ϟ The Sweetune Singles Rate: Final Stats ϟ | Page 12 | The Popjustice Forum

ϟ The Sweetune Singles Rate: Final Stats ϟ

Discussion in 'K-pop' started by Wills, Oct 20, 2020.

  1. [​IMG]

    YEAR: 2019

    LOVE TO HEAR IT: (9) @RUNAWAY (7.75) @thommyh (7.5) @Wills, @aux, @Joli Chat, @Crisp X
    HATE TO SEE IT: (0) @Empty Shoebox (3.5) @M24 (5) @junkos, @soratami (6) @Hurricane Drunk, @evilsin, @Ana Raquel
    AS FOR ME: it’s a 7.5

    They had a (very) short reprieve, but were always on borrowed time – with all three tracks in our bottom seven, TARGET becomes the first act to bow out of the rate. This isn’t necessarily the way I’d have had it, but democracy has spoken!

    But eulogies can wait – for now, let’s chat about ‘Beautiful’, which I think is absolutely lovely. I mentioned this in the intro post, but it was the first Sweetune song I heard; to clarify, I’m sure I’d heard a number of others by that point, but ‘Beautiful’ was the first time I’d been aware of who produced it. In a way, it kind of established my idea of the Sweetune sound; granted, it set the bar a bit low in that respect, but I can’t help but have a lot of affection for it.

    As far as the song itself, the chorus is a gorgeous bit of classic songwriting. Both the melody and harmonies are strong here, and it has a few great production details, like the woozy transition into the second verse. I love that this refrain gets brought back later in the song – one of my favourite Sweetune hallmarks is when they introduce melodic ideas throughout a track, then layer them on top of each other toward the end.

    Originally, my score for this was going to be higher, possibly even hitting the 9 mark. What changed? It dawned on me that this track bears a lot of similarities to Golden Child’s ‘Lady’, which I consider much stronger. Now, every time I listen to ‘Beautiful’, I start thinking about how I could be listening to that instead – which makes it tough to truly appreciate the song. Nevertheless, I cherish this for the role it played in my Kpop journey and maintain that it’s a solid song in its own right.

    M24 doesn’t have much patience for this – “A snooze.” – but Monkey0 found something worth appreciating: “What elevates this is sentimental emotion of the chorus. Quite Christmassy.” Looks like we’re spending the leadup to Christmas axing all the most festive tracks!

    With that, we say goodbye to TARGET. Below is the video, which has a lovely colour scheme, but a few too many lingering shots of dead-eyed smiles. It’s almost like they knew this was their last chance to slide into the forum’s good graces.

  2. [​IMG]

    Farewell to TARGET

    I’m not going to try to tell you TARGET was robbed – someone had to be first out, and even if they weren’t my first pick, they’d probably have been my third or fourth. The combination of complete anonymity, occasionally grating vocals, and B-tier (or C-tier, or D-tier, or…) Sweetune tracks proved deadly for the group, resulting in their swift exit.

    That said, you all know by now that I have a solid appreciation for the songs we rated, and watching some of your scores come in, I was so pleased to see at least a couple of you felt the same. I suspect this group wouldn’t have landed on most folks’ radars otherwise, so even if they took a brutal beating, it wasn’t completely in vain. As a rate host, that’s a win!

    Normally, my intention is to use these Farewell posts to spotlight the group’s best work post-Sweetune. However…

    … as their only release since ‘Beautiful’, I don’t expect this to change anyone’s mind. There are some decent moments, but it’s not easy to bounce back from such an horrific chorus!

    Luckily, we can end this post on a couple positive notes. Firstly, they haven’t disbanded yet! I realize their track record doesn’t instil much hope, but anyone can turn it around – this is my wish for them. Additionally, since I didn’t get around to an introductory post, I can share one last Sweetune collab: ‘Tempest’ was released as a B-side to ‘Awake’, and it’s much more typical of their production style. It won’t be for everyone, but in my books, it rounds out a solid EP.

