Kpop 2018

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed

it's been fairly slow january again

Jonghyun's posthumous track is nice, "Always Be With You" indeed, RIP

other highlights so far:

LOONA's Go Won should release her track in a week or so to hopefully continue their excellent run of singles

ufo, Tuesday, 23 January 2018 04:53 (eight months ago) Permalink
this is good too

ufo, Tuesday, 23 January 2018 05:02 (eight months ago) Permalink

Chunga's good, good do well at a Eurovision, I like that we have a couple of popular female solo pop stars doing their thing now.

abcfsk, Tuesday, 23 January 2018 06:56 (eight months ago) Permalink

sigh, that Jonghyun video is making me sad all over again. He really was one of the best.

Roz, Tuesday, 23 January 2018 12:19 (eight months ago) Permalink


Just can't get behind Ravi as a rapper (he's an OK producer) but nice to see Park Jimin getting some work.

hurricane weather (forapper), Wednesday, 24 January 2018 02:30 (eight months ago) Permalink

Jonghyun's entire album is out:

Proceeds are going to his mom, you can read up on how to support here:

hurricane weather (forapper), Wednesday, 24 January 2018 02:41 (eight months ago) Permalink

I really like Jonghyun's Rewind off of the new record:

fragglerock, Sunday, 28 January 2018 01:50 (eight months ago) Permalink

The whole album is great but I can't quite bring myself to replay it. It's #1 on iTunes BTW.

hurricane weather (forapper), Sunday, 28 January 2018 01:59 (eight months ago) Permalink

I'm really enjoying the fanscreams for East Light, they sound like elementary school students...

hurricane weather (forapper), Sunday, 28 January 2018 02:03 (eight months ago) Permalink

new red velvet is ok but their r&b 'velvet' singles are never as good as the pop 'red' ones

ufo, Monday, 29 January 2018 10:23 (eight months ago) Permalink

loona continue to be excellent

ufo, Tuesday, 30 January 2018 04:58 (eight months ago) Permalink

Loona stuff continues to sound quite different from release to release but maintain its cool, and a conceptual consistency.

Velvet song seems ok, but yeah, when they're not 'Red' they tend to get more generic

abcfsk, Tuesday, 30 January 2018 09:07 (eight months ago) Permalink

I guess I'm in the minority that likes Bad Boy more than their last two singles... winter is the best season for RnB and the production on this is so nice.

hurricane weather (forapper), Thursday, 1 February 2018 03:10 (eight months ago) Permalink

I really like the Go Won track too!

hurricane weather (forapper), Thursday, 1 February 2018 03:12 (eight months ago) Permalink

I like Bad Boy a fair amount, and more than Peek-A-Boo, but it's summer here. it's probably their best r&b single so far but Red Flavor is my favourite single of theirs.

ufo, Thursday, 1 February 2018 06:06 (eight months ago) Permalink

Thoughts on Holland, the first openly gay idol? song isn't great imo but am glad there's actual making out in the video.

And I really like how breezy this iKon track is (their actual title track was bleh). The fun choreography helps:

Roz, Saturday, 3 February 2018 15:46 (eight months ago) Permalink

He has a nice voice (Holland). The BF is cute. There have been other idols who were all-but-out but it's something different to have a scene that purposefully removes the ambiguity. I wonder if he'll end up with a niche audience like Double A (never forget).

hurricane weather (forapper), Saturday, 3 February 2018 22:58 (eight months ago) Permalink

or the fabulous, Kazaky-inspired N.O.M :D

yeah someone on omona pointed out that even Adam Lambert hasn't had any gay scenes in his videos, which honestly surprised me considering how long he's been out.

Roz, Sunday, 4 February 2018 05:25 (eight months ago) Permalink

I'm reading that most of Holland's fans are international, which could be a problem for him financially (again similar to Double A). A solo singer is a lot cheaper to produce than a group though, hopefully he'll make it.

