The Rise of Kpop (Again) Or 10ish Songs I Keep Playing

Posted by Stephanie on October 26, 2021


Could be my crazy work schedule as of late (writing this after finishing up a 13 hour day), could be whatever spare time left over is used frantically working on the A.C.E themed joint birthday ValB and I are throwing, but I’ve had not so much time or inclination to watch dramas. Or more to the case, I try, I really try to watch a drama, but then the lure of couch sleeping is too hard to resist and I wake an hour later with a crick in my neck and my episodes continuing to trot along without me on the tv.

My constant companion as of late would be kpop. No surprise considering that this is the time where we start looking at our lists, start prepping for those top 50 songs of the year, adding, weighing, listening, and relistening. While another thing I SHOULD be doing, I find myself obsessively listening just to the same songs over and over again. There are some real surprises in here for me these last couple of weeks. I’ve found songs I forgot, falling in love with artists all over again, and… generally just getting excited about music. Its a pretty good place to be.

Here are some of the songs which have been on constant repeat. (And no, they are not all A.C.E songs)

One of the big surprises for me, was the rise, or the remembered love I had for Monsta X. I loved them. I’ve seen them in concert TWICE. They are coming here to Denver. I own like SEVEN of their albums and yet… I stopped paying attention to them. Part of it was the issue with Wonho after he left the group. I was afraid that what had happened, even though he’s doing very well for himself now, was that it was going to taint my enjoyment of Monsta X. With that, I let them slip away. But as I listened to my random Youtube Music playists (heads up, if you subscribe to Youtube premium you get free access to YT Music) I kept hearing song after song and found myself saying “Who is this?” and often it would be Monsta X.

The first song to capture my attention was Rotate from an album I almost bought when I was at the local record store/head shop that happens to offer a small collection of Kpop albums, but then I stopped myself thinking “Do you even like them anymore?”

Rotate shows, yes, yes I do.

Monsta X, Rotate

But then… One day came on my list and I was INSTANTLY smitten. I listened to it over and over that day and it’s been on heavy rotation ever since. Last time Alix and I got together to watch BL and Bubbles, it morphed into just a kpop video night and she showed me this performance video for MTV. I realized, not only was my love of Monsta X back, but Monsta X was able to still carry on without Wonho and Shownu (who is now in the military). I’m now SUPER excited for the concert and I’ve already given pouty eyes to my beloved coworker asking “If I get your ticket, will you come to this show with me???” (He has agreed. I’m determined to take this friendship outside of the workplace.)

Monsta X, One Day

Now let’s leave Monsta X and move to a little alternative. This song hit my playlist while I was running and immediately after, I played it again and again, which I’m sure slowed me down, but I don’t really care. While I’ve been working this work project all night it’s been my constant companion. Again, while I don’t LOVE DPR IAN’s videos, I’ve realized that I’m a sucker for his music, and this song speaks to me.

DPR IAN, Nerves

In this thumbnail does he or does he not look like a younger what’s his face…the weepy one… Lee Dong Wook. (I can not believe I actually had to look that one up.) Anyway, the I’m Doing Fine…I’m Doing Fine…I’m Doing Fine….I’m getting nervous… I’m just getting nervous is pretty much my mantra these days so the feels are hitting eerily close.

Let’s stay in the DPR land for a while. DPR IAN’s coworker (I don’t know what you actually call them all), DPR Live was the first artist of the group who I connected to with last year’s release Legacy, but this year I’m actually favoring IAN. For the most part, I just haven’t LOVED Live’s songs… or so I thought. When Yellow Cab first came out, I wanted to like it, but, for some reason, I disliked the video so much it turned me off the song itself. Luckily, it stubbornly popped up on my music feed again and again until last week I found myself wandering around Old Navy randomly singing “Sweet Jesus!” Uhoh, that’s when I knew I was in trouble.

DPR LIVE, Yellow Cab

And I mean, while we’re at it, let’s toss in Legacy because it’s a freaking cool song and video

Going back to Kpop-pop, I had kind of hoped SaraG would do this song for Musical Monday but remembered how she has trouble sharing her big song loves and THIS? This is a big song love. Last week Seventeen came out with their latest release and man oh man, it’s pretty amazing. I can’t say a single bad thing about this. The song is great, the video is even better, the guys look great. I may or may not have purchased the album when I was at Target this weekend on the power of this song alone. I’m not going to say I have a love-hate relationship with Seventeen, more of a, I love them as people, but sometimes their music doesn’t do it for me no matter how much I want it to. And I really want it to. But this? I’m back in. The album I purchased is the performance unit version and I’m tempted to maybe go out there and pick up the vocal unit too. WHO IS THIS PERSON???

Seventeen, Rock With You

Much to no one’s surprise, I still am not able to put down Ten’s solo song Paint Me Naked. He just delights me. I wish they’d let him do a whole album, OR, I wish they’d take Lucas out of the penalty box, and then maybe WayV could come back.

Ten, Paint Me Naked

Here’s one I completely missed when it first came out, probably because it was part of an OST, but it’s a surprise because I usually have my ear to the ground regarding anything The Rose. I wish I liked Woosung’s other releases more as I don’t think he’s going to quite make the top 50 list this year with Lazzy and the new song Dimples, but if only I knew about this song back in 2019, it would totally have been on my list then.

Keeping with the OST feel, there’s another song that kept popping on my feed and I fell instantly in love. Once I realized it was the lead singer from Nell? Well, it completely made sense. Now, this isn’t enough to actually make me watch the show, but I’m glad that Kim Jong Wan (and Nell) are still out there, making music. Every now and then SaraG will recommend a song or I’ll be otherwise reminded that Nell exists and I’ll be sucked right back into my love for them.

Kim Jong Wan, Gravity

While I haven’t been super loving NCT 127 releases, the song Lemonade? This song is just sexy. Makes me super bummed that one of the shows we had tickets for pre-covid, was NCT 127. I’ve never seen a full concert of theirs and now with Lemonade, my fervor to see them live is…alive and well. Come on SM, Monsta X is coming to the states, BTS, VeriVery, I think its time to unleash NCT.

NCT 127, Lemonade

And finally, because it’s not only factually accurate that I continue to listen to it, but it also makes me happy to put it here, A.C.E’s Down is just so much fun and I hold it in my heart that this shows they can put out good releases without the full group. Adventures in Wonderland was sans Chan, and Down is without Wow. You can do it boys, I believe in you!

Sigh. We miss you Wow and Donghun! Someone release a picture of them in the military already!!!

A.C.E, Down



  • Reply SaraG October 28, 2021 at 10:25 am

    Love the variety!!

  • Reply justin October 29, 2021 at 11:33 pm

    Nice Post

  • Leave a Reply

    Back to top