This Week in Kpop: October 4-10, 2015

AKMU Special Video

This Week in Kpop was a ray of sunshine in these dreary fall days, friends. Topped by the delightful return by Kpop's own Akdong Musician. Sure, it may seem like a cruel tease, but this special video was just what the doctor ordered! But enough with the introductions! Let's get started already!

AKMU Returns! 

Sometimes you don't realize how much you've missed someone, until they've returned. With Akdong Musician's special video commemorating "Hangul Day" the first real sign of them all year, we're seeing now just how much Kpop needs the sibling duo. Their incredible debut album, Play, was released in April of last year (AKMU won our rookies of the year for 2014), so when you really think about it, it's not entirely unreasonable that they haven't released a new song immediately after their tour de force.

If they were, say, American idols, they'd probably still be promoting from that very first album, and there would be no expectation of new releases for years. But Kpop, as we know, is a different beast with a far different cycle, and even though it's unreasonable to expect a new album every year, to not use Akdong Musician in even cameos or collaborations, just to build on their killer momentum, is something close to a crime.

Remember Hi Suhyun?

Of course you do. Suhyun and poor, forgotten Lee Hi's subgroup was pure gold and a perfect follow up after Akdong Musician's early success. We know that YG is notorious for taking their time with their artists, but why not have another subgroup release, with Hi Suhyun or maybe a different one featuring Chanhyuk, carefully placed between Big Bang releases? Just look at the year SM is having compared with YG. When was the last time SM didn't have a major release circling music shows? They're throwing every artist they have out there. We know that Big Bang's MADE is a special circumstance, but did it really have to be at the expense of the rest of their lineup?

But ANYWAY, we're just happy that we're getting a special release here, because better late than never, right? There's really nothing like AKMU (in popular Korean music), and their bright energy and playfully raw personalities give an authenticity (or, at least, the illusion of authenticity) to their releases that are irresistible. It helps that this song, even at a brief two minutes and some change, is a fun, energetic jam, just special enough to give us that extra push to the final months of 2015.

Clash of the Girl Groups: Oh My Girl vs. Melody Day

Okay, okay, we're not making these two girl groups clash - we just wanted to call attention to two groups that you maybe haven't heard of yet. We're especially impressed with Oh My Girls' "Closer," which is just a beautiful song, but was paired with a visually stunning, fairy tale-esque music video. Their debut release, "Cupid" was more standard fare, but was another great song, so maybe it's safe to say that Oh My Girls is the real deal here.

And what about Melody Day, who debut in 2014? Well, they've had a solid 2015 too. Did you hear/see "#LoveMe?" We even missed it when it first came out, but now it's our groove. "Speed Up" doesn't reinvent the wheel here, but is a fun song with a catchy hook. So, yes. They're the real deal too.

Lil Boi and Basick's "Call Me" (featuring Hwa Sa)

Talk about jams and real deals! Lil Boi, Basick, and Hwa Sa shine here with a release that will cause you to jump out of your proverbial seats. We're loving that Mamamoo's Hwa Sa is a part of this collaboration, as her sultry voice really makes the chorus pop. What else is there to say? Just watch this already!

"But wait," you're saying, "Why haven't they discussed Taeyeon's solo debut? What type of hacks are these Critical Kpoppers anyway? More like Critical K-Crap!" Well, first of all, calm down. Stop being so quick to judge! Second of all, we've talked about Taeyeon's release extensively already - in the return of the Critical Kpop Podcast. She's not the only release we tackle, friends, as our Guys' Night In covers a wide range of topics, from Ailee to iKon. Why not take a listen right here

October 4-10, 2015 

And that was This Week in Kpop! Are you as happy as we are for getting more AKMU? Or are we getting too worked up over a two minute special video? We can't help what we feel, but we'd love to get your take! We'll be back next week, but until then - have fun and be safe! 


  1. Yes...More AKMU.AKMU is so unique and have so much more potential.Hope YG doesn't waste it

  2. This is my favorite website. I discovered Critical K-pop while looking for a more substantial, substance-filled, and well-written alternative to AllKpop. Besides the incredible music, I think there is so much to talk about with K-pop as a starting point. (Which is why I was able to write two critical papers in college about K-pop!) Thank you for inspiring more meaningful discourse in the K-pop sphere! Thank you for existing! -Xoxo-


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