Musical Monday: Terribly Awesome or Awesomely Terrible?

Posted by Alix on April 20, 2020


I bet you’re thinking that today’s post is a lesson on the difference between adjectives and adverbs. Thankfully, it’s not, as I spent way longer than I should have looking into the difference between the two and if I had correctly remembered what was what. Not something my mother, an English teacher (and my English teacher at one point) would want to hear so we’ll stick with ramblings about k-music.

As long as I have been immersed in the world of kpop, I feel like there has been an on-going discussion about what is good and what is not good in the world of kpop. A stress reliever for me over the past month has been kdrama’s, in part due to their high levels of ridiculous plots and ever pleasing troupes. I’ve even gone back looking for classics I hadn’t seen yet and have spent a lot of the weekend watching episodes of Lie to Me. It’s great and also not great…and I can’t stop watching and wanting more. 

This got me thinking about taste and what we are willing to tolerate and how that varies from person to person…and how true that is for both dramas and kpop. It came up clearly about a week ago when a few of us got into a text discussion about the new release from TVXQ’s Max. I find the song addictive and fun to listen to, even while at the same time totally recognizing that it probably won’t ever earn the stamp of quality music. Others found it really not appealing and felt it was a poor move on SM’s part. One of the things I love about kpop is its willingness to go places and put out music that is on so many levels just catchy fun. I remember similar conversations when NCT127’s Cherry Bomb came out. Again, another song that musically will likely never be stamped high quality (I think) but hot damn, it plays a prominent role in many of my playlists. Obviously, a lot is particular to a person’s individual tastes and predilections but it so makes me wonder where is that line between what is just kpop and what is just not good music…and are they often one and the same? 

In the end, it really doesn’t matter what others think, even if you spent your teenage years believing otherwise. What really matters is whatever you are listening to sparks joy and brings you hours of fun and entertainment. And while the title song Chocolate might not be to everyone’s taste (FYI, he is HOT HOT HOT in the music video), the rest of the album is very well done (I think!) and worth multiple listens. 


  • Reply DBChen April 20, 2020 at 8:09 am

    “ where is that line between what is just kpop and what is just not good music…and are they often one and the same?”

    This makes it sound like you think K pop is not good music

    • Reply Stephanie April 20, 2020 at 2:45 pm

      This reminds me of when I first started my K-journey where I liked some things because I thought I should rather than actually liking them. (Kimchi, SS501). Then I realized, hey, it’s okay, just like in regular American music, I like some things, I don’t like others. In kpop I like this album, I don’t like that. Sometimes it stresses me out because I put so much expectation on things. I love BTS, so I HAVE to love all their music. Or do I? I don’t know, it’s something I’m really currently struggling with.

    • Reply Alix April 22, 2020 at 10:14 pm

      Writing these posts are often a way to think and reflect on my journey and relationship with #klife. When I first started listening to kpop I got a lot of questioning criticism from friends and family on why I would like or want to listen to this genre. As a result, I can be sensitive when other’s listening preferences are different from my own and this post was in some ways a reminder to me that I can like what I like regardless of what anyone else thinks and that’s totally fine.

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