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Kpop Round Up

Kpop Round Up

By: Natandy

It’s time for another look at the world of Kpop and while the scandals have died down, there’s still much more to look at!

In January, Melody Day released the underrated sing You Seem Busy to make us all have an existential crisis and they’re back with the island themed Kiss On The Lips. Now, I tend to forget that they’re an idol group because they’re known mostly for OST’s and ballads but the girls are no slouches when it comes to simultaneously dancing on beat. Kiss On The Lips hooked me with the guitar riff from the start and I found the busy instrumental catchy as it switched between pop to reggae. The lyrical content is standard for an idol group but the girls do deliver it quite well. The colouring and styling in the music video were both a huge win for me too.

BTS is back with Not Today and thankfully it’s much better than Spring Day. The song is a heart thumping banger that builds on itself throughout the entire run of the song. I noticed that I generally don’t like BTS songs that have long rap verses but because I was caught up in instrumental, I barely noticed the rapping. This song is clearly BTS’s Bang Bang Bang or Fantastic Baby and I am already anticipating them performing it at all the year end concerts. The buzzing synth rhythm and use of gunshots and hard hitting beats along with the chanting are truly works of art. BTS is known for being phenomenal dancers and they certainly display that here with sharp, fast paced footwork. I was impressed by the magnitude of the dance scenes and the lack of plot certainly builds up the intensity of both the song and the video. I haven’t listened to the re-release yet but I’m glad to go into it with no trepidation.

Another re-release has dropped from the (new) nation’s girl group, Twice. I’m currently 2 for 2 because I adore Knock Knock. The instrumental is energic, lively and gives you a good feeling as you listen to it. The knock knock knock knock, knock on my door line will stick in your head forever, the same way that TT and cheer up baby have but I’m honestly not mad because these are all quality. The song is cute, the music video is cute and most importantly both are age appropriate. The music video is basically a slumber party that ends with a snowball fight and probably pneumonia as the girls are locked outside. I’m not sure how everything ties into TT but I’m sure there will be some think pieces about the hidden messages in both videos. Will check out the new release shortly.

Taeyeon’s full length album isn’t out until February 28th but she did release the single I Got Love. While the production is slick and muddy in a way that I tend to favour, I thought the build up was wasted. It just flattens the song in the least flattering way. She sounds great as usual and gives a lot of heavy-lidded expressions along with a fierce mature aesthetic but like the instrumental, it’s wasted with bad makeup, off-putting blue contacts and tragic hair styles. I do appreciate that Taeyeon is choosing to explore her musical colours which can be risky for established singers but I hope her title track is better.

If you want a good cry, watch the music video for SG Wannabe member, Kim Jinho’s Graduation Picture. A nostalgic exploration of the childhood friends that we miss spending time with as we grow older and fall under adult responsibilities. It’s a beautiful look at his childhood friendship with a picture of them as adults at the end to symbolize the eternal link between them. The music video is animated but at the climax, we’re shown pictures of Kim Jinho and his friend as children and I got caught up emotionally and was pretty much a mess by the end.

Beatwin is back with Don’t Leave and… they sound lovely. Lots of beautiful shots of the beach and boys and I’m really digging the consistency of these walking music videos. While it does get slightly interesting near the climax, the song is boring and I can tell that this song will easily be lost with all the February comebacks. I did enjoy Rising Sun so there’s potential here.

Some jerk threw a solid object at Exo’s Lay while he was thanking fans for coming to their concert. Thankfully he wasn’t hit but it’s scary that on top of worrying about the other batshit crazy stuff from sasaengs, now he has to be cognizant of what’s going on while he’s on stage?  I’m surprised he’s still standing with all this stress. Lay needs a long vacation on a solitary island at this point.

J. Tune has shut down according to everyone but J. Tune. I’m not sure what the truth is but I’m sure it’s going to be juicy. NCT Dream returned with My First and Last and while it’s a cute song, I’m still not a fan. I’ve been impressed by the music from both NCT U and NCT 127 who both have more mature concepts in comparison to NCT Dream, so maybe it’s down to the age gap. Regardless, I’m glad that there’s groups that are being appropriately geared towards teens. Soyou and Baekhyun released Rain and it’s not the most impressive collaboration that they’ve done but it’s not terrible. Soyou does her signature whisper singing while Baekhyun is constrained and it does sound lovely. It’s just boring. VAV released Venus (Dance With Me) and this funky, old school inspired single is so damn catchy. I appreciate that they had the horns, the trumpets and the base but they kept it fresh and new (like what Beyonce did with Déjà vu). I’ve had enough of straight copy cats in Kpop. 100% are having a comeback as a distraction to Teen Top losing L. Joe and I’m excited to see them. BP Rania have finally had a proper live performance on television with all members as Alex (their leader) is usually missing for most of the song. They’ve been performing Make Me Ah and it’s looking like a promising start to BP Rania utilizing all of their assets.

Nat’s Corner: We’ve all seen Sulli’s Instagram at least once by this point and it’s become infamous for her uploads. I admit to never caring much for Sulli when she was in F(x). She never quite stood out to me the way that the other girls did so when she decided to take a break and ultimately leave the group, I felt that the group may be better for it in the long run.

Sulli is dating Dynamic Duo’s Choiza. There is some ambiguity on when he courted her as there is a 14-year difference between the two and there’s also a popular trend of large age gaps within celebrity relationships that tend to normalize this behaviour. I’m not passing judgment if everyone is legal when any courtship begins and the power imbalance doesn’t affect choices made. I also personally don’t know when they officially started dating but if it does come to light that he was a pedo creeper, then that will certainly shape my opinion about their relationship. What I do know is that from all accounts, Sulli and Choiza seem very happy with one another and her liberation from the idol world has given her a new lease on life.

Now netizens have decided to hive mind the idea that Sulli is sick and needs therapy, which could be true, but I am leaning more on the side of her trolling netizens because she is in the position to do so. Sulli is no longer held to the incredibly damaging standards of being an idol and her money comes from endorsements of high end brands and her work as an actress. The people involved in hiring her are not going to care that former fans have turned against her, they’re targeting people with jobs and money. Sulli is also smart enough to maintain her fair skin and skinny figure forcing netizens to begrudgingly acknowledge that while she’s easy to hate, her beauty is not in question. So, what if she posts a dick pic made out of rice or takes a picture of Choiza while they’re dressed but in bed? People are going out of their way to be offended by every single move she makes.

To that I say that minding your business is free and it really allows a person to focus on making themselves better. Sulli and Choiza are happy. They are rich and employed. The things netizens post on Nate or Naver ar not going to make Sulli the person that they want her to be and frankly, she wasn’t happy when she was being put in a box. So, I applaud Sulli for being true to herself and following her own happiness, wherever it leads.

Please keep trolling netizens because you know they can’t resist the bait!

Natandy lives in the 6 but has regrettably never met Drake. She loves Kpop, comic book movies and her favourite genre to read, write and watch is fantasy. You can find her on Twitter (@ashleyt17) where she is constantly confused about How To Get Away With Murder and gushing about Kpop at the Music Mind (themusicmind.com).

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