Discussion in 'K-pop' started by Squashua, Dec 4, 2017.
Thank you for sharing your story.
@Squashua, I'm glad you made it through that heartbreak, boo.
Why do I have a feeling that Ending Credit is gonna leave us soon too?
I'm not ready.
Errr where is my comment for Where are you? Was I that much drunk when I wrote it?
I stand by my choice.
AFTER THE CONTROVERSY LAST TIME
HERE'S SOMETHING TO APPEASE THE MASSES
TRASH FOR IT 10s:
Aries // Eliminathan // @GeiPanda
Monkey0 // RUNAWAY // @Sanctuary
BEIGE ABOUT IT 4 to 5s:
McQueer // @vikeyeol
STRAIGHT UP ILJINS:
THE KPJ MOB HEARING OF DINOSAUR'S ELIMINATION FINALLY:
Every rate, especially those with multiple songs from multiple artists, has their very own "Little Bop That Could". A song that defies their off-the-radar impact by simply being very good and palpable for one and all, rather than the monster releases that are super divisive and end up taking a knock on a points average front. This is my third (and a half) hosted rate here on KPJ and, without fail, there's always at least one song that fits this underdog tale, despite the usual calling-for-its-elimination. Last year's SOTY featured both SeoYuri's Secret scrambling past almost half the field without any need of a MIRIKAL MIRIKAL MIRIKAL and Berry Good would prove to outlast numerous other trop-bops with Don't Believe.
Our first L.B.T.C is but one word
yodelled at the top of your lungs from a mountain top:
DI NAH SAWWWWWWWWW
AKMU (or Akdong Musician for long) are a brother/sister folk-pop team who were taken into South Korea's bosom, and YG's Dungeon dwelling family, after winning the second series of K-Pop Star (back when it was bigger than Produce 101 at its height). Their usual M.O flits around acoustic pop, folk pop, jazz pop and generally building lush harmonies around quirky imagery and a refreshingly millennial approach to songwriting. Naturally, most of these things, plus their penchant for ballad / coffee house heavy album cuts, means they've not really been on KPJ's register since i've been a part of this forum.
I feel like I need to put on my best David Attenborough voice watching the chorus sequences like the above.
With a Stranger Things-on-Netflix apeing promo rollout seemingly suggesting we were in for a horror (!!) concept and the news that the pair were set to do a SUMMER EDM (!!!) single, suddenly eyes rolled over to gaze upon this comeback. Needless to say, this isn't your standard trop-bop fare but still no less of a bop perfect for those long walks on the coastline than many others in the genre. Built around a quasi-folk-EDM hybrid but also neither of those things to a parody level (i.e. it's not another Wake Me Up or Avicii clone), Dinosaur really demonstrates that artistic imput and vision into any genre can create something both accessibly boppable and drenched in depth, whether those deep caverns focus on vocal technique (the harmonies, Su-Hyun's ad-libs my god), emotional resonance or employing the power of pristine, clean minimalism.
I think for me, whilst it's a song I admittedly haven't come back to since last summer, it's the sense of melancholy, sigh-and-release about this that makes it so unique and worthwhile a listen compared to many of the big K-Trop numbers. The video is very Narnia / Bridge to Terabithia except under a Netflix washed-out filter, full of static, darkness, rugged landscapes and the fabled DINASAWW of the title, ominously stomping about them in pitch black of the night. The video would have you believe the narrative of overcoming bullies and learning to "roar louder" than them (as suggested in the lyrics) whilst I remember Umu from Classical Musicians React suggesting that the Dinosaur was an autobiographical fear of the siblings' family home being repossessed when they were younger.
Whilst I wouldn't suggest nor recommend shouting the names of extinct species at your problems in the hope they'll bugger off, there's a certain catharsis to this little boperoo. Whichever intrepretation you want to take, the general sentiment of a brooding ominous force, shown in the verses' hesitant climb to the fabled title, that one can overcome by learning to be brave (or in the song's case, warble the thing you fear most above that anxiety) is a really quite emotional subject matter for a summer release and I commend them for taking what's popular but playing it on their terms musically. Sure I do get some people will see this as merely another low-key EDM number, and the DINASAWWWRR refrain might well grate for a few, but it does deserve to be here in the final.
CAN WE ALSO TALK ABOUT THAT MIDDLE 8 / BRIDGE
BACK INTO THE FINAL CHORUS AGAIN THAT GOT ME LIKE:
PREHISTORIC FOLK HEAVEN.
