#KSO⚖Y2023: The K-Pop Song of the Year 2023 Rate | #20: "The last 30 seconds...I want to hear it on my deathbed."

Slice of Life

Staff member
Well, you guys are right that the next song to be eliminated is by an SM Entertainment act.


































But which song?.............................



















































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7.51923

HIGH:
(10) @enjoy, @He, @Macsun, @Remorque, @TéléDex, @ThisIsRogue, @tj-x, @Wills (9.5) @chrisjche, @Conan, @ohdenny, @ohnostalgia (9) @Ana Raquel, @boom bazooka joe, @Cotton Park, @leedlelee..., @Vixen
LOW: (3) @Attis, @Salami (4) @Serg. (5) @aux, @eliminathan, @love choerry motion, @Rhodanthe, @Trinu 3.0
MY SCORE: 7.75

LEADERBOARD JOURNEY:
10 voters: 56
20 voters: 63
30 voters: 64
40 voters: 77
50 voters: 68
52 voters: 67
Key finally loses his first of three songs. Tonight, we say goodbye to Good & Great.

Good & Great is the title track of Key's second Korean mini album. It was written by Kenzie and composed by Will Leong, James "Boy Matthews" Norton and Ferras. Good & Great was a mild hit for Key, peaking at number 37 on the Circle Digital Chart.

After the completion of Key's "retro trilogy" with his other 2023 single Killer, Key came back with a more modern sound with Good & Great. At first, I really didn't vibe with Good & Great at all. I don't know; it just didn't sound like the Key I know and love. I like my Key songs to be dramatic and full of flair and Good & Great is not those two things. But the song's catchiness, especially the chorus, won me over in the end. Well, not completely but I can't deny it's a bop... so fuck it, lemme bop!

With Taemin and Onew leaving SM Entertainment, I have a feeling that we'll see more of soloist Key. And while I'd prefer a full SHINee comeback instead, I'm still looking forward to what Key has to offer next. As the king of concepts, I know he will deliver on that front. Hopefully the music will deliver just as hard!


THE JURY'S THOUGHTS:
@Attis (3): "Say no to corporate jingle, join your worker union today !"

@Salami (3): "I usually like Key but this chorus is so annoying. Maybe if he sang it instead of shouting it, I might like it more."

@aux (5): "“I’m good, I’m great”” who said that?"

@Crisp X (6): "Why does his vocals suddenly sound grating here" [Slicey: Hmmm, I agree, this is not his best vocal performance.]

@savilizabeths (6): "I’m glad he has so much self confidence. Wish that were me." [Slicey: Goodfuckingbye! But same.]

@soratami (7): "I wish I liked this more but unfortunately it’s just a bit too cringe"

@codecat (8.5): "DO NOT SHOW THIS TO RUPAUL!!!!!!!"

@boom bazooka joe (9): "Haven't returned to it as much a I expected (which is why I can't justify giving it a 10) but it still slaps. Love the MV."

@Vixen (9): "The MV is kind of amazing huh" [Slicey: YATH! But that's to be expected from Key at this point!]

@TéléDex (10): "Usually the lead is cheesier than the B-side. But this has got me grooving. The only thing Key is making me wish there was on it, was for to go 'I am grateful, grapefruit."

@ThisIsRogue (10): "I'm obsessed. Listening to this has become part of my daily affirmation ritual." [Slicey: Love that for u, bestie!]


THE FINAL VERDICT:

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Slice of Life

Staff member






































Kind of starting to feel sorry for the SSS girls!


Me writing this post tbh.

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7.54327

SUPERJUSTICE:
@askew
HIGH: (11) @askew (10) @Ana Raquel, @KimLippington, @leedlelee..., @Rhodanthe, @Trinu 3.0, @ysev (9.25) @TéléDex (9) @Crisp X, @eatyourself, @evilsin, @PopZeitgeist, @ThisIsRogue, @ultraviolet
LOW: (4) @Salami (4.25) @Vixen (5) @Attis, @Conan, @eccentricsimply, @love choerry motion, @roblognick
MY SCORE: 6.5

LEADERBOARD JOURNEY:
10 voters: 52
20 voters: 65
30 voters: 64
40 voters: 63
50 voters: 64
52 voters: 66
These tripleS songs are getting eliminated left, right and center, omfg! Tonight, the victim is tripleS LOVElution's Speed Love.

