So… April was kinda rough. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t effected by the sudden passing of Moonbin of ASTRO. I’ve always been more of a casual ASTRO fan.
But I talked about how much I loved INCENSE in my January 2023 faves article, with Moonbin’s “Desire” being my fave solo song of the duo (MOONBIN&SANHA) on the album.
So if you haven’t listened to that album, I HIGHLY recommend it. I think one of the best ways to show appreciation for the work of an artist who is no longer with us is to continue to share their work and keep their legacy alive. So yeah, I’ll keep it short. Rest in peace, Moonbin.
Let’s get into the April releases…
Kim Wooseok – Blank Page
I like “Dawn” but it’s not one of my favorites off this album, Blank Page. “Slip” “Heaven, Are you there”, and “Love and Hate” are my main faves from this album. Mr. Wooseok kinda doesn’t miss either, huh.
DreamNote – Secondary Page
“Lemonade” slaps. Idk why there are so many beverage related songs out this month, lol. Well, NewJeans makes sense because of the brand deal with Coke.
But then Yeeun released a song called Cherry Coke, which is alright. You’re not messing much with that one, but the visuals are good. It’s gotten some copyright issues going on, so you can’t find it on Spotify. Supposedly it’s still up on Apple Music.
Anyway, back to DreamNote. “Lemonade” is perfect for a spring going into summer release. “Blue” also slaps, it’s more of a midtempo ballad like song. Still kinda dancey, but not like how “Lemonade” makes you get up and dance.
“Broken” slows things down a bit more, but feels like sad. This was a surprise release for me. I haven’t really checked for DreamNote prior to this single album. I’m gonna keep an eye on them.
Xydo – 123
My favorite song released this month. I can’t stop listening to it. Slaps. Xydo don’t miss. I hate I missed him live on the GROOVL1N tour last year. Hopefully I can see him in the future.
Apink – Self
I like it, but not as much as their previous releases. I think this is the last album under this company (IST Entertainment). Eunji seems to be happy with them, but the others bounced.
The group is still a thing. Which is great. But sound wise, this was a decent pop release. Just not as earworm as like “I’m So sick” or “%% (Eung Eung)”.
But still good. Love the message behind the song though. I think it’s good to remind young adults that it’s still okay not to have your life together yet.
Especially with how much pressure there is in your 20s. My favorites from SELF are “D N D” and “Candy”. I know I’m going back to listen those frequently.
Heize – 빙글빙글 (VingleVingle)
I’m not sure why they didn’t give this the title “Around” or “Around and Around” because that’s basically the English equivalent of this title. Instead, they just chose a Romanization, and I don’t think that’s even right. Shouldn’t it be “BingleBingle”? This is on Spotify, idk what it’s called on, like Apple Music or anywhere else.
Asdfghjk, anyway, this song slaps. I wasn’t expecting a dance EDM like track from Heize, but I know I want more.
I will say, when they suggest you watch on your phone and not on like a desktop, please take that shit seriously. I was tilting my head off and on, trying to watch this video.
Suga/Agust D (BTS) – D-Day
I’m confused by the plot of this music video for “Haegeum”. So the king from “Daechwita” is now a cop or rival mob boss and is trying to get revenge on Suga. Is this a new lifetime, or are they somehow in the same timeline? Idk.
So “People Pt.2”, I enjoyed this song a lot. But it felt more like an IU song featuring Suga. Not the other way around. Also, what are those lyrics she’s singing??
An ight album. I wasn’t a fan of all the autotune. The album to me gets good once “SDL” starts. It sounds more like his first album, in a good way. Like a continuation of why we loved D-2 so much.
I think the ones I’ll listen to most will be “People Pt.2” and “Snooze”. “Haegeum”, “SDL” and “Polar Night” are growers.
XG – SHOOTING STAR (BARS REMIXX FEAT. RICO NASTY)
Uh, I wasn’t expecting to like this one. I’ve listened to one or two songs from XG, and I wasn’t into it. But I do have a few Rico Nasty songs I love, so I thought I’d give it a shot. I love the chorus.
I love Rico Nasty’s verse. The raps from the group were fine. Idk anyone’s name, lol. It was mostly the singing the sold me. So I guess I’ll have to revisit some of their previous releases and see what I missed.
Kep1er – LOVESTRUCK!
Oh, I loveee the chorus on “Giddy”. Kep1er keep getting better with every release, and I love that for them. “Back to the City” is a fun track with a summer 80s pop vibe to it. “Why” also slaps and might be my favorite song from LOVESTRUCK!
I added “Why” immediately to my fave songs atm playlist. “Happy Ending” I think is my second fave off the album. You know what? This project is going on my fave albums of 2023 list. Slaps from start to finish.
Park Jihoon – Blank or Black
Idk what was up with my first listen of this album, but I couldn’t do it. I was doing my usual of listening to new music during my morning walk, and I got to “Gambit” and I thought, “You know what?
Let me try this album when I’m in a different headspace.” And it’s still not one of my favorite projects from Mr. Jihoon, but I like more of it than my first listen.
