Curated Playlist: Reviews for May Releases – FEARLESS, TXT, SEVENTEEN and More

Kpop May Release review

Edited by Yoon
Translated by Kim Hoyeun

Kpop May Release review
Credit: Source Music, Fantagio, Big Hit Music, Pledis Entertainment

No songs stood out in May. The songs released before – songs by (G)I-DLE, Red Velvet, BIGBANG, IVE, and Psy – are still occupying the top spots on the charts. Excluding the popular group LE SSERAFIM and NCT DREAM that released the repackaged album, most new songs are either at the bottom of the charts or have already left the charts.

 

LE SSERAFIM ” FEARLESS (May 2nd)

LE SSERAFIM is the new girl group introduced by Source Music after GFRIEND’s disbandment. From the group’s branding to the naming, you can tell a lot of effort has gone into this act. Even the details such as the artists’ names, the album cover, and the music video all share a uniform tone. The album also carries one concept – “quiet but strong and solid.” Not only the title song but also the non-title tracks showcase impressive quality, satisfying the public’s expectations. Although member Kim Garam’s school bullying scandal became a hot potato, we are certainly looking forward to their next album. (★★★)

 

TXT ” minisode 2: Thursday’s Child (May 9th)

TXT’s 4th mini-album contains the various emotions drawn out by the first heartbreak. It seems like this album was designed to exude the dark side of the members. Since their goal was to try a new concept, the title song is a bit dull. The overall flow of the entire smash is solid, but it’s a pity that we can’t find the charms of each track. You can see HYBE’s obsession with including a grand worldview and messages in the album. It might have been perfect had they added a spoon of “naturalness.” (★★★☆)

 

ASTRO ” Drive to the Starry Road (May 16th)

ASTRO’s 3rd full album contains the joys and sorrows of youth and anticipation for the future. While most of the groups that debuted around the same time as ASTRO are showing a uniform concept, ASTRO is constantly sticking to the relaxed and refreshing concept. Since their debut, the boys have been expressing the refreshness within the sound, but the charms of the vocals are also impressive. Through this album, they’re clearly showing how the youthful and bright feeling should change over the years. (★★★)

 

HYO – DEEP (May 16th)

You can see the efforts she had put into balancing out the EDM and pop. This is true not only for the title song “DEEP” but also for the newly added non-title track “Stupid.” Unfortunately, this new song does not exceed the previously released songs. Her old songs had mighty impressed me, so the disappointment was bigger. The song isn’t powerful enough to show Hyoyeon’s strength in “dance,” and although Holybang created the choreography, I’m not sure it blends in well with the song. I thought it would be at least as good as “DESSERT,” but it’s actually less fun than “Second.” It seems like now is the time for Hyoyeon, who has steadily been promoting as a solo artist, to decide on which direction she wants to push ahead. Wasting Hyoyeon’s dancing skills somewhere between ambiguous genre and ambiguous popular appeal is not a good choice. (★★)

 

DAVICHI – Season Note (May 16th)

As soon as I hear DAVICHI’s new song “Fanfare,” DAVICHI’s cover of “Traffic Light (Lee Mujin)” that recently became a hot topic comes to mind. From the music video to their vocals and lyrics, everything about the song replicates the “Traffic Light” mood. Because of that, even though the song’s melodies and ranges sound solid, hearing the recorded version of the song isn’t as much as hearing it live. The arrangement and the ad-libs are also too simple. I can see the attempt to escape the typical genre of the ballad, but the disappointment is greater because the title tracks (“Beside me” and “Days Without You”) from the previous albums were splendid. This was their first comeback in five years: they should’ve chosen a more impactful title song. (★★☆)

 

YERIN ” ARIA (May 18th)

Following Yuju, Yerin became the second member of GFRIEND to make her solo debut. Her title song “ARIA” isn’t new, but it’s a decent song that goes well with her solo debut. But the problem is Yerin’s vocals. She has always done her part as a sub-vocalist of GFRIEND, but it sounds like singing an entire song solo is a little too much for her. Her vocals can’t lead the song smoothly, and the “ari aria” part in the chorus sounds so random that the song progression becomes awkward.. (★★)

 

SEVENTEEN ” Face the Sun (May 27th)

The act’s 4th full album honestly expresses SEVENTEEN’s ambition to become someone like the “sun.” Like the intense album title, the tracks also feature strong themes. The title song “HOT” sings about the courage to face the sun head-on, while the rest of the songs include the topics “Don Quixote” and “March.” SEVENTEEN has been pursuing a department store-style composition, but this album carries the title track’s message and mood until the end. It’s definitely more stable and more relaxed than previous albums. Since the group shows strength in performance, most of the tracks are fancy and make us think of a large-scale performance. Once again, they’ve shown how they’re different from other groups. (★★★☆)

 

Editor Yoon: I love music, especially K-POP, and I dream of becoming an A&R person, lyricist, artist, etc. I will cover various articles, including song reviews, artist reviews, and K-pop market analysis.

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