Critical Kpop Podcast - Episode 14: December Oohs

Get it? Like December blues? But this month, we're proud to say, will be sponsored by Luhan! If that makes no sense to you, you'll just have to tune in to this episode to find out. Also discussed is new music from CL, PSY, BTS, Verbal Jint, and Nine Muses. Join Tim, Sarah, and Zander as they try to fight through the obligatory holiday releases to find a few hidden gems.

You can subscribe to the Critical Kpop Podcast on iTunes, or check this and future episodes out at You can expect a healthy serving of news, reviews, and critical analysis in every episode. The Critical Kpop Podcast is the only podcast that invites you to LISTEN HARDER.


  1. I agree with Sarah 100% on BTS. I'm a recent fan of theirs but this album is blowing me away. It's got me feeling like it's 2008 and I'm still at the peak of my emo phase and I love it.

  2. At first, I totally agreed with Xander... BTS is my ultimate bias group, but I was unimpressed with 'Run' upon first listen. It felt a little too similar and not quite as excellent as 'I Need U.' However, I find that I am liking it more and more after a few listens. I feel like all of BTS' previous albums had pretty distinctive vibes and that they were trying new and different things with each album-- growing. However, when I first heard Part II, it felt too similar to Part I. I thought it was great, but seemed like more of the same and thus was kind of a let down. I think I expected BTS to just keep maturing and morphing with Part II (like with their previous releases), but now thinking on it, it seems unfair and unrealistic to expect something different after only a couple months. After a few play throughs though, I find that I am getting much, much more into it. I appreciate it more when (like it was aptly named) I think of it as a continuation of Part I. Overall, the tone is much more mellow, but I don't think that's a bad thing, just unexpected. I am not compulsively listening to single songs like I was with 'Dope' or 'Fun Boys,' but instead I find that I enjoying hearing the album as a whole. I do agree with Sarah, I think they are settling into their sound. To be sure, the heavy handed hip-hop image they portrayed when they first debuted had its own merits, but it could feel a little clumsy and heavy handed... "We are a HIP-HOP group!!! See the chains and bandanas? HIP! HOP!" I much prefer this era marked by young people trying to find their way in the world through all the highs and lows. It feels so fucking genuine and sincere it kills me. And how bout that friendship? It gets me right in the heart.

    1. Hi there! I totally agree with you. I didn't really get to articulate my thoughts very well, but I think The Most Beautiful Moment in Life Pt1 and Pt2 is a much deeper album than any of their others. While singles like N.O and No More Dream were about "fighting the system", these new albums reflect a sense of nostalgia for childhood, maybe an anxiety and fear and excitement about growing up into functioning adults and leaving that behind. For a Kpop group to take on a concept like that, and successfully pull it off while leaving us, the listener, feeling heartbroken and "emo" and satisfied all at once is a great accomplishment.


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