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.
April 2019 Overall Thoughts
After a March that included some of my favorite songs of the year so far, April was supremely underwhelming.
For too many weeks, the K-pop release schedule was stuck in a seemingly endless cycle of seasonal mid-tempos and dreary ballads, punctured every so often by a big-name release that scared away all the competition. Without many notable comebacks to talk about, April felt way too empty.
This is traditionally the month packed with Spring-focused, coffeehouse fare, and that was definitely the case this year. It feels like we’re starting to get way too many placeholder singles — digital releases that come and go without promotion. More often than not, they’re ballads, and all they’re really doing is diluting an artist’s discography. Honestly, I’d rather an agency put all their resources toward the best comebacks that they can, rather than deliver “special” singles that don’t go anywhere.
Luckily, some of April’s aforementioned big releases actually delivered. I’m starting to notice a trend of more upbeat and energetic boy group tracks, and I really hope this continues to grow as we get closer to summer. I also want to mention JYP Entertainment, who has absolutely dominated the year so far. As far as I’m concerned, they haven’t made a single misstep yet.
Meanwhile, SM continues to squander their roster, wasting four months without a notable Korean release from any of their groups. In all the years I’ve been following K-pop, 2019 has felt like SM’s most uneventful, unexciting year — at least so far. They’re clearly in a transitional era, but they need to make some big moves before others pass them by. As far as YG goes… they’re a mess. But, they’re always a mess.
The act that took my number one spot for April hasn’t topped my monthly charts since 2016. I’m delighted (and honestly surprised) to see them back. I’m equally surprised by my second place pick, but definitely not in a bad way. My third place will be no surprise to long-time followers of The Bias List, though I imagine many casual readers may take one look at them and respond with a resounding: “who?”
Month Cumulative Rating: 7.5
(compiled by averaging the scores of every K-pop review from this month)
J-Pop Worth Your Time
Astro – Hanasake Mirai (review)
Kis-My-Ft2 – Hug & Walk (review hopefully coming soon)
The Boyz – Bloom Bloom (review)
Great Guys – Dang! (review)
IZ*ONE – Violeta (review)
Minhyun (Nu’est) – Universe (review)
NewKidd – Tu Eres (review)
TXT – Cat & Dog (review)
VERIVERY – From Now (review)
TOP THREE SONGS
3. Target – Beautiful (review)
2. Twice – Fancy (review)
1. BTS – Boy With Luv (ft. Halsey) (review)