This Week in Kpop: November 22-28, 2015

This Week in Kpop had some major releases as we inch closer to the end of the year! GOT7 leads the way, but can they warm our cynical Kpop hearts? Let's see!


Yes, it's a Christmas release, which we are famously (some would say, infamously) against, but GOT7 is just the group to charm our cold Grinch hearts here at Critical Kpop. There's no denying that GOT7 has had an UH-mazing year, shooting up to near the top of our bias lists. "Just Right" seems to be the game-changer and cemented the group as the best boyfriends of Kpop. "If You Do" was a strong follow-up - moodier, hurt, lovelorn. Still, it's a jam - and as a jam, it slays.

With "Confession Song" (which turns out not to be as dark as the song may inadvertently suggest), we get the perfect epilogue to their stellar year - it's cheesy and a bit awkward, and the schoolgirls that GOT7 commandeer to meet with their admirers don't really seem that into it (or maybe they're just petrified). Also: putting these girls into a situation where they have to accept their admirers to avoid undeniable awkwardness is just the right touch that makes this release a true JYP production. Problems aside, if you don't think too hard this is actually a sweet video, a fun scenario, and GOT7's enthusiasm and energy are infectious. So, hold your horses - it's finally happened. We have a Christmas release that we actually enjoy. GOT7 can clearly perform miracles.

Verbal Jint and Taeyeon (Again)

We're loving this release because everything Verbal Jint touches is just gold lately, and him teaming with Taeyeon is Mana from Heaven. It's such beautiful, sad, so sad video - that we think touches on how we see ourselves and are viewed by others - a grand message if there ever was one. At the same time, we can't help but feel as though there was a missed opportunity here at bringing and seeing Verbal Jint with Taeyeon in the actual video and how that would have scored major views from the SNSD fandom. Perhaps there was contractual reasons, or the lack of time, or perhaps they wanted to embrace this more artistic route.

Whatever the case may be, Verbal Jint and Taeyeon are a charismatic duo, one that, in the right hands could rival Troublemaker even, as a more vocally-inclined pair. Will that ever happen? Probably not. But we can dream, can't we?

Jay Park Can't Stop, Won't

The real question here is if Jay Park will be releasing a music video for every song he's sung ever, which is something we wouldn't doubt, friends. We can barely keep up here, Jay Park - slow down, already (please)! But for realz, "In this B*tch X MY" is our jam right now and we're all ready to embrace this album, Worldwide, as a stunning achievement. 

The toughest thing here is picking our favorite release thus far. "Solo?" Maybe "BO$$?" It's like picking a favorite child, but play Sophie's Choice with us. What's your favorite? Let us know in the comments!

9 Muses' "Sleepless Night" 

As good a year as GOT7 has had in the realm of boy groups, we'd argue that 9 Muses should be in the conversation for girl groups. We know, you have your biases. But it's hard to deny that "Hurt Locker" was one of the best songs of the summer - by any group. This was after the group went through some major upheavals with their departures (natch for 9 Muses) and their "Drama" release left us wanting more.

"Sleepless Night" is slower, darker than the hyper-kinetic "Hurt Locker," and more moodier and vomit-heavy than we like most of our Kpop releases, but it's also super catchy and the music and choreography has an eerie, skewed quality that may just make it memorable (also: hints of lesbianism at the end of the video?). While many fans (including those in Critical Kpop) are hoping that this could just be that breakout hit that 9 Muses seems to have been building towards for years, at the same time we doubt that "Sleepless Night" is what's going to take them there. But what will? When will you be satisfied?

April's "Muah" 

What does one say about a group like April? They're super young (Jinsol is 13?!) - and Somin, the eldest member at 19, left to pursue her studies. Which isn't so surprising how young this young group performs - appealing to the Korean Kidz Bop demographic. For what it is, "Muah" is not a poor release, although we do question DSP's strategy and washed out cinematography that has plagued Kara for years now. It's like DSP is hunkering down - establishing themselves with their innocence and light, harmless releases. April is a continuation of this mood, this, as they say, milieu. Which is fine, sure, but remember when Kara was cutting edge? Remember when they were cool?

MAMA 2015 Predictions, Part 2: Genre Category

Kushal Dev continues with his predictions for the upcoming MAMAs! This week he takes a stab at the genre category. Take a look at his picks here! Give your own predictions too, friends!

Critical Kpop Podcast - Episode 13: Your Life in Kpop

The Critical Kpop Podcast continues! This week Tim and Zander peer inward, analyzing their lives with Kpop. One of them may have gotten a bit drunk there in the end. Who's to say? You can listen and make your own judgments here!

November 22-28, 2015

And that was This Week in Kpop! We covered a lot of ground this week and may have rushed through some topics! If you want us to take a closer look at anything, please shoot us an email or leave a comment! We're always open to new ideas! On that note, we hope you've had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and we'll be back next week! Until then, have fun and be safe!


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