Discussion in 'K-pop' started by Squashua, Dec 4, 2017.
But Kingdom Come is the best Red Velvet track in this rate? Ew to all of you.
AND POURED AWAY
JUST BEFORE TOP 40 IS...
TRASH FOR IT 10s:
@Aries // Ceir // EccentricSimply
Eliminathan // @karmarisma // Monkey0
Serg. // @vikeyeol
BEIGE ABOUT IT 4 to 5s:
@Gintoki // @McQueer
STRAIGHT UP ILJINS:
And it's a full strikeout for EXO after getting just a whisker away from top 40. Where were the EXO-L's when you needed them ey? Some stats for those of you still fighting the good fight against Misandristjustice: WINNER's Really Really becomes officially the most successful/popular purely boy-band release for KPJ in 2018, with Taemin's MOVE also standing strong as a sole boy track but there's still other male representation hanging in their by the peplums of their female counterparts in the shape of Dinosaur (Chanhyuk), Don't Recall (BM & J.Seph) and Palette's rap verse (G. Dragon). Considering how many great boy-band tracks there were last year that's a beyond depressing showing for top 40 that should probably enact a change in the balloting/voting process next year honestly.
STILL, EXO gain a 2nd BEIGE APPROVED award so isn't that nice...
Now to Ko Ko Bop and, contrary to the opinion expressed by this sub-forum's maknae below:
I actually don't hate Ko Ko Bop, even if some of my comments during The Eve's write-up suggested otherwise. Far from it, I actually gave this a solid 8/10 which is about on the actual average it got from KPJ as a whole (may I also take a moment to say an 8.0 average is GREAT and so none of these songs from this point onwards have really been deemed anything less than GREAT too). My musical palette spreads far and wide and I love it when groups or acts dabble in genres that are unfamiliar to them and are able to let their strengths run wild in a new aural playground. Here we have the laidback summer-soaked remnants of R E G G A E dripping through the EXO speakers and phew, I must say I love the verses, the pre-chorus and the first half of the chorus. The massively low-key nature of the vocals on such a simple yet hypnotic beat comes as a start contrast to the more brash nature of previous titles like Monster for instance. The softly, gorgeously drawn-out "hwooooooo"s in the pre-chorus are harmonic bliss and give such a sense of island breeze or a rippling haze in tropical heat and honestly bumped the points meter vastly. So so good.
BUT WHAT DOES KO KO BOP EVEN MEAN?
Well general consensus is to "ko ko bop" is to "go crazy, get high or (if the video is to be believed) combine hallucinogens with your 2% milk for a caffeine replacement". There's also some LOONA-esque fan theorising that it's to do with The War of the album and that a Ko Ko Bop takes place before a battle yadda yadda i'm only signed up for the LOONA fan-fiction subscription thanks sistren. And these might be all well and good for some but I, as a fan of etymological time-wasting, will not accept such a superfluous answer.
Let's delve shall we?
HOW WE SAID STUFF
hosted by Prof. Gourd McSquash
So KO, when put into google translate, tells me it can mean "my" or a possessive in Filipino (@Slice of Life your thoughts?) so is this a My My kind of bop? A bop that is solely for you? In English however, a K.O. (or KO) can also be used in a sense to defeat someone - what is this bop defeating not once, but twice? Oh my is that a clue? Have the battle lines between JYP & SM been drawn? Is this The War the album title refers to? Maybe we'll never know.
Apparently some people use "KOKO" in text speak to mean "Keep On Keeping On" which definitely doesn't sound like something the millennials came up with and more like those naff Keep Calm and [blank] On posters that I can assure you no one in Britain actually says or uses. It would work alongside the whole fight/war narrative EXO-Ls want to theorise about so I guess maybe it's part of their own special fanclub code. Elsewhere in the world, "KOKO" can be translated (apparently) as "Size" or "the whole of something" in Finnish, which would work for a "sizable/complete" bop. Fair evaluation. It's also a word found in numerous African languages meaning "hard/ripe" in Bamu and as a slang phrase in Nigerian for "the most important thing" (alas, often used for sexual purposes i.e. the best sexual partner). So if you combine those two things... well, you get the picture. Naughty EXXXO.
