K-Pop Risers & Fallers: July 2022

Risers & FallersI’ve decided to try something new! Rather than contain my “Risers and Fallers” feature to a single post in June, I’m going to share a bite-sized version at the end of each month. This will let me account for more songs and make a nice lead-in to the monthly round-up post.

I anticipate most of these ratings adjustments will be negligible: a 0.5 shift here, a 0.25 shift there. But, it’s a fun way to keep track of how my feelings on songs have changed over time – as well as which tracks currently have momentum on my playlist. I’ll probably tack the last week of each month onto the next “risers and fallers” post, since these songs have only been out a couple of days.

And remember, just because a song is marked as a “faller” doesn’t mean I hate it! Falling from a “9” to an “8.75” is no shame. 9+ rated songs occupy a totally different playlist in my music library, so I’m pretty particular about what qualifies. It’s a high bar.

Sadly, my “9” club this month didn’t fare as well as I had hoped!


ENHYPEN – Future Perfect (Pass The Mic) *Biggest Riser*
Rating: 7 → 8.5

ITZY – Sneakers
Rating: 7.5 → 8

MCND – #Mood
Rating: 7.5 → 8

NewJeans – Attention
Rating: 8.5 → 8.75

NewJeans – Hype Boy
Rating: 7.75 → 8

VIVIZ – Loveade
Rating: 8 → 8.5


P1Harmony – Doom Du Doom
Rating: 8.5 → 8.25

SF9 – Scream *Biggest Faller*
Rating: 9 → 8.5

Super Junior – Mango
Rating: 9 → 8.75


47 thoughts on “K-Pop Risers & Fallers: July 2022

  1. Damn Future Perfect rose that high? How did that happen since it also kinda grew on me too but I still wouldn’t add it as a staple song in my playlist.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Okay then, I’ll do my own risers and fallers list. Here it is:

    Winner – I Love U (8.5 – 8.75)
    H1-Key – Run (8.5 – 8.75)
    Xdinary Heroes – Test Me (8.25 – 8.5)
    NewJeans – Attention (8.5 – 8.75)
    HyunA – Nabillera (5.25 – 7)

    MCND – #MOOD (7.5 – 7)
    Itzy – Sneakers (6 – 4.75)
    Aespa – Girls (7.75 – 7.25)
    P1Harmony – Doom Du Doom (8.5 – 8)

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Chung ha – Sparkling (7.5 — 8.25)
    Aespa – Life’s too short (6.5 — 7.25)
    New jeans – Attention (6.5 — 7.5)


  4. hehe nice seeing Future Perfect rise here 😀 Because honestly I really enjoyed this one. Now all I need is for Enhypen to learn how to end a song again….

    Given Taken and Drunk Dazed ended quite nicely but Blessed Cursed and Future Perfect have that thing of how the song just…. ends. 😂 A little bit of tapering or even two words at the end or something. Like Aespa’s Girls – damn I appreciate how it it ends! a little bit if music and then “girls” – that’s it but it feels completed 🙂

    Also nice to see #Mood rising because I would say it’s my fave song of this month 😀


  5. Scream has actually grown on me massively just because of how funny it is. Same with Future Perfect, which I now love for no earthly reason. Honestly the whole thing kind of slaps.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Ok, weirdly, Enhyphen’s Pass the Mic has GROWN ON ME A LOT! I reaaally like the prechorus as well. It randomly popped up and I didn’t realize it was playing till it did… I hate this kind of music usually but now I like this….who knew….(Please no judging)

    Liked by 2 people

  7. First time commenting here, but I’ve been a long time lurker. I would first like to thank you Nick for introducing so many new K-pop songs and groups to me, and I would be lying if I didn’t say that your blog has helped me find what kind of songs I like, and gain more appreciation for sub-genres within K-pop that I didn’t like at first (Gfriend-ish songs, but now they’re one of my favorite groups!), and get a good idea of how the K-pop soundscape evolved over time.

    Anyway, I’m so happy that Future-Perfect ended up clicking with you too! Honestly, I didn’t expect that you would end up liking it more considering your usual aversion towards these kind of tracks. Something about this song just slaps though. I can’t help but listening to it again and singing with them whenever it comes up. As you’ve already said, it just needs a proper climax to seal the deal. Honestly though, probably because they are my ultimate bias group, it is still a strong SOTY contender.

    This is my list of Risers and Fallers.

    Future-Perfect by Enhypen – 8 -> 9
    _WORLD by Seventeen – 8.5 -> 9 (its longevity sold me)
    Hypeboy by NewJeans – 9 ->9.5 (the hooks were much more potent than I thought)
    Girls by Aespa – 7 -> 8 (It still feels like a missed oppurtunity 😦 )
    Sneakers by Itzy – 7.5 -> 8.5 (it clicked lol)

    Fallers – None, I tend to like music more over time in general, and this month didn’t really have anything in which I avoided after I felt neutral/liked it.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Songs I feel more warmly toward:
    jhope – More
    Purple Kiss – Nerdy
    TO1 – Drummin’
    SF9 – Scream

    Nothing I really got sick of this month, but Ateez’s Guerilla still confuses me. I can’t put my finger on it.


