ϟ The Sweetune Singles Rate: Final Stats ϟ | Page 19 | The Popjustice Forum

ϟ The Sweetune Singles Rate: Final Stats ϟ

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

  1. [​IMG]
    TIE

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    7.315
    YEAR: 2012

    LOVE TO HEAR IT: (10) @thommyh, @Monkey0 (9.5) @M24 (9) @BeingNormal (8.75) @RUNAWAY (8.5) @camden_italian, @junglefish
    HATE TO SEE IT: (4) @Hurricane Drunk, @Empty Shoebox (4.5) @junkos (6) @Crisp X (6.5) @Slice of Life, @Ana Raquel
    AS FOR ME: it’s a 7

    We kick off our third tie of the rate with Gyuri’s ‘Daydream’. I already provided some background on KARA Solo Collection in my writeup for Nicole’s ‘Lost’ – which, by the way, was thirteen eliminations ago. How much longer do we think Seungyeon will last?

    Charts-wise, this did the poorest of the five tracks, only reaching #163 on Gaon. This also charted the lowest of the bunch in Japan, hitting #11 on the Recochoku Uta chart, though Wikipedia is unclear if this was for the song itself or… the ringtone. Simpler times!

    ‘Daydream’ is unlike anything else in the rate – the closest comparison I can make to Sweetune’s other work is ‘Pray’, an Infinite B-side with a similarly grandiose, orchestrated ballroom vibe. But where that’s closer to a waltz, ‘Daydream’ plays like a twisted tango. The verses have Gyuri delivering breathy lines over someone banging on the lower end of a piano, later joined by plucked strings; all of it conveys a moody, almost sinister atmosphere.

    This leads into an instrumental bridge, which is easily my favourite part of the track and such an 11/10 moment in Sweetune’s discography. The violin solo is lovely, but it’s the synthesized strings playing backwards that make this for me. It’s a bizarre little passage, but really opens the track up and gives it a moment to breathe before barrelling into… the chorus.

    And this is where it starts to lose me. The instrumental is still suitably dramatique, but with everything cranked up, I find it loses a lot of its rhythmic drive. And then there’s Gyuri wailing over the top of it – she sounds totally fine (great, even), but the melody strips the song of the subtlety that worked so well moments before. Unfortunately, the track stays in this mode for the rest of its runtime. The outro echoes that earlier passage I loved so much, but by this point, the magic’s gone and I’m ready for it to end.

    This won’t be the last time that opportunity cost yields a score in the sevens – but damn, this could have been amazing. Joli Chat also feels this is good-not-great: “It’s good but when it comes to Gyuri I prefer her songs with from the Airport; both Gyuri and Seungyeon’s solos sound dated even by 2012’s standards imo.” I’ve heard her other work is great, I’ll bump it up the priority list! As for Seungyeon… we’ll get there eventually, but spoiler: RUNAWAY likes hers better – “no shade to Gyuri, and I love her voice, but this song was never really one I ever came back to from Kara Collection.

    High-scorer thommyh knows what he likes, but second-guesses labels: “I listen to singers. Very rarely do I listen to people who cannot sing. The way the verses are sung like it's a sexy lil tango[citation needed] or whatever though ddd. Queen!” Don’t worry sis, I was also frantically googling tango examples before starting this writeup. Luckily, we had a real-life Argentinian in our midst all along! Yes, I’m talking about M24! Take it away, unnie:

    The tango beat gives me life… I guess my nationality shows. Probably one of the most experimental Sweetune songs, from what I've heard so far. The chorus could be better, but I like the shouted verses kii! I'll rate it a bit higher than I objectively would, because I don't trust you all to do this song justice!

    Below is the video, and I assume this is meant to be serious, but… it’s so melodramatic and maybe a bit silly??? And I love it so much for that! Gyuri running through the woods, broken shackles flailing… living her Hwasa fantasy in that red dress… that astonishing glance towards the camera at 3:03… queen shit!!!



     
    junkos, Empty Shoebox, Vixen and 18 others like this.
  2. Slice of Life

    Slice of Life Staff Member

    Fffff finally x
     
    vague, ysev, junglefish and 5 others like this.
  3. Currently working out how I can get you all banned from the forum for hating latinx people
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    vague, ysev, junglefish and 7 others like this.
  4. Goddess Gyuri is not here for this kind of behaviour.
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    vague, ysev, Cotton Park and 7 others like this.
  5. vague, ysev, Slice of Life and 8 others like this.
  6. [​IMG]
    TIE

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    (Not this graphic literally being me as some of your scores rolled in adhjkas. Please feel free to make use of it when unnies step out of line!)

