Discussion in 'K-pop' started by Wills, Oct 20, 2020.
I'm shqqk that @Empty Shoebox gave it an 8???????? Maybe there's a mistake fffffff
Top 70 69
We’re With You
Lost (feat. Jeong Jinwoon) (Nicole solo)
Mama (Nicole solo)
Guilty (Sungyeon solo)
Daydream (Gyuri solo)
Midnight Queen (Hara solo)
BTD (Before the Dawn)
White Confession (Lately)
Man in Love
60Sec (Sunggyu solo)
Let it Go (feat. Hyuna)
The Art of Seduction
Don’t Touch My Girl
I’ll Be There
Be My Shine
On & On
Tell Me Why
Ooh Ooh (feat. Hoya)
Shall We Dance
The Star of Stars
Lost N Found
Delight (Jiae solo)
Gone (Jin solo)
And that is all for the Sweetune Singles Rate in 2020! But worry not: I'll be back tomorrow with more eliminations. Surely 2021 will bring good news?
... ah, my first 10. Excellent.
Oh, but before I go, one more parting gift:
A sizzle reel of my favourite tracks of the year! Yes Sweetune is represented, yes there will be a quiz.
Happy New Year unnies!!!
As usual, I can't sleep, so let's see what-
Oh bollocks what have I done this time
Oh, nobody's complaining for once. This doesn't feel right.
Happy New Year! I’m proud my boys have only lost one song, ignoring Woohyun’s robbage with the ToHeart scores. I am PLEASANTLY surprised that my fearless leader’s song is also still in! Also you go Eric Nam!...like Jamie/Jimin and Ashley from Ladies Code I know you more from your personality but he was a find this rate! (I had already dabbled in Beast/Highlight slightly.)
These last few cuts were a damn mess. Rock U, Lost and Mind Control were far from the worst songs left.
Im drunk sorry happy new year if it wasn’t for 9muses this world be my 11 and irs out at 70?! F——***K off.
If I wake up to find you’ve edited this I’m striking your scores from the record!
I don’t remember typing that. HA!
LOVE TO HEAR IT: (10) @Wills, @RUNAWAY (9.5) @Slice of Life, @aux (9) @BeingNormal, @roblognick (8.5) @vague
HATE TO SEE IT: (0) @Hurricane Drunk, @Empty Shoebox (4) @M24 (6) @Monkey0, @Ana Raquel
AS FOR ME: it’s a 10, you horrors
If axing ‘Lately’ on Christmas Day was a stunt, let this be a prediction of better days to come in 2021. Or maybe fucking not, since you hateful bunch couldn’t even let this limp into the middle third of the rate! I handed out 10 tens, but I was always rooting for this one just a little bit more than the others – partly because it seemed like an underdog, partly because it’s one of my absolute favourite Kpop songs ever.
But before I get into why, some background – ‘Better Day’ was released in October 2016, following a 2+ year hiatus. In that time, Minwoo completed his military service, while the other four members were ignored as TOP Media pushed UP10TION through 4 releases. This was probably the correct call from a sales perspective, but a) dungeoning a group two years into their career seems like poor investment management, and b) as someone who doesn’t vibe with UP10TION’s music, I take this as a personal affront.
Either way, the group finally returned with ‘Better Day’, which remains (for me) a high watermark among Sweetune compositions. The instrumental here is subdued by their standards, but still brimming with life – the beat is insistent, only letting up slightly for the middle-eight, and combines with the (gorgeous) piano passages to give the song a classy house vibe. This is especially potent leading into the second verse; I always hold my breath when songs make these transitions, bracing for the inevitable half-time breakdown, so I love that Sweetune reined in the energy by removing instrumental layers, leaving the beat untouched. Even the horns, which often provide moments of climax in their other songs, are sedate here. It’s stately, it’s decadent, and it’s Sweetune operating at their absolute peak – and we haven’t even gotten to the melodies yet.
This rivals ‘The Chaser’ as my favourite chorus in the rate, and there’s a common element that elevates them both for me: they’re sloooooooow. Both choruses rely heavily on sustained vocal notes, while instrumental passages and chord changes happen underneath them. It’s an effect we don’t hear too often in pop compositions, where choruses tend to be wordy and rhythmic. And I love wordy and rhythmic! But there’s something very special about this songwriting style that resonates with me.
Of course, it’d sound like ass if the vocalists weren’t up to the task. INFINITE largely gets around this with their bulletproof vocal blend, while 100%... well:
The way Rockhyun and Hyukjin tackle the chorus, I’ll never not be shook. Even outside of that, the song deploys some lovely melodic turns – I especially like Hyukjin’s “doragallae” that bridges into each verse. Rounding out the vocal performances are Chanyong’s raps, which serve as the perfect energy transfer between the different segments.
