Discussion in 'K-pop' started by Squashua, Dec 4, 2017.
Too funny! Prophetical again. Red Velvet, check! Bring it on, DC!
Well, everything went better than expected.
I'm gonna have nightmares all night thanks to you.
Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Remind me not to mess with that rate curse bullshit again y’all.
APOLOGIES FOR THE DELAYS,
A TOWN-WIDE WIFI BLACKOUT & EUROVISION SF1 HAPPENED
FEELING PARCHED FOR MORE
DEAD @ IT 11s:
TRASH FOR IT 10s:
Alouder98 // Ceir // Cotton Park
(@junglefish & @karmarisma, where did your 10s go?)
BEIGE ABOUT IT 4 to 5s:
STRAIGHT UP ILJINS:
Another overwhelmingly positive elimination with scores only above the beigest levels and we're only at #48? Is this an end for negative, iljin and taupe critiques as we know it? Clue: No it's not. Actually there's only three more songs that received 11s, 10s but no Beige/Iljin tallies and they're all in the top 10 so what happened to ThursTAY and its brooding ho-courting sensuali-T? Were there a whole bunch of people who didn't wanna be caught on the Beige-ometer so stayed just above a 5.0 score thinking we wouldn't recognise such infamy?
Is FursDAY easily 100x better than the actual title track's plinky-plonky shoutathon which I sometimes wonder if it was a Jessie "I am a Singer officially now that China has OK-ed my Celine Dion covers" J follow-up-to-Bang-Bang demo passed around a bit and Minah felt she hadn't been given enough ad-libs to do recently so the company was like "Meh. Sure - do your thing girl *inserts earplugs*"?
The above you can read as a read on Minah and it is and it isn't because no one's denying that she's got a super powerful boom of a voice most lead vocals would kill for but sometimes I feel like it's used in the completely wrong way lending itself into a phenomenon we call "overegging the belty vocal cord Creme Brulee" . In Something she's right on the edge at points but pulls it off because the song is so naturally dramatic, the same can't be said of I'll Be Yours but of course that's just my personal eardrums evaluation on the matter.
However here on the very Mustard-on-the-beat-ho apeing FarsTAHY, we suddenly find the girls scaling it back, not going for diva warbles or any vocal pushery and instead almost coo-ing in a tense, deliriously hazy kind of way. Thirsty is a great album track and certainly the most modern, fresh, up-to-date and generally on point Girl's Day have sounded in a long long time. Sojin shines massively, the "dr-aiiii-dr-ai-aiiiii (AH GATCHU SO THURSTAY!)" post-chorus is a dream for body rolling against a nondescript alley / club / bedroom / supermarket wall [delete as appropriate] and just thinking about what saucy Korean alcohol/fizzy drink CF style visuals we could have had is enough to keep your mind salivating and your throat dry with the rough scratch of missed opportunities. Sure it doesn't really go anywhere or aim for lofty crescendoing heights (and maybe shouldn't really be among the top 50 of the year if we're being objective about it) but does it have to when it captures that sweaty summer sunset body-to-body aura so accurately?
Oh and for all you boygroup fans (& lovers of the menfolk except when they're singing) the Male pitched-down version of this is suitably steamy as an alternative:
A QUICK SIP
Empty Shoebox: This isn't as good as "I'll Be Yours", but that isn't here, so I can't talk about it. [SQSH: Don't worry, most people only talked about I'll Be Yours]
Sanctuary: Them not making this the title track was a joke.
Salami: I feel like although I prefer I’ll Be Yours, this would’ve done better as the comeback single. Subtle and sexy and not at all dry. [SQSH: I see what you did there]
Monkey0: It doesn't explodes, which is nice. The tension goes all through the song at same level. "Got you thirsty" is great line.
Alouder98: I'm still not over I'll Be Yours getting done dirty, so this better go faaaar.
GeiPanda: Another case of choosing the wrong track as the promotional single. This is miles away better than I'll Be Yours.
Serg.: I have to say I'm living for this, serve me that sensual bop gherls
karmarisma: If I haven't been well documented as a Girl's Day uber fan yet then let me just say QUEENS OF TALENT, THOT BOPS, HIGH NOTES, ADLIBS, SORROWFUL VOCALS. (This song) got me so thirsty.
Slice of Life: I think I love I'll Be Yours more than this now which is a mess, I know, but this is still such a song album track. One of the strongest of the year, for sure. And this is a new sound for Girl's Day and I love it when established groups still experiment like that. Fifth Harmony wished they got this instead. [SQSH: Fifth Harmony wishes they had a career at this point, let alone a track this decent].
