The Great Muse

The K-pop group BLACKPINK // Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Reviews of sensational music hits from around the world! This week: K-pop

K-pop is a type of music from Korea and is most commonly sang in the Korean language. Its diverse sound and style have captured the hearts of many across the world. There are many genres to choose from within K-pop, ranging from classic ballads to powerful girl-crush. So if you are looking for something unique and catchy, this is for you. 

Some people question the genre because they do not understand the lyrics however, you do not need to understand something to appreciate and enjoy it. It is easy to see this when viewing their performances. They do not just sing, they also dance and break records.  They come in groups of anywhere from three to twenty-one or solo. To start, here are some songs that are in English:

Monsta X “WHO DO U LOVE?” ft. French Montana

This song is Monsta X’s second single in English from the album ALL ABOUT LUV, in collaboration with French Montana. The group Monsta X performs this R&B song with pleasant vocals and catchy beats. One notable lyric is, “Who’s the one that takes you high up there?” Montana raps and mentions Gordon Ramsay’s beef, which is a funny anecdote. Monsta X’s vocals and this song are just a small part of their incredible talent. The song charted on the US Pop Songs Chart summiting at #26. Want more of Monsta X? Check out their full English album ALL ABOUT LUV.

BLACKPINK “Crazy Over You”

This is a song about four girls and their obsession with a boy. It is a single from BLACKPINK’s first-ever full album, THE ALBUM. BLACKPINK is known for their strong beats and vocals that lift your mood through the roof. This song is a fan favorite as it has a hip-hop sound to it, plus it attracts more English listeners. Most songs in this album are in English, so do not hesitate to check them out, and fall in love with BLACKPINK.

BTS “Dynamite”

Dynamite is a disco upbeat song and the first full English song by BTS. This song peaked number one on iTunes in 111 countries, making it to the nominations for the Grammy Awards 2021. This song definitely gives off summer vibes, and the choreography is super fun and edgy. Each member shows off a special charm through their vocals which seized their fans’ hearts. One line that stands out is “Ladies and gentlemen, I got the medicine so you should keep ya eyes on the ball.” 

The group BTS posing for a photo // Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The group BTS posing for a photo // Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Red Velvet “RBB (Really Bad Boy)”

“RBB (Really Bad Boy)” by Red Velvet is originally a Korean song, but there is also an English version of it. This song is very upbeat and Halloween-like, with a high-pitched scream from the group’s main vocalist. A  favorite part of the song is the chorus that goes, “Oh my god! He’s a really bad boy!” The rest of the song is of course amazing, filled with ad-libs and screams, which makes it suitable for a Halloween night. This song is like a sequel to one of their earlier releases, “Bad Boy” which also has a similar concept, but a totally different vibe and sound. If you are new to K-pop, it is highly recommended to listen to Red Velvet’s older songs in Korean, rather than English because the group’s true concept is shown in their K-releases. 

HENRY “It’s You”

The song, “It’s You” by HENRY, is from the series “While You Were Sleeping.” HENRY is a favorite solo artist and all of his works are like heaven, especially this one. This song went right into everyone’s favorite playlist. The lyrics are very meaningful and can make you emotional about love. An example of this is part of the chorus where it goes, “You’re the right time, at the right moment, it’s you~” When you combine the masterful lyrics with HENRY’s angelic voice this song truly does sound heavenly. Check out HENRY’s Chinese releases to be even more amazed by his vocals!

The most important part of K-pop is finding a genre you love that you can connect with. Each group has a distinct sound and genre, for example, Blackpink is all girl-crush and party vibes, while Twice is more quirky and bright. These songs are everything from hard beat drops to teardrops. K-pop is wide-ranged and many groups collaborate with international artists to provide their fans with the best quality music. Some artists that have been collaborated with are Jason Derulo, Dua Lipa, Lady Gaga, Lauv, and Cardi B. Most of the songs that they release with collaborators are half in English and half in Korean. Check out these amazing hits in collaboration with other great artists:

Lady Gaga, BLACKPINK “Sour Candy”

Lady Gaga and BLACKPINK’s vocals go hand in hand and fit together so nicely. The majority of this song is in English but one member sings in Korean, balancing both languages for international listeners. This is a single from the album Chromatica. Target actually displayed Chromatica’s tracklist on their website, causing rumors about the collaboration, and Gaga herself had to announce it a day before the official release. For more releases from Lady Gaga, check out Chromatica, and don’t forget to bless your ears with Sour Candy!

BTS “Boy With Luv” ft. Halsey

This is BTS’s title song from the album MAP OF THE SOUL: PERSONA, and it features Halsey who has been a fan of BTS since 2017. When she got the opportunity to work with them she gave it her all, including dancing in the music video! The sound of this song is different from most of BTS’s others because it is fun and warm. This song charted #8 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it the highest-charting K-pop song. 

Jason Derulo, LAY, NCT 127 “Let’s Shut Up & Dance”

This song is another bop that you could dance away to! It is fully in English, making it even better for those who don’t understand Japanese. When you first hear this song you will probably love the exciting lyrics. Check out more NCT 127 with their album RESONANCE.

WENDY, John Legend “Written In The Stars”

“Written In The Stars” is a collaboration between the American singer-songwriter John Legend and WENDY of Red Velvet. This song is John Legend’s first collaboration with a K-pop artist. It is an R&B ballad with vocals smooth as honey from both singers. WENDY’s voice gives the song a flow and blends perfectly with John Legend. This song is amazing for those who love beautiful guitar strums and soft beats. Listen to the album SM Station for more collaborations like this.

Singer WENDY from Red Velvet // Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Dua Lipa, BLACKPINK “Kiss and Make Up”

“Kiss and Make Up” is BLACKPINK’s first international collaboration, working with Dua Lipa. This song is about a girl trying to fix her failing relationship and was made after BLACKPINK met Dua Lipa at her world tour in 2018. The song charted number eight on the iTunes chart, making them the first K-pop girl group to enter the charts. Sung in both Korean and English, this song collects fans’ hearts internationally. If you want more of BLACKPINK, check out their EP KILL THIS LOVE. 

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