#ListenToThis: ITZY, Jay Park, Somi, Red Velvet

It’s been a while since I’ve written a post about K-Pop song recommendations in general so this does feel a little weird, but I’m back with another post to share some songs that I’ve been listening to the past few weeks! Not all of the songs were released in August per se, but I still wanted to share with you guys what’s been on my most recent playlist and to spread some of that love. So with that being said, let’s get started and #ListenToThis!

Somi – What You Waiting For

While I was not a follower of Produce 101 (I know, I’m in the minority in that I did not watch any of the ‘Produce’ shows) and I am not a fan of Somi, I did check out her most recent comeback song ‘What You Waiting For’ and came around to warming up to it after a few listens. It’s not the best song I’ve ever listened to, but it is simple and catchy enough and became a track that I found myself repeating after a few listens. Sometimes, simplicity is the best and that’s what Somi captures in ‘What You Waiting For.’ Although I wasn’t the biggest fan of her debut, I think this follow-up was a nice comeback song for the former IOI member and now soloist. It still didn’t do too much for me in terms of converting me into a fan, but I’m glad I gave the song a try. ‘What You Waiting For’ is simple and effortless and that might be what pushed some people away from liking this track, but it was what ultimately drew me into enjoying the song. Nice one, Somi!

SURL (ft. Jay Park) – Don’t Say No

I’ll be honest — I haven’t been the most caught up with Jay Park and his music the past couple of years (I was definitely more of a follower and listener back during his prime days when he released ‘All I Wanna Do’, ‘Me Like Yuh’, etc etc — basically you know, THAT era). However, when I saw that he was in a new collaboration, I decided to just randomly check it out without any expectations whatsoever. To my surprise, the collaboration was with a band (and not a rapper like how I had assumed) and it was something different from the Korean hip-hop rapper himself. ‘Don’t Say No’ quickly became a favorite of mines simply for the fact that 1) it’s a great song and 2) Jay Park sounds great in this. While I definitely do prefer Jay Park’s vocals over his rap, even his rapping towards the end of the song worked out pretty well with the entire track despite the switch-up. It was a nice twist to what was overall a strong and heavy track and I also liked the main vocalist’s voice. Overall, ‘Don’t Say No’ was a song that I had no intentions of listening to, but gave a chance due to Jay Park’s name that was attached to it. I’m glad I gave the song a listen and I have a feeling it’s one that I’m going to keep listening to for a while.

ITZY is inarguably the hottest rookie girl group in K-Pop right now and for many good reasons. Their title tracks have definitely garnered them lots of attention with many having a love-hate relationship with the songs and whatnot. I’m also within that mix in that I generally enjoy all of ITZY’s title tracks after I give them a few listens. ‘DALLA DALLA’ was definitely that type of song for me at first in that I really only enjoyed the chorus from the song. However, after a few voluntary listens (I wasn’t forcing myself to listen to the song to like it), I got a better understanding of the structure of the song and, therefore, came around to liking ‘DALLA DALLA’ as a whole. To this day, ‘DALLA DALLA’ still remains my favorite promotional track from ITZY despite it being their debut track. When ITZY came back with ‘ICY’, I wasn’t that impressed so that song fell short to me sadly. Then ITZY returned with ‘WANNABE’ and they once again won my heart and my ears with that song. Fast forward a few months later and the monster rookie girl group is back this time with ‘Not So Shy.’

I can see and hear the effort from ITZY to try something a little new from the preppy sort of concept that they had been presenting to us since their debut while also sort of staying among those lines. While I can’t say whether or not I like this attempt from ITZY just yet (it’s going to take a few more comebacks from them for me to fully assess how I feel), I do appreciate ‘Not So Shy.’ It’s still not my favorite track from them (I’d honestly rank it after ‘DALLA DALLA’ and ‘WANNABE’), but it’s also not a song that I would skip if it were to randomly play on my playlist. Regardless of what songs ITZY does put out though, I think it’s safe to say that they have a strong enough of a fandom that they will survive and thrive with all the concepts they experiment with. Maybe that’s the refreshing thing about ITZY; they’re not afraid to venture and experiment, but I’d also like to see something a bit more bold and daring from them next time.

Red Velvet – Jelly

I know I know, Red Velvet’s Irene and Seulgi already made their sub-unit debut more than a month ago, but I still wanted to bring them up as they’re one of my favorite girl groups at the moment. While ‘Monster’ and ‘Naughty’ were decent, they also still felt sort of underwhelming — it was as if something was missing. And to be completely honest, I wanted more from the talented first official sub-unit from Red Velvet. Thankfully, I listened to the entire album and found a favorite b-track which happens to be none other than ‘Jelly.’ While I definitely don’t see it as a promotional track, it was fun and catchy and easy to listen to. Seulgi’s vocals are to die for, but Irene also proved herself with this sub-unit. I know there was lot of hype and excitement for the sub-unit as well and many people were looking forward to seeing Red Velvet’s first ever official sub-unit (sub-units within K-Pop are always fun and it’s unfortunate that it’s not seen as much anymore in K-Pop). I’d love to see more sub-units within Red Velvet and more fun, straightforward, and catchy songs like ‘Jelly.’

And that wraps it up for this edition of ‘#ListenToThis’ (I had totally forgotten about the hashtag until I searched it up on my blog! It’s been so long since I’ve had this blog I had forgotten about the types of articles and hashtags I used to write >.<). It’s my first one in a while so it might not be the funnest or funniest or greatest to read, but I hope you enjoyed these tracks if you haven’t already listened to them. Which tracks of July or August did you enjoy the most so far? What songs would you recommend? Comment down below! 😀

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