K-Pop Monthly Couch: Fiery February Comebacks And Debuts
Have you checked out all the hottest K-Pop comebacks and debuts last month?
February was indeed the month of love — the month of loving all the new music from several K-Pop artists released within its delightful four weeks.
Although time sure flew by fast, numerous K-Pop groups and artists still managed to fill up our calendars with their new music almost every day for the month of February. From huge boy groups, fierce girl groups, and honey-voiced solo artists, the month saw great debuts and comebacks, taking place for all of its 28 days.
Check out the new music from artist debuts and comebacks all throughout February — plus our thoughts on whether they were hot or not!
ITZY – “Dalla Dalla”
Angela: ITZY definitely shows the world how a monster debut is done with this song. The girls are serving fierce vibes through their song and their aesthetic, and it’s pretty easy to see why they’re doing so well. The song is catchy. The girls sound amazing— overall, I’d love to see more from ITZY after this phenomenal debut.
Yann: “Dalla Dalla”, as an entire package, is undoubtedly very 2019 with its techno, upbeat music and bright, and eye-catching video aesthetics. However, it feels just a tad generic, especially compared to other songs and music videos produced by other K-Pop girl groups.
Don’t get me wrong. I loved bopping my head along to the song, but I felt like there wasn’t anything new being offered. Still, the chorus of “Dalla Dalla” kept on repeating inside my head for about a week after the music video was released — and I think that’s the start of a good thing.
This is also just their first release. Given their great pool of talents, I am hoping they get a stronger comeback.
TST – “Wake Up”
Danica: Listening to TST’s “Wake Up” reminded me of early 2010s K-Pop B-track energy, and I’m not even sure why. The song started with a lot of potential. It was upbeat and youthful, but as the song progresses it lays flat and lack a distinct, standout part. The boy group was consistent with its tone as its most recent release “Paradise” emitted the same energy.
Still, TST members have a lot of potentials especially with their vocals that they must fully utilize in their release. The rap parts also need more polishing to really hit hard.
SHINee’s Taemin – “Want”
Danica: “Want” showcases SHINee’s Taemin’s signature sound and moves. Like his previous releases, the song is easy to like and get used to. From the first beats, it gets your heart pounding — wanting more, thirsting for more. The youngest member of SHINee was once again successful in captivating his listeners and make them dwell in the world he created through his music. He once again displays elegance with his movements. I love the mix of sleek and powerful movements with graceful steps.
“Want” does not shy away from his earlier releases in terms of sound and choreography — a good, but at the same time, bad thing. It’s good as Taemin has somehow established his own sound that is quite different from SHINee’s music, but at the same, it’s bad as it leaves you thinking that he is not tapping his full potential.
INFINITE – “Clock”
Danica: Channeling my Inspirit self because INFINITE never disappoints. I firmly believe that INFINITE’s vocals are very much underrated. Although it’s unfortunate that Sunggyu was not part of this single, the remaining members really filled the gap — special shout out to vocalist and rapper Sungyeol! I love the harmonies and the diverse sounds of their voices.
Woo Hyun and L provided stable vocals, while Sungjong balanced the power of their voice with his sweet sound. And come on guys, rapper Dong Woo deserves more recognition (so support his solo debut). I love how clean his delivery was. The best part of “Clock” is how Sungyeol shone brightly in this song as a rapper and a vocalist. It felt as if I found a treasure deeply hidden in the sea.
Dreamcatcher – “PIRI”
Angela: I have to say, “PiRi” may be my new favorite Dreamcatcher track now. Their unique concepts continue to blow me away, and I truly adore how they can incorporate rock and K-Pop so flawlessly.
Their vocals are so “fire, fire, fire” and their choreography is on point. I got goosebumps when I first heard this. What really did it for me was Gahyeon’s rap — coming out of nowhere.
