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November 2023 K-pop Highlights

K-pop Monthly Highlights, November 2023

It’s time for the monthly K-pop highlights for November. This month, there were a lot of amazing K-pop releases, so let’s go and see what’s in the monthly K-pop highlights!

K-pop Monthly Highlights November 2023: Pretty melodies and apocalypse sounds

Christmas song: TRI.BE “Papa Noel” (Album, Universal Music)

The girl group TRI.BE’s Christmas single came out already in November. “Papa Noel” is a fantastic happy Christmas song. I love this dance choreography; it looks so much fun, and this song brings out a happy X-mas feeling! The melody is super addictive and catchy! I’ve been listening to this from November to December. This song is in Spanish and Korean: I missed it if it also has other languages. This Christmas song was relevant because I was having a holiday in Spain this December, so it felt personal, too.

Papa Noel” is a fantastic happy Christmas song. I love this dance choreography; it looks so much fun, and this song brings out a happy X-mas feeling!

Noora

I can’t wait to hear new songs from TRI.BE next year: they are one of the girl groups I always love to check out what they release. This year, they released a five-song mini album, “W.A.Y”, with a title track, “WE ARE YOUNG“, a catchy pop song. Check out the incredible performance video this December featuring ELLY with the song “LORO“. This song is an excellent, energetic track from 2021 with Latina beats, and I love it!

Summer in the winter: KARD “Fireworks” (Digital single, +memory project)

The female-male mixed group KARD released a project song, “Fireworks“, this month. Thisย song is part of the “+ memory play”-project created by BY4M Studio. This song is a beautiful New Year’s Eve track with tropical house sounds. The production sound is their upbeat, may I say a “KARD sound”. The melodies make this song a highlight, and I am also a KARD fan, so I’m always looking forward to their releases. This song has a fresh, dreamy feeling and is great for the holidays.

KARD released this year their sixth mini album “ICKY”: you can check out my review of the title track from my blog. I also have a short review of KARD’s single release “Without You” in my April blog post.

Sing it and dance it: Stray Kids “LALALALA” (Album, JYP Entertainment)

The boy group Stray Kids released a new album in November, “ROCK-STAR”; it must have been about six months since they released their last album, “5-STAR”. How do they manage to make albums at this speed? Hats off to Stray Kids for that. When I first heard the new title track “LALALALA“, I thought it was ok at first listen. But then I listened to it more, changed my mind, and added this song to the K-pop highlights of November.

The song starts with great power immediately and sweeps the listener into the Stray Kids sound world. There is an addictive intro synth melody, which continues through the track to the end. We have an afrobeat here as last month’s highlights, NCT 127 “Fact Check”, to give the song a K-pop dance track element. The track has much going on soundwise, so the calm melodic bridge is welcome before the hectic chorus. This song has a powerful and overdriven bass or kick, which is a stylistic choice. I enjoyed the game-like sounds in this song, and the electric guitar gives a nice spice, especially at the end; the ending is fantastic!

The Hit List: Jung Kook “Golden” (Album, BIGHIT Music)

Jung Kook from the group BTS released his solo album this November before enlisting in the military. I am always biased when reviewing BTS because I enjoy their music. This year and last year, we had so many releases from the members that it has sometimes been overwhelming to keep up with the releases. So, I was surprised when the information about Jung Kook’s album came. He had already released the single featuring Latto, “Seven“, which became a huge hit worldwide.ย 

ย “Golden” is sung in English, targeting the Western music market. Many people want to listen to music they understand (understandably), so in this way, the music reaches the Western pop markets very well. So, I think the album is in the pop album category and gets a bigger audience to listen to it because of the language choice.

I must say when I listened through “Golden”, – it is that. The album starts with “3D” featuring Jack Harlow, and it is a melodic retro pop song nodding to the early 2000s, with many melodic hooks. The next song I love is “Closer to Youย (feat Major Lazer)”: this has a mysterious and dreamy vibe, which sounds cool! After this, it is the hit songs “Seven” and “Standing Next to You“, which has a grandiose feeling with all the brass and the loud snare in the production, and this is a funky catchy song. “Yes or No” is a chill pop song and a great moment on the album. Then we have the atmospheric slower song “Somebody”, ballads “Hate You” and “Shot Glass of Tears”, which are beautiful, and there are more upbeat pop songs like “Too Sad to Dance” and “Please Don’t Change”. So, there are a lot of quality songs in here, and that’s why it’s a K-pop highlight this month.

Apocalyptic Lunch Vibes: OMEGA X “JUNK FOOD” (EP, Danal Entertainment)

The boy group OMEGA X released a third mini album, “iykyk”; the title track is “JUNK FOOD“. This song has many layers and is in a K-pop style that is constantly changing. This upbeat song was very intriguing as I listened more and more. It has a cool intro, and the song changes many times until we get to the apocalyptic-sounding chorus. This song is a journey on this highlights list for the exciting sounds and energy the group gives the listener.

The “JUNK FOOD” music video has excellent cinematography and fits the song’s theme well. Omega X has with this mini album a fresh start, and they want to present many styles and genres with their new mini album

Summing up November K-pop Monthly Highlights

What were your favourite K-pop songs from the November? When I went through all the songs of November, there were so many great songs that I could have put on this list. Aespa released their mini album “Drama” and the title track of the same name. Also, the boy group Fantasy Boys’ second mini album, “Potential”, is worth checking out. The outstanding track “Potential” is a mysterious and melodic pop track with an excellent performance from the group! I will add all the favourites to a Spotify playlist where you can check out all my favourites from the year 2023. I will make a new playlist for the next year, 2024.

FYI, I will not make this kind of monthly highlights blog any more in 2024 every month. I plan to make blogs with a theme or review of K-pop songs, music production and travelling. I also list my K-pop favourites sometimes, but not monthly. Writing the highlights blog is fun, but this format has been too difficult for me: it’s always difficult to pick favourites, and it takes time, and unfortunately, I am late with the list almost every month. 

I hope you have enjoyed the posts in 2023, and if you want to give any feedback or have blog ideas, etc., you can contact me by email or on social media. I appreciate you for being here and reading this far! Thank you so much! ๐Ÿ˜Š

I hope you have a fantastic Christmas, if you are celebrating it, and a Happy New Year!

Here are photos from Helsinki, Finland, with some Christmas atmosphere: on the left is a historical Christmas (artificial) dinner at Sinebrychoff Art Museum; on the right is the Senate Square at Christmas.
Here are photos from Helsinki, Finland, with some Christmas atmosphere: on the left is a historical Christmas (artificial) dinner at Sinebrychoff Art Museum; on the right is the Senate Square at Christmas.