This Month’s K-pop Recap: September 2022 – Tech

BLACKPINK – “Stop” (September 16)

BLACKPINK is the it-girl group of the K-Pop world and has quickly become a worldwide phenomenon since its debut in 2016.

Their latest album, “Born Pink,” comes after nearly two years without new music.

Fans of the band, also known as “Blinks,” are pretty used to this long hiatus between comebacks, but it’s unclear if “Born Pink” was worth the wait.

The B-side, “Pink Venom”, was released before the album and seemed like a good candidate for the title track with a catchy chorus, iconic and edgy BLACKPINK sound, and interesting choreography. The song changes tempo a few times, moving from traditional drum beats to then focusing on vocals and then backtracking.

The title track, “Shut Down,” went in a very different direction by sampling classical music with heavy emphasis. on a violin instrument and adding a modern hip-hop beat. The majority of the lyrics are in English, which could represent the band trying to further establish themselves in the global market.

While the lyrics are a bit weak, the song is a pretty good title track in BLACKPINK standards and does not get tiring after several listenings. The almost two-year wait could have exaggerated expectations, but “Shut Down” is a good and eye-catching addition to BLACKPINK’s short discography.

NMIXX – “Dice” (September 19)

NMIXX is JYP’s new girl group who have become famous for their extremely powerful voice, sound and choreography. Since their debut, their sound has been huge and explosive, and the same can be said for the group’s latest title track, “Dice”, from the EP “ENTWURF”.

It’s impossible to describe the song as a singular sound, rather it’s a jumbled combination that seems to have been mixed up randomly during production. Most NMIXX songs take a few listens to understand and appreciate, and while “Dice” fits that mold, it’s definitely a confusing song.

There’s a jazzy intro, carnival-inspired sound, and lots of noise. All in all, “Dice” seems like another K-Pop attempt to get into noise music that didn’t quite hit the mark. Luckily, the EP’s B-side, “COOL (Your rainbow)” features NMIXX’s vocals perfectly, which their tracks usually can’t.

CRAVITY – “Party Rock” (September 27)

This song can easily be described as light and refreshing. The sound takes us back to the early days of boy bands like SEVENTEEN’s “Mansae” and Astro’s “Crazy Sexy Cool”.

Boy bands these days have embraced a darker sound and concept, so “Party Rock” strives to break that pattern.

The band themselves have only recently started to embrace this lighter, bouncy sound and it works for them. When groups are able to branch out and try different styles, it can be a hit or a miss, but CRAVITY is a band that can easily adapt. That being said, “Party Rock” is a very upbeat song that’s catchy and easy to listen to, which is nice, but it’s nothing particularly new to K-Pop.

EXID – “Fire” (September 29)

EXID is a girl group that debuted in 2012 during the transition from second to third generation K-Pop. Since then, they gained immense popularity in 2013 for their song “Up&Down” and periodically released new music until 2019. Their most recent releases are albums of Japanese versions of their old songs with a few new Japanese songs scattered around. between the two.

This month, the group released a new song after their long-awaited comeback titled “Fire.” It’s the title track of a 10-year anniversary album, which got the fans who waited patiently excited. the return of the group.

The song itself begins with a thrilling intro that followed a similar trend in K-Pop using Middle Eastern-inspired beats such as Ayoub and Malfouf. The pre-chorus and chorus are full of rich vocals and dynamic melodies, but the song unfortunately runs out of steam as some verses are quite simple. It definitely sounds like a return of EXID sound, which is wonderful after such a long wait.

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