Discussion in 'K-pop' started by Squashua, Dec 4, 2016.
Secret, Someone Like U, Windy Day, Sting and Why So Lonely would make a great top 5.
Not even my Navillera hating ass can deny how great Rough is. In retrospect, I should've given it a full 10.
Top 5 of what's left:
Why So Lonely
and one of the Ladies' Code songs, preferably Galaxy
please and thank you.
WHO MISSED THE TOP 10?
WE MIGHT HAVE CRACKED THE CODE HERE
BUT WHICH ONE?
LADIES' CODE - THE RAIN
10 - @Aries @ThighHighs @Slice of Life @ryan_riot92 @Capitan @Laurence Nope @ajmkv
3 - @Salami
My Score: 8.5
DON'T BREAK MY HEART NO / YOU CAUSED THE RAIN
They were so close to being the Dal*Shabet or the Nine Muses of this rate but the forecast ended up being rather overcast for the reborn Ladies' Code and their deliciously down-trodden indie jazz stylings. Just as the heavens lie above and beyond the earth so doth The Rain's primal despondency lose out to Galaxy's steely cold heart. We have talked extensively in @Slice of Life 's GRAMAMAs about best music video and yes Cosmic Girls' sci-fi blockbuster was a worthy winner but my GAWD does The Rain run it bloody close.
Let's not even talk about the song for a minute because the visuals are next level melancholy disco wasteland Korean Vogue lusciousness.
It's nothing massively complicated but it is complex and that's the difference between this & those aiming for more than a basic wiggle wiggle klerb bop (sorry Hello Penus, I still love you even after you all got new faces). Sometimes it's great to be greeted with a little more thought, a little more investment and that's coming from a fella who's LOVES his basic basic basic bops.
The symbolism, the palette, the aesthetic is real.
I mean really it's super dark for a K-Pop MV and i'm not talking in a "bad-boy" lets-all-be-in-a-gang-and-shoot-each-other way either. Did you notice the shot of the legs dangling above the piano? That's blink & you'll miss it hanging one's self imagery. The fish both flapping & just dead next to the shot of immobile legs above? That's called allegory unnies and it's certainly not one of sweetness and light. Sure there's a direct reference in the outward look - it might as well be shot by Japanese photographer Mika Ninagawa and I demand you watch her ridiculous but stunning attempt at film in Sakuran - but the injection of emotional silence / sheer morbid-ness contained in each and every shot is one very synonymous with the Code.
Remember Hate You's voodoo domestic violence / self-harm refiguration?
Remember the slightly sinister mannequin in plastic sheeting edge to So Wonderful?
The songs have certainly got more somber but the darkness has always been there in the Code's concept irrespective of the tragedy that they shared years ago. You could argue this, and Galaxy, are more like refinements of their original sound into something crystallised (okay I sound like Kennedy Davenport now but you get my gist).
To be honest with you I don't use The Rain much, it never 100% clicked with me in a way that Galaxy did, so my 8.5 comes more from an objective place of merit than usability. It's hard to deny that new age Ladi3s Cod3 are closer to legitimate artists than the idols we know and rave about and that's ok. The Rain is a suitably drip-drop inflected mid-tempo disco number that covers the bases in a cool, detached manner. The really deep strings in the prechorus are my favourite part and it is a shame they don't feature more often because the chorus is only really 75% there for me personally. Still, regardless of my preferences (more jazz Janet! More orchestral moments Debra!) it's a versatile number.
Fancy it in acoustic? By all means:
Watch them brave the elements and bring Korean Masses to big cheers:
Watch them graciously help make #JUSTICEFORWHISTLE trend on social media:
There's a The Rain for every occasion and, yeah I agree with @Mikl C that around the #25 mark would have probably been more appropriate but that doesn't diminish how technically accomplished this is on all levels. Here's to the last in the 3-logy bringing us even more icy electro-jazz with beautiful looks in 2017.
AND NOW TO THE SASSY UNNIES WITH THE WEATHER
It's looking likely to be overcast by Reboot: "Beautiful production and video, but it doesn’t do much for me I’m afraid." and incredibly poor visibility around GeiPanda: "I like it, but not much of a departure from "Galaxy""
WE WILL NOW BE DEPARTING GALAXY
Bringing us into a more grounded atmosphere, ThighHighs is concerned with rising tide levels and sustainable fishing: "Sophisticated and stylish as any other video on the list. The wtf-filled video is amazing (I hope they saved those fish…) but the song is a total banger as well." Sadness is a banger, at least that's what Robyn taught me *sobs mid booty-drop*. Still up in the clouds but with a chance of sunshine is Ryan_Riot: "I liked this slightly more than “Galaxy” but I really love them both. Such a smooth-electro bop! They stuck with the more mature sound and style with this one and it worked in their favor." and I wouldn't expect D is for Danger! to buy into any jazzy new meteorological tech anytime soon, he's an old school kind of guy: " I enjoyed this a little more than Galaxy thanks to the increased tempo. It's a lot less jazz influenced and a little more quirky."
