The first week of January is upon us, and that means a lot of comebacks. Much of this has to do with the fact we’re finally out of Christmas territory, so anybody’s more serious comebacks are coming out of the woodwork. It also means I just started college again, so I won’t be able to keep up as frequently with Kpop releases. However, my “Songs I Missed” series is gonna be a regular weekly roundup of songs that didn’t get full reviews from me because either there wasn’t much for a full post or because I didn’t care enough. Either way, it’s a more holistic way for me to sift and keep up without feeling obligated to write a big post for everything.
But enough of my ranting. Here’s my thoughts on Kpop this week:
S.E.S. – “Remember” (December 31st, 2016)
I’m gonna include this in here because it’s my blog and I can break the rules if I want to.
Also this is the kind of mom pop I find acceptable.
BONUS Baby – “Urikiri” (January 1st, 2017)
About as Jpop as you can get away with in Kpop, this song has been polarizing for a lot of people, as it is with me. It’s funny that for a girl who was aware of Jpop before Kpop, this is really grating for me to listen to (and no, it’s not because of the voices). There are parts of the instrumental like little pops in the second verse or the creepy “Hi,” the girls say over and over again that irk me from liking the rest of the song. Hell, I didn’t even recognize the girls originally part of myB here, which might be a good thing because I’d like to keep their memory untainted by this discount comparison.
S.E.S. – “Paradise” (January 1st, 2017)
I did not expect to like this song at all, but holy shit is this a BOP. Reminiscent of girl groups of old in American music, this song brings me back to my childhood days when stuff like this was playing on the radio. The bright color palette for this video is an interesting choice for a group that’s making a comeback after nearly 14 years out of the music scene.
Meng Jia – “Who’s That Girl?” (January 2nd, 2017)
Not sure how I feel about this song. It doesn’t sound bad, but it’s not my style. I looked up some English translated lyrics to this song (the song is sung/rapped in Chinese) and it feels like this song’s a reflection of Jia’s career in Miss A? It would be the kind of thing a former artist at JYP would talk about – especially if you’re from Miss A and got virtually overshadowed by everyone else in the group.
SEVENTEEN – “Highlight” (January 2nd, 2017)
OH MY GOD.
Wow, this is awesome. I don’t know why, but this gives me MBLAQ “Smoky Girl” vibes (which is a good thing because that song was awesome back in the day). I miss this sound being prevalent all around Kpop because this was how I knew it way back when I got into Kpop. This song only features four of the members from Seventeen, which makes me wonder if this was supposed to be a subunit or whatever.
But I don’t care, because the song is good and I like it.
TopSecret – “She” (January 3rd, 2017)
New nugus! Everyone loves a new nugu group now and again! And not only that, but they are nugus with Sweetune at the helm of their debut.
This is also the first debut from a boy group this year (the first girl group being BONUS Baby). The song itself is really fun to listen to with funky guitars and synths (because of Sweetune), and the group reminds me of Boyfriend (which isn’t a bad thing, by the way. Besides, where the hell have Boyfriend been anyway? They may be due for a replacement). The only problem with this is the filter for this music video bathes everything in washes of different colors and makes it hard to see what’s happening.
WJSN (Cosmic Girls) – “I Wish” (January 3rd, 2017)
When I first took a listen to this song, I felt like it was “Secret 2.0” and I remembered I didn’t like “Secret” (unlike literally everyone else in the Kpop fandom). However, I find myself growing on this song despite it. Maybe that was the “secret”? Or maybe WJSN just put some bugs in my head with their other-worldly rainbow technology to make me like them. Who the fuck knows? All I know is I’m probably gonna replay it…again.
NCT 127 – “Limitless” (January 4th, 2017)
I despised “Fire Truck” from this sub-unit in this ambitious NCT project courtesy of SM Entertainment , so I had no hopes for this being any good. However, there was some good parts about this comeback. For one thing, the chorus is a saving grace to this song because it isn’t doing obnoxious siren sounds in the background or slurring out a word at the end of a line with autotuned, and the boys look the part of hip-hop gangsters for a change (partially to do with some of the shots looking like they were taken from a camera in the 90s). But those obnoxious siren sounds or autotuned slurs at the end of lines ruin everything that could have been good for this comeback. It’s not as bad as “Fire Truck,” but it’s only a slight step up.
Shinhwa – “Touch” or “Unchanging” or “Unchanging Touch” – (January 5th, 2017)
The music video title doesn’t make it obvious what the name of the song is, so I wung it.
The other thing is that Shinhwa is the oldest group in the game at the moment (beyond S.E.S., who just made a comeback, but as far as boy groups go Shinhwa is one of the oldest) and this song isn’t that bad. The raps are a little awkward because it’s thirty-year-old men using phrases like “for real tho,” and the chorus gets weirdly autotuned at points, but it doesn’t take away from the song. However, the music video is pretty beautiful with these guys being surrounded by destructive elements or situations.
And that’s all I got this week. I’m hoping I didn’t miss anything important, but if I did be sure to leave a comment and maybe I can put it in my next “Songs I Missed” list. If not, well, good for me! Until next post, I wish you all a happy return to school/work/whatever else after the holidays, and I’ll see you next time!