    7.315
    YEAR: 2012

    LOVE TO HEAR IT: (9) @BeingNormal, @Remorque (8.5) @aux, @RUNAWAY, @Monkey0, @Ana Raquel, @vague
    HATE TO SEE IT: (5) @evilsin, @Joli Chat, @M24 (6) @codecat, @soratami, @Empty Shoebox
    AS FOR ME: it’s a 6.5

    We close out our third tie with ‘Hateful Person’, and with it, we say both “hello!” and “goodbye!” to Beast. In addition to being their only song in the rate, this is also our only OST track – it was included on the soundtrack to Big (no not that one, sorry to the Tom Hanks stans), a 2012 “romantic comedy/body swap series” that aired on KBS2. And as much as I love you all, I wasn’t willing to watch an entire drama series to add flavour commentary, so that’s as much as you’re getting!

    Honestly my score suffered a bit because I’m annoyed this is here afhsjkf. I mean, it’s totally fair, and the song itself is passable – it just feels so inconsequential when discussing Sweetune’s oeuvre. Musically, it’s incredibly straightforward – there’s a single great synth riff, a single catchy melody in the chorus, some good guitar passages, and basically nothing else going on. I understand why a pared-back instrumental is practical for an OST, but it doesn’t make for a particularly galvanizing listen, especially alongside… pretty much everything else here.

    Don’t get me wrong, there are good bits: the synth line that opens the song is probably the highlight (kii), and the guitar solo leading into the key change is simple, but effective. The guys also sound great here, especially Yoseob closing out the track. Overall though, it’s a meh from me.

    Time to hear what you hateful people had to say. M24 also got gently duped by that intro: “It seemed like a bop from the instrumental.. But the song itself doesn't make it special enough.Monkey0 wishes to add more work to my plate – “How I wish we got proper Seetune's title track from BEAST back in the day.” – and RUNAWAY concurs: “the fact that Beast and Sweetune’s only collab was for an OST….so weird. I would’ve liked Beast’s music a whole lot more if it sounded like this ddddddd.” fff yeah I’m not super familiar with the group, but uh… this is my favourite I’ve heard, which isn’t saying much. Highlight x Sweetune collab juseyo!

    We close with one of my favourite beasts, BeingNormal, who made me scream a bit: “Chorus reminds me of Rick Astley's Never Gonna Give You Up” dshajkhasjkld I hear it! Not me rickrolling everyone with the damn Sweetune rate! Just wait, once I figure out how to Ice via forum post, it’s over for you girls!

    Below is the video – it seems to be a bunch of clips from Big, but after reading the synopsis, I have no clue how any of it fits the narrative. Although with another decade of quarantine ahead of me (I live in a particularly dumb part of the world), I’m sure I’ll catch up eventually!



     
  7. Slice of Life

    Slice of Life Staff Member

    Oh this will come in handy in the next few months unnie ffffffff
     
  8. Ah, we’ll get this one over with too.
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    7.324
    YEAR: 2014

    LOVE TO HEAR IT: (9.5) @RUNAWAY (9.2) @junkos (9) @Slice of Life, @aux, @Monkey0, @Joli Chat, @Remorque
    HATE TO SEE IT: (3) @Hurricane Drunk (4) @Empty Shoebox (5) @codecat (6) @roblognick, @soratami
    AS FOR ME: it’s a 7

    We begin this writeup with a proclamation: with God and the unnies as my witnesses, I hereby renounce my homosexuality. I now exclusively identify as Hoyasexual, and have for some time. Although I’m also a bit Eric Nam curious, so we really started off on the right foot here. Too bad this has one of the least homoerotic videos on the rate… and it even begins with Eric squeeeeeeezing into tight pants, I just–

    Ahem. Apologies, getting ahead of myself. I figured I’d take tonight to clean up both remaining single-song acts, and with that, Eric Nam becomes the winner of the three by a razor-thin margin. Unlike the Beast track, ‘Ooh Ooh’ was given a full promotional release though it was only a digital single so I lowkey still can’t bring myself to care too much ddd. It was also only Eric’s first comeback, which is wild to me, it feels like he’s been around since the dawn of time itself.