I could go on, and I just MIGHT given the blind rage I’m in. We are NOT starting 2021 off on the right foot, unnies!!!
We’ll kick off with M24’s commentary: “The high notes are just too annoying for me to enjoy this. Maybe they're good but they're just not my thing.” Well babe… at least you had the decency to try to explain your 4. What’s good, @Empty Shoebox? @Hurricane Drunk wya??
The rest of you were kinder, so I like you better. I can always count on RUNAWAY to understand: “oh wow this is dramatic, and I LOVE IT. Reading up on this group, they’ve had it rough with their leader passing away. I want to give them all my love now.” Minwoo’s passing truly is so heartbreaking, but I’m grateful for the legacy of gorgeous songs he left behind.
Finally, we’ll end with roblognick, who continues to ingratiate himself with me: “Whoever sings the chorus, yasssss sing girl! Epic.” Let ‘em know sis!!!
Below is the video. This aesthetic’s been done a million times before, but it suits the mood of the track so well (and they’re all so hot ddd) that it gets a pass. However, it omits the choreo, so I’ve also included their dance practice… in which they serve live vocals. It’s brave as hell tbh, and there’s only so much you can really expect, but I’m shook at how great they sound.
The talent......… stop sleeping on 100%!!! (Or maybe continue, their last few songs haven’t been up to much nñ)
Oh, and once more for the road:
The way the only overtly """electronic""" element (apart from maybe a touch of stabilization on their voices dd) is the squeaky synth that lays the groundwork for the overall melodic tone and adds a bit of musicality to the raps, and otherwise everything feels very ~*organic*~ for a Kpop composition, I–
This is a masterpiece, bye!
In retrospect I should have given this at least a 9, though I hardly tanked the score with my 8. My apologies my friend.
Farewell to 100%
Now that I’ve settled down from my tantrum, it’s time to say goodbye to 100%. As part of my emotional distancing exercise, I listened through all their titles since ‘Sketch U’, and uh… suffice to say it’s been a mixed bag.
2017 and 2018 were spent unleashing a series of Japanese singles. First came ‘Warrior’, with its punchy arrangement let down by a truly horrific vocal line – I haven't bothered looking into who’s responsible, but they clearly didn’t have a grasp on using the guys’ instruments properly. I’m embedding it for completion’s sake, but I’d advise you keep scrolling.
Things then improved drastically with ‘Song for You’ and ‘Summer Night’, both of which were bang-on current trends, but boasted thoughtful arrangements that helped set them apart from what other acts were doing:
Although these tracks released only four months apart, a lot had changed for the group due to Minwoo’s passing. In light of this, it’s interesting that ‘Summer Night’ is a lively tropical number; it’s true that tragic events are handled differently by different people (and companies), but it’s a big departure from the type of song you’d expect following a death. Regardless of anything else, I hope everyone involved was given the proper time to process.
The latter part of 2018 saw 100%’s first Korean comeback since ‘Sketch U’, and with it, a massive dip in quality fff. This is especially jarring after a career spent imbuing trends with personality and strong melodic sensibilities; by contrast, ‘Grand Bleu’ and ‘Heart’ are about as lifeless as trop gets:
Their most recent comeback was ‘Still Loving You’, released nearly two years ago in early 2019… yet somehow no one’s found the time to add it to their Wikipedia page fffffff. No great loss though, it’s a plodding mess of a track:
And um… that’s all. Yikes! Even by nugu boygroup standards, 100% has had an insane number of hurdles to overcome: multiple two-year hiatuses, an agency more interested in promoting everyone else on the roster, a lack of musical identity, a dwindling member count, and – above anything else – Minwoo’s passing.
I listen to their singles run, and I’m startled by how great it is. Everything from their first two years is tremendously solid, and that’s even before Sweetune blew the doors off any expectations with ‘Better Day’, heralding the group’s first resurgence (with hopefully more to come!). They’ve had some great tracks since then, too – including ‘Sketch U’, which didn’t impress next to some of the juggernauts in this rate, but fares much better when viewed as an element of the group’s career.
100% might not have the most storied history in Kpop, but it’s one that I hope the boys are all very proud of. ♡
100% – Final Scoreboard
#69. Better Day (7.054)
#83. Sketch U (6.620)
100% – Highest Scorers
#1. @RUNAWAY (10.000)
#2. @aux, @Slice of Life (9.000)
#4. @vague (8.625)
#5. @BeingNormal (8.250)
100% – Lowest Scorers
#23. @Hurricane Drunk (0.000) ... sis
#22. @Empty Shoebox (2.000)
#21. @M24 (3.750)
#20. @junkos (6.250)
#16. @Ana Raquel, @thommyh, @Monkey0, @soratami (6.500)
100% – Controversy Index
*based on standard deviation, higher index = more controversial
#1. Better Day (2.596)
#2. Sketch U (2.001)
100% – Group Average: 6.837
Fffffffff B Y E
Oh that’s a massive shame. Definitely a song I will go back to.
