It’s been a hectic week within the K-pop music industry after a previously relaxing week because of the Chuseok Holiday. The holiday consists of major harvest festivals that last for three-days all over North and South Korea in celebration of the autumn harvest. As a result, many K-pop artists were given the opportunity to relax, but it definitely a void during my week as an international week. Sitting through an eight hour work week was no easy feat without new music, but, thankfully, this week delivered…and I mean REALLY delivered.
NU’EST W, GOT7, AND SF9 CLOSE THE SUMMER OFF WITH HOT NEW MUSIC
As the summer winds down, major boy groups returned with steamy new releases that highlighted their vast range and unique sound. Probably the most anticipated new album was GOT7’s 7 for 7, with their title song "You Are" reaching new heights! The title song, co-written by leader JB, helped the group top worldwide charts across the world. In comparison to past releases, GOT7 showcased a more mature sound that featured the talents of each individual member, instead of focusing on the ‘fun’ aspect. The group demanded respect, and it shows with their latest release, filled with chill EDM inspired songs like ‘Teenager.’ Although the group is heading towards the right direction, it begs to question if the group has truly lost their ‘spark’ and "hyperness" that MADE them unique. For me, the album sounded monotone and too cohesive and left me wanting more. Regardless, as a new fan of GOT7, I’m excited for what the group has in store for K-pop.
My most anticipated release was the return of underrated group, NU’EST W. Now consisting of only four members, since the temporary departure of vocalist Minhyun, now a member of Wanna One, many were wondering how the group would handle it. Despite doubts, NU’EST W delivered and delivered WELL with their new mini-album, and catchy title song ‘Where You At.’ The music video is an exciting, sexy, and visually appealing flashing images of the members searching for their vixen, while showcasing their strong vocals and slick choreography. With Baekho’s infamous high notes and JR’s intense rap, it’s a song that truly shows NU’EST W is here to stay and…slay. Yes, the group slayed, but perhaps I’m biased because of my absolute love for NU’EST prior to Produce 101 Season 2.
Finally, the rookie group, SF9, came back with a latin inspired title song, “O Sole Mio,” for their latest mini-album, Knights of the Sun. The group definitely took risks with this new release, but everything came together and ultimately worked towards the group’s favor. With endless teasers, SF9 brought the energy needed to break through the crowded K-pop boy scene. The title song featured FIVE different languages (Korean, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and English) and was one of the most unique K-pop title songs released of 2017! However, the title song isn’t my personal favorite of the album, instead, it’s the sweet ballad “Blank,” that pulled at me and left me needing more. Perhaps it’s something to do with SF9’s ability to bring the second generation K-pop sound, but with a modern twist, in a way that is remarkable without sounding campy.
3 MEMBERS LEAVE LEGENDARY GIRL GROUP, GIRL’S GENERATION (SNSD)
Second generation groups are quickly dissipating, and legendary girl group, SNSD, is no exception. After celebrating ten years of endless hit singles, albums, mini-albums, concert tours, and more, SNSD has lost three members. Tiffany Sooyoung, and Seohyun have decided to not renew their contracts with SM Entertainment, and, instead, are pursuing various careers in acting and other solo gigs. The remaining five members have decided to renew their contracts, but many fans are left worrying how long it will last before SNSD completely disbands. It’s no surprise that after a long ten years, SNSD is slowly dwindling down. The girls have been practicing nonstop prior to their debut in 2007, and helped bring K-pop girl groups to the forefront of the international pop music industry. It’s a shame that these legends are slowly disappearing, but nothing in life is forever. For now, let’s celebrate the girls last full release together with their last title song, “Holiday.”
Stay Kurrent. Stay K-pop.