    Eulogy over – feel free to keep tearing them to shreds now.~

    TARGET – Final Scoreboard

    #87. Beautiful (6.413)
    #91. Hot Feeling (6.120)
    #93. Awake (5.707)

    TARGET – Highest Scorers

    #1. @RUNAWAY (9.083)
    #2. @Remorque (7.583)
    #3. @Wills (7.500)
    #4. @ysev (7.250)
    #5. @camden_italian, @BeingNormal (7.167)

    TARGET – Lowest Scorers

    #23. @Empty Shoebox (1.333)
    #22. @M24 (3.667)
    #21. @junkos (4)
    #20. @Joli Chat (4.5)
    #19. @roblognick (5)

    TARGET – Controversy Index
    *based on standard deviation, higher index = more controversial

    #1. Hot Feeling (1.977)
    #2. Awake (1.905)
    #3. Beautiful (1.747)

    TARGET – Group Average: 6.080
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2021
  3. Slice of Life

    Slice of Life Staff Member


    Absolutely loving your posts, @Wills unnie!
    vague, Cotton Park, ysev and 9 others like this.
  4. Speaking of "Toheart", I totally blanked out on the existence of the unit, which is weird, considering it has Key in it.
    vague, RUNAWAY, thommyh and 1 other person like this.
  5. Still waiting for my two lowest scores (White Confession and Delicious) to vacate. Hopefully they won't make it past the bottom 10.
    vague, thommyh and Wills like this.
  6. The disrespect in these last two posts...*shakes head* I am making a list and I’m checking it twice folks.
    vague, Monkey0, Wills and 1 other person like this.

    RUNAWAY Staff Member


    Has an entire section of a rate ever fully gone in the bottom ten before? I mean....come on. They're not that bad.
    vague, Wills and soratami like this.
  8. They aren't that good either.
    vague, thommyh, Wills and 6 others like this.
  9. Yet A.De sound clip is still here.
    vague and Wills like this.
  10. M24


    Well, as my scores reflect... I'm not fussed at all about Target leaving. I tried to give them another chance with "Baby Come Back Home" but... gosh, I didn't enjoy any of that song.

    It's still nice to know a new group's music, so next time I see them on a playlist or something (would that happen though? Maybe in the "Kpop Rising" spotify playlist way at the bottom), I won't go "who's TARGET?". That is, if they don't disband.. I'm not sure how nugus make a profit if they don't sell.

    "Delicious" and "Sketch U" (yes, that one has great vocals though) are my lowest scores left, so they can go any time.
    vague, Joli Chat and Wills like this.
  11. [​IMG]

    YEAR: 2013

    LOVE TO HEAR IT: (9.5) @RUNAWAY (9) @aux (8.75) @thommyh (8.5) @camden_italian (8) @junkos, @Remorque
    HATE TO SEE IT: (2) @Hurricane Drunk (4) @M24, @Empty Shoebox (5) @BeingNormal, @ysev, @roblognick (5.5) @Wills
    AS FOR ME: it’s a 5.5

    Ballads are kind of the great equalizer around here. Only a girlgroup can put out a girlgroup song, and conversely, only a boygroup need worry about putting out a boygroup song. But anyone can release a ballad, which – generally speaking – is as good for a rate score as having a bunch of men shout all over the track. With this elimination, the girls have officially been put on notice! …but as long as they keep the BPM up, their odds are still pretty good nñ.

    ‘Gone’ was released in 2013 as part of Lovelyz’ pre-debut rollout, and it was later included on their 2014 album Girls’ Invasion (which remains a super cute callback to INFINITE’s First Invasion). Incidentally, after this pre-debut era, Lovelyz wouldn’t release another Sweetune title until ‘That Day’ in 2018.

    This is easily the most traditional ballad in the rate, which is why I’m finding it difficult to write about. Usually, I’m able to pinpoint what I like about a song – specific production elements, instrumental lines, whatever. With traditional ballads, it’s tougher – either it sticks with me, or it doesn’t, and there aren’t many common elements that tend to tip the scales. I’ve encountered a number of ballads over the years that I find dreadfully boring, but others find gorgeous. Ultimately, it’s just not a style that I’m able to be very objective about.

    That said, I find a lot of Kpop ballads to be especially tedious – there’s a reason Monkey0 could comment “Well that's certainly an OST ballad” and we all know exactly what he means by it. Everything here is technically sound – Jin sounds great, the instrumental does what it needs to – but the result just feels very… sleepy. BeingNormal agrees: “Sorry but this is just so boring.”

    But as I said before, ballads are inherently a bit more personal than other styles. So I can understand why something that fails to grab most of us would still resonate with RUNAWAY, who commented, “this is such a beautiful emotional ballad, and I felt ALL of the emotions here.

    Below is the video, which stars actress Kim Yoojung and EXO’s Xiumin (both of whom look cute af) and which is very, very well done, although I find the story gets a bit nonsensical as it goes. I very abruptly went from crying to laughing out loud during the piano interlude asdkjfsgh. It also does its job very effectively – I thought the track was wonderful when paired with the visuals, and it was only when listening in the car that I realized it wasn’t working for me.

