Hyolyn (also known as Hyorin formerly of Sistar), has used 2018 to really kind of work on herself and her career. Business wise, she decided to skip out on finding a new agency to house her career. Instead she became a independent act and started her own company Bridge (it is Romanized differently). While Sistar’s last release was…actually around this time last year…Hyolyn spent her time getting her resources ready and building a small foundation for her newfound independent brand. In 2018 Hyolyn finally delivered new music as a solo artist and company.
I’m not going to lie or sugarcoat this: of all the groups that I keep track of, WJSN really left me disappointed the most. After such a potentially definitive moment that Secret created (the group was able to introduce 13th member and ioi elite Yeonjeung into the fold almost seamlessly on a space vibe pop ballad), the group managed to actually fumble the ball with Tell Me Why. Tell Me Why managed to keep aspects of Secret but with a lighter sugary pop sound. I don’t oppose the more cute sounds that K Pop love, however Tell Me Why didn’t live up to the hype. They then came back with Happy, which was…well it was eh. Both songs were more or less okay, but after Secret, I didn’t want anything else (although I will say Happy found itself on playlist later on in the year). Well WJSN decided to start 2018 with a bang and Dreams Come True was born.
Fromis (_9) are the result of yet another survival show titled Idol School (hence the name From…I(dol) S(chool). When the show came out I swore against it like I did both Produce 101 and whatever ilk spawned beyond that. Unfortunately I ended up getting invested in the show and some of the contestants (many of my choices NOT making the group), but now I am invested in the group as well. Needless to say I knew the group would end up being cute (a school concept…please).
Because I am in such a rush review wise, I decided to combine both their 2018 releases into one review. To Heart and DKDK (which is just Pitapat).
2017 turned out to be interesting for Gugudan musically. Their first (and so far strongest release) was the fast paced charging song about vanity A Girl Like Me. Turned out to be one of my favorite songs of 2017. Their second full group (Well partially, one member had to sit out) was the turn to quirky cute Chococo. I will admit to letting the visuals deter me as the song was not bad at all. Overall Gugudan has been one of the stronger groups musically in my opinion when it comes to singles (yes I will defend Wonderland). Still what this does show me is that the group are trying to achieve that balancing act of multiple concepts for varying appeal. For 2017 the group make their way back to a more sophisticated image with The Boots.
Weki Meki were one of last years’ bigger debuts, sauntering onto the scene with the overly eclectic (rather confusing) but somewhat charming I Don’t Like Your Girlfriend. Admittedly I found the song confounding and tiresome with the repeated changes in structure, and lack of workable chorus to justify the song’s actions. However I thought the group started on a bright spot with at least differentiating themselves with a more aggressive concept for their debut. Thankfully the group made a move to return with a new song.
Over the last six/seven months I have accumulated quite a few reviews that I never posted. These next few post are to empty my drafts a little. They will be marked with 2018 Review Rush!
Enjoy my thoughts on some of the releases that came this year!