Mass Roundup: May – June

**Some songs I missed in the March – April roundup**

G-reyish – Breath;(Blood Night)

G-reyish have never been on my radar before but with the very interesting Blood Night, the girls have come out with something worth checking out. The trance like instrumental is a very interesting touch during the verses and the chanted hook sticks after a few listens. It feels very much like a budget version of Sunmi’s 24 Hours and I mean that in the nicest way possible. The vocal arrangement is a little too high pitched but you should really check this one out.

Rating: 8.25/10

IU – Lilac

Channelling modern retro and city pop inspired trends into an incredibly catchy yet nostalgic track, Lilac is IU’s strongest single in years. The chugging instrumental is one of the years most comforting productions but never strays away from its dance pop roots, incorporating some instances of rhythm guitar and great splashes of synth. On first listen the chorus might feel a little airy and light but the rousing drop that follows more than makes up for it. But Lilac wouldn’t be what it is without IU herself, who gives an assured performance that once again shows why she’s one of the best in the business.

Rating: 8.75/10

Jessi – What Type of X

As one of modern K-pop’s most polarising performers, each Jessi comeback is viewed with an eye for the crazy and an ear for the insane. So many of her songs feature hard edged instrumentals and eyebrow raising lyrics for the Korean landscape that they become big hits. So far none have really connected with me but though it has its faults, the rap rock hybrid What Type of X is the first of her songs to really impress me. The opening hook and incredible verses are some of the years best, portraying the perfect template for Jessi to express herself. It’s an incredibly enjoyable brew that only falters during the chorus. It’s not a bad chorus but the incredibly high pitched siren loop is just too grating for me. But that doesn’t take away from the rest of the track with pounds forward with a real sense of immensity which is exemplified during the massive finale that sends What Type of X out on a high.

Rating: 8.5/10

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Highlight – Not The End

As a big fan of Highlights work as Beast, it’s always great to see the boys together for a release. Not The End is their first release after a 2 military year hiatus and while it doesn’t come close to some of the behemoths in their discography, its majestic beat drop and adjacent melodic refrain sound incredibly fresh. The boys always sound great and their performance elevates what otherwise could have been another generic pop trop track into something much more enjoyable

Rating: 8.5/10

NCT Dream – Hot Sauce

It’s been a while since I’ve been so deeply disappointed in a chorus but Hot Sauce‘s high pitched shouty central hook is just unlistenable. I’ve tried to come around to it many a time but I just can’t bring my self to keep listening every time that hook rears its head. That’s a real shame because the afro beat inspired verses are a real treat and had they led to a similar chorus, we could have had a great track. But instead, Hot Sauce just doesn’t know how to use its best moments to its advantage

Rating: 7/10

Oh My Girl – Dun Dun Dance

Even though I had almost half of an entire review written for this track on the day of its release, for some reason I never got around to releasing it. But my tardiness shouldn’t take away from my enjoyment of Oh My Girls Dun Dun Dance, a track that has gone onto become one of my favourite girl group tracks of the year. I’ll remain firmly that last years Lemonade is the peak of the girls summery sound but the incredibly catchy hook at the centre of Dun Dun Dance and its groovy rhythm guitar assisted sound is right up my alley. I know I’m biased but this track has just been on loop since release. It’s not the most groundbreaking of tracks but sometimes you just need a classic, simple melody.

Rating: 8.75/10

ONEUS – Black Mirror

I enjoyed ONEUS’ No Diggity upon release more than most and while I still jam to that track occasionally, Black Mirror has become my 2021 ONEUS track of choice. This is easily my favourite ONEUS single since debut, incorporating an incredibly funky percussion and rhythm guitar backbone that gives the track an immense amount of groove. I adore the generous dose of string accents here and I’m so happy that the central melody matches the stunning instrumental. There are so many great hooks to found here and just when you think you know where the track is heading, Black Mirror will pull out another delicious hook to sink your teeth into. This is peak ONEUS.