    BeingNormal, junkos, vague and 18 others like this.
  12. [​IMG]

    YEAR: 2012

    LOVE TO HEAR IT: (8.75) @RUNAWAY (8) @Slice of Life, @aux, @Monkey0, @Remorque, @Crisp X (7.5) @BeingNormal, @vague
    HATE TO SEE IT: (4) @M24, @Empty Shoebox (5) @ysev, @evilsin, @Joli Chat, @soratami (5.5) @Hurricane Drunk
    AS FOR ME: it’s a 6.5

    BOYFRIEND loses their other Japanese song, coming only four eliminations after the first. ‘Be My Shine’ was their Japanese debut, released in 2012, and was later included on their Seventh Mission album in 2013. I’m surprised to see that this hit #4 on the Oricon chart – seems pretty impressive for a debut, though I don’t know enough about the charts to say for sure.

    Second verse, same as the first: like ‘My Lady’, I couldn’t be bothered with this not existing on Apple Music, so I spent very little time before slapping a score on it. This wound up the lower of the two by half a point, though listening back now, I actually like this slightly better. Either way, it’s – once again – a weaker take on their Korean material. The chorus is sticky enough, but I won’t be going through the trouble of adding this to my library via legitimate means anytime soon. (Side note: I did this with another Japanese release this year - Apple really makes ripping CDs a nightmare these days. Never again.)

    I’d say y’all were underwhelmed based on your commentary, but considering how we feel about BOYFRIEND at the best of times... maybe everyone was adequately whelmed. roblognick got exactly what he came for, and not an ounce more: “I mean, this sounds like their standard - like they're on autopilot here.” And things started off promisingly for M24 before taking a nosedive into the lowest scorers section: “The instrumental in the verses is good, it almost seemed like a banger. Unfortunately that chorus is more of the same, if not very long in a jpop style.”

    Half the comments here reference how the boys look, which is always a sign of great music. Granted, RUNAWAY appreciates the whole package: “the twins were so cute in the video, and the song is a total bop. Their JPN discography might actually be better than their Korean….oop.” Too bad I eventually figured out the twins thing, this comment would’ve been such a revelation! But then Joli Chat sent me into a tailspin by adding to my confusion: “Jeongmin is kinda cute ngl” – I spent a bunch of time trying to figure out which twin this was, before finally realizing there’s a third “-min” in the group ddd. I swear BOYFRIEND is gaslighting me.

    (And while we’re on the topic – after reviewing a bunch of videos, Hyunseong is my pick of the bunch, horrid ‘My Lady’ styling notwithstanding. Everyone looks great here, except for Donghyun – I thought he might be straight-up unattractive for a sec, but he looks totally fine in other videos, they just did him real dirty here fajskhlsj.)

    Below is the video, which has exactly the budget you’d expect. Their Japanese choreo remains tragique, too – note the “bouncing-leg-while-lifting-hand” move, which was blatantly recycled for ‘My Lady’. But they look great!!!

    junkos, vague, M24 and 17 others like this.
  13. [​IMG]

    YEAR: 2020

    LOVE TO HEAR IT: (9) @aux, @RUNAWAY, @Monkey0, @vague (8.25) @junkos (8) @BeingNormal, @Remorque
    HATE TO SEE IT: (2) @Hurricane Drunk (3) @soratami (4) @M24, @Empty Shoebox (5) @codecathonestly the first leg of this could be called “(4) @M24, @Empty Shoebox”: The Rate
    AS FOR ME: it’s a 6.5

    Our first IZ track to go, and also their most recent. This is another group I didn’t have the chance to formally introduce, but there really isn’t much to say: IZ (pronounced “eyes,” but we already learnt that lesson from a certain girlgroup) is an idol band, à la DAY6. They’ve worked with Sweetune since their second comeback and show no signs of stopping – the collaboration’s produced four singles to date. They’re also pretty nugu – #15 on the album chart threatens to impress, but 4,186 in sales undermines that a bit.

    I’m glad IZ exists – it’s been great to hear Sweetune flesh out the sound they teased with cuts like ‘60Sec’, and I find their approach to rock songwriting stronger than I’ve come to expect from idol bands. That said, ‘The Day’ is a lesser IZ track, lacking the edge of ‘Eden’ and the hooks of ‘Final Kiss’. Instead, we get… “la la la la” for about 40% of the runtime. Uncompelling stuff.

    Also, catch the “(Prod. Sweetune)” credit. What’s going on, oppas? Cashflow drying up a bit after years of working with nugus?