I have to say that I like Love Scenario more than Beautiful... on the one hand Love Scenario is really minimal and sparse, so on that count it's kinda boring but on the other hand it's got the old-tyme-country feel with the weird off-beat rhythms like Bae Bae had and that's a recent YG production trend I enjoy and support.

hurricane weather (forapper), Monday, 5 February 2018 04:56 (eight months ago) Permalink

Another excellent single from Sunmi:

New Suzy is good too, kind of Bad Liar-ish:

Roz, Thursday, 15 February 2018 15:46 (eight months ago) Permalink

Finally an NCT release that fulfills the promise of the project:

It's young, hip, melodic, retro, current, and has an easy chorus. And for once the easy chorus/dense throwback harmonies aren't at odds with the rest of the song!

Though I do like BOSS too.

hurricane weather (forapper), Tuesday, 27 February 2018 03:45 (seven months ago) Permalink

Like here, they are still making unusually melodic hip hop over a decent beat, but they don't know how to incorporate the more traditional "kpop" melodic content, except by suspending the beat for a few bars.

hurricane weather (forapper), Tuesday, 27 February 2018 03:55 (seven months ago) Permalink

great sunmi track
the riff reminds me of 'fight for this love'

nxd, Tuesday, 27 February 2018 10:52 (seven months ago) Permalink

Sober is quite good but I think I'd like it more if it had a moment of cartharsis like Bad Liar does with "oh baby let's make reality actuality" etc.

I really like all the overlapping vocals in the Baby Don't Stop chorus, definitely one of the best NCT singles.

ufo, Tuesday, 27 February 2018 15:41 (seven months ago) Permalink

Right??? And right before it ends, there's some straight-up jazz do-wop harmonies.

hurricane weather (forapper), Thursday, 1 March 2018 03:35 (seven months ago) Permalink

Be ba da loo bob beep bop ba

hurricane weather (forapper), Thursday, 1 March 2018 03:36 (seven months ago) Permalink

Lol this is the first time I'm watching the "BOSS" video - that is both great and hilarious.

And "Baby Don't Stop" is just great, period. Those vocal arrangements are incredible.

Roz, Thursday, 1 March 2018 14:26 (seven months ago) Permalink

Bad Boy has grown on me quite a lot. Roller Coaster still great, glad to see Chungha killing the charts.

abcfsk, Saturday, 3 March 2018 09:39 (seven months ago) Permalink

Interesting to see if Momoland can follow up BboomBboom and become a truly major group. I enjoy their Egyptian Shumba-like screams live. Seems Japanese interest is high.

abcfsk, Saturday, 3 March 2018 10:03 (seven months ago) Permalink

@Roz that's not the official video for BOSS, it's just something MNet does. I kinda prefer it tho lol.

hurricane weather (forapper), Saturday, 3 March 2018 22:17 (seven months ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

Is there some brand value to putting "ft Jay Park" on a Loco song? Because I'm not sure what he adds to this lmao.

hurricane weather (forapper), Friday, 23 March 2018 00:39 (six months ago) Permalink

whoops forgot the v=, here's the link :

hurricane weather (forapper), Friday, 23 March 2018 00:40 (six months ago) Permalink

OMG guys... this is the most brilliant marketing scheme of 2018...

What's the 1 thing preteen girls love more than Boyz?

hurricane weather (forapper), Tuesday, 27 March 2018 00:09 (six months ago) Permalink

The spoiler sounds awesome too, I'm excited:

GIDDY UP, guys!

hurricane weather (forapper), Tuesday, 27 March 2018 00:11 (six months ago) Permalink

Also JYP on a roll with the self-produced boygroups... this one has a rock/hiphop sound as if some Korean American kids who grew up on eminem and linkin park were later given a chance to produce an idol group.

hurricane weather (forapper), Tuesday, 27 March 2018 00:47 (six months ago) Permalink


hurricane weather (forapper), Tuesday, 27 March 2018 00:48 (six months ago) Permalink

this one has a rock/hiphop sound as if some Korean American kids who grew up on eminem and linkin park were later given a chance to produce an idol group.

oh good, i was trying to figure out where that familiar sense of secondhand embarrassment was coming from.

