July has been quite a crazy month for comebacks! Being bombarded with comeback after comeback made it rather difficult to pick favorites this month since we are always provided with quality content from our favorite artists. What a great problem to have though, right?
Favorite Song: “Come Back Home” - BTS
While I had initially been too distracted by all my work to focus on the hype surrounding this release, I’ve come to fall in love with BTS’ remake of Seo Taiji and Boys’ “Come Back Home.” I was pleasantly surprised to find that BTS did an excellent job of remaining true to the original sound of the song while adding their own flare to the mix. I’m always a sucker for personal power anthem tracks, and the addition of my ultimate bias Suga shouting “started from the bottom and we’re still going up” was enough to catch me, hook, line, and sinker. I’m particularly fond of J-Hope’s verse as well, since his enunciation stays true to the original track. Covers or remakes of famous songs tend to be a particularly treacherous endeavor, but BTS flawlessly executed this number and did justice to Seo Taeji and “Come Back Home.”
Favorite Album: Hola Hola - KARD
Although I was not part of the hype surrounding the co-ed group KARD when their creation was announced, I found myself hooked after the release of their first single “Oh NaNa.” I’ve been an avid fan of the group since they released “Don’t Recall,” which is still one of my favorite songs. I was very excited for them to finally release a full mini-album after three consecutive singles, and the new tracks definitely don’t disappoint! My favorite new track is “난 멈추지 않는다,” which takes on a traditional EDM sound that hasn’t been heard in KARD’s discography until now. I’m really looking forward to watching this group grow even more than they already have.
Favorite MV: Dreamcatcher - “Fly High”
I’ve been absolutely enthralled by the emergence of rookie girl group Dreamcatcher since their dark concepts mixed with metal and general K-Pop sounds is my absolute dream come true. Although “Fly High” is not nearly as straight up horror-themed as “Chase Me” or even “Good Night,” the new music video still has quite an air of mystery attached to it, with something sinister brewing under the surface. In a way, the added cute and happy elements emphasize the sinister undertones even more. Dreamcatcher has yet to disappoint me with their unconventional concept, and I’m always excited to see what the girl group will give us next.
Favorite Music Show Performance: NCT 127 - “Cherry Bomb”
I fell in love almost instantly with the aesthetic of “Cherry Bomb,” and even more so once I saw the dance performance. NCT 127 is known for their creative and challenging choreography, and the routine for “Cherry Bomb” did not fall short. The synchronized movement during the second chorus is absolutely mesmerizing, and I was convinced that during the final verse the entire group of boys was going to fall to the ground in the splits. Not to mention as a Taeyong stan, I continue to be fed incredibly well by my man leading the choreo and pulling some unbelievable moves (per his usual self). Though sometimes eccentric, you can always count on NCT 127 to deliver excellence in their performance.
Favorite Drama: Fight for My Way
Choosing just one drama this month was quite a struggle, but the story of Fight for My Way definitely hit closer to home than some other releases. I totally loved the core message of the drama which focused on living life in the way that would make you the happiest. I absolutely adored the female lead Choi Aera (played by Kim Jiwon) who had an unconventionally strong personality in comparison to common female leads in K-Dramas. Aera’s relationship with male lead Go Dongman (Park Seojoon) started as long time close friends and developed into a romantic relationship, which I am an absolute sucker for. Supporting female character Baek Seolhee (Song Hayoon) is the complete opposite personality of Aera, but I enjoyed watching her transform into a stronger character through the hardships she struggled with in the series, eventually reaching success that became her new dream. For young adults struggling with the divide between making a living and achieving their dreams, Fight for My Way is an incredibly uplifting series that highlights all the struggles in between.
Favorite Book: Korea: The Impossible Country
If you’re a huge nerd like myself that always wants to dig deeper into your interests and passions, look no further than Daniel Tudor’s Korea: The Impossible Country. This book is a perfect roundup of everything South Korea, from its long history to economic transformations, today’s pop culture, and insights into the creation of its unique culture. I finished the book in a record week’s time because I was so captivated by all the information concealed within it. For someone born in the West who doesn’t necessarily understand all the customs or differences of Eastern cultures, this book provides a comprehensive guide to understanding how Korea became the country it is today. The book is a must read for anyone truly interested in not just K-Pop but in Korean culture as a whole.
Favorite Product: Nature Republic Mask Sheet
I’m not even exaggerating when I say that discovering these mask sheets changed my life. For over a year now, I have been testing out face masks from different outlets, and while they have all helped my skin quite a bit, I’m definitely biased towards Nature Republic. Putting one of these babies on after a long day is guaranteed to make you feel so refreshed, and the product left over on your skin after taking the mask off makes it glow like nothing else. My personal favorite flavors are Green Tea and Rose. The regular use of these face masks has made my skin more resistant to breakouts even when I’m not as strict with my normal skincare routine. Not to mention, the masks leave your face soft and healthy to the touch. Korean skincare really is a lifesaver!