rolling kpop 2023

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This is a real nice song

(The members are Japanese but they operate in Korea as a k-pop group, I think..?)

abcfsk, Saturday, 28 January 2023 09:47 (one year ago) link

oh xg are an extremely weird situation yeah - japanese label, japanese members, based in south korea and operate as part of the industry there, sing nearly exclusively in english, still seem to have had the most success in the japanese market

it's a good track

ufo, Saturday, 28 January 2023 11:41 (one year ago) link

two weeks pass...

I haven't had the energy to fully figure out the format of the former Loona creative mastermind's (way before their recent troubles) new group, but I understand it's a lot of sub-units and not all members are announced yet. Here's a new song

abcfsk, Monday, 13 February 2023 19:47 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

is it just me or has kpop been particularly dire this year? finally came across a couple of decent releases this week:

Aespa's track from the soundtrack of the Tetris movie (of all things!) is an unexpected gem - a pulsating synthpop banger based around a sample of the Korobeiniki melody

AESPA - "Hold On Tight"

BILLIE - EUNOIA - in the NewJeans/TripleS-style of laidback 90s bounce but BILLIE has enough personality that it doesn't seem completely like they're trendchasing. Also Youha has a songwriting credit on this. :)

speaking of NewJeans... their Coke Zero tie-up actually starts off pretty well but good god, that chorus is awful. shame because I really liked the sound of NewJeans doing dnb:

Roz, Thursday, 6 April 2023 09:06 (one year ago) link

i enjoyed that aespa track

oscar bravo, Thursday, 6 April 2023 09:41 (one year ago) link

I like the Zero chorus, it's kinda psychotic but based on a Korean schoolyard rhyme.

Also the rookie group Fifty Fifty now have a certified major global hit with Cupid, which never took off in Korea before it hit tiktok, spotify, billboard, uk charts etc.

It's currently #13 on global Spotify. Belatedly it is now also climbing in Korea.

abcfsk, Sunday, 9 April 2023 08:16 (one year ago) link

in more international chart news, Jimin of BTS has the US number one single this week with “Like Crazy”:

And what does it take to dethrone NewJeans from the top spots? Only IVE's more conventional pop bangers

abcfsk, Tuesday, 11 April 2023 17:56 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

sound design on this is great but it feels like it's missing something to truly make it a great song overall?

ufo, Tuesday, 16 May 2023 21:42 (one year ago) link

yeah kinda feel that way about their whole mini (and a lot of current k-pop in general)

a few more good recent songs I've liked, but also feel like they're missing a little something:

NCT DOJAEJUNG - "Perfume" - boyband r&b straight out of 1998

(G)I-DLE - "Allergy" - cute pop punk

IVE - "Wave" - japanese single that's very... IVE - I like that they seem to have established a signature sound/mood

Roz, Saturday, 20 May 2023 10:50 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

new NCT Dream track "Broken Melodies" is interesting - a weird mix between a melodic rock ballad and dnb beats, with a big dramatic bridge. too bad they go back to a chanty, sing-song chorus, like why would you even tease all that and not follow through on the hook? :/ 

again, just short of a little something:

can't believe my fave kpop song of the year is still the one from the Tetris soundtrack lol

Roz, Tuesday, 20 June 2023 08:35 (one year ago) link

Spicy is great imo. It's cool that that 'Eve, Psyche' track from SSerafim is now as big as Unforgiven.

Gidle's recent lead singles have been a bit too much sass for my taste, but it's impressive how they dominate in Korea with a very member-led creative approach.

NewJeans coming back next month with triple A-side release.

abcfsk, Tuesday, 20 June 2023 10:06 (one year ago) link

It's cool that that 'Eve, Psyche' track from SSerafim is now as big as Unforgiven.

it's a good song imo, I like it way more than "Unforgiven". Great title too.

Since they weren't posted earlier:

Le SSerafim - "Eve, Psyche & The Bluebeard's wife"


Roz, Wednesday, 21 June 2023 02:25 (one year ago) link

Erika de Casier is listed as co-writer on one of the new NewJeans track. Gunning for that ilxor poll again.

abcfsk, Thursday, 22 June 2023 19:43 (one year ago) link

getting de casier to write for them makes a whole lot of sense and is perfectly targeted at me

ufo, Friday, 23 June 2023 00:00 (one year ago) link

omg and me!

Roz, Friday, 23 June 2023 04:02 (one year ago) link

two weeks pass...