    Similarly to ‘Hateful Person’, this also has a decidedly straightforward instrumental for a Sweetune track. But with ‘Ooh Ooh’, the simplicity works in its favour – this is probably the funkiest thing in the rate. The bass goes allllll the way off, but my favourite bit is the chopped & screwed horns accompanying Hoya’s verses; they're a fun twist on the more conventional brass sprinkled throughout.

    Where this falls short for me is the songwriting, though I think that’s more of a personal gripe than an inherent failing of the song. The chorus feels too obvious, like I’ve heard it before – I said something similar about ‘Lady’, but there, I found comfort in familiarity; here, it just feels like it’s ripping something else off ddd. Like Bruno Mars. Yeah, this sounds like a Bruno Mars track. That’s my problem with it. Although I’d take a billion Bruno Mars tracks over anything Hoya’s put out since going solo.

    Anyway, it’s good! Just not great IMHO.

    M24
    gives this one Ooh out of two: “Not bad, as always Sweetune does a wonderful job production-wise. A grower.” And RUNAWAY points out a fun cameo: “Now y’all know I love Eric Nam, but I totally forgot about this bopperoo. Loved seeing Kim Boa in the video again too, and this song/video combination was truly impressive.” Yes, this little Sweetoonaverse serve! And Reddit tells me the other two guys are from Busker Busker (lol) and U-Kiss, making this like an incredibly niche Avengers Assemble moment.

    Below is the video, my thoughts on which are already woven through the above paragraphs, so I’ll just say I love my oppas <3


     
  9. Aaaand just checked the leaderboard - our second elimination tomorrow received five 10s (the most yet), a pair of 9.5s... and a zero.

    Stay tuned for controversy!
     
    junkos, vague, Love Deluxe and 10 others like this.
  10. Eric is just such a cutie.
     
    BeingNormal, vague, ysev and 3 others like this.
  11. [​IMG]
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    7.337
    YEAR: 2015

    LOVE TO HEAR IT: (9.5) @aux (9) @Wills, @Slice of Life, @BeingNormal (8.75) @RUNAWAY, @junkos, @vague (8.5) @camden_italian
    HATE TO SEE IT: (2) @Hurricane Drunk (5) @soratami, @Empty Shoebox (6.5) @codecat, @M24 (6.75) @junglefish
    AS FOR ME: it’s a 9

    Here you go, @junglefish! And only about 40 eliminations too late! ‘Lovesick’ was the debut track from Romeo, a boygroup created by *checks notes* CT Entertainment and *checks notes again* Pony Canyon. Taking a peek at what Sweetune was up to in 2015, things looked a little um… inauspicious – the final scraps of their partnerships with Boyfriend and Stellar, and a couple nugu launches with Snuper and Romeo. Given the circumstances, it’s not a huge surprise that the latter received some of their best material of the year.

    That said, I’m a bit shook that this made it as far as it did, though the rate has basically been boygroup Russian roulette so far, so someone was bound to outlast the others. I consider this track the advent of Sweetune’s “nugu boy” sound – the emphasis on kitschy (but catchy) synth riffs and overall lighter tone would go on to inform much of their work with Target, Golden Child, and TST. Speaking of – I always bundle this with ‘Love Story’ in my head; apart from the similar titles, both are decent-enough tracks that get elevated by their central keyboard riffs.

    And boy, what a riff – something about that high, almost-grating synth line feels so nostalgic to me. It doesn’t sound like anything in particular, but it never fails to evoke N64 game rentals from Blockbuster, birthday parties at Chuck E Cheese, YTV’s Big Fun Party Mix, riding the spinning strawberries at the local theme park. Basically all the things I enjoyed about growing up as a Canadian child of the ‘90s, which only feels like a fortnight ago, but by the time the instrumental’s echoing out at the end, I’m reminded that we’re two decades on and I’m pushing thirty and scared, haha wow this writeup is making me sad!

    Anyways, one more thing about that riff – I’ve learned that it’s an example of pedal point harmony, meaning the same melody repeats over a changing chord progression. This pops up a few more times in the rate (‘Pandora’ and ‘It’s Raining’ are some examples), and it turns out I’m a total slut for it. The sung lines are very good here, too – I think there’s some gentle vocoder on the chorus harmonies, which is a great touch. This still feels a bit B-tier (i.e. this sounds closer to Boyfriend than Infinite IMO), but it was reassuring to see Sweetune still had it after the whole MonoTree thing.