Cotton Park: I love it when Minah just fucking delivers with an intensity you don't often get with Girl's Day, despite so many classic KPop standards. This song has such a compelling URGENCY to it, and I can't say no. [SQSH: *cue Seohyun-gate PTSD triggers for all*]
Eliminathan: This song is so good and I don't think anyone will give it lower than a 7 because who would commit such a heinous crime. [SQSH: Lower than a 7 you say? @He / @send photo / @Aries / @digitalkaiser / @ohnostalgia / @ThighHighs - you just made this twin's Kill Bill style list]
ThighHighs: Only kind of interesting. I’m sure there could be some good thot choreography out on Youtube, but it doesn’t set me on fire. [SQSH: Yeah Yeah... Fire]
LOFTY ELEVENS CORNER
Gintoki: My Grindr profile song.....cough cough....Okay if this song was released by Ariana, Selena, Halsey....it would be 16 weeks in Billboard top 10, it just so effortlessly catchy and cool. [SQSH: Ariana having a song called Thirsty would be appropriate this era considering the lack of tears she haveth left to cry suggests severe dehydration]
Not me giving a song a 10 and adding literally NO commentary.....
Can't even remember how it goes, teeb, but I'm glad y'all love it.
WHERE WAS YOUR COMMENTARY TO TAKE THE HEAT OFF?!?
Screaming at Dinosaur making it this far ddddd! The little song that could!
It needs to leave now though. Along with T-ara. xoxo
MORE OF MY TENS??
LEMME GET MY WARPAINT
READY FOR YA HEAUXS
TRASH FOR IT 10s:
D is for Danger! // Eliminathan // @Kuhleezi
@Monkey0 // @Sanctuary // Squashua
BEIGE ABOUT IT 4 to 5s:
@digitalkaiser // Salami
STRAIGHT UP ILJINS:
BOO more success for the Misandristjustice faction and more disdain from afar for those of us who can appreciate the power of a male-led unit. On the plus point for VIXX, they barely scraped through Andra Beigesen AND the Beige Class bloodbath and yet still finished top 50 above nearly every other song that beat them in Beige Class 1. Doesn't really make much sense when you think about it (and if i'm around to undertake 2018's SOTY believe and trust the format is getting rejigged) but hey, at least talent, class, style and the most swish-swish bish use of props in 2018 semi-prevailed in the end.
My history with the VIXX boys (an acronym for some gobbledegookbabadook balderdash which reads like a randomly-jab-your-finger-into-a-dictionary exercise) is a mixed one in all honesty. As someone who only started avidly, obsessively following K-Pop at the end of 2014/beginning of 2015, I basically missed the whole of their iconic goth horror gore anthology series aesthetic (a.k.a Korean Horror Story: Idol Twinks) but was gagged and left a-shooketh by Chained Up's BDSM for the upper class boppery. Truly what a song and also something I felt none of the boy-groups were really going for sound or visual wise at that point. Sure I had a lot of time for SHINee's stadium pop and house wizardry but this was something just as sleek with a hint more darkness, whimsy and sheer extraness. I love dark, whimsy and extraness should I use this as a Grindr bio if I ever get the app? Comment below.
Catapult into 2016 and Y A T H at the reports we were getting a whole series of releases from these boys. BOO that I ended up not liking a single one of them until long after 2016 had shut up shop. Dynamite is a great SHINee cast-off but a SHINee cast-off nonetheless, Fantasy was a whole lot of gothic smoke effects and The Closer was just not very engaging. So when the Shangri-La teasers popped up I was hoping, praying for a (personal) return-to-form from them so I could keep stanning.
AND I WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED BECAUSE
C H A R I S M A
U N I Q U E N E S S
N I R V A N A
T A L E N T
Eurghhhhh, this is such a masterpiece of restraint and finesse dripping in LUXE and culture and unabashed cool. Beautiful beautiful staggeringly beautiful from the first rippling synth followed by another like droplets on an electro-static zen garden pond before the fragile strings of the gayageum (a traditional Korean instrument not unlike the Chinese Guzheng) flutter around this ambient, dreamlike alter-plane. I'm a sucker for traditional instruments in any song so let's all take a moment to give the Gayageum a spotlight, this time helped by Oppa of the Year winner, Squeaky Chicken Pioneer Big Marvel:
The vocals are insanely good (as per always), the constant stops and starts and sheer gaps of dissipating silence keep the structure inherently unique and the meshing of Western alt-r'n'b production and the expansively East Asian visual/audio motifs pushed to the forefront boldly make for the perfect encapsulation of this song's reimagining of a Western constructed Utopia in the East (a.k.a Shangri-La itself) by those unapologetically proud of their East Asian heritage. A reclaiming of sorts if you want to get all Post-Colonial Studies 101 with me and we haven't even touched on the societal rebuttal of presenting fan wielding choreography / long flowing silk garments / interpretive dance with scarves as something that is just as integral to traditional Korean (and the wider East Asian) 'masculine' identities as it is the 'feminine', a big ol' switcheroo on what the West sees as being standard practice. It's one of my favourite MVs of last year, and certainly near the top for most aesthetically pleasing.