Danah Elyssa: I have heard of Dreamcatcher as a group that is not very recognized in South Korea, but their unusual and mystical nature gave them a huge following on international platforms. Their unique style makes them so different from the usual girl groups I see. That makes them so refreshing.
“PIRI” is a track that I will listen to if ever I need to get pumped for anything — whether for exams or a jog around campus. Their energy and popping vocals, as well as the intense rap style, make the track well-balanced and a good to listen.
MAMAMOO’s Hwasa – “Twit”
Angela: Hwasa blew me away with this solo. She’s sported a lot of phenomenal looks throughout the video, looking fierce and fresh the whole time. Her versatility as a singer also shines through — she’s singing and rapping so effortlessly the whole time. Hwasa’s showing the world how to be a strong, independent woman so amazingly.
Danah Elyssa: Yaaas — A solo that my queen deserves. I’ve been waiting for a solo song from Hwasa ever since I stanned MAMAMOO and “TWIT” did not disappoint.
Her fresh looks and catchy tunes coupled with a fun choreography is fitting for a versatile artist like herself. Her song, however, goes very deep, but that depends on your interpretation. She said herself that the song is about her and her relationships.
In relation, the central theme of the song is well, being a twit, a person who is annoying, in a sense. The underlying message of being the annoying and toxic person in a relationship is blurred in the video if it’s her partner or Hwasa herself. Nevertheless, it’s a good, catchy track that has underlying themes that can be discussed as it varies from interpretation to interpretation.
9MUSES – “Remember”
Yann: Don’t get surprised when you find tears falling as you listen to “Remember”, because this song was indeed made to make you cry. “Remember” is 9MUSES’ final song as a group after announcing their disbandment last February, and with that in mind, it is guaranteed to tug at their fans’ heartstrings while listening. I mean, how else would you react upon hearing this soft song with the group asking you to always keep them in mind?
It hurts to hear “Remember” showcasing the members’ outstanding vocals and be reminded of how talented 9MUSES actually is. Don’t even get us started on how emotional the music video was, which definitely made it harder and more painful to bid goodbye to these wonderful girls.
MONSTA X – “Alligator”
Danah Elyssa: As the self-proclaimed Monbebe in HKP, it’s just fitting that I share my thoughts to what is dubbed “the most intense MONSTA X comeback yet”.
“Alligator” became stuck in my head for the third time I listened to it. Aside from the daring energies and out-of-this-world visuals (mhm, I see you Mr. Im Changkyun), the comeback coupled with the intensity the previous album gave. Yes, their latest title track explores a lot of genres but that just makes it undeniably MONSTA X.
However, as I have said in my album review, there are other songs from their discography that are more intense in the sense of melody and music production like “Shoot Out”, “Destroyer”, or even the age-old classic “Trespass”.
In connection with that, this is undoubtedly the most intense choreography I have seen from MONSTA X. I’m glad that they have found their own sound but still continue to explore other genres. It just proves that they are versatile and dynamic artists not afraid of development when it comes to their own brand of music.
Yann: Ever since MONSTA X made their comeback, all I’ve been hearing inside my brain is “all-all-all-alligator”. It feels like this song had been made with the strong intent of getting stuck inside your head for a very long time, although it is not as hard-hitting and intense in terms of beat drops compared to “Dramarama” or “Shoot Out” (or maybe, I’m just biased towards “Shoot Out”).
As for the music video, well, it’s an understatement to say that it caught me speechless. I mean, yes, I know this is MONSTA X we are talking about and I should be expecting it right from the start but…. excuse me, Wonho?
2PM’s Nichkhun – “Lucky Charm”
Danica: “Lucky Charm” reminded me of an old romance film. It was nostalgic, very summery, and romantic. Nichkhun’s sweet voice, accompanied by guitar sounds, seems like the perfect song for a morning straight out of a teen romance novel.
LOONA – “Butterfly”
Danah Elyssa: LOONA is a group that has been continually causing buzz around the internet. Their latest release, “Butterfly”, is catchy from first listen.