LOVE TO HEAR IT: (10) @thommyh (9) @codecat, @Crisp X, @Ana Raquel (8.5) @Slice of Life, @junglefish, @Remorque
HATE TO SEE IT: (3) @ysev (4.5) @M24 (5) @Hurricane Drunk, @Monkey0, @Joli Chat
AS FOR ME: it’s a 7.5
Our first single-song act to fall is A.DE, leaving BEAST and Eric Nam to duke it out. Misandry lost! ‘Good Time’ was the group’s first comeback, making it also the exact midpoint of their career… dd. And, of course, it was their only time working with Sweetune.
It’s so funny to me that this song exists asfaksjh. Even amidst the TARGETs and KEEMBOs, I don’t think Sweetune’s ever gone more nugu than this. This partnership came completely out of nowhere, and frankly I’m a bit surprised their agency coughed up the change to snag one of their compositions. But true to form, issa bop!
A couple of us recently admitted to having once stanned the PJ frontpage. This got me thinking about some of the acts Peter used to push, and one of them was Unicorn Kid, and I… think this sounds like a Unicorn Kid instrumental fff. This has zero impact on my enjoyment of the song, it’s just the closest comparison I can draw. Is it a bit cheap, by Sweetune standards? Sure! But that makes it stand out in their discography. Sometimes you need a diabetes-inducing palate cleanser between bites of the main course.
There’s also the expected Sweetune polish at play here. Nugu group vocals can be a bit of a struggle at times, but everyone sounds pretty good here, the vocal production smoothing out any rough edges. From a songwriting perspective… eh. It’s partway there. But again, a song like this is more about the energy than anything. This really comes to the fore in the “see the stars” rap segment, which is my highlight of the track.
Today’s super-special guest is none other than codecat! This was his only bit of commentary for the entire rate. Let’s see if he made good use: “This Lovelyz serve!!!” Always promoing his faves, we love to see! Thanks for your contribution, unnie!
And all the rest of the commentary was negative oop, seems the girls’ insistence that we have a good time fell on deaf ears. Monkey0 is “Nope.” and M24 is positively reptilian: “I can see people in this forum stanning this one… it's cute, but leaves me cold-blooded.”
Even RUNAWAY got in on the fun: “this song was cute and all, but a couple of the member’s vocals were really jarring to me in a bad way. The video was so cheap as well with their light up sneakers….so stupiddddddd.” K well agree to disagree on the sneakers, but otherwise I take this as proof & validation that this never should have beat ‘Better Day’! Y’all thought I was over it and y’all thought wrong!!!
Below is the video, smirking emoji. I’m getting some mixed messages: the watch-tapping choreo evokes the fleetingness of life, yet they encourage us to take time to touch the trees and, uh, kiss the flowers. Where’s the unified narrative perspective, ladies? How are we supposed to fill wikis full of lore with this?
Debating whether A.DE gets a farewell post, gonna mull it over while playing Assassin's Creed. Surprisingly gay gaming experience, lots of lying under piles of fronds and whistling at men.
park haeyoung won produce 101
You’re right, they deserve this.
Farewell to A.DE
Fair’s fair – A.DE came to play, so we’ll give them a proper send-off. Or I’d like to, at least, but I’m afraid there isn’t much to say: from the dizzying heights of ‘Good Time’, they only went on to release one more track, ‘Laputa (Kiss in the Sky)’:
Sources dispute whether A.DE is still together, but I suspect we’d know if they were, since they seem to be the exact scale of group Sweetune targets these days.
Anyway, that’s all for A.DE! Perhaps if we have any secret stans lurking in our midst, they can provide a more fleshed-out eulogy?
Oh, and if any of the member unnies are reading this right now, I hope you’re doing well! Hwaiting!!!
A.DE – Final Scoreboard
#68. Good Time (7.109)
A.DE– Highest Scorers
#1. @thommyh (10.000)
#2. @Crisp X, @Ana Raquel, @codecat (9.000)
#5. @Remorque, @junglefish (8.500)
A.DE – Lowest Scorers
#23. @ysev (3.000)
#22. @M24 (4.500)
#19. @Hurricane Drunk, @Monkey0, @Joli Chat (5.000)
A.DE – Controversy Index
*based on standard deviation, higher index = more controversial
#1. Good Time (1.679)
A.DE – Group Average: 7.109
omfg I finally won something
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