September ends with a great swath of releases… Not bad!


LOONA – Hula Hoop

HULA HOOP by LOONA is finally the jackpot we have waiting for since Butterfly. It’s electronic funk pop style with big emphasis on drums, instrumentation and vocals all float the level of depth, joy and uplifting nature of the song. Certainly, LOONA will be seen as a force to be reckoned with in Japan. HULA HOOP could’ve been the pefect summer song of 2021, but it could be the perfect crossover debut of the year.

Rating: 8.75

KAT-TUN, AK-69 – We Just Go Hard

KAT-TUN’s We Just Go Hard is another quintessential example of another legendary icon in the music industry going sellout. It feels languid, plodding but also quite generic. Even if the whole thing is essentially survived by the cadence and the unique arrangement it has. It is hollow, and mundane on the inside. It does nothing revolutionary or creative in a grandiose sense. It is a disappointment, but I guess I am also a sucker for basic hip-hop that sounds good and has cadence.

Aside from all of those things, the good thing is KAT-TUN exhibits a professional and polished form of many modern hip-hop trends without necessarily sacrificing the song’s diversity. The use of beatboxing and the lack of trap all saves the song from utter distress and collapse.

Rating: 8

Yang Yoseob – Brain

Yang Yoseob has made his studio album debut. Featuring cascades of modern Jazz-R&B minimalist styles, Brain is surely to tickle your ears in the most subtle and romantic way similar to how moody releases want you to be moody but just not languid or plodding. Brain works its assets in the best possible way for Yang. It creates a cohesive, dreamy and fluid atmosphere that doesn’t make you fall asleep. For slow songs that is a sure difficult thing to posess.

Rating: 8

YUKIKA – Loving You

I really think the song is nice. YUKIKA’s Loving You feels direct from the 80s both in its arrangement, production and execution. However, it feels so neutral at its verses and sounds normal. The chorus is very strong though, rather very nostalgic of wishy-washy 80s pop. Personally, I’m whipped for this. Objectively, I’m not really sure on what area this song really shines, maybe the chorus?

Rating: 7.5

Kis-My-Ft2 – Fear

Kis-My-Ft2 really saved Johnny’s ass today. I was kind of dissapointed at that KAT-TUN release, and Fear is the total opposite of that. Fear is a dramatic slow-burn high-octane rock release. I mean its unlike what I’ve ever heard from this year. It has that cloudy chorus, with an irresistible hook. It feels so cathartic and at the same time hollow. It is a rather interesting release, this is far from the year’s best but leaving something to listen.

Rating: 8.5

WJSN – Let Me In

WJSN’s Let Me In is a funky future pop song. I think the song is very remarkable in its arrangement, vocal performance and production. It strikes another bat at their signature sound of future pop which I really enjoy so much. Even so borrowing aspects from crystal pop. Unfortunately, its repetitive and rather generic direction is what makes this song far from the best. The song is really thrown back by a generic mixing, direction, style and execution. I think it could have been fleshed out.

Rating: 7.25

Woosung – Dimples

Dimples is a psychedelic synthpop record by Woosung. It features a delirious synthline, arrangement and instrumentation. The song almost throws you into a fever dream of psychosis mixed beautifully with a cathartic and almost repressive nature. It is simply one of the best synthpop and even alternative releases of the year. Everyone need to hear this gem. It never lacks grip, teeth and pull. You are always constantly sucked into this plethora of bright icy synths and a cascade of luscious melodies. It is a smash hit by any means and Woosung’s best in history.

Rating: 9

ITZY – LOCO

LOCO got me loca. The song is driven by Galaktika’s upper hand in creating flourishing, vivid, jam-packed instrumentations plus the clear and direct direction to guide the whole entropy to the right track. It all works miraculously, with staggering colors. The electric guitar might just be my favorite instrumental hook of the year for its highly addicting, progressive and irresistable nature.

Rating: 8.25

COLDPLAY, BTS – My Universe

COLDPLAY and BTS have officially teamed up for My Universe. This is already BTS’ best collaboration of all-time. Yes, that comes with reservations and me being an ARMY already gives inequality to this list. But as pathetic it may seem, Coldplay actually made sure BTS was justfully included and the song was great. The record might also be up there with my favorite ABC songs of the year. It just shiens with authenticity, art and masterful prowess from both musicians; the instrumentation was bright and wonderous as it could be. Also the arrangement is very intresting for a song like this. It might just be my favorite BTS song of 2021.

Rating: 8.5

Do Hanse – Take Over

Do Hanse from VICTON shocked me with the release of Take Over. This revolution of the artform rarely takes place in such an industrialized, conservative and conformist medium of K-POP. The rise of Do Hanse is greatly coming to a showstopping rap performance and a slithering execution of wits and charms. It is an astonishing character reveal that is rather blissful and mobilising to see. The grappling, tumbling and thunderous noise barrage of grungy EDM beats and synths perform an oration of talent and acquiescence. Really a good plight to hear.

Rating: 8

INI – Rocketeer

WTF was that? Did I hear the first-ever Yoo Young-jin produced CJ E&M record? Did the acquisition of SM by CJ E&M pull through? I cannot even beleive the words I am questioning my viewers right now. This is exactly what SM’s WayV or NCT would sound like if they were in Japan. There is exactly no difference, and red lines are blurred completely. I cannot tell any thing apart from that the song is a pure SM song. Also it is an utter disappointment to be tainting the Japanese scene with this absurdly mediocre approach. NO TO SM IMPERIALISM!

Rating: 5.25

BLANKS – Never Have I Ever

Thanks Haruko for this! I think Blanks is a superbly underrated artist by Western standards. I cannot believe only a few people know about this guy. Never Have I Ever is seriously a good chill synthpop banger It might be a lukewarm release, featuring a coldly repetitive arrangement but it surely sticks around when it can. It is very inspiring to see ABC music comeback to its greatests again, even if it can still be better than this.

Rating: 7.5

Pon Jantaphon, Noey Passawan – Love Should Have Two People

This was supposed to be last week. But unfortunately, I was so busy. The aggravating performances from both sides and even from the instrumentartion is such a dream to see. It is one of the year’s most perfect executions of a duet. By the exact definition of a duet. It never allows any side to be unequivocally battering as the other is. It fights foe to foe, strength to strength. Truthfully, the song’s concept is a thing I cannot much understand but the message was clear as a crystal. This is a masterpice, yet again another T-POP gem.

Rating: 8.75

Aryon Jones – Supercharged

Thanks 108Ent for this! I was an obsessed emo kid, and so that means I love Rock music so much. Supercharged really reminds me of those days, and it even triumphs in nostalgicly reminding me of those days. The production, direction and arrangement reminds me of 90s songs at the very least. It resonates with me perfectly, although I think the song can be improved on the lyrical aspect. Well I hope more good music from Aryon Jones!

Rating: 8

Baek Yerin – Antifreeze

Baek Yerin’s healing song has again made us feel better. It also feels justful that she ends the post on the joyous hope. Antifreeze feels so open, wide and momentous in today’s age. It feels like a warm hug you received from your friends after the long time you have spent wondering about them. It’s a very soothing R&B song, and it surely calls for a moment in today. The wonderful arrangement and voice of Baek Yerin really calms your day in any situation. It is a breather you can always count on. Not a lot of songs can do that!

Rating: 8.5