Within a blink of an eye, another 6 months have passed. 2021 was still an awful year with lockdowns, isolation and the pandemic still dominating news headlines. I feel that these events, amongst other things, has really slowed me down this year. But at least, KPOP was on the pleasures that I still had to get me through these last 6 months.
A lot of albums and a lot of songs were released, per usual, in the span of the first 6 months of 2021. And I am still playing catch up with some to write reviews for! I will get there eventually! But in the meanwhile, I thought I share with you 10 KPOP songs that are my personal favourites from the last 6 months (in no particular order). Why 10? Well, it is an even number and I just couldn’t decide on a few, so I went with a couple :D. (Please note that this is irrespective of my reviews – songs can grow on you over time!)
Let me know if we shared similar taste in 2021 so far? And if we don’t, then comment below what your favourite songs of the year are! I would love to see what you all have been enjoying.
The next comeback to occur, and be reviewed, this week was made by P1Harmony. P1Harmony returned on Tuesday (once again, apologies for the delay in the review) with their very first comeback since their debut six months ago in October 2020 with Siren. This latest comeback features the group’s second mini-album, Disharmony: Break Out and the title track Scared.
Right off the bat, Scared really appealed to me with its intense and high level energy. As mentioned in the past, hip-hop isn’t my preferred genre in general, let alone in the Korean music scene. But like all things, there are always exceptions and Scared falls into the latter category for me. I have to admit that I was weirded out by the instrumentation when I first heard the song. The constantly clashing instrumentation, which sounds like a lot of metal falling on top of one another, felt a bit much for me at first. But as I continually replayed the song the next day, it grew considerably on me and it is the element of the song that I look forward to the most when I play the song now. I really liked how that even while the clashing like metal is not explicitly in the foreground of the instrumental, they are still present in the background but in a very muted fashion. It ties everything nicely together, creating a robust backing for this song. As the song delves into the hip-hop genre, the members that flourish the most are the rappers, and their delivery is definitely top notch during the verses. I was definitely head banging my way through the song. I am a little disappointed come to the first and second choruses, as I wished the rappers were more powerful with their delivery in this vital part of the song. They easily could have hit a home run if they were more dynamic. The instrumental in the chorus was definitely energetic, though could have been heightened further in my opinion. This would have helped tie the song together even more tightly. On the other side of the spectrum, the vocals were equally as good. While the rappers did flourish, the vocalists were not shorthanded during their parts of Scared. I mean, Kijung’s vocals during the latter was just on point and quite smooth. Overall, Scared is not song to be scared of. It may overwhelm at first, but it will grow on you.
I am not exactly sure what the story behind the start (and all the relevant scenes throughout the video) were about. My best guess is that each of the people who we see that are non-members were at one point scared of something. But they have joined this cult or following lead by the members of P1Harmony, which tells them not to be scared of anything. Even if the world around you is falling apart. Aside from my botchy storyline, I really like the underground vibes of the music video. It really worked well with the song and really complimented the subtle intensity those additional scenes from the start and throughout the video had.
What a performance! The incorporation of the football into the choreography was a really unique touch. The way the performance goes full circle by bringing back the football at the end, and the whole routine we saw at the end with Theo’s slide and Jungseob’s jumps over the dancers, was amazing. Throw in the choreography we saw throughout the routine, and you have a cool looking dance performance that emphasizes the intensity of the song. If that wasn’t enough, then Soul’s dance break would have been the icing on the cake. And this praise hasn’t factored in the fact they performed the entire performance with live vocals.
Song – 9/10 Music Video – 9/10 Performance – 10/10 Overall Rating – 9.2/10
It seems like FNC Entertainment, once the home of famous KPOP bands, have moved onto producing KPOP groups. P1Harmony is the latest addition to the company’s lineup, which includes AOA, SF9, Cherry Bullet (the KPOP groups), N.Flying, CN Blue and FT Island (the KPOP bands). The new group is a six-member male group consisting of Keeho, Theo, Jiung, Intak, Soul, and Jongseob. Based on their profile (I get all the details of various KPOP groups from KProfiles), it seems like P1Harmony is one of the few new groups nowadays that are not connected to the Produce series or any other trainee survival show in some way. Just a little observation I made while looking them up for this review. The group also made their debut on Wednesday with Siren and the mini-album, Disharmony: Stand Out.
P1Harmony’s Siren is a hip-hop centric dance track, something quite different from their labelmates’ sounds. The verses could have used some oomph in the instrumental department. The background was bland for my taste. One good thing about the instrumentation during the verses was how it contrasted with the chorus, making the latter standout by miles. The chorus instrumental is very dynamic and robust, with the brass-like synths comes together to form an edgy and energetic punch. For those who may know, hip-hop centric sounds are not really my jam. But there is something very alluring about Siren that has me excited to see what is next for the group. It might be due to the fact that Siren really shows off some edgy flair and showcases a lot of potential. As it is a hip-hop sound, the song is mainly focused on the rapping. And boy, the members’ rap all added a lot of energy and intensity into the song, especially during the verses where I made an earlier comment about it being bland. The standout moment has to be the member that pulled that insanely fast paced delivery just before the final chorus. That really shocked me, but in a good way. Between the rapping, there was really good vocal moments. They don’t necessarily steal the limelight, but do help bring some balance to the song. The anthem-like delivery when it came to the chorus made everything in that section catchy and uplifted the energy to even more dynamic levels. Overall, another strong debut and one that puts P1Harmony on my radar!
The group and the producers of this music video were quite ballsy having so many people in one particular place, given the current circumstances worldwide. I was a bit nervous watching the music video because of this. Hopefully all people involved are okay. The graphics and post-production of this music video is definitely on another level. The apocalyptic scenes that kicked off the video was so intriguing. I wanted more of that in the actual music video, but it seems like that would be far too complicated to infuse into the rest of the video. But hey, those opening scenes made me stay and brought my attention to the members and song.
This group definitely has some performance skills up their sleeves. There was twist and turns, footwork and syncness to really help the group standout. The energy that come off from their choreography is something many other groups would envy. Even their facial expressions seemed relaxed and didn’t give off any newly debut feels. Definitely a strong impression was left on me by this group.
Song – 9/10 Music Video – 9/10 Performance – 10/10 Overall Rating – 9.2/10