Weekly K-pop faves: Sept. 4-10

Like each week, the KultScene team mused a bit this weekend about our favorite releases from South Korea over the past seven days. With comebacks from some popular boy bands, including B.A.P, and long overdue releases from male idol group members, like Highlight’s Lee Gikwang and Super Junior-M’s Henry Lau, there was a lot to appreciate.

“Honeymoon” by B.A.P (Released Sept. 5)

This week B.A.P served us a plate full of aesthetics with “Honeymoon,” a mellow yet trance inducing EDM track off of their seventh single album Blue. Even without watching the music video, the song and beat painted a beautiful picture (seriously, all that blue). Each member played a valuable asset in this song, and as much as I bias leader Bang Yongguk (his rap verse in “Honeymoon” was the smoothest transition of all time), vocalists Himchan and Jongup’s voices and parts stood out the most. This was a wonderful song to end the summer and to start off the fall.


“That One (Live Band Ver.)” by Henry (Uploaded Sep. 6)

Although Henry had that horrible music video a few months ago (I don’t even want to reference it by name), as an ELF, I’ve been cautiously keeping track of this new journey of rebranding he seems to be on. The previous single, even though the song wasn’t that bad, was a mess, so I was excited when he came back with “That One.” This track is also R&B but sans the tryhard-ness of The Song That Shall Not Be Named. This week, Henry released a live version of “That One” complete with a full band in a ver BBC Live Lounge kind of way. On this version, Henry shows that he’s been working on his singing chops and that he’s done with the gimmicky pop stuff (although I love his previous singles). SM has always sold Henry as a true musician, always making him incorporate his violin playing on every opportunity, so seeing him perform with a live band like this makes sense and seems organic. With “That One” and this particular version of it, I think fans have a better picture of where Henry’s going with his music these days and what he’s capable of doing.


“What You Like” by Lee Gikwang (Highlight) (Released Sept. 4)

I’ve followed Gikwang (aka LEEGIKWANG) since the beginning of his career, and when I heard that he was having a solo comeback, I was thrilled. His EP One is his first since a short-lived solo career as AJ, aka Ace Junior, before BEAST’s debut in 2009, and the lead single “What You Like” is one of the most addicting future bass R&B tracks out there. With a carefree sense of sultriness, it’s a track built for body rolls, which Gikwang is all too happy to deliver during his performances. The song demands repeated listens with subtle sound effects lying beneath the bouncy melody. And while it’s not reinventing the wheel since “What You Like” sounds like much of the music popular in South Korea right now, and it’s essentially a male version of Chung Ha’s “Why Don’t You Know,” Gikwang is in his element and he makes the musical style his own.


What was your favorite K-pop release of the week? Tell us what you think in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.

Weekly K-Pop Faves Mar 13-19

Every Sunday, KultScene writers highlight some of their favorite new releases. This week, we enjoyed new music from Loona and Highlight, the revamped BEAST.

“Love & Live” by LOONA (Released Mar. 13)

I could write about a LOONA track every week if there was enough songs. March is so far the first month where a new girl has not been revealed, despite the teasers for them. It’s a little worrying given that it’s probably easy to mess up such a grand scheme as theirs. March is not over yet though so there is still hope and they were clever enough not to leave us with nothing. “Love & Live” brings together the four girls we’ve seen before, Heejin, Hyunjin, Haseul, and Yeojin for a sweet little Monotree ditty. Monotree are just so good at lifting up typically cute tracks into something a bit more substantial. The orchestral details of the verses are gorgeous and allow the synths in the chorus to pop that bit more. “Love & Live” also shows a previously hidden strength to LOONA’s marketing method: since each of the girls has had her own solo track, each of their voices are clearly distinguishable. Learning the members of a new group is always a part of getting into one but LOONA skips right past that, adding a texture to their rookie music that no others have.


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”It’s Still Beautiful” by Highlight (released March. 13)

There is so much about Highlight’s first pre-release single that I could praise, but mostly it’s the optimistic message. Before releasing the fun upbeat “Plz Don’t Be Sad,” Highlight, aka the artist formerly known as BEAST, released “It’s Still Beautiful.” Ostensibly a simple ballad that shows off the band’s vocal prowess, the love song is all about remembering how wonderful a relationship was even after breaking up. As someone who was absolutely heartbroken to hear that Beast had to give up their name and begin again essentially as rookies–they reportedly are unable to perform any of their previous hits– the positive approach to looking at something that could just make you want to sit around and mope seemed like a well-intentioned message directed at Highlight’s fans, and it’s one that I appreciate greatly.

What was your favorite song of the week? Share your picks thoughts in the comment section below. Be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.