It's just perfectly constructed what can I say? This dominated the May/June time for me last year and it still remains one of their most sparkling, thoughtful, unflinchingly opulent releases of the whole of the last year. When you factor in the gorgeous remix performance from the MBC Music Festival linked below that made Korea fall in love with the song all over again, it really cements that this is one of the easiest 10s I had to give out this rate.
DANTE'S SIXTH CIRCLE
Slice of Life: Iconique. Ken is such a thot I lub ha. Okay, I don't always listen to this because I'm trash but whenever I do, I am reminded of its quiet but powerful charms. From song to dance to concept to music video, this is a 10. Literally no flaws detected. [SQSH: There is NO WAY i'm not putting you in this circle of red-fonted doom for straight-up saying the song is a 10 and then NOT GIVING IT A 10. THE AUDACITY. THE DECEIT. THE LATEST BETRAYAL OF SLICÉ TT ]
NEXT DOOR TO ELYSIUM
Empty Shoebox: This goes on a bit longer than I'd like it to.
Ceir: This is by far not their strongest track, but it’s getting them recognition. So, I had to give it a decent score. [SQSH: Without Shangri-La, you never would have got Silence so be grateful Hyung]
Serg.: That one boy is really cute [SQSH: This is highly unspecific, especially when VIXX is a band full of pretties].
PURE FAN SERVICE
EccentricSimply: Everything about this is just pretty. I don’t know how a song can be pretty, but this is what VIXX managed to do. It took me back to Ten’s station Dream in a Dream which I absolutely adore and it’s just the type of performance that I can only see VIXX doing.
ThighHighs: I dig this big time. The chorus is really interesting and the video is really good too. I don’t know much about this group, but few of these boys are getting a bit too Karl Lagerfeld with those fans and I’m suspecting a few hunties are in the crowd.
D is for Danger! : I fell out of love with VIXX after Error, but this won me back. I really like the traditional Asian instrumentation used throughout the song.
karmarisma: Vixx are aesthethicc and it is well appreciated with the Oriental theme of this song (those outfits are so lush). Listening to this was like drinking berry juice in Shangri-La like a sophisticated unnie.
Eliminathan: The fan dance is a bop.
Ryan_Riot92: Such a lovely mixture of classical instruments, trap beats, and velvet vocals … the boys of VIXX are BACK! They really showcased just how sexy they are with this one between the choreography, imagery and smooth vocals.
Kuhleezi: Simply the best boy group single from last year. [SQSH: Y A T H S T A N S I S]
Monkey0: Eternal beauty, combining traditional instruments and motives with modern pop trends in brilliant way. Vocal masterclass (duh) and such rich production. Their single performance got them music shows begging for promotion extension. Did anyone asked back your faves? No.
YATHHHHHH DRAG ME
I gave it a 9.75. x
Also @Squashua unnie, if you don't mind, please share this gorgeous photo of Shaman Buddha. I need it as my avi juseyo.
IT'S TIME TO FINALLY SAY GASEYO
TO A BEIGE CLASS 6+ ENTRY
A BIG HINT:
THEY WERE ARE A GIRL-GROUP
TRASH FOR IT 10s:
@Aries // Cotton Park // D is for Danger!
@GeiPanda // Monkey0 // @RUNAWAY
BEIGE ABOUT IT 4 to 5s:
@eccentricsimply // @Sanctuary
STRAIGHT UP ILJINS:
It was the only Class still pristine and shimmering after the Top 50 mark but finally the day of slinging-one's-hook has come for the Ultimate Unnies of BEIGE 6+ and they must choose one member as tribute for the first castaway off the fabulous bop isle they call home (probably Jeju if we're being honest, could also be Taiwan idk ). Turns out that whilst legends may remain iconic for years to come, that's not enough to keep their latest (and maybe last?) material from being rendered asunder by the KPJ masses - welcome and yet goodbye T-4RA.
