Commentary Now – 1/2021

Welcome! This is a segment where I talk the state and being of the Korean Music Industry. I’ll be posting upcoming award show insights, industry rants and critical praise if I can find any. Watch out every 30th of the month for this! Let’s start!

Power Topics

Why K-POP?

Image Courtesy: TIME

Well, an industry rant as I may start! Why is K-Pop in such a creative drought these days? What happened to the glory old days of 2010-2013, 2016, and 2018 music? Where are those quintessential hits now?

K-Pop knows how to produce them but I guess they are very afraid to go all-out in 2021. I hope that mentality changes. It is so frustrating seeing the SM styles and tropes being copied as a whole in K-Pop. They aren’t even the best.

Fun fact! My Top 5 most-played is full of Japanese music and old K-Pop songs. Like really! K-Pop where is Gotta Go? Love Scenario? I Got A Boy? They were all released in January? Please I really hope the next few months will be drastically better for K-Pop. I really hope. I’m just glad that a song by Golden Child reached 86.


Image Courtesy: HelloKpop

Yeah, this clusterf*ck of an app. Imagine being able to change up your idol?! Being able to make MVs for them?! What kind of non-systematic and irregular behavior is that? Does that mean the K-Pop companies are out of ideas? Why are they all about fan-control and not balance it out.

Fans are not blind. Everything you do and say the fans are aware of it.

Bang Shi-hyuk

Why are K-Pop companies doing this set-up to their own talents? This will only cultivate toxic ownership and strengthen delusional behavior. Even their already inflated savior complex. This is just madness on all of those entities. This will surely be a bad time in the history of f/ckups. I hope this ends not so bad as I will see it.

The whole concept of these wars was not to make AI the core of the human experience but to make humans interact more with the true guidance of their K-Pop idols in the world. But Universe doesn’t make that happen. It just makes the world a much more bad and weird space again, another stereotypical hole that Western journalists will try to dig.

Kakao Entertainment

Image Courtesy: The Korea Herald

Another company is planning to merge with another entity. It’s the Kakao guys. KakaoM and KakaoPage will be merging to create Kakao Entertainment that aims to be the leader in the entertainment industry with its webtoon resources and music management entities.

To be honest, it sounds another attempt to solidify the already giant that KakaoM has become from creating the streaming leader in Korea, Melon, to the Melon Music Awards. To managing acts such as IU, MONSTA X, THE BOYZ, VICTON, APINK, and a lot more. Well, it seems overkill but in reality this might spell the real end of SM. As I said before.

Unless, they partner with Kakao which is frankly not happening since SM is in Naver’s control now. Big Hit on the other hand has been really close and friendly to Kakao, from having a contract with their former Chief Design Officer to work in Big Hit and create, yes, BT21, TINYTAN and more cutesy stuff. Kakao and Big Hit seems great.

CJ E&M seems stuck. But I guess tvN will carry them. Better stick to TV dramas and motion pictures instead of music. What they did with TOO, was irrevocably uncondonable. It was a violation of human rights, again, in the K-Pop industry. Only the Big 5 can do that.

Critical Standouts

Finally! There was a bunch of critical standouts in the month of January! I wished there was a 90 but that was in the Japanese sector. Not in South Korea.

Eligibility: Must have a TrackScore of not less than 84. Released within the month. Only Korean songs. Only title tracks.

Methodology: TrackScore (extrapolated from 100% critic scores from 6 blog review sites).

Golden Child – Burn It (86)

Genre: Electronic / Description: Certified critical-acclaim for Golden Child as they rush to burn all their regrets and failures. (Review)

AB6IX – Stay Young (84)

Genre: Pop / Description: Generally favorable reviews for AB6IX as they manage to stay young. (Review)

Youha – Abittipsy (84)

Genre: Pop / Description: Generally favorable reviews for YOUHA as she nails her comeback song and destroys the other one. (Review)


  1. I feel of all features to improve after your blog update, this is the biggest improvement. So agree with your points, all well-articulated 🙂

    Actually, Burn It has grown on me. Normally, I feel a songwriter is responsible for a good song. In contrast, I feel Golcha’s excellent performance is the reason I enjoy Burn It so much. They truly fill it with as much emotional pathos as they can.

    Just curious, what are the acclaimed/positive trackscore J-Pop songs from this month?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes! I agree with Burn It. I am now ready to give Burn It an 8. I really love it, probably the most SOTY worthy of 2021. I just loved the song now. Wait and see on Monday what position it is on my charts!

    For J-Pop, I didn’t compile it unfortunately but I will try though!


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