open discussion

Open Discussion (May 29, 2022)

Open DiscussionIt’s Sunday, which means it’s time to end the week with an open discussion post!

To keep things civil, there are a few rules:

  1. Be kind and respectful to one another. Any harassing language will be deleted.
  2. This is not a place to state what you don’t like about me and/or my blog. Move elsewhere, trolls.
  3. Video/gif/image embedding is totally fine. Just try to limit yourself to a couple per comment. Otherwise my moderation filter goes crazy.

Each week, I’ll open with a question to get the conversation going. Feel free to chat about anything, but if you’re not sure what to write you can use this question as a starting point.

This week’s question:

K-pop has always plucked from a variety of genres, but lately a lot of the music is cut from the same cloth. Let’s diversify the sonic palette!

What underutilized genre or style would you like to see the industry tackle?

56 thoughts on “Open Discussion (May 29, 2022)

  1. Latin Freestyle
    Though it’s pretty obscure these days, it feels like the market is ripe for an updated, reinvented form of Latin Freestyle. A great K-pop song in this style would really put the focus on nimble rhythm that sustains through the entire track.

    To thwart the industry’s love for anti-drops and subdued centerpieces, I’d love to see producers move back to the larger-than-life sound of trance music. Elements of this genre are already present in K-pop, but they’re rarely used to their full potential. I’d like to hear big, sweeping loops like the ones in this video:

    Liked by 2 people

    • I also didn’t know about Latin Freestyle, I always like songs that sound like this. I think there’s a lot of Pakistani songs from the 80s/90s/00s that sound similar,though I don’t know if you would consider them part of the genre.


  2. Back in the 80’s, there was a doo wop 50’s era revival. I would like to see a revival of that revival. Pull back all the performance hyper synced choreo ultra stylized costuming that has ossified into tropes and is weighing kpop down, and go back to basics, the original simple boy and girl group sound.

    Billy Joel revived his career with it. Grease soundtrack (late 70’s) was the soundtrack of my childhood. The Beach Boys came back with another hit in that style. Mariah dabbled in it with “Always Be my Baby”. Even Madonna did a few revivals in the style, “True Blue” and “Cherish”.

    Here is the one I crashed my car to, it was on the radio and so I shall always remember it for that.

    Liked by 3 people

    • “Bird group” doo wop is my fave (Orioles, Flamingos, Ravens, etc.) if someone could channel even a fraction of these guys, I’d be happy.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hah! That would be awesome.
        I didn’t know which one you would link until I clicked. OK, yes, “Rock this town”, but my mind first went to “Stray Cat Strut”.

        Liked by 1 person

        • My initial go to was “Stray Cat Strut”, but in keeping with the Stray Kids/Cats idea, I felt Stray Kids would have better success going with “Rock This Town”.

          Now, if I had went with “Stray Cat Strut”, then I would’ve suggested a girl group do the cover where the tempo was lowered by a third and the production went with a more sultry/burlesque flavor. Maybe covered by mamamoo? SNSD? or.. ..if we go with current events, Brave Girls or Hyolin?

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Nick I agree with you about wanting trance in kpop. It would fit so well.

    Unrelated to your question but have you listened to Wu Jiacheng’s new song? It’s not Wild Island level but pretty nice.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As we all know, the most frustrating record has been done by the BGs this year. I haven’t really heard other types of their tracks except for noisy shouty shit, though some are a standout (TXT, Astro, iKON).

    To be honest, personally me I wanna see them tackle something dumb fun, cheerful and gimmicky. Here’s the perfect example of a track I’d like to hear from a boy group:

    Liked by 2 people

    • Norazo occasionally pops up on my feed, and for a few minutes I am highly entertained.

      Yes, Whimsical and kitschy. Bonkers, in a good way. Its been largely abandoned by kpop except for some minor players (Dongkiz “Fever”), when it used to be a regular diversion in the SHINee and Super Junior early 10’s era. These days everyone is trying to out-serious each other with noisy shouty shit.

      Liked by 4 people

    • I’m not a Norazo fan, but I love High NRG Eurodance and would love to see some of it in K-pop. I doubt whether that’ll happen because the genre is considered too cheesy/dated for most, but maybe idol releases could at least borrow from its energy?

      Liked by 2 people

    • Bread might be one of my favorite K-pop songs and videos because it commits. Also, I’m on a low carb diet and it’s three minutes of bread.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. (Ok so I think I changed my display name of my WordPress account to the point it resets me as if I’m a new commenter that you need to approve of… Regardless, I apologise for spamming your notifications Nick with the same responses.)

    I’ll just keep this one short: compilation-styled songs.

    Companies wanna make an overarching lore in their albums? Bam! Compilation-styled songs. It’s the final song in the album. Reward your listeners by taking them on a trip down a track that alludes to its preceding tracks, musically and lyrically, while still being its own entity.

    Here’s an example that I would love K-pop artists to do:

    ^ Cinematic piece with dramatic vocals, strings, percussions split into various sections. 12 years later and that song never fails to move me.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I want a Jazz trend in kpop, this music genre is so underutilized in kpop. A fex of my favorite kpop songs are super jazzy like Locked Inside a Door in last Dreamcatcher album or Jazz Bar in their Scream album or 134340 by BTS, by far my fav b-side from them.

