Not a ton of stuff here that I came all that close to enjoying, though if you don’t see a release mention here then it’s probably getting a review later, so there’s that to look forward to.
NCT DOJAEJUNG – “Perfume”
Apparently an extremely unpopular opinion, but I thought this was super busy 90s throwback and without a really focused melodic element that made it memorable like the best of that era did. For most, I think the name and the genre was enough, but for the talk about being a vocals showcase, there weren’t many chances for them to spread their wings.
DRIPPIN – “SEVEN SINS”
Laid-back R&B effort without the chops to make it impactful and lacking in memorable melodies, plus the production quirks are more annoying than addictive.
ALICE – “SHOW DOWN”
A solid dance-pop track, but it was an inevitable step back from “Dance On”. Notably the energy seemed subdued and the mixing weirdly pushed the instrumental to the back. A more addictive melody would’ve elevated this, but for now it’s just a solid follow-up.
Xikers – “ROCKSTAR”
I was gonna say that while it’s not my type of thing at least it has tempo to it, but the chorus sorta stalls that, and given the title I expected at least some kind of central rock riff that never came.
BLITZERS – “Macarena”
Just taking the time to relive this moment in history is a much better use of your time than what you came here for.
Agust D (BTS’s Suga) – “AMYGDALA”
My karma for praising the fact that he avoided trend-riding mess on the excellent “Haegeum” is this vocal effects showcase over a languid beat. I know, I know, the heartfelt and vulnerable lyrics are the core of this and they are great, but part of the reason I listen to music instead of reading poetry or essays is so that things are conveyed in a sonically pleasing manner, and I can’t get past the delivery of this.
Taeyang (BIGBANG) (Feat. BLACKPINK’s LISA) – “Shoong!”
If you genuinely love this for the music and not the names involved, you should really get into Korean R&B/hip-hop as you can enjoy seemingly hundreds of these releases a year. The performance is a cut above, though, for sure.
TAEYANG – “Seed”
You probably know enough about my likes and dislikes by now to know this isn’t up my alley. That said, it’s probably the best on this list, and if you’re a ballad lover I could see this hitting the right notes. Taeyang’s vocal is always charismatic and it really picks up in the back half.