2018 is shaping up to be a great year for K-pop releases, given how strongly artists have started out the year. This week in February was no different, with a few comebacks from many familiar names we’ve been waiting on for awhile even amid the Lunar New Year industry-wide hiatus. Here are some of our faves.
“Boss” by NCT U (Released Feb. 18)
I went into this NCT U “comeback” very upset because I’m a Ten stan. Even though SM Entertainment announced that U’s lineup was rotational, I couldn’t understand why they weren’t including the talented dancer once again. Those feelings were momentarily interrupted once the music video for “Boss” finally dropped today. Though the focus is, predictably, on NCT’s trinity — Taeyong, Mark, and Jaehyun — we were introduced to two new members, Lucas and Jungwoo. Win Win was also added and, like with 127, was ignored (though the boy served major looks!). “Boss” resembles NCT 127’s concepts more than “The 7th Sense,” being hard-hitting and relying heavily on hip-hop rather than being experimental. And while the song’s arrangement and line distribution were pretty predictable, the surprises came mainly in the form of a rapper other than Mark and Taeyong (this time Lucas) having a verse all to himself (and murdering it, mind you) and Jungwoo’s vocals blending perfectly with Doyoung. “Boss” is yet another gem in NCT’s growing discography and, like with every release, further proved that there’s nothing they can’t tackle and completely own.
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“Sober” by Suzy (Released Feb. 14)
With the recent release of a music video for “Sober,” Suzy’s self-composed ode to blurting out your true feelings while drunk just about qualifies for this week’s playlist. Suzy’s solo career has been somewhat smaller than you’d expect from a star as big as her but it has luckily been extremely composed. She’s one of very idols who can walk around a stage and completely captivate with a mere glance. On the b-side to her second single “Holiday,” Suzy effortlessly whispers her way through a minimal track of precise sounds and movements. Produced by EJAE, Aaron Kim, Isaac Han, and Andrew Choi, “Sober’s” instrumental is mostly percussion and handclaps, with the odd bubble popping to highlight certain elements. It’s a song of pure confidence and comfort. Singing her own words Suzy knows her limits and beautifully blends with the music to create that easy feeling. It’s believable that a performer like Suzy could be this comfortable while drunk but it turns out she was tricking us this whole time. Her confidence is very real and not clouded by alcohol as she reveals in the last line, “Baby, let me be honest with you, don’t be surprised, I’m not drunk at all, I’m sober.”
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