open discussion

Open Discussion (August 7, 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:

Inspired by the announcement of ONF’s upcoming special album (released while members are still in the military), what are some unusual or unprecedented K-pop promo tactics you’d like to see more of?

46 thoughts on “Open Discussion (August 7, 2022)

  1. Double title tracks seem to have fallen out of favor, but I always appreciated the tactic because it meant there was double the chance I’d love one of the songs!

    A full visual album (à la Beyonce) could be cool given K-pop’s concept/lore-heavy style and focus on visuals. And, I’ve always wanted a group to release a double album (or double EP) with two contrasting parts – such as a “bright,” upbeat half and a darker, edgier half.

    Liked by 5 people

      • ooh, yes, movie with an album sounds great! Melanie Martinez did that with K-12 too, and I feel like a K-pop group could refine that idea. Also it ties into the focus on visuals and lore that we have going right now.

        Liked by 2 people

        • and speaking of melanie martinez id also love it if a group released connected music videos for all of their songs on an album/mini (like she did w her crybaby album) bc although melanies music isnt rlly for me i rlly love how shes stuck to her own unique vision this whole time

          and id love it if a group had like. this whole story woven throughout their tracklist and each mv they drop for a certain song could spark millions of theories until the next one drops (like if onf had done that for my name that wouldve been so cool)

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I liked Dreamcatcher’s recent release where every member had a solo track with markedly different textures and genres from each other. It’s a clever way to highlight each member’s individuality.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. I am old fashioned, so I would like to see a back to basics promo, such as live singing on the music shows. I think the lack of live singing has created a mental barrier for most performers to not be fully engaged with the song. They are hitting all the marks, but are not fully present in the performance. The production is so visual and dance-focused that the music, the actual song, is losing out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Do you think we will see more groups start to sing live now that there are audiences at music shows again? I’ve always wondered if the use of pre-recorded vocals on music shows increased once companies realized their idols were going to be promoting on shows without fans present.

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      • Probably not. These days, some can’t even hear the difference between a pre-recorded vocal versus live, and don’t seem to care. (OMG! She is so stable!) Also don’t seem to notice or care if that high note sounds good or is in tune, only that it sounds high and loud and thus it must be good. Same crowd go all angry keyboard warriors if you bother to tell them otherwise, so I have given up.

        Meanwhile, I just go listen to Forestella. Is it wrong for me to like to hear singers breathe?
        ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xnq_hhQg8Bw

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    • 100% agreed. As much as I like the “full” performance aspect of kpop in the pop culture landscape, I miss jaw-dropping live vocals. I’ve connected a lot with comeback stages that include adlibs or even skip the choreo altogether to give a unique vocal performance. I really hope that SNSD will do that to promote Forever 1 for example.

      Liked by 1 person

      • SNSD – it might sound like a different song, in a good way, since there is so much eq on the voices they sound almost tinny at times in the recording. That one snippet of a clean harmony in each verse should also sound nifty. The chorus will also be interesting to hear how they do it – if they sing along to a backing chorus or all sing as the chorus.

        To cite someone other than SuJu, or Forestella or PHS body-and-soul reference, (ahem, cough, ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1rn845ArZw)
        This guy, Jeon Hong Il, is so fully present for this performance, I swear I fell in love with him right here.
        ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sp8PDFVsvQ0

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  4. I really like ATEEZ’s promotional approach on dueling songs fighting to become the main title track of an album. It’s fun, creative and means we can have two music videos!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Maybe an album promotion with several singles. Of course you have to have a strong album for that. TWICE’s Formula Of Love and Eyes Wide Open are perfect examples or Wonder Girls’ Reboot and f(x)’s Pink Tape and 4 Walls. In the US and Europe albums usually have several singles but not so much in Korea while some albums always produce strong albums and not just strong singles.

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  6. Hi Bias List! I don’t know about y’all, but the last few weeks have been sucking me back into kpop for the first time this year. I’ve had to remind myself that things ebb and flow, and especially in a trend-chasing industry, there’s going to be stretches where the trends are tired and/or not my thing. And honestly, I’ve had other things to focus on.

    But! It’s fun to be excited about new music again! So far this month I’ve added new singles from Colde, from20 (love this one), Kang Seung Sik (VICTON), and Gaho. I’m really enjoying the Girls’ Generation album (“Lucky Like That” is my current standout) and YENA’s EP – the latter gives me the fun rock vibes I’ve been missing from ITZY recently. Kep1er’s “Wing Wing” has grown on me and I’m trying to ignore the problematic aspects of NewJean’s debut to just enjoy “Attention” and “Hype Boy”.

    And I’m still playing the heck out of ATEEZ’ EP, especially “Cyberpunk”, (favorite b-side of the year maybe?), “Guerrilla”, and “New World”.

    Hope everyone is doing well and fingers crossed for more great releases this month!

