Warning: This review was very frustrating. I spent several drafts trying to figure out a way to say what I liked and disliked but it kept getting aggressive and grumpy. So this review is going to be really short and a list. That’s it.
Sunmi has made her first comeback in three years as a soloist. What was she doing? Well between 205-2017, Sunmi had returned to her former idol group Wonder Girls, and helped revitalize their career and image. Of course after giving us two really good releases, the group decides to split up just shy of their 10 year anniversary. With two members have left JYPE, it’s pretty official the group has died, and fans sat in sadness waiting for any indication of comebacks and solo endeavors. Sunmi was the first one to really get that train going, starting late in the summer with her single release Gashina.
Red Velvet have been on a meandering path to a single form. In the past the group took to splitting their image between bright and vibrant pop and more demure mid tempo R&B retreads. This has since stop for their last three projects, where they have come back more affirmatively on the bright pop side. Russian Roulette was a standard attempt at the typical cute group look. Rookie was a fun track that was betrayed by SM’s attempts to maintain a weird idea of Red Velvet. With Red Flavor, we see the group return to a modified version of 2014
EXID are the group that have a tenuous but positive relationship with. While I have liked a majority of their releases, I have never truly committed myself to the group as a fan would. Instead I eagerly await for their return with hopes that this would be the one. Their last song LIE, left me befuddled and not amused, and only at the last minute did I find the song anywhere near charming. For 2017 they come back with a switch once again.
Laboum have become a steady favorite for me. Since their debut they have released a stream of songs that have been catchy, fun and consistent. While still searching for that affirming throw into super stardom, they trek on with.
Minzy has finally debuted as a soloist with her debut track NiNaNo, which serves as the lead single of her EP Minzy Work 01 Uno. As a relatively high profile act coming from one of the biggest K pop acts, and having started opening herself up to the masses proper, there was a bit of excitement for Minzy’s debut. In the last…three or four months, her company has managed to create an image for an idol that spent a majority of her career strategically out of arms reach (for better and worse). With most of the work settled in, all that was needed was for the actual debut…and here it is.
Pristin are the latest girl group to debut. Teasing of the group came last year, in the midst of two of their members succeeding in finding fame in K Pop with the MNET super group IOI. Making sure to multi task the efforts, Pledis put in work to get the group ready for debut doing concerts, fan releases, and a pre release to get the group ready. Finally in March, Pristin debuted with Wee Woo.
Gfriend have made it two years into the industry, and have become one of the more popular idol groups of their generation. Known for their exciting dance, acceptably cute imagery, and rather big songs. Still as time ticks forward, the fans of k pop seem to get impatient with concepts. Gfriend as a group have made a killing with the theory “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. While some groups have the ability to hop around from concept to concept, there are others who pride themselves on consistency in sound, image, and brand. Gfriend is one of those groups. They have made their coin by pushing this above average, high energy girl group that rock the pastel lcolored imagery on top of heavy guitar riffs that feel almost epic.
Four months after another hit with TT, a slew of wins at the end of the year festivities, and JUST finishing the first set of concert tours, TWICE have come back with a repackage. The lead single is called Knock Knock