Roz, Wednesday, 28 March 2018 12:36 (six months ago) Permalink

middle section of the new LOONA is maybe a little too disjointed but I love the rest of it

ufo, Friday, 30 March 2018 03:17 (six months ago) Permalink

chorus seems a bit lacking, but it's a lot better than the last one (GoWon's). The other song on her single is great too:

Their sound design is incredible - i can't wait for their group debut.

Roz, Friday, 30 March 2018 14:33 (six months ago) Permalink

I think she's a little weaker than other vocalists in LOONA, which makes the chorus sound lacking. But her emoting on the verses is good. I like the last section starting at 3:45 when they put all the echo effects on, other sections were a little predictable.

hurricane weather (forapper), Friday, 30 March 2018 20:49 (six months ago) Permalink

Dunno if EXID's new jack swing will bring back all their fans who drifted away but I really like it, it's chill without being boring (lots of breaks for vocalists to show off):

Could use maybe a change in tempo or volume though. I was a bigger fan of DDD.

hurricane weather (forapper), Monday, 2 April 2018 14:44 (six months ago) Permalink

I really like that too, it could use a more distinctive bridge or something to change things up as you said, but I prefer it to DDD

ufo, Monday, 2 April 2018 14:58 (six months ago) Permalink

Love this track, sounds very SHINee-esque.

Roz, Thursday, 5 April 2018 11:16 (six months ago) Permalink

that's pretty good, I love the bridge especially

ufo, Thursday, 5 April 2018 11:49 (six months ago) Permalink

Helpful youtube commenter:

Once * Army
6 minutes ago
Movie references in the MV:
0.31 Ghost - 1990
0.49 Pulp Fiction - 1994
1.07 Romeo and Juliet - 1996
1.14, 2.43 Love Letter - 1995
1.23 La La Land - 2016
1.42 La Boum - 1980
2.19-2.31 Leon:The Professional- 1994
2.39 The Princess Diaries - 2001

abcfsk, Monday, 9 April 2018 15:44 (six months ago) Permalink

decent but it's pretty TWICE-by-numbers

ufo, Monday, 9 April 2018 20:02 (six months ago) Permalink

TWICE-by-numbers >>>> 90% of K-pop

Roz, Tuesday, 10 April 2018 13:58 (six months ago) Permalink

Plus the video really is a delight

abcfsk, Tuesday, 10 April 2018 14:22 (six months ago) Permalink

it's a total earworm even if it's not as exciting as Likey

ufo, Wednesday, 11 April 2018 16:26 (six months ago) Permalink

I'm a fan of Giddy Up, even if they didn't put the horses in the actual MV.

hurricane weather (forapper), Monday, 16 April 2018 03:22 (six months ago) Permalink

Going back to BTS, I think IDOL needs "something" more to be really good... but it is head and shoulders above most of the other songs on the BTS album which are, like, total snoozefests. So there's that.

hurricane weather (forapper), Monday, 27 August 2018 18:51 (one month ago) Permalink


hurricane weather (forapper), Tuesday, 28 August 2018 03:53 (one month ago) Permalink

Seohyun and Sooyoung left SM with Tiffany, yeah.

abcfsk, Tuesday, 28 August 2018 08:18 (one month ago) Permalink

hello k-pop thread, haven't had much time to post lately but just wanted to say how much i've been enjoying everything Hyolyn's put out this year. I think "Bae" might be my fave at the moment, so much summery goodness:

Roz, Thursday, 30 August 2018 17:50 (one month ago) Permalink

yeah her singles this year have been great, See Sea is definitely my favourite though

ufo, Friday, 31 August 2018 03:03 (one month ago) Permalink

this is my favourite Sunmi solo single so far

also coming soon is a Blackpink & Dua Lipa collaboration! it'll be interesting to see if Blackpink attempt any sort of Western breakthrough then

ufo, Tuesday, 4 September 2018 12:25 (one month ago) Permalink

With credit to Our Girl Jamie for working so hard all these years to consolidate Jimin's fanbase... some of the best fanmade Kpop content on the English-language web!

