open discussion

Open Discussion (July 17, 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:

What’s an under-known or under-loved K-pop act you’re a huge fan of? And on the flipside, what’s a heavily-hyped act you’ve never connected with?

72 thoughts on “Open Discussion (July 17, 2022)

  1. For the first part of the question, I have many. But, when it comes to this blog I’d have to pick Snuper. If you’re a dedicated Bias List reader, Snuper have gained a sort of legendary status due to the strength of their songs and their epic Sweetune collaborations. But if I were to mention Snuper to most K-pop fans, I’m pretty sure they would be like: …who??

    And though they’re not K-pop, I still feel part of a minority when it comes to Johnny’s fandom. Yes, Johnny’s is enormously popular in Japan and there is a sizable international fanbase for some groups. But, it still feels like a fun little secret (the way K-pop did back in 2011/12).

    For the heavily-hyped act, I think I’m going to say LOONA. I don’t dislike LOONA or their music, but I’m just surprised at how popular they are and how passionate their fanbase is. Good for them, of course! I’m still waiting for the song that really pulls me in.

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    • Kinda late but, as an Orbit, I can definitely recognize the strange level of pretentiousness in the fandom. I feel like most people are still stuck in the Jaden Jeong/Monotree era of LOONA when their music was actually good, and haven’t come to terms with the fact that they are no longer the critically acclaimed “indie” group that they once were. The truth is that BBC has mismanaged them so horribly that the whole loonaverse concept has been completely watered down and they obviously have no interest in giving them anything more than cheap, marketable, radio friendly music that loses relevance in less than a week. Orbits treating everything that the girls touch like a masterpiece definitely doesn’t encourage their company to try any harder. The only reason I stick around is because of my parasocial relationship with the members (half-joking), but if their next comeback doesn’t show anything creative or interesting, then I’m afraid that they will stay in this “big fandom but small group” limbo until they eventually disband. They are essentially BTS and Armys with a fraction of the pedigree.

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    • Me gustaría recomendarte una nueva canción que salió hace una semana llamada Wanna Know del grupo femenino Irris ya que me encantan tus reseñas me encantaría que ampliaras tus conocimientos a otros grupos nuevos es su debut de las chicas y dentro de la canción aunque los productores pudieron hacer un mejor trabajo me encantaría saber tu opinión al respecto. Uwu

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  2. She’s recognized as the main vocalist of GFriend but I’m wishing that Yuju remains successful as a soloist. I hope that she gets a dynamic hit song that matches her supreme voice. She’s my favorite singer. I can leave K-pop but I will still listen to GFriend and Yuju because of her special voice.

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  3. I’ve tried listening to Stray Kids but I never connected with them. Honestly, their music just sounds like noise on noise to me. But if you have recommendations for anything calmer, please let me know!!

    Same reason why I love NCT but not 127 specifically.

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      • I adore Verivery and Onf, they both have amazing discographies but none of my irl friends know who they usually are. When it comes to any of the really big girl groups (Loona,G-idle,Itzy,Aespa,etc).I don’t know why, their music just doesn’t appeal to me.The last big girl group I’ve gotten into was IVE. If anyone has any song recommendations from these groups then send them my way ^-^

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        • They don’t appeal to me either, but I do adore Twice, and Billlie and Purple Kiss are super-solid for newer groups. I don’t know why people aren’t yelling about Billlie’s The Rumor – greatest modern update of bad girl 60s pop I’ve heard in a long time.

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      • Thank you for your recommendation! Speaking of which, I’ve taken so many recs from The Bias List, I’d probably have lost interest in KPop by now if it weren’t for your blog lol.
        Anyways, the guitar arrangement is gorgeous and Seungmin’s vocals especially fit this song like a glove.

