Song Review: BOYNEXTDOOR – Serenade
Review

Song Review: BOYNEXTDOOR – Serenade

BOYNEXTDOOR have approached their debut in a similar way to NewJeans, releasing a series of songs and music videos in the lead up to their single album. It’s an exciting way to unveil new talent, though the rollout hasn’t felt nearly as buzzy this time around. After a strong opening salvo, I was less impressed … Continue reading

Song Review: AB6IX – Loser
Review

Song Review: AB6IX – Loser

AB6IX offered an sleek, fashionable vision when they first debuted in 2019, but as the years have gone on I’ve struggled to maintain excitement in their music. Part of this is down to lack of consistency. They’ve struggled to maintain a definable sound and musical perspective, which makes a lot of their work feel generic. … Continue reading

Song Review: KARD – Icky
Review

Song Review: KARD – Icky

Though KARD are quite successful in various parts of the world, they’ve expressed a desire to cement their fanbase in Korea. As one of the industry’s only co-ed groups, they seem perfectly poised to fill a gap in the market. But after the many high points of their initial rollout, I’ve struggled to connect with … Continue reading

Song Review: ENHYPEN – Bite Me
Review

Song Review: ENHYPEN – Bite Me

After a promising April, the K-pop industry has me back in the doldrums. Too many songs are feeling disposable these days — catchy and stylish but lacking the indelible melodies and striking centerpieces that forge a long-enduring classic. “Fast fashion” has never felt so apt a descriptor for the industry, and ENHYPEN’s new Bite Me … Continue reading

Song Review: Blackswan – Karma
Review

Song Review: Blackswan – Karma

Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve written about Blackswan! This group has suffered more member changes than I can count, and the current line-up is another refresh from their 2021 configuration. Only leader Fatou remains. This constant change makes it difficult to feel any kinship toward Blackswan. You don’t want to get too … Continue reading

Song Review: ATBO – Next To Me
Review

Song Review: ATBO – Next To Me

ATBO are one of a few newer boy groups whose music feels interchangeable to me. They’ve delivered one unique highlight, but their ever-changing sound is very much “Boy Group 101.” It’s as if their singles discography is a collection of songs from the concept round of an audition show. They could be performed by anyone. … Continue reading

Song Review: YOUNITE – Waterfall
Review

Song Review: YOUNITE – Waterfall

After a super-strong pre-debut single, I’ve struggled to connect with anything else rookie group YOUNITE has released. Like so many current boy groups, their music so far feels like a lukewarm blend of tropes and trends without memorable songwriting to back it up. New single Waterfall hearkens back to the lighter sound palette of their … Continue reading

Song Review: (G)I-DLE – Queencard
Review

Song Review: (G)I-DLE – Queencard

After dropping their pre-release Allergy last week, (G)I-DLE are back with their newest title track Queencard (퀸카). These two songs are linked thematically, but their overall sound is also consistent. The group has built upon the success of last year’s Tomboy, taking rock elements and giving them a fashionable K-pop sheen. This works well when … Continue reading

Song Review: BABYMONSTER – Dream
Review

Song Review: BABYMONSTER – Dream

This kind of pre-debut song isn’t usually something I’d write about in detail, but Dream is the first musical taste of YG Entertainment’s new girl group BABYMONSTER and that feels like a big deal. With a name like BABYMONSTER, I expected the girls to come out swinging with some bombastic, attitude-infused track. I’m sure that … Continue reading

Song Review: Aimers – Bubble
Review

Song Review: Aimers – Bubble

We’re nearing the summer months, when K-pop tends to get a bit brighter and more upbeat. I’m a longtime proponent of idol music that sounds and feels fun, and rookie group Aimers seem to be headed in that direction. None of their previous music has clicked with me, and new single Bubble doesn’t change that. … Continue reading

Song Review: ICHILLIN – Siren
Review

Song Review: ICHILLIN – Siren

ICHILLIN are trying to confuse us! Less than two months ago, they returned with a song called Alarm. Now, they’re back with another one called Siren! I sense a theme here… I wasn’t a fan of Alarm, but Siren has some bite to it. As always, I’d prefer a robust, melodic chorus over the beat-drop/sing-talk hook … Continue reading

Song Review: Pentagon – Shh
Review

Song Review: Pentagon – Shh

Just weeks since the finale of Boys Planet, Pentagon’s Hui is back with his group. But before he (presumably) participates in a big Korean comeback, other members are here to deliver the Japanese-language dance track Shh. This group configuration is down to six people, which is a little jarring for an act that started as … Continue reading