BOPNEY & FRIENDS
EccentricSimply: They are just SO cute and they sound so good. Suhyun’s voice is one of my favorites in kpop and although I probably wouldn’t care about this song if it was anyone else doing it, they just make it extra good.
Salami: Im so glad I took a chance on listening to this, I love it. [SQSH: Something our dear sausage likes - the question has been answered!]
Slice of Life: Euphoric bawperoo! I tried so hard to sink this because I feel like this is below AKMU's usual standard, but I hear Suhyun's falsetto and everything is right in the world again.
Karmarisma: Ummm...our slow family band doing TROPICAL HOUSE??? What is right with the world? And it's not absolute trash??? Chanhyuk is a genius composer and Suhyun's little toots in the chorus make this song incredible.
GeiPanda: Eurovision gloriness. This is quite literally what you would get if you mixed Katrina And The Waves “Love Shine A Light” with Gina G’s “Ooh Ah Just A Little Bit”, and I live for it. Such a nice emotional delivery throughout. [SQSH: Surprising commentary actually as this is one of the least ESC-transferable K-Pop songs to my ears - at least in terms of the contest over the last 15 years I guess. NOT that i'd be against more songs going down this route in 2019 / for Asiavision]
Eliminathan: I listened to this song on repeat constantly when I first heard it to the point that my young nephew could sing along. It's a shame they didn't promote this song on music shows. [SQSH: I wonder if this would've translated well to the music shows? It's not quite like Lim Kim doing Love Game.]
Ryan_Riot92: Were you expecting and tropical bop from the Nation’s Siblings? I wasn’t! The track is full of intriguing moments and what I love about it is that Suhyun sings over the instrumental breaks and literally becomes a part of it where as a lot of other trop-bops of the year just let the music do the work.
ThighHighs: Wow this perfection. I liked some of their older stuff, but this completely took me by surprise. The electronic touches in the background production is really effective, but subtle enough to avoid being too generic. The best thing about it is the chorus, which evades being an instrumental cliche by replacing the electronic hook with Soohyun vocalizing. The actual chorus is a stunner, too. By the time the song comes to an end it really feels like an emotional arc has been completed.
Monkey0: There's something both naive and strong in this song. Like, AKMU "discovering" EDM gave them new way to express themselves. Pair that with lyrics and you got very emotional song in genre that's not really know for that. [SQSH: Monkey AND Salami??? Give Dinosaur the crown now y'all]
RUNAWAY: this song is freaking awesome and their vocals have never sounded better! SO SO GOOD!
Aries: A tropical triumph. Suhyun's vocals are heavenly.
Empty Shoebox: Not sure exactly what it is about this that I don't like, apart from the 'hoooo's after the 'dinosaur's, but is that enough to justify a six? Maybe not, but it was the only number in my head when I was listening to it.
Serg.: I went two full circles with this song I've loved it, I've hated it, I've avoided it, I've adored it... I'm neutral as of now but I can put that aside and cheerish the good moments spent with this playing and headphones in my ears
Despite everyone coming for this poor little boperoo's scalp throughout the final 100, no one put down any scathing or any actually bad commentary for it so I guess prehistoric T A L E N T prevails nonetheless.
Akdong Musician are sooooo cute. Check out their debut album if you haven't already. It's one of the best debut albums in K-Pop. It's a full album too.
And their magnum opus:
I'm fucking done. I love you.
Y'all don't deserve Dinosaur.
Rollin' out now
Hi everyone! I hope we're all having a great da-
I actually had to check which 'Rollin' you were talking about.
@Serg. is the dog and Fiona is the rate curse not giving him what he wants:
@Serg. is also the girl on the back stool:
TRASH FOR IT 10s:
@Aries // EccentricSimply // karmarisma
Sanctuary // @Slice of Life // Squashua
@ThighHighs // Vikeyeol
BEIGE ABOUT IT 4 to 5s:
DigitalKaiser // Monkey0 // @ohnostalgia
STRAIGHT UP ILJINS:
MISANDRISTJUSTICE STRIKES AGAIN
(for the last time in this rate anyway)
So I guess that's that on the boy-group front for 2017 - WINNER's winning comeback may leave us before 37 other songs but it's earned both the title of KPJ's favourite boyband track of 2017 (even if Taemin's solo is still hanging on strong in the race) and also the illustrious BEIGE-APPROVED badge of alrightness.
