On Episode 43 of KultScene’s K-pop Unmuted, Alexis Hodoyan, Tamar Herman, and Stephen Knight look back at Kpop releases from June 2019. We discuss Chungha’s “Snapping,” Sulli’s “Goblin,” Yesung’s “Pink Magic”, Monsta X’s “Who Do U Love,” NCT Dream’s “Don’t Need Your Love,” and Stray Kids’ “Side Effects.”
Every week, the KultScene crew share some of our favorite K-pop releases of the past week and discuss why exactly we were impressed by them. This week, we liked new releases from Teen Top and Super Junior’s Yesung.
“Love Is” by Teen Top (Released Apr. 10)
It’s the sad truth that very few K-pop groups are able to recover after their peak popularity, but Teen Top is attempting just that with “Love Is.” Their first song without former member L.Joe, their latest single is an angst-driven synthy dance-pop track that sounds like it would fit in the group’s repertoire of a few years ago more than some of their recent releases. The single is a throwback to their earlier Brave Brother-produced hits, which is fitting since they’re working with the producer once again. It thrives where you’d least expect it, playing one rhythm against one another, most prominently during the sweet chorus when the vocal melody contrasts sharply with an angered “No, no” response. They didn’t reinvent K-pop, but this group needed to show that they still can release a good, Teen Top-style song even with one less member, and that’s exactly what they did.
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“Hibernation” by Yesung (Released Apr. 10)
Even though I’m an ELF (Super Junior’s fandom) and love the KRY subunit, I haven’t enjoyed Yesung’s solo ventures thus far. “Hibernation” didn’t really change that, but it’s definitely a step in the direction of slow songs I can stomach. It’s a pretty mellow, easy going, little song. It’s devoid of Yesung’s usual powerhouse vocals, which actually benefit the track. He sticks to a flat, sweet tone that compliments the sentiment of the song. It’s not flashy or meant to destroy your feelings, like he usually does. “Hibernation” is literally and figuratively a warm up release for Yesung’s upcoming album. There, we will find those powerhouse belts he’s known for. And while it’s not my usual cup of tea, I’m not deaf; I can recognize talent, of course.
What was your favorite song of the week? Let us know 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.
I remember watching my first K-drama series, “Autumn in My Heart,” starring heartthrob actors Song Seung-heon and Won Bin and charming actress Song Hye-kyo in 2001 on VHS with my mom. Aside from crying every other episode as the result of a heartbreaking plot, I remember falling madly in love in with the melodic ballads and acoustic OSTs (original soundtrack). I was young and didn’t want to ask my parents for money to buy the OST album, so as a result, I made my way onto Limewire (once an online file sharing downloading website) and downloaded the 13-track soundtrack and became completely immersed, day in and day out.
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Going into this drama, I wasn’t expecting to be so mesmerized by the somber songs and tender guitar and piano acoustics considering this was my first time being exposed to the Korean culture and the Korean music. My love for these sappy, heart wrenching, and emotional OSTs surely hasn’t slowed down. One of the reasons why I’m usually drawn to a drama nowadays is because I’ll hear the OST elsewhere, become completely absorbed in the music, and then watch the drama itself. Considering that I’m such a sucker for a great soundtrack, it was quite difficult for me to create this list, but if I let it go on any further it wouldn’t have ever ended. So with that said, here are my top 5 choices. Read more