All joking aside, the (long overdue) Jimin Park mini is solid. I like tracks 1, 2 and 4 especially. See if you can spot the Shine reference!

hurricane weather (forapper), Wednesday, 5 September 2018 02:56 (one month ago) Permalink


F# A# (∞), Wednesday, 5 September 2018 03:05 (one month ago) Permalink

BTS was playing in downtown L.A. tonight and apparently they've sold out four shows here at Staples Center. People camping out in tents in the line waiting to see them.

omar little, Wednesday, 5 September 2018 06:37 (one month ago) Permalink

My friend wanted to see them at Citifield (where the Mets play), tickets were by lottery and we didn't get them. But I'm pretty agnostic on the new album so maybe we dodged a bullet.

hurricane weather (forapper), Wednesday, 5 September 2018 21:05 (one month ago) Permalink

Oh!GG Lil Touch isn't terrible but it's suffering pretty hard from every line being written twice so they can be divided 'fairly' between all 5 girls.

Either have a 3-girl subunit, work harder on the song structure, or forget about the distribution...

I like the new NCT Dream song though!

hurricane weather (forapper), Wednesday, 5 September 2018 21:23 (one month ago) Permalink

Supposedly Mark will be "graduated" from NCTDream after this song which is a bit weird to think about considering he's featured so heavily on it and even the other rappers sound like him. But just like Cube think they can have Pentagon without E'Dawn...

Here's an opinion piece on the NCT franchise model and other artist-as-commodity long term planning by SM:

Popular culture critic Kim Hyun Sik said, β€œIn a franchise, the flagship store must be successful in order for its brand power to expand to its chain stores. It would be sequentially correct to develop a team that can be the center of NCT and then expand its influence to its derived teams.”

hurricane weather (forapper), Wednesday, 5 September 2018 21:36 (one month ago) Permalink

Would you buy a home AI system with Wendy's voice and image?

hurricane weather (forapper), Wednesday, 5 September 2018 21:38 (one month ago) Permalink

Sunmi's "Siren" rules <3 She does high drama so well.

Roz, Thursday, 6 September 2018 13:20 (one month ago) Permalink

Performance predictably great too

abcfsk, Sunday, 9 September 2018 09:33 (one month ago) Permalink

iiking this track in the k-patchwork-pop tradition

ufo, Monday, 10 September 2018 14:40 (one month ago) Permalink

the OMG track is great, I hear a lot of other songs I like in there

hurricane weather (forapper), Tuesday, 11 September 2018 01:13 (one month ago) Permalink

the one that most comes to mind is GLAM's Party (XXO)

ufo, Tuesday, 11 September 2018 01:17 (one month ago) Permalink

also I Got A Boy

ufo, Tuesday, 11 September 2018 02:37 (one month ago) Permalink

Wow this is awful:

I could see them letting go of E'Dawn but Hyuna?! She practically carried the label.

Roz, Thursday, 13 September 2018 02:55 (one month ago) Permalink

wow that's awful and shocking, absurd that dating scandals are still such a thing and that companies can react like this over them

ufo, Thursday, 13 September 2018 03:04 (one month ago) Permalink

It just seems incredibly short-sighted. Hyuna was probably popular enough to ride out any dating scandals, while E'Dawn was a rising star. Good luck Cube imo.

Roz, Thursday, 13 September 2018 03:14 (one month ago) Permalink

i've seen some suggest that the issue was that Cube denied the dating rumours only for Hyuna & E'Dawn to publicly confirm they were dating afterwards and it seems Cube really didn't like that they did that

ufo, Thursday, 13 September 2018 03:58 (one month ago) Permalink

Yeah Cube's shares tanked after they went public (and is tanking now after this latest announcement).

