Let’s take a look at some notable new kpop from this week!
IZ*ONE – Fiesta
A long delayed release after the Produce rigging scandal upended everything, and while I am glad that IZ*ONE managed to avoid the executioner’s block (unlike poor X1), I’m also pretty lukewarm on this song. It feels like a bit of a retread and there’s really nothing about it that’s particularly memorable or exciting to me. IZ*ONE’s previous tracks did grow on me with time though, so perhaps this will too.
ONF – Message
ONF are of my favourite underrated boy groups and this new non-single released as a gift to fans is very pleasant, even if it does have Big Christmas Song Energy (BCSE). Hope they get a proper comeback soon!
Dreamcatcher – Scream
AHHH! Dreamcatcher are my favourite girl group and they never disappoint. This is a really exciting, dynamic, theatrical track that I find something new to like about every time I listen to. I could maybe criticise the song for lacking a proper hook in the chorus, but honestly this is a drop chorus that works for me and reminds me a little of Stray Kids’ Side Effects. And much like that song, I have a feeling that this is just going to keep on growing on me.
Weki Meki – Dazzle Dazzle
I quite like Weki Meki, but unfortunately this is one of their weakest songs in a while. A decent chorus and bridge, but there’s a sea of chaotic sludge and obnoxious energy around it that leaves me feeling far from dazzled.
3YE – Queen
Whoa, where did this come from? I was totally not expecting a song this good from 3YE, there’s a level of quality and budget here that I did not anticipate from a group this small. There’s a great sense of momentum to the throbbing beat of this, and that psytrance-y chorus is killer. This came out the same day as BTS and probably got lost in the shuffle for a lot of people, but definitely check it out!
BTS – ON
A new BTS song is always an event, and this certainly feels big, ambitious, and suited for a momentous occasion. I’m not in love with it – it’s bombastic in a way that somehow sounds too busy and yet kind of empty at the same time, and the vocal processing on their voices has gotten a bit much. That said, I like it more with every listen (and I know I’m going to listen to it hundreds of times over the course of the year) and the performance and Jungkook’s bridge are fantastic.
Best of the week: 3YE came through with a surprise contender, and BTS is, well, BTS, but I’ve gotta give it to Dreamcatcher.