This is probably the most excited that I have been in a while when it comes to doing music/ album reviews. There a lot of good new releases out, many of them non-K-Pop, but when it comes to the solo artists and groups that I mention in this post, it’s a feeling that I don’t get often. Their music has changed a lot for me and renewed my energy to continue writing. If you’re a fan or just curious then enjoy the ride!
Fantasia X! The New Mini Album from Monsta X
Fantasia X is everything and more than what I expected from them, especially with the teasers and the fabulous black and gold aesthetic. Every song brings you somewhere different. At first I was like “OOH, this sounds like We Are Here”, then I thought I was hearing some Follow elements, but it was neither. This is a NEW level of Monsta X and I couldn’t be happier about that.
Other than the lead single “Fantasia”, it really is hard to pick any favorites. I mean, of course I love “Flow” because Joohoney and IM go so hard, lyrically, on it. Then we get that EDM sound that we have come to know from them with “ZONE”, Joohoney killed this one too. The guitar as a backdrop to all of their amazing vocals on “Beautiful Night” stands out too.
IM & ELHAE New Track “Need to Know”
IM, rapper and vocal from Monsta X, has collaborated once again with one of my favorite young R&B artists, ELHAE, for a song called “Need to Know”. One of the reasons I initially checked out Monsta X was because ELHAE had mentioned on working with IM on their first track “….”. Its been fun to watch their relationship grow since then, and to also see Monsta X’s fans, Monbebes, show support for their collaborations, as well as supporting them individually. Most of us already know that ELHAE is a talented vocalist but hearing IM, more known for being MX’s rapper, show off his smooth vocals is really a beautiful experience.
Don’t forget to follow Elhae!
Twitter & Instagram @elhae
EXO’s Baekhyun New Solo EP Delight
I’ve been looking forward to another solo EP from Baekhyun for a while, especially because I love his first one so much. He (and EXO) have always been a lot more on the R&B side of K-Pop. This EP did not disappoint, and I find myself falling in love with his voice all over again. Also, after the comeback visuals and the video for the lead single “Candy” I was already sold 🙂
That video is just so fun, and it’s good to see both male and female dancers. As always, when it comes to the album, I am a fan of every song, and how his vocals shine on every last one. But, other than “Candy”, I do have some that stick out to me, like “Bungee”, “Poppin”, and “Love Again”.
Much Anticipated 2nd Mixtape D-2 from BTS’ Suga aka AgustD
I am a huge fan of the first Mixtape AgustD, but this one definitely hits different. He has obviously grown so much since 2016, as a member of BTS, as an artist, and as a man; and it shows. On this album, he focuses on his present thoughts, reflecting on where he is right now, making it known that he is at the top of his game, and you can fight him on it if you want to. The lead single “Daechwita” sends a powerful statement that basically reflects the entire project, shown in the amazing, cinematic visuals in the video released the same day as the music.
I seriously love every single song on this album. But, other than “Daechwita”, I have really been vibing a little harder to “Strange” his collab with BTS band member RM (who is also a beast), “28” featuring NiiHWA, and “Burn It” featuring American artist MAX. Suga is even singing a lot more on this project, even giving us some English vocals. The music in itself, Korean or not, is beautiful, but check out the English translations, and you’ll really see what’s up.
Follow Suga & the rest of BTS!
ASTRO 7th Mini Album – GATEWAY
For some reason, I follow this ASTRO comeback all the way up until the album was released *face palms. Anyway, I have been a fan of ASTRO since the very beginning of my K-Pop journey, and it even shows in one of the first K-Pop posts that I did, see below for the link. One of the things that I love about them is the fact that their sound is more upbeat and Pop focused than the groups that I listed earlier.
ASTRO has always been such a fun group but still so powerful when it came to their dances and rap verses. Their lead single “Knock” is still a favorite, and the visuals for it are out of this world (literally!). Slower tempo songs are sticking out to me more on this one, especially “We Still”. I also really like the last song “Lights On”.
NCT #127 Neo Zone: The Final Round – The 2nd Album Repackage
NCT 127 is back with another comeback and album. This is a repackage of their full-length album NCT #127 Neo Zone from earlier this year. They have added 4 new songs to this album, with the another action-packed lead single “Punch”. You can check out my review for that album below.
“Punch” is not my favorite track but I do really like “NonStop”; it has the same tempo but it’s less “aggressive” than the first. Next we have the “Prelude” which leads us back to the lead single from their original NeoZone release, “Kick It”. Lastly they added “Interlude: NeoZone Johnny”, which is pretty cool, mainly music and similar to the Prelude. All in all, i was expecting more, but the original album plus “Punch” and “Nonstop” is really good, and has been added to the playlist!