Speed Love is taken from tripleS LOVElution's first mini album, <ↀ> or Muhan. It was written by Artronic Waves and Safira.K and composed by Artronic Waves. Speed Love did not enter the Circle Digital Chart but peaked at number 167 on the component Download Chart. That's actually pretty iconique for an album track by a non-big 4 act!

To be honest, I didn't expect Speed Love to do this moderately well considering it's an album track by tripleS and the rate has not exactly been kind to their songs. But I guess I shouldn't have underestimated the power of a little drum & bass number! No but really, the production on Speed Love is nothing short of stellar. I mean, it should not come as a surprise considering it was produced by Artronic Waves. I mean, in this rate alone, they also produced tripleS' Rising, Odd Eye Circle's Love Me Like and Algorithm by HeeJin. Iconique! If we were only rating the production, I would have given Speed Love a much higher score.

Sadly, the tripleS LOVElution girlies' vocals on Speed Love just aren't doing it for me. I mean, that chorus? Oof, it's kinda rough huh. If there was a perfect time to use overprocessed vocals to mask the real vocals' weakness, this would've been it.

I hate myself for being so harsh on tripleS' vocals because these things don't usually matter to me. I mean, I stan a lot of idols who can't sing so I know I'm being hypocritical FFFFFFF! But I just can't seem to let this shit go. I just... @Jaden, just please give this group one legitimate main vocalist or someone with a recognizable voice colour, let her sing all the choruses and I'll shut up forever! I'm on my knees!


THE JURY'S THOUGHTS:
@Attis (5): "A unique mesh of R&B and DnB that is probably much better if sung by, you know singers, people who sing" [Slicey: FFFFFFF but now we said it!]

@roblognick (5): "I thought this song was called Sweet 'n Low"

@savilizabeths (6): "Okay, I think I’m burned out on TripleS songs now."

@aux (8): "She’s a great b-side. In all honesty, they had so many amazing b-sides this year with “Seoul Sonyo Sound” and “Colorful”. That’s the part I love the most about them."

@soratami (8): "She’s cute"

@Cotton Park (8.75): "that little stand-up bass kills me."

@Crisp X (9): "I wasn't expecting to hear liquid drum'n'bass but I want more of this in K-Pop this year!!"

@eatyourself (9): "First song from them I listen to that doesn't sound like a blank demo template sent to labels! This gives me Kerli - Speed Limit."

@ThisIsRogue (9): "Totally different to anything else in this rate. I love the fusion of piano, flute and drum & bass. It's giving wonderfully unhinged and whimsical at the same time."

@askew (11): "Hm *taps chin* she's kinda Sticker's photo positive, if you think about it. They are aesthetic antipodes, yet there's a family resemblance in their basic elements and how they both intimate a violence inherent to romantic love; desire taken to its psychic extreme. The exhilaration and terror in surrendering to that primal gravitation. To abandon all human pretense. To abandon the world. To abandon the one self. The velocity with which we seek the annihilation of our distinct contours traces the shape of death at love's core. A menacing brilliance that reveals an insatiable darkness—the accretion disk of a collapsing star. This is the part where you pour your loose change into my cup and say a little prayer for me. x" [Slicey: Never change, girlie! Please never fucking change!]


THE FINAL VERDICT:

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Slice of Life

Staff member
Tonight, we say goodbye to the first song that received two 11s.




































And it could've gotten another 11 from me as well!



































This one hurts...

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7.55769

SUPERJUSTICE:
@junglefish
HIGH: (11) @Attis, @FunkyButChic (10) @Crisp X, @junglefish, @Rhodanthe, @Slice of Life, @TéléDex, @thommyh, @vague (9.5) @KimLippington, @Oleander, @Wills (9) @enjoy, @GeiPanda, @Remorque, @ultraviolet
LOW: (2) @Serg. (4.25) @askew (5) @eatyourself, @He, @Trinu 3.0
MY SCORE: 10

LEADERBOARD JOURNEY:
10 voters: 82
20 voters: 66
30 voters: 67
40 voters: 59
50 voters: 67
52 voters: 65
Sighhhhhhhh I have now lost two of my three 11 contenders. Do y'all hate me this much, unnies???? Tonight, we say goodbye to the beautiful, the gorgeous, the perfect Seoul (Such A Beautiful City) by H1-KEY.

Seoul (Such A Beautiful City) is the lead single of H1-KEY's second mini album, Seoul Dreaming. It was composed by Hong Jisang with lyrics written by Young K of DAY6. Unfortunately, Seoul (Such A Beautiful City) didn't enter the Circle Digital Chart but it peaked at number 42 on the component Download Chart. Finally, H1-KEY won their very first music show trophy with Seoul (Such A Beautiful City)! Love that for them!

