Music wise, June has been such a great month. In the non-kpop sphere, Doja Cat and Tyler, the Creator released some incredible albums! The school year has finally met its demise and I can wake up whenever I want! But it felt like forever before I could get to that point. My college starts late and ends late, so even though I get a slightly “longer” summer than some other people, it’s a pain to have to study for finals as the rest of my friends get to have their breaks early. So I feel like it’s a win-lose situation and I had to hold on with my teeth and nails for the last few parts, which are always the hardest.
Yearly Birthday Segment:
Every year during my birthday, there’s always that one song (specifically a kpop song) that sticks out to me the most. In 2019, it was Really Really by Cherry Bullet. In 2020, it was Perfect Love by Loona. And now in 2021 it’s….
Scandal by Twice
It seems to be a popular opinion that Scandal is the best song on this EP. Scandal is just the perfect bside. That’s it. Point blank period. And is the perfect birthday song this year. However, SOS and Scandal bump heads when it comes to which song is the best. Honestly I feel like this is the best EP since their Feel Special era as virtually every song is superb.
9.1/10 for Ms. Scandal!
Okay now let’s start.
Song 1: Vanilla by LIGHTSUM (Debut) [LONG AWAITED]
Once I got wind of this debut coming up I was excited but also kind of peeved. There’s no doubt that (G)I-DLE is definitely Cube’s favorite girl group to pay attention to but it sucks that that favoritism has heavily affected groups such as CLC and even Pentagon at one point. I virtually like all of Cube’s groups but it’s unfortunate to see some be spotlighted and others left in the dust.
Anyways, I’d definitely put Vanilla on the list of top 10 debuts of the year! It’s fun, cute, lighthearted and just an all around happy song. The vocals and choreography are on point, the rap could have been improved but since they are a rookie group I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. The pre-chorus is definitely the best part of the song and feels like I’m at the top of a rollercoaster ride about the dive into the bursting chorus.
I’d give this song a….
Song 2: Hole in Your Face by Lee Eunsang X BDC (Comeback)
This is probably the most creative song title I’ve seen in kpop so far. ‘Alcohol-free’, ‘, Ugly Dance and Black Mirror (all ironically released in 2021) would also be added to that list. It sounds like half a threat like someone threatening you to shut it before they put a hole in your face. It could even be a concern where someone warns you that there’s a hole in your face (whatever that hole may be).
So with a name like that I hoped that it would be a bit more hard hitting like P1Harmony’s Scared. But this is so pleasant! I could just put this on while taking an afternoon drive through downtown and feel so at peace. BDC debuted a few months ago and they already feel like they’ve been here for quite a while. They don’t feel like a rookie group at all and that’s one of the most impressive things about 4th gen groups! Lee Eunsang (the one in the red beret in the MV) also just continues to do an incredible job.
I’d give this song a…
Song 3: The Long Night by Seori (Comeback)
After her collab with TXT, I was curious as to how this song would sound and just like Hole in Your Face it’s makes me feel so peaceful. This year has been absolutely amazing in the most frightening ways possible because I’m worried that my standards may be too ridiculously high for kpop in 2022. This may be the best year for kpop ever since 2018 (and I didn’t even find the genre back then). 2019 was great but 2018 was on a whole other level. Also can we talk about what golden years 2017 and 2018 were? Both had incredible music which I still listen to in present day.
The Long Night gets a…
Song 4: Chit Ma Ba Ram by Brave Girls (Comeback)
2021 has really been the year for Brave Girls. They even flaunted it in through their album name since they KNOW they are the queens of summer. Getting 7 million views in 19 hours is no joke (except if you’re BTS and it’s quintuple that in a less amount of time). Additionally, no words can explain how I missed the phrase “Brave Sound” be emitted at the beginning of every banger made by Brave Brothers. Chit Ma Ba Ram is a nice summer bop that makes me feel like riding in an open convertible with my hands in the air. You know, the stereotypical “summer is here” type of image. I find it cute how they mentioned Rollin in the lyrics as thanks to that song, and also the military (it’s all thanks to them tbh) I fear that they would have gone down a more depressing path. Speaking of which, Rollin has grown on me by a tenfold pace and it’s definitely a top tier summer song.