And finally the infamous, iconic LGBTQ+ assessment - a bop. Most people would probably think of its origins stemming from the 1940's in terms of "Bebop" - a improvised jazz style which also became a way of saying "a party" in Britain (oo-er old bean I daresay!) hence why we now call songs that one would dance around to "a bop". However Bop can also derived from an early source meaning a playful smack or punch which you could probably align with Ko Ko Bop's hard hitting descent-into-hell instrumental drop.
So is a Ko Ko Bop a firm, hard, complete battle dance party that's all yours to enjoy
except it comes with a sizable unexpected knockout punch?
which brings me on to THAT DROP
Aside from the Baekhyun's red/black mullet monstrosity and Kai's dreads being a cheap Reggae appropriation, the absolute worst thing about Ko Ko Bop is that horribly produced, mosquitoes stuck in a tin can factory smelting plant "breakdown" that squanders the vibe set up be the rest of the song. Part of me wonders if this was attempt to not stray too far off-trend or to keep that "bro/harder" boyband image among all the slightly more kooky, dorky and pure hipster imagery the video also offers but whatever the reason, for me personally it's one of the worst drops of 2017 because of how good everything that came before it was. Honestly, try it without the crunchy, tinny squiggles and instead a double dose of that chorus -
your eardrums will really appreciate it:
C H I L L V I B E S
So it's still ultimately a great entry into the K-Reggae pantheon (which I guess UNI_T will be joining very soon) but if you're going to shoehorn things that are so wildly abrasive into a groove-laden jam then i'm going to deduct points off you. Simple as that really.
Was there a reason why Sistar, girl-group dictators of THE SUMMER JAM™, never went reggae? What would it have sounded like? Heck, even 2NE1 went quasi-reggae and they were hardly known for being purveyors of beach dancing, sunshine and general cheeriness...
Slice of Life: I think I did this wrong. After spending a lot more time with this, I can confirm that this isn't bad at all. Props to EXO for still exploring musical ambitions that some of their peers would never dare do. [SQSH: I think Slicey is referring to the 7.5 he gave this?]
Aries: I'm still not sure what going ko ko bop entails.
Eliminathan: This song is really good and Suho is cute in it. The video is like a drug trip though for better or worse.
Monkey0: Top 3 of most interesting production of the year. Bulletproof bop, shimmy shimmy ****! [SQSH: "Interesting" doesn't necessarily mean it completely worked though]
Ceir: One of the best boyband songs of the year, minus Kai and Baekhyun with those hairstyles… [SQSH: What is with the terrible EXO styling these days?]
EccentricSimply: How the fuck did the producer of this song manage to mix reggae with EDM without making it sound like a cheap remix of a Bob Marley song made by The Chainsmokers? We will never know, but I just know that this song works so damn well. The holy trinity of vocals Baekhyun/Chen/D.O. sound like heaven here and everybody rose to the occasion. It’s definitely not unfair that the song was top of the charts for quite a bit, that it keeps rising on Melon whenever they release something new and that it’s their biggest success since Growl. [SQSH: No, not The Lungulcers true but the drop is very Skrillex on too many adderall honestly].
Salami: I wasn’t sure at first but this really goes off loud.
ThighHighs: This song lived on my go-to playlist for most of the second half of this year. The chilled out verses are a perfect counterpart to the drop in the chorus. I wouldn’t normally give an instrumental chorus a high score, but this one is good enough in combination with the choreography for me to reconcile.
Serg.: I'm trying to find what I can say about it and I'm that one Lady Gaga interview. Even though Forever is slighty better at 10.5, I'm glad they actually chose Ko Ko Bop over that for lead single cause it fits much more in that role.
Empty Shoebox: Misleading name. This isn't really a bop.
McQueer: Takes on reggae in K-pop are honestly kind of always a mess, bar Wonder Girls. Then that drop with all that noise? It’s so annoying. I do enjoy the vocals on this but they can’t save this song. [SQSH: Don't Be Shy and MySpace Voodoo Priestess ChoA deserved better than being lumbered with the masses]
DDDDDDDDINOSAUR IN THE TOP 40. I'M SCREAMING!!!
Aside from the fact that Dinosaur and Zoo are still in, this is an almost perfect top 40.
Also all of them having an average higher than 8 is really great. I remember we didn't hit that mark until like top 20 last year.