    But the problem is that there are just b-sides, there is no jazz title tracks in kpop, I can only think about debut Mamamoo. We had the retro, 80s 90s kpop trend, now I want a Jazzy tren (even if it’s never gonna happen, ig it will not make good sells, not funny choreos idk) I hope I’m not the only one to want more jazz in kpop :’)

    Liked by 4 people

    • I can confirm that would be great! We’ve already got some amazing k-pop jazz bangers, such as Eunbi’s “Door” and “Home;Run” by Seventeen. So, why actually not?

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I feel like we need more Dream Pop in the k-pop sphere. The Holy Trinity of Dream Pop K-Pop songs (Ghosting, The Realist and LOONATIC) is a godsend and it needs more members.

    Liked by 6 people

  8. Psytrance is always missed. Synth rock would be cool to hear more of. Oh my girl’s pre 2020 sound lol

    I honestly miss straight-up big pop songs like “thank u very much” by bestie.
    Honestly it would be nice if some kpop songs stuck to one genre and still did their craziness.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Tough dark techno. Real, non-swing p-revival non-watered down jump blues (of which SHINee’s Woof Woof is a fine example). Smart takes on baroque, mid-60s pop psych – a la Cravity’s Veni Vedi Vici. Higedan intricacies working their way into idol pop. Soft songwriters getting pissed off – Roxve’s Noob and Colde’s Lighter were two of the best punk bashers I’ve heard of late.


    • I will always love New Jack Swing. I’d also like some genuinely 90’s-sounding r&b/hip-hop.

      NCT Dream’s upcoming title is billed as “90’s hip-hop,” but so far the teasers don’t sound like that at all. most of these songs miss the deep, head-nodding groove I crave.


      • I gotta say though that since I was born in the 21st century I (mostly) don’t really favor the retro type of new jack swing. Just the ones that sound more modern


  10. I’m trying to get back the job I had discovering new music last year and I think I’m just scrambling too hard to try and find things I like about songs that aren’t doing it for me. This month has had some releases I like a lot, so I’m just going to focus on those. So what if I’m played Rocky at least 34 times in the last week! It’s great! The King isn’t as great but it’s still pretty solid!

    So today I’m doing a hard prune of the last couple of months of releases, starting with the most recent title tracks. If I can’t tell if I like it or not and what playlist to put it on, it’s gone.

    So far, losers have been: Kang Daniel, Got7, Seventeen

    Winners: BLANK2Y, BVNDIT (I actually gave this one four stars although it’s possible I’m being generous).


    • Lol, job should be joy. Really, going through my new unsorted list has felt more like a chore than anything else, and that’s why I haven’t been doing it.


    • I hear you here. In the recent past I have filled up multiple ipods on stuff I merely liked. This year, fortunately I am distracted enough by real life to be more selective. In the recent past, “boiling the ocean” to find smaller gems was a nice hobby. This year, I am happy if I remember to take a shower. It’s all fine. That small gem will have to wait undiscovered for another time.


  11. im desperate for a song that captured the same energy as sakurazaka46’s dead end that is, heavy amounts of bombastic brass, rollicking percussion, and it being wholly in your face, and of course a very strong melody and a sense of empowerment

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I really like the opera like dramatic style… eg – Oneus TBONTB and Elast Dark Dream. I think it’s an interesting style which isn’t seen as much.

    Also I like guitars. Lots of guitar riffs. And I agree with the comment about “having a chorus” because yes it seems chorus is becoming a special class recently lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Bombastic, extra-harmonized choruses please. More Queen and ABBA influences. (See Rania’s “Beep Beep Beep” or “Windy Day” by Oh My Girl)

    “Yeehaw” sounds (see BEG’s “Kill Bill” or T-ara’s “Day By Day”)

    I would say more gimmicky pop a la Orange Caramel, but there’s quite a few newer groups working on that style (Saturday, G-reyish, WJSN Chocome.) I’d still like more of it, though.

    Uptempo musical theatre numbers that sound like Pink Fantasy’s “12 o’clock” or more keyboard riff-driven pop songs (CLC’s “Show.”)


  14. kpop how now become a gimmicky genre and industry to me….not a lot seems to be original and with so many groups (and individual artists) debuting and failing to either catch the industry or fan’s attention, it seems – to me – like a bunch of retreaded stuff that many think they can do something with, but ultimately fail….

    now, there are a lot of groups that stand out, but most are from large, fully-functional, well-financed, and capable management agencies….the very few small agencies that are doing very well did so by focusing on one or two groups and helped them to stardom, and as a result, their company grew….

    groups that stand out – for me – with releasing k-bop after k-bop, and doing so with experimental new sounds are groups like EXO (wish they were still all together as a group….too many members out at different times) and BigBang (we see what we got as our possible final farewell from them, after waiting patiently and faithfully for such a long time)….some seasoned groups like Monsta X and newer groups like Seventeen and Stray Kids make some pretty good music that is not underutilized and nicely original….

    i honestly would just like to see kpop the way it was when i came into in back in 2013….that was a standout year for kpop, in general, and i would probably add 2009 – 2012, 2014-2016, or 17, depending on who you ask….those seemed to be times when kpop was original and really enjoyable….