Rating: 9/10

WJSN The Black – Easy

WJSN’s shift to a more sleek sound with March’s Unnatural was exciting at first but didn’t really last the test of time. On the other hand, sub unit “The Black”‘s Easy is what Unnatural wanted to be and a whole lot more. This is one cool as hell track with an invigorating bass line that runs through the track like a perfect thread. It anchors Easy with an instantly memorable instrumental that lends very well for its longevity. The simplistic yet instantly catchy central hook is also what makes Easy a standout, maintaining the cool, chic nature of the concept in a taught musical package.

Rating: 8.5/10

Yuqi ((G)i-dle) – Bonnie & Clyde

I don’t think anyone expected Yuqi to release a debut single leagues stronger than anything her group have managed to muster but with the driving retro trance of Bonnie & Clyde, she managed to bring the big guns. This is a stunning song that highlights Yuqi’s husky tone in ways that we only got glimpses of in the past. It harkens back to some of the most iconic tracks of 80’s most namely I Need A Hero by Bonnie Tyler and for someone who adores these high octane, constantly driving dance tracks, Bonnie & Clyde is a slam dunk success.

Rating: 9.25/10

AESPA – Next Level

You can’t have a year go by without at least one truly bonkers K-pop song and so far, 2021’s contender is by far Aespa’s Next Level. Maligned heavily on release, Next Level has gone onto to achieve immense success on the charts and much of that could be due its incredibly addictive nature. I didn’t care much for it upon release but it’s grown into one of the years most addictive listens. Though it’s a remake from a pre existing track, Aespa’s version takes an already bonkers track and SMifies the hell out of it with a number of smooth RnB breakdowns and unexpected vocal explosions. It’s almost too much to take in during the first listen but that rubbery bass line will have you coming back for more.

Rating: 8.75/10

Rocket Punch – Ring Ring

As a massive fan of both A-ha’s Take On Me and its K-pop equivalent Snuper’s Platonic Love, I was very excited by the teasers for Rocket Punch’s Ring Ring. And though it pretty much is the girl group version of those aforementioned tracks, it’s a track that begs for a stronger performance. The vocals here are just a little too high and screechy for my tastes and the shoe horned trap breakdown also doesn’t do it any favours. However, there’s not denying the strength of the instrumental and central melody which both manage to get Ring Ring over the line.

Rating: 8.25/10

Fromis_9 – We Go

fromis_9 have always have been very reliable suppliers of pure pop music and We Go is yet another great summery track from the girls. It’s a track that’s chock full of hooks and is home to a fantastic central hook that just explodes with an unrivalled sense of optimism. It isn’t a wholly unique pop piece but sometimes all you need is a great, catchy melody and a propulsive beat and you’ve got a very enjoyable pop package.

Rating: 8.5/10

Taemin – Advice

Taemin released one of 2020’s biggest highlights with the dark, pulsing, Criminal but followup Idea was anything but stellar. Advice acts as his final solo release before enlistment and see’s him go out with more of a whimper than a bang. Now I know many love this track but It just doesn’t click with me. It’s artsy as hell and the piano loop throughout the track is an excellent production choice. So is the organ during the chorus. However, I’m less partial to the verses and the high pitched delivery during the chorus. There are moments where Advice really catches fire but I’m not as enamoured with it as many seem to be.

Rating: 7.5/10

TO1 – Son of Beast

Son of Beast is the first release for TO1 (previously known as TOO) after the long drawn out company shift the boys went through and while not as instant as last years Count 1, 2, the track is a blast of hard hitting industrial funk. This is most apparent during the tracks great chorus, which weaves in some great hooks through the percolating instrumental. This chorus Is upgraded during the finale, which incorporates an additional post chorus which brings Son of Beast out on a high. This is an immensely groovy track only derailed by the jarring but not terrible rap breakdown during the second verse.

