Last but not least, before revealing our Top 5 we will shine a spotlight to final member, my favorite Sujeong.
Sujeong is probably my one of my favorite idol performer of all time, no joke. I genuinely thought if she is pushed and backed by better resources and bigger companies, she could be a star she's destined to be. But the world say otherwise. Sadly she's still not signed yet and remains independent for now, though back in November she has semi-viral performance when performing for Esquire Korea
Sujeong is my favorite from Lovelyz because everything about her captivates me. She is absolutely gorgeous, and also felt approachable ? I'm always a big fan of warm smile and warm feeling on a person, so maybe that's why I'm naturally inclined to Sujeong nn. Like c'mon now, Sujeong with the short hair during Beautiful Days era is still THE MOMENT. The absolute chic yet feminine energy, the simple red attire, the absolute charisma, the bridge when the rose petals are flown along with her ethereal beauty AHHHHH. God pleek if I'm given another life, I want to look like that.
It's not only her appearance that is beautiful. Her voice is also mesmerizing and unique. No shade to other vocalists, but it was her and Kei's voices that makes Lovelyz music more special. Compared to bright sounding Kei, Sujeong's voice is huskier yet felt so sweet. If Kei is transporting you to flower garden, Sujeong's voice bring you to a jazz club.
Unlike Kei tho, Sujeong doesn't has limitation in performance aspect. She will bring it to you everytime and gag you with every concept, whether its innocent schoolgirl, trashy club frequent attendee, elegant femme fatale. She's every woman, it's all in her ! (dd why did I felt I already make this joke somewehere).
It's a shame that she's still unsigned, what a wasted potential and talent. Sure she still pops up here and there, like I said before she's going semi viral with a performance in Esquire Korea and then recently do a collab with the original artist (his voice is absolute terrible tho nn don't search it). She also appears in a vlog with Jiae. But imagine a full backup from an agency, imagine a world like that. Huft, we wish you luck on your journey queen. If you want to know more of her whereabouts, follow her on Youtube and IG juseyo.
Spot 1Piece on the wild too here !
Well that's all our appreciation posts for Lovelyz's members. Before our Top 5, any guesses and wishes on last track would leave ?
Sadly our proper goodbye single When We Were Us (Beautiful Days) must stop their journey. The brilliant single is written and produced by one-half of 1Piece, SPACECOWBOY.
When We Were Us is a sublime piece of art, the ultimate form of tried-and-tested Lovelyz's recipe on heartbreaking wistfulness pop. The same could be said on their many songs, but I will still eat it up. It felt like a food from home, something your mother cook whenever you go back. You are familiar with it, but yet it still taste amazing and comfortable. That's the case with my mom who can cook tho, any of you who can't relate please find other analogy on your own !
I think that's why so many fans associate When We Were Us as the true final goodbye single or at least attach the emotion to it. It felt like quintessential Lovelyz, basking in melancholic feeling and recalling the memories and past glories.
There is so much can be explained why When We Were Us is so amazing. I particularly love how it's so danceable but also sounds like a ballad ? The juxtaposition of the heavy melody and super airy feelings that the synths provide. As usual, Lovelyz and their producers understand the importance of bridge and final chorus, the importance of providing dynamic with the understated bridge that keeps building up to the final chorus. That final chorus is legitimately great, ugh it's so sad and anthemic. Lovelyz baby it's indeed beautiful days !
I want to also praise and attribute the beauty of song to the producer Spacecowboy. He's truly amazing and compared to Davink, I like his personal stuffs more. If you enjoy When We Were Us, please check out the wonderful Kim Areum's Diving that I link below. Hoping he could provide another work to another girl-groups in the future !
Despite not as polished as their usual stuff with Digipedi, When We Were Us MV is actually one of my favorite from them. It was so mundane and normal looking, not something that you would expect from a K-pop group.
But it's still so fascinating to look at. Like watching an indie art-house movie, it isn't afraid to not going full maximalist or showing off. Instead, it lets the beauty of all the elements shine and speak itself.
The whole mundane things are a perfect complement to the song's message itself. All of the memories and beautiful days could be found anywhere. On the old photographs. On the garments that we've used. On the city scenery we've watched. On the home decorations we've bought together. It's all in the small details we find love and beautiful moments of the past.
Also can we just talk about the scene in the bridge when Jin leaves the house and the house wall has a big hole in it ? And then Jin with her beautiful transparent umbrella and sun shining brightly atop of her, looking back with a faint of smile ? Bitch it's so beautiful uuugh, I'm gonna cry. The imagery is so gorgeous, lowkey one of best shot scenes in K-pop history. Pleek somebody make a HD gif of it.