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    • I’ve got a Stray Kids recommendation for you! I just got to see Stray Kids in Seattle and it was so much fun. This song, “Waiting For Us,” was especially beautiful in a concert setting. They are excellent live performers. Here’s the link to the actual recording (not live). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQ0i2KmtL0g

      About the “noise on noise” thing, yeah, I would say that many of their title tracks are pretty loud. Sometimes I’m in the mood to listen to their crazy fun stuff like Side Effects, Haven, and District 9 (this one was EPIC when they performed live); sometimes I just want to listen to their nice calm(-er) songs like Sorry I Love You, I Am YOU, Levanter, Awkward Silence (…does this one fit? Probably not, but it’s fun), Secret Secret, Mixtape: On Track, etc.
      So those are some more if you are interested in hearing less noisy stuff 😁

      Also I’m sorry to Nick, but I have to say that I really don’t like Mixtape#3 😅 It’s definitely chill but it just has never connected with me at all. A little bit too cheesy for my taste…

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      • Thank you for the recommendations! I especially really like Secret Secret (that chorus, omg), Mixtape: On Track, and Sorry I Love You.

        And congrats on going to their concert! I feel bad for all the fans in Atlanta who now have to wait indefinitely 😦

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  4. First comment!

    I’ve never connected with NCT as much, I do enjoy some of their music but I just haven’t gotten into them like some other groups.
    For a lesser-known group, I’ve been listening to a lot of Golden Child’s discography, possibly because of the glowing reviews here. I’m not sure about their international popularity but most Kpop stans I know don’t have a clue who they are.

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    • Their US seemed to be a hit. Someone on Twitter noted that after they’d finished their set in NYC, all the non-Goldenesses were looking them up on KPopProfiles. They drew some new fans in Mpls, too.

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  5. Recently, I discovered myself as a huge fan of Pixy, like, their music is really good and it’s something were not used to heard in kpop, they offer a new sound that I found super interesting and which is my cup of tea. Snuper is also one of those groups that I love so much but they didn’t get the fame they deserved.

    Meanwhile, it’s the past, but it took me so much time to start liking Seventeen, when I started kpop in Januart 2020, I wasn’t aware that groups have the habit to change their concept or music genre, so for me, Seventeen was only “Don’t wanna cry boys” and I never liked this song, not my cup of tea. It took me 1 year to make the effort to listen to their other stuff and then, the rest is history.

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  6. Blackpink is definitely a heavily hyped group I never connected with. Their music is good, but it can be better.

    BTS is an interesting case for me. I connected with them in 2018, as they were the first Kpop group that got me into Kpop and I enjoyed their releases. However, the continuous hype and exposure made me lose interest, unfortunately.

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    • Same about BTS. I stanned them in 2016 but lost interest and I don’t know anymore what it is that drew me to them in the first place.

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  7. 1. You already did Snuper so I’ll be different. My favourite groups are A.C.E and OnlyOneOf, I feel like they have never really got their dues from k-pop fandoms as a whole. It probably doesn’t help the way they have been managed in the past whether its due to finances/not a lot of releases/going on reality tv programmes only one year into debut and losing a member for a year (A.C.E) or whether it is due to bizarre secrecy over member changes and temporary hiatuses, or having a certainly interesting character as a creative director (OnlyOneOf). But I have always appreciated the way that they almost never give into trends of the time (we don’t talk about A.C.E English single.) I always thought that A.C.E would be the next VIXX in terms of creativity and performance skills (if it was up to me then VIXX would also be million sellers). But I don’t think they will peak in their popularity cos of military enlistments and the general slow rollout of their material. I’m not sure how active they will be after the military either, it feels like they could get even slower, but I hope to be wrong.
    I like for OnlyOneOf to find some kind of steady success, as their art pop/general offbeat leanings have always captured me. And now they are making steps into creating not so subtle LGBT+ themed songs, which is a precarious choice to make but I really like this side of them. It’s bold and the music itself is interesting.
    With all groups I like I don’t want super stardom, cos it often leads to sacrificing what makes them great along the way, but for them to be able to make enough to keep on going for as long as they can/want to.

    2. I don’t get the appeal of any of the groups that get popular but with some sound that has already been done to death. If I were to name names then ITZY, Everglow, recent The Boyz (feel like shit, bring back Bloom Bloom x), all the boy groups that do the same thing but can sell 100k off the bat, etc. I just can’t shake the fact that it just gives me the same impression. It all feels like serious/badass for the sake of it, if everyone is edgy then noone is. At least with groups like aespa there is a certain ridiculousness and camp to the edgyness of the music which appeals to me.

    Ending with BLACK6IX cos this is actually probably a top 10 k-pop song of all time for me and there won’t be very many ppl at all who know it.

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  8. I think it’s pretty easy to say BTS and blackpink for the first question.