Look, I know full well i'm not the right person to write this post so please please - if even the tiniest slight against the MBK begrudging unit makes you liable to snap off fizzy drink can bottle tops in a stan-blind rate - I implore you to probably skip to the gold commentary as that's generally where the T-ara fandom is hanging out these days now they refuse to be resigned to comeback coroner and instead wander this digital earth reminiscing over the 2011/2 imperial phase like vengeful wraiths. For those who, like me, like and appreciate T-ara songs but have literally no emotional connection to anything they've done then by all means read on.
Unlike most people's trajectories with this song, I happened to kinda love it on first listen. It's basically Stellar's Crying 2.0 in all its EDM bubbliness and aims equally for that high sing-a-long pop summer magic that the Entertainment Pascal gals (also a terrible company, also a group now defunct alas) shot through my heart like a water cannon. This was released just at the right time of the year to feel seasonally appropriate, had enough vocal hooks and trop-house nods to get the beach party started and what I first saw was the live performances specifically this one:
which matched the song's subtle shifts in tone from the more pleading, sad-whimsy verses to the urgency but also sheer release of that chorus so so well. The styling is beyond pretty (YES Qrisus swish that blonde pony like a supermodel sis), the girls perform every step, every close-up so immaculately and honestly the very best thing for me was that, despite the obvious emotion felt by all, when the confetti rain shower falls and the crowd starts shouting with all their hearts, that the overwhelming sense is not of defeat but perseverance and pushing on despite the bad things that surround a person. A literal dance away the tears euphoria that feels genuine and elevates what is, admittedly, a slightly basic boperoo.
BUT THE VIDEO
I completely get that the song is a break-up crying-on-the-dancefloor type of track, I totally recognise all the 6-becomes-4 symbolism to mark all the entertainment company riggery of pushing the comeback forward until after Boram and Soyeon's contracts had already expired (which is a dick move by any stretch of the imagination for a supposed "last release") but my goodness if this isn't one of the most dour, uneventful, poorly-matched visuals to a song of the whole of last year. Not even just from a personal perspective but on a technical level, it is nowhere near the quality for a girl-group like T-ara: the colour palette switches from washed out pastels to poorly-colorised blue tone saturation, the editing is languishingly slow but not in a deliberate way, instead just filled with slo-mos in a song that, despite the somber lyrics, is really bursting with energy and it never veers from that until the very end where they hold hands for another slo-motion shot. As I said before, beyond an appreciation for their journey/output/talent, I do not have an emotional attachment to the life and times of T-ara when I know many of the voters do and this video surely did affect them which is totally understandable & warranted. However for me personally, speaking from a more MV-making perspective, I would have felt much more engaged with the struggle they were trying to present if they had decided to attack it head on, push past the negatives and give the world, the fans, the former T-ara members one final hurrah in visual form then four minutes of moping, stock sets, pensive transportation routes and the Westlife school on being perched on stools for the whole track. Heck, the most enthralling thing that happens in the first two minutes is watching Qrisus Christ trying to stack dry toast on a plate.
It's a fun upbeat song that I readily admit I have my own adapted choreography to and I spent many an early summer evening performing to myself in my room but I really do wish it had been presented more as life-affirming than soul-destroying. A mood booster rather than a down day. I'm all for letting your emotions run forth good or bad (i've been frequently called overemotional by many a guy irl) but the choice to then release an EDM song seems counter-intuitive ultimately. If this was released by any other group, I doubt it would've made it to the final in all honesty, as much as my basic ass bops to it on the low-key whenever it comes on. Still, those live performances and the eventual end to the infamous T-ara bullying scandal (never trust the twins @eliminathan @BEST FICTION we see you) meant that even if this group doesn't continue on beyond this point, we got the full most powerful HURRAH I think any fan could wish for in a surprise music show win that could melt even my torrent of a heart:
CALL ME BY ANY NAME
ThighHighs: When this first came out I was disappointed because it sounded like a pretty basic Brave Bop. However, over time I’ve come around to it a lot more. I really hope that stan dreams come true and they are able to continue under a new label, but if this does end up being their swan song, I won’t be too sad, because the girls all sound great and that last win would be an iconic goodbye moment.
Cotton Park: I remember getting up at 4:00am to watch this and getting all misty-eyed. I don't think I was the only one. I miss them already.