    Being the fourth IZ track, most of the commentary had long since dried up, leaving M24 as the sole contributor. Thoughts, unnie? “Well, this is somehow more boring than Memento? I got too excited with their rock style.” Judging by the radio silence, you’re not alone.

    Below is the video, which features a hotel concept. EXID who?? I somehow missed watching this until just now, but… it’s actually a very, very good clip, the colour palette is gorgeous. @junglefish unnie’s banner should have tipped me off!

    But mess at them having two Lobby Boys. Where’s the Faceless Grindr Profile? Get it together, Music K Entertainment!

    Last edited: Dec 22, 2020
    junkos, vague, M24 and 14 others like this.
  14. And that's your bottom 10: a track each from ToHeart, Lovelyz (kinda), and IZ; four from BOYFRIEND, and three from TARGET (though I'm sure there'd be more if given the chance).

    More to come tonight, I feel like I'm hitting my stride now. This is fun!!
    junkos, vague, Love Deluxe and 12 others like this.
  15. Seriously though, what's up with that? Why would The Day out of all songs be listed as (Prod. Sweetune)? It's far from one of their best productions, and I don't imagine they were expecting it to be a big hit either.
    vague, evilsin, RUNAWAY and 2 others like this.
  16. I don’t think you understand, I wasn’t kidding with my assessment fff.
    junkos, vague, codecat and 7 others like this.
  17. [​IMG]

    YEAR: 2017

    LOVE TO HEAR IT: (10) @RUNAWAY (8.75) @vague (8.5) @Slice of Life, @aux (8) @Remorque (7.75) @ysev
    HATE TO SEE IT: (0) @Hurricane Drunk (3.5) @M24 (4) @Empty Shoebox (5.5) @Wills
    AS FOR ME: it’s a 5.5

    Another newcomer to the elimination slate. This time, it’s 100%, and you already know what I’m about to say: love the group, don’t love the song. Like our previous elimination, this is the group’s most recent Sweetune collab, making it seem like they got off the ride at the right time. Sadly, this partnership only spanned two releases. Will ‘Better Day’ fare much, uh, better?

    100% is known for their vocals, and boy, do they ever… deploy some vocals here. None of the sites I referenced could agree on who sings the chorus (nugu!), but whoever it is, they’re all over every square inch of the thing. These guys tend to make “overwrought” sound better than it should, but by the time they’re hitting the upper register here, I’m ready to be done.

    This is exacerbated by my other big issue with the track: its pacing. This plods along, only managing two verse-chorus cycles in its 3:34 runtime. This isn’t uncommon for ballads, but… I never said I liked most ballads. Kii! In a track where I already find the vocals grating, having them sustained for a fortnight at a time does little to right the ship. (Incidentally, I think the sustained-note melodies in ‘Better Day’ are one of its greatest strengths, but I also never said I was consistent.)

    M24 had the same issue as I: “Again it's the vocals that bother me… however impressive they might be (I don't know anything about singing so maybe someone could technically appreciate their style).@Vixen wya? (Luckily, this tag is buried far enough into the post that she won’t get notified, I’d hate to summon her to this testosterone fest dfjgklfdgh.)

    Now, for one other matter – 100% isn’t especially well-known around here, so many of us might not know that leader Minwoo passed away suddenly in 2018 due to cardiac arrest, aged 33. This happened about a year after ‘Sketch U’, so I intended to address it in their farewell post; however, RUNAWAY unnie referenced it in their commentary. Taking a closer look at the lyrics, it’s easy to see why:

    I can’t see you, where are you?
    I can’t hear you, where are you?
    Everything is exactly as it was
    But only you’re not here

    I can’t believe this, where are you?
    Where are you, really?
    I just hope everything was a lie
    The tears I shed tell me you’re not here

    It’s always heartbreaking to see lyrics recontextualized like this (and sadly, this won’t be the last time we have this conversation in this rate). But I’ve found the strongest connections to music are inherently emotional, whatever form that might take; and songs that allow us to connect with grief, heartbreak, the darkest universalities of life – these can often be the most powerful of all.

    Let’s hear what RUNAWAY had to say in support of his 10: “this was so beautiful and powerful. I feel so bad that they never got recognition at all until after a member passed away. They’re all really talented, and I feel so bad for them.

    RIP Seo Minwoo – you did well.

    Below is the excellent video. It’s a story about heartbreak, told through some clever use of split-screen to delineate past from present, one person from another. It’s a simple conceit, but so effective, and elevates the track brilliantly. As always, my scoring is just based on the music, but the entire package is a lot stronger than my 5.5 suggests.