Let's take a look at the commentaries. ysev agrees with me : " This sounds like all their title tracks mixed into one song, so naturally the result could be nothing short of amazing!" while Slice of Life shade a bit : " Not the most exciting Lovelyz title track ever but I’ve always had a soft spot for this.". I'm sorry RUNAWAY but your dreams don't come true : " I’d like this to be top 3 to 5 if possible. It’s just so amazing <3".
Wills also agreed about this being official farewell song : "Would've been a more fitting farewell track than what we got but oh well!" and Ana Raquel confuse it with something else : " This has WJSN - Butterfly vibes? Or the opposite, I don't remember which one was released first." I don't see it tho bestie.
Last but not least, final comment from a veteran Lovelinus FunkyButChic : " I have a soft spot for songs that feel metatextual. Maybe it was just the air at the time of its release, but it genuinely read like a goodbye. Obviously it wasn’t, but if they were gonna go out in that moment, then at least they sounded the best they had in a while. I certainly like it better than the actual last song we got fff" Your disdain towards Obliviate is so iconique "<3"
Spacecowboy just can't stop losing, as his produced single Lost & Found leaves us today. Weirdly enough, the lyrics was written by Sweetune and frankly managed to snuck into Sweetune Rate (courtesy by @Wills) and peak at #24 beating other original Sweetune production ff. See when you do talentry !
Produced by same person, it is noticeable that Lost & Found share similarities with When We Were Us, from the familiarity of the beats and synths to the structure of the song. However, the end results are still felt different. Lost & Found felt like Lovelyz's attempt to fit the category they've been put on, the cosmic girl concept.
Right from the start, Lost & Found captivates with that dark, rumbling mysterious low-synths that hypnotize us until the strings and bright synths arrive to change the mood. If When We Were Us felt like it rips the chorus from a forgotten 80s gem, Lost & Found bringing us to an opera house, reciting an ancient classical pieces. Lovelyz walk so Red Velvet could steal Bach's composition !
Another thing that I love is that rapid, arpeggiated bass synths that only appears in the second bar of the verse. Dd it's so complicated to tell the position, but you can hear and pinpoint it when you listen. I also love how it all culminates into the outro, giving us final instrumental eleganza where the synths and strings work together in harmonies.
Lost & Found's MV is pretty okay-ish to me. There are so many great shots in here, like the opening shot of that swirling tea thing that complement the swirling bass synths. The shot of Jin that looks like Yuna from Final Fantasy ugh you look so good, queen ! And of course that little catwalk / runway moment on the outro, SLAAAAY !
However, judging on overall quality, it lacks the allegory and playful shots that Digipedi provides. Also the scenes on the separated darkened room felt out of place compared to the rest.
Weirdly enough, none of you providing commentaries on this ff. Y'all said I've commented on it in two rates, and I won't do that again ! Let's just read codecat's commentary on KSOTY once again : "Slicé remember when we talked about how this was lacking something when it made its debut on the KPJC? Well guess what Mimi I take it all back: this is the kind of song that refuses to reveal itself at first listen, forcing you to peel off its layers until you have a full sense of understanding - and when you do, the payoff is so worth it. Our ancients especially crafted the word "beautiful" to categorize this song. A chorus with moving diction (nal chajaga!!! oNEUR~U~Uun ugh goosebumps!) and high-pitched dramatics that could reanimate a mummified corpse from 3500 BC. A riveting clash of synths and strings that could render the classical musicians React insignificant and mute. The way the bridge travels into the beyond then comes for air into the chorus TWO different times, each one with its own amazing instrumentation like this is some professional shit what the fuck!!! OH and we see what they're doing using mics as props!!!!! A radical commentary of lip syncing in the idol industry!!!! Expose it girls!!!!!!!"
Seeing the KSOTY 2018 results is so....let me not comment anything bad anymore chile.
The fan favorite, Dream In A Dream sadly can't make it to the Top 3, separated by only 0.02 margin with the #3. Dream In A Dream, in a way is also a final goodbye, a last hurrah from J.Yoon to Lovelyz and to the music. RIP my guy.
True to its title, Dream In A Dream really felt like a trip, an inception, a dive into another dimension where everything make sense yet incomprehensible. Dream In A Dream saw Lovelyz going experimental and thank God it pays off.
