rolling kpop 2022

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sm's super-girl group 'GOT the beat' have started the year off with a particularly out there track in "step back"

ufo, Monday, 3 January 2022 09:20 (eight months ago) link

that really is fantastically weird, and love seeing all of them together in one group - BoA debuted before aespa's Winter was even born lol

Netizens aren't having it though, more due to the lyrics than the music:

Roz, Monday, 3 January 2022 10:13 (eight months ago) link

Shame about the lyrics because I love when SM embraces their divisive kitchen sink approach of shifting tones and genres

abcfsk, Thursday, 6 January 2022 08:32 (eight months ago) link

two weeks pass...

Some tunes I've liked this month: 
YENA - Smiley feat BIBI 

fun and bright debut, with an assist from BIBI who's always good value on a track
Breezy house track from MAMAMOO's Moon Byul - "Lunatic"
"Slow Mo"
"Who Are You" (feat. Seulgi of Red Velvet)

These BamBam songs are both lovely and chill. Never really got into GOT7 as a group but love him and Jackson Wang solo.
OnlyOneOf - "skinz" 

this group has gotten some flak for ~queerbaiting (in their earlier video and in this one), though honestly it isn't that far off from other boy groups doing similar things during photoshoots and in variety show interactions. but I'd be interested to know how much the yaoi concept is being driven by their handlers and whether the members have any say in it, because some of the visuals really do feel kinda skeevy at times. :/

shame though because their music's actually pretty good and different sounding from other boy groups. "skinz" lacks a tune but I like how abrasive it is.   

Roz, Monday, 24 January 2022 06:55 (eight months ago) link

four weeks pass...

stayc - "run2u"

ufo, Monday, 21 February 2022 12:30 (seven months ago) link

NMIXX - "O.O" manages to sum up its kitchen sink chaos in its emoticon title

ufo, Tuesday, 22 February 2022 12:56 (seven months ago) link

like, what the hell is this going for

ufo, Tuesday, 22 February 2022 12:56 (seven months ago) link

As usual I'm pro kitchen sink in kpop. The shift is even harsher than aespa's recent genre mixes but.. why not!

abcfsk, Tuesday, 22 February 2022 14:06 (seven months ago) link

it's not bad but i don't know if it's good either yet, it's a lot to take in. like those sort of clashing shifts are nothing new in kpop but totally eschewing any sort of repetition in its structure is pretty distinct. definitely in favour of it existing at least

ufo, Wednesday, 23 February 2022 01:25 (seven months ago) link

two weeks pass...

late i know but ufo i really love that STAYC track.

enjoyed this too

oscar bravo, Tuesday, 15 March 2022 18:17 (six months ago) link

best & most ambitious red velvet single in quite some time, probably since "sappy"?

ufo, Monday, 21 March 2022 11:28 (six months ago) link

love this
my fav since russian roulette

nxd, Monday, 21 March 2022 13:29 (six months ago) link

the whole mini is great too. so good to have them back in form

ufo, Monday, 21 March 2022 22:06 (six months ago) link

new debut i think


i really like one of the sounds in this but not completely sold on the track


and a swerve away


oscar bravo, Thursday, 24 March 2022 17:19 (six months ago) link

technically he’s no longer kpop but I don’t know where else to put this. Jackson Wang’s solo career just keeps getting better and better:


Roz, Thursday, 31 March 2022 16:44 (six months ago) link

kwon eun bi - "glitch"

ufo, Monday, 4 April 2022 12:03 (five months ago) link

That’s a good track, but like so many other kpop songs this year, i feel like it’s missing… something. Same with the red velvet track - I admire it but don’t love it. I don’t know if I’m just cranky but I haven’t liked a lot of kpop this year at all, everything either sounds stale or trying too hard and no one seems to be having any actual fun.

meanwhile Big Bang coming back after four years with a boring rock ballad is disappointing, but not a surprise - feels like a calculated move to get them back in the good graces of the S. Korean public. As one of the rare boy groups that can actually pull off a ballad though, this is just goddamn lazy:

Roz, Monday, 4 April 2022 16:02 (five months ago) link

did enjoy TOP being Donnie Darko on the moon, bless him for staying weird

Roz, Monday, 4 April 2022 16:12 (five months ago) link

Yeah not really enjoying that track aside from the la la la la bit, but great video - love the pirate ship overgrown with weeds.