I feel bad for Pentagon though - they were just starting to make waves. They don't deserve this.

Roz, Thursday, 13 September 2018 05:09 (one month ago) Permalink

lololol what a mess

[UPDATE] A senior official from CUBE Entertainment said the withdrawal of HyunA & E'Dawn is not final yet. The agency officials are having an urgent meeting & will gather the opinions from their artists as well

— The Seoul Story (@theseoulstory) September 13, 2018

Roz, Thursday, 13 September 2018 08:26 (one month ago) Permalink

If the point was to show Hyuna and E'Dawn who's boss, it backfired big time.

Pentagon are promoting right now and the song is pretty bad, but that might be because E'Dawn is not there to sell his Shine pt 2 co-write

hurricane weather (forapper), Friday, 14 September 2018 02:37 (one month ago) Permalink

The main thinh OMG's Remember Me reminds me of is f(x)'s Pinocchio

hurricane weather (forapper), Saturday, 15 September 2018 19:54 (one month ago) Permalink

ufo, Monday, 17 September 2018 11:04 (one month ago) Permalink

I've never really been able to get into GOT7 but that's quite nice.

Roz, Monday, 17 September 2018 15:00 (one month ago) Permalink

I like it, it kinda sounds like Teenager (fan favorite off the last album):

I think I'd like it more if it was just a touch more relaxed

hurricane weather (forapper), Tuesday, 18 September 2018 01:45 (four weeks ago) Permalink

dirrrrrrrty bass (but the chorus is poppy):

hurricane weather (forapper), Tuesday, 25 September 2018 01:18 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Doesn't quite stick the landing but I love the first 2 minutes of this...

hurricane weather (forapper), Tuesday, 25 September 2018 01:20 (three weeks ago) Permalink

i like this way more than the components

ufo, Saturday, 29 September 2018 18:39 (two weeks ago) Permalink

this is a very good r&b track with a great keyboard solo that i'd completely missed until now

ufo, Tuesday, 2 October 2018 10:07 (two weeks ago) Permalink

listened to the GOT7 album and it's really great, one of the best kpop full lengths i've heard. nearly every track could have been the single

this is one of the highlights

ufo, Wednesday, 3 October 2018 01:12 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Oh yeah Lee Jin Ah pitched as this piano genius could be very noodle-y but she's shown a great pop sensibility too, even in the songs where she IS doing jazz piano throughout

abcfsk, Wednesday, 3 October 2018 05:49 (two weeks ago) Permalink


abcfsk, Wednesday, 3 October 2018 05:50 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Her album this year is beautiful

abcfsk, Wednesday, 3 October 2018 08:49 (two weeks ago) Permalink

I've been listening to a lot of Lee Jin Ah on my jazz(y) Kpop odyssey this year, it's bubbling up from the Korean underground to the idol scene.

Random is my favorite Lee Jin Ah track.

hurricane weather (forapper), Friday, 5 October 2018 04:55 (one week ago) Permalink

yeah her album was quite enjoyable too

ufo, Friday, 5 October 2018 04:56 (one week ago) Permalink

Working toward a theory of how these idol groups are positioned for an audience... not just on a cute/sexy axis for girlgroups (or a puppy love/possessive love axis for boygroups), but thinking about that axis in terms of the (sexual) agency allowed to the artist (the x axis), and also adding another axis for the age/sophistication of the target audience (the y axis).

So you can have a group with a pretty sophisticated presentation, using sounds from the indie scene or otherwise outside the idol scene, with MVs that use indie film tropes (clever transitions, artsy black and white, unexpected juxtapositions, or maybe tried indie tropes like filing at the laundromat), but because the artists are young, the target audience is also young (or are people who are into "young") - so the portrayal of the relationship will lack agency on the part of the artist, and they will be in the bottom left corner of the graph. (Ex: Infinite forever complaining about how they are controlled by Bad Girls, IU adding musical complexity while still appealing to the uncle fans, Stellar going meta about how they are objectified while being poked by computer mice in the music video).