Starting off with a musical box, it quickly escalates into an upbeat house-inspired verse. After that, Dream In A Dream never let you rest, constantly pushing you into the weird realm they've created. The electro-clash inspired chorus felt like a bang in the head repeatedly and I love that !
Of course, the main star of Dream In A Dream is the final chorus, where the chorus continue to go wild while all of the main vocals let out their primal scream. The way the high notes are just keep progressively getting higher and higher, they said our performance in Sixth Sense is real deal bitch, we will prove you once again !
Sadly, I must give this track only 9.25 point. I couldn't help to compare this to WJSN Pantomime of course, both share the same theatrical tendency. However, the downfall of Dream In A Dream is on the mixing, where everything sounds muddy and thin. If only the mixing could be done better, Dream In A Dream could be a big highlight in their musical career for me. Sorry ladies.
The rest of you disagree with me. ysev said : " This is Lovelyz at their best and lovelyezt. Literally no other group could pull this off. God, the way their quality control was top notch right till the very end." That's Woollim for ya, shit at promotion yet their musical content is pretty consistent. Our mods are in awe, from Slice of Life : " Demonic bop!!!" and RUNAWAY : " incredible. Just so amazing."
FunkyButChic pay tribute : " J.Yoon was a musical genius. Rest in peace." while Wills also paying tribute to fellow PJ hunty : "Remember when some brainy, buxom beauty submitted this for KSOTY? 10 then, 10 now – possibly the purest refinement of everything that made Lovelyz work"
That's my baby and I'm so proud. The effervescent single, That Day sadly lose the race today. That Day is written and produced by K-pop renowned musical genius Sweetune.
It's funny how That Day become my favorite single from Lovelyz. It's not a 1Piece production, I didn't even like it at first. But eventually the beauty and the intricity behind That Day's simplicity win me over.
That Day is pop music at its purest distilled essence. In the sea of producers and companies try to twist, strangle and complicate the formula, That Day comes like a fresh breath of air. A beautifully written melodies, a simple hook and effectively bright instrumentals to complete it all.
That Day suffers the same issue with other Sweetune's production at that time - the synths aren't as refined as they used to be. It may irks some, but personally I love how unabashedly loud and blaring these colorful synths. I also love the infusion of jazz / lounge elements on the verses, creating an easy-listening quality to it.
I also adore the lyrics. Yes I know, we're here for the fun not to be deep etc. But some K-pop songs do have good lyrics (and from what we've witnessed in this rate, Lovelyz has many of them), this one included. That Day takes a more mature topic, a healing and moving on process from a heartbreak. What I also love is how the production mirrors it, the contemplating lyrics are paired with somber tone in the verses and it keeps building up into an acceptance in pre-chorus and celebration in chorus. Like wow their minds, they keep amaze me always.
I have a love-hate relationship with the MV. On one side, it looks cheap and too repetitive. Like why is the shot of Yein drinking some cocktail keep being used ? Can they at least provide some props for every members so they can shine on their own ?
But maybe that's the point ? The simplicity and simple usage of pondering and calendars are used to amplify the song's theme. Or maybe just like @codecat said, maybe That Day's MV is also a meta-ironic critic on how K-pop industry has become so laborous, expensive and increasingly putting disadvantages on smaller company ? Lovelyz remains a socially conscious, politically correct queens !
Slice of Life said : " Simply perfection. The way that chorus erupts…….. iconique!" and RUNAWAY also said Fuck KSOTY2018 : " Iconic ROBBED song. I still can’t believe how badly it flopped in Korea (and in the KSOTY for that year). It’s so wonderful and euphoric. Love.". I ask my friend Hawari about his 11 and he said it best : It's like an instant serotonin shot, the second you hear that intro blasting into a sonic equivalent of cotton candy, the day suddenly felt a little better.
I'm gagged. Honestly gagged. I'm truly not expecting WoW! to be such a big fan favorite like this, to even make it to #2. Congratulations WoW! As per usual, WoW! is written and produced by team 1Piece.
It's pretty amazing how WoW! and Destiny both occupy Top 2 on Lovelyz's whole discography. To me, both of them shares similar DNA, two sides of the same coin. We will discuss Destiny later, but WoW! balance the Lovelyz's melancholic vibes with quirky hooky verses.
WoW! is insane in the most amazing way, the most daring and experimental Lovelyz's single could get. Greeted with chirpy synths and choppy high-pitched vocals, the verse turns into a weird, 100% hook that is paired with the most delicious bass slaps ever created. As if the verse is a playful, sarcastic answer from them to netizens / naysayers who dismiss their music as not catchy.
