On the K/Queue — June & July 2018, Part 1: Mini Albums

June and July meant it’s time for companies to queue their singles for the summer, and there were plenty of records specifically eyeing to make it to your seasonal playlist. So much was out in fact that this month’s column will not include an overview of what else happened during these couple of months because there’s just so many singles to go over. To supplement that, I split this edition into two parts: this one for the mini albums, and another for all the singles.

Here are mini albums from June and July worthy of listening front to back.

Adventures in Wonderland

A.C.E.

For the start of summer, A.C.E. brought a breezy song with a sizable chorus to match its heart. Yet the rest of Adventures in Wonderland puts the group in busier, more in-your-face beats closer to its previous single, “Cactus,” from the epic build of “Callin’” to the trap-pop styling of “Black and Blue.”

One & Sick

Apink

A whole year has passed since last summer’s Pink Up (though it hasn’t totally left us empty-handed during its absence) and Apink’s high-stakes comeback single “I’m So Sick” justifies the wait. The accompanying songs equally deliver for the season: maybe “I Like That Kiss” for the day, “Alright” for the night.

This Is Us

BTOB

BTOB decided to go with an affectionate slow jam as the single for This Is Us; personally, I prefer the more energetic “Call Me” as the official hook. But no matter: the group has more to offer in the mini album, from the lighter touch of “Yeah” to the rapper’s showcase in “Icebreaker.”

Summer Dream

ELRIS

ELRIS’s new single brings what’s advertised: a twinkling, retro hip-hop jam fit for the sunny season. For those who miss the group’s sugar-rushed energy, the following track “Will be Mine” should soothe. The album’s true highlight, though, is the moonlit disco track “Focus” slotted at the end.

To.Day

fromis_9

Perhaps fromis_9 understood the strings and sentimentality of “To Heart” didn’t quite deliver the promise of “Glass Shoes,” because it returns charged up on a new synth-happy sound for To.Day. “Pitapat (DKDK)” is an dazzling firework of a single, and the album tracks follow its lead with the synth magic.

Sunny Summer

GFriend

Only a month after “Time for the Moon Night,” GFriend already hits back with a summertime jam. While the title track serves a laid-back disco cut, the group features better ones more down the album, like “Sweety” that teases a GFriend gone garage-house and “Windy Windy” with a taste of the classic formula.

Jinah Restaurant Full Course

Lee Jin Ah

Full Course tacks on a few extra songs to Lee Jin Ah’s great mini album, Random, from last year. While the lead single “Run” sports Gray’s lush, chill-out R&B sound, the new tracks are tailored similar to the jazz pop of her previous single. For a more electronic touch, though, see “Yum Yum Yum.”

Who You

NU’EST W

The fluid funk of NU’EST W’s latest single may loosen up the group coming from the intensity of “Where You At,” but bursts of electronic music play key for the rest of Who You. NU’EST goes garage-house in “Shadow” while “ylenoL” sets the halfway point between the album closer and the title track.

You Make My Day

Seventeen

Leave it to Seventeen to pull off some fun, playful stunts over one tricky, shape-shifting EDM beat in the lead single of its new mini albumarriving just a month after the group’s debut in Japan. SVT’s performance team meanwhile delivers yet another impressive track in the low-key house track “Moonwalker.”

Go to Part 2: The Singles >>>

Previous months in K-pop: JanuaryFebruaryMarch & AprilMayBest B-sides of 2018 So Far

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