NO JAZZ ON ARTPOP STRANG3R
Seeing the light during the afternoon heatwave is Slice of Smitten, who seems to have decided which Tree she's going to get ha shade from: "JUST AMAZING. I can't believe I wasn't a believer of this when it first dropped. How foolish of me. I am super in love now and I think this might be my new favourite Ladies' Code single ever. It just never gets old. The production is crisp and crazy and complicated and cool. Monotree did that. I can't wait for their next release."
LET'S ALL APPRECIATE THE MAGIC OF MONOTREE
Yes that's right, you will accept APRIL's Snowman for the jingle-bop it is heathens.
By the time the evening comes around, temperatures and icy hearts will cool, Ajmkv is testament to that fact: "I said this previously:
I agree with everything I said. Nah, but really, I found it amazing that Ladies' Code returned better and stronger than ever this year. It really warmed my heart that after all of their heartbreak they've been able to keep going. They're amazing."
AND THAT, UNNIES & OPPAS, WAS THE WEATHER AT 11
*returns to sobbing whilst wall-grinding in a floral jumpsuit*
Whilst you stew over the results thus far, please join me, your ever grateful always extra unnie, on:
A VISUAL JOURNEY THROUGH
KPJ's TOP 10 of 2016
My ideal top 10 :
8. Russian Roulette
7. Windy Day
3. Free Somebody
1. Someone Like You / Why So Lonely
Why So Lonely
Someone Like U
PLEASE. But I know it won't happen.
Rough is my only score below 8 still left, so that can leave immediately thanks. Followed by Russian Roulette.
Not with my score sorry boo.
This rate has honestly been a complete mess but I have to say, this is a pretty fantastic top 10.
What a beautiful Top 10 already, regardless of order! The KPJ fam mostly has impeccable taste. Thank you so far @Squashua for being the queen of rates x
I do like Lovelyz though so I can't really say you're wrong...
There were a few songs that deserved the top 10 and I'm still mad about them but yeah it is a pretty good and of course messy top 10.
And I'm thinking about the 2017 rate when there will be no competition for Lollay to reach the #1 spot.
AS I SAID BEFORE I JINXED IT AND I WILL NEVER SPEAK AGAIN. I'm crying because.......
Please don't peong peong. There's still some potential in the top 10
TOP 10 - WE DID IT KIDS
SEVEN OF THE SONGS LEFT HAVE 11s
THIS TRACK IS PART OF THE MINORITY
LADIES' CODE - GALAXY
10 - @ryan_riot92 @Capitan @Robinho#1 @Deja-Boo @Vesperly
2 - @Salami
My Score: 9
The Code has been officially debunked hackers
They can't be too downhearted though (well, they can but for reasons adverse to this rate) because Ladies' Code mark one of the few Underrated participants to see their success go interstellar the second time around. Galaxy originally came 23rd in that rate, notching up a 8.63 average but only a single 10. Look at all those now on a hyperdrive to stanning for this low-key jazz-topian reality, the justice is real. Before you get your gamma rays and plutonium pitchforks out for Salami, just know that even taking that black hole of 2 score out of the equation this would only have jumped as high as 7th thus is the calibre of averages we're working with here.
If you'd like to re-read the previous ruminations on this lovely tune from a pre-Rain world then please teleport yourselves to HERE via the pink portal.
R.I.P Lovely Unnie
Scandals, both legitimate and ridiculous, lay like landmines across the fields of long-term K-Pop success and it's not uncommon for one small indiscretion to completely sink a once unsinkable vessel. What is less common is a full-blown tragedy that seemingly appears out of nowhere, a complete random occurence, that befalls individuals who absolutely did not deserve such ills. Such was the case with Ladies' Code. I'm sure nearly all of us are aware of the event now and I won't delve back into it but my main point is it takes a certain kind of band, nay artists, to compact their pain, their sorrow and their loss and morph it into a new stronger fledgling of expression.
TAKE ME TO THAT GALAXY
It was practically a re-debut for the Ladies' and one of the most fully-formed, perfectly composed ones in recent years. The jazz/retro stylings embedded in their original discography are recrafted here into a veritable android of pristine neo-blues floating through the vacuum of space. There's the plink of piano, rat-a-tat drums, crystal charms like a robot harp, and the ever impressive vocals of the three ladies in question, noticeably shedding of the prior tendency for a good warble or party backing singers. I do agree with people that it's a mood piece and requires a moment of standalone silence to properly appreciate - like a hushed whisper from out of the air. I mean if you want an example of how completely true the whole track is to the era it harks back to jump right back into that light doo-wop scat singing, 50's girl-group backing harmonies and double bass riffing of the final 3rd.