    Honestly, every group I would say is underappreciated is probably disbanded because I think some older groups have songs that deserve the love some of the current major groups get.

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  9. I love so many lesser known groups and performers. I’ll just give you five off the top of my head, no order.
    Imfact
    BDC
    Qodes
    The Chain G.
    Halo/Orbit
    Also, I’m stupid happy I found a sealed Snuper Star of Stars EP on Merchbar.

    As for more popular, here are five and my reasons.
    Seventeen (loved & bought the ep with Anyone on it, but they just seem too slick)
    Ateez (adorable and some bops, but kind of unfocused, even for me)
    Stray Kids (see above but way more)
    A.C.E. (I appreciate them, but only Take Me Higher has stuck with me)
    Blackpink (exactly three great songs, and the rest I can do without)

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  10. For an under loved group that I am a huge fan of I would have to say Kingdom. I know we have reached a point in kpop where having a really dense universe of lore behind you can be considered a detriment to a groups overall progression and sound but Kingdom’s complete and utter commitment to their mythos has been stunning to witness. From their actual music (which I adore), to their MV’s, to the art design, to the story lines, to the choreo, to their stage costuming and makeup they have been absolutely killing it. Honestly I could write pages on how much I love their stage costuming alone, which makes all the street wear and leather harnesses worn elsewhere seem boring to me in comparison. I totally get that what they give off is never going to be for everybody, its far to niche for that but it was made for people like me and I have loved every second. I think part of what I appreciate the most is that clearly someone behind this group has a deep passion for all of this as well. They didn’t just tack lore onto a group because that’s what everyone does these days and forget about it it two comebacks. From their obvious commitment to the continuation of their world to the execution of it all, there was a massive amount of effort put into it and it shows. So, I am now going to use an often misused and utterly exhausted phrase but in this case I will totally stand by it: Nobody is doing it like Kingdom.

    As for a very popular act that I have never really been into I would have to say Exo. At this point given my love for both Shinee and NCT sometimes I feel like I’m in too deep when it comes to all things SM entertainment but it seems I have skipped a generation when it comes to being a fan of Exo. I appreciate them and wholeheartedly acknowledge their immense talent but they just don’t get to me. Honestly when it comes to SM in general I have questioned many many things about them and their choices but I will never question the talent and hard work of those signed under them, and Exo is certainly no exception.

    Popularity is such a strange thing as a kpop fan. You want your favorite groups to be noticed and loved. Both for them to receive the appreciation they deserve and simply so they can keep going. So they can have large concerts, and tours, and keep releasing albums for however long they want to. Yet at the same time reaching that Mega spotlight of being at the top can also be such a damaging thing both personally and even professionally. Its such a painful contradiction, wanting groups to be loved but also never wanting them to be hurt by such fame.

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    • I am so close to buying all Kingdom’s albums. Their Bsides are superb. I am an enormous EXO fan, but I get they’re not everyone’s cup of tea.

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      • Kingdom’s Bsides are indeed superb and their albums are easily the prettiest albums on my shelves. If you ever take that plunge, I’m betting you wont regret it:)

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  11. I often feel like a lot of my favorite acts are “underloved.” Stellar was one of my ults, despite their horrid exploitative music videos their music was always some of my fav. Nowadays though I would say it has to be Keembo, the former two main vocalists of Spica. Their music video views are criminally low, despite giving us an amazing sweetune produced album called Scandal. One of the songs on the album, Reflection, is IMO the greatest KPop ballad ever written and performed.

    In terms of a popular act I have never connected with…lol many many many. I have yet to click with ANY of the popular 4th gen boy groups in particular…but I guess going back to the olden days I would weirdly enough say Super Junior. I love most of the shit SM puts out but I have yet to find a super junior song that I really truly love despite how iconic they are. All the stuff with Siwon definitely soured me as well….

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  12. I will say that I am rooting for Vanner and TO1. I randomly stumbled upon Vanner during a live stream of a music show, and I genuinely enjoyed their energy. They truly give off a “Little Engine That Could” vibe based on their promotional approach (debuted with a full-length album, done a lot of busking and performances in Japan, held a couple of US tours before some bigger groups had their first). I think their main vocal Taehwan is so good and just isn’t noticed because the group is so underrated. I really wish them well.