"super shy" is pretty good, it's short and a little repetitive but it makes up for that by constantly changing up the beat. i think it's one of the tracks co-written by de casier

ufo, Friday, 7 July 2023 05:10 (one year ago) link

that rules and yes, de casier is one of the writers on it.

she's on both their new tracks, the other is just called "New Jeans". Love the video:

Roz, Friday, 7 July 2023 06:44 (one year ago) link

man “super shy” is great. i had the same thought re the repetition but on subsequent listens i actually love that part of it. their vocals sound at home on a garage beat… de casier being involved is really cool

J0rdan S., Friday, 7 July 2023 07:16 (one year ago) link

also just wanna say that fifty fifty “cupid” is the best pure pop single of the year to me… not sure if the pre-chorus echoing kylie “more more more” is intentional but i get a thrill hearing that part on the radio. top to bottom great record down to “cupid is so dumb”

J0rdan S., Friday, 7 July 2023 07:31 (one year ago) link

yeah it's fine that "super shy" repeats that hook so much because it's a great hook

i don't really get why "cupid" became such an international hit (it was #2 here!) beyond just 'tiktok' (there seems to be a lot of claims that there was some sort of tiktok payola involved but i have no idea how accurate that is). it's fine as a song but it feels like i've heard that sound so many times before, but i guess it's not quite as familiar to most? seems like they're destined to be a one hit wonder as they're currently suing to try to get out of their contracts, there are claims one of the producers/writers of "cupid" is trying to poach the group with warner bros., and their agency is having some sort of dispute over the copyrights to "cupid" with said producer/writer

ufo, Friday, 7 July 2023 08:14 (one year ago) link

that’s fascinating, i had no idea. fighting the label this early in a career seems pretty atypical no? it would be for any artist tbf but especially in k-pop it feels like

i’m no k-pop expert so maybe i’m just hearing “cupid” w/ a layperson’s ears but there’s something effortless about the songwriting to me & the way the song flows from verse to pre chorus to chorus etc. also — and i may be projecting here — i think for english language listeners there’s something to grab onto lyrically in the chorus that is simple but also clever & funny

J0rdan S., Friday, 7 July 2023 14:25 (one year ago) link

Super Shy is hot shit

abcfsk, Friday, 7 July 2023 15:39 (one year ago) link

yeah fifty fifty have really speedran things. there's been more kpop acts successfully getting exploitative contracts (generally the norm in the industry) overturned in court these days (former ilm favourites loona recently successfully had their contracts terminated by the court) and it seems like their unexpected sudden gigantic success early on really pushed up the tension quicker than usual - both between them & the agency but also internal business disputes within the agency

they do have new song today for the barbie soundtrack, it's hypersaturated & based around interpolation of "together again".

ufo, Friday, 7 July 2023 22:09 (one year ago) link

newjeans have already performed "eta" from the upcoming ep and it's just as fantastic as you'd expect

ufo, Saturday, 8 July 2023 22:51 (one year ago) link

super shy is the first new jeans song that I've actually liked.
cupid is v much not to my taste.

oscar bravo, Sunday, 9 July 2023 12:19 (one year ago) link

loona subunit odd eye circle return after loona's demise - they've signed to modhaus, which was founded by jaden jeong, the creative director for loona during that excellent run of early singles. two other loona members have signed there too and the new group with all of them is called artms

"air force one" is no "girl front" but it's still fun

ufo, Wednesday, 12 July 2023 02:20 (one year ago) link

I know I'm super late to this but omg the video to "Supershy", never thought I'd see Kpop happen in a Lisbon fish market lmao.

Daniel_Rf, Wednesday, 12 July 2023 10:28 (one year ago) link

Jung Kook - “Seven” (feat. Latto)

oh hey, a BTS-related track I actually like… even if the best part of it is actually Latto’s verse lol

Roz, Saturday, 15 July 2023 05:00 (one year ago) link

new newjeans single... so they're like... making an early 2010s era rinse fm album? i'm incredibly invested in this all of a sudden

J0rdan S., Wednesday, 19 July 2023 19:48 (one year ago) link

i'm not so into the self-titled song but this is potentially even better than "super shy" jeez

J0rdan S., Wednesday, 19 July 2023 19:53 (one year ago) link

It didn't worm itself into my brain as quickly as "super shy", but ya it's a good song.

the 'side b' version of the video has an appearance by Tony Leung (!) and a snippet of a very nice-sounding ballad:

Roz, Friday, 21 July 2023 02:04 (one year ago) link

"eta" is also fantastic. the whole ep is great but there's only one more track and the songs are so short so it's only 12 minutes! i want a whole album of this already

ufo, Friday, 21 July 2023 04:18 (one year ago) link

like why is "get up" just an interlude lol, give us a full version

ufo, Friday, 21 July 2023 04:27 (one year ago) link

oh shit, i thought the bit in the video was a snippet - you're telling me that's the whole track? lol

ETA is great. Only ASAP hasn't been released yeah?

