Kpop Comebacks: the first week of November


Jess Oakley, Reporter

The first week of November was packed with K-pop comebacks that I really enjoyed. This article highlights just three comebacks out of the nearly 30 songs and music videos that were released in the very first week of the month.

Starting the month out with a bang was the release of Monsta X’s third full studio album, “Fatal Love.” Along with the album, there was a music video for the title track which highlighted the group’s hip hop sound and unique choice of visuals. The bridge and chorus are catchy and easy to sing along to. The rap is a two-part rap by the two youngest members of the group, and is as sharp and bright as is to be expected from the group.

I asked some fans how they felt about the comeback. Emily, a friend of mine, had this to say, “In their interviews they’ve said that ‘Love Killa’ is different in that they wanted to have more of a ‘secret’ sensuality, so instead of having revealing outfits or ones that are odd and unique they wear suits. Monsta X definitely has a style that’s been their own but it’s hard for me to compare it to others because it’s not necessarily in the noise music category but it also isn’t soft. Although this album especially they claim as theirs. This album has a lot of their own music to which Jooheon and Changkyun helped produce a lot of the music, but even Hyungwon has a track on this album. They focus a lot more on this album on themselves, so there are several songs just talking about their own successes, which I always think is a direct call out to all the random people who have been trying to tear them down within the last year.”

When I asked another fan from Instagram, Ashley, about the song she had this to say, “I feel like ‘Love Killa’ is more of their style! They really pull off hip hop really well. I feel like they truly create and are different in their own ways from many other groups.” In terms of charting, The album debuted at the number 1 spot on the Gaon physical albums chart for the week of Nov. 1 to Nov. 7. The group also took home two music show wins from SBS MTV’s “The Show” and MBC’s “Show Champion.” The group sold over 160,000 copies of the album in the first week, breaking their previous record from their last mini album.

On the third of the month, girl group MAMAMOO released their tenth mini album “TRAVEL.” The extended play featured a total of six new songs. The group pre-released a single, “DINGGA” last month, and released a music video for the title track “AYA” along with the album. There are strong beats and the incorporation of a flute into the title. There is also a dance break portion of the song in the second half of the song. The visuals of the music video are very interesting, as each of the four girls seems to have a separate concept that comes together seamlessly when they are all together. Within the first 24 hours, the music video claimed over 7.9M views, as well as 1.1M likes. This is the highest first day views for the girl group ever, breaking the record of “DINGGA” by nearly 1.5M views. The title track peaked at #1 on South Korean streaming service BUGS for two hours.

I asked some fans if they felt this comeback highlighted the group’s strong vocals and catchy beats, which are things they are known for within the industry. I also asked if they felt that the group received the recognition they deserved. Whitney said, “It’s more the vocals people are drawn to, I think because their instrumentals don’t really take away from that, however, I would say that this comeback actually did the reverse; the beat was a lot more catchier and so stood out more than their strong vocals. The workload this year may have contributed towards the tone down on vocals, but with the beat the use of instruments like the flute, that hasn’t been incorporated by artists in their field a lot, was probably the highlight of their title track. In terms of recognition I feel like I’m heavily biased in the way that I think they’re the only girl group that stands out from their peers at the moment. Still, with a biased opinion, I also think it’s evident they don’t get the recognition they deserve as it actually took me a while to find them. Whether that was down to my method of searching or their promotion/recognition is pretty unclear.”

A group that’s debut has been waited for two years now finally debuted in August. TREASURE is a group of 12 members, ranging in age from 21 to 15, having members from both Korea and Japan, and has already released three single albums since their debut. The group was formed in 2018 through an elimination based survival show, that was produced by the entertainment company YG.

Described as “Monster Rookies” for their seemingly nonstop schedule, the group garnered an outstanding 56K preorders of their third single album, “The First Step: Chapter Three” Which included the title track “MMM,” b-side “Orange” and instrumental versions of both songs. The music video gained 8.3M views and 970K likes in the first 24 hours, becoming the second most viewed music video for the group within the first 24 hours. TREASURE is the most followed rookie group on Melon, a streaming site and search engine, as well as being the most mentioned rookie group on Twitter with over 25M mentions on the date of the release of “MMM.”

The music video shows great attention to detail within the choreography, and the song itself is catchy and I often find myself humming it or singing the opening to myself. When I asked fans about how they felt about how much the boys have worked this year, Eileen from Twitter said this, “Their full album will be here in January 2021, and I do feel like they’re a little overworked right now. The members seem tired and they’re only kids, but I know after the release of their full album they’ll get to rest!”

Another fan, Ashley from Twitter, had this to add, “Treasure are amazing rookies! They deserve everything! The boys waited so long to debut and I feel like they’re really making the company proud because of all the records they’re breaking. I feel like YG should have debuted the boys earlier in the year so they wouldn’t have a comeback the next month after debuting. So that they have time to rest a bit. I do hope the boys get to rest soon after the full album because they must be tired.”

Super Junior celebrated their fifteenth anniversary on Nov. 6. As a thank you to all the fans that have joined their journey with music, they posted the music video for a pre-release single for their new album, which is coming out in December. The group has achieved a lot in the 15 years they have been active and have remained as a tight circle of friends even through things such as military enlistment, marriages and other drama within the industry.

I asked a fan named Pip from Twitter what advice they would give to fans of younger groups who have only recently started enlisting and they had this to say. “I was super upset SM didn’t just make them enlist all in one go, since SUJU has so many members. When the first one enlisted it basically meant we wouldn’t see the full line up for a while. At the end of the day though, you need to understand that part of stanning Korean groups is having to familiarize yourself with Korean culture and enlistment is something they all have to go through. They usually send updates during enlistment, and it makes it all the more exciting when they come back, to be honest.”

These are just a few of the more popular and noteworthy comebacks of the first week of November. A lot of amazing music was released this week, so don’t be afraid to ask for my recommendations!

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