    TO1, on the other hand, is a group who I feel could be bigger but have just endured so much in a brief period of time. Over three years, they:

    1. Were launched through a survival show that was overshadowed by the immediate aftermath of the Produce scandal;
    2. Debuted during the start of the Pandemic when the typical KPOP promotion cycle came to a screeching halt;
    3. Appeared on Road to Kingdom against more senior groups before anyone knew who they were;
    4. Saw CJ E&M snatch them from their original company, leading to a name/rebranding change from TOO to TO1 just as they were gaining momentum from Road to Kingdom;
    5. Lose 4 members in less than two months, to rebrand AGAIN with 3 new members after a company imposed social-media blackout.

    These highlights do not fully account for questionable tactics such as lengthy delays between music releases, removal of old TOO content from the internet, and confusion over the real reasons why the 4 members left the group. I am hoping they rebound with their next comeback because they are talented. But…it is looking like an uphill battle that has nothing to do with the group itself or their musical quality.

    For the bigger groups I do not connect with, I will say that I am having a tough time connecting to the younger groups who are achieving these record-breaking milestones with music that doesn’t move me. As I get older, I am not moved by first week sales, streaming numbers, or YouTube video views for music anywhere in the world than I was years ago. I just want to enjoy good music, regardless of how it charts.

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    • I saw VANNER live because they came to San Antonio (despite being one of the biggest cities in the country, I think this was the first K-pop concert there because it’s so overshadowed by Dallas) and they pulled me in instantly. They looked like industry veterans but I was so shocked that they only debuted in 2019. They were super energetic and I’m not usually into fanservice but god damn they were good at it LMAO.

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    • I never followed TO1 too closely but liked them on road to kingdom and the things that happened to that group are such a shame. They seemed to be on an upward trajectory a couple times (after RtK and after the rebranding) but management issues pulled the rug every time. 😦

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  13. under-known or under-loved K-pop act i’m a fan of?….that would be in two parts for me: 1. present act(s), and 2. past act(s):

    present: (well, this group may not be present-present, but their disbandment was just recently, so i am going to list them as my present act anyway) – CLC….while they may not have been under-known, i definitely feel that they were under-loved….such a shame because they had the talent to do very good in K-pop….frickin Cube Entertainment!

    past: 1. Spica – 2. 9Muses – 3. After School….3 of my all-time favorite K-pop groups that were under-loved….i do not care for any of their management agencies….they apparently did not know how to capitalize on amazing talent….

    as for a heavily-hyped act, there are probably many, but two come to my mind immediately:

    1. NCT (and any of their sub-groups)….this is not to say that i am a hater of NCT, or deny their talent and success, but i just can’t get into them….i’m not a fan of most of their music….i guess when it comes to large-number male groups like NCT at SM, EXO is tops for me….

    2. Super M….way too hyped-up….with all the hype around them, they basically came and went….

    -t gumbo

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    • CLC were sabotaged by their own agency and it’s a damn shame. They had a ton of solid stuff, too–the whole Black Dress mini is one of my favorite mini albums in all of K-Pop!

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  14. A damn shame:
    4TEN, Alice White, ARIAZ, Awesome Baby, BABA, Blady, Bob Girls (LoveUs), Cherry On Top, D-Unit, Favorite, Girls Girls, Honey Popcorn, Limesoda, N*White, P.O.P, Playback, Purfles, REDSQUARE, Saturday, Skarf, Tiny-G, Two X, Wings.

    Recognized, but deserve(d/s) more:
    Alice (Elris), April, Berry Good, Cherry Bullet, cignature, Dal★Shabet, DreamNote, FIESTAR, gugudan, GWSN, HelLOVEnus, Hot Issue, KATIE, Kisum, Laboum, LADIES’ CODE, Lee Hi, LOOΠΔ, Lovelyz, Nature, Nine Muses, Pink Fantasy, Rainbow, Sonamoo, Spica, STELLAR., Woo!ah!

    NOTE: The reasons why many listed above didn’t achieve top-tier status vary greatly. Some were mismanaged/under-promoted/poor agencies/bad timing, some shot themselves in the foot, some were just hated upon because.. ..netizens suck, and many because, sometimes, the world can’t see a good thing even if you unloaded a dump truck full of it on top of them.

