The Kpop Monthly Roundup: January 2021

Welcome, everyone, to the very first Kpop Monthly Roundup of the year!

I haven’t done this in quite a while, and I’m so excited to bring this back in a slightly different format. Before, I used to combine it with my haul posts, but since my collective hauls are posted as videos, this space will be used for me to share my favorite comebacks for the month, and what I’m looking forward to in the next month.

So, without further ado, let’s get into it!

January 2021 Comebacks

(This list was done in order of release date.)

Jeong Sewoon’s 1st Full Album “24-Part 2” (Title Track: In the Dark)

Jeong Sewoon is probably the only soloist I really follow, and I would absolutely love to buy his albums if I had enough money. Title track In the Dark is such a mood, but normally, all of his title tracks are basically different kinds of moods. His music never fails to disappoint me, and I love putting his albums on when I want more of an indie-ish, more mellow kind of vibe. The rest of the album is great too!

Epik HIgh’s 10th Full Album “Epik High is Here Part I” (Tracks: Rosario, Acceptance Speech)

Only Epik High can pull off a tenth album that is, forgive my pun, epic. The line up of their collaborators for the songs on this album is nothing short of iconic- Zico, CL, HEIZE, B.I., Kim Sawol, Miso, Nucksal, CHANGMO, Woo, and GSoul. “Rosario” was such a good song, and it had such a great and innovative music video, what with each artist in it bringing their own experiences into the song as they went through their lines. In particular, I loved how Tablo says that he “paved the way for everyone’s that’s pavin’ the way” because it’s true, along with the other artists in the MV and the rest of 2nd Generation Kpop. The rest of the album is amazing as well. I love how Epik High always resonates and hits home, no matter when you listen to them.

AB6IX’s 3rd EP Repackaged Album “Salute: A New Hope” (Title Track: Stay Young)

“Stay Young” is such a feel good song that’s perfect for the winter season- it’s sentimental yet it gives so much hope, and it’s just beautiful. I also can’t help but watch all of their performances for this song! I love all the songs on this repack, but the song that really took the cake for me was the alternative rock mix of one of my favorite AB6IX songs of all time, “Surreal”.

Cravity’s 3rd Mini Album “Season 3 Hideout: Be Our Voice” (Title Track: My Turn)

Cravity is a rookie group that I would like to get to know more of this year. I’ve enjoyed all their mini albums to date, and their 3rd Mini Album is no exception to this. “My Turn” definitely gets stuck in your head, and their performances are good too! However, if you easily get dizzy or get triggered by flashing lights, skip the MV, listen to it instead or watch their performances. The rest of the mini album is solid as well. As of the moment, I’m still a little confused at who my biases in this group are, but the ones who have caught my attention so far are Allen, Minhee, Hyeongjun, Wonjin, Jungmo and Seongmin. Let’s see who I end up sticking with after I get to know them a bit more.

Oneus’ 1st Full Album “Devil” (Title Track: No Diggity)

I was so happy to learn that Oneus was going to release an actual full album, and it didn’t disappoint! Also, I had no idea what to think of a song called “No Diggity”, but it slapped so hard! (Also, any Oneus theorists out there with a theory on how this connects to their main storyline?) Their intro, “Devil is in the detail” is so smooth! However, I think my favorite tracks in the album are “Incomplete” and “Youth”. Oneus is definitely a rising star, and I do really hope they get their first win soon!

Cherry Bullet’s 1st Mini Album “Cherry Rush” (Title Track: Love So Sweet)

I have been waiting for a Cherry Bullet comeback to see what direction they were going to take. I wasn’t a big fan of “Hands Up”, so I was relieved when they released “Love So Sweet”. The song is cute, fun, catchy, classic girl Kpop that gets stuck in your head for a very long time. I’m not sure if they are completely ditching the game concept, although I’d love to see that make a comeback as well. For me, “Love So Sweet” is kind of a return to form after “Hands Up” and the rest of the mini album is solid as well.