AKMU - Dinosaur
AOA - Excuse Me
BoA - CAMO
Brave Girls - Rollin'
CLC - Hobgoblin
CLC - Where Are You?
Dreamcatcher - Chase Me
Dreamcatcher - Fly High
Dreamcatcher - Sleepwalking
EXID - DDD
EXID - Night Rather Than Day
GFriend - Fingertip
Girls' Generation - All Night
Girls Next Door - Deep Blue Eyes
Gugudan - A Girl Like Me
HyunA - BABE
HyunA - Lip & Hip
IU ft. G-Dragon - Palette
KARD - Don't Recall
LOONA (Choerry) - Love Cherry Motion
LOONA (JinSoul) - Singing In The Rain
LOONA (Kim Lip) - Eclipse
LOONA (Yves) - new
LOONA OEC - Girl Front
LOONA OEC - Sweet Crazy Love
Nine Muses - Love City
Nine Muses - Remember
Red Velvet - Look
Red Velvet - Peek-a-Boo
Red Velvet - Red Flavor
Red Velvet - Zoo
S.E.S - Paradise
Sistar - Lonely
SONAMOO - I (Knew It)
Sunmi - Gashina
Taemin - Move
TWICE - Likey
Uhm Jung Hwa - Ending Credit
WINNER - Really Really
WJSN - Babyface
CLASS NUMBERS REMAINING
SUPER TRASHES (10/31)
BEIGE 1 (1/16)
BEIGE 2 (3/12)
BEIGE 3 (4/10)
BEIGE 4-5 (7/12)
BEIGE 6+ (14/16)
ANDRA BEIGESEN (1/3)
Whew we love a Top 10
WHOO.MP3 AT THAT TOP 40
T A L E N T
My remaining scores:
11 x 1
10 x 22 dddddd
9.75 x 3
9.5 x 1
9.25 x 1
9 x 4
8.75 x 2
8 x 3
7.75 x 1
7.5 x 2
I think everyone knows my lowest score left but I don't dare call for it yet, I need my wig intact.
My 11 and my 0 is still in.
Yasssssss, Dinosaur for #1!
I hope the MisandryJustice crew didn't do Taemin's Move wrong. It deserves, at the very least, a top 20 placement.
TRASH FOR IT 10s:
Alouder98 // @BEST FICTION // Cotton Park
Eliminathan // He // @RUNAWAY
Ryan_Riot92 // @Slice of Life // Squashua
BEIGE ABOUT IT 4 to 5s:
Empty Shoebox // karmarisma // Sanctuary
STRAIGHT UP ILJINS:
0 - @Salami
So first things first:
@Salami seeing how out-of-the-loop taste wise they are for the 2nd year in a row:
The answer to that question being:
Because this is a travesty that Where Are You? (also known by the Korean "Eodiya?") is leaving so early and honestly without that whopping clusterbomb of a zero (really? the worst song of last year?), it would've at least made top 30 so i'm sad now. Sure I didn't expect it to win, or even come top 10 to be honest, but the 40th best song of the year still seems so low for something so understatedly poignant to my year. I should have written this up last night but I put it off because this song is so seeped in emotional shrapnel for me that unearthing all that again is... a lot.
CLC then are left with a single song in the rate - unsurprisingly that song is HobGobz, which pretty much jettisoned their formerly flop image into a group we could get behind finally (even if no one actually bought the incredibly good mini albums themselves). That song had a distinctively 4Minute-esque image - tumblr goth, bad girl, girl crush e.t.c. - and was a big ol' 180 on the CLC we barely registered before. Rather than lull into this newfound recognition, largely on the international stage, CLC & Cube decided to pull a further, highly risky 270 in the shape of Where Are You?'s love letter to 80's high school melodrama and in-my-feelings retro emoting.
Did the risk pay off economically? No, they barely sold a thing.
Did the risk pay off with most of the international fanbase who only really stanned their Hot Topic outfits in Hemoglobin anyway and jumped ship the minute they saw white, filters and pretty park dresses? No, everyone moaned it wasn't "girl crush" enough.
Did the risk pay off for me, and many other on this forum?