    ===

    Like a song or two, but never drank the Kool-Aid:
    BlackPink, mamamoo, and (with the exception of a few) every boy band.

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  15. For the first part it’s kinda complicated because with the irl crowd I connect with anything that’s not from the Big 3 or Hybe ends up being unknown or underrated 😅 In fact my crowd would probably not even know Loona 😂

    So even groups such as Oneus, Golcha, Sf9, P1Harmony etc are kinda unknown 😭

    So that would make ones like Kingdom, Verivery, ONF, JustB, Mirae, Pixy, MCND etc etc…. even more unknown… And I’m not even going to get started on the likes of Woo!Ah! or Up10tion 💀

    But for the other question :

    1. Blackpink : Their song style isn’t for me. I like Playing with Fire and Lovesick girls the most I guess – and maybe DuDuDu and AAIYL – but overall I could never connect with their songs at all.

    2. BTS : Their stuff connects better than BP and there are a good many more BTS songs I really enjoy. I’m not an invested fan but when I enjoy a song of their I totally vibe with it.

    3. Aespa : This is a huge tragedy actually 😭 I really loved Black Mamba! But every title after that made me more and more disconnected from them. Also, the fact that I couldn’t really get into their stages as pushed them lower and lower. In that respect BP and BTS are slightly better off for me because even though the songs might not always be for me, I felt their stages were good to watch.

    Aespa’s Girls right now has “kinda” got my hopes up again but seeing how most people seem to dislike it I feel Aespa is a group I’ll never be able to get into because what finally clicks for me seems to be what nobody else wants 😅

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  16. For disbanded groups, I will always have a soft spot for Nine Muses… Actually, when I first discovered your blog, I was so excited to see how much you appreciated them too! So I guess in the context of this blog/its readership they aren’t as unknown LOL but they never got the public recognition they truly deserved during their best years imo (before Sera, Eunji, and Sem left). I guess for present day maybe AB6IX? They started off pretty strong but considering their album sales now I affectionately refer to them as my flop boys 😅 Though their music hasn’t been hitting that sweet spot for me as of late.

    Popular groups that I just can’t get into: ITZY, Stray Kids, BTS, Blackpink… I have tried multiple times to see if I like any of their songs since my friends like them but I just can’t get into it. I have maybe 2-5 songs from BTS and Blackpink in my library but their general sound just isn’t for me. Same with NCT, though I have found gems in their B-sides that have made my SOTY playlists.

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  17. Some underrated artists and recommendations for them:

    Fanatics:
    -Milkshake
    -Sunday
    -V.A.V.I. Girl

    3YE:
    -Yessir
    -Out of My Mind
    -Queen

    Maka’maka:
    -Burning Power

    Dreamnote:
    -Ghost
    -Hakuna matata
    -Wish

    Luminous:
    -Run

    B.I.G.:
    -Aphrodite
    -Presente

    GWSN:
    -Pinky Star
    -Bazooka!
    -Like It Hot

    As for a group I never really clicked with:
    GFriend, with the exception of Fingertip. They just never made anything that I liked even though I gave them a chance.

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  18. Underrated group: IN2IT and GWSN. IN2IT is just so damn talented and well-rounded and their discography is small but diverse. (All but two of their members have returned from their military service, so they plan to come back with new releases late this year or early next year!) I love GWSN’s electropop-house style, and I have a soft spot for them since they were the first K-pop act I got to see in person.
    As for a popular group I’ve never connected with, most boy groups. (Sorry.) I have a couple token boy groups I stan and many random songs from guys in my discography, but only a couple male acts have gotten my attention enough for me to make a playlist for them. Unfortunately one of those was the short-lived X1…

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  19. Well, I think easily the most underappreciated K-Pop group ever would be 100%, who now go as Fave1. Time Leap is a fantastic EP, and released some fantastic highlights in many different genres. Rockhyun remains one of the best vocalists in K-Pop history, and the group was consistent throughout much of their career.

    I could list a bajillion 100% songs, but I think my top 10 list of the group would do:

    https://108ent.blogspot.com/2021/02/top-10-100-songs.html

    For those who don’t want to leave the page, here are some highlights.