Instead of letting the whole song turn into an overbearing soup of aegyo-hook, the chorus suddenly takes turn into Lovelyz's ante: A heavily melancholic chorus that as usual delivered beautifully by the members. And then the transition into second verse OH MY GOD, it's like a tease before we delve into that godly bridge.
The bridge is absolutely deranged and that's a praise ! After that cute little aegyo-section with Kei and Jiae, WoW! suddenly turns into a full electronic debauchery. It's also amazing how it perfectly contrasts the melody that's written on top of that, rotating between every member. It's serving that Neon Genesis Evangelion scene where everyone clapping the protagonist for curing his own depression.
WoW! is serving that, it cures my depression, anxiety, my Covid-19, my financial crisis. What's Neon Genesis Evangelion you may ask? I don't know I'm not a weeb, it's just a sudden stream of consciousness.
And the MV OH MY GOD. Look how they ate that ! The absolute mind of the mastermind, like no one even come close to this creativity. Not even Digipedi could repeat this excellency, LOONA whomst ?
From the house setting that exudes warmthness, cozy feeling and instant nostalgia to the pin-up retro fashion that is kinda ugly but also camp. The absolutely genius idea to use cardboard models and cuts of their previous era's references / images. Just wow, deserved Oscar for Best Picture tbh. They really take the "unafraid to reference" part of Lejdi Gagu's speech seriously. Once again LOONA whomst ? Lovelyz keeps inspiring the masses.
It's also mindblowing that the WoW! MV also works in the deeper level. The usage and constant references on the past makes WoW! felt like an early celebration into Lovelyz's career and the fans themselves. Like if you let casuals watch it, they're probably think it's cute and quirky. But to the fans, it's endearingly funny and familiar. Like that smiley sticker with one of them has little tears on that ? OMG That's from Hi~ ! Yein sticker blowing that yellow paper from Jin ? Oh that's from Ah-Choo !
Looking at it as a whole, WoW! felt like an actual sweet gift to the fans. A rarely genuine appreciation and celebration for enjoying their music, video and everything in between to this day.
Wills is fonder on the verse : "Genius verses, excellent everything else" while RUNAWAY adore it so much : "This is one of their best ever tracks. Seriously epic, and has tremendous replay value <3". Slice of Life thankfully had a change of heart : " SCREAM!!!!!!! I hated this with a passion back then but now I’m actually super stanning??? Wig! It was truly ahead of its time." Exactly mother !
Lastly, final words from the 11 giver, FunkyButChic : " Hook after hook after hook after hook after hook after… okay, you get the point. There’s not one part in this song that hasn’t been stuck in my head at some point in the past 5 years. Probably some of the best synth work done on a K-pop song ever for one of the best pop songs… like, ever. I will die on this hill." PERIODT !
Congratulations to our winner Destiny ! Since day one, it seems like Destiny, just like the title, has been destined to win this, never leaving the Top 2 completely throughout the rate process. 1Piece once again bestow their golden hands to craft Destiny for Lovelyz.
Destiny is a masterpiece, not just as a K-pop song, but as an important achievement in music history. It's a perfect combination of many musical influences from the past, from classical music, jazz, electronic and even funk, that eventually shaped into the masterpiece of Destiny that we hear today.
The dramatic string greets us right away, alerting us to witness drama that Lovelyz has woven, the heartbreaking confession of unrequited love. Segued by another beautiful string arrangement, the verse saw the first taste of Destiny's unique combination : deep, funky bass with sawtooth synths and melancholic 90s synths sprinkled on top of that while Lovelyz echoes their repressed feelings.
The fake pre-chorus build a tension, before resorting the energy back a bit and launching right into the tragique mammoth of chorus that sounds like it has been stolen from some magical girl anime in 90s, where all the elements amp themselves and the girl's emotions can't hide any longer and erupt into a plea for their lovers. A plea to notice them, to read the story that only they know.
The excellent bridge provides a slight rest from the intensity, like a silent moment in this fight hoping the lover will somehow turn their attention to us. But this is not a fantasy, life is cruel and the emotions rush and flood once again as a final cry.
Destiny becoming a masterpiece isn't just carried by the strength of songwriting and production, but by the powerful performances from Lovelyz themselves. In the hand of another artists / idols, Destiny would crumble without the needed desperation and emotional touch that Lovelyz could provide. Once again and last but not least, let's give our final applause for the girls.
Destiny to me is the ultimate representation of what Lovelyz brand is and deeply in their consciousness something that Lovelyz wish they could achieve, a hopelessly romantic who only want their lover to notice their love. A hopelessly desperate idols who want the public to notice them.