Daniel_Rf, Tuesday, 5 April 2022 10:12 (five months ago) link

It’s a very pretty video.

A lot of fans are speculating that it’s a farewell single which makes me see it in a kinder light, but it’s still a nothing song. Surprised there were no shots of all of them together.

Roz, Tuesday, 5 April 2022 11:13 (five months ago) link

posted on the 2NE1 thread, but it belongs here too of course:

I miss them so much.

Roz, Monday, 18 April 2022 03:49 (five months ago) link

two weeks pass...

IS the pandemic over, I'm not sure -_- Anyway this is fun!!!!

hurricane weather (forapper), Friday, 6 May 2022 01:31 (four months ago) link

And this is coming late but my take on the Big Bang track is it's an old one they pulled out of storage to make up for cancelling their Coachella set. There's rumors you can hear Seungri in the backing vocals on the second verse. Whether he's there or not it feels like something that wasn't good enough to put out the first time.

hurricane weather (forapper), Friday, 6 May 2022 01:33 (four months ago) link

Hasn't hurt them on the local charts though - as expected, the Korean public loves the song. And after a month, PSY only managed to bump them off the top spot for an hour heh.

Liking this other PSY track with Hwasa: Now

Roz, Monday, 9 May 2022 05:13 (four months ago) link

Took me a few secs to locate it but "Now" is a cover of "When The Rain Begins To Fall" by Jermaine Jackson and Pia Zadora, a fine showbiz tradition for Psy to follow in.

Daniel_Rf, Monday, 9 May 2022 09:31 (four months ago) link

can't fault his taste

TWELVE Michelob stars?!? (seandalai), Monday, 9 May 2022 12:20 (four months ago) link

Ah nice catch. Apparently it’s a cover of a cover: this 80s Korean remake of the Jackson/Zadora track.

Roz, Monday, 9 May 2022 17:23 (four months ago) link

"Feel My Rhythm" has really grown on me.

Some other stuff I've liked recently:

RoaD-B - Nonstop - Sweetune! I've missed their sound so much. The melodic arrangements, the sense of build and release, the DRAMA. RoaD-B (who I've never even heard of - apparently a reboot of a prev group) doesn't seem to have the vocal power that previous Sweetune collaborators like Kara or Infinite had, but it's just nice to hear this type of songwriting in kpop again

IVE - Love Dive - narcissistic, my god I love it

Dreamcatcher - MAISON - feels like everything they've done before has been leading up to this - a perfect distillation of their brand of anime soundtrack pop/rock. also finally (and deservedly!) netted them their first ever music show wins.  

iKON - But You: nice bit of synthpop even if it really doesn't fit their style at all, should've given it to Winner or Treasure instead heh 

Roz, Thursday, 12 May 2022 06:04 (four months ago) link

oh "nonstop" is very nice, great to hear something new from sweetune. looks like they really haven't had much success of late and have been writing for a lot of no-name groups, that's a shame

ufo, Thursday, 12 May 2022 06:45 (four months ago) link

two months pass...

I like this CRJ-ish Hyolyn summer jam

TWELVE Michelob stars?!? (seandalai), Saturday, 30 July 2022 17:48 (two months ago) link

newjeans - "cookie"

ufo, Monday, 1 August 2022 22:24 (two months ago) link

really like NewJeans. Their first song "Attention" was good too:

meanwhile, Girls' Generation are back. The "yay, we are all together" messaging is a tad corny but bless them for having a proper chorus (unlike so many other kpop songs this year):

Roz, Saturday, 6 August 2022 10:29 (one month ago) link

speaking of good choruses, i also really like CSR's "Pop? Pop!", which miraculously sounds exactly like that title. didn't realise how much i've missed this kind of ultra-girly, light summer kpop

Roz, Saturday, 6 August 2022 10:39 (one month ago) link

"pop? pop!" is good but i wish it committed more to its weird little deviations from the formula, like the intro which has a ton of movement and the little "pop pop pop pop" etc. bits

ufo, Saturday, 6 August 2022 10:50 (one month ago) link

Any recomMendations for a playlist ?

