Multi-Review Corner (Male Edition): Comebacks and Debuts of August 2021

Picture is from Jordan Wozniak on Unsplash!

Little Thank You Section That I Wrote During The Kpop Summer Classic Olympics (Skip if need be):

Oh my! 713 views in one week! 255 visitors! And this is all from 36 countries spanning over 6 continents! WOW! If I could properly say thank you in Arabic, Japanese, Serbian, French, German, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Portugues, Polish, Mandarin, Thai, Bulgarian and Hungarian I definitely would. But I know how to say so in Korean and Spanish so “muchos gracias” and “정말 감사합니다!” To see such a large international audience here really makes me happy! So thank you very much for stopping by the Realm!

Additionally, Thanks to the traction from the Kpop Blogger Summer Classic Olympics, my 6-month blog has gotten more views and visitors in one week than it has sine it’s birth! I’m basically learning how to crawl and I already achieved some visitors from the kpop motherland! So with all this new attention I feel like once it starts to die down I’ll feel kind of inadequate. Views and followers isn’t why I made A Floating Realm in the Corner but it does feel nice to see some new people stop by.

(This was written DAYS ago btw. I meant to post it much much earlier)

August was quite the transformative and interesting month personally. I got a new job making pizzas and I’m currently on a road trip with my family discovering and exploring U.S states and some Canadian cities and towns that we’ve all been eager to visit. As far as states, we recently went to Idaho, Montana and Wyoming which are some of the most looked over states. Excluding Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming (which was super gorgeous in person) and horse ranches in Montana, there’s nothing much to do in these 3 states and it’s common for people to say “Why are you going there?”. Considering that all 3 of these states are Republican states, I never considered how overt these states were about their political views until I actually saw them myself. The demographic changes of young and racially diverse Millenials/GenZers to white baby boomers became more and more apparent the more we drove into the rural areas. Also my brain can never erase the amount of Trump flags I’ve seen so far where 10 flags would be on one car with a sterotypical hillbilly at the wheel. Besides from that the people were very friendly and the natural landscapes were beautiful. Nothing beats listening to Lovesick by gugudan as tons of mountanous terrain passes you by. NOTHING. That was truly a theraputic experience! (I’ll talk about the Canadian experience in the female portion!)

Song 1: After Midnight by ASTRO (Comeback)

This is such a nice change from their previous release that lacked a lot of character. The “bowow” guitar strums with the jazzy house piano really give After Midnight a comfy retro feel to it. It feels like a camoflauge song that could fit with any season, not just for summer!

I’d give it a..

8.75/10

Song 2: Ra Pam Pam by Golden Child (Comeback)

If a song makes you feel like surfing the waves of Hawaii, running through the fields of the Swiss Alps or in this case dancing at a beach club in Mexico, then it’s doing a superb job at genuine immersion. This is without a doubt the BEST title track Golcha has released so far. Usually adding Latin influences to a song (i.e most KARD songs) really does affect whether it’s a hit or miss. But RPP is an out of the park hit! Plus can we talk about Y and Joochan?! They took every part they had with their barehands and devoured every single line.

Esta canción es muy excelente! I’d give it a…

9.25/10

Song 3: Shut Up 받고 Crazy Hot! by ONEUS (Comeback)

What an incredible lead up after BLACK MIRROR! Also that is quite the song title. That hook really is unbelievably strong which is something that doesn’t come by a lot in kpop. “Shut Up 받고 (Get) Crazy Hot!” with the exclilerating piano makes for a genius hook and I can’t thank the composers and members RAVN (who composed and wrote it) and Leedo (who also wrote the lyrics) enough for conjuring up such a masterpiece. The Mad Max MV set really elevates the song’s energy. That unique set plus the song’s thrilling character feels like a play’s act where the protagonist runs into a bunch of ragtag rebels. And by looking at the album name it seems like they are going for that sort of theatre concept.

I’d give this song a…

8.9/10

Song 4: Ready Now by Kim Woojin (Debut)

Okay I’ll admit it. I was one of those “Stays” who took those false allegations about Woojin at 100% face value. I liked comments calling Woojin “Woojail” (cringy I know) and I watched as many “Woojin bullys the other members” videos that were suggested to me. I actually watched an interview he had with DKDKTV about that situation and it was kind of insightful. And as insightful as it was, I’m really trying to look at Woojin as an artist instead of a person. He seemed like a sweet guy in the interview but we really don’t know who he truly is when the cameras are off and that mindset should be installed for every kpop fan really when it comes to our faves.