This song is stunning, gorgeous, wide-eyed no-longer-innocent with a single tear falling. I do get that this can be a slow-burner of a track - it's very quiet eye-of-the-storm kind of song, not exactly going for the jugular in the same way HobGob did - but this really comes into its own when you can connect with those feelings the lyrics, the vocal delivery and the pristine retro synth production. For me, at the point in time when this was released, I had hurriedly moved back home to my hometown in rural nowhere after getting fired from a job I forced myself into and my "relationship" / domestic life had imploded back in London. I had met someone knew purely through digital long-distance means and though my heart burned, flickered more so for them with each new day, their own seemed to wane and the heady blaze of the coastal summer coupled with the lack of any other friendships/relationships/connections at all that I had back at home made their disappearances (re: 'ghosting' interludes) so acutely painful some days I could barely leave my bedroom. I was thankful my mum was at work most of the time so i didn't have to keep pretending I was happy. So I strolled around these sparse, beautiful-in-their-kinda-desolate-nature environments alone, without any idea where I was going in life or in love and put this song on as a respite and an outlet for all I felt but had no one to share with.
The power of Where Are You? lies rippling away under that pristine surface. It's the aural equivalent of "holding in your feelings", of restraint despite wanting to shout, scream, cry, anything for the attention of that person who meant so much. Vocally, the girls rarely ever raise themselves to more than a coo or a sigh, despite the crescendoing moments in the chorus, as it's as if there's a resignation that no matter how much you try to call, plead for someone to love you - you can't turn stray hearts back to face your own.
SAMPLE LYRICS CORNER:
It might be nothing
But these days, I get nervous when I see you
Why, why, why, it might not be true
Why, why, why, it might not be true
Even if you take your eyes off of me for just one second
That makes me mad
I don’t know, don’t know, why am I acting like this?
I don’t know, don’t know, why am I acting like this?
Did my growing feelings tire you out?
I feel like you’ve gotten farther away
I never knew
So pointless, in your face
Now I’m used to the fact that you have no emotions toward me
I don’t expect anything else
I’m already open to lies so please just look at me
Where are you? Where are you? I keep getting nervous
I hate you, I love you
I’m alone again
Fuck. Sorry, even now i'm tearing up a bit (which by all means come @ me about but there you go) because it's really poetic in summing up that lingering stage of a relationship slowly falling out of your hands, the part where you can't bring yourself to talk to the person directly (or that they won't talk to you) for fear of your worst nightmare coming true. There's the self-blame, the doubt, the existential turmoil, the sheer insanity of the fact you know you're acting like an emotional wreck underneath, trying to keep that tucked away but It's true that so much of love in life will be one-sided, and it's even more true that you're powerless ultimately to change that.
Setting this all within the context of that 80's sax synth, last dance at prom ballpark both musically and visually (although I think the overly bright, de-saturated heavy filter is a bit tew much at times), is actually a clever way to establish this feeling as something timeless, nostalgic, a memory in a time capsule and ultimately a cathartic release for those who are bottling up their anxieties, fears and regrets. It's easily one of the best slow-songs of the entire year, in donkey's years across K-Pop actually, and has basically become my #1 CLC track out of nowhere. Look at my playcount history on Last FM and it's somehow ended up being my most played song of the last 12 months. Unsurprisingly, this was also in the running to be my 11 but another song felt like it had more of an impact not just for me but for this forum, and K-Pop as a whole.
Maybe i'm just an overemotional mess? True ddd.
Maybe it's a case that you have to have been in that position to truly buy into the magic? Probably.
Maybe our low scorers are always the ones breaking hearts, too detached to let someone else in for fear of this becoming their reality too? Who hurt you?
I don't know, but you heauxs are cold for missing out on this one. Extra plus points for the Stepford Wives no-emotion-but-actually-overflowing-with-it acting in the video, the very Say Lou Lou styling/shots throughout and the gorgeous music show perfomances which became some of my underrated favourites in 2017 - especially this one:
WHERE'S THE FENCE?
McQueer: Queens of identity crises. Reboot era Wonder Girls is a cute look on them tho.
Karmarisma: The atmosphere of this song is so well made and expressed but the song just manages to be so uninteresting in a way. CLC can do slower/vocal-based songs like absolute bop Pepe, so I don't think this was a step in the right direction for them personally. [SQSH: I mean it doesn't really share any similarities with Pepe honestly and the general vibe is so much better than their debut's basic Becky boppery let's be real].