But in such a cruel twist of fate, the love for Destiny in public's eyes is...robbed. Covered by OHMYGIRL, suddenly Destiny is appreciated and loved, but not for the Lovelyz themselves.
It's truly saddening to witness. And I'm saying this with love for the other group and trying to objective, but the cover still can't and won't capture the magic of the original Lovelyz's Destiny itself. It would be too long to explain why I dislike it, but in a simple answer it just felt like a performance piece that's been stripped away the needed intensity and emotional rollercoaster.
But the public has spoken. Just like ABBA said, the winner really takes it all. Maybe the world just love to hear the blandest take like how they love a certain cretin sing Dancing On My Own in the most slowest way possible. Maybe humanity is always terrible like this.
The MV, thanks to the creative hand of Digipedi, complements the song so well. Just like how Destiny tells the story of "orbiting" the lover, the imagery is absolutely smart and stunning by utilizing Moon and other cyclical objects like marbles, compass, heck even the camera movement is also cyclical !
I also love the set itself isn't looking perfect, with some spots in the wall and carpet. Complete with the grimy undertone, the whole imagery immediately sets a somber and depressive tone. The camerawork once again my God, it's thematically correct and also felt very intense that adds the dramatic feeling to it. Also, that space clip and Venn diagram being overlayed in the bridge, absolutely breathtaking.
Ana Raquel understood the assignment : " Why does this have a shoujo anime vibe somehow?" while Wills found something to complain about : "The melody’s sturdy, but it’s the strings – climbing, hanging, and swooping like vines – that bring this to life."
Slicey weirdly doesn't write anything for his 11, so I guess we will let Jiae Nation ysev close this rate. Give it up to ysev you guys ! : " Gorgeous song and hands down one of the best music videos in k-pop history" Amen.
When I join Popjustice, I'm always confused why these users could remember a one-hit wonder or even a no-hit wonder from the 80s / 90s so vividly, even having their physical contents. Like, get a life people, go touch some grass!
But now I realize...I've become one. In a rapidly changing world of K-pop, idol groups come and go. A group with a big hit could be forgotten next decade, even worse for the smaller groups. Heck, the new K-pop fans probably doesn't know T-ara, KARA or Secret whatsoever.
Lovelyz probably will be forgotten as a relic from the past. And it now hits me how...kinda sad that is ff. To be a massive fan of an act that nobody around you would understand, to be holding their music so dearly despite they will never do it again or I can witness them in real settings. Nostalgia and comforting things are truly one hell of a drug, man.
I don't even know what I'm rambling about in this section. But I do wanna say, I love and adore Lovelyz. Not in the most unhealthy parasocial relationship, of course. I'm not saying their music saves my life or whatever, but still it held special place for soundtracking my life, especially during college and my first job.
They're probably won't read this or maybe even they themselves in real life want to forget Lovelyz in the past, who knows. But I just want them to be proud, that their music and videos, their hard work and creativity has been loved and a source of happiness for another person in another side of world. An earth to their sun. Goodbye Lovelyz.
@Attis Thank you for this rate and for giving them the proper send off they didn't even receive from Woollim!! They have so many fantastic songs I would've been happy with any variations of the Top 10, which could actually make for an excellent introduction to their discography. There really was no one like them. Despite their disbandment, they're still going to hold a special place in my heart.
Thank you @Attis for this wonderful rate, and for all the work you’ve put into it! I have to echo everyone and praise you for giving Lovelyz the justice they deserve as one of the best groups we’ve had! Amazing winner, amazing runner up — never in a million years did I expect WoW! to rank so high!!!!
Thank you for this rate @Attis! I didn't expect Dream in a Dream (and WoW!) to make it this far and I'm a bit gagged! In a good way of course. Unexpected results but an expected winner and I'm not complaining. Destiny is a once-in-a-career moment and along with Ah-Choo will always be Lovelyz's signature song for me.
I'm also very proud of my 11 ranking so high even though it deserved top 3. On top of being catchy it's one of the most... elegant K-Pop songs I've ever heard and fits Lovelyz's vibe to a T. Nobody else could have sang it.
Great work @Attis, I especially loved reading the write-ups and the member posts. From one Lovelinus to another it was really nice hearing my own thoughts about the group echoed.
I really thought WoW! would bow out before the Top 5 so to see it fighting for the top spot really brought a smile to my face. Destiny is an incredible winner though. Honetly, any of the Top 5 would have been worthy—truly the power they hold.