I’d give this song a..
Song 5: Moonshot by N.Flying (Comeback)
Moonshot makes me nostalgic about a specific set of songs that I would play in high school just to get myself hyped to deal with the long day ahead. It’s an enjoyable song that I could probably play to get me hyped up to go to work!
I’d give this song a…
Song 6: WAW by Mamamoo (Comeback)
It’s really bittersweet when artists release songs reminiscing on their long career and the ups and downs that came with it. WAW is a pretty fine song. The piano, the vocals and the lyrics all hit me in the feels and made me think about how long 7 years ago was since they debuted. It feels like one of those movie songs that plays during the end of the second act where the two main characters had a fight and are now starting to miss each others presence as they dramatically staring into the distance.
Even though my favorite vocal in Mamamoo, Wheein, won’t be resigning with RBW I hope that she’ll continue to release music and go live her best life :’)
WAW gets a…
Song 7: Ready to Love by Seventeen (Comeback)
HOME;RUN is in my top 3 favorite Seventeen songs (alongside THANKS and Don’t Wanna Cry) and I was kind of scared about whether they’ll either aim above or beneath my expectations. And they aimed extremely high. I like it a lot. It’s so nostalgic for some reason! The vibes it gives off feels like TXT’s LOVESONG and personally it feels like the boy group version of Blackpink’s Lovesick Girls except with the lyrics being the exact opposite.
Seventeen’s songs seem to get better and better with every release (except when they released Left and Right. That was mind-numbingly underwhelming) and I can’t wait to listen to this EP and for their future comebacks!
I’d give this song a…
Song 8: CARDIGAN by Ravi (Comeback)
For the longest time I’ve been meaning to check out VIXX since I’ve seen their music be hyped up for the longest time. This is the first song I’ve checked out by one of their members RAVI, and I’m actually really digging him. This is a great chill summer song to play as you would bask in the sun. Cardigans are one of my favorite articles of clothing and I’m glad that they are finally getting some very well deserved love! Also, I wasn’t expecting his voice to be this deep and his features kind of remind me of Ryan Gosling? I hope I’m not the only one who thinks that.
I’d give this song a…
Song 9: VAMOS by OMEGA X (Debut)
It’s so cool to see members from formally disbanded and inactive groups debut again. It was so upsetting to see one of my favorite ‘below the radar’ groups 1TEAM disband but I’m glad that two of the members got to re-debut. I knew just from the MV thumbnail alone that this was going to be one of those hard-hitting “look at how badass we are!” type of songs. And it is in the most annoying ways. The distorted Cartoon Network brass synth makes it seem like it’s a parody instead of an actual song. I forgot what they are called but there are way too many shots in this MV where they sexily stare into the camera. Couldn’t they do the cliche thing of where they stare into mundane objects so some fans can needlessly theorize on what those objects mean and how they affect them as a group? Couldn’t they just do that? I do like when fans therozie but sometimes it gets to the point where everything a group does in a MV has to mean something. Couldn’t they just be staring into something just because?
I listened to their debut mini album and whoever produced and composed these tracks needs a very hard shoulder shaking. I had a permanent frown on my face going through this mini album because it’s just made up of foam and fluff. There’s nothing substantial at all to these tracks. Additionally, is it me or do I feel like whenever a kpop group releases a title track with a Spanish word they have to add in as many Spanish words as possible? This is the case through the whole mini album which makes me feel like they were trying to go for a Spanish-themed concept especially in the track “ICETAG”.
