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 2022 Overall Thoughts
In a paradoxical trend, the average song rating on this blog has increased as my overall excitement with the K-pop industry has tempered. I was shocked when I saw April’s cumulative rating — especially since I don’t feel all that thrilled with the month’s releases.
I think what’s happening is my ratings are becoming less severe in both directions. So many songs exist in the 7.5-8.5 range. The overall quality of K-pop has become pretty consistent — almost frustratingly so. There aren’t many complete duds, but it’s harder to find a genuinely fantastic track.
Anyway… April trudged along similarly to the past few months. We had a lot of solid material, but few spectacular songs. Some industry legends made returns (Bigbang, PSY, Onew) and we saw a handful of debuts as well. But, the majority of April felt pretty inconsequential.
Then… a plot twist! Out of nowhere, favorites-of-the-blog Sweetune dropped their first new track in ages. It arrived with little fanfare and no real warning to end the month on an endorphin high. It was the kick in the butt I needed after feeling pretty disengaged from many of this year’s tracks. Hopefully this will become the first in a string of new Sweetune songs. But, I’ve learned not to get my hopes up when it comes to K-pop. Either way, this track easily took my top spot for the month.
Second place was a pretty easy decision as well, but third place proved much trickier. Some of my most favorite acts in the industry made an April return, but with music that wasn’t among their strongest. Does my fondness for their past work give them a pass? And what about that PSY track, with only a few hours under its belt? Is there any way to know how it will hold up in the long run?
(In other words, I’m not confident in my third place choice at all. Ask me again in a month.)
April saw a few growers. DKZ’s Cupid wormed its way onto my playlist thanks to that infectious chorus. GHOST9’s X-Ray also improved with time. But, there were also plenty of clunkers this month. I’m so exhausted by shouty boy group tracks and I’m really craving more robust melodies. I’m longing for the industry’s retro trend to dig its way out from subdued city pop to embrace the era’s more bombastic elements.
As down on 2022 as I’ve been, I have hope for the month of May. There are a few key comebacks I have my eye on. Some of my favorites are making a return, and I’m counting on them to finally kick the year into gear.
On the J-pop side, it was a pretty slow month. I love my top song, and I’ve had a lot of fun going back in time and writing about my favorite singles from Kis-My-Ft2. For those who are eager to see me gushing about music, be sure to check out some of these posts (Gravity, Tonight, We Never Give Up, Yes! I Scream, etc.).
Month Cumulative Rating: 8.0
(compiled by averaging the scores of every K-pop review from this month)
King & Prince – Odoruyoni Jinsei wo (video)
NiziU – ASOBO (review)
SawanoHiroyuki[nZk] – Outsiders (ft. Junki & Shou of JO1) (review)
TOP J-POP SONG OF THE MONTH
Naniwa Danshi – The Answer (review)
Bigbang – Still Life (review)
DKZ – Cupid (review)
GHOST9 – X-Ray (review)
IVE – Love Dive (review)
Jessi – Zoom (review)
Just B – RE=LOAD (review)
Kim Sungkyu – Savior (review)
Kwon Eunbi – Glitch (review)
Miyeon – Drive (review)
Monsta X – Love (review)
Moonbyul – C.I.T.T (Cheese in the Trap) (review)
Onew – Dice (review)
Suho – Hurdle (review)
Yoon Jisung – Bloom (review)
YOUNITE – 1 of 9 (review)
TOP THREE SONGS
3. PSY – That That (ft. Suga) (review)
2. Dreamcatcher – Maison (review)
1. RoaD-B – Nonstop (review)