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 2021 Overall Thoughts
When it comes to new music, I often mention the “expectations game.” August was a prime example of expectations versus reality. Looking at its slate of releases, this should have been one of them most epic months we’ve ever seen in K-pop. Almost all of my favorite groups were making a comeback, which rarely happens within such a narrow time frame. And as I imagined, August was strong. But, it was far from legendary. In fact, I actually feel a little… underwhelmed.
Only a couple of these acts managed to exceed expectations, and most of their best work was relegated to b-sides. A few months from now, I’ll likely look back on August with greater affection than I do now, and I won’t be surprised if a number of my honorable mentions easily make it into my year-end countdown. But, I feel like I should be more enthused.
Rather than focus on disappointments, let’s summarize August’s many highlights. The month kicked off with Golden Child’s Game Changer, a fantastic album that has been a staple on my playlist ever since. Title track Ra Pam Pam grew on me a lot, fueled by the strength of the group’s performance. Compared to the rest of their discography, I wouldn’t call it a personal favorite. But, this sound was always going to be an uphill battle for me.
My top two songs of the month are excellent, and easily secured their spots. Third place was a real horse race between a number of very strong singles. Ra Pam Pam, Park Jihoon’s Gallery, VERIVERY’s Trigger and Everglow’s Promise waged a tough war for this spot. Honestly, I’m not even super confident in my choice. For now, VERIVERY are taking the spot because I think the song is a standout within their discography. But, I’m tempted to put Golcha in there simply because… well… bias.
(Edit: I’m even more tempted now. Argh! I guess we can just call it a tie…)
Let’s talk about my top song of August. With this placement, Brave Girls claims a Bias List milestone. They’ve secured the number one spot in my monthly round-ups for three (!) months in a row. I’ve summarized every K-pop month since 2009, and this has never happened. Prior to this year, Brave Girls hadn’t even been featured in a top three. Now, their songs are lodged at number one all summer long! It’s just astounding. Sure, an uncompetitive July helped them along, but June and August were both VERY competitive and they still managed to battle my personal bias groups and come out on top.
In fact, if you take a look at my K-pop and J-pop number ones for August, it’s basically a repeat of July. It’s been a weird summer, hasn’t it?
Month Cumulative Rating: 7.9
(compiled by averaging the scores of every K-pop review from this month)
Hey! Say! JUMP – Gunjo Runaway (review)
HiHi Jets – Eyes Of The Future (review)
Kis-My-Ft2 – A10TION (review)
Sexy Zone – Summer Hydrangea (video)
SixTONES – Mascara (review)
TOP J-POP SONG OF THE MONTH
Snow Man – Evolution (review)
Astro – After Midnight (review)
BDC – Moon Walker (review)
Everglow – Promise (review)
Golden Child – Ra Pam Pam (review)
Ha Sungwoon – Strawberry Gum (ft. Don Mills) (review)
Lucy – Irrelevant Answer (review)
NCT U – Maniac (Doyoung & Haechan) (review)
ONEUS – Shut Up 받고 Crazy Hot! (review)
Park Jihoon – Gallery (review)
Sunmi – You Can’t Sit With Us (review)
TXT – LO$ER=L♡VER (review)
WayV – Ten & YangYang – Low Low (review)
TOP THREE SONGS
3. VERIVERY – Trigger (review)
2. ONF – Popping (review)
1. Brave Girls – After We Ride (review)