    • I was just listening to Guerrilla again and — though I like it and can see it growing on me even more — I realized it’s the awkward transition from pre-chorus to chorus that bothers me. It just feels like set-up without pay-off — almost as if the song is restarting itself rather than coming to a climax.

      I mean, the chorus has plenty of bombast and drama, but feels kind of shoehorned into the wrong song.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Exactly. I could loop that baseline for hours, and if it were an instrumental, I could dig the style change – gotta have some interest in there. But they kind of frost it with these power-metalisms. I think two amazing songs could have been made from this – one dark, one bombastic, and instead we get one very good one.


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  10. Growers:

    Chungha – Sparkling
    8.25 -> 9

    WJSN – Last Sequence
    8.25 -> 8.75

    NewJeans – HybeBoy
    8 -> 8.5

    Also just J-Hope’s stuff it general. Everything clicked once i heard the full album. Probably my fav kpop Album of the year thus far.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Heh kind of new to commenting but:
    Sparkling: 8.25->8.75
    Last Sequence: 8.75->9.5
    Monochrome: 7.5->8.25 (I just really enjoy watching their performance)

    I Love You: 8->7.5

    Also was wondering what you thought of this song called La Luna. If I recall correctly, you didn’t review the title track which is fine considering it isn’t really good, but I recently discovered this bside they promoted and thought it quite nice. https://youtu.be/UIuID1HH75c


    • It is quite good. I remember seeing this performance a few weeks ago on music shows and wondered if it was a title track. It should have been!


    • First off, I still really, really like the song – just not quite enough to vault it into my best-of-the-best playlist.

      If I were to try to explain why, I think it’s because the track feels sturdy rather than exhilarating. For me, it’s just missing that one extra punch. The bridge comes close to delivering this, but it’s still a hair short of a “9.”

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Risers:

    Yuju – Play
    Tasteful and subdued production provides a great canvas for Yuju to paint over. The song just *feels* good. Excellent texture choice.

    Suzy – Satellite
    Nice to hear some lo-fi, messy production. A lot of kpop is so touched-up it can sound surgical sometimes. “Satellite” is warm and nostalgic, and Suzy knows exactly what kind of vocal performance to give on a song like this.

    Enhypen – Blessed-Cursed
    Only gets better and better. I know I’m the odd one out when it comes to this group, but I really can’t stand their slower stuff, this fits them way better. The vocal delivery is super dynamic and aggressive, and it becomes more obvious the more listens I put into this track. I love the way it punches right into the post-chorus. Every melody is memorable, and there’s a surprising amount of them compared to other songs that try this style. Might land in my top 5 of the year if nothing else knocks it off.

    Weeekly – Ven Para
    Didn’t expect this to grow on me as much as it did. Lots of tension in the verses, and I genuinely love the chorus. It’s not a simple drop and the instrumental really kicks into high gear. We still have some vocal melodies, and the drums are fantastic. Some silly English lyrics thrown around here and there but it doesn’t ruin the song for me.

    XG – Mascara
    Silly song, great vocal performances throughout.

    (G)I-DLE – My Bag
    The day I saw them live was the day I learned you can make anything sound good if it’s played loud enough. Crowd absolutely lost their mind and I loved every second of it.

    Seventeen – Hot
    Great music video and performances really got this song stuck in my head. Not the best thing I’ve ever heard, but it’s fun.

    Sunmi – Heart Burn
    As with almost every new Sunmi song, it’s just barely notable enough to find its way into my playlist. Then a month goes by and it’s somehow the best song I’ve ever heard. “Heart Burn” was no different. Bassline and drums drive the song and keep my attention while Sunmi sings wistfully on top.


    IVE – Love Dive
    Very catchy, not very memorable. I’ve listened to this song about 70 times according to last.fm, and I couldn’t recite a single second of the verses. Not a fan of the anti-drop here either, doesn’t add anything besides being trendy (hey industry, I know what an anti-drop sounds like by now!) The mixing is a mess and sounds terrible on headphones. The instrumental is far too loud and not centered in the mix. It sounds like the song is playing behind me, and honestly it’s going to give me a migraine if I listen any longer. It’s not terrible by any means, but it’s not the SOTY that I think some people want to give it.

    Purple Kiss – memeM
    A song that doesn’t have the faintest clue on what it wants to be. It picks several options and can’t lean hard enough into any of them. The end result just feels weak and half-baked. Instrumental is giving “stock sample package”.

    Eunbi – Glitch
    It’s fine… I guess. The final chorus had a real “WOW” factor the first time I heard it, but the rest of the song kinda just meanders around in a way that doesn’t excite or intrigue me. I was expecting “A.C.E – Cactus” but really got “Blackpink – Kill This Love” instead. I liked her debut with Hwang Hyun a lot more.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I didn’t think that we could write about songs that didn’t come out this month! But if I did, I would have also mentioned Love Dive on my fallers list too. It hit me so hard when I first listened to it, but now Eleven feels much more dynamic and impactful.