Rating: 8.5/10

Gaho – Rush Hour

As the artist behind two of my favourite Korean tracks of 2020 (Star Over and Running), Gaho’s Rush Hour came with incredibly high expectations. And while It isn’t the driving pop-rock masterpiece I was anticipating, its more reserved rock sound is still up my alley. Had it been performed by anyone else, I think the final product could have suffered. But Gaho brings so much personality to the track that it elevates Rush Hour into a very enjoyable listen.

Rating: 8.5/10

Everglow – First

With last years aggressive synth pop banger La Di Da, Everglow promised a glorious reinvention as glorious synth warriors. And while the teasers for First hinted at that, the final product is more in line with their opening trilogy of singles. Now I didn’t particularly love any of Everglow’s early work but for some reason, I’m enjoying First much more than I would have expected. I attribute that to its sheer level of drama and that absolutely stunning pre chorus. It’s never going to come close to its predecessor and isn’t even the best track on its respective album but it’s still a pretty great listen.

Rating: 8.25/10

GWSN – Like it Hot

A common thread that I’ve noticed with many K-pop songs of the past few years is that a great chorus is a lot of the time cut down by very inconsistent verses. And GWSN’s Like It Hot is another example of that. The pulsing hook here is incredibly catchy, gliding on a strong groovy and exciting vocal arrangement. Very akin to YooA’s brilliant Diver from last year. Unfortunately, it’s undercut by a lurching post chorus and verses that feel incredibly aimless in both delivery and arrangement. But at least that chorus is always there to salvage Like It Hot when it veers too close to falling apart.

Rating: 7.5/10

Tae Ho (Imfact) – GGOMA (feat. Yegeun Choi)

Despite their very small fanbase, one thing that have made Imfact one of my personal favourite K-pop underdogs is their main vocal Taeho. His unique vocal tone has so much character and brings to life many tracks that could sound derivative in the hands of others. Such as last years Lie for example. Solo single GGOMA deviates heavily from the deep house sound peddled by his group and instead dives head first into the world of old school Jazz with an equally charismatic partner, Choi Yegeun. This is very much my kind of track and only gets better the longer it goes. The production here is very exciting, incorporating a healthy dose of frantic keys and brass. It’s one of those tracks that’s just whole lotta fun.

Rating: 8.5/10

woo!ah! – Purple

I’ve never had much of an opinion of woo!ah! as a group. Not because I’ve been ignoring them but because none of their music really stood out to me. It was mostly fine but did little to distinguish them from the crowd. New single Purple on the other hand makes me more of them. But not in a good way. This track is just grating to me. Everything from the sluggish verses to the repetitive chorus, nothing sticks. It’s annoying and feels completely uninspired. The girls put up an admirable performance but the production is just not there. It’s a miss from me.

Rating: 4.75/10

Wonwoo X Mingyu – Bittersweet (feat. LeeHi)

While Bittersweet before its release was one of my least anticipated Seventeen adjacent releases, it’s proved to be a real charmer. In fact, in the long term it might just end up as my favourite Seventeen adjacent release so far. I love a good mid-tempo jam and while simple, Bittersweet really succeeds at almost everything it sets out to do. The RnB groove here is instantly gripping and both Wonwoo and Mingyu give great performances that sees them both rapping at at points singing. The melody is also very comforting, expertly conveying the emotive nature of the lyrics. Lee Hi once again shines during the chorus, bringing her velvety smooth vocals and elevating Bittersweet from a good to a great effort.

Rating: 8.5/10

Joy (Red Velvet) – Hello

With the release of Hello, every member of Red Velvet bar Yeri have embarked on solo releases. And while all the releases so far have been on either the darker or more emotive sides, Hello breaks the mould with one of the most optimistic releases of the year. As a cover of Park Hye-Kyung’s 1999 single Goodbye, the track doesn’t veer too much form the original. But sometimes those old tracks hit gold because of timeless melodies and though it receives a bit of a production boost here, Hello‘s chorus is pop perfection. It’s bound to put a smile on your face and though the verses drag the energy down a little bit, Joy makes sure that it’s never boring.

