Knee Jerk Reaction: “Ready to Love” by SEVENTEEN

(Sorry about cropping most of Seungkwan out of the profile picture – this was the only comeback-related photo that somewhat fit my blog’s required dimensions ^^”’) I’ve always found myself in a bit of a strange place with SEVENTEEN. I like them a lot and I always check in on their comebacks, but I just don’t click with their music as much as I do with my favorite boy groups. It feels like half the time I really enjoy their songs, and half the time I think they’re nice but not really my thing. This push and pull has been going on for YEARS – I thought things would change when I got obsessed with “Left & Right,” but then I wasn’t into “Home Run” and ended up right back where I started. So, I was wondering which reaction I’d have to “Ready to Love.”

Continue reading “Knee Jerk Reaction: “Ready to Love” by SEVENTEEN”

Knee Jerk Reaction: “Chi Mat Ba Ram” by Brave Girls

The rise of Brave Girls from little-known group on the verge of disbandment to one of South Korea’s hottest stars is nothing short of astounding. I actually remember listening to “Rollin'” and teaching myself the choreography way back in 2017, and I recall thinking it was such a shame it got slept on. Fast forward to today, and that song is everywhere here. Whenever I go out to see friends or run errands, I hear it at least once. All my students love it and even know the dance (which they learn at after school dance club), and most adults I talk to are fond of it too. So while we all know the Korean general public isn’t usually into K-pop, this one most certainly has their stamp of approval. Brave Girls is truly on top of the world right now, and they’re following up on all that success with another surefire hit.

Continue reading “Knee Jerk Reaction: “Chi Mat Ba Ram” by Brave Girls”

Knee Jerk Reaction: “All Your Fault” by Yugyeom

Yugyeom’s move to AOMG wasn’t that all surprising to me when the news came out. I remember the early days of GOT7 when he would talk about being heavily influenced by Chris Brown hip hop and R&B, so it seemed like a natural progression for him as an artist all these years later. I thought AOMG would suit him well musically and stylistically, and his solo debut definitely confirms that. While I don’t really want to compare him to BamBam since they’re each doing their own thing, I find it fascinating how “All Your Fault” is basically the polar opposite of “Ribbon.” It’s very dark and serious, and it’s left me with a strong impression from the get-go.

Continue reading “Knee Jerk Reaction: “All Your Fault” by Yugyeom”

Knee Jerk Reaction: “Ribbon” by BamBam

When it comes to GOT7, I’ve found 2021 to be a somewhat bittersweet experience so far. I’m genuinely happy the members are all pursuing their own paths, and I truly believe they’ll keep making music together… but it’s still not the same as regularly getting two comebacks a year. Thankfully, now a lot of them starting to release their own music – which personally helps me fill the void. This week, we were lucky to get two GOT7 solo debuts as maknae line BamBam and Yugyeom stepped out on their own. First up is BamBam, who has brought us some fun and happy times with his new song “Ribbon.” While I love all members of GOT7, I’ll admit I don’t always follow their individual activities all that closely. So, I was very curious to see what music he wanted to make as a solo artist.

Continue reading “Knee Jerk Reaction: “Ribbon” by BamBam”

Knee Jerk Reaction: “Spin Off” by UP10TION

I tend to say a lot of K-pop groups are underrated, but UP10TION is most definitely one that gets slept on. I got into K-pop not long after their debut, and I remember there was definitely some buzz about them at the time (at least in the international fan community). They had so much promise and potential, but for some reason they just kind of faded away as the years went by. I thought things would change when Kim Wooseok and Lee Jinhyuk did so well on Produce X 101, but it seems like TOP Media has turned those two into soloists and left UP10TION to fend for themselves. Personally, I really loved their early releases… but I kind of stopped listening to them after a while because I didn’t click as much with the music that came after. So I fully admit I’m part of the problem, but I’m doing my best to turn it around – starting with checking out their latest track “Spin Off.”

Continue reading “Knee Jerk Reaction: “Spin Off” by UP10TION”

Katherine’s K-Pop Recap: June 14-20, 2021

A summary of the news, current and upcoming comebacks, charts and music show wins, and more!

Continue reading “Katherine’s K-Pop Recap: June 14-20, 2021”

Knee Jerk Reaction: “Vanilla” by LIGHTSUM

There’s been a lot of anticipation for the debut of Cube’s latest girl group LIGHTSUM – especially because it includes Produce 48 contestant Han Chowon, who we now know should definitely have been in IZ*ONE before she was cut by producers in the vote manipulation scandal. And there are some other familiar faces, too: Nayoung and Yujeong also competed on Produce 48, and Juhyeon was on The Unit almost four (!!!) years ago. I do feel some kind of way about Cube making a third girl group when they already have two (more on this later), but I’m always happy to see another female K-pop act arrive on the scene. And I have to say, I’m really enjoying LIGHTSUM’s debut. Actually, I like it much more than I thought I would.

Continue reading “Knee Jerk Reaction: “Vanilla” by LIGHTSUM”

Review: “Alcohol-Free” by TWICE

My feelings about TWICE have changed so much since I started this blog, and I couldn’t be happier about it. I wrote my first TWICE post about “Knock Knock” back in 2017, and I vividly remember giving it an average score because I didn’t find it as impressive as their mega-hits “Cheer Up” and “TT.” (To this day, I maintain it’s my least favorite of their singles and that it doesn’t reflect their unique style or personality.) At the time, I feared that JYP would have TWICE make cookie cutter music forever – but thankfully, I was wrong. The ladies delivered bop after bop, and I found myself more and more drawn in as the years went by. Today, I absolutely can’t imagine my K-pop experience without them. And now that they’re back again, I’m thrilled to be writing a positive review.

Continue reading “Review: “Alcohol-Free” by TWICE”

Knee Jerk Reaction: “Bye Bye Bye” by WEi

I really don’t know much about WEi except that all of the members have been on survival shows like Produce 101, Under 19, and YG Treasure Box. Most of have been in project groups related to those shows as well, and/or they’ve been able to do some solo work. (Fun fact: I always forget Kim Donghan is in WEi since I’m used to him as a soloist, so I’m always semi-surprised when I see him with them.) Perhaps it’s because the members all have that extra experience, but it seems to me like they’re pretty solid for a rookie group that’s not even a year old. They’ve already been able to show several different sides to themselves, and “Bye Bye Bye” is just more evidence of how versatile they are.

Continue reading “Knee Jerk Reaction: “Bye Bye Bye” by WEi”

Knee Jerk Reaction: “Lock Down” by EPEX

C9 Entertainment has debuted another boy group! EPEX, a name which seems to be a blend of the words “eight” and “apex,” has arrived on the scene with their powerful first song “Lock Down.” (Though according to the Hangul, it’s pronounced “ee-pex” rather than “apex.”) I must say that I’m slightly questioning C9 Entertainment’s choice to produce another boy group so close to CIX, who are doing well for themselves but are also just barely out of their rookie years. But EPEX includes Keum Donghyun, a popular contestant from Produce X 101, so I understand that the company probably wanted to put him in a group as soon as possible. And it seems like EPEX has a completely different concept from CIX, so they shouldn’t step on each other’s toes too much.

Continue reading “Knee Jerk Reaction: “Lock Down” by EPEX”