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Not exactly a promo tactic (…or maybe it is) but I would love to see more artists opt for eco-friendly albums, like BTS and Chung Ha have. The amount of paper used is incredibly wasteful, especially since so many fans only buy albums for fancalls, then proceed to donate them to people who have no interest in them, or just trash them.

    It’s a good way to market to environmentally conscious people at least. But with all these companies purchasing NFTs it just makes me want to not spend my time or money on KPop at all.

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    • The amount of waste in kpop physical albums is incredible. Not many people play the CD’s or have any means of playing the CD. (I do.) The rest is just photo album with paper knick knacks to justify the $30-40 or more. All packaging. A glorified souvenir. A fancy party favor. A token gift in exchange for cold hard cash.

      And then with the multiple covers, it encourages more waste from the crazy stans who buy all versions. “To show their love” for their group. Some day there will be millions of these albums in crates out front at thrift stores selling for a buck each.

      My personal immediate problem with kpop physical albums is that they are all different sizes. We have hundreds of LP’s at home as hubby collects old jazz and hip hop, and shelving them is easy peasy. Shelving kpop albums is worse than shelving books. At least with books, there is an expected size for hardcovers, trader paperbacks, art books, reference books, etc. (Nick is an expert with this.) But my kpop album shelf is all higgledy piggledy, and I don’t own that many.

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    • I’m one of those people who usually just listens to the song when it drops and don’t follow the extra lore like promos at all 😭 Sometimes I watch the teasers for the song, maybe the highlight medley if it’s a group that I know whose bsides I may like and then I watch the live shows and radio shows of the song after that.

      Truthfully, I can’t think of any group that really caught me with pre release promos alone except Kingdom who had those nice Eclipse version etc MV teasers lol.

      One thing that comes to mind which I really enjoy is Onewe’s introduction of their album each cb! 😀 It’s a highlight medley but done live with the members talking about the songs, singing and playing snippets and the whole casual mood of that makes it an absolute treat to watch! 😀

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  8. I’d like to see more idols perform B-sides on music shows. I feel like it was more common for idols to perform B-sides on all the music shows a few years ago. Now, we’re lucky if we get 1 or 2 B-side performances from during a comeback promotion.

    I’d also like to see more live performances of collabs. A lot of these songs will get great buzz, but the only time you see all of the performers in the collab together is in the music video.

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  9. i would LOVE to have more groups do full on editorial-esque concept films/easter eggs for their cbs a la the boyz like. this right here is fucking INCREDIBLE eye candy all around and it gives each member their own personality

    this too like THE PRODUCTION VALUE????????

    (also something to note is that in the physical chase album the member cards all have an “invitation” for a secret show in keeping w the concept which i always thought was SO cool)

    also something in the vein of generation z where each member gets their own little video/interview/stage

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Not related to the prompt, but this performance made me borderline emotional. I’m not sure we’ll ever see another group like Sistar again. There’s such unmanufactured joy in their music. Hit after hit after hit, anchored by the kind of melodies that stand the test of time. I just love them.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I’m glad you posted this since it has been one thing that has nagged me with girl groups in their later years (and a reason I’m also happy to see Dreamcatcher getting solo tracks on a group album). It is EXTRAORDINARILY rare, if precedented at all… I guess the closest at this point would be Mamamoo, for EVERY member in a group to have a successful, relatively different sounding and visual solo career, and that goes even more so after they leave their well known groups or disband. Even if someone does become successful, it is very rarely to the point they supersede their group’s popularity. Fans also miss them performing together.

      So what I would like to see is fewer groups disbanding into ALL solo careers. There isn’t even room in the industry for it, and it’s incredibly difficult to come up with unique, core sounds for each member, especially if they are trying to carry some of their group popularity into their solo career. Take 2NE1 for example, they still maintain a mystique of legendary status as a group (see how crazy people went for 2015 MAMA or their brief Coachella reunion), but next to zero of that has carried over into their personal solo careers. But what if agencies weren’t so neurotic on maintaining exclusive contracts (ie. only keeping idols if they renew BOTH their group and solo contracts), or more groups realized that at a certain point in their careers, usually around the first or second renewals, that they don’t exactly need their agencies to carry on their names? A group like 2NE1 might not be doing well individually, but what if instead of releasing individual albums, they only released single or double title track digital singles as soloists, rotating through the group members as they promote individually, but then have a group comeback to cap it off and only release a full album following a short group promotion or multi day concert, and then released said album with the group track, maybe a 1 – 3 extra group B-sides and the solo material each member has released, possibly with the addition of a B-side each? I think you would wind up with some incredibly fun and diverse albums that show both how the group and its members as individuals are evolving. You get the cohesion, fan service, and public recognition of the group track while also presenting their solo material to the entire fandom and not just their individual fans, and that exposure is pretty invaluable. It also gives the group members the opportunity to present their solo material in environments and variety shows where the group itself is well known enough to score an invite, but it just doesn’t happen as a soloist. So that’s one thing I’d like to see.