Now i'll completely admit I know little to nothing about WINNER. The first time I heard of them was in last year's SOTY rate when I seem to recall @Slice of Life really rooting for Sentimental (despite it not making it past the semis ultimately). That was nice, jazzy and sweet don't get me wrong but Really Really went and punched straight through the public consciousness didn't it? The way some people were discussing that they'd "reinvented" themselves (and lost a member?) I kinda assumed they meant these guys had been low-key flopping before but nope. YG Entertainment certified with more than a single track release per year? Check. A string of GAON top 10s plus a #1 peaking million seller? Check. These guys weren't in any trouble it seems.
So what managed to turn the KPJ masses in their favour to Really Really ReaLAAAAAAAY?
Was it the on-trend, watertight zeitgeist trop-bop sheen?
Was it the stylish, glossy albeit a little problematic visual package?
Was it Fourth Harmony being hired as back up dancers to pay their bills?
It seems all it takes for the Misandrunnies to get onboard is... well... get the girls to cover your track:
I mean it's a bop under both genders but here's why Dreamcatcher have three songs still in the running when most girl-groups have 1 at most. Sheer talent, vocals, charisma and versatility. I'm not sure i'd give this song a 10 now, the trop-bop saturation is more than a bit real and listening back i'm feeling a bit fatigued, but last summer this was EVERYTHING in its actively sing-a-long chorus, the soft-cooing vocals of the first verse, the air-punch of those big notes in the Middle 8, the not-taking-themselves-too seriously rap section (with added fan-libbed backing vocals) and the general sunshiney varnish twinkling away at a song quite literally about really really really really really liking someone (Carly Rae being that pop pioneer we all knew she was). It's how I felt about Blood, Sweat & Tears when it first kinda put K-trop on the map except this is far more fun, far less intense and isn't trying to write their own Da Twinki Code MV screenplay. That being said, the use of that hyper stylised black & white was kinda inspired a subversion for most summer releases and the bird's eye shots of the strolling figures in the plaza always remind me of birds, crows or something every Hitchcockian randomly.
Yes, I don't think any of their comebacks since have really been that notable, and the aggressively hetero-courting, non-Asian / Women of Colour festishising which is becoming a YG fave at this point *pretends to be shocked*, "Luk @ us bro! Braaap braaaap" mentality compacted in parts of the video is... a choice but the song itself is certainly one Korea will remember every summer to come (and now a permanent staple in my K-Summer playlist k thx). It only takes one true big bop to have a place in the K-Pop Hall of Fame sis.
DO YOU REALLY KNOW?
Salami: The best boyband song in the rate seeing as you all evicted BTS at the earliest possibility. Is nothing original but it doesn’t always need to be. [SQSH: BTS really haven't released more than a 7/10 in about 2 & 1/2 years now though]
Serg.: It's a bop, but they had better songs this year [SQSH: Where_Where_are_they.gif]
Cotton Park: This, by all rights, seems like it should be the Song of the Year, since it seemed like THE K-Trop anthem of the year of K-Trop, but I actually prefered the sultry and moody "Fool" more. Shoot me. [SQSH: No bullets required, there's often days where i'm more in a "Fool" mood (and the video is arguably better too)]
Eliminathan: This song was huge and I really like the chorus and Jinwoo's voice. That being said, Fool and Island are better.
REALLY REALLY REALLY
Sanctuary: The video kind of comes off as "SUPER HETEROSEXUAL!!!" but I still stan for Mino and ice cold bops.
EccentricSimply: I was a bit skeptical about this at first, but after listening to Dreamcatcher’s cover over and over again I came to appreciate the original just as much. I shouldn’t enjoy a trop song this much but this is truly one of the songs of the year.
D is For Danger!: Much like Beast's Shock, a great song that is made better with female vocals.
Alouder98: I'm an EXO fan but this is the boy group song of the year and Korea, for once, agrees with me.
Kuhleezi: It feels so good “singing” along to the chorus (especially that whispered ‘-y’ at the end of the first line). No, I’m not posting a record, I want to preserve what little of dignity I have left thank you. Ok, we’ll see next year. [SQSH: Let's make "Kuhleezi Sings the SO+Y" the next big sajaegi Melon #1 Y A T H]
Vikeyeol: ISLAND SHOULD HAVE MADE IT IN INSTEAD! But Really Really is amazing regardless and was deserving of being the best selling boy group song of the year. Jinwoo has one of my favorite voices in K-Pop.
