Favorites of 2021: August

I was so determined to publish this post towards the beginning of the month (instead of two weeks later like I’ve been doing lately), so I actually had like 90% of it prepared by September 1st. But of course, I still ended up having to wait because I needed to catch up on my reaction posts…sigh. (-_-) Though I guess it makes sense since August was a VERY busy month for K-pop, with plenty of releases popping up every week. Even though I was on vacation, it still took me a lot of time to sort through everything. I feel like I spent most of the time jumping from song to song, but I definitely had a few solid favorites by month’s end.

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Katherine’s K-Pop Recap: September 6-12, 2021

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

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Knee Jerk Reaction: “Outsider” by BTOB

I have to be honest here: I don’t listen to BTOB all that frequently. I think they’re amazingly talented (particularly in singing), and they definitely have some stellar songs. However, most of their music is generally not the kind I’m naturally drawn to. Despite that, I’ve always been fond of them and I make sure to check in on every comeback. My overall interest in them was definitely renewed by watching Kingdom, so I feel like I’ve just been through a small rediscovery phase. All of the recent comebacks from Kingdom participants have definitely gone up a level in terms of creativity and quality – even though those groups were all great to begin with – so I was very excited to see how that post-show magic would work on BTOB.

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Knee Jerk Reaction: “B.T.W” by Jay B feat. Jay Park

(NOTE: This reaction post is a little shorter than normal due to lack of time and personal circumstances.) Jay B is the latest member of GOT7 to drop some new tracks, releasing his first mini album as a soloist under his new label H1GHR Music. Though I love GOT7 as a group and I’ve watched a LOT of their content, I actually don’t know much about the members as individual singers and artists. So I think it’s exciting to watch them release music that suits their own personal styles and tastes, and I was particularly curious about Jay B.

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Knee Jerk Reaction: “Splash” by MIRAE

(NOTE: This reaction post is a little shorter than normal due to lack of time and personal circumstances.) Truthfully, I haven’t been too invested in this year’s rookie groups so far. It’s not a question of talent or ability, since I always want everyone to succeed. It’s 100% about the major age gap at play, and how I can only relate so much to people who are 10+ years younger. In these cases, it becomes mostly about the music and the concept for me. And out of the 2021 rookies we’ve seen, MIRAE was the only boy group that made an impression on me. I’m still not anything beyond a casual listener, but I found their debut pretty memorable and interesting. So, I was curious to see what they’d bring to the table for their first comeback.

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Knee Jerk Reaction: “Door” by Kwon Eunbi

(NOTE: This reaction post is a little shorter than normal due to lack of time and personal circumstances.) When I watched Produce 48 three years ago (!!!), Kwon Eunbi caught my eye almost immediately. She easily became one of my favorites, both as a contestant on the show and as a member of IZ*ONE. She’s so talented at singing and dancing, and I also admire her natural skill as a leader and strong work ethic. Truthfully, I was a little surprised she debuted as a soloist – mostly because I thought Woollim would put both her and Chaewon in a new girl group group. (Though with the rumors of Chaewon going to HYBE/Source Music, I guess this turn of events makes a little more sense.) But even if I wasn’t necessarily expecting her to go solo, I still think she totally has everything needed to make it.

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Katherine’s K-Pop Recap: August 30 – September 5, 2021

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

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Knee Jerk Reaction: “Trigger” by VERIVERY

(NOTE: This reaction post is a little shorter than normal due to lack of time and personal circumstances.) VERIVERY is one of those K-pop groups that I always end up forgetting about when I REALLY shouldn’t. I genuinely like their stuff, and I think it’s great they’ve really been stepping up their game lately – but they just get lost in the chaos when I’m indulging in peak multifan behavior. Their previous comeback “Get Away” is a great example of this. I really enjoyed it at the beginning, but I didn’t spend much time on it because of Super Junior all the March releases. And then I just recently listened to it again while prepping for this post, and I was like, “Why did I completely forget this awesome song existed?” I’m still kicking myself for being so absent-minded, but the incident did make me more interested in VERIVERY’s latest single.

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Knee Jerk Reaction: “Gas Pedal” by CRAVITY

(NOTE: This reaction post is a little shorter than normal due to lack of time and personal circumstances.) Ah, CRAVITY. They’ve only been around for like a year and a half, but somehow my journey with them has been all over the place. They’re on a very small list of rookie groups I’m interested in and actively follow, and that’s all because of their debut song “Break All the Rules.” I actually loved it so much so that I put it in my Top 10 songs last year, and it’s possibly one of my favorite debut songs ever. Their follow-up with “Flame” was pretty good too; not necessarily my style, but promising all the same. However, “My Turn” was… not it for me. (Keep in mind that I’m over 30, so songs with an excessive amount of “skrrt” are not it for me in general.) So, I really had no idea what to expect with “Gas Pedal.”

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Knee Jerk Reaction: “Wave” by CIX

I’m going a bit out of order here – I posted about Stray Kids earlier this week, but there were a couple of groups like CIX that I should have covered first chronologically. This is because I originally planned to do a summary post and react to a bunch of August comebacks all at once. My second COVID-19 vaccine dose took me DOWN this week and made me fall even further behind, so I thought doing a round-up would save time… but even with a raging headache and difficulty concentrating, I still ended up writing more than I had initially planned. (And I really try to avoid long posts if possible since I know mine can get super lengthy.) So I decided to just revert back to my original reactions, even if they’re shorter and less detailed than usual. But to be clear, it’s not because I don’t have much to say about the groups or artists! It’s because I spent half my writing time staring blankly into space, and now I need to pick up the pace (^^””)

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