START YOUR 2018 WITH THE BEST KPOP PODCAST (sorry this is a long one...)
I've been listening to this podcast for almost a year now and have been meaning to write a review for them but just never got around to it. After catching up on their latest episodes after they took a small break to return home to America, I felt I owed it to Stephen and Josh to welcome them back home with a review. I should preface this review by stating that I am in fact a hardcore ARMY (BTS fan for those who might still, somehow, be unaware...) and the first episode I listened to was when Stephen and Josh gave their thoughts on BTS's song Spring Day. Needless to say I wasn't at all happy with the things they said about my favorite group's song but I found their comments on the other songs in that episode interesting and kind of funny. So I became curious as to what their opinions would be on other BTS songs, as well as some of my other favorite groups/songs. Now not only have I listened to every episode they released last year in 2017 but have even started to go back to listen to the episodes they released in the years before. Something about the way they apporach their reviews of these kpop songs is fun, interesting and often times really hilarious. And listening to their mostly unbiased opinions on groups that I can be a bit biased towards, has in fact helped me to be a bit less biased about the music releases that some of my faves have put out recently. For example, I mostly agreed with their opinion on BTS's latest comeback song DNA. It was definitely NOT their strongest title track and left me a bit wanting as far as a comeback from the group I love the most. (However I am more of a fan of BTS whole discography so what I found lacking in the title track the rest of the Love Yourself: Her album made up for that. One of the best albums of last year in my opinion.) Like many others in the Kpop community I have no one in my life to talk to about my opinions on new kpop songs so it's nice listening to Stephen and Josh chat about these songs in a way that makes me feel apart of the conversation. They are also good at recommending songs that I know I would have never discovered on my own. There's several songs, including my favorite girl group song from last year, that I would have never known about if it wasn't for these two (It was Deep Blue Eyes by Girls Next Door in case anyone's wondering...) and for that I sincerly want to thank them. I really enjoy their Big Names No Gains section and it's definitely the thing that drew me into their podcast the most. Even though I occasionally have to listen to them hate on songs or groups that I love, I appreciate hearing why they didn't like it or what in particular turned them off about that song. So even though there were times where I wanted to scream at them for not understaning why the song they hated was a BOP, I did find that this past year I agreed more than I disagreed when it came to songs released by bigger names in Kpop. Now for the slight negatives with this podcast. While Stephen and Josh do remain mostly unbiased in regards to liking songs regardless of who released it, they also tend to have similar tastes in music which means they are either both recommending the same songs or songs that sound very similar week after week. I know that its mostly becasue they weren't satisfied with A LOT of the songs released recently (believe me, me too) but I do wish they had another voice in their conversations that could lend a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT OPINION to the ones they are giving. The Kpop Round Tables they've done with other podcasts are the best example of this so I hope they continue with that. But I would like to suggest they think about recuiting someone else more permanently to fill that role. It would definitely "spice up" their podcast a bit.Also I find that sometimes they tend to....well overanalyze music videos. Especially the ones they don't like. For example, I was laughing my head off over their complaints about BTS's Mic Drop video. It was just a video that was made mostly as a surprise gift for ARMY during BTS busy AF schedule and released with no promo whatsoever. Most of us took it at face value as a video that just showed off their choreo (which we'd already seen) with a remixed version of the song plus some cool editing and effects. No one was expecting high class storytelling or super intense visuals for this release. But the way Stephen and Josh went off about it you would have thought they watched it over 200 times in order to complain about each detail that unsatisfied them. All I'm saying is sometimes an MV is just an MV and its totally fine if you dont like it. Just maybe next time, don't spend 20 mins talking about everything you didn't like? (Btw that wasn't the first time they had done it and I find it brings the mood of the episode down a bit even if I do COMPLETELY agree with them lol.) Despite my few complaints, week after week Stephen and Josh deliver a quality podcast that discusses the latest kpop releases as well as occansionally disscusing kpop related news (look mostly to their After Shows for that) in a super entertaining way. No other Kpop related podcast (and I've listened to several) keeps me coming back for more the way these guys do. I highly recommend this podcast to anyone interested in learning more about kpop and finding new music. I will definitely be continuing to listen in 2018 so let's all hope the kpop world blesses us with much better quallity songs this year than it did last year...especially for Stephen and Josh's sake lol.~JP.S. Sorry this review was a bit long, it was long overdue and I guess I had a lot of thoughts built up over the past year.
Reviewed on Apple Podcasts