Ready Now is a basic pop song that talks about Woojin facing the painful experiences in his past and he’s “ready” to face them now. That’s pretty inspirational and I’m glad he’s found the strength to talk about all he’s been through. Basicness doesn’t always mean something is bad but it can sometimes be just as satisfying. I’m still sad about his departure as he had my favorite vocal color in Stray Kids, but at least I can lavish in it’s charm all I want during his solo career.

I’d give this debut a…

8.8/10

Song 5: 여름쏙 (POPPING) by ONF (Comeback)

I’ve never heard such a bad intro from a “”nugu”” powerhouse group like ONF. If you compared it to Ugly Dance it like night and day. Why does the intro sound like it came from a children’s show? The lyrics and their tone of voice honestly made me think that it could be from one. I’m not gonna lie, that with the underwhelming energy of the song completely turned me off from it for a while until I came back to it and enjoyed it a bit more.

I’d give it a…

8.35/10

Song 6: Paint Me Naked by NCT Ten (Debut)

Ten is an incredibly talented man. He can dance, he can sing, he just oozes charisma and did I mention he can DANCE?! So for such an ace like him, why does “Paint Me Naked” sound like every other Western pop song that plays on the radio? Why does a song with such a sultry title not match up with the song itself? The guitar is there but I only get “generic summer song” vibes from it which I think defeats the purpose of having a song title and lyrics like that. PMN is like one of those songs that randomly blows up from an artist you’ve never heard of that became a top hit for whatever reason. It’s like those types of songs but in one of the worst ways possible.

This debut song unfortunatley gets a…

7.95/10

Song 7: Gas Pedal by CRAVITY (Comeback)

Never would I see the day that CRAVITY would actually release a title track I would genuinely enjoy. I usually aim for their bsides as their title tracks so far have all been outright disappointing. But Gas Pedal was a nice change of pace! With a name like that, I was expecting My Turn 2.0. My Turn wasn’t too bombastic but the execution and structure of the song was what made the song unenjoyable to listen to. But Gas Pedal was a decent suprise. The subduedness was something that turned a lot of people off but I actually didn’t mind. I didn’t really think that it had to have a loud accelerating pace all the way through. The pre-chorus and other R&B parts were the shining highlights of the song and I feel like if it wasn’t for that, Gas Pedal would either have a high 7 or low 8 score.

I’d give this a…

8.75/10

Song 8: Flex by T1419 (Comeback)

Woah this is the 3rd release T1419 has released so far and it’s only August. I understand that they are brand new and they’re trying to establish themselves but I hope MLD isn’t ignoring Momoland.

That second part of the intro was interesting with the satisfying/suspenseful violins mixed with intense hypeman adlibs. So I was like okay where is this going, until we got to the mosquito synth drop. I don’t mind mosquito synth drops (i.e nanana by MCND) but this feels extremely messy and isn’t packed with as much energy and umph like MCND’s nanana. As per usual with messy boy group songs, the pre-chorus is the saving grace of the song before we’re doused with more tarnished “noise”.

I’d give this a…

6.9/10

Song 9: Splash by MIRAE (The First Comeback)

Ah! What on Earth happened? Hello MIRAE? What happened to the futuristic space boy concept/sound you were going for? This is verbatim T1419’s Flex but with better execution and structure. Unlike Flex, this song did make it to the playlist but this doesn’t feel distinctly MIRAE at all. Yeah they just debuted and it’ll take some time for them to find their sound but this feels like it could be done by Stray Kids or NCT 127. KILLA felt a bit more different which is what made it so memorable. Let’s just hope they’ll come back around and give us something distinctive.

I’d give this a…

8/10

Comeback/Debut Total: 8.4/10

Thanks for reading and apologies for the lateness. The female version will come very soon alongside with 2 other posts!