The ultimate goal of this exercise is escape to the quadrant in the bottom right, where you can have a sophisticated image (y-axis) AND sexual agency (x-axis), the only way to retain fans after aging out of your original image, whatever it was (young and sophisticated, young and cute, or sexy but in a simplistic, 1-dimensional way). Because as an older artist, you not only want to be more true to your actual lived experience, but you also can't compete with the younger artists to be MORE cute or MORE inexperienced or in a MORE kdrama-rama relationship, right?

This isn't to say that the bottom right quadrant is actually more sophisticated or sexy, more that it's a Justin Timberlake going to "Suit and Tie" type of deal, where you successfully keep your audience into adulthood.

So examples of artists who succeeded here might be G.o.D, IU, Suzy from Miss A (and actually, Miss A as a whole, although they disbanded shortly thereafter), Taeyeon from Girls Generation, EXO-CBX and the other EXO subunits, Red Velvet, VIXX, Minah from Girl's Day, Sistar both as a group and as individual artists, Big Bang (maybe, they can also be self-reflective without being emotionally mature).

Just a thought, and since the pop culture website I used to write for went under, I figured I'd put it here.

hurricane weather (forapper), Sunday, 7 October 2018 18:11 (one week ago) Permalink

ANyway in the young but sophisticated (but lacking agency) quadrant we have MXM, who I am enjoying quite a bit these days:

hurricane weather (forapper), Sunday, 7 October 2018 18:12 (one week ago) Permalink

Or it could be that this is the new young-and-cute puppy love quadrant, updated with what the kids are actually into these days.

hurricane weather (forapper), Sunday, 7 October 2018 18:18 (one week ago) Permalink

And speaking of that sexy/tasteful quadrant, here's another one for the Continued Mainstreaming of Jazz Piano Watch:

hurricane weather (forapper), Sunday, 7 October 2018 19:14 (one week ago) Permalink

Interesting theory, but time to get to paint and start filling in the names so we can tell you why we disagree

abcfsk, Sunday, 7 October 2018 19:43 (one week ago) Permalink

Much as I dig Red Velvet not sure they've escaped to the bottom right just yet? Sophisticated presentation, but lacking agency, a bit all over the place, still very much dancing at the whims of SM. They're also just a few years old.

Lee Hyori is/was the ultimate example, I guess, going from a squarely cute 'n innocent concept group to major success in the mature phase of her career as something completely different and now in the 'do what she pleases' phase. Although she's mostly done with music by now.

abcfsk, Sunday, 7 October 2018 19:47 (one week ago) Permalink

Yeah, for Red Velvet actually I think you are right, they are bouncing back and forth between the top left (cute & upbeat) and top right (sexy bad girls) as a group, as planned from the start of their careers. Because when you establish from the beginning that you're going to be switching up your image, it makes the final transition easier & more credible.

Seulgi as a solo artist might be a better candidate for escaping to the bottom right, and SM Station in general seems to be an outlet for SM artists to try out some different sounds and maybe gain credibility as mature artists so they can escape whatever image they started out with.

For boy groups, I think the textbook example would be VIXX - they were video game characters at debut, then did some Jekyll/Hyde concept switch stuff, and now are playing up the 'sexy, mature, tasteful, and/or musically adventurous' image both as a group and in their solo releases.

hurricane weather (forapper), Sunday, 7 October 2018 20:05 (one week ago) Permalink

Subbed, but IU's difficult to translate, puns and poetry aplenty

The song is great. Surprisingly catchy.

abcfsk, Thursday, 11 October 2018 05:48 (six days ago) Permalink

^ i love this one! thanks for pointing it out.

fragglerock, Thursday, 11 October 2018 09:22 (six days ago) Permalink

APRIL have moved away from their usual cutesy innocent sound here with great results. 80s-influenced but still pretty distinctive in sound and it flows fantastically

ufo, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 11:39 (yesterday) Permalink

You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.