At the end of each month, I look back at my three favorite title tracks by k-pop artists. I take my own ratings into account, but there’s a bit of wiggle room as certain songs tend to grow or fade.
August 2018 Overall Thoughts
Well, if July was disappointing, August was downright anemic.
For the first time that I can remember, I struggled to decide my top three songs of the month. And it wasn’t because there were too many strong comebacks to choose from. Other than my top pick, I didn’t think any song really deserved a spot. With so many acts releasing material in July, there were few notable comebacks scheduled. And unfortunately, most of K-pop’s top tier acts continue to return with material well below their best work.
So, this left me with one knockout track… and a bunch of decent material that would fall squarely in the “honorable mention” category during most months. So many songs could have filled my second and third slot, but I ended up settling on a track that hearkens back to K-pop’s classic past and a song by a group whose work usually tends to grow on me. I’m not particularly thrilled with the line-up, but it was slim pickings.
Meanwhile, August’s J-pop releases offered a glimpse of some qualities that K-pop could learn from. If you listen to only one song this month, it has to be Daichi Miura’s excellent Be Myself — if only to hear what an actual CHORUS sounds like.
August was particularly short on memorable choruses. The industry has begun to moved away from instrumental drops (thank god), but I am so sick of these glorified chants or one-phrase repetitions standing in for fully developed choruses. I know that they’re easier to write, and inherently catchy, but it’s a disposable kind of catchiness. I don’t think it’ll stand the test of time.
So, that’s my diatribe. Things can only improve from here, right? They had better, because the fall really needs to pick up the slack from a lackluster summer.
Month Cumulative Rating: 7.8
(compiled by averaging the scores of every k-pop review from this month)
J-Pop Worth Your Time
Daichi Miura – Be Myself (review)
Nissy – Relax & Chill (review)
(G)I-DLE – Hann (Alone) (review)
Baekhyun x Loco – Young (review)
Bigflo – Upside Down (review)
BTS – IDOL (review)
iKON – Killing Me (review)
MXM – Checkmate (review)
Red Velvet – Power Up (review)
TOP THREE SONGS
3. NCT Dream – We Go Up (review)
2. Hyolyn – Bae (review)
1. IMFACT – NaNaNa (review)