So in came my weekly playlist, which was essentially a space to briefly talk about new releases—a blogger staple that was practically a listicle for my standards. And along with that were my Gaon chart commentaries, which meant to look at how the industry and the actual music co-exist. As you may have noticed, I stopped doing them after several months (which was pretty good enough for my recent standards!) mainly because I was getting increasingly busy. But I also stopped because I realised that I'm not really interested in writing articles like those anymore, especially here in a space where I have as much creative and intellectual freedom as I do.
Since I started writing about K-pop, so many new writers and blogs have emerged—so much so that I hardly know any of them anymore. They all write song reviews too, and I bet they do something like my weekly playlists as well—of those writers, I don't doubt that a lot of them also do it better than me. There's enough of those writers to fly the flag of single and album reviews, and I've written enough of my own—it's time for me to try something new.
I looked back last year in order to move forward this year, I realize that now.
As you may have noticed, my two most recent posts are not your traditional single/album reviews. My last "traditional" LP review was almost a year ago (JYJ's "Just Us"), and my last EP review was in September last year (Ailee's "Magazine"). This month, my "review" of SHINee's "View" was not a straight analysis of the song itself, rather a discussion and further scrutinization of points people have raised about the song. My piece on MR removed videos, on the other hand, was a critical essay that did two things—refuted arguments for the use of MR Removed videos, and suggested a different, more appropriate way, to examine live performances.
These are the kinds of pieces I want to be writing because they are equal parts theory and praxis. After seven years of blogging, I've finally struck that balance—now I want to take it places.
Pop Reviews Now has always been a place for me to experiment, to do things I can't do in other places, and maybe even to do things other people can't do. I'd like to think I had some hand in promoting the idea of straight, musical, analyses of K-Pop grounded on music but reachable to the average fan. I'd also like to think that my "extreme" theoretical pieces, despite being unreachable to a lot of readers, showed them that K-Pop is art too, and that it too is worthy of critical attention.
So I'm shifting my focus now, to looking at the bigger picture and writing pieces that show how music interacts with other aspects that are also just as important to the formation of this wonderful area we call "K-Pop."