Can you believe we’re already 1/3 through the year? It’s been a blur, but one filled with fabulous new releases from some of our favorite K-pop artists and even new ones! Although we’re only, barely, in May there hav been a multitude of trends that have erupted. As I’ve said before, K-pop is known for being extra and trends are never subtle changes or developments. Instead, trends within K-pop erupt into an explosion of ‘looks’ and ‘hell naws.’ So, let’s get started!
Survival Show Winners
Can we please stop with the survival show winners? From Produce 101 to The Unit to Mix Nine, it’s been an endless stream of tween K-pop groups. Also, many of these groups follow the same sounds and can sound really repetitive and focused mostly on the groups’ looks, instead of their talents. Fromis9, Wanna One, Stray Kids, UNB, IN2IT…it never ends, does it?
Honestly, at this point, if I’m not served a poppy, electronic-synth in every single survival show group debut song something is missing. Am I the only one hearing the same song in UNB’s “Feeling,” and Wanna One’s “Energetic”? But, no one can deny that while Stray Kids debut song, “District 9,” is pretty cheesy, the rap is pulled off tremendously well and helps the young group stand out.
Bad Boy Concepts
While this certainly isn’t a criticism, bad boy concepts are ever-present in 2018 and many look and feel the same. Whether it’s similar choruses, the same electronic influences, and boom bass…it just feels a bit repetitive. Again, as mentioned above, many of the survival show groups sound similar and even Wanna One and Stray Kids are focused upon this theme. Other groups just seem to match the same cinematography that features the darker lightning and harsh shadow effects.
From IN2IT, NCT (and now even NCT Dream), Wanna One, JBJ, UNB, Samuel, MONSTA X, UP10TION, etc., being a cool bad boy is just not having the same effect as it used to in K-pop. It’s not even the ‘bad boy’ idea that irks me, but there’s no real reasoning behind the change. At least with a group like VIXX, every single concept is carefully thought out and executed well instead of being a cookie-cutter knock-off of another group.
Now, onto a lighter topic that everyone can agree on…why mullets? Why did this trend start in 2017 and why is it still a thing in 2018? Chen from EXO and JB from GOT7 are the latest poor souls forced into this perplexing haircut of doom. Not many would claim it holds true to its meaning of ‘business in the front, party on the back,’ and instead just screams tacky. Can we stop this look and trend? Because I’m finding it hard to believe that any K-pop star is enjoying sporting this look! Okay, thanks.
FIVE BEST K-POP SONGS...SO FAR
Will these songs make it to my Top 18 list at the end of this year? Who knows...but these are the definite hits on my personal list.
Bad Boy - Red Velvet (Is this a surprise to anyone?)
TOUCH - NCT 127 (The bad boys switch their chains for pastels)
Scentist - VIXX (VIXX being creepy and looking fabulous, as usual)
I C U - HOONS (Delightful coffee shop tune)
Shine - PENTAGON (Always listen to this when you're sad, okay?)
All of this talent, musicality, and mullets after only four months! Something is special about K-pop and the way these hardworking musicians and artists are able to come together and create endless hits. Here’s to another great year of K-pop!
Stay Kurrent. Stay K-pop.