t wish to see it expanded too far, but we’ll have to see.
Lovey Dovey by HORI7ON
HORI7ON is apparently a Filipino/Global group that was trained in Korea, thus their K-Pop promotion. At first look, this isn’t a concept I enjoy very much but seems to only really come in for the video. The song itself is quite nice and they vocally sound great.
But I Like You by BOYNEXTDOOR
Since every song in this album is considered a title track, I decided to just do the first release. This group has a similar vibe to New Jeans but with a different musicality that helps them stand apart. I enjoy the song and found it pleasant to listen to and wouldn’t be opposed to hearing it again.
ISLAND by The Wind
We’re getting a lot more of this brighter, hopeful debuts which is nice (and a sign of a new generation), and this one is one of the better ones. Mainly because the actually production is really nice and it is overall a pleasant song with a video and visuals to match.
Per by ADYA
It’s not a bad song, but kind of generic. I don’t have a strong need to hear it again. And while they are musically different than New Jeans, their concept is too similar looking. They do hint at some bigger, overarching concept, but that hint isn’t enough to make them stand out.
Don’t Blow It! by Moonchild
So the group are all Japanese, but it seems that this is meant to be a global girl group. So I end up comparing them to XG, and XG has such a strong concept and musical style that Moonchild doesn’t stand a chance to be honest. I actually wanted to know how the song would sound done by XG because then I probably would love it. But in this form, it lacks punch and personality.
On my way by Vi’enx
I really like the beat, but wanted their vocals to have a little more punch and power, especially at the chorus. Their voices also needed to be louder, so the mixing could have been better. So it is an okay start, but this song could have been done much better by another group and produced by other producers.
Movie Star by Mijoo
Mijoo is a former Lovelyz member, and this is her solo debut after disbandment. At first, I was uncertain about the song, but the chorus really brought it together nicely and made me enjoy the song more. Her vocals are really lovely (pun not intended) and this song does showcase them well. But this doesn’t feel like the strongest track for a debut. A second or third comeback maybe, but something a little more for a debut would have been nice.
Unforgiven by LE SSERAFIM
The video makes me dislike the song, to be honest. I hate when the song is interrupted for the sake of the video, and this video, in particular, felt like too many concepts were being shoved together. And the song was not strong enough to change my mind or make me want to listen to it again. The only reason I have listened to it again is so I could hear it uninterrupted, and in the end, it’s just okay. It’s a little too mellow and boring for me and what I anticipate from Le Sserafim.
Spicy by aespa
I don’t like it at all. The only good part of the song in my opinion is their vocals, which can be heard on every other song they have as well. The video makes the song worse in my opinion. This Clueless-meets-Heathers vibe feels weird and makes them look like an off-brand BlackPink.
Erase Me by ONEUS
There is some good and some not-so-good in the song and video. Overall I enjoy the song and think they made some intriguing choices, but it isn’t as strong as previous title tracks. The video was a little messy and the choreography felt more awkward than complimentary.
Siren by ICHILLIN
I like the song, but the chorus is a little weak for me compared to the rest of the song. It’s not exactly an anti-drop, but all of the momentum we gained prior to the chorus is lost in my opinion. I also think the video is a little underwhelming since they didn’t actually stick to the plot they set at the start. I think it would have been better if they either fully committed to a story or completely removed the story and focused on the performance. The former would make the most sense with the ending context of it all being a dream, which I do think is clever since this concept is a big departure for the group.
Queencard by (G)I-DLE
I think (G)I-DLE is the only group that can have the lyric “My boob and booty is hot” and make it not feel like complete cringe. Overall I enjoy the song and like it more than their previous comeback. The video fits the overall vibe well. Lyrically I’m not the biggest fan mainly because I don’t enjoy songs with timely references that will age (Kim Kardashian, etc.)
Crazy Like That by VeriVery
This wasn’t the song style or vibe I was expecting for a song called “Crazy Like That”. It was a pleasant surprise, since what we actually got is much more my style. They vocally sound great and I overall enjoyed watching and listening.