    Last edited: Jan 16, 2021
    junkos, vague, M24 and 15 others like this.
  18. Slice of Life

    Slice of Life Staff Member

    I stanned 100% pretty hard back then precisely because of their vocals fffffff. They have like 3 main vocalists bye. Other groups can't relate.
    junkos, vague, M24 and 7 others like this.
  19. TwoIdols



    TooBad :(


    YEAR: 2014

    LOVE TO HEAR IT: (10) @RUNAWAY, @camden_italian (9) @Slice of Life, @Remorque (8.8) @junkos (8.5) @BeingNormal, @Monkey0 (8) @evilsin, @Joli Chat
    HATE TO SEE IT: (1) @soratami (3.5) @M24 (4) @thommyh, @ysev, @Empty Shoebox (4.5) @Wills
    AS FOR ME: it’s a 4.5

    Divisive! I had a feeling this would be one of the more polarizing tracks in the rate, and y’all didn’t disappoint. The fact that this only beat out ‘Sketch U’ by 0.05 of a point is kind of iconic, and it’s all thanks to @junkos and her 8.8. Specificity kween!

    ‘Delicious’ was the title track from the pair’s lone EP, and it got a sizeable promotional push, hitting #9 on the Gaon chart. Looking back, this inter-agency collaboration between SM and Woollim was a pretty exciting move and something I’m sure we’d all like to see more of.

    … that is, assuming the music’s any good. Sorry to the unnies who rated this high, but I gave it the same score as ‘Tell Me Why’. My big critique for that was that it’s boring, whereas my issue with this is… also that it’s boring. I realize this sounds absurd, but once you get past the ridiculous lyrics, there just isn’t much going on here. The chorus hook is among the absolute weakest in the rate, and the rest is a volley of accursed rhymes.

    More than anything, this is a track fuelled by personality, which Key and Woohyun serve in spades. But divorced from its context as a performance piece, this pales next to the work of both members’ respective groups. This comparison isn’t helped by the fact that ‘Delicious’ directly invokes a far-better SHINee track - I got such a kick out of this video where Key’s groupmates rib him about that exact thing:

    This one’s been a long time coming for thommyh, who can finally rest easy: “Sorry that "delicious / nutritious" line is lowkey rancid, it'd maybe be fun if it wasn't repeated for the entire song. Delicious first song out hwaiting!!!!M24 expresses similar concerns: “"Come on girl… I'll be so nutritious" O_O Anyway, the repetitive cringy lyrics are not the worst part of the song… that's a very rotten chorus to my ears.” Which, hey, that’s what I said! Great minds.

    Of course, others had a totally different take on the track. Omnistan RUNAWAY found this whole package (oop) both delicious and nutritious: “this MV is so fucking gay and I loved everything about it. Key is so fucking hotttttttt in it too…..it’s a ten from me. The song is truly infectious too. So SO good.” And Joli Chat provided some characteristically peppy commentary: “The ‘come on girl love is so nutritious so delicious’ part is just
    The rest is pretty good tho, I love the way their voices go together <3

    And naturally, we weren’t going to get away from this without some reference to… well, I’ll let BeingNormal take this: “Woohyun looks so good. Also throwback to the rumor that they were apparently in relationship ff” My favourite is the theory that this entire project was a label-made conspiracy to hide the fact they were dating by explaining away all the time spent together ddddddd. All I’ll say is… if we’re ever going to get some representation in this godforsaken industry, we could do a lot worse than these two. Also agreed, Woohyun >>>

    We’ll close with roblognick: “This about trying to persuade the person that's pleasuring you to swallow yeah?” @mods he said it, not me!

    Below is the hilariously protracted video – volumes could be written about all the subtext here fff. Watching them spend half an hour shaving is one thing, but it’s actually the intro that piqued my interest. Seeing all the efforts made to contextualize their relationship maybe justifies speculation about the agencies’ motivations, just a tiny bit.

    My advice? If you wanna torpedo dating rumours, maybe don’t go with a sleepover concept.

    BeingNormal, junkos, vague and 18 others like this.
  20. All I have to say is that these are both of my wreckers from their perspective groups so I make no apologies. It was so divisive that apparently these best friends had a major falling out after the project and didn’t speak for a while. And though I swear I don’t participate in nor endorse shipping, this video is relationship goals...that’s all I’m saying. As long as you all put some respect on Woohyun later on in the rate, I’ll allow this.
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