브레이브걸스 | Rollin’

Have you been in the K-pop know recently? Do you recall when a fancam video of Hani shot EXID to stardom? Then, have you heard about Brave Girls, and their recent becoming of a hot issue in the last few days of February?

Due to a compilation video uploaded by a Korean YouTuber, Brave Girls have become something of an anomaly; their 2017 track “Rollin'” shot up in the charts following the video’s viral release, featuring live performances of the track including a ‘military-version’ complete with chants from Korean men in euphoria to the sultry tune. Today we take a look at this track and the accompanying mini-album to see what all the hype is about… and if maybe I can join in on the fun!

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애프터스쿨 | 너 때문에

Let’s go back to the past with some K-pop releases!

Lately, I’ve found myself going down a gigantic hole of old K-pop jams that I got myself into back in the golden age, when groups like 2NE1, 4minute, SNSD, and After School held reign. Today, I’ll be looking at the latter, a group that is officially one member in size and is unofficially disbanded, originally designed to be like SK’s ‘Pussycat Dolls’ before trading that concept to be SK’s ‘Morning Musume.’ instead (you heard that right). After School had a stellar debut, but with the addition of two new members Nana and Reina, the sassy girls made an even bigger splash with the raindrops of “Because of You“. With the switch from fun concepts to one of heartbreak, is this single worth crying (joyful) tears over or is it because of this single that your heart is broken?

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ARIAZ (아리아즈) | ARIAZ 1st Mini Album ‘Grand Opera’

Let me preface this review with stating that bullying is BAD. Please don’t do it. Let me also say that it’s up to you however you want to live your life, but if you intend on aiming for a role as a public figure (especially in Korea), be careful with your decisions!

Now, onto an introduction! I don’t think you’ve ever heard of ARIAZ, and that’s completely fine. The 6-member group from Rising Star made their debut back in October 2019, and sadly, due to a scandal that occurred just days before their debut showcase, the group haven’t been able to make any follow-up releases and is likely to fade into existence. That said, I came across this release completely by accident. I only briefly touched it when it came out and didn’t even know about their scandal, but suddenly, one of the songs appeared on my radar, and I just had to talk about this. Scandal and personal feelings aside, is ARIAZ worthy of a grand opera listen or is this a high note waiting to crack? Let’s read on!

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투모로우바이투게더 | minisode1 : Blue Hour

touki is reviewing a boy group for once?!

I sure am! Today, we take a look at TXT’s most recent Korean-pop release, ‘minisode1 : Blue Hour‘. Released in the fall months of 2020, the Big Hit group (which means they are BTS’ little brothers) take on aesthetics, COVID, and a new array of sounds and jam pack them into a 5-track mini that’s meant to traverse you through a ‘blue hour’. But is this mini episode worth a watch/listen? Or is this blue hour just too blue for my liking? Let’s read on!

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체리블렛 (Cherry Bullet) | Cherry Rush

One of the first new girl group releases for 2021 in Korean pop comes from FNC Entertainment’s Cherry Bullet. 2020 was a quiet year for the girls, with only two singles that didn’t quite make dents into the market. That being said, both songs were bops (one problematic, but I’ll talk about that some other time), and I continue to appreciate every effort these girls make (especially since I was a big Hayoon stan back in the Produce 48 days).

The girls make a pink-filled return with their very first mini album, ‘Cherry Rush‘, containing tracks that, much like Red Velvet, accentuate both a ‘Cherry’ sound and a ‘Bullet’ sound. The aesthetics for this album are incredible and totally my preference, but will this mini album fare the same? Is this mini filled to the brim with too much cherries for my liking, or will it hit my heart like a bullet? Let’s check out ‘Cherry Rush‘!

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(여자)아이들 | I trust

In reviewing ‘I burn’, I suddenly found myself down the (G)I-DLE wormhole, and now I cannot stop listening to (G)I-DLE. Frankly, this serves as a fantastic opportunity to review their work, and since I looked at ‘I burn’, we have to move down to ‘I trust‘, one of two releases from the CUBE Entertainment girl group in 2020. Released following a successful run on ‘Queendom’ (which we’ll touch on later), (G)I-DLE made their return to tackle on the darker concept they explored on the show.

This does beg a few questions: will that success translate well into a new release (and subsequent releases), do they truly suit the darker concepts, and can we trust (G)I-DLE to create a mini album that’s filled with amazing songs? We’ll have to take a look into the review to see!

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(여자)아이들 | I burn

I burn‘ is the first K-pop release in 2021 for me, crafted by CUBE Entertainment girl group (G)I-DLE. Continuing on the trend of focusing on ‘I’, (G)I-DLE, pronounced I-DLE, kicks off 2021 with a mini album that could potentially melt the woes and wintry cold of the end of 2020 (and what a year that was). Having come off a summer comeback with ‘DUMDi DUMDi’, can the girls bring back the heat to keep us warm in January? Will this album burn with pleasure or is it too painful to keep moving forward?

I will continue my LOONA project series, but I’ll be reviewing other releases in the meantime! Read on for my review of (G)I-DLE’s ‘I burn‘!

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이달의 소녀 | HeeJin

Happiest of new years to everyone, and to all my fellow bloggers! It’s been a wild ride, but 2020 has ended. I admit, it’s been a great year for the blog as I’ve gotten more written than ever, rejuvenating my passion for blogging, but it also has been a pretty tough year for myself and all physically, emotionally, and mentally. Most importantly, I want to say that I hope everyone stays safe going into 2021 and that we can get through this!

Kicking off in 2021, I’ve set my sights on a new writing goal, and my J-pop fans might dislike this… I’ll be delving more into K-pop, with my first project on 12-member girl group LOONA. If you don’t possess a Twitter account, you might not be familiar with #stanloona, but boy, did it become quite the phenomenon! Did you know their humble beginnings started out as ‘Girl of the Month’? It’s quite literally in their name. (Translate above!) The first girl is HeeJin, who many may have seen on MIXNINE (and made it quite far). Was this first release pre-debut a great foreshadowing of LOONA’s future releases, or was this a stumbling first stepping stone into the K-pop scene? Let’s take a leap into 2021 and see how this release fares!

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the top 15 k-pop songs of 2020

Bet you thought I was never coming back! I kid.

Despite everything that’s been going on in my life, from securing myself a new job and starting school again, I’ve been keeping on track with a lot of K-pop in 2020. In a year that is probably the weirdest, 2020 delivered on the K-pop track with various songs ranging from haunting to straight up wonky. It seems like there was no way coronavirus was gonna bring K-pop down. I’ve narrowed it down to fifteen songs to keep it small, but here is my list of songs from December 2019 to December 2020… and here’s a warning: don’t be surprised if it’s majorly girl groups. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

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