Moving Forward with Pop Reviews Now

Last year when I tried to blog regularly again, I did it as a "return to my roots" as a blogger. I decided go back to writing highly structured articles that were focused more on praxis and actually talking about specific songs because I felt that I was getting too theoretical, too distant from my readership. As much as I want to bring more critical pieces into K-pop writing, I realized that praxis is extremely important.

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."


  1. Good for you! I've been reading your blog since late 2009/early 2010, and seeing the maturation of your writing and style has honestly been so pleasing.
    At the end of the day, it's your blog, and you should feel free to use this space to reflect all your creative energy, going wherever you want to go.
    I honestly really enjoy your pieces, and some of my favorites have actually been the commentaries on the kpop industry and other more "theoretical" pieces. Off the top of my head, your analysis of Rising Sun (brilliant!) and your thoughts on AKMU's debut come to mind.
    In the past 5-6 years, my music tastes have shifted a lot too, and I no longer listen to as much kpop or follow the news as closely. I still read omona every day though lol. But every time you publish a blog post, it's a treat to read.
    Granted, I'm an English major, so my tastes may not reflect the average reader, but keep doing you! Ultimately, your readers read your blog because they enjoy your content, and that's all that matters, whether or not the readership shifts with the times!

  2. Please, comeback! I miss you so much :'(


Want to share any of your thoughts on the above post? Drop a comment here! I read all comments and reply occasionally, especially if you have specific questions for me. :D

Note that comments are moderated. Spam, self-advertising (K-Pop-related and otherwise) and overly vulgar submissions will NOT be accepted. If you want me to promote/endorse/follow/link to your site, please e-mail me at instead.


Recent Tweets

Like Pop Reviews Now on Facebook!

Statistics (Since May 2009)

Music - Top Blogs Philippines Follow on Bloglovin

Blog Archive

You're reading an award-winning blog

The K-Pop Writers' Workshop

A workshop for writers of critical pieces on Korean entertainment -- formal reviews, expository essays/Op-eds, and personal essays/Creative Non-Fiction.
Learn from the best in K-Ent writing