    Better Day
    Not Today
    Bad Boy
    U Beauty
    How To Cry
    Sketch U
    Summer Hero
    Beat
    Can’t Say Goodbye (released after the blog post)

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  20. For underrated – Purfles could’ve had EVERYTHING with a better name and better company. I follow Wooyoung on her personal youtube channel where she’s been releasing music semi steadily –

    but after Geonhee and that Sunny Hill revamp disbanded – Sunny Hill is ANOTHER group that deserved better in all its formations – I haven’t kept up with her while Eunyong is running her cafe IIRC.

    Overhyped? I think I have to go with Aespa. I think they’re starting to find their footing but throughout all of their experimenting I have always maintained that a group from a non big three company – let’s say StayC for sake of argument – could not have swung as boldly and had people so ready to keep re-positioning their feelings on their title tracks to reconcile the music as better.

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  21. For underrated groups, I’d have to say Lucy, Brown Eyed Girls, and Kara. The latter two I’m sure had more popularity in Korea, but it feels like international fans don’t really know them these days. I yearn for the return of Grown Woman Music in kpop. As for Lucy, I just think they make consistently enjoyable music. It’s a shame that bands are never really as popular as traditional idol groups.
    I also want to put f(x) in this category; people use their name as a stock “noise music” example, but I think the difference between them and a lot of modern noise is that they had good production and exceptional vocal skill to back it up. I also think Amber doesn’t get enough credit for being one of the only, if not the only, mainstream idol to present in a very butch/masc sort of way. As a little baby dyke she was very inspirational to me and it sucks to see people calling her ugly now because of problematic things she’s done. This is a whole other can of worms to open, though, and this ain’t the place for it haha

    As for overhyped… BTS comes to mind. I have not connected with any of their releases since maybeeee BST? Part of it is that I just…really despise some of their vocal tones and find them really grating. The autotune doesn’t help.
    I also really dislike most of Aespa’s music- Next Level mainly confused me, Savage was okay but I can’t get past “Naevis we love you” because of the cringe- and Girls is okay but not something I’d listen to frequently. Actually, Lingo is the only song from them that I’ve really fallen for.
    Also, 4th gen boy groups generally don’t appeal to me, but I think that may be an opinion shared by most people in this thread. They all sound/look the same (vis a vis concept) and it’s just not a sound I like.

    Also- longtime reader, first time commenter! 🙂

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  22. For underrated, I would pick Cix. I don’t know why, but I have a feeling they could become bigger. Their music has some kind of mysterious feeling that sets them apart. Even their universe song wasn’t so bad. I also like Pixy’s music a lot.

    For overrated, ummm, I can’t quite connect to the musical direction of NCT 127. I like NCT dream a lot, NCT U is okay, but NCT 127’s music just feels cold to me. Even the sets of the MVs of Cherry Bomb and Simon says with their huge empty spaces kind of put me off.

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  23. a lot of the underrated groups i stan have already been listed here, so i cant really list any kpop groups, but what i am gonna do is tell y’all to stan News. they’re my ult jpop group and have an excellent discography. ik they’re super popular in japan but like the rest of Johnnys’ groups, they’re virtually unknown internationally

    i think a group i just can’t get into is the boyz. i only like very few of their songs and a lot of the rest of them are just generic boy group fare

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  24. My underrated group is Ghost9. I think their b-side tracks are pretty amazing.
    Then an act that I haven’t gotten into is probably NCT, minus the NCT Dream unit. I like Beautiful, but that’s pretty much the only song that I vibe to from NCT. NCT Dream is a whole other story though.
    Some other groups I haven’t gotten into so much are EXO and especially TXT. They are admirable performers and their stage presence is unforgettable. I still loop their songs occasionally. Perhaps they are even more skilled technically than my favorite groups, still it is hard to connect as personally with them for some reason.

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  25. for the first question it would be Everglow…their title songs follow the girl group trends but are incredibly well produced and the girls sell the concept very well…also their b-sides are very good and diverse…
    And for the second question it would be most of the girl groups from the big agencies except Twice and Red Velvet..

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  26. Under-loved group? I’d still say Dreamcatcher. Their profile has grown and they have gotten two music show wins and their albums have crossed the 100k mark, but it still drives me up the fucking wall that some reputable outlets (e.g. Rolling Stone Korea, who actually interviewed the group last year) talk about rock music in K-Pop and omit them. Not to be a salty fanboy, and maybe it’s because their domestic popularity still has a long way to go, but it feels intentional and insulting at this point.