“Blank Effect” and “MATADOR” are my faves. I do like the incorporation of horns and Latin elements on BLANK or BLACK like on “Gambit” feat Bang Yongguk.
Really the only songs I didn’t save were “Gemini” (probably my least favorite interlude of his, unfortunately), and “Crashing For”. “Crashing For” is an ight midtempo ballad. Nothing super memorable for me.
NCT – DOJAEJUNG – Pefume
Loooveee it. This is everything I wanted it to be. I just love R&B NCT. I don’t have a favorite or like top 3 songs yet. I’ve really only listened to the whole thing all the way through once. But I know I’ll be listening to it a ton the rest of the year.
TEMPEST – Dangerous
“Dangerous” is a banger. I wasn’t that thrilled with the rest of THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM, but it wasn’t un-listenable. Just not my jam.
ALICE – SHOW DOWN
“DIZZY” and “SHOW DOWN” are totally sister songs and I love the vibe. Upbeat and catchy tunes. I think I enjoy “SHOW DOWN” slightly more. But they’re both great songs.
DRIPPIN – SEVEN SINS
Ayyyy Drippin finally got their shit together and are back to making bops. Lmao it hasn’t been that bad lately, but I have missed being hooked on a Drippin track on the first listen.
It’s been dry out here. I didn’t care for “BAD BLOOD”. I do love the rock elements in it, though. Giving us Xdinary Heroes with that one, lol.
SEVENTEEN – FML
I love FML. “Super” would have been my choice as the solo title track. Probably my favorite song off the album atm. It’s definitely song of the year material. Y’all know I fooking LOVE a performance video as the music video.
Seventeen continues to be one of my favorite groups to watch their choreo because they still find ways to surprise me. Also, long hair S.Coups LETS GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. They all look so good, but man, I didn’t have long hair S.Coups on the bingo card.
But I think doing the dual titles works fine this time around. “F*ck My Life” is fine. Not a fave yet, but maybe next SVT concert, I’ll be convinced. The first part of the album feels very rapline centric.
Then we start getting more performance and vocal line towards after “Fire”. “I Don’t Understand But I Luv U” is my second fave off FML. “Dust” and “April Showers” are also solid tracks.
Once again, Seventeen didn’t disappoint. I’m so happy to see this album doing extremely well commercially. The praise and reception for this album and Seventeen in general is well deserved and overdue, tbh.
EPEX – Prelude of Love Chapter 2. ‘Growing Pains’
Another group who got their act together, lol. Started dancing within the first 20 seconds or so of “My Darling”. “Sunshower” feels like a CIX song, like “Off My Mind” and I love it.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of the same producers and people who worked on CIX’s song(s) on here. This is actually the first complete album from EPEX I’ve enjoyed. It’s just been a song here or there from them.
“No Questions” is still my favorite song of theirs, but I really love this album. Another addition to the fave albums of 2023 list.
WOODZ – OO-LI
There’s something about Woodz where you know what you’re gonna get from him musically, but not at the same time. The way this man floats through different genres on the same album is insane in the best possible way.
Overall, I’d say this is more of an Alternative Rock album from him. But “Deep Deep Sleep” is a taste of R&B Woodz we haven’t seen in a few albums. ONLY LOVERS LEFT and COLORFUL TRAMA craweled and walked for OO-LI to run.
Both of those previous releases feel like target practice to refine and elevate this new direction in Woodz’s music. He did the damn thing on OO-LI. My fave release of his to date. Another addition to fave albums of the year list.
Xdinary Heroes – Checkmate and Good enough
“Checkmate” is my fave off Deadlock. “Good enough” maannn they were going offf on that song. I wasn’t really feelin the rest of the album. It was fine.
ONEUS – Unforgettable
Oh, this slaps. I like a ton of Oneus’s music. But lately they’ve been a bit hit or miss. I’m excited about this next album. “Unforgettable” is a pre-release and if the rest of the album sounds anything like this, it’s gonna be on repeat.
YongYong – Cheetos (feat. ZENE THE ZILLA)
Helllll yeahhhhhh. I’ve been waiting for Ms. YongYong to come back with a banger, and she finally did it for me. She hasn’t stopped making music, this is just the first track in a while I’ve been obsessed with. I love everything about this song.
Park Hyeon Jin – Yooou (너) (Feat BIG Naughty)
While looking through Kpop Official’s list to see if I missed any releases, I ran across this one. I’m not familiar with Park Hyeon Jin, but I’m definitely interested in his music now.
I’ll have to go back through his other stuff. But I love this song. Perfect for those rainy, coffee shop days when I’m in the mood for boring ballads.
This month music wise impressed me. I have high expectations for summer. Ateez and Stray Kids have made announcements for June comebacks. I think Enhypen is at the end of May. It’s just gonna be packed, and I’m here for it.
How was y’all’s month? I got a new puppy named Bonbon who has been keeping me super busy. I’m excited because May is also birthday month. 29 here we comeeee.
This year is flying by. I’ve been working over the last two weeks to organize what articles I want to post next, and finding a schedule that works for me. So look forward to more content in May! Follow me on Twitter and Instagram.
Anyway, until next post…