He: So this is Rollin’ done right, isn’t it? [SQSH: No, it's Crying reheated & rolled in glitter tears] I love this track. While it does not feel complete without Soyeon and Boram, it is pretty great. And it really came alive in the stages (let’s not talk about that video). Girls were feeling themselves so hard; hair flipping and giving you -matronly- looks all over.
AND THAT WIN :)
Please please reunite as 6-ARA.
D is for Danger!: T-ARA's (potential) swan song is another trop bop, but this one doesn't rest on the synths as a chorus trope. Rather, the trop sound merely serves as a background. T-ARA never follows trends and they always manage to better the game by making their music their own. I'll definitely remember their name should they decide to call it quits. While other groups may have been more successful, not one can claim to have such a varied and impeccable discography to their name.
GeiPanda: I was not impressed at all when this first came out. I thought it was reductive and too similar to Stellar’s trop-bop from the previous year. But the performances won me over. Hyomin and Jiyeon’s combined part is a particular standout. I can’t help but feel that Hyomin looks super detached and sad during this comeback... [SQSH: I mean Stellar's Crying is infinitely better than What's My Name? honestly so...]
Eliminathan: It'll be a shame if after this song and video they don't end up together as a group. T-ARA fighting!
Ryan_Riot92: Le sigh … Truly the end of an era … Or is it? ANYWAY this is fabulous! They came to play with the nugus and show them how the real queens do it! Would have been even more perfect with the full group but I’ll take what I can get. The imagery in the video speaks volumes and almost makes you wanna cry (okay maybe I did cry a few times). I really hope this isn’t the end…
Aries: Aptly titled given their trademark battle with MBK. [SQSH: It always makes me wonder if the songwriters built in this little side-eye of shade to the proceedings that would follow.]
And Monkey0 just left us with the ever versatile forum icon:
SAY MY NAME
EccentricSimply: Again, I really, really like the verses of this song, but the chorus definitely doesn’t do it for me. I guess it wasn’t as good of a song as I expected from T-ara? Which maybe means I should stop having expectations and just focus on enjoying whatever I’m given nñn [SQSH: So @eliminathan 's ballot then?]
Salami: My first new experience of T-Ara really - their older stuff hasn’t aged well. It’s a bit generic but enjoyable.
karmarisma: As much as I bagged out T-ara's comeback it's still SOLID compared to most others. But when you're up against bops like No.9 and Sugar Free this really does pale in comparison.
Slice of Life: Even the most basic Brave Brothers production make me pussypop dddd. I like this, I truly do, and this is a step up from T-ara's output from 2016 BUT this is still below T-ara's level of standard. I know a lot of you unnies will overscore this because IT'S T-ARA BINCH but real talk, this isn't one of the greatest 2017 singles. It's just competent. [SQSH: Phew this tea is scalding hot but incredibly on point today huh?]
Alouder98: I love this but I have to deduct a couple of points for the high-pitched vocals and also for it not sounding like a T-ara song at all.
DON'T SPEAK ITS NAME
Empty Shoebox: Brian. Every time someone asks their name, it's always Brian. I get the feeling that I'd appreciate this song more if I looked up the lyric translation, but then I'd have to do that for every song and I don't have the time. [SQSH: Going with Brian is how I know you're a Brit. It would be that or Dave to be honest.]
Serg.: I'm pretty dissapointed with the song, it's still a quite pleasant listen, but outside of the chorus it's quite forgettable
Ceir: It’s sorely missing Soyeon’s voice and I really haven’t listened to it since it was released.
What's Ny Name would've been a 10 for me if the vocals weren't screechy/nasal in some parts.
Stellar did it better anyways.
To everyone who did "What's My Name" wrong, skinny legend Qriyonce asks:
"Nae ireumeun, Nae ireumeun, Nae ireumeun...
... Mweo Mweo Mweo Ya?"
as she cackles, ordering her maid to facetune this photo to make her look less cutie-pretty... for her true beauty would bring forth the End of Days and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (Hwayoung, twin sister Hyoyoung, former CEO Kim Kwang Soo, and the Tiamo* EP).
*I know the Tiamo EP is actually called Remember kii.
Qri is the coolest name in all of kpop.
That is all. Back to work...
WE HAVEN'T ELIMINATED ANYONE'S SUPER TRASH
IN A WHILE, HAVE WE?
I'LL ACCEPT ANSWERS IN WRITING
TRASH FOR IT 10s:
@Ceir // @Cotton Park // Gintoki
RUNAWAY // Sanctuary // @vikeyeol
BEIGE ABOUT IT 4 to 5s:
Monkey0 // @Salami
[I mean who else?]