Aries: The power of a single song to turn a career around; from dour balladeers to the Kings of Tropi-pop.
ThighHighs: The best boy-group single put out this year. The groove it rides is so great and the video is impeccable. I know next to nothing about WINNER, but this song is something to behold.
Slice of Life: To be honest, I was so ready to leave the subforum if this didn't make it to the finale. Don't @ me! Okay, but really (really), this is just a plain bop. Trend-chasing? Yes. Still sounds fresher than your faves' tropical releases? Absolutely. This is how you reinvent a group's sound without alienating your audience. I would've loved to hear a version of this with Taehyun because he was my fave but really, this is still a winner without him kekeke.
Karmarisma: WINNER REALLY REALLY DID THAT. WINNER OF MY HEART. WINNER OF MY SOUL. WINNER OF KPJ HUNTIES. WINNER CONVERTING EVERYONE INTO A TESTOSTERONE HUNTY. [SQSH: Really really reaaaally went HAM on the capitalised italics there unnie]
IT'S NOT A ZIG-A-ZIG-AH
Empty Shoebox: Might have scored higher if it wasn't for that first pre-chorus. Sticks out like Russell Crowe in Les Misérables. [SQSH: You say that as if Russell Crowe was the only actor that couldn't hold down his notes in Les Mis...]
Monkey0: Willy, willy, willy, willy… Stale tropical small bop. Disappointing that group promoted as next Big Bang can't serve anything remotely interesting and distinctive years after their debut. [SQSH: The Peen on the brain again I see...]
Most of the others managed to hit at least one of their notes though.
Nah, not when the latter song is literally a Really Really-but-make-it-KARD copy/paste job (especially that chorus/post-chorus instrumental) that became their lowest charting, lowest selling post-debut single in SK to date
but I agree that @Island is indeed the best
DEAD @ IT 11s:
TRASH FOR IT 10s:
D is for Danger! // @junglefish // @RUNAWAY
Ryan_Riot92 // Slice of Life // @vikeyeol
BEIGE ABOUT IT 4 to 5s:
Sanctuary // Salami
STRAIGHT UP ILJINS:
We talked about DinahSAWR being the Little Bop That Could a few posts ago but i'm honestly surprised this wasn't in the running for that accolade too. Did it slip people's minds or was there honestly a backing for this to go all the way to the top quartile of the rate? That's not a comment on whether this song is good or bad (it's the former) but just curious. Not quite matching its 2016 counterpart, Sunny Girls' Taxi, in ranking (13th) or in score (8.25) from last year's rate is 2017's temporary supergroup the rather unimaginatively titled Girls Next Door. They may have been a single only affair but let's hear it for their newfound KPJ accredited status.
Temporary girl-groups are such a fun, if frustrating, fanservice of a concept that it's almost a shame we don't get more of them but it's safe to say they seemingly always deliver the bops when we're least expecting. This new gen of girl-group Avengers consists of a mix of faces and like the Avengers, some of them you'd see on all the fan merchandise and others.... what comic series did they feature in again? Here's the full list (from right to left because why not?):
Monolid warrior princess of Led Belbet (of course)
Avengers Equivalent - Iron Man (actual Group Head Honcho but just does whatever)
from that lil Produce 101 show you know? The girl that didn't make Twice basically.
Avengers Equivalent - Captain America (supposedly "the main one" but can be kinda annoying)
Classy Rap Iljin of SONAMOO
Avengers Equivalent - Black Widow (thank god SONAMOO changed concepts, rise RBF queen)
Another P101 alumni, her 3rd or 4th temporary group at this point.
Avengers Equivalent - Err... Maria Hill maybe?
Didn't know who she was back then but I now recognise her as the Lovelyz member that looks a bit like a little Kyungri from Nine Muses.
Avengers Equivalent - Thor (lovely hair, wonderful hair)
Notorious rapper from the ProbleMOOtic MOOs
Avengers Equivalent - Hawkeye (not there for much but rattles off words when onscreen)
Oh My Girl's Living Doll and also a Sunny Girls member (get in on those sexy fleeting bops sis)
Avengers Equivalent - Scarlet Witch (now that's a concept for OMG)
And why were all these gals gathered together you may ask? Well, for a new reality show with a title that was probably picked out of a hat using various SK TV buzzwords, which is I imagine a regular occurrence at Korean TV network board meetings and maybe when creating new group names too (although that's more likely via Scrabble letters and prodding a dictionary):
IDOL . DRAMA . OPERATION . TEAM
Funnily enough, this isn't a show where they turn K-Pop idols into surgeons with hilarious results like I first thought (a pity) but more about jumping off Sister Slam Dunk's popularity and corralling the idols into creating a SK TV drama together as a group for... reasons? The episodes are all on YouTube with English subs but seemingly no one has made a highlights compilation video yet so lemme just link the pilot below and maybe someone will go for it?