Bite Me by Enhypen
On first listen I liked everything except the pre-chorus. I actually grimaced when the beat changed. It sounds misplaced in the song, and could actually be removed and it would be better. I think if the pre-chorus was actually a post-chorus it would work better. The verses into the actual chorus would sound so good so I’m sad we have an unnecessary interruption.
The pre-chorus did grow on me with more listens, but I’ve just never been a fan of the significant beat changes that makes it sound like a genre change.
Wind and Wish by BTOB
I like it, the chorus in particular, but I don’t necessarily want to listen to it again and again. If it comes on then fine, but I don’t think I’ll add it to my playlist.
U by iKON
After Tantara, this isn’t what I expected them to do musically. The unexpected can be a good thing go, like in this case. I really like the song and found the video to be really fun.
Cherry Talk by tripleS +(KR)stal Eyes
It’s a youthful and fun song, which is great for their particular audience. I do like it and would probably listen to it again.
No Limit by Craxy
What I like most about this song is that this group is being defiant towards their nugu status even more, and it makes me honestly proud of them. The song itself is just fine. I’m not a fan of abrupt tone changes, so it feels like two songs shoved together probably because only 3 of the 4 members can rap. And it’s sad because I want to love the song, but I don’t.
Bubble by Aimers
It’s a fun song that I enjoyed listening to and would listen to again.
Waterfall by Younite
I honestly zoned out while watching the video. I enjoy the song and it’s a nice addition to a playlist that you can chill vibe with.
Next to Me by ATBO
Similar feelings to Waterfall by Younite. Definitely zoned out, but find it nice to listen to in the background.
Karma by BLACKSWAN
They really went big budget for this comeback. Out of all of the songs they have released, this is easily my favorite. This set of members I like together more than the previous iterations, but I also think we need to call them a global group as opposed to a K-pop group since no members are Korean.
Freedom by Joohoney
It’s nice to see a rapper give us a vocal performance. I wasn’t expecting it that’s for sure. And funny enough, the only part I don’t really like is the rap portion since it is such a stark shift from the starting vocals into it. I will say that this does make me more interested in listening to the whole album.
Icky by KARD
This is such an improvement from their last release and I am so happy. This style and overall vibe fits them so well and I immediately wanted to listen to it again after finishing it.
Chemistry by THE7
This is their first comeback since debuting, and I am happy to say that they came back with a solid, summery song. Is it a little like many other summer songs, yes. But it’s summer, we all want these upbeat and bright songs, so it does well.
DOXA by Secret Number
This very much in the sweet spot of song styles and concepts I enjoy. And I do enjoy it, but I wish the chorus had just a little more punch to it. With the verses so strong, the chorus needs to really bring it, and this one is just short of doing that.
BONVOYAGE by Dreamcatcher
It’s nice, but it isn’t what I like about Dreamcatcher. Since Maison, it has felt a little like they are going with their softer/more pop-focused songs as title tracks since that is what seems to win for them. And that is their prerogative, but I am more inclined to the Scream and Boca side of their discography.
Loser by AB6IX
I enjoy the song and will listen to it again more than likely, but it didn’t blow me away.
Eyes on Me by Hello Gloom
This song is a whole vibe. The chorus is definitely the best part. I do wish his vocals sounded clearer.
Save Me, Kill Me by Cix
They really went dramatic with this comeback. And I don’t know how I feel about it to be honest. This is going to be one that I have to listen to without the video to make an opinion on, because I get to focused on what is happening in the video to really pay attention to the song. I honestly can’t rate it right at this moment.
Delicious by The Boyz
I like it, but the chorus is too anticlimactic for me. Not that every song has to have a big, bombastic chorus, but the pre-chorus felt like it was setting us up for more. I will say as a whole song I enjoy it and my chorus comment is a little nitpicky and ultimately just a preference.
What new music have you been enjoying this month, K-pop or not? Tell me about it with a comment!
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