Golden Child’s 5th Mini Album “YES” (Title Track: Burn It)

This year, I have declared Golden Child as my sixth ultimate group, so you can imagine how excited I was when they announced that they were making a comeback in January, and it didn’t disappoint. Y teased last year of a comeback song that he really loved that was “sophisticated and elegant”, and it was definitely not “Pump It Up”, so I think he was talking about this one. I was also very surprised because I didn’t expect Woollim to give them a big budget MV that’s almost like a movie. I absolutely loved this comeback, and the two music show wins that they’ve gotten so far are very much deserved.

Jackson Wang’s “Alone”

I discovered GOT7 in December 2020, and I’ve since then declared them as semi-ults. I’ll also be supporting all their solo endeavors as well. I love Jackson’s singing voice as much as I love his rapping tone. “Alone” is a great song, and I can really feel for him. GOT7 has been through a lot, and Jackson himself has gone through so much, but you can see how strong they all are. The music video is really simple, but still strikes an emotional cord.

February 2021 Comebacks

CIX’s 4th Mini Album “Hello Chapter 0: Hello, Strange Dream” (Title Track: Cinema)

I think at this point, it’s safe to call CIX a semi-ult as well. I love them so much and their latest mini album just adds on to their already flawless discography. “Cinema” is a lighthearted, bright, and feel-good song that is slowly becoming a big favorite of mine to listen to. I also love the fact that this song DID NOT have any rap verses at all, proving that you can have a great title track with no rap verses. Aside from that, I love hearing BX and Hyunsuk’s singing voices. (Also, any CIX theorists out there? Based on the Divine Comedy storyline they are pursuing, I think that we are now in Purgatorio territory.) The rest of the album is great as well, and it’s quite literally the brightest album they’ve done so far. I also love “Young” because it gives off a fun punk rock vibe!

Infinite’s Kim Myung Soo’s  1st Solo Single Album “Memory” (Title Track: Memory)

Myung Soo will finally be enlisting on February 22 as a marine, so we won’t be seeing him around for two years. I’m glad that he was able to put out an actual physical single album before his enlistment date, and even managed to squeeze in an online fanmeeting too. He said he wanted to give us gifts, and us fans are over the moon with this. I’ll miss him so much! Also, his single is sweet, warm and calming- a song that I definitely listen to when I need to feel calm again. Now, is it too much to ask for a VLive with Myung Soo, Sunggyu, Dongwoo and Sungyeol before Myung Soo enlists? Pretty please?

WEi’s 2nd Mini Album “Identity: Challenge”

WEi is another rookie group from last year that I have my eye on, and I’m really excited as to what they’ll show us in their upcoming comeback! I think my bias here would be Yohan.

Upcoming release date will be February 24, 2021.

Wonho’s 1st Mini Album Part 2 “Love Synonym: Right For Us” 

I was wondering when the second part of his mini album would be coming, and now I can’t wait for it to arrive! I don’t collect his solo albums, but I absolutely LOOVED “Open Mind”. It was a solid start to his solo career, and I can’t wait to see what he’ll show us next.

Upcoming release date is February 26, 2021.

ONF’s 1st Full Album 

FINALLY. FINALLY. After four years, we are FINALLY getting ONF’s first full album, something, that I think has been way overdue. I just know that this album is going to be the one that really helps them gain more recognition, although the fanbase has been growing steadily since “Road to Kingdom”. I really can’t wait for new music, awesome stages, and hopefully, we can give them their very first win this time around.

Upcoming comeback date will be February 24, 2021.

Monsta X’s I.M.’s 1st Solo Single

Ever since Joohoney put out his mixtape last year, I’ve been wondering when I.M. would drop his, because we know that he’s been working on it for quite some time now. I think we kind of have an idea of what kind of music he’ll put out based on the songs he’s written for Monsta X, but I’m really excited to see what surprises he’ll throw our way as well.

Now we know that it’ll be out next week, and I can’t wait! Especially as there will be an MV! Upcoming release date is February 19,2021.

And that’s everything I enjoyed in terms of Kpop in January 2021, and everything I’m looking forward to so far in February 2021 that has been announced!

Which Kpop releases did you enjoy in January 2021 and what are you looking forward to in February 2021? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

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