K-pop became the most voracious pop music culture on the planet as it expanded its global ambitions in the latter part of the 2000s and the early 2010s. This expansion occurred concurrently with an increase in K-appetite. pop’s It gorged itself particularly on American pop, hip-hop, R&B, and dance music, transforming it all into a maximalist fantasy and producing an aesthetic of absurdist excess in the process. For a time, this aesthetic was the most progressive and the most popular approach in the world.
Acts such as the YG Entertainment girl group 2NE1, together with its boy band contemporaries BigBang, flourished in that climate, and helped set the stage for the worldwide domination of the genre through their contributions. This was music that, for the most part, was conceived of and orchestrated by the producer Teddy Park, and it was peculiar, disorganized, and confident. Other pop scenes appeared to fade away as a result of its influence.
With the early popularity of tracks like “Whistle,” “Ddu-Du Ddu-Du,” and “How You Like That,” the next-generation YG girl group Blackpink, which debuted in 2016, seemed prepared to carry that torch. However, by the time the band issued their first full-length album, titled “The Album” in the year 2020, their music had somehow become more bombastic and more brittle than that of their earlier releases, and the blueprint was beginning to reveal its flaws.
The second studio album by Blackpink to be released in its entirety, “Born Pink,” presents the band and their subgenre with an opportunity to explore new creative territory. Jennie, Jisoo, Lisa, and Rosé, who make up Blackpink, are now at a crossroads as a result of this development. They must decide whether or not to continue their high-energy sonic collision; whether or not to completely embrace the English-language market; and whether or not to deconstruct their own house.
Aespa has been the most important of those acts in recent years, and the band’s most recent extended play, titled “Girls,” is one of the most astounding K-pop releases of the year. This is due to the fact that it demonstrates a dual mastery of both the complicated and the exquisite. That is encapsulated in its final run, which includes the songs “Black Mamba,” a warrior stomp that echoes flashy early 2000s pop, the nostalgic up-tempo ballad “Forever,” and then “Dreams Come True,” which sounds like a tribute to K-earliest pop’s interactions with R&B.
Also Read: Top 10 Best K-Pop Girl Groups
Itzy, on the other hand, is easily distinguishable due to its unwavering eccentricity. Its most recent EP, titled “Checkmate,” continues the group’s rowdy mayhem, featuring vocals that are incredibly awake and exuberant and music that appears to be bubbling in real time. The song “365” sounds like it was inspired by industrial or avant-garde club music, yet the song “Racer” sounds like it was inspired by Disney theme park music that was ran through a glitter factory.
Last but not least, there’s NewJeans, a band that recently put out an excellent debut EP under their own name that is absolutely poised and cool. This band has the potential to be the most promising of the bunch. The performance is seductive while maintaining a level of restraint, and the singing is glossy while remaining leisurely.
On the surface, NewJeans is reminiscent of a calmer period in K-pop that occurred before to the rise of 2NE1. However, its underlying themes are firmly rooted in the present day, most notably the diversion into New Jersey dance music on the track “Cookie.” However, NewJeans makes use of its current reference points in order to promote an idea that is more retro. Or, to put it another way and maybe more forcefully, it has absorbed all the knowledge that the world has to offer and is bringing it back with it.