Rating: 8.5/10

Monsta X – Gambler

When I think of groups that I’ve had very notable hit or miss ratios with, Monsta X are right up there. I love many of their singles but dislike almost an equal number. So I go into every new release with some hesitance. Thankfully, the boys have it the jackpot with this one, merging their incredible charisma to an equally potent production that combines some incredible beat drops and instantly quotable one liners to deliver an absolute knockout. But Gambler truly ascends in its final minute, unleashing a volley of stirring adlibs and aggressive production choices to give us what might just be one of the groups best ever tracks. almost 7 years into their career.

Rating: 9.25/10

B.I. – Illa Illa

As one of the most gifted composers of the past few years, I was expecting B.I. to return with a great mid-tempo. And boy did he deliver with emotive Illa Illa. Though it rests on a standard trap backbone, the central melody is what really sells the track. The hook that opens the song and is oft repeated before the chorus is one of the years most instantly resonant, carrying an immense amount of emotion in its simple yet striking melodic backbone. The filtered vocals during the hook lend the track with an ethereal soundscape, leading perfectly into the chant like finale that sends the track off on a high. This usually isn’t my cup but Hanbin knows how to make a great song.

Rating: 8.75/10

MAMAMOO – Where Are We Now

It’s unusual for groups to return with a ballad as their main title track but for a group with as much vocal talent as Mamamoo, such returns could be truly legendary. And while Where We Are Now does manage to reach som truly extraordinary heights (its chorus), much of it is too forgettable and derivative to leave much of an impact. The girls sound absolutely stunning here but the arrangement is what lets them down. This feel very much like your average K-drama ost and while in the right circumstances this could be a good thing, it just doesn’t do it here. And that’s a real shame because this could have been an absolute knockout.

Rating: 7.5/10

Ghost9 – Up All Night

Ghost9 have just gone from strength to strength since their debut with comeback unveiling more and more of their strengths and unveiling a bigger and better chorus. And while all three of their previous singles have been undercut one way or another by messy verses, Up All Night puts an end to that with a track that’s consistently fantastic all the way through. We’ve got some bouncy, sunny verses that just scream debut era Astro (always an excellent comparison) and the boys give an equally potent performance. But as usual, with all Ghost9 the real star of the show is the two part chorus. The first enlists a strong bouncy melody that bursts with optimism but feels a little too juvenile for my taste. But it’s the second half of the chorus which catapults Up All Night into true greatness, It’s such a brilliant moment, opening up the track completely with an explosive, soaring arrangement that feels like pop nirvana while also harbouring a nostalgic sucker punch. This is easily one of the years best.

Rating: 9.5/10

NCT 127 x Amoeba Culture  – Save

The first 127 song in a long time to have some form of cohesion, Save bounds forward on a pulsing, instantly addictive electronic beat. It’s got a satisfying crunch to it, perfectly leading into the swirling pre-chorus which shifts the track into a more more vocal heavy direction. But just when you think you know where it’s going, Save launches into its minimalist central drop, which unveils a catchy “Save you, save me, save our memories” hook that’s bound to get stuck in your head. It’s not perfect but is easily one of the catchier tracks from the NCT brand.

Rating: 8.5/10

EXO – Don’t fight the feeling

Carried by an addictive central hook, Don’t Fight the feeling is a standard if throwaway entry into EXO’s singles run. Its opening minute is a flurry of addictive hooks and a bouncy if generic instrumental that leads well into the pulsing central hook. This chorus single handedly carries the track, providing a groovy centrepiece which the rest of the track fails to fully live up to. Especially the double trap breakdown during the second verse. If anything, the boys bring their A-game as always, elevating Don’t Fight The Feeling into a worthwhile listen.

Rating: 8.25/10

N.Flying – Moonshot

N.Flying released one of my favourite ballads of last year with the heart wrenching Flower Fantasy and while I think that kind of depressive balladry is a great fit for the boys, Moonshot reminded me that the boys can rock out equally as hard. The stomping rock beat is an instant draw and the swinging melody that underlines the track perfectly compliments the powerful vocal performance from the boys. But the star of the show here is the chorus, which opens with a roaring hook before transitioning into an equally catchy and classic k-pop style engrish post-chorus. Another great track from N.Flying.

