Yes, I know that I’ve been totally neglecting this blog, but I’m trying to make up for it! Because I’ve missed so much, I’ve done a little round-up of some notable idol releases from the past month or so that are worth checking out. A lot of you have been asking me on Twitter how I feel about these albums, while others who don’t keep up with K-pop as regularly as I do just want some good recommendations, so here they are.
P.S. LOL at Winner’s comeback flopping. With 2NE1 basically disbanded and BIGBANG headed to the army I’m hoping that soon YG will swap places with JYP as the agency at the bottom of the big three. Don’t y’all agree?
FIESTAR – A Delicate Sense EP
Building on the sound of previous standouts like “Tight” and “You’re Pitiful,” FIESTAR have released their best mini-album to date – five tracks of synthesized midtempos, from pulsating R&B jams to moody urban-pop. A Delicate Sense belongs on the shelf next to Rainbow’s Innocent.
Ladies’ Code – Myst3ry
Once known for their lively retro numbers, Ladies’ Code have now overhauled their entire sound and image following a fatal car accident that took the lives of two of the group’s members. Ladies’ Code 2.0 now deals in spacey R&B and delicate alt-pop. Their three-track Myst3ry single is a work of art from start to finish.
Taemin – “Drip Drop”
I still can’t decide how I feel about Taemin’s new lead single “Press Your Number,” but I’m addicted to the pre-release “Drip Drop” – which isn’t quite as gross as I’d feared after hearing the title. What threatens to begin as yet another aimless PBR&B track quickly slides into skittish electronica and vintage MTV dance breaks. I can’t get enough. It’s just a shame that the entire Press It album isn’t nearly as good as “Drip Drop” is. What happened to the guy that slayed with the superb Ace?
4TEN – Dreadful
4TEN, who changed their name to POTEN last year before switching it back again because their agency is a mess, released the best anime OST single not be an actual anime OST single. Perfect ending credits song realness. I do miss the member with the iconic plastic melted candle face though.
B.A.P – Feel So Good
It’s hard to be a fan of B.A.P because they’re so amazing, yet so much of their music is utter trash. That last single they did, “Young Wild & Free,” was just plain bad. Luckily they’ve redeemed themselves with the highly danceable “Feel So Good.” Bonus points for how hot Bang Yong Guk looks in the MV.
NU’EST – Q Is (Mini-Album)
Poor NU’EST. So much potential, so much floppage. With Pledis in dire straits the fivesome were dusted off last month and given a comeback with an actual budget and a full mini-album, which is actually incredibly good. Title track ‘Overcome’ is hip thrusting, body rolling boy-pop at its finest, and b-side “VVITH” is exactly the kind of autotuned, electronic pop that I love.
WJSN/Cosmic Girls – Would you Like?
My general philosophy when it comes to idol groups is the more members, the better, so the twelve strong WJSN (a.k.a. Cosmic girls) are right up my alley. First lead single “Mo Mo Mo” is sugar-coated ’80s pop somewhere between Lovelyz and old-school Madonna, while the second A-side “Catch Me” is sexually-charged electro that is hardly age-appropriate but still goes hard.
Red Velvet – One Of These Nights
K-pop ballads tend to be extremely hit and miss, but there’s no doubt that SM Entertainment gives good ballad. Red Velvet’s new single “One Of Those Nights” is a perfect testament to that. It starts off like your your standard OST number -quivering, emotive voices over strings and piano- then grows into an R&B slow jam. It’s stunning, and also tad schmaltzy, but hard to turn down if you’re like me and can appreciate a good top forty idol ballad.
AOA Cream – I’m Jelly Baby
It took a minute for this to grow on me, but once it did I was addicted. Pure Black Eyed Pilseung production in the vain of miss A’s “Only You” and SISTAR’s “Touch My Body” paired with a Sailor Moon concept and three of the floppiest members from one of K-pop’s biggest girl groups. How could you go wrong? Sadly it’s been a bust on the charts, adding yet another dead sub-unit to the growing pile of those that have tried to emulate Orange Caramel and failed.