    -t gumbo

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I love trance and have listened to it for many years but don’t see it fitting in at all with K-pop. Trance is mostly about the beat and not about the singer. Voice in trance is just an instrument, usually etheric, with repetitive lyrics, creating mood. Instead K-pop is very much centered on the performers/idols. That’s exactly why I wish we would have more involvement of idols in the music itself. It does not matter what the genre would be as long as it truly represents the idols.So basically I wish for a more artistic K-pop instead of cookie-cutter company produced thingy.


  16. Bring in some more sp00ky sounds, everything from more subdued Billie Eilish’s bury a friend to f(x) Dracula to more epic arrangements like VIXX Hyde and Falling in Reverse’s I Am Not a Vampire (Revamped)!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I’d like to see more songs and concepts that pull from 80s. The influence of songs/albums from the Weekend, Dua Lipa, and Doja Cat has led to so many “Retro” concepts that sound and look the same. But, there is so much originality from the 80s that can be explored. Here are some examples I would love to see pulled from:

    a) A boy group tackling a slow jam like The System’s Don’t Distrub the Groove. It could be a perfect transition for a group that started off with a cute, refreshing concept into mature concepts (like Astro’s gradual turn from cute to mature with Crazy, Sexy, Cool).

    b) A girl group or soloist coming with a upbeat dance song like Janet Jackson’s When I Think of You. This song is pop perfection, and would jive well with a lot of the girl groups and soloists who thrive with good pop music (I would love if Nayeon pulled from this era on her solo debut, or if Chungha dabbled in this space in a future comback).

    c) A boy group, soloist, band, or soloist having an song that sounds like Tears for Fears – Everyone Wants to Rule the World. This is a straightforward song with a strong instrumental component that does just enough to help drive home the lyrics, an approach that would be refreshing in light of many Kpop songs that are overproduced (I honestly don’t know who I’d like to see do this….maybe Day 6 or Baekhyun?).

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I need more “dream-pop” type music. Stuff like Loona’s “Butterfly” (which I initially didn’t think was dream-pop but according to Wikipedia it is), “Egoist,” or “Loonatic.” It’s a genre that pretty much never results in bad music but it’s too underutilized.

    I’d also like more “ambient music,” which I know is a genre that doesn’t really focus on the most important parts of a song, but I feel like if a kpop artist were to tackle such a genre in a song it’d have the potential to become one of my favorites.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ambient music is a sketchy classification. There is a lot of music that is attributed to that genre and it’s hit or miss. To me, ambient is ethereal; it’s transcendental; it’s.. ..mental floss. I use ambient music as a therapeutic. It’s my psychological medicine. Whenever life is kicking me in the gut, or I’m having a particularly bad day, then ambient music is my safe harbor. All I have to do is find an empty room, put on a set of headphones, fire up any one of a dozen or so ambient pieces in my “it’s been one of those days” medicine bag, close my eyes, and allow myself to be cleansed from the inside out.

      The doctors offering up these cerebral salves and balms include Brian Eno, Tangerine Dream, Vangelis, Kitaro, Jean Michele Jarre, and many more. Some artists stay mostly within the same genre. For example, Øystein Sevåg mostly colors within the lines. His stuff is varied, but it doesn’t stray too far from itself. One of my most listened to pieces from him is:
      Ref (ØS-Cobalt):

      Other artists will dabble with ambient music by releasing a piece or two that falls into that vein, but it’s not their main sound. Examples include David Bowie’s “Warszawa”, The Durutti Column’s “Sara E Tristana”, or (linked next) This Mortal Coil’s “Ivy and Neet”:
      Ref (TMC-IaN):

      …and in keeping with this being a Korean music blog, I’ll offer up one more piece from a Korean artist. Rainbow99 released “Dad” back in 2013. I can’t count how many times I have used that song to un-fuster-cluck myself. Here’s the link:
      Ref (R99-D):


  19. We need more EBM in k-pop (electronic body music). K-pop already used it through the insanely energetic libidO by OnlyOneOf, but not much of it, except through the underrated group N.O.M’s “Look.” The gritty, sticky, greasy beats in the sparse verses of AB6IX’s “Savior” come kinda closer to EBM, as well as the electronic backbone in ONF’s “Goosebumps,” but they’re really not “true EBM” but only a taste of some of its addictive elements. Heck, on second thought, Goosebumps’ electronic riffs may just be plain industrial, without really being EBM.

    While not being an actual k-pop track, LE SSERAFIM’s “The World is My Oyster” can be classified under the EBM sound. The beats sound industrial, although they may also be categorized in the trance genres.

    What I like about EBM is its relentless, raw, visceral, dark energy that is just pure adrenaline. It’s very industrial, cold, guttural, even. If I were to describe the genre, it would be like running a rusty nail on the surface of a cold cyber factory steel sheet.

    In terms of actual EBM, Nitzer Ebb’s “Getting Closer” is a complete delight.

    Liked by 1 person

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