    Hyped group I can’t connect to? Basically all the Produce groups, but especially IZ*ONE. I just never got it. I mean, okay, “Suki to Iwasetai” (a Japanese release) was great (and sadly their only great Japanese release) and I kind of like “Fiesta” (by which I mean I wouldn’t reach for it but I wouldn’t change it if it was playing) but everything else just leaves me cold or annoys me. It’s not even the girls’ fault, I’m sure–I just have no love for MosPick’s girl group compositions.

    [And about Loona–I love a lot of their predebut stuff (epecially OEC stuff, and Yves’ “New” which to me is one of the greatest K-Pop songs of all time) but I haven’t really loved anything they’ve done as a full group, except perhaps for “Voice”/”Star.” Damn shame.]

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  27. Many of my underrated faves have been mentioned so I’ll say that I don’t connect to Dreamcatcher. I guess their twist on rock/metal just isn’t for me.

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  28. Underappreciated? Where to start, I could list every tinky group I love, but I try to hit those with posts in monthly reviews.

    I will say ACE and Dreamcatcher.
    ACE because they are consistently in our year end top ten, and yet do not have that wider recognition for how awesome their songs are.
    Dreamcatcher for being so damn consistent and just never have that knockout hit on the charts to reflect their awesomeness.

    For overhyped, for me its BlackPink. For how sticky and influential their sound is, it amazes me how little they have released six years after debut. (Two dozen songs?) How they survive on “social influencing”, as if that is a job. I mean, they landed the cover of Rolling Stone without any album or award or anything really, just for being popular.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. I don’t know if they fall within K-Pop, but I really like the Rose! Their song “Red” was on my playlist for so long! Here, show them some love guys:-

    Over-rated group? Kpop is replete with them. I never really liked GoT7 that much…or Iz*one or IOI….or some first gen Kpop heavy hitters I won’t mention because I don’t want to be a pariah….

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    • The Rose were immensely popular in Korea but due to company mistreatment leading to court cases and a long hiatus because of the military, they haven’t been very active. Recently they have been extremely active on TikTok so I’m hoping that they will release an album soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  30. Ok, this is a Great question.

    With too many to choose from, I’ve narrowed it down to:
    Under appreciated – MCND, they have an amazing discography. They have this aura to them that I can’t ignore. WJSN is also still quite underrated despite their win on Queendom 2. ONF is easily in my top 5 group discographies.

    Heavily Hyped – This is hard as nearly every group has at least 1 song that I enjoy but if I had to, I would choose Itzy. Their music just sounds like really loud noise to me. I know this is strange seeing that I LOVE MCND’s music but Itzy’s discography just doesn’t do it for me.

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  31. Artist that I want to be bigger
    – Woodz: he can rap, sing, dance, he got a hell out of stage presence. His music taste is so in my area. He should be so big now.
    – Taemin, I know he and Shinee are already legend here, but if you look at bigger picture, Taemin’s attention is still not up to his level.
    – Ateez, for some reason, Ateez is pretty well know with fan out there, but in Korea, they always be deemed as flop, which is weird. They deliver banger to banger with a lot of nuance and swag

    Artist that I just can’t be connected with lately
    – Blackpink. Have they even released a full album yet? The girls have talent, but their songs, their MV, seemed just like a showcase of fashion collection.
    – BTS post 2017~ Just stop with the autotune, and let Suga rap.
    – Itzy, I just don’t understand.

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    • Blackpink have released ( as YG said ) full album with 8 songs in 2020.. and there are like 3 singles that’s previously released got included too.

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    • Somewhere in the comments, Nick mentioned in a previous post that he hadn’t planned on it, and that if he did do one, it wouldn’t have been kind.

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      • Correct. With J-pop, I rarely write about songs I dislike unless they have a super-strong K-pop connection or come from a group I follow closely. There’s just not enough time.

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  32. I am very much a fan of Adora and missing Pink Fantasy at the moment. For groups I’m not really enjoying… aeeeespa. Their songs sound so boring to me; I don’t understand how they have so many diehard fans. And their image isn’t exciting to me, either. Also Everglow, but they’re great performers and La Di Da was okay, so I can get over it.