Aside from the bouncy EDM track and impeccably clean and accurate choreography, they also touched on issues that are relevant today. They delved into the representation of different cultures in different point of views through women.
I also like that they hint about being one and united because we’re all women regardless of nationality or genetic conditions. LOONA is definitely a group you have to watch out for
Angela: I’ve always been excited to see what LOONA does whenever they make a comeback because they always come up something that stands out from the rest — and they did not disappoint with “Butterfly”.
First of all, the music video promotes women empowerment from all backgrounds. The girls also sound amazing— their vocals sound ethereal and calming.
SF9 – “Enough”
Danah Elyssa: SF9 is my first K-Pop group. These talented rookies brought me into the world of K-Pop. I saw them live and each performance they gave is breathtaking. As a Fantasy, (yes I am a proud multi) I’ve always been saddened by the unpopularity of this group in local media.
In “Enough”, they talk about being enough for themselves and that they do not need to change or conceal the realness behind fake facades. It’s very different from previous tracks like “Mamma Mia”, “O Sole Mio”, and “Fanfare” where they were just a group of boys having fun.
Their last two releases, “Now or Never” and “Enough,” unleash their maturity when it comes to themes and concepts that they want to try out. They have evolved from boys to men, from rookies to artists who deserve wins and places on local charts.
Nevertheless, SF9 will continue to develop their craft and also themselves as they continue on their bright future in the industry.
TREI – “Gravity”
Danah Elyssa: TREI definitely captured my heart with their first release. The overall feel of the video has that 90’s vibe that is very popular nowadays.
Aside from the groovy rap and catchy rhythm, their vocals make you melt. I like the subtle electronic video game sound they have beneath the usual band instruments. It makes the track sound more fresh and youthful. They are definitely a group to look out for.
Yann: Looks like we have new rookies to look forward to for the year! TREI has definitely convinced me to stay tuned for their next releases with their debut song “Gravity”. I love the vocals so much. It was so pleasing to the ears as it balanced being upbeat and calm at the same time.
Yoon Ji Sung – “In The Rain”
Yann: Ji Sung’s soft and smooth voice matched the solemnity and tranquility in this song which talks about the pain of a loved one walking away. He was able to portray the emotions conveyed by the lyrics well – and we think we even teared up at one point! It doesn’t help that the music video itself reminded us of so many elements from his former group Wanna One’s past releases, including the color scheme and some familiar sets here and there. Putting that aside (which, by the way, is the title of his album), Ji Sung proved that he can stand alone as a solo artist with “In The Rain” – and we’re all quite proud of our Yoon leader because of that.
Hyomin – “Allure”
Angela: “Allure” lives up to its name, in that it brings listeners in because of its groovy beat and Hyomin’s cheerful-sounding vocals.
Hyomin also “allures” her listeners through her music video, where she flaunts an elegant aesthetic that suits her so well. I’m surprised this song isn’t getting a lot of buzz online, because I feel like a lot of people, K-Pop fans or not, can really get into the catchy vibe of this song.
Seven O’ Clock – “Get Away”
Danah Elyssa: A group of boys with colorful visuals and talent? Sign me up. Their cute choreography makes you groove along to their contagious energy. It’s a good track but I think they are a group that hasn’t found their own musical signature yet. Nevertheless, it’s a song I will definitely add to my “Sunshine and Rainbows” playlist.
Danica: “Get Away” is an easy-to-listen song. It’s very young and summery in its sound. It’s a perfect song for a road trip as it does not demand a lot from the listener but allows him or her to immerse himself or herself in deep thought.
Although there seems to be a lot of untapped potential of the members, the display of vocals and rap were perfect for the song — no one went over-the-top. It was balanced — with the right amount of highs that perfectly complemented the lows.
