It has been a busy season for the kpop industry, on one side you have groups touring all over the world, on the other, idols abandoning because of really big scandals. But that is not what we came here to talk because this has also been six months of incredible debuts and releases, and today well gonna go through a few of them.
I’m gonna start with the debuts, there are a few groups which I’m pretty sure won’t we long until we see them performing on big stages if they are not already despite their short time in the industry.
I usually avoid getting hyped by a group because usually comes together with disappointment, but as soon were played the first seconds of “Bom Bom Chocolat”, hype crawl inside me, with a girl crush with caffeine concept, the six-member GG held out against their direct competitor, the also recently debuted Itzy.
The not so debut of Oneus with RBW fulfilled the expectations of most fans, even though there were some comparison between them and Mamamoo due to the different approach creatively, as the own RBW CEO Kim Do Hoon stated, they are “Classic idols” which doesn’t mean generic, their last release “Twilight” embodied that ballerino-like aura with the inclusion of electronic music and even some dubstep in between, for sure another group I’ll be looking for in the future.
In the case of Itzy I have the feeling that their debut song plays a big role in what you think about them, It’s a love or hate thing, I’m still in the middle because I don’t think Itzy is a bad group at all but the question is, are they the girl crush concept JYP promised? so for now because of the hype that usually involves the debut of the big three I rather step aside and see how they evolve in the next albums.
Now talking about the music itself, we have a wide variety of concepts this year, there are some that still are on the Latin vibe trend, a few bets were made and some were successful and others not so much. I’m gonna list just the one which impressed me the most or this could become a book easily (haha).
Legend – Jannabi
If you like to go outside the kpop sphere you could find some real jewels like Legend, Jannabi whom carries a pretty distinctive retro sound come back with their second studio album after Monkey Hotel, with their already retro sound but more rocker vibe they are winning popularity really quickly in the indie scene, if you like music that “you would hear on your dad’s car” you definitely have to go right now to hear them.
%%(eung eung) – Apink
With the comeback of the group with a more mature concept also comes the release of “%%”, the inspiration of the city pop combined with their good know stunning visuals made of this song one of my favorites of the year, each member shined in his own way which is also the result of being one of the longest active groups of the moment.
What – Dreamcatcher
The fact that dreamcatcher is one of the most original groups right now can’t be denied, and with that they go away a bit of that rock sound which coincides with the plan of Happyface entertainment of giving a 180° turn to dreamcatcher in their next comeback, I especially liked how the song transitioned between sections, for sure one of the best pre-chorus and chorus I’ve heard from them. Now I cant wait to see what concept will the rock soon.
Thinking about you – Katie
The debut of Katie went unnoticed which I consider is the best solo artist debut of this six months, the winner of kpop star left YG and moved to “kind of YG”(Axis entertainment), as she said when she moved, she wanted to do music her own way and definitely was a good idea, Thinking about you is just a small proof of what she’s able to do, the whole mini-album Log is by far the best coming from a solo artist this year.
Fire – Sik-k
Sik-k is not unknow on the Korean hip hop, he has this heavy tuned vocals with reminiscences of Travis Scott a lot of times, in this case you would be impressed for the amazing mix of genres in this song, keeping his characteristic sound with a more analog rock sound you end up with this great mix of sounds, an impactful chorus and a show that he’s indeed a good singer.
Why I leave out groups like blackpink and BTS?
I mean we all know how impressive are these two, even though blackpink disappointed me personally, with the intention to cover groups who may not receive enough attention as I think they deserved, the decision was to leave out these kinds of groups, I rather have an article specially dedicated to them so hopefully you enjoyed this short review of this part of the year.
I really would like to add more songs here, but again I don’t want to write a book here if you want to see part two show it through the like button.