But back to Deep Blue Eyes and this is a real bop once again that shoulda made its way to one of these groups as an actual single (but really Oh My Girl - seriously, if YooA can get these gigs maybe let her direct your next comeback no?). Despite being from very different conceptual backgrounds, all the girls' voices really work in tandem very well together, pretty much everyone gets a chance to shine (unlike Nayoung in Sunny Girls who only got to mutter a bit bless her) and the live stages were really a joy to watch, even that one where the lighting completely blanches their faces to the point of being featureless white walkers. Most of the props have to go to writer/composer Jinyoung from B1A4 who between this, In The Same Place and One Step, Two Steps has really got a knack for a top tier girl-group track. Once again, Oh My Girl - please call your boy up and get him to pen up a new jam for y'all stat, henny is literally waiting for your call whilst his group is having some downtime.
EYES WIDE SHUT
Ceir: The chorus is such a non-event. The verses were the only interesting parts.
EYE FOR AN EYE
Empty Shoebox: I might like this better if there was a studio version. The Sound of the Crowd is a bit offputting. Still, solid, decent track. [SQSH: You can find it on spotify or here if you still fancied a listen]
karmarisma: I feel like this wasn't a strong enough song to give to such a solid group of Kpop girls. It was a nice little number but I only found myself really being attached to Seulgi's parts and Moonbyul's parts.
EYE EYE CAP'N
D is for Danger! : I love kpop for giving us these super groups. They always get the best material! Like 2016's Sunny Girls, Girls Next Door deliver a perfect piece of pop music. Seulgi's part is the most energetic and my favourite section of the song. Bless Jinyoung for not having Somi sing like a child in this one. [SQSH: She's definitely less nasal here, which is always a plus (unless you're Kimberly Lippers on See Saw then nose it up gal)]
Monkey0: Proving that it's possible to create a cute yet sexy song that has melody, hook and it's not boring.
RUNAWAY: YAS. This is why I love project groups, especially when BOPS like this are created.
EccentricSimply: A party bop. I hadn’t listened to it since it came out, but STILL SO GOOD.
He: Scream at this group having a better song than most groups. Everything about this is sublime, even Somi is not annoying in it. Where is she by the way? [SQSH: Still Salmon Fishing in the Yemen wearing overalls playing Twicestagram on a forlorn loop]
ThighHighs: When will Jinyoung stop writing such perfect pop songs? It’s not fair that songs this good go to temporary television programs.
Slice of Life: I'm still shqqk that this was voted by at least 6 people (which includes talented me keke). WE LOVE STANNING TALENT. Honestly, this is still such a triumph and I still can't get over Seulgi's pre-chorus. Literally every girl here feels essential (yes, even Somi) and Girls Next Door sound like a real group. I hope Jinyoung produces more girl group singles.
Eliminathan: Seulgi getting an extra beat over her part is giving me Beyonce in her Pepsi ad with Britney and P!nk (and Delta Goodrem the literal goddess) vibes. [SQSH: The Lady Marmalade of an Alternate Reality - but which is the Girls Next Door and which is the Sunny Girls?]
Serg.: How did Seulgi end up in this group of Z-listers, but can't complain we got this bop out of it, D.ana is amazing. [SQSH: I'm not even a MOO fan but Moon Byul is probably on a par in SK with Seulgi no?]
Ryan_Riot92: WE DID NOT DESERVE THIS!!! Shaman Unnie was listening to us when we wanted another cross-group unit track that knocks just as good “Mr. Taxi” … and bless her she DELIVERED!! Should we be greedy and ask for yet another one … Shaman Unnie … if you can hear me … [SQSH: Not sure how good her temporary group wrangling skills are from a prison cell alas but maybe 2018 will bestow us with one nonetheless - Shaman Oppa hjalp?]
LOFTY ELEVENS CORNER
GeiPanda: Oh my god. Floored. It just gets better with every listen. Every line is just so polished and perfectly crafted… Seulgi’s prechorus is a standout in particular. WHY didn’t this song go to an actual existent girl group?
Separate names with a comma.