STRAIGHT UP ILJINS:
We're down to a SUPER TRASH top 10 as Bae Suzy (is that her real name or just a moniker because everyone in Korea stans her so much? I've always wondered) stumbles her way out of the running on the cusp of top 40-dom, a feat i'm sure most of you would agree is quite a surprising success story considering the competition. We love a beautiful homicidal stealth queen. The songs still hanging in there, and the voters still with their ST pick intact are:
SUPER TRASH TOP 10
All Night - SNSD
Babyface - WJSN
CAMO - BoA
Eclipse - Kim Lip (LOONA)
Ending Credit - Uhm Jung Hwa
Gashina - Sunmi
Girl Front - LOONA OEC
Move - Taemin
Paradise - S.E.S
Peek-a-Boo - Red Velvet
VOTERS STILL IN :
Sorry for hogging your eternal spotlight for a hot minute there Suz, lemme whirl back round to you and this your first solo quasi-title track but actually second single behind the #2 hit single Pretend. You might not have heard Pretend because, unsurprisingly, it wasn't submitted for this rate, despite being eligible. I say unsurprisingly considering the BPM is at a dangerously beige pace, the intro is literally white noise from a coffee shop and we get some of Ms Bae's infamous whisper bop vocals, even if the little 80's synth twinkles are cute, i'm kinda here for the plaintive tone and the single/album artwork is gorgeous (when is it not?). I don't know a whole lot about Suzy being someone who didn't really enjoy Miss A outside of Hush but even I was expecting something of that ilk as her big lead off single. Something slow, measured, drowning in vocal layering like a shiny Shaman tal mask and perfect for the OST-stanning nation's underseasoned palette. A beige-approved award seems appropriate no?
Well actually, no. Not even beige at all really. Here's the real kicker, the twist in the tale, the wolf in sheep's clothing - in true JYP curveball fashion, Suzy didn't end up with a ballad but instead delivered us essentially a tripped-out, Wong Kar-wai apeing extended perfume editorial advertisement complete with murder, theft and hinted infidelity. THAT ladies & gentleman is what we call
I absolutely adore Wong Kar-Wai's work with every fibre of my being (to the point where it made up a good portion of my dissertation) and utilising aspects of his aesthetic really lends itself well to a short-form visual like this MV. Lemme go all film studies on you a second but I appreciate the small touches throughout: the way the camera is most stable in Suzy's flat and yet the narrative is the most unstable - visions of her (SPOILERS) murdered lover, herself as the corpse, jump cuts, the sensual but visceral swathes of red light and post-prod colouring that disappear to grey when she pokes her head out the window - whilst outdoors in the streets we see many tracking shots that barely deviate from the timeline but are so blurred, out of focus and giving that Chungking Express grainy-hallucinogen feel that it leads the viewer to believe everything that's actually real is not and vice versa. What is the past, what is the present and what never happened at all? It's a switcheroo, the classic "unreliable narrator/protagonist" trope setting up that final twist shot and very skillfully done too.
I N S I D E
Beautiful. So so good. Easily in the top 10 visuals of the year and is that really any surprise when it's a Bae Suzy "a.k.a. the Koreans' choice for female aesthetic perfection and queen of making her company money through said-fact" project? To be fair to her, she gets to show her acting chops with some great stumbling in a haze, pensive pouting and xanax-ed out spiralling into madness.
As for the song well, the fluttery flute-esque intro sound remind me kinda a little of this section in this video:
with the chorus melody kinda like this part from the same video:
Put together with a JYP sheen and some added No YES YES No no divvying about spoken word. A plagiarism case pre-Serebo/Cheryl perhaps? Who knows. Suzy doesn't quite have the range vocally for a song like this compared to say if Gain released it (as @Slice of Life mentions in his commentary), it gets a bit repetitive by the 3 minute mark to be honest, but she does her best and this really feels like her I Got Love moment of experimental deviation compared to what came after so let's applaud that because who knows when we'll get something more memorable again.
Sanctuary: C'mon artistic, cinermatic queen! Her body of work isn't the most inspiring, but the song and video combination feel like a creative risk that actually paid off.
Slice of Life: Why do I feel like this is so underrated? Honestly, remove your bias against Suzy for a second and recognize that this is one of the finest solo singles of last year. The drama, the sensuality, the unexpectedness (who actually expected Suzy to release an interesting single? ddddd) of it all. Yes No Maybe just delivered. I feel like the new Suzy single will be beige so I'm just happy we got this Gain-esque single from her.