WHERE'S YOUR TASTE?
Salami: I gave this a 0 in the Underrated Keene’s rate and it’s getting it again. No redeemable quality whatsoever. I’d hoped to never have to listen to it again but here we are. This sugary sweet blandness just frustrates me. Especially when they’ve shown they can do the harder stuff much better. Now please, no more rates with this song in.
Empty Shoebox: Nah, this just isn't for me. Sorry.
GeiPanda: Very uninteresting.
Spoiler: This whole section...
WHERE'S MY STANCARD?
EccentricSimply: Another very underrated comeback. It’s definitely such a fucking pity that CLC isn’t given the time of day as much as they deserve. They’ve delivered very diverse songs since their debut and all of them have their strengths. This is an 80s dream and their vocals and lowkey angelic. I’ve enjoyed this song a lot from the moment I first listened to it and my appreciation grows at each listen.
Kuhleezi: That intro is truly bewitching.
He: This silce of 80s heaven… like this could be in REBOOT. What better compliment could I give it? Just a gorgeous track. [SQSH: Scandalously, I think i've listened to this & Ending Credit more than the whole of Reboot combined]
Eliminathan: They really topped everything on Crystyle when Crystyle was my favourite EP of the year at the time. CLC need wins ASAP so they never have to swap to promoting their flops like Summer Kiss.
ThighHighs: It took a while for this one to really click for me, but when it did, it REALLY did. The whole thing really sells the 80’s prom slow-dance moment, and I’m feeling the fantasy.
Serg.: Carly Rae Jepsen times 7 really decided to make 2017 all about them, no matter how many times they change their concepts their music will remain amazing and thats what truly matters fuck Korean acclaim.
Ryan_Riot92: As the self-proclaimed biggest hater of CLC on this forum, I can honestly say that this song had me completely SHOOK. These girls finally got a decent track!! Everything about this comeback was everything I could possibly want! A dreamy retro synth track with stunningly beautiful visuals. UGH! I finally wanted to stan these girls … until they decided they’d promote something else because they were flopping so bad with this… I’m sorry girls, this song was amazing. [SQSH: Your commentary is like the reverse of most CLC's international "fans"]
Cotton Park: I like mellow R&B ballads, but I have no idea how or why, I couldn't get enough this thing from the KPop Kameleons. On the surface, it just doesn't seem that special, and honestly, the video is seriously ecru but, it just works. When I was going through the loss of a family member, I remember a few days where I had a three-song playlist of "Where Are You?" and "It's Okay!" (Dreamcatcher's soulful power ballad - Guenchana, Guenchana) and "Little Little." Got me through it... anyway, it's perfect. Ten. [SQSH: Hope things continue to improve CP <3]
D is for Danger!: After Hobgoblin, this is quite the departure. While successful, I'm glad they didn't try to emulate 4minute again. It's quite restrained and quiet compared to the bombast of their previous single. I can't help but think of George Michael's Careless Whisper when I listen to this. While I have to be in a specific mood to listen to this, it's still very good.
RUNAWAY: this song really hit me hard at about the same time as Twilight did. Sorn and Seung Hee’s voices are so beautiful. As expected, this is also kinda the soundtrack to my most recent breakup.... :/
Monkey0: Oh this is charming. Cute, endearing but with touch of sadness. Loving the production. [SQSH: EVEN @Monkey0 enjoyed it - T A L E N T]
Slice of Life: Another contender for my 11. CAN I GIVE THIS A 10.5 PLEASE? UNNIE???? This is so, so amazing. Just when we all thought CLC will release the snooze of the year, they completely snatched our scalps clean. Hemoglobin could never. This is something that we rarely hear from any other genre. This is so romantic and nostalgic and cathartic and therapeutic. The most perfect retro song in a long, long, long time. [SQSH: All those things and more <3]
Well that song is a very obvious Top 10 so that's... sad.
@Salami put your location on, I wanna fight.
I'M SO MAD IT'S NOT EVEN FUNNY UGHHHHHH
What the hell?
This song is amazing and much better than the 4Minute redux left.
Where Are You? got a zero?? What the fuck.
@Squashua unnie that write-up.
I'm eh on Suzy missing the Top 40, but As If It's Your Last was... excellence. Gross.
These can go next since one already did kiii.
Separate names with a comma.