May of this year was a crazy intense month for kpop and even though it’s now almost August, don’t you think for a second that means I’m not still gonna give you my two cents on the releases of that month. Here I’ve compiled the ten releases that I most feel like I want to talk about from the glorious month of May. Let’s do this. They’re roughly in the order of how much I like them, but not exactly.
10. I.O.I’s “Dream Girls” (May 4th)
I watched and greatly enjoyed Produce 101, so I became very attached to some of these girls. So when I heard that they were releasing their honest to god debut song, I was kind of dead set on liking it. But honestly? If this song had been from any other group I would have called it kinda catchy but also pretty bad. But since it was I.O.I I’ve called it pretty good and fun! I’m biased like that. Hopefully I won’t have to lie to myself with their next release.
9. Jonghyun’s “She Is” (May 24th)
Jonghyun is my ultimate bias, my one true kpop love. So when I first heard this song and didn’t like it at all, it made me kind of sad. I really want to like whatever he puts out, because I’m so fond of him as a person and I know how talented he is. But here he just pushed his experimental side so far that he left me behind, ending up with something that I just don’t find enjoyable. I applaud him for taking risks, but maybe he could do it in a… nicer way? I trust his ability to do this, as I would trust him with my life.
8. CLC’s “No Oh Oh” (May 30th)
I like where CLC have ended up. They’re still not at all a group that I’m dedicating much of my time or heart to, but their brand of super cute funkiness that they’ve been going with lately definitely does tickle my fancy. And their two new members seem to be working well. It never hurts to add a second main vocalist, as Elkie seems to be, and Eunbin is adding some really cute flavors to this girl group soup. I like where they’re taking things.
7. Akdong Musician’s “Re-Bye” and “How People Move” (May 4th)
It’s been quite a while since we saw something new from freakishly talented brother-sister duo Akdong Musician, and that’s been quite a shame. But now they’re back with a (smooth and sophisticated) bang. I’m not quite as obsessed with their new songs as I was with some of the older ones quite yet, but AKMU have definitely displayed their prowess, and they can not be questioned. It’s also obvious how much they, especially little sis Suhyun, have grown up. This is a much more adult sound than what I’ve learned to expect from them.
This one is a bit more modern, definitely more upbeat and almost slightly frantic in feel at times, while still strongly holding on to the retro feel that Akdong Musician are executing in such a lovely way. This song is about how you get people to move, and if you’re capable of listening to this and still sit completely still, I’m not sure if we can be friends.
6. BTS’s “Fire” and “Save Me” (May 2nd)
Even though they have largely moved away from that sound by now, my favorite BTS style is still their more hiphop and swagger infused songs. This has all that, brought back to life. And BTS do it just as well as they always have, even better, because now they also have a little bit of that classic BTS color added into the swag stew. I definitely like it, but there is something about the instrumental that is slightly jarring to my ears, which stops me from completely loving it. But if this, in a shocking turn of events, came on in a club I would turn up so hard I might hurt myself.
I never thought I’d say that I prefer the more sensitive of two BTS releases, but here we are. I really do like “Fire”, but I adore “Save Me”. Something about it just hits really deep in my heart, just as I remember “Young Forever” and even “Run” also did at certain points. BTS do swag and attitude very well, but there is an ability within them to also make songs that can somehow be both catchy and make these dry and cynical eyes tear up.
5. Tiffany’s “I Just Wanna Dance” (May 11th)
Even though I have flip-flopped on my bias choice in Girls’ Generation over the years, Tiffany has securely held that position for many years now. And when a bias finally gets that sought after solo debut, there is both great anticipation and great fear. So thank all the forces in the world that I really liked it. This song is not all that innovative, and falls squarely into the sound SM has been going for for a while now, but it’s a fun song to sing along with, and it suits my summer needs well.
4. Luna’s “Free Somebody” (May 31st)
I’m so so glad that SM didn’t make Luna’s solo debut into a ballad, which, with her vocal power, it easily could have been. Luna is a very good dancer, which I don’t think she gets enough credit for, and even though she has the voice to sing every Disney duet out there, she is way too much sass to just be a princess in a tower. She’s gonna climb down, slay that dragon and free somebody: herself.
3. AoA’s “Good Luck” (May 16th)
My relationship with AoA has never been the greatest, and songs from them that I really didn’t like are what have largely made them as famous as they now are. So when I first heard this song I died. And I mean that literally. This is definitely my favorite thing from them ever. AoA, where was this a few years ago? I could have loved you. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the girls look nearly this fine, and most of that is coming from the confidence they radiate. That’s sex appeal, right there.
2. Jessica Jung’s “Fly” and “Love Me the Same” (May 17th & 18th)
Okay, I realize this is basically just Jessica rehashing what Taeyeon did with “I” not even that long ago, both in sound and message, but I don’t really mind. Taeyeon did it in an amazing way that suited that her perfectly, and now Jessica did it in a great way as well. And really, can we have too many “you’re awesome and you can do it”-songs? Personally I prefer the English version, because that gets me even more inspired.
When I saw the title of this song I thought this would be such a boring ballad, but it turns out I like this song just as much as the main track. Jessica has a very angelic and soft voice, and she makes this very cute and romantic song even lovelier with her sweet presence. I always loved Jessica; she was always one of my absolute favorite members of Girls’ Generation and I’m glad that I’ll be able to see her do well even now after her time with them has ended.
1. XIA’s “Rock the World” (May 31st)
XIA is saving kpop with everything he does. He may not be getting anywhere near the love that he should be getting, but that is fine, because he is a king and a queen and an emperor and a princess and whatever high position he could possibly have of kpop. And he doesn’t need your mortal approval. Bow down before XIA and accept whatever sentence he has for you. And no matter how highly I praise this one, remember that I think “Flower” was like ten times better. That may be the best thing that ever has or ever will come out of kpop.
How did you feel about this crazy month? Which release that I skipped would you have loved to see on here? Are you ready to accept XIA as your lord and savior?