      Another biggie would be to see a hybrid or successful example of LOONA’s rollout (not with solo material, but the subunits) and NMIXX’s concept. I loved LOONA’s predebut material since it also gave you variety, something their group releases have been sorely lacking from my POV. Each subunit had a distinct sound and aesthetic very unique from the others. I’d like to see something like that done with subunits where each unit isolates a certain aspect of the full group’s core sound and expands on it. This is where NMIXX’s concept of “mixing different genres” would come in: full group releases would come after subunit releases and truly combine the sounds into a cohesive whole that is equally enjoyable. I think fans would have blast taking the material of the subunits and mixing them together to try to figure out what the upcoming group material might sound like. It would also force agencies to put substantial forethought into the group’s music and sound, making it more likely that they buck trends and stick to their own uniquely crafted sound.

      I suppose in a way, most of my ideas are trying to come up with ways for idols to maintain relevancy after 7 – 10 years, especially female ones, and force agencies to actually plan much further ahead so we aren’t constantly stuck with groups just trying on trend after trend like throwing spaghetti at a wall to see what sticks.

      Liked by 1 person

      • And of course it took my paragraphs out again. Is there anyone who knows why this constantly happens? I’m writing posts directly through WordPress and don’t have this trouble on other WordPress sites. I feel so guilty for it constantly posting huge walls of text!!!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Whoops! And to add again with Sistar specifically, I do think disbanding was a MAJOR mistake. As veterans whose summer releases were so anticipated, they could have easily all gone and done their own things (like SNSD), but just released a group song every summer. They wouldn’t even have needed a full EP if they didn’t want one. And with Sistar so public friendly, even promoting on music shows wouldn’t have been necessary to secure a top spot on the charts so long as the song was good. Even now with all of the girls out of Starship, I honestly don’t know why the four of them stay to their own solo contracts but sign a group contract under Hyolyn’s Bridg3, since that would remove any additional parties taking a cut of whatever group profit they make, and they could just negotiate it equally for them. Since they have a positive relationship with Starship, I wouldn’t even be surprised if they let them take the Sistar name without a legal battle. Even if Starship didn’t allow it, the T-ara members winning the rights to their name has set enough of a legal precedent for it not to be worthwhile for an agency to even try, really. Sigh. Can you tell I desperately need some good summer songs and it’s already the second week of August with only SNSD really delivering for me so far. 😿

      Liked by 1 person

      • Really quite appalling of you to suggest that Yoochun is even deserving of a comeback. The nostalgia addicts need to get it tgt,some things are better left to die

        Liked by 1 person

        • Addict is a good word choice there. I also don’t know why anyone would want a reunion for them or any other groups where the members have little desire to reunite or poor working relationships. Even as a gift for fans, it wouldn’t be fun to watch or hear knowing they’d rather be getting a root canal from a dental school dropout than participating in a reunion.

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  11. I love when artists are splitting album release in different phases like “The Story of Light” by SHINee, “Never Gonna Dance Again” by Taemin, “The ReVe Festival” by Red Velvet.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Me too! I don’t even think they necessarily have to split an album up. Series work well too… like ReVe Festival; Dreamcatcher’s Nightmare, Dystopia, and Apocalypse series; TXT’s chapters; GFriend’s Schoolgirl trilogy; Mamamoo’s 4 seasons; BTS’s HYYH; etc. It really lets you see a slow maturation of their sound, usually improving and honing in on it as the series goes on, and it keeps it cohesive thematically as well. Plus you know you have more to look forward too!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Personally I think Loona’s every member gets a single is pretty cool. I’d love to see other groups do that. I always imagine what genre, visuals, and message they’d present

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    • OnlyOneOf are pretty much doing that now, right? I agree it’s a cool idea… though I prefer if it’s across a shorter time frame — like maybe one week where each member blitzes us with a solo track?

      I guess my attention span is just too short haha

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I have a second response to this question!

    I’d love to see more inter-agency collaborations, but at a level of ambition we’ve never seen before.

    Specifically, I think it would be very cool for a big K-pop agency to do something like Exile Tribe’s “Battle Of Tokyo” project, where their groups combine for a series of team-up tracks that form a larger story. It’s ridiculously ambitious, but with K-pop’s global success they’d certainly have the money.

    If you haven’t watched Battle of Tokyo, do yourself a favor and clear 40-45 minutes to enjoy this epic, over-the-top project:

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  14. I think a gamified MV would be cool. We’re kind of past the point where “embedded links to unlisted videos” are still a thing, but I would love another “My Copycat.”

    I agree that having little solo tracks for each member is fun, and having them as part of a larger group comeback as b-sides both saves time/money and keeps the group’s momentum from stalling. Low-budget dance videos or conceptual promo shots could help people engage with the tracks more, and maybe they could promote the single on music shows if it randomly a blows up like “Dolphin.”

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  15. Concerts!!!!

    I wish the group have more concert and actually sing all their song of their mini album at least once. They don’t need a choreo for all. They could have better arrangements for their live.

    COVID didn’t help. But I think younger groups don’t have as much as concerts than the older.

    Like

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