This Week in Kpop: February 21-27, 2016

Mamamoo Kpop You're the Best

This Week in Kpop has so many new releases that we can't even contain ourselves! But we can try, can't we? Let's stop stalling and start with one of our favorites groups in the world: Mamamoo!

Mamamoo's Back!

Mamamoo came back this week with "You're the Best" and is just killing it on the charts, or, as they say, All-Killing it. They're well on the way to becoming an elite girl group here, and we're super excited for them to take center stage.

But what about the release itself?

Sometimes it's difficult to separate your biases from their releases. Mamamoo is certainly a bias at Critical Kpop, so it's difficult to give a fair analysis, although we try. We've been following them since their debut, loving "Piano Man" and pitting them against our favorite girl groups even! It's a different feeling when following a group since their inception and becoming a fan later on, as we're sure all of you know.

So, objectively, it's difficult to address this release, friends (but not impossible). Just looking at "You're the Best" gives the impression that Mamamoo is taking another step into their more lighthearted, silly iteration that they first embraced with their super popular "Um Ah Oh Yeh," which makes sense because that release really pushed them to the top of the charts. They're also able to let loose their bright personalities, which, if you've seen their behind-the-scenes videos seems very genuine and charming.

And, as a whole, "You're the Best" is a fun, vocally strong song. We do miss their more slick, cool retro look that made us fall for them in the first place. Groups are certainly destined to change and shift from concept to concept, but, music video aside, "You're the Best" still has a sound not too dissimilar from "Piano Man," and if you check out their album, Melting, which we recommend that you do, you'll hear that they haven't lost their retro-jazzy-big band sound that made them so unique.

So, objectively, as objective as we can be, this is a strong release, and we think that they have a real chance to win some music shows and make a statement in the Kpop world. 2016 seems to be the year where these newer groups finally rise to the top. How cool is that? 

Cosmic Girls Make their Debut! 

Cosmic Girls, the 12-member Chinese-Korean girl group has finally made their debut this week, with the super-adorablez G-Friend in space, "MoMoMo." As you may gather, this release isn't really our cup of soju, but it is still telling of the shape of future girl group releases. For one, they went with the more cutesy, innocent "MoMoMo" as their lead single, instead of the more dynamic, and, dare we say, sexy "Catch Me," which, perhaps, wouldn't have been the case maybe even a year ago, where sexy concepts were at their zenith.

"Catch Me" feels more 4Minute than Lovelyz, which is probably why they went with the latter, considering the shift in the Kpop girl group spectrum. 

We're not seeing a lot of buzz for Cosmic Girls right now, but they're an intriguing group, one that is massive in numbers but also has subgroups/units within the group (Wonder, Joy, Sweet, and Natural units). We're curious to see how these units will be deployed and how much of a stake in China this group will attempt to capture. Considering Starship Entertainment has teamed with the Chinese agency, Yuehua Entertainment, to form this group, we imagine that they'll have a huge push in both countries. 

So, don't write off Cosmic Girls, yet. They're a lot more interesting than their first release gives them credit for. 

Critical Kpop Podcast - Episode 26: Taemin is More

So, we know what you're thinking right now. "What's this? Where's the Taemin music video? Or the new B.A.P. release? Where's Ladies' Code?" Well, first of all, calm down. We're all friends here. Second of all, we've talked about all of those releases this week, in our latest episode of the Critical Kpop Podcast. And yes, we go pretty in-depth with all of them, so why not give a listen and let us know what you think?

Coping with the Inevitable Kpop Fatigue

If you're looking at this site, you probably love Kpop at least as much as we do, right? But Helen Edworthy wonders: What happens when Kpop fatigue sets in? She explores this question right here.

February 21-27, 2016 

And that was This Week in Kpop! This was a great way to end February and we're excited for what is to come! 2016 promises to be a game-changing year, and we'll be here to chart the shifts in the Kpop landscape, or at least try. In the meantime, have fun and be safe!


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