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K-pop Monthly Highlights, October 2023

Here are the monthly K-pop highlights for October! I am a lot late with the blog this month, unfortunately, but I hope you are well and getting ready for the Christmas season, which is coming soon. I eagerly await Christmas, a warm and cosy time that brings light to the dark winter.

There were many K-pop releases this month, and I have collected a few songs here as the highlights from October. These opinions are subjective, and I listen to as many K-pop songs every month as possible. So, these blogs are a recommendation list to get to know groups and artists. I hope you enjoy the blog!

Next year, I will do a new blog format and not do the monthly K-pop highlights in the current format. I’m considering making insightful reviews of K-pop songs and albums, themed blogs on K-pop, music production and travel blogging. So that is the plan to get more interesting blogs here. I will still list my favourite songs on my Spotify playlist for 2024. All is still in the planning!

Let’s hop off to the monthly highlights!

K-pop Monthly Highlights October 2023: dance beats and urban life

Addicting dance beats and drama: NCT 127 “Fact Check” (Album, SM Entertainment)

Boy group NCT 127 is back with a bop! “Fact Check” is the title track from NCT 127’s new album “Fact Check”. This song is a super energetic K-pop song with a danceable beat. The beat is an afro beat, which makes this a great dance track. The vivid vocals of NCT 127 bring this song alive, and the song is a fantastic start for the new album and a great title track. 

The dance choreography is impressive with the swift moves and swag…

Noora

The music video is set in a futuristic world with a glam feel. In contrast, the video goes next to a palace in Seoul. If I’m right, this is the Gyeongbokgung Palace’s entrance in the music video (see my travel photo at the end of this blog!). The dance choreography is impressive with the swift moves and swag, and it looks pretty tricky with the high energy levels, but it looks great!

The album is an excellent collection of songs with different musical styles. There is, for example, funky R&B (“Space”), rock pop (“Angel Eyes”) and ballad “Misty”. It is a cohesive collection of songs and brings out the talent of the NCT 127 members. The members of NCT 127 tell the stories behind the new album in a fascinating interview by NME. NCT 127 has debuted in 2016.

I am so glad I could attend the NCT 127 'NEO CITY : SEOUL - THE LINK' concert in October 2022. What a fantastic concert night!
I am glad I could attend the NCT 127 ‘NEO CITY : SEOUL – THE LINK’ concert in October 2022. What a fantastic concert night!

Retro Anthem: Seventeen “God of Music” (Album, Pledis Entertainment)

Boy group Seventeen also released their new full-length album “Seventeeth Heaven” in October. I picked this month’s funky pop song, “God of Music“, as a highlight because it is a feel-good song. We need some light and positivity in this day and age. This song has excellent production elements, with retro keyboards and beautiful brass sounds. Also, the melody is a catchy one!

The song’s theme is a cute one: music brings people together. And it does that over the language barriers! The “God of Music” video is colourful and fun to watch. It has a musical vibe with the dance scenes. Many parts of the video have been shot in Hungary, and there are great scenes at the end of the video with people and a bridge. 

It is always great to see what Seventeen is releasing, as they release great title tracks with a lot of variety. For example, compare the latest releases, “God of Music”, a cheery pop tune with a retro vibe, “Super“, a powerful dance track with traditional instruments, and “HOT“, a swag pop track.

Relaxed and Sophisticated: Lee Hyori” HOODIE E BANJABI” (Single, Antenna)

Solo singer Lee Hyori is a well-known Korean singer, actress and multi-talent, and is well known, for example, for her super hit song “10 Minutes“, which is also one of my favourite K-pop songs. She released a new single in October called “HOODIE E BANJABI” after a long while. This is a mid-tempo melodic pop song with a retro beat and production. This song reminds me of 90s pop songs. The melody is lovely in the chorus and throughout the song, with the sweet, soft vocals by Lee Hyori. This song has a peaceful nighttime mood with positive vibes. 

This is her first single release since her album “Black” in 2017. Lee Hyori has been releasing music as a solo artist since 2003, and before that, she was part of the girl group Fin.K.L. 

Urban dreaming feeling: Taemin ”오늘 밤 Night Away” (EP, SM Entertainment)

Also, Taemin, from the boy group SHINee, released his much-awaited new mini album called “Guilty” this month and a title track of the same name. Taemin’s solo releases are popular, and he has a distinct singing and performance style, which is very captivating. I picked a B-side from the album as a highlight this month. “오늘 밤 Night Away” is a laid-back pop song with a beautiful melody and mood.

Taemin’s vocals fit well for this fragile and soft song. Still, we get a hip-hop beat as a contrast, making this a song with an urban feeling. The song “Blue” is also a great track from the album and is an atmospheric, slow and calm pop song.

Taemin debuted with SHINee in 2008, and the group celebrated their 15th anniversary last summer. He likes to challenge himself musically and concept-wise on new releases, which is impressive.

Summing up October K-pop Highlights

Here are my favourites for this month; they are less than usual. I had a hard time picking up favourites this month. What were your favourite songs for the October? This month, there were a lot of comebacks from veteran K-pop groups and artists. November is coming to an end soon, and then it is time to pick the great highlights from this month, as there are many excellent releases in November.

I hope you have a fantastic week and listen to great K-pop! Thank you so much for being here and reading this month’s K-pop monthly highlights. Until next time, be inspired, healthy and happy! 

Here are a few photos from my trip to South Korea last year in October. I visited the Gyeongbokgung Palace (photo on the right) and attended the NCT 127 concert at the Seoul Olympic Stadium.
Here are a few photos from my trip to South Korea last year in October. I visited the Gyeongbokgung Palace (photo on the right) and attended the NCT 127 concert at the Seoul Olympic Stadium.