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.
February 2019 Overall Thoughts
We’re deep in the winter doldrums, and that’s exactly what February’s K-pop releases felt like to me.
Last year, February was incredibly sparse due to the Olympics and the Lunar New Year. However, it felt more like a “quality over quantity” situation. This year, things were relatively quiet as well, but without many standouts. In fact, it’s two months into 2019 and I don’t think I’ve yet heard a track that’ll be part of my top ten singles list at the end of the year. That’s a bit concerning, but not too surprising given the season we’re in. However, it’s worth noting that each of the past three years has spawned at least one strong contender by now (last year had three!).
Why do I keep complaining about these things? At this point, it comes down to one word: impact. Few songs this year have had the kind of impact I’m looking for. There have been plenty of solid tracks, but none has grabbed me right on first listen and demanded my attention. Too many recent K-pop releases feel as if they’re simply treading water — regurgitating trends rather than throwing caution to the wind and trying something different. I hope that artists are just saving their best material for later in the year. This didn’t really happen in 2018, but more often than not things start to pick up during spring and summer.
2019’s big story so far has been debuts. We’ve had so many new artists release music already this year, and most of it has been strong. Two of my top three picks last month were debuts, and another joined their rank this February. Rounding out my top three are tracks by two acts who are no stranger to these monthly posts. I’m not over-the-moon thrilled with either of them, but in a weak month they were easy standouts.
As we move into March, I can‘t help but realize that I haven’t raved — like, really raved — about a title track in over four months. At this point, I’m not sure if it’s a case of my taste not lining up with what’s currently popular, or if K-pop has really just been that sub-par. But, one thing’s for sure: I want to rave. I’m dying to rave!
Month Cumulative Rating: 7.6
(compiled by averaging the scores of every K-pop review from this month)
J-Pop Worth Your Time
Boyfriend – Stay The Way You Are (review)
Nissy – Addicted (review)
Dreamcatcher – Piri (review)
Hong Joochan – A Song For Me (review)
Hwasa – Twit (review)
Infinite – Clock (review)
The Pink Lady – God Girl (review)
Taemin – Want (review)
TOP THREE SONGS
3. TST – Wake Up (review)
2. ITZY – Dalla Dalla (review)
1. ONF – We Must Love (review)