ITZY (있지) | Not Shy

August and September seems to be the month of comebacks, as ITZY, JYP Entertainment’s girl-crush and individuality concept girl group, is back! In this latest effort from the five-member group, ITZY takes the concept of not being shy and merges it with a western feel, which they’ve previously incorporated into their music before, but never image-wise.

With this comeback comes six new songs to showcase ITZY’s growth as a girl group since their stellar debut last year. But is the release just the right combination of elements for a perfect comeback or is it just shy of getting there? Let’s take a look!

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유아 (오마이걸) | Bon Voyage

Guess who’s back? YooA! Well, this is actually her debut as a soloist, rather than as a comeback with OH MY GIRL. An interesting venture, YooA possesses a distinct vocal out of her OMG members, and when I came across the opening trailer for the release, excitement was the word that best described how I felt prior to its arrival. YooA also happens to be my OMG bias, so this was a treat.

In this release, YooA goes on a journey, hence the name ‘Bon Voyage’. With its name, we can only hope that we’re taken on a great journey through all the songs on this mini-album, but this poses a few questions: can YooA succeed as a soloist, and will this mini-album and its title track be a journey worth traveling? Let’s dive into it, below!

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에이프릴 (APRIL) | 에이프릴 (APRIL) 7th Mini Album ‘Da Capo’

What a time April 2020 was. Despite it being one of the few months of 2020 where all hell seems to have broken loose, and we all know why, April has brought upon a lovely array of K-pop comebacks to tide ourselves over while we are all in quarantine. One such group is APRIL, with a name that’s as appropriate as the timing they set their comeback, who are now delivering a concept that incorporates a slightly different style than their usual fluttery sound with a new feel to their choreography.

Coming in the form of their 7th mini album, shortened to ‘Da Capo’, APRIL attempt to reach into a darker side with new title track ‘LALALILALA’, but is this darker side going to have listeners sing along to their tune or is this a lala-lackluster release?

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미쓰에이 | Touch

Let’s take it back to 2012, 8 years ago, when people thought the world was gonna end, and miss A was ready to ‘touch’ all our hearts… in a way that you might not think. The formerly-JYP Entertainment four-member group gave us a slamming debut in 2010, then proceeded to keep up the momentum into the next two years.

With their first mini-album, “Touch”, miss A turned around their concepts, leaving their ‘bad girl’ and ‘good-bye baby’ concepts behind for a darker, slightly tragic, and gothic image. However, was this image worth a touch or did it burn them upon contact?

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Red Velvet (레드벨벳) | ‘The ReVe Festival’ Day 1

Remember last year? It ended so soon! It was a tough year for K-pop, but apart from everything’s that happened, the music that was pumping out in 2019 did not let up, with many artists going in different directions for their sound.

One in particular was popular SM Entertainment girl group Red Velvet, who decided to take things in strange fashion, going for offbeat and disjointed in the initial part of their ‘ReVe Festival’ mini-album series. It certainly divided their (and K-pop’s) fanbase, as it was a totally off-kilter sound. Now, you’re probably wondering if it holds up at all after last year, and if the mini’s songs have any of the same sound… then step right up and see!

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모모랜드 (MOMOLAND) | Thumbs Up

If we’re on the topic of nostalgia, then we shouldn’t be forgetting all the new stuff that’s coming out! One such new release is MOMOLAND’s recent single, their first for 2020 and their first since ‘I’m So Hot’ in 2019 (which was released, well, nine months ago). If you’ve been following MOMOLAND for a while, you’ll know they faced a lot of hardships through the year, with two members (Yeonwoo and Taeha) leaving the group and Daisy STILL on hiatus… but that didn’t stop the girls.

With their new release, the girls come back to give their fans a big ‘thumbs up’ for the love and support, but is it really a thumbs up, or is it not even worth a thumb down?

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네온펀치 (NeonPunch) | NeonPunch 1st Debut Album ‘MOONLIGHT’

I didn’t forget K-pop! I’ll also be going down memory lane for a lot of Korean pop releases throughout the year, so keep an eye out!

My next review focuses on a really recent release, having been distributed in the summer of 2018. You might not have heard of NeonPunch, but you may have seen MIXNINE, where a few of its members have gone on to compete. Heralding from small company A100 Entertainment, NeonPunch is the company’s first girl group and made the scene with a ‘debut album’ that makes us wonder if this will be the perfect night out for moonlight. Will it be as bright as ever, or is it too dull for us to proceed further?

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ITZY (있지) | IT’z Different

The hype train is real! This is the case for five-member pop group ITZY, introduced to the K-pop world under the JYP Entertainment umbrella, featuring members you might have already been familiar with under the likes of SIXTEEN, MIXNINE, and Stray Kids. ITZY’s hype was so huge at the beginning of 2019, being that they are TWICE’s ‘little sisters’ and that they were the group that even JYP’s former starlet Somi was supposed to be in.

But with that hype comes the actual delivery, and when the delivery doesn’t hold up, the hype becomes unsatisfactory. Is ITZY really all that different from every act on the K-pop scene, or are they just the same as everyone else?

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NATURE (네이처) | NATURE WORLD: CODE A

NATURE who? Uh, get into it!

Korean-pop group NATURE made their debut in 2018, and they have yet to make any dent into the K-pop industry as a one-year-old group. That being said, NATURE looks to have pulled a trick up their sleeve with the addition of new member Sohee, who people might actually recognize to be Produce 101 alum Kim So Hee, who was in project groups C.I.V.A, I.B.I, and Girls Next Door. Here, the light is on Sohee to bring NATURE to better recognition, but are we bound for NATURE WORLD, CODE A, or are we headed off in the opposite direction?

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