September started off what is turning out to be a long string of boy group comebacks, and my tastes are reflected accordingly. I really do try to stay balanced and listen to both girl and boy groups, but unfortunately, that doesn’t always work out. I confess that I spent most of my attention on EXO and BTS: the former because they’re my favorite group, and the latter because I was really impressed with their latest music. However, many groups reminded me that I shouldn’t be forgetting about them either.
August was hectic, and October and November are shaping up to be just as wild. So September provided a nice little breather! Things were on the lighter side, but there were still plenty of comebacks to enjoy. I’ll admit I spent most of my time fangirling over EXO and BTS, but some of my other favorite groups came back with some quality music.
Awards season is coming, and the MNET Asian Music Awards (hereafter referred to as MAMA) is kicking things off with a bang! It’s only been two days, and my social media feeds are already filled with people discussing the nominations. As I write this, fans all over the world are diligently trying to get on MNET’s bugging website and vote for their favorites. I’m multifandom, so I’m having a really hard time choosing. Also, my computer seems to hate that site. So I thought I’d do something a little different!
Frequent readers of my blog will know I started out mainly writing reviews of K-POP’s latest releases. I still really enjoy doing those, but they’re super time-consuming. On average, it takes me about two days to do all the research, make GIFs, and actually write the review…and that’s when I’m focused! If I did that for every group I liked or I was interested in, I’d be forever behind. And there also just times when I don’t feel I have enough material to fill up a whole post. So I’ve come up with a new solution!
Rapid(ish) Reviews will be a blanket post for multiple artists at once. I’ll still use the same scoring system, but I’m going to focus on what I feel is most pertinent rather than every single little thing. I’m still going to do the big reviews for artists that I really like and/or feel I have a lot to say about, but I think this is an easier way to share my opinions when I’m pressed for time. Because there were so many comebacks in August, I’ve split this into multiple posts. This one will cover the more well-known idols or ones who have been around for a while. I’ll make another one about all the rookies / Produce 101 alum.
On September 20, digital music platform Soribada hosted their first ever BEST K-MUSIC AWARDS. Eligible songs were from September 2016 to August 2017, with online voting starting in July.
New Korean Wave Producer Award: Iggy Youngbae (I assume for a GFriend song)
New Korean Wave Music Video Award: Zanybros (I’m not sure if they were nominated for a specific MV, but they worked with many of the artists that were there: B.A.P., Mamamoo, GFriend, KNK, Wanna One)
New Korean Wave Music Star Award: Sonamoo and KNK
New Korean Wave OST Award: Ailee, “I Will Go to You Like the First Snow” (Goblin)
New Korean Wave Rookie Award: Pentagon and Wanna One
New Korean Wave Popularity Award: EXO
New Korean Wave Icon Award: Red Velvet
New Korean Wave Trot Award: Tae Jin Ah and Hong Jin Young
New Korean Wave Global Achievement Award: Eru
New Korean Wave Photogenic Award: DIA
New Korean Wave Rising Hot Star Award: WJSN and Wanna One
New Korean Wave Voice Award: Han Dong Geun
New Korean Wave Performance Award: NCT 127 and gugudan
New Korean Wave Artist Award: BTS (not in attendance)
2017 SOBA 11 (aka the Bonsang Prizes): Hwang Chi Yeul, T-ara, BTOB, EXO, Vixx, B.A.P., Mamamoo, Red Velvet, GFriend, Monsta X, Twice
Digital Daesang: Twice
Daesang (grand prize): EXO
I was originally going to do a recap, but there wasn’t all that much to sum up. Groups won awards, gave speeches, and performed their latest hits; there weren’t any special stages or collaborations. And all the artists stayed backstage, so it’s not like I can comment on their reactions to each other. Also, the streaming on V-Live was terrible. There was this weird echo/loop on the audio for the first thirty minutes, and the image kept cutting out or going out of sync. I know it’s a first time show, but those are some serious growing pains.
I’m not sure how much of a big deal these awards are or will be, especially compared to long-standing shows like MAMA, Melon, or Gaon Chart. It’s kind of strange that certain habitual award recipients like BTS, GOT7, BLACKPINK (and/or any YG artist), and Seventeen are nowhere to be seen. (BTS literally just started their comeback and they did send an acceptance speech, but it’s still a little weird) And to be honest, I don’t know what half of those awards mean or what the criteria was for deciding any of them. But I’m really impressed with the diversity of the artists they awarded. They’re mostly all groups big in the last five years, but there’s still a wide variety. And I’m really happy with the attention they gave to all those rookies. They all deserve more recognition, and I’m glad they got it. I’ll be interested to see if Soribada does this again next year and how it will be – hopefully a better streaming experience!
Sources: V-Live, Soompi, Wikipedia
Another month, another group profile! I finished GFriend just in time for their comeback! I’ve also been working on one for a certain extremely popular boy group that’s coming back in less than a week…but I have other things I want to do, so I might put it to the side for a week or two.
I can’t believe we’re already so far into September! I had so many great new blog updates planned, and all of a sudden the month’s halfway through. Where does all the time go???? The good news is that I’ve been working on a lot of different posts over the past couple of weeks, so I’m looking to post a lot in the next couple of weeks. Here’s what’s coming up next (in no particular order):
*A post about the K.A.R.D. fan meeting I went to in London
*A “Favorites” post for August
*The rest of my reviews for August comebacks and debuts. As you might have noticed, I’ve had less and less time to write full in-depth reviews for groups, and sometimes I just don’t have enough to say to merit a whole post. So I decided that I would save writing the long reviews for my favorite groups, and then make one big monthly post to do quick opinions on all the rest.
*Bias appreciation post for September: This is a monthly topic I’ve been waiting to do for a while. It’s just a fun semi-fangirl kind of post where I talk about my bias and the reasons I’ve chosen him or her. If you want a hint of who I picked for this month, I’m thinking of permanently naming this column “That’s Right, My Type.”
*Quizzes: When I was in London to see K.A.R.D., my friend and I basically spent the entire weekend doing K-Pop personality quizzes. It was so much fun, and I thought that would be a fun thing to add to this blog. This one might take a while, but it will be an EXO quiz.
So to sum it up, a lot of EXO related stuff and some other things (XD XD XD)
(Oops, we’re already over halfway through April….)
As I predicted, March was all about the boy groups for me. Though of course several girl groups had solid comebacks, most of my attention was consumed by favorites like Got7 and Monsta X. But no matter your preferences, there was something for everyone this month.
Normally, I avoid teasers because I find them misleading. But GFriend’s teasers got me so hyped. The Awakening, indeed. The popular girl group is clearly ready to their expand their horizons, and this comeback is supposed to signal a big turning point. It turns out that “Fingertip” isn’t that different from their previous work, but it’s a solid step in a new direction.
Happy 2017! Time to get cracking on this blog. It’s been over half a year since I originally set this up, and I stupidly did it while I was still finishing school (practically guaranteeing that I wouldn’t have time to work on it). But this is a new year, and my New Year’s resolution is to actually start a blog and keep it going.
I’ve been into K-pop for almost a year now. When I get into something – especially something media related like music or a tv show – I have the tendency to go all-in. At this point I have gone through the discographies, filmographies, and history of pretty much every major group you could think of. So as I approach the anniversary of the day I stumbled into all of this, I decided to start my blog by making a list of the songs that I really liked in 2016 – my first year as an official K-pop fan.