Katherine’s K-pop Recap: July 5-11, 2021

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

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Knee Jerk Reaction: “Make It” by 2PM

It’s been nearly five years, but 2PM has finally made their much-anticipated and long-awaited return as a full group. Plus this is the first time a group has been able to make a comeback with a member who changed agencies, which hopefully means it will be possible for others in the same situation. Though I certainly like 2PM, I’ve actually never really considered myself a huge fan. This is mostly because they’ve only had two comebacks in the time that I’ve been into K-pop: this one, and their last one that was way back in 2016. So I’ve watched the majority of their content retroactively, and I haven’t really had many chances to see them “in action” (so to speak). But despite all that, I still found myself pretty antsy and impatient for this post-military comeback… so I can’t even imagine how their longtime fans are feeling right now. Thankfully, it seems like “Make It” is pretty much everything we were all hoping for.

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Knee Jerk Reaction: “Hello Future” by NCT Dream

Given NCT Dream’s massive – and I mean MASSIVE – explosion of popularity in South Korea this spring, having a repackage makes total sense. Unfortunately for me, my habit of going all-in on a group’s comeback and then taking a break from them is not conducive to repackages. “Hot Sauce” took over most of my May (and part of June too), and I spent a lot of time and energy on it. NCT Dream’s comeback announcement came right when I was feeling like it was time to move on to another group, so I was worried I wouldn’t be able to fully appreciate “Hello Future” as a result. (I had a similar situation with SHINee earlier when I overdid it with “Don’t Call Me” and needed some time to get into “Atlantis.”) But I’m delighted to say I was 100% wrong – I LOVE “Hello Future,” and I can’t get enough!

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Knee Jerk Reaction: “PTT (Paint the Town)” by LOONA

Though LOONA is incredibly popular with international K-pop fans, I must confess I’ve never been super invested in them. I certainly admire their creativity and ambition, and I respect how their discography is so diverse and spans many genres (including their pre-debut solo and subunit work). But at the end of the day, most their title tracks are hit or miss with me. For the time being, we’re just not much of a musical match. That being said, I’ve started to become more interested in LOONA as they began heading down the girl crush route for their last couple of title tracks. So they’re on my radar, but they haven’t released anything I’ve fallen in love with yet.

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Katherine’s K-pop Recap: June 28 – July 4, 2021

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

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K-Pop Starter Kit: June’s Topic is Now July’s Topic

Hi all! It’s the end of June (technically already July here in South Korea), and you’ve probably noticed that I didn’t make any K-pop Starter Kit posts this month. Though I started out my last update optimistic and enthusiastic about writing new content, my life seems to love getting in the way whenever I decide to make a personal goal or commitment for this blog ^^”’ So I thought I’d just briefly explain what’s up and how my plans have changed.

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Katherine’s K-Pop Recap: June 21-27, 2021

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

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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