I’d give it a…
5.5/10 (The lowest rated song in the Realm so far)…I think
Song 10: illa illa (해변) by B.I (Debut)
Up until this year when iKON released the amazing “Why Why Why” (Rated a 9.2/10) I didn’t really “care” for the group but I was interested in what type of sound B.I would use for illa illa. It feels like one of those viral bittersweet summer songs you would here playing all summer long on the radio and all over your social media feed. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a popular TikTok dance made to this song. Similar to how I felt about RAVI, B.I seems like an artist I would consider checking out.
I’d give this song a…
Song 11: SPIN OFF by UP10TION (Comeback)
This feels like a very upbeat version of their last comeback Light but in the most subtle way. Maybe that’s why they named it Spin Off, who knows? I’m glad that the similarities aren’t blaring obvious as what Momoland did when they released Baam after BBoom BBoom. Baam was miles better than Boom Boom and I definitely feel the same way here for Spin Off.
Spin off gets a…
Song 12: Happy Birthday by D1CE’s Woo Jinyoung
I was SO happy that a song called “Happy Birthday” was released during my birth month BY A GEMINI which made it even better! I’m not crazy about zodiac signs but I do feel a connection with my fellow Geminis! However, I’m disappointed that it had to be this bad. At least this Jinyoung has better rapping than Lee Jinyoung. And just like Lee Jinyoung’s I Like That (which I reviewed) this song has so much potential! I’m pissed off that potential has been thrown out the window with painful ear piercing synths from the chorus. I’m grateful that it wasn’t released on my actual birthday or it’s score would be so much lower than the score I’ll give it now.
That score in particular would be a…
Song 13: Save by NCT X Amoeba Culture (Collab Single)
UGH FINALLY! MARK’S RAPPING HAS IMPROVED! I’m so unbelievably proud of him. It hasn’t been that good since Jopping and that was 2 years ago. I’m assuming some of you may think that his rapping isn’t any different than all the other times, but my ears definitely noticed. Mark’s improved rapping and a club song with a bumping bass to blast for the rest of the year until I get slightly sick of it makes me have a large grin on my face! Johnny, Jaehyun, Doyoung, Haechan and obviously MARK stole the show. Taeyong steals every single comeback he’s in so there’s no need to point out the obvious.
I hope NCT 127 and Amoeba Culture collab some more in the future!
I’d give this song a…
Song 14: riBBon by GOT7’s Bam Bam (Debut)
BamBam is one of my favorite all-rounders in kpop. Besides from being good at rapping, dancing and singing he is perfect variety-show material and super enjoyable to watch. However, this song wasn’t as enjoyable as I hoped it would be. It’s nice but that’s all it is. Nice. I like the pun he used with “ribbon” and “reborn” but that’s the only interesting thing about the song. This song fits into a genre I like to call “Minimal Millennial” music. I’m not the best at explaining genres but Minimal Millennial music usually contain trap, pop and piano. Songs like Any Song by Zico, Work Hard by DKB and Telephone by EXO-SC also fit into this genre. Minimal Millennial music isn’t all bad but this is the weakest song in that genre.
I’d give this song a..
Song 15: Gambler by Monsta X (Comeback)
For some reason, ever since I’ve showed the world of kpop to my family, they just assume that every single group in kpop is one that I’m obsessed with. I remember getting a text from my uncle that had a Monsta X performance linked to it with a message that was like “Hey these are those kpop boys you like right? They were on Good Morning America today ;)”. Excluding the painful vagueness, I did appreciate his attempt to reach out to his niece about something she loves! And ever since then I’m reminded of that text every time Monsta X comes back.
Monsta X isn’t necessarily my favorite but they do have a few great songs in their discography. Gambler, thankfully, is one of them. Like I mentioned before with Seventeen, this feels like the boy group version of Easy by WJSN the Black and I’m not 100% sure why? Maybe because of it’s sexy and sophisticated concept?
Anyways, I’d give this song a..
Thanks for reading! Part 2 will be out soon!