8 responses to “Multi-Review Corner (Male Edition): Comebacks and Debuts of August 2021”

  1. So glad on the boost in your views, hope the blog continues to grow and grow!

    On the songs, am I the only one who does not like Ra Pam Pam? I find it incredibly bad, in fact. Though I love Shut Up Bako Crazy Hot!

    Also, l really love Popping’s opening, it captures the hope behind the melody.

    Love the round-up!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I have a different opinion on KWJ and I wouldn’t want us to talk about it because it will be bloody. I really hate DKDKTV, with all their neoliberal consent manufacturing especially in this day and age of Korea being more right-wing than it was a few years or even decades ago. Well, I’m not saying they don’t have quality content it’s just that its kind of twisted how they see the Korean industry and capitalize on it.

    Sorry for that tangent and possibly ferocious semantics. I respect if people still want to review him, but I have quietly opted to ban any review coming from him. Sorry for that. Anyway, congratulations on the continued success of this blog! We love to see it and we hope for more views to pour in! I really enjoy reading reviews here and yes, I agree to most of them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah that’s exactly why I unsubcribed from them. I just couldn’t vibe with them anymore. I heard that the right-wing/conservative movement is especially growing amongst young men in SK which is concerning to say the least

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, that is great! I mean I am really alarmed by the rise of the far-right especially the alt-right there. It really seems that 4chan has installed themselves there, I mean the K-netz alone can be very magmatic than the pol. I am really conflating and hyperboling things am I. Sorry again. I should now shut up about politics.

        Please keep on giving us more amazing reviews! RA PAM PAM domination is here!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. It took me a little while to get to my next stop within the k-pop blog reviewing community, and finally, I can finally visit here. So, hi there! I’m that one person who shared that one fact about who team Mayonnaise was that Kino sung in Pentagon’s “Cerberus”.
    Or you can just call me (and preferably) Haruko. It’s nice to meet you K.H!

    Loving the presentation I see when you do your reviews, like bolding the ratings while leaving your articulated thoughts unbolded… I like it~

    Cravity’s “Gas Pedal” was definitely a nice surprise to me too. Like you, I love the subdued melodic moments like the pre-chorus and the bridge. And I agree, it’s definitely more cohesive than the “vroom vroom vroom” dudes we got in their last comeback. The opinions on this song is quite divisive from what I can see, which I understand. Fortunately for us two, we enjoyed it a lot more haha. I’ll say this is a testament to one of the best things about subjectivity: we can approach songs through a new lens once we see two sides of the same subject (the song) 🙂

    The following is going to be heavy but I’ll try to end on a good note (I got so many more great things to say coming here!)
    “… But we really don’t know who he truly is when the cameras are off and that mindset should be installed for every kpop fan really when it comes to our faves.”
    This. This is such a good thing to keep in mind.
    It’s a hard pill to swallow… Because that concept scares me so much that even I can get affected by the news, both good and bad, of whatever happened to my favourite artists. I try not to because I don’t know these people.
    That’s one of the reasons why I just look at the music as it is. I separate the art from the artist.
    There’s definitely some questionable celebrities in real life, but there’s no denying the incredible work they do within the job. Whether it’s acting in a movie, or performing a song live, or creating a piece of artwork.

    Phew, with those prickly bushes out of the way. Let’s talk about the real deal in this blog!

    I think you are the first person so far I’ve seen also makes videos along with the blog? That’s so cool! I also love the features you got like The Shadow Corner and the Veiled Corner. Nugu artists deserve so much attention just as much as the more well known artists.
    It’s great that you’re still doing reviews given the loose schedule you are in, and I hope you have been taking good care of yourself!
    (Wow, first day here and I’m already writing out a whole essay…)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aww Haruko!! Thanks so much for stopping by and welcome to the kpop bloggersphere! I really want to upload some stuff to the Shadow and Veiled Corners but duty (aka school) calls unfortunately…

      Like

      • Aww thank you for the warm welcome! The community has been so nice and cool, which what helped me in opening up a lot more rather than just silently read.

        Ahh darn school (I mean, same here…). There will be plenty of opportunities for you to shed light in your Corners! Perhaps you will stumble upon a new song in the meantime hehe ^-^
        And most importantly, your life and whatever is going on should be prioritised first.

        Liked by 1 person

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