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.
June 2021 Overall Thoughts
So far, the rule of 2021 seems to be “expect the unexpected.” Like the past several months, June turned out quite different than I’d anticipated. Back in May, if you were to show me a list of all the upcoming comebacks, I could’ve easily pointed to the ones I thought would rule the month. But, groups continue to surprise in both good and bad ways.
June was packed, yet weirdly lop-sided at the same time. Its first two weeks were among the most consistently strong we’ve seen this year. Then, the bottom dropped out and we had a whole week with almost no major releases. Of course, this corresponded directly to the beginning of my summer break (when I actually have a surplus of time to work on the blog!). These final few days of June have offered a rebound of sorts, though the quality of songs has been mixed.
Looking at song ratings alone, I think you’ll be shocked at my top three picks. Tracks have moved all around for me this month (more details when we get to my “risers and fallers” post in a few days!), and many emerged as sleeper hits. When all is said and done, June probably delivered more 9+ rated songs than any other month in 2021.
I’m pretty confident about my top three, but there are a ton of tracks that are very close honorable mentions. Lucy’s I Got U (a sleeper hit!), GHOST9’s Up All Night, Seventeen’s Ready To Love and BDC’s Moonlight all make convincing bids, which just goes to show how strong June’s release slate has been. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some flip-flopping when all is said and done.
Then, we’ve got normally-reliable acts like EXO, DRIPPIN, A.C.E and Twice, who all underwhelmed to one degree or another. That’s the bittersweet side to June, I guess.
Competition series Kingdom ended early this month, with a whimper rather than a bang. As far as K-variety goes, I’m much more smitten with the new JYP/PSY series Loud. I won’t be recapping it here, but the show has my highest recommendation. The producers are putting a few twists on the familiar audition show tropes, and the talent so far has been fantastic.
The beginning of June tends to be one of the busiest times in my non-Bias List life, so I feel like my attention to J-pop fell to the side. My actual favorite Japanese releases this month came from the second season of Produce 101 Japan, which was a really fun series. Other than that, I’m sure I’m missing some great singles. Let me know in the comments!
Looking forward to July, I’m a bit worried. I feel like the comeback slate is pretty light so far, and the past couple of weeks have passed by without many new teasers/announcements. I thought this might be due to the Olympics, which kick off at the end of the month. But, the event didn’t seem to have much effect on August 2016’s comebacks. I don’t know why this year would be different. I’m hopeful we’ll get some big group comeback news soon. For now, it feels like everyone is pushing their stuff to August.
Month Cumulative Rating: 7.9
(compiled by averaging the scores of every K-pop review from this month)
Generations – Make Me Better (video)
Koichi Domoto – Tik Tik Tik (video)
SHINee – Superstar (review)
Twice – Perfect World (review)
TOP J-POP SONG OF THE MONTH
Nissy – Do Do (review)
A.C.E – Higher (review)
BDC – Moonlight (review)
B.I – illa illa (review)
EXO – Don’t Fight The Feeling (review)
GHOST9 – Up All Night (review)
Ha Sungwoon – Sneakers (review)
Just B – Damage (review)
LIGHTSUM – Vanilla (review)
Lucy – I Got U (review)
NCT Dream – Hello Future (review)
NCT 127 – Save (review)
Pink Fantasy – Poison (review)
Seventeen – Ready To Love (review)
TXT – Magic (review)
TOP THREE SONGS
3. UP10TION – Spin Off (review)
2. Monsta X – Gambler (review)
1. Brave Girls – Chi Mat Ba Ram (review)