Karmarisma: is definitely NOT what I expected Suzy to release...I was waiting for another coffee shop ballad but this exceeded my expectations and the beat and MV are absolutely divine. I couldn't shake the feeling that this song would've been even better if Miss A had sung it together. I do think Suzy is a real allrounder in Kpop.
EccentricSimply: If her material continues being this good or better at least MIss A will have disbanded for a good reason, I guess. [SQSH: How did you find her 2018 material in the end?]
Send Photo: fuck y’all this bops
He: Ok, but this knocks! I had not paid as much attention to it before, but I love it now. I did not know Suzy was like a good singer. Keep getting coin, queen.
D is for Danger! : I would have never imagined Suzy had this in her. It sounds very Miss A, which makes me wonder if this was initially meant to be one of their songs. [SQSH: To be fair a mini with Fantasy, Drip and this on it would've been Miss A's best release ever]
GeiPanda: This is very polished, and Suzy sounds great on it.
RUNAWAY: holy shit like i needed any more tens......she slayed.
Ceir: This Wong Kar Wai video style though! That electronic flute sound in the intro. That piano layered drum loop, with the hi-hat coming in the chorus! For once I actually like her whiny upper register and I think it suits this song. The lyrics are literally referencing Happy Together, which makes me love the song even more. [SQSH: Happy Together remains one of the peaks of cinema - go watch it instead of Suzy whispering unnies.]
Cotton Park: This track really blindsided me. I listened to it non-stop the week it came out. Suzy's not my favorite singer but this track is so sultry and snappy and she delivers it believably. Extra points for the striking Second Wave Cinema video style and seductive choreo. Easily one of the most underrated tracks of the year.
Eliminathan: It's no "I love you boy" but it's really catchy. Good job suzy unnie. [SQSH: I thought you were quoting an OEC spoken intro at first]
ThighHighs: A cute song with an AMAZING video. We love a murderess! [SQSH: Seohyun will be filing a lawsuit as we speak]
Gintoki: Okay If I was a kpop idol....and beautiful Asian girl with a great acting career and hundred of CF contracts....this type of music I would do. And let's be real this is one of the best if not the best kpop video this year, it just elevate song to another level. Pure art.
Salami: Don’t get it. I really like Suzy, or did in Miss A, I think maybe I expected something a bit more banging and performance-led. She’s not exactly a vocalist is she. [SQSH: It's not as if they gave her a Mariah Carey ballad though to be fair.]
Monkey0: It's a NO. Nice try distracting me with cinematographic music video. How very Wang Kar-wai of JYP. There's something nice and late 90s about simplicty of it though. [SQSH: It's WONG Kar-wai just as an fyi, you got your mind on the wang clearly sis]
Ryan_Riot92: I don’t get the appeal. Sorry.
Serg.: The video is good [SQSH: I'm putting this in the middle because I detect a "but" part to this commentary]
Empty Shoebox: The lyrics are okay. I just don't like the delivery.
Aries: Pleasant enough, but she didn't get the nickname 'Snoozy' for no reason.
Nice to see Sigrid back in work so soon after getting eliminated from Eurovision last night.
OOOO I FORGOT TO MENTION 2 THINGS
WE HIT THE 8.0 AVG BARRIER
WE'RE IN THE MIDST OF A THREE-WAY TIE
TRASH FOR IT 10s:
@digitalkaiser // Eliminathan // @He
Island // @ohnostalgia // @Serg.
BEIGE ABOUT IT 4 to 5s:
STRAIGHT UP ILJINS:
It's back to BEIGE CLASS 2 and also another axe wound to the hopes of album deep cuts everywhere as EXID's mini album opener Boy leaves next, just securing one more 10 than Bae Snoozy's Hong Kong Homicide. I do have a confession, an admission, a big GRAND MISTAKE to admit to though and that's that Dreamcatcher wasn't actually the last multiple-entry girl-group to lose a song in the final (Wake Up all the way back at numero #70) - EXID, with their three entries, actually mark the very last girl-group to have their clean sheet darkened. And it's titled "Boy"? Yeah, men ruin everything go figure.
Although that being said, my only logic for forgetting them is, at this point in their careers/discographies, I don't really see EXID as a girl-group in the same way GFriend, Twice, LOONA, CLC or Dreamcatcher are. Red Velvet is probably the closest but that's arguably only in the last 12 months and since they pretty much abandoned the Red vs Velvet split personality for a more accurate but still a bit of a cop-out "Well, all our releases are a bit of both now innit?". Maybe it's because they debuted a while before many of these groups, maybe it's that they don't dip into a cute/girly concept at any point or maybe it's their more indie-leanings in terms of having a hand in writing & production (at least in LE's case) but all I know is that if there was a phrase just a tier above girl-group it applies to EXID.