A Train to Autumn – “Farewell Again”
Danah Elyssa: Little is known from Cube Entertainment’s ballad group, A Train to Autumn. Their latest song sounds perfect as a soundtrack for a drama. The combination of their voices makes the song calming to listen to if you like listening to sad songs while looking out the window (I know I do). Their video tells an interesting story as well but in my opinion, it’s up for your own interpretation.
Kim Hyun Joong – “Why”
Danica: Kim Hyun Joong’s comeback is one of the releases I was looking forward to. He was a great part of my first exposure to K-Pop thanks to Boys Over Flowers and SS501.
“Why” was slow and gradually takes you to an emotional ride. It climaxes, then slows down again. Although it’s not a song that gets stuck in your head, “Why” is calming and perfect for winter or rainy nights or while walking down the street after the rain.
Tiffany – “Lips On Lips”
Angela: Tiffany just keeps getting better with every song she comes out with. “Lips On Lips” has got to be my favorite song of hers so far. It’s a catchy pop tune with a familiar bop that will resonate with the American audience she hopes to cater to.
Her voice sounds gorgeous, and I love how she conveys so much emotion through her vocals. The music video definitely fits her song, which talks about experiencing a kiss.
Danah Elyssa: Tiffany definitely established that she has a set of cords that is calming to listen to. Her latest track “Lips on Lips” reminds listeners of that pink, blush romance you have while you’re young. The song puts the spotlight on her vocals as it is accompanied by a simple but catchy melody. It’s a song I would listen to everyday to put me in good spirits.
(G)I-DLE – Senorita
Yann: As expected from one of the top rookies of 2018, (G)I-DLE managed to drop another bop through their “Senorita” comeback. The girls continue to stick to their fierce and powerful image and with the femme fatale energy they showed through their latest track — we are 100-percent glad they did so!
I also find it interesting that “Senorita” managed to sound festive at the same time despite the strong focus on the girls’ vocals and rap capabilities.
Danah Elyssa: Fire — one word to describe this track. Starting off with a spicy energy from each line, the song develops into another lovable track that rises with “LATATA” on my list of impressive songs from girl groups.
The group sustains the sultry energy throughout the video. Their dominance over the track pulls you in with every smirk they give the camera. “Senorita” is definitely one of the best tracks of 2019.
Park Yoo Chun – “Slow Dance”
Danica: Because I have seen more of actor Park Yoo Chun than the singer he debuted as, I had no expectations with “Slow Dance”, but, nonetheless, I was excited to see him back to music and how he will set himself apart from the TVXQ days I have known him for and the JYJ’s “Back Seat” moments that became my last memory of singer Park Yoo Chun.
In “Slow Dance”, the attack was slow and sweet. It does not hit you hard. Although relatively shorter than the typical releases, the song was enough — somehow, a bit repetitive. The guitar beats and the seeming Latin pop infusion blended well with Yoo Chun’s voice. He does not go over-the-top but stays suave all throughout the song.
Golden Child’s Joochan – “A Song For Me”
Yann: Despite being a mere casual listener of Golden Child’s music, I was extremely ecstatic when I found out that Joochan would be releasing a solo song. This isn’t just because we missed him for quite a while due to his injuries which didn’t allow him to participate in his group’s activities, but because he really is a promising singer, in my opinion.
“A Song For Me”, thankfully, did not disappoint my high expectations for his first venture in making solo music. Joochan showcased his vocal colors in this soothing, mellow track, which honestly made me sit down and reflect while I listened to it.
Although quite honestly, I wish the instrumentals were a bit turned down because it overpowered the Golden Child’s member’s golden voice for the most part of the song.
Ha Sung Woon – “Bird”
Yann: I love, love, love the pick-me-upper vibes that this song gives. I made a more comprehensive review of the song after my first (and second and third) listen to it here, but to put it short, Sung Woon’s debut as a solo artist is so spot-on in terms of sticking to his image of being an adorable happy pill.
The song is also very cheerful and light which makes it perfect for days when you want some feel-good music, but do expect that Sung Woon will showcase his amazing vocals in it too.