On Episode 29 of KultScene’s K-pop Unmuted, Stephen Knight and Joe Palmer look back at Kpop releases from April 2018. We discuss HIGHTEEN’s Timing, EXID’s Lady, Lovelyz’s Shining Star, HAON’s Boong Boong, Snuper’s Tulips, and Pentagon’s Shine.
Let us know what you think of K-pop in April 2018 and KultScene’s latest episode K-pop Unmuted 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.
https://i2.wp.com/kultscene.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Untitled.png?fit=774%2C774774774KultScenehttp://kultscene.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/KULTSCENE-LOGO-2018-TRANSPARENT-RED.pngKultScene2018-05-09 05:12:342018-05-09 05:12:34K-Pop Unumted: April 2018 Roundup
In celebration of our third anniversary earlier this year, KultScene has started a collaboration with K-Pop Unmuted, a podcast dedicated to delving deep into K-pop.
On Episode 21 of KultScene’s K-pop Unmuted, Stephen Knight, Joe Palmer, and Tamar Herman discuss the most interesting K-pop releases from July 2017, including BTS’s Seo Taiji remake “Come Back Home,” Loona’s “Love Cherry Motion,” Dreamcatcher’s “Fly High,” Akdong Musician’s “Dinosaur,” Snuper’s “The Star of Stars,” and Red Velvet’s “Zoo.”
Let us know what you think of K-pop in July and KultScene’s K-pop Unmuted 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.
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As every new girl group we see these days seems to be in someway infected by “Produce 101,” the boys are going about business as usual. ‘80s loving Snuper are making their second comeback of the year after their mediocre ode to getting out of the friendzone “Platonic Love.” The other group of boys are the anticipated brother group to MAMAMOO, Vromance. They are debuting with a similar style to MAMAMOO and Hwasa is on board to help out in the video. What I love most about both of these groups is there wonderfully silly names. Snuper is apparently a mix of “supermen” and “super,” and Vromance is “bromance” with a “v” to signify vocalists.
”You=Heaven” by Snuper
Speaking of stupid titles, Snuper’s latest single is called “You=Heaven.” Iconic. It also has nothing to do with the lyrics. I imagine the songwriter thought it was a cool enough title to ignore the actual content of the song.
True to their first two singles, Snuper deliver an ‘80s inspired synth pop track but with more of a twist than the previous times. Produced again by the legends we see far too little of these days, Sweetune, “You=Heaven” is part ballad part summer bop. Sweetune have only produced for Snuper so far this year, so they must have some sort of deal but it seems they are ready to give up entirely. “You=Heaven” has the structure of a potential K-pop classic. Mixing genres and sudden tonal changes are a great part of what K-pop does, yet here it feels tired. The individual parts of the song need to be equally dynamic but in different ways. Starting off with a ballad slows everything right down and this isn’t even an interesting ballad. It’s even more cheap sounding and dull than OST tracks.
There are light synths that play under it, preparing us for the chorus which is a total switch up. “Stop” they shout as the song turns to motivational cheesy pop. The moment it changes is exciting; it feels like it could become something interesting with these genre changes. The synths are naturally crystal clear and could be used for a group better suited to something like this. Snuper’s raps and their apparently stronger vocalists are actually quite weak. Hearing them even on the track ruins any momentum they might have had.
From the chorus on, “You=Heaven” sticks with the synth pop, not letting up until the very end. It’s an interesting structure as it feels like the chorus never actually comes to an end. Without the opening and with a bit more work into giving it some sort of ebb and flow, it could have been great. Yet, by the end, I almost wished they would go back to the ballad. The cheesiness goes past any kind of infectious fun to plain annoying.
A lot more was expected of Vromance. RBW Entertainment’s latest group come hot off the sassy heels of MAMAMOO, one of the biggest breakout stars in K-pop at the moment. Recreating that spark would be difficult but they have started to attempt it by going for a similar sound.
Their debut single “She” is a soulful, R&B track for the summer. It recalls MAMAMOO through the strong vocals and copious use of horns. The comparisons end there, however. I don’t want to continually compare them to MAMAMOO, but it is the best way of explaining why “She” doesn’t work. While MAMAMOO’s charms come from not just their music, their unique aspects permeate everything. Their sense of humour and individuality can be heard in their voices and how they work with the structure of their music. Vromance unfortunately have nothing of this quality. Their voices are fairly indistinguishable and the song maintains its laid-back nature throughout. Almost the opposite of Snuper’s problems yet it still doesn’t work. Their vocals are strong but the instrumentation is flat and does nothing to support them. Even the endlessly wonderful Hwasa can do nothing for them.
Having a silly name has turned out to be not as fruitful for boy groups as I had hoped. 2016 is turning out to be another weak year for K-pop boys. Without exciting new groups (Seventeen being the exception) to galvanize things, it doesn’t look like it’s going to change anytime soon either. Snuper and Vromance do nothing to help by sounding like tired veterans so early into their careers. Even with an exceptional producer like Sweetune, Snuper have shown their mediocrity. In the shadow of MAMAMOO, Vromance have done the same.
The obvious verdict is that they are equally bad and we all lose.
Who do you prefer Snuper or Vromance? Share your thoughts 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.
https://i0.wp.com/kultscene.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Untitled-design-11.png?fit=800%2C800800800Joe Palmerhttp://kultscene.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/KULTSCENE-LOGO-2018-TRANSPARENT-RED.pngJoe Palmer2016-07-13 15:51:302016-07-13 15:51:30Snuper & Vromance: Review of the Stupidly Named K-Pop Boy Groups