      Love Dive – IVE
      9 -> 8

      I agree about Blessed Cursed as well! It aged like fine wine lmao. I was so meh on it in the beginning, but I now bop to it every time it comes up in my playlist. I thought it was forgettable, but up to now, I can sing about almost every melody even if I didn’t force myself to stream it.

      Blessed Cursed- Enhypen
      7 -> 9s (I need to think about how much I would actually give it)

      Additionally, now that I think about it, Kep1ers Up grew on me a lot! I didn’t like it when it first came out, but it is now my favorite summer song from K-pop this year. The chorus hits in the best way possible. If anything, I’m not a big fan of the last 30 seconds of the song, but other than that, its great.

      Up! – Kep1er
      6 -> 9

      Liked by 2 people

      • Nope, you’re right, I didn’t read correctly. “Rather than contain my “Risers and Fallers” feature to a single post in June, I’m going to share a bite-sized version at the end of each month.” seems to indicate that comments should be centered around this month. I guess my defense is that this is a new change and that we haven’t had a monthly risers+fallers for the previous months, so this would be the place to do it, if any.

        Agree about Kep1er’s Up, though I liked that song a lot on first listen. It’s punchy and catchy, plus I really adore Hikaru’s performances in the group.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. My risers are:

    YooJung – Begin (8 – 9.5) It just keeps getting better and better the more I listen to it

    KB – Be Free (7.75 – 9) This also just keeps getting better and better the more I listen

    no fallers

    As you can tell, I’m obsessed with these 2 songs at the moment.

    Liked by 2 people

    • oh also, I have to say that Dragon by iKON is such a hidden gem. It’s growing on me so much that it’s genuinely becoming one of my favourite b-sides of all time


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  15. WJSN’s Last Sequence is definitely my contender for SOTY. I love it at first listen and it gets better every time I heard it. WJSN never missed (well if you pretend that Babyface or Miracle is a title track and Happy never exist)


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  17. ===Risers (in order of most to least improved, not favorite to least favorite)===

    “Nabillera” – Hyuna (Initially I was like “oh Hyuna doing her weird shouty Jessi copycat thing” and now… I like it??? The harmonies in the background of the rap parts are really pretty and I actually like the prechorus as well. It’s not “Ice Cream,” but it’s not as bad as I thought, either.)

    “Maniac” – Stray Kids (I figured out how to enjoy this style of music. The contrasts are so catchy to me.)

    “Copycat” – Chobom (It took me around 3 listens, but now this is my slow jam song of choice.)

    “Beautiful Monster” – StayC (I’m a sucker for plucked guitars. Also the chorus is way more passionate and evocative than I initially realized.)

    “Love is Dead” – Purple Kiss (I’m still not a big fan of the hook, but the great “da da da” post-chorus keeps me coming back.)

    “Cherry” – Jiu/Dreamcatcher (Initially stayed around for the funky post-chorus part. Now I like the entire thing.)

    “Nerdy” – Purple Kiss (I liked this a lot at first, but I’ve grown to like the vocal affectations. There’s also a LOT to this instrumental.)

    “Love Dive” – IVE (Every single IVE song tends to grow on me a lot. I think it’s the echo-y vocals. And the tense sections are distributed well throughout the song.)

    “Believer” – Yerin (The live stages are a bit weak, but the recorded ‘belieeeeeeeveeeer’ is soaring in the best way.)

    “Run2U” – StayC (I thought it sounded messy at first, but the awesome descending intro gets my heart pounding. And J’s rap is awesome.)

    “Honey” – Solar (The recording, along with the MV, is dripping with attitude. I think Solar can give anything more longevity than it originally had.)

    “D-Day” – Wheein (This aged extremely well. Wheein just sound effortless.)

    “Flip That” – Loona (Did not get why people liked it at first; it sounded like nothing to me. Then I listened with headphones. Fine, the “dat dat dat” part is cool.)

    ===Fallers (from least to most fallen)===

    “Sharp Objects” – Sorn (I liked it a lot at first because Sorn is one of the best vocalists at phrasing around. But it’s not as catchy as I remembered.)

    “Dice” – Onew (If only by a little bit. I still love the dreamy sounds and soaring chorus, but I think the Squid Game-esque music video made me love it a bit more initially than I do now.)

    “Super Yuppers” – WJSN Chocome (Not bad, but just makes me want to listen to “Hmph!” or Orange Caramel.)

    “Can’t Control Myself” – Taeyeon (Still great, but slightly less hard-hitting and memorable than I thought.)

    “Lunatic” – Moonbyul (Tons of fun, but a bit too random to be replayable.)

    “Still Life” – Big Bang (Taeyang is a good singer. That’s about all I notice in this song these days.)

    “Epitaph for the Future” – TVXQ (There isn’t much to this beyond the sharp vampire sounds.)

    “Smiley” – Yena (I have no idea why, but I find the chorus really grating now. Maybe I’ve just seen too many dance covers of it.)


  18. enhypen’s future perfect is unexpectedly growing on me too! I disliked it on the first listen but it gets better and better!! Somehow, the amazing performance, their live vocals and stage presence just made it better😫

    Liked by 1 person

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