February, from our perspective, was the month where the ladies absolutely dominated just about every category. A month marking CLC’s first win ever with “No,” as well as ITZY’s fastest rookie win with “Dalla Dalla,” it’s hard to argue that the ladies aren’t on top of the world to kick off the second month of 2019.
Favorite Song: “Piri” - Dreamcatcher
It’s no secret that I’ve been a big fan of Dreamcatcher since their debut. Though my feelings toward their releases have shifted depending on the heavy metal influences, I was absolutely floored by “Piri” upon first listen. The song is a perfectly beautiful mix of K-Pop and metal, and really just makes all of my dreams come true in terms of musicality. With all of these other groups obtaining their first music show wins this month, it’s about time to give Dreamcatcher a chance in the spotlight, don’t you agree?
Favorite Album: ordinary. - PUNCHNELLO
Before this month, I had only heard of but never actually listened to PUNCHNELLO. Intrigued by a shining review written by my fellow team member, I went to check out ordinary. myself. The album has an amazing lineup of musical genres and featured artists, from Soundcloud sensation SAAY to classic K-R&B artists Crush and PENEMECO. The mix of intense hip-hop tracks with lighter and even more melancholy songs makes for a significantly well-rounded album that fits just about every mood. However, my personal favorite track is “Absinthe,” a song that makes me want to fight everyone who has ever wronged me.
Favorite Music Video: “Enough”- SF9
I’ve been a Fantasy for a couple of years now, so it’s no surprise that I favor SF9’s releases. They’ve been really killing the game as of late, and I was expecting that to be true with “Enough” as well, even if it couldn’t live up to “Now or Never.” Though the music video is simple in terms of visuals, I find it to be incredibly intoxicating in its simplicity. The video focuses on choreography and the members’ solo shots, both of which are totally mesmerizing. The coloring of the video is also muted so that your eye is attracted to the movement, and without a break from that formula, you become hypnotized. I could watch Taeyang dance for the rest of my life and be content.
Honorable Mention: “Butterfly” - LOONA
Although it wasn’t my favorite release, it didn’t feel right to leave out LOONA’s “Butterfly” from the list, purely because of the brilliant videography. The group went for a totally unexpected but welcome concept in showcasing a diversity of women from around the world with a message of empowerment. It left every person who viewed the video with goosebumps at the powerful message.
Favorite Debut: “DALLA DALLA” - ITZY
I’ll be honest, I hadn’t been anticipating ITZY’s debut much at all. I wasn’t even a huge fan of the song the first time I listened to it, but it didn’t take long for it to grow on me. On top of that, I’m super into the message of the song itself, which paints a picture of self confidence and an unapologetic promise to be yourself regardless of others’ judgement. I was especially moved by the breakdown portion of the song where the girls sing “Keep your chin up, we got your back, keep your head up, just keep on dreamin’,” a positive message of strength to all the listeners that just adds to the impact of the song overall.
Favorite Music Show Performance: “No” - CLC on Inkigayo
Speaking of self confidence and empowering songs, CLC shook up the K-Pop industry with the release of their track “No,” a song that has become a feminist anthem in Korea as the girls sing about rejecting the conventional beauty standards that are so strong in their society. The outfits for this particular Inkigayo performance are so on point it’s not even funny; add that on top of the mesmerizing choreography and the group’s intense stage presence, and you’ve got a masterpiece. CLC deserved their first win many comebacks ago, but it might mean even more that this is the track that got it for them.
Favorite Drama: Romance is a Bonus Book
If we’re being honest here, I’m going to watch any drama that features Lee Jongsuk in the lead role—it’s just a given. So naturally, Romance is a Bonus Book was on my radar before it even came out and made its way to the top of my watch list immediately. While the drama starts off kind of slow in terms of the romantic aspects, the slow burn helps build the intensity when romantic sparks begin to fly between the heroine Kang Dani and Jongsuk’s character, Cha Eunho. The story is a noona romance, something someone as old as me craves in the Korean entertainment industry when all the idols and actors just keep getting younger. On top of that trope, we also have the close childhood friends slowly falling in love in adulthood, giving this story a triple-kill in my book. If any of these elements are up your alley, be sure to take the time to check out Romance is a Bonus Book!