Roz, Friday, 21 July 2023 04:39 (one year ago) link

wait it's here:

Roz, Friday, 21 July 2023 04:42 (one year ago) link

the whole EP is out now yeah

ufo, Friday, 21 July 2023 04:44 (one year ago) link

Casier co-wrote four tracks, three of them along with Fine Glindvad Jensen from Danish electropop group Chinah - probably most known as the group behind the sample from Two Shells 'Home'. Swedish songwriter Ylva Dimberg co-wrote ETA, and Norwegian group Smerz co-wrote ASAP. All in all, five Scandinavian women have writing credits on the short ep.

Frederik B, Friday, 21 July 2023 07:42 (one year ago) link

And also, the ep is really good!

Frederik B, Friday, 21 July 2023 07:43 (one year ago) link

it kinda cracks me up how on “cool with you” they throw in those little 90s r&b esque “give it to me now” ad libs… they feel distinctly out of place given the rest of what they’re referencing, but they’re also really charming & add just a little something to what is a fairly pared down song

J0rdan S., Friday, 21 July 2023 16:39 (one year ago) link

i mean that's kinda what they've been doing right from the start, just in the opposite direction - the first ep was all 90s r&b throwbacks just with little jersey club etc. touches thrown in to feel modern & fresh. of course the early 2010s garage of "cool with you" isn't as on trend as the jersey club stuff but it still feels fresh for kpop, i don't really know why no one's gone all-in on it before

ufo, Friday, 21 July 2023 21:25 (one year ago) link

the synth horn on "ETA" bothers me but the rest of this EP is great. "ASAP" is a really cool song

J0rdan S., Tuesday, 25 July 2023 15:49 (eleven months ago) link

newjeans seem really shocked by how much lollapalooza loves them lol. they do everything except the new ep with a live band so there's some different arrangements.

ufo, Friday, 4 August 2023 02:28 (eleven months ago) link

Supershy really pops with a crowd

abcfsk, Friday, 4 August 2023 08:57 (eleven months ago) link

they should have performed it a second time to close

ufo, Friday, 4 August 2023 09:00 (eleven months ago) link

two weeks pass...

Good day for mid tier groups.

abcfsk, Wednesday, 23 August 2023 13:15 (ten months ago) link

one month passes...

Jungkook goes from Craig David to early Justin Timberlake... like "Seven", this is pretty good! The early 00s sound works for him! But vocally, just comes across as a total charisma vacuum, any trace of a personality sanded down to nothing in the quest to conquer US radio

also, Jack Harlow is terrible as usual and ruins the song, but fortunately a version without him exists

Roz, Friday, 29 September 2023 16:38 (nine months ago) link

maybe doesn't help that i've been re-listening to "Mirotic", which turned 15 this week... god, what a masterpiece

Roz, Friday, 29 September 2023 16:51 (nine months ago) link

lol you aren't wrong about the charisma vacuum there. was wondering if this was just a limitation of him singing in english but no, he comes across much better on some of bts's english tracks. bizarre

ufo, Friday, 29 September 2023 20:17 (nine months ago) link

Speaking of boy bands past and present,

So far not a single boygroup has reached #1 on MelOn Daily Chart in 2023, it’s the first year since MelOn creation that no boygroup has reached #1 on the chart.

— Kpop Charts (@kchartsmaster) September 28, 2023

abcfsk, Saturday, 30 September 2023 10:39 (nine months ago) link

as is right - most of the big boy group releases this year have been meh, including comebacks by major 2nd gen groups like Infinite and SHINee :(

have been mildly fascinated by a couple of the newer bgs making GFriend/Lovelyz-style wholesome, cutesy spring music (which I've recently discovered is now being called christian horse girl kpop lol). these male versions aren't quite as enjoyable imo, but I appreciate the attempt to do something different. examples:

The Wind - Island

ZEROBASEONE - In Bloom (interesting interpolation of "Take On Me")

Roz, Saturday, 30 September 2023 18:12 (nine months ago) link

into this wavey ballad from IVE

TWELVE Michelob stars?!? (seandalai), Monday, 2 October 2023 14:08 (nine months ago) link

one month passes...

new red velvet single "chill kill" is pretty good although not one of their singles i'm instantly astounded by

ufo, Monday, 13 November 2023 14:31 (eight months ago) link

lol i like that we're getting k-afrobeats now. i don't think it quite works but it's admirably close

ufo, Friday, 17 November 2023 15:30 (eight months ago) link

like it's quite pleasant but the vocal doesn't quite fit in the groove in the right way. which is interesting to be fair

ufo, Friday, 17 November 2023 15:38 (eight months ago) link

ha yeah I see what you mean, I’m not entirely sure afrobeats is a natural fit for the kind of rigid melody structures that kpop favours but it’s nice

g-dragon posted a video of himself dancing to “Love Nwantiti” last year which made me think he prob would’ve gone down the afropop route if he wanted to go back to making music. but he’s caught up in yet another drug scandal now so probably not anytime soon

Roz, Saturday, 18 November 2023 04:16 (eight months ago) link

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