WHO ELSE WENT THERE IN 2016?
Nada. Nobody. Zilch.
The visuals i've waxed lyrically on before and it's, of course, hard to watch the music video without trying to spot all the little touches of 3 vs 2 imagery abounding all over the place. It's super well thought-out and I can only appreciate them for not taking the potential imagery for a song entitled 'Galaxy' and turning it into Dal*Shabet's Pink Rocket in attempt to appear like everything's ok and we're all happy now.
The girls look completely fabulous - I still watch mouth agape at Ashley looking like a complete dominatrix cyborg with the jet black poker straight weave - and, despite everything, they really seemed to be appreciating and relishing the chance to express themselves. Sure Korea didn't really want much to do with it in the long-run (a respectable #36 GAON peak still marked their second lowest single placing at the time) but it never felt too much about commercial performance as the main goal anyway. Hopefully the rapport they've obtained from the worldwide audience will allow them to continue on and keep conjuring up magic post-the 3-ology of EPs (even if they end up filtering into the K-Indie sphere as a result).
Luckily for Galaxy, the comms were out in force compared to poor The Rain. Maybe y'all just don't like bad weather?
In full critical magazine article mode will you find the good sir D is for Danger! who delivers his words with the same kind of cool detachment as the Code: "I was really glad when Ladies Code announced their return following their tragic car accident. To be expected, they came back with a much more mature and relaxed sound. I think they fit well with this new jazz sound. Excellent production. I love how the instrumental switches it up just a tad at the end. I have to be in a particular mood to listen to this."
MOOD PIECE CERTIFIED
Robinho#1 has a heart underneath that metallic exterior and it beats for a Galaxy far far away: "Gorgeous song and they’ve discovered their niche." Equally in tune with the coding, space captain Ryan_Riot set a course for these cosmos a long time ago: "This was probably my most anticipated comeback of the year and the girls definitely did not disappoint. It was a step in a different direction sound wise and I really praised them for having become more mature. That’s not to say I wouldn’t love for them to go back to their sassy roots some time in the future but this new style is quite wonderful."
GeiPanda has some wild jazz parties among his real-life unnies: "So so so good. The type of song I would play for my non Kpop-loving friends." whilst Ajmkv would like to be stuck in the weather room of the space shuttle for the duration of this deliberation: "I've always tried to like this more than I do, but The Rain is infinitely better in every way (except when it comes to the music video, which was lush and fascinating.)". Talking of fascinating, ThighHighs is equally caught in the snare of a Jazz Romance: "Their JazzPop could mean anything. But actually, this is a totally lovely song and the video actually pushes the song up a couple points."
NO ALL JAZZ ON ARTPOP MYST3RY
Who knew that the beams of brilliance traveled so fast? Between the last rate and this, Slice of Flash has been caught in the prism: "I'm happy to report that I love this now. Hehehe. I have seen the light, unnies! I want Ashley's weaves. I want their shoes. I want their effortless cool auras. Ladies' Code is probably the coolest K-pop girl group right now and they absolutely deserve it." whereas the radiation that caught Vesperly was heaven-sent: "I used to think this song was dull, but now I have been cleansed, redeemed, seen the light."
THE INT3RGALACTIC BAPTISM IS UPON US
They always say to follow the brightest star in the Galaxy, so there we head with our Capitan leading the way: "The love I have for this song and the ambition and resolve Ladies' Code showed after their truly unfortunate accident has no limit. The song itself is SO good that it deserves nothing less than a 10."
IF ONLY THIR13EN OR THRE3 HAD BEEN THE HIGHEST SCORE
Galaxy is special. I must admit my score may have been slightly influenced by everything around it, but it does take guts to release a song like this, as was already pointed out in the commentary. That entire mini is a quiet triumph.
(I do wish they'd go back to slightly boppier songs, though. Maybe a subdued bop.)
No but @Salami's scores have been quite questionable this entire rate so:
Giving "Galaxy" a 2 is a bit much don't you think?
FROM A GALAXY FAR FAR AWAY
LET'S PLUMMET STRAIGHT DOWN TO EARTH
OH MY GIRL - WINDY DAY
10 - @Squashua @Aries @ThighHighs @Slice of Life @junglefish @Salami @Laurence Nope @Vesperly @Reboot @D is for Danger!
2 - @Capitan (yikes)
My Score: 10
50% OF VOTERS GAVE THIS 10/10
& IT MADE TOP 9 DESPITE GETTING A FRICKIN' 2
Finally. How's that for Windy Justice? After the rude culling it received by getting a #12 placing during the Underrated Rate, despite an 11 and a 9+ average score there, Windy Day has finally flung itself far enough into y'all minds to earn a top 10 spot and the honour, once again, of being KPJ's fave 2016 OMG comeback. Yeah sure it got its ass whooped by Dal*Shabet and Stellar again and couldn't recreate Closer's spell to snatch the top spot but hey, it's as they say:
EVERY UNNIE HAS HA
As always with former contestants, I went into overdrive about this song last time around so whip up a tornado and take yourselves THERE.
