Edited by Yoon
Translated by Ashtyn Lee
With the arrival of the month of June, countless summer songs have been released to celebrate the hottest season of the year. Female artist’s songs such as Kep1er’s “Up!”, fromis_9’s “Stay This Way,” Loona’s “Flip That,” and Sunmi’s “Heart Burn” especially stood out among all new albums and tracks that were released in June. Some of the songs also performed incredibly well on Billboard charts, such as BTS’ Proof and Nayeon’s IM NAYEON. BTS crushed the Billboard 200 chart with their new anthology album for the first time in two years, snatching their sixth No.1 on the same chart. Plus, Nayeon, the first TWICE member to have a solo career, debuted at No.7 on the Billboard 200 chart and became the first K-pop solo artist to achieve such a feat.
Song �’�: Jo Yuri �” Love Shhh! (06.02)
After wrapping up their group promotions, IZ*ONE members quickly moved on to their new projects. Kwon Eun Bi, Jo Yuri and Choi Yena made their debuts as solo artist and others redebuted as members of new girl groups like IVE, LESSERAFIM. Many anticipated that Jo Yuri would choose a ballad or R&B song for her solo debut single, considering her position as a lead vocalist in her former group. However, she made a surprising choice by selecting a dance pop, “GLASSY” (2021), for her first-ever solo single and �showed her potential as a dance singer.
The title track, “Love Shhh!,” from her first mini-album Op.22 Y-Waltz: in Major reminds us of Avril Lavigne’s song from the 2000s, Younha’s “Password 486” and her former group member Choi Yena’s “SMILEY.” Jo Yuri smoothly laid out a funky dance pop with her powerful voice, and showed that she is clearly on the right track. Although she seems to be still finding her niche, her new track with no excessive elements or attempts was successful enough to get her the needed exposure.
Song�’�: DRIPPIN �” ZERO (06.15)
Funky dance pop music is on the rise in the music world. The song “ZERO” is classified as dance-pop, yet it sounds more like rock and metal music. Woollim Entertainment, which has produced numerous idol bands, including INFINITE, gives listeners a taste of their unique brand with a song filled with powerful guitar and bass riffs and an incredible performance of DRIPPIN members. With the impeccable performance of Hwang Yoon Sung, other members deliver their parts with a natural facial expression and superb dancing. However, this new release shows that the label’s priority is finding creative ways to highlight their artists, not creating quality music. What if they had more confidence in their music itself? Some aspects are left questionable.
Song�’�: fromis_9 �” Stay This Way (06.27)
Fromis_9 is soaring to new heights with their neatly arranged new releases, ranging from “WE GO” (2021) to “DM” (2022). This song’s melody and sound are delicate and precise, and the two main vocalists enhance the song’s quality with their accurate and stable high notes, just as they did in their previous release, “DM.” The dramatic intro sets the song’s mood, and the track concludes with a beautifully pulled off sing-along of all members.
Without sliding into mannerisms, fromis_9 always thrives on creating good works and sticks to the standards to come up with decent pop music. “Stay This Way” is a high-quality tune that makes us optimistic about their future work.
�Album�’�: woo!ah! �” JOY (06.09)
JOY shows the great potential of woo!ah!. The sound is robust and energetic, leaning neither toward singing nor rapping. These days, K-pop girl group songs tend to avoid using extreme sounds in their tracks, but they broke the stereotype by not holding back in making daring attempts. The album has a consistent tone, and the members’ beautiful singing helps it become a piece of decent, listenable music.
This is why we should always pay attention to undiscovered artists. It’s a shame to miss out on a perfect album like this.
�Album�’�: Nayeon �” IM NAYEON (06.24)
TWICE’s endeavor to break away from their image has yielded positive results. Nayeon’s solo album (including tracks such as “Alcohol-Free,” “SAY SOMETHING,” “SCIENTIST,” and “MOONLIGHT”) chose to follow TWICE’s route and displays her unique charm as a famous TWICE member. The album sounds smooth and stylish as she is the one performing.
The title track, “POP!,” may sound bland and boring, but it is easy to listen to as part of your daily routine. The album shows its dynamic progress as it nears its halfway point past “CANDYFLOSS,” “ALL OR NOTHING,” and “SUNSET.” IM NAYEON is a perfect introduction to Nayeon, who is about to launch her solo career.
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.