Rating: 8.75/10

EPEX – Lock Down

Naming your debut mini album ‘Bipolar 1: prelude of Anxiety’ is already a bit of a yikes but when you pair it with a title track as underwhelming and awful as Lock Down, you end up with a complete failure of a debut. From its opening verse, it’s evident that Epex are aiming for the same market as groups like P1Harmony. The rugged beat and delivery feel much like what the former have been peddling. But while P1Harmony have some strong lyrical wordplay and very catchy hooks, Lock Down lacks either of them and the charm. The central hook dissolves into nothing more than a shouty mess and the lyrics aren’t even intriguing enough to warrant me to consider them. I feel bad for the boys because this is a complete failure from every angle.

Rating: 3.5/10

TWICE – Alcohol Free

After the retro greatness of last years Can’t Stop Me, few would have expected Twice to go down the bossanova route but here we are with the very low key Alcohol Free. And while it might initially disappoint or feel too light to act as a single, it’s a track that unveils its charms over the course of many listens. From the melodic pre-chrous to the descending synth during the chorus, every part of Alcohol Free manages to sneak up on you and get stuck in your head. It’s the most subtle and vibe heavy song the group have released but it succeeds on its merits.

Rating: 8.25/10

WEi – Bye Bye Bye

With uninspiring arrangements and largely hookless songs, WEi have done little to impress me despite their all star roster. But with the classic k-pop summer sound of Bye Bye Bye, the boys have finally unlocked the key to my heart. Now I will be the first to admit that the track is as generic as can be and that many who are tired of this sound will not enjoy the track in the slightest but I’m yet to tire from it. Much of the track skirts by on a bouncy percussion led instrumental with touches of rhythm guitar that lead into a very strong two part chorus. The first is a simple repetition of the chorus but the second is where Bye Bye Bye really catches flight, employing a soaring melody and truly showcasing the boys charms.

Rating: 8.5/10

TXT – Magic

As the second single off TXT’s great ‘The Chaos chapter: Freeze’, Magic paints the group in a more optimistic and bright light in comparison to the edgy rock of its title track. I know many would have preferred New Rules to get the single treatment and while I do adore that song too, the crunchy electro beat that underlies Magic just does something for me. I know many could really dislike the vocal processing on this one or its potentially pop jingle like sound but sometimes you have songs that click with you for no apparent reason. And for me, Magic is one of them.

Rating: 8.75/10

UP10TION – Spin Off

Take everything great about 2013 SHINee and stick it into the chorus. Then take everything wrong with post 2015 K-pop post chorus verses and stick into the second verse. There you go, you have successfully created UP10TION’s Spin Off. The chorus here is just stunning, harnessing the kind of soaring energy that few tracks are able to muster, powered by a percolating electro pop backbone. It sounds absolutely massive, carried by the groups unique vocal blend. Had this energy continued throughout the course of Spin Off then we might have had a real masterclass. But instead the second verse slows the track down to a crawl. It isn’t enough to completely derail Spin Off and in the grand scheme of things isn’t even bad when compared to others of the same style. But the loss of momentum here prevents the track from becoming an instant classic.

Rating: 8.75/10

LUCY – I Got U

Lucy have been one of the most interest K-bands I’ve had the pleasure of listening to and with the genre mashing I Got U, they’ve managed to reach new heights that I didn’t think they would ever reach for a single. Opening with a heavenly filtered repetition of the tracks titular hook, I Got U moves into its more downbeat verse. Usually I would be disappointed in this shift in momentum but with a vocal blend as strong as LUCY’s, they make sure that every moment of I Got U is incredibly enjoyable. And when that chorus returns, it’s followed by an Avicii like drop that seals the deal. There’s just so much emotion driven into every great Lucy song and I Got U is no different. Another gorgeous song from the boys.