2023 was the breakout year for H1-KEY. First, they scored their first hit with the single Rose Blossom which peaked at number 14 on the Circle Digital Chart. And then members Riina and Hwiseo joined Queendom Puzzle, with Hwiseo finishing at first place and debuting with the female supergroup EL7Z UP. But personally speaking, I think their biggest achievement of 2023 is releasing one of the best songs of the year, Seoul (Such A Beautiful City). The chokehold this song had on me for months... it's actually insane. I don't even stan H1-KEY like that but there's something about Seoul (Such A Beautiful City) that truly captivated me more than a lot of songs released by my actual faves did. It's just so magical; I can't fully explain it.

I know a lot of you are probably sick and tired of K-Pop's obsession with this 80s sound and I won't hold it against you if that's the main reason why you didn't fuck with Seoul (Such A Beautiful City). I would argue however that Seoul (Such A Beautiful City)'s take on this retro sound is much more elevated. There's something warm, bittersweet even, about the production that really speaks to me. It's like listening to a classic honestly and not like a song released not even a year ago. And the lyrics... especially in the middle 8... whew, there are chills every time!

And speaking of the middle 8, don't you just love how it perfectly connects to the final chorus? And then the final chorus just erupts? I live for moments like these. I didn't get a lot of those moments from K-Pop last year so Seoul (Such A Beautiful City) is extra special for me. I don't know, I don't think I'm even making sense at this point. I guess I just think it's such a beautiful (kii!) song that deserved more attention than it got.

H1-KEY has yet to make their official comeback this year but they have released two songs under their H1-KEYnote project called Thinkin' About You and Deeper. Both are great songs but definitely not on par with Seoul (Such A Beautiful City). Still, I think you should check them out as we wait for H1-KEY's real comeback.


THE JURY'S THOUGHTS:
@Serg. (2): "Tourism hit a new low after this song dropped."

@eatyourself (5): "I feel like I will combust if I have to listen to another cheap plastic A-Ha - Take On Me pastiche dslfkdldfg The Weeknd and Dua Lipa you have ruined K-Pop forever!!" [Slicey: Not too much on Dua unnie!]

@savilizabeths (6): "I really enjoyed Hwiseo on Queendom Puzzle but it didn’t inspire me to check out H1-KEY outside of the brilliant Rose Blossom. This is cute but I’m not obsessed."

@aux (8): "Aww, this is so sweet actually."

@soratami (8): "The Seoul Tourism Organization did what it had to do"

@codecat (8.5): "See! It's possible to make a song using the 80's template without it sounding like recycled doodoo!" [Slicey: Thank you!]

@Crisp X (10): "I know I've said I was over this soundscape multiple times but... somehow I give this a pass. For one, it doesn't feel like a pastiche. There's a certain melancholy in the melodies that help it stand out, turning it into one of my favorite songs of the year. Also, the bridge!!" [Slicey: THE BRIDGE! Exactly!]

@Attis (11): "Seoul is evidence that local producer just does retro stuff better. The synths are more warm, the writing is more grounded and bittersweet. That final chorus with "Such a beautiful city" and then left the instrumentals breath is so simple yet so haunting. It's hard to write an inspiring optimistic song without veering into cheesy territory, but Seoul has true heart into it that makes it easy to relate." [Slicey: You just get it sister, I sarang u so much!]

@FunkyButChic (11): "Like every South Korean, my personal pick was Rose Blossom, but eitherway, a H1-KEY song was going to get my 11, simply because they were my favourite group this year. They were well on my radar with 2022's Run, but last year's collaborations with Hong Jisang struck a chord with me. I usually think tourism ads are stupid, but this song was less about actual Seoul and more about the idea of what it could be for people, so I give them a free pass. Seoul is any city anywhere in the world, really. I still felt what they were saying all the same, and that's what I've been missing from K-pop for a while now: stories." [Slicey: AHHHH, I LOVE HEARING YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS, BESTIE!]


THE FINAL VERDICT:

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There's really so much I could say about this song. It captured my heart immediately with those opening Van Halen-esque synths. I love that it just sticks to its one thing because that's just how good the core idea already is! There's so much breathing room for things to develop.

But lowkey (pun intended) I think one of my favourite things about H1-KEY's success is that it basically cements DAY6 (and especially Young K) as one of the most influential K-pop acts of the past decade. My Days we are vindicated!
 
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