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K-pop idols ready to come back

Posted October. 28, 2022 07:39,   

Updated October. 28, 2022 07:39


With this year nearing an end, an array of K-pop stars are gearing up for a comeback. The stage of K-pop will be full of festive vibes led by girl bands who have added heat since this summer, such as aespa, NewJeans, IVE, and BLACKPINK, alongside a lineup of boy idol singers coming back.

Returning to the stage last Monday, (G)I-DLE and LE SSERAFIM, leading the 4th generation of K-pop girl bands, became girl bosses. “Nxde,” the title track of (G)I-DLE’s 5th mini album “I Love,” delivers a message that we all are supposed to be who we are, not trying to pretend to be someone else to meet others’ expectations. LE SSERAFIM’s new song “ANTIFRAGILE” shows a strong determination that the more adversity the girls face, the stronger they stand. As of Thursday, “Nxde” topped the charts on Melon and Bugs, followed by “ANTIFRAGILE.” KARA, one of the leading 2nd-generation K-pop girl bands, will release its 15th-anniversary album on Nov. 29. In seven and a half years, the band will make the first comeback.

K-pop boys ranging from solos to bands are also ready to come back. Among them, BTS Jin’s first solo song, “The Astronaut,” released on Friday, is gaining the most attention from global K-pop followers. British band Coldplay co-wrote this song.

Sibling duo AKMU’s Lee Chan-hyuk released his first solo album, “Error,” which talks about death. N.Flying’s 8th mini album, “Dearest,” also catches attention. With BTS members bound to serve their mandatory military duty, Stray Kids is referred to as one of the most promising boy bands who will fill the vacuum in the K-pop world. Indeed, the boys’ album “Maxident,” released on Oct. 7, topped Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart.

“With the country moving from pandemic to endemic, what comes next is a series of year-end ceremonies for K-pop stars. They are returning to their fans, expecting to hold concerts just as they used to,” said an entertainment agent.

Jae-Hee Kim jetti@donga.com