Boy is Eclipse's introductory song as their first release as a four-piece unit (hope you're okay Solji! <3) and immediately puts to bed any worries or fears that losing a member means a diminishing return in quality. I can't say i've come back to the song much over the last 12 months but listening to it on a loop now whilst writing this i'm struck by what a great fusion of jazz fragments and more current (for then) ambient r'n'b trends this is. Sure, Night Rather Than Day wears its full jazz hallmarks emblazoned on its ribbon knotted jacket sleeve but those slow-burning, take-their-time verses have such an air of smoky jazz lounge about them that i'm swaying around my room at the moment. The deep double bass sounding guitar (I presume?) is matched by bird tweet-eqsue flutes (which again I think are actually synth patches and sound very Michael Kiwanuka) and by the time the hard quasi-trap vocal stutters of the chorus roll in you're knocking those shoulders back n forth in replacement of the weave you lost. It's quite its own entity and doesn't really sound or feel like anything else on this list.
Also worth a watch for the live performances which are all kinds of Red Velvet - Automatic sensual and everyone, even Junghwa, sound pretty darn great:
I don't think it would've worked as a single - the sample chorus gets a bit repetitive and things tend to ramble on by the very end of the song, again in a very "this is a jazz freestyle and we don't know how to resolve things" way. The live cuts - a solid just over 2 minutes - are probably edging on the side of just-an-intro rather than a fully fledged song but I kinda like it short & sweet y'know? Still, a job well-done in proving you're more than the Up & Down song structure that made you big gals and, in the spirit of "Boy", here's an actually gorgeous pitched down male version turning the lyrical content into an anthem for the gheys everywhere, because why not? Scandalously I think I prefer the guy version ddd, it's so so good.
Sanctuary: The post-chorus sounds like music Youtubers use for outros dddd. [SQSH: But @Ceir didn't give this a 10 though?... jk, don't hurt me hyung]
Empty Shoebox: That vocal manipulation / sampling / whatever you want to call it in the chorus - I just don't like it.
Aries: Dull. EXID released far better album tracks this year: "Alice", "Weekend", and "How Why", the former not even being nominated! [SQSH: Shoulda gone for Alice on your ballot sis honestly]
Salami: I feel like this one might grow so I’ll return to it but on first listen, ‘interesting’ is the best I can come up with.
Monkey0: It's cool slow number, atmospheric and moody but no idea how it got on this list.
Karmarisma: I really liked this song when the Eclipse album first came out but it has a very low replay value for me = lower score
Ceir: Would’ve been a 10 if Hyerin wasn’t wailing like a dying cow. [SQSH: It's actually "like potato fries in a deep fat fryer" actually, Hyerin's a vegetable vegetarian.]
Slice of Life: God, that opening verse of Junghwa and Hani still gives me shivers. A perfect way to open an album. It manages to surprise and make you listen. My only real problem with it is that it sounds unfinished? Like, a proper middle 8 would've elevated this to perfection.
EccentricSimply: I know the hype and love for How Why is real and absolutely warranted, but Boy is such a fucking punch. What a way to start an album, to be honest and their stages of it are no less amazing. All of them sound absolutely amazing, but Hyerin owns it.
Eliminathan: EXID's best song as a four piece, the boy part in the chorus gives me Highlight by Hightlight(Beast) vibes.
ThighHighs: I’ve come back to this song so often since Eclipse came out. Before this album, whenever I thought about EXID I would think of loud bangers, but they really pulled off this chilled out bop. LE is snatches me every time I listen.
Serg.: What a stunning mini and Boy is a clear standout, that chorus... Rita's Anywhere wishes. [SQSH: Hi @Robsolete - you've been summoned].
GeiPanda: Perfectly chill.
He: Ugh, what an opener, what a track! Everything about this is sublime. Hani and Junghwa delivering soothing vocals, Hyelin showing her power, LE killing it as usual. EXID are so easy to stan for. [SQSH: I love it when you go all EXID superstan oppa <3]
Kuhleezi: That hook at first sounds deceptively basic, while it’s actually very creative once you pay attention.
A BIG song from one of the biggest SK
Entertainment Companies is out next
But can you guess who?
Separate names with a comma.