Rating: 9/10

ONEWE – Rain To Be

ONEWE have always been a unique case for me. I adore their main vocal and his voice is one of my favourite in the entire industry but I feel like they never let him shine. And as such, my enjoyment of the groups tracks has suffered. I really enjoyed 2019’s Regulus and last years End of Spring but even those had their own issues. Rain To Be faces a similar dilemma. On the surface it’s got a great drive, supported by an equally potent melody but for some reason I just can’t love it as much as many others do. Its final minute is fantastic but the rest of Rain To Be feels like it’s holding itself back from greatness. I feel like the performance and production are a little held back. Had it gone a bit bigger, I bet I would have fallen head over heels for this song.

Rating: 8/10

Brave Girls – Chi Mat Ba Ram

After having the most unlikely of breakouts with Rollin‘, many wondered how Brave Girls would follow up such gargantuan success. And while many expected another Crayon Pop or Momoland situation, the girls have shunned all their nay sayers with 2021’s undisputed summer anthem, Chi Mat Ba Ram. This is K-pop summer at its best, channeling a classic Brave Brothers sound into a buoyant, incredibly catchy summer single that brings you back to the best sounding summer jams of the past few years. From some instantly memorable brass exclamations to the anthemic hook, this song gets everything right and then some. And the mini is even better, living upto its name and rightfully cementing the girls as this years Summer Queens.

Rating: 9.5/10

Seventeen – Ready To Love

Seventeen return to the scene with a dark, bass heavy dance track. That’s literally all I can say about this song. I really like it but it doesn’t really have any real distinguishing features. All I know is that I enjoy it for some reason.

Rating: 8.5/10

Pink Fantasy – Poison

After 2019’s great Fantasy, Pink Fantasy stepped away from the rock genre all together throughout 2020 resulting in some questionable efforts that failed to leave a lasting impact both personally and commercially. With Poison they return to their strong suite, releasing their strongest release yet in the process. While Poison is very evidently Dreamcatcher inspired all the way down to the music box intro, it actually goes much harder than many of Dreamcatchers releases. As such, it carries its own charm, pounding forward on a double time beat and searing electric guitars. The chorus cements Poison as one of the greats but it’s the overall package that really makes this track shine.

Rating: 9/10

A.C.E – Higher

Two years in a row A.C.E have been supplying us with some incredible hard rock bangers and while Higher isn’t as showstopping as either Under Cover or Favorite Boys, its more subdued sound is a welcome change for the boys. The delicate verses recall some of the groups stronger mid tempos and somehow manage to expertly transition between some gorgeous down tempo melodies and the pulsing lockstep chorus. It all culminates in a single that while not as flawless as their best, is another strong step for the boys.

Rating: 8.25/10

LOONA – PTT (Paint The Town)

Oh how great this could have been. Despite garnering immense international success, LOONA have felt very inconsistent in the singles department. For every Hi High or Voice you have a Why Not. And the big, festive PTT is a perfect representation of this. The track is home to some of the years most invigorating verses, employing a big, percussion (what sounds very much like tabla) and flute backbone that complements the playful yet aggressive delivery from the girls. And had is maintained such energy and complexity throughout the track, we could have had a real stunner. Instead, the chorus resorts to a lazy “latatata” hook that kills much of the energy and brings the energy down to a real lurch. This is a shame once again because just look at bridge and post chorus!

Rating: 7.75/10

ONEWE – Veronica

K-bands have been on a roll this year and while Rain To Be lacked something in my ears, ONEWE really came into their element with Veronica. This is a brighter sound for the group and one that we haven’t been exposed to as much their more mopey melodies. And boy is it a breathe of fresh air. The boys genuinely sound happy here, giving a performance that just bursts with optimism. And while I’m not the biggest fan of instrumental hooks, the one here is actually great, supported by a great guitar solo and surrounded by some equally great vocal performances. Veronica is a track in constant flux, changing its structure throughout, leading to an excellent climactic key change. It feels like a natural successor to last years End of Spring though I think I might actually like this even better.

