I think it is safe to say that when A.C.E’s leader Junhee went into the Army back on February 7th, I fell into a bit of a K-pop malaise. With three members off to serve their country and a fourth (Byeongkwan) scheduled to go this month, I was really feeling the sting of this hiatus. Perhaps it is because individually as well as collectively, A.C.E has always been a strong presence in my K-pop realm. From a purely fan service perspective, they were there, every day – and, especially Jun. A day did not go by without him updating. I am honestly missing him more than I am missing Donghun..but, shhhhh, don’t tell DH!! I started to wonder if maybe I was hitting my K-pop fangirl expiration date. And then news of CIX having their first US tour, AND coming to my city, was announced. I have to say, I felt the shift, the squee as it were, and realized that I still have a whole lot of fangirl left in me! If you are not familiar with CIX, I hope I can persuade you to have a look and listen . . . and perhaps if they are coming to a city near you, coax you to go out and support this incredibly talented quintet.
Is there anyone else out there who enjoys interesting backstories to songs or do I ride alone with my quirks? I have to believe there are a few out there and if so, you might enjoy the backstory to this week’s Playlist Roulette pull, Tomorrow X Together’s Fairy of Shampoo from the group’s second EP, The Dream Chapter: Eternity.
With so many comebacks these past few months it has been impossible for me to get up to speed with them all so I guess I will stay out of the mainstream a little while longer. Seems the Playlist Roulette gods feel the same way as they decided upon a light and breezy pop track from a group with a not so light name. Noir’s Think About Chu is a refreshing B-side (yes, more B-sides, can never have enough B-sides) from their 4th EP, Up The Sky : 飛. Initially, I was attracted by the mysterious Noir name, but it did not take me long to discover that this 9-member group is housing some serious vocal talent. The name piqued my interest and invited me in, the talent made me stay.
The beauty of being part of Pentagon’s Universe is knowing that nothing (and I mean, NOTHING) gets in the way of them releasing consistently good music, especially in the wake of hiatuses. In fact, I am not sure Pentagon even allows the word hiatus into their vocabulary. I suppose therein lies the beauty of a group with many members as, even when one or two are away, the music keeps coming. And let me point out that neither quantity, and more importantly, quality, are ever sacrificed in the wake of it. On March 15th, Pentagon dropped their 11th (yes…11th) mini album, Love or Take, with the effervescent and cheeky title track, Do or Not. And let me tell you, effervescent and cheeky is exactly what I need right now.
I have to be honest, I am rather enjoying the buried deep in the Strictly Korean playlist pulls these days. Older releases from groups that have not debuted yesterday seems to be somewhat of a perfect fit for an awkward K-pop fan like myself. I may be awkward, but I like to think I have pretty good taste, especially when it deviates from the mainstream. This week, the Playlist Roulette pull decided on Snuper’s upbeat R&B groove, You In My Eyes, the title track from their October 2018 EP release, You In My Eyes (Snuper Special Edition).
There are some days when I really consider hanging up my fangirl hat and becoming a food blogger or something completely removed from anything K-pop. But then when Sunday night rolls around I begin to feel an excited anticipation of what the Strictly Korean playlist will shuffle out and challenge me with in the new week. It is then that I realize I am not quite ready to quit K-pop, especially when it navigates me to a group, a song (or both) that I am unfamiliar with but ready to meet. Such is the case with this week’s pull, Golden Child’s EDM-infused Without You.
When the Strictly Korean playlist shuffled out M.O.N.T this week my first thought was okay then, here we go into the K-pop hinterlands of underrated talent which, I might add, is one of my favorite places to go. I have been keeping my eyes (and ears) on M.O.N.T since becoming acquainted with them last year when I happened upon the upbeat, jazzy and playful, Rock Paper Scissors from their second mini album, Awesome Up! Tired was the second single release from that same album and is a scorching, Latin-infused dance track that feels very much the opposite of anything remotely tired.