calstars, Saturday, 6 August 2022 14:08 (one month ago) link

like a primer, or a general "what's new in Kpop" kinda playlist? if the latter, tbh spotify's own ongoing kpop playlist is decent if you just want to keep up with new releases - 

not a playlist but The Bias List is a specialist K/J-pop blog that's pretty quick at getting reviews up on nearly every new song on the day of release (and has a broader scope than Spotify, which tends to only highlight releases from the major Kpop companies). I don't always agree with their takes but it's generally pretty good at telling you quickly whether a song is worth checking out or no -

and it hasn't been updated recently but this playlist is very much relevant to my interests -  

Roz, Monday, 8 August 2022 10:27 (one month ago) link

Thanks roz!

calstars, Monday, 8 August 2022 12:02 (one month ago) link

Top 9 on instiz now is all girl-groups! (including one girl group solo w Nayeon at #9 (#10 is also a female artist, solo singer KyoungSeo)

abcfsk, Wednesday, 17 August 2022 15:39 (one month ago) link

latest blackpink ("pink venom") is a total mess but not even in an entertaining way

ufo, Friday, 19 August 2022 05:43 (one month ago) link

It's fine but certainly doesn't sound like anything new and exciting for their long-awaited comeback.

Really enjoying NewJeans style, sort of effortlessly different from other groups. Hype Boy chorus is just great.

abcfsk, Saturday, 20 August 2022 06:02 (one month ago) link

not gonna be interested in anything Blackpink as long as teddy keeps being in charge of their music. also it’s been like six years since their debut - even though it’s YG, feels like the girls should at least have some say by now in what kind of music they wanna make? Do they really wanna be putting out all attitude, nonsense catchphrase songs out forever? But I guess maybe they don’t care as long as their fanbase keeps eating it up.

Roz, Sunday, 21 August 2022 05:28 (one month ago) link

well they are doing generic, weirdly dated EDM now too

thing about "pink venom" is the chorus completely fails at delivering the attitude, it's so goofy

ufo, Sunday, 21 August 2022 06:09 (one month ago) link

I do KINDA like the chorus. The rest of the song is very Blackpink 101, at least it's doing something.

Also it's now the first Korean song to debut at #1 on Spotify global, so yeah, don't expect them to change too much.

abcfsk, Sunday, 21 August 2022 07:36 (one month ago) link

IVE - After Like

The “I Will Survive” interpolation is hilariously jarring at first, but it just about works, I think. and yes I sound like a broken record on this but… needs a better chorus!

Roz, Monday, 22 August 2022 15:39 (one month ago) link


ufo, Monday, 22 August 2022 22:18 (one month ago) link

three weeks pass...

NCT 127 - "2 Baddies"

this is a few tweaks away from being excellent & feels fairly inspired in the current kpop landscape

ufo, Friday, 16 September 2022 05:29 (two weeks ago) link

another baffling kitchen-sink suite from NMIXX

ufo, Monday, 19 September 2022 12:56 (one week ago) link

I admit to being a big fan of the kitchen sink approach.... but this is just noise, there are no dynamics.

abcfsk, Monday, 19 September 2022 17:51 (one week ago) link

this is just noise, there are no dynamics.

an apt descriptor for so much kpop released this year :/

don't really like "2 baddies" either, although the group rap chorus does remind me of early EXO

Blackpink's "Shut Down" is slightly better than their other recent singles (mostly because I can't resist a violin loop), but it's still yet another badass pose disguised as a song

Roz, Tuesday, 20 September 2022 01:28 (one week ago) link

yeah "dice" isn't at all good but it is fascinating which is why i posted it

the blackpink album was pretty bland and terrible, doesn't have anything going for it at all.

ufo, Tuesday, 20 September 2022 01:36 (one week ago) link

thanks, was considering giving it a cursory listen even though i knew that was likely going to be the case

not 2022, but just got introduced to The Boyz's "Prism" off their Japanese release last year and it's the best thing I've heard in Kpop in ages - massive SHINee-esque dark pop house with impressively understated vocals (it does build up to a high note on the bridge, but it's completely earned). there is hope!

Roz, Tuesday, 20 September 2022 02:39 (one week ago) link

an apt descriptor for so much kpop released this year :/

I like most of the songs people call out for that, tbf. It's been a good year for new and new-ish girl groups. Just not this NMIXX attempt.

abcfsk, Tuesday, 20 September 2022 11:15 (one week ago) link

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