Rating: 8.75/10

NCT Dream – Hello Future

The second release by NCT Dream in this roundup, Hello Future acts as the repackage for Hot Sauce and does a hell of a lot better than its predecessor. Its verses pound forward on the expected haphazard and experimental nature of an NCT track but employ just enough optimistic production choices to make the track have a brighter more “Dream” like appeal. This leads really well into a stunning chorus that rustles through two clear peaks with a melody that has a classic, nostalgic feel. It’s been a while since Dream have approached a brighter sound for their singles and as Hello Future indicates, they’re all the better with it.

Rating: 8.5/10

2PM – Make It

The 2PM reunion was one of my most anticipated K-pop moments of the year. More so for their presence than the potential music they would release. And while Make It isn’t anything special, its mature, laid back groove is a great pick for them, coming off as a weaker My House at its worst and a strong head nodder at its best. It’s a little too safe and could have done with a stronger central melody but it’s slowly gone onto become an ear worm for me. Anyway, i’m just glad that they’re back.

Rating: 7.5/10

DRIPPIN – Free Pass

After two fantastic singles and one of the years best b-sides, Drippin have faltered with the bright yet rather bland Free Pass. The track isn’t inherently bad and would have actually fit well as b-side on the groups past two mini albums but it just doesn’t hold itself as a single. There isn’t enough meat on its bones and both the vocal arrangement and instrumental production feel cheap and unpolished. A big shame because songs like Reach Out Your Hands and last years Overdrive would have been perfect upbeat summer songs. This is just disappointing.

Rating: 7/10

BDC – Moonlight

While I never got around to reviewing BDC’s Moon Rider, I still consider it to be one of the years stronger efforts. I don’t love it as much as many others but its punchy synth sound was right up my alley. And that synthy sound is only expanded upon further in the excellent Moonlight. The production is absolutely immaculate here, putting emphasis on all the right moments and providing some stunning, atmospheric builds for that excellent vocal driven chorus with a refrain for the ages. And just when you think it couldn’t get better, the track unveils its trump card, a rousing electronic distortion which transitions the listener into the second verse. I would have loved for it to go even HARDER in this direction but boy is Moonlight just a great listen all the way through.

Rating: 8.75/10

JUST B – Damage

While I didn’t know anything about JUST B prior to their debut, my ears suddenly perked up after I came to know that their debut single was produced by the legendary Bang Yongguk. Now B.A.P were one of my favourite groups when they were active and with Yongguk’s hand in this track, it feels almost like B.A.P have returned from the dead. Damage sounds like peak B.A.P, pounding forward on a bed of background vocals and aw pulsing, distorted electronic beat. Even the raps sound very akin to the B.A.P style. But the star of the show is that immense chorus, which consists of a massive, distorted electronic drop that just explodes in one of the most epic moments of the year. Add to that a majestic operatic backing and you have something stunning. But the production shouldn’t take anything away from the boys themselves who lend Damage a wonderful sense of character. If this is their debut, I can see a bright future ahead for these boys.

Rating: 9/10

Omega X – Vamos

While consisting of members from some of my favourite underrated groups (Snuper, ENOi) Omega X were a project group I was really rooting for. Unfortunately, the noisy VAMOS is a complete disappointment, coming across as overly loud and hookless. It was difficult for me to get through the track the first time and its noisy soundscape hasn’t improved with further listens. Even the character from the boys voices is stripped away to give Vamos a characterless colour. And that coupled with a honestly terrible chorus result in one of the years most disappointing debuts.

Rating: 5/10

5 thoughts on “Mass Roundup: May – June

  1. You really Popped off with this review, and I enjoyed reading EACH and EVERY Segment of these reviews. I think “Chi Mat Ra Bam”, “Gambler” and “Ready To Love” are all my personal choices for the Top Three Best K-pop Songs of June. I have finally decided! Now, I just have to decide my Top Spot and I am finally done with this crisis!

    Liked by 1 person

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