Welcome to a post where I will be discussing about the current trend in Kpop, musical wise. As I’ve been following Korean pop music for a while, it’s natural that I’m going to be noticing the trend in Kpop so let me share what I’ve gathered so far.
Just a note here: As with all musical topic in this blog, this post will be heavily bias in my own opinion. However, that does not mean I want readers to feel the need to agree with me. The point of this post is to keep up with the current trend and maybe some entertainment or something to read.
Now that’s out of the way, let’s get down to the real business.
1) Trap beats
With Keith Ape spearheading his own style of rap music, there are still more Korean rappers blabbering and screeching over Trap beats while rapping about underwater or whatever they were thinking of when they snorted out 3kg of coke.
The trend in Korean ballads is the main reason why my newly monthly ballad post exist. Let’s be honest here, ballads have never carry the Korean pop scene, ever. If you look at the list of the most viewed Kpop songs, you’ll rarely find any ballads there and even the only ballads that managed to get a lot of views are slightly less balladry in comparison or sung by an extremely popular singer. This year however, with older groups disbanding, you can expect more ballads to come out in the form of “We’re going to miss you farewell for now” type of ballads. Let’s sure hope we say farewell to this trend on the other hand. Despite my general negativity of the ballad trend, ironically my current favourite track of 2017 so far is a ballad (not the one embedded above) which goes to show that I don’t actually mind ballads at all if it’s any good.
3) More debuts
New groups debut each year so it comes off to no surprise right there unless the frequency of it becomes lesser or more than the usual numbers. I say the number of debuts is pretty much the same as the last three years or so in Kpop (which is a lot).
4) Notable disbandment
Again, disbandment are highly notable in 2017 with the older groups quitting but this probably didn’t affect much musical wise except for cheesy farewell songs. I say this because the groups that have disbanded already have their own replacement except Wonder Girls (because we need a female idol band concept to truly replace them).
5) Monthly releases
Currently we have two groups releasing songs for every month this year: Day6 and Loona. This is a pretty good concept for those that wanted a more frequent comebacks from their favourite group. Another good thing about this concept is that each comeback is fully committed as if it’s a full-pledged comeback so each songs is more likely to be in decent quality. Both Day6 and Loona are only doing this concept for this year (Day6 will compile every song into a single album while the latter group doing it only to prepare for their real big debut near the end of this year) so it may or may not be applied to someone else next year.
6) Rising trends?
The Chainsmoker’s musical style to me sounds almost like any other modern electronic music but it still has its own “unique-ness” to it. Seventeen is probably the first group to emulate the sound and it’s a little well done (much better than anything The Chainsmoker did). Due to the popularity of The Chainsmoker, there may be more Korean groups that may emulate their sounds.
Or maybe something like this.
This particular type of music may not be trendy anytime soon but I’m ready to sacrifice eight virgins to the Kpop gods in the hopes that it would because it’s friggin cool.
7) Tropical House music dominating the Korean Pop scene
While I may have a “hipster tendency”, in actuality I’m never 100% an anti-trend. Music-wise, the real problem is the kind of music that is being played a lot. If you tell me the current trend in Kpop is Queen‘s style of music then I won’t mind it at all because I like Queen even if they were overplayed a lot. And then we have Tropical house music where they put in cheesy reggae-ish beats and built up the music till it hits it’s signature synth melody after the chorus (this is usually the case but there are other variants of it). The worst part of this style is that the producer tend to phrase the synth melody so poorly that it sounds like a rat squealing. It wouldn’t have been a problem if the notes of the melody sounds normal or the beats of the song is actually decent (check out TheFatRat or Alan Walker for decent examples of this). I long suspected this type of music to fully invade the Kpop scene after I heard that CSP’s song back in mid 2016 (the video linked was released this year but it’s actually a re-release version). Now I don’t have to suspect no more with groups like Kard spearheading the trend so this trend will stick around for a while until the newer one comes to kick its tropical ass. Of course not every Tropical house music is guaranteed to suck just as not every Lovelyz song is guaranteed to be good either so whatever comes out this year, hopefully it’s decent enough for my taste.
8) Lovelyz 2017
Lovelyz has been doing well this year in terms of the service they have given to me (especially their songs) and being more active in the industry. They also managed to boost their brand reputation just for their first win on a music show although it is still highly irrelevant when it comes to my liking of them. I haven’t manage to review their stuff yet but it will come eventually now that I have their physical copy of the albums.
9) Overall quality of Kpop music
This year’s Kpop has been great with the sheer amount of decent songs in just half a year. There are reasonable amount of exciting and well written Kpop comebacks but despite this, my current favourite Korean song so far is a ballad (not Snuper either). The only thing that would dilute the overall quality is crappy trends but we’ll see what the rest of the year would offer us.
If you think crappy music is the true number one enemy of Kpop, here a trend that’s even worse than Traps, ballads and lame Tropical house combined. Dab is a trend that has long existed for a while (I think since late 2015) so it’s natural that the Koreans are going to cash on it after a while. Shameless dabbings are for faggots- err I mean lame people so there’s no need for any Korean idols to do it unless some of them are faggots- err I mean lame themselves. What’s next? Faggot spinners- err I mean, fidget spinners as part of the dance routine?
Extra non-musical bias section
While I did managed to find decent girls to add to my bias list last year, they weren’t that impressive enough for my eyes. This year is better because even if there aren’t many idols that I like, the ones that I do are really really good looking. April Chaekyung was the first girl to impressed me earlier this year with her slightly weight-y looks (by Korean standards) and a cute face. To top it all off, she consistently looks good in pictures or videos especially when matches with her costumes which makes her easily the best idol to come out this year. Well, technically she was active last year but since she “debuted” this year, I might as well consider her a 2017 entry.
And here’s Vivi from Loona, the Chinese bootleg version of Kei and like all Chinese bootlegs, not as good as the original. Unfortunately there isn’t that many pictures or video of her but she’s still cute regardless. And for the love of Kpop god, don’t ever try a topknot ever again unless you’re JIN.
People went wild over Seolhyun or more recently, Cheng Xiao but I personally think that Mijoo is worth ten times the hotness of any 10 other hottest idols that most drool over. Which is why I’m so glad that Girl’s Alert Jisung debuted this year. This Mijoo clone not only sports the perfect weight-y looks that caters to my preference, she also managed to shook the spoiled fans a bit just for her weight revelation (I wouldn’t be surprised if Mijoo weights the same). Like Mijoo, I reckon her extra 10Kg goes to her gluts. Hopefully more idols like her will debut in the future and even if they don’t look as hot (facial wise), their appearance alone would still be able to piss off the pressuring fans.
We all know what happened with JinE so there’s no need for me to explain. If my determination and my research skills allow it, I might be able to write a post someday dedicated to her and other people that suffered from the same issue but until then, the best that I can do is to continually feature her whenever I have the chance. As per now, she still hasn’t been well enough to be active again so let’s wish her the best in her struggles.
So that’s just it for this post, overall there’s not much change from the last two years or so except with the addition of Tropical house trend. Yes this post is a little too brief but I like to keep things simple. I’m aware that I don’t post as frequent as I should but I’ll try my best to keep up with my blog.