    For 2nd gen girl groups, maybe Sistar or Girl’s Day? They aren’t overhyped by any means, but none of their songs have really been “knockouts” for me (except for “I Like That” for a while.)

    Off-topic: saw Brave Girls this weekend! I highly recommend going to one of their shows if you can. They came across as very grounded and sincere for a kpop group, maybe because Brave Bros doesn’t have as much experience with “cultural technology.” The talkback sections were genuinely entertaining. Not to mention, their lack of relative fame in the U.S. meant that the venue was small and intimate, and general admissions tickets were cheap. And they danced through nearly the entire 90 minutes.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Okay, I can’t really say I’m a HUGE fan, but I listen to a lot of Lucy. Also, I know pretty much nothing about Ghost9 but they have some really good songs! And I do have to say that I really like some of DKB’s title tracks (All In, Work Hard, Rollercoaster, …and Sober, as much as I know people don’t like it). Putting the music aside, DKB is incredibly good at dancing. Their choreography is addicting to watch!

    For the other part of the question: I am really not a fan of Aespa. Their popularity is mind-blowing to me. It’s not that the members irk me; it’s the concept. I just hate how the songwriters have to throw in Kwangya, the Flat, Aes, SYNK, and Naevis into everything. It makes the music feel so ingenuine to me. Also, personally, I really appreciate groups that perform live, and Aespa rarely ever does that. I did have a few of their b-sides on my playlist for a while, but they got old real quick.

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  34. Underrated?
    In my opinion, it’s still DalSoobin. The girl’s quirky pop songs and ballads don’t get enough attention.

    Overhyped/overrated (other than Blackpink and BTS)?
    NCT, Enhypen, Stray Kids and Itzy.

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  35. A.C.E and SPEED are my underrated faves. Great music and immensely talented, I hope A.C.E gets to accomplish all the things I wanted for SPEED. As for heavily-hyped, I ‘ve never been into SNSD. They definitely deserve all their success and I understand why people love them so much though. I like some of their group and solo songs but I’ve never been interested enough to become a fan. But more than SNSD, I think I’m specifically not into any of Taeyeon’s music.

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  36. for the first question.. i would say.. 2Z, Lucy, The Rose. Maybe some would say they’d belong in K-Indie but yeah i’ll include them in k-pop since it is a wide variety of genres.
    They deserved so much better and i will keep rooting for them since everything they released has been bops and bops only.

    For the second question.. this will be a long answer.
    BLACKPINK. not that i dont like them so much, but it feels like for now, i feel like i’ve outgrow from their music. i was taken aback by the fact that i’ve not been listening to their songs for the past months because i was simply catching up with twice’s old album and found so many buried treasure in their discography, and one thing that i notice.. is that their musicality growth. they’ve perfected their sound and matured during all these 6 years of their careers and maybe thats why when i decided to come back to blackpink’s discography like three days ago, i was shocked to found myself not even able to connecting to it, it feels ( most of time ) soulless and just.. stale ( unless for AIIYL, Hope Not, You Never Know) and im not blaming blackpink for this since they’re only involved in.. not many scenes in their own crafts. but yeah, if Teddy decides to gave them the same stale formula for their next august comeback.. i dont know if i will ever be able to connect to their music again.
    NCT 127 and U You can say i had quite.. an experience with sticker. I wasnt listening to their releases and suddenly sticker pops up on youtube recommendation and let me tell you, that was a SHOCKER. i was shocked by how.. to say this? lets just say.. i cant even finish the song. i was stubborn and decided to listen to the whole album and dive deeper just in case i might find something good there, yeah i did find one or three good songs, but thats it. I checked all their title tracks and then decided to stops after a few good listen. and just decided their music is just not for me ( i do like the Sixth Sense though. )
    Super M – I listen to them before i even knew NCT when they released Jopping. and decided to stop because Jopping just wasnt it for me, and i revisit their title tracks a few months ago .. it did not went very well.

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  37. They’re known around here but among most kpop fans Rolling Quartz is way underrated. An artist, AVOKID, was recently highlighted on AJ, and I think she is really good, too.

    Outside of a few bops like Mansae, I find Seventeen pretty dull. Just can’t get into them, really.

    Liked by 1 person

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