Because that's what this song is - a true tour-de-force of unnaturally natural K-pop proportions. Oh My Girl at this point are basically the biggest girl-band without a major breakthrough in the game. They've been edging ever close with every release (and we're talking SIX singles in at this point) with higher chart placings and bigger sales as 2016 crept on. Windy Day may have just been the cash-in "repackage" lead (and a very effective one too considering it helped sell 20,000 more copies of an EP that only included two more tracks kii), and that usually signals a recipe for rush-job disaster, but this certainly delivers in a way most title tracks don't even attempt to
I could babble on about the ABBA-esque melodies, acoustic siesta guitar twangs, the effervescent glow on their aeygo summer lace adorned selves
I could juxtapose all that with the most iconique twerk-inducing use of a sitar in popular music since the Persian Empire was still in effect (sorry Bollywood), the diva-ready vocal adlibs popping up all over the shop, the absolute THUD of that classic rock guitar-drum combo in the background of the chorus and the choreography that basically descends into skips, air punches and performing a bloody side plank like you're caught in an Insanity workout.
Heck I could even mention the seasonal appropriateness of the gorgeous Jeju Island video shoot complete with grassy meadows, hedge mazes full of mysteries and the mother of all fan machines.
But all of that PALES compared to the now known fact that Windy Day officially has the seal of stan-approval from Korea's Favourite Girl Band:
The random uncle voices at the end also proves this has the bros out in force (and have me howling).
Not content with promoting true rookie talent just in a public place, they decided to stan their superiors for a hot minute in the mother of all "Dear god What have we done??" cover performances of the last year:
Not Momo being the most competent singer for all of a minute. Oh My Girl give us miracles like a Korean girl-group reincarnation of Jesus.
Let's show the ONCE fans how it's done:
(This is @ThighHighs personal fave live show performance for Pterodactyl Girl going batshit at 3.12)
So if you're still not convinced, just know that not only does the KPJ at large disagree with you but when the TWICE governmental rebellion happens and Nayeon becomes a chipmunk-toothed dictator that this will become the National Anthem that not ever y'all screams can cancel out.
And that's sincerely,
OMG - Your future overlords
Hot air is just one of the rate commentary elements, so let's meet them collectively:
Ryan_Riot once aligned himself elsewhere but is since become an OMGirl of the Skies as penance:" I’ve seen my misguided ways from the URQoKP rate and repent for my sins. Forgive me unnies as I was not in my right state of mind when I gave this such an atrocious score!"
Robinho#1 be spouting inaccurate, impure water and the rage is boiling over: "Boring drivel."
Capitan has dug his head in the earth and rightly fears banishment: "I'm not an Oh My Girl anti or anything but I really don't understand the appeal of this song and the love it receives from this forum. I just don't get the inspiration or the direction of the song. I just think it's so bad... Please don't exile me PJ!"
Bringing the heat and stoking the fire is our final elemental Ajmkv, who never truly left ha former perch as Rate Villainess behind: "I like this less than I like Liar Liar, come at me bro!
(~but I feel forced to remind you cystren that I adored A-ing and that that made my Top 20 of 2016, so judge away..)"
By ha own taste oops.
Luckily for us mere mortals, there are some among us who can control the elements to their benefit. ThighHighs is mystified by these priestess figures: "Unlike anything I’d heard in KPop before. It’s totally different than their other music in terms of production, but all the parts are there: great vocals, powerful chorus, amazingly in sync choreography. They really get it." I can only presume GeiPanda is talking about his abs after replicating the sitar breakdown choreo a million times: "Solid". If you need a omen in your crop patterns picked out, just head to D is for Danger! because HE KNOWS: "OMG! They did it once again. Cute, quirky and interesting. The chorus is the clear stand out here. Half cute, half sinister. The choreo to this song is not a walk in the park, but the girls make it look like a breeze(!). Please stop sleeping on these girls SK! I mean YooA is practically everywhere these days."
THAT GIRL, EVEN MIMI KNOWS....
Replicating the rural cult prayer circle we've created for OMG this year, Salami has the highest of hopes: "I don't know how they pulled this off because it's all over the place but it works. Top 3 of the year. I really hope 2017 is theirs for more like this." and if you were hoping to get this post over and done with you've officially got to dodge the firestorm of Slice of Statements - read 'em & weep unnies: "K-pop at its finest! It's sweet. It's crazy. It doesn't quite make sense. It's amazing. There. Done. Y'all can go home."
LEAVING THE WINDY DAY HATERZZ BEHIND LIKE:
Separate names with a comma.