    Only a couple pieces of commentary on this one, from two of our most dependable auteurs. RUNAWAY once again dug a bit too deep and wound up bummed: “I have never once listened to ROMEO before this, but now I’m wishing I had. This song was so good, and looking them up now, they haven’t had a Korean comeback since 2017. Poor boys. They’re really good, and I’m looking forward to listening to their discography.” Idk might be better to discover them when they’re already dead than sit around waiting for a comeback!

    Meanwhile, M24 correctly identifies the best bits. Taste! “Great instrumental in the verses, I love the synths… and what's that… the chorus kind of slaps a bitsy? Or at least the "nanana" post-chorus.” The nanana is fun, but it’s the “yeah!,” “you!” that makes it for me!

    Below is the video, which I find a bit unsettling fff, too many lingering stares, forced winks, and white-on-white. But then I’m also far beyond the target demographic for this kind of thing – meaning once again, this package reminds me how quickly the rot of age is setting in. That nine was way too nice for something so actively malicious.



     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2021
  12. FINALLY.
    This should have never outlasted Mind Control and Lady but I’m gonna celebrate anyway.
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  13. [​IMG]
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    7.348
    YEAR: 2012

    LOVE TO HEAR IT: (10) @Wills, @Slice of Life, @camden_italian, @Monkey0, @junkos (9.5) @RUNAWAY, @junglefish (8) @vague
    HATE TO SEE IT: (0) @Empty Shoebox (4) @soratami (5) @roblognick (5.25) @thommyh (6) @Crisp X
    AS FOR ME: it’s a 10

    As promised: controversy! After only one elimination as a full group, Infinite’s leader Kim Sunggyu loses his debut track. I remember seeing somewhere that ’60 Seconds’ underperformed and people gave Sunggyu grief about it, which literally makes me want to end lives askdjhajkdlfh, you will NOT speak to my father that way!

    This had some of the weirdest scoring in the rate – five tens (the most we’ve seen so far), along with a couple near-perfect 9.5s. Then… a single eight, a smattering in the midrange, and @Empty Shoebox's zero, which hurt when it arrived and still hurts now. That said, I get it – in a way, this is Sweetune at their most Nickelback (nn I already regret saying that), and it’s not going to be for everyone.

    I’ve said this before: Sunggyu has my favourite voice in Kpop, whether solo or as part of Infinite. His recent collaborators have made the baffling decision to slather his vocals in effects, but here, Sweetune left them relatively untouched – and thank God, because his voice suits this type of track perfectly. There’s a gentle warble in the verses, almost like his voice is about to break, which sets the emotional tone up front. This is followed by some lovely falsetto in the lead-up to the chorus, at which point the track absolutely explodes.

    This sits alongside ‘Lady’ and some of Spica’s best as having a gorgeously timeless melody, the likes of which would sound amazing sung in any language. Every line is thoughtfully stitched together, as if to tell a story just through the notes themselves, even before considering the lyrical content. The instrumental is straightforward pop-rock, sounding like something I’d have heard on the radio a million times growing up. But, once again, it’s elevated by Sunggyu’s voice at the fore, hitting every peak and valley effortlessly.

    It’s a beautiful song, performed by a singular talent – the type of track that makes Shuffle a risky proposition, lest it get me in my feelings at a moment’s notice. I’m so glad that it made it this far.

    We’ll start with just a touch of disrespect for Papa Gyu, courtesy of Joli Chat: “I… Wow, Woollim really said “Sunggyu? We don’t know her, let’s shoot a music video with L” while Sunggyu was locked in some dirty storage room lmao” – okay that does it, I’m an L anti, my apologies to @camden_italian! M24 adds: “It loses steam toward the end, but the chorus is lovely.” I’ll take it!

    Monkey0 simply notes, “Indie rock Sweetune,” which apparently means it's a ten! Excellent! Finally, RUNAWAY understands why I’m sobbing and weeping as I write this: “the video always gets me right in the feels. Amazing song and video combination, and it still stands the test of time.” <3

    Below is the video, which features Sunggyu locked in some dirty storage room, but at least he doesn’t look like ass, which I’d expect from any English-language songs that sounded like this ddd. And, yes, it stars Infinite’s L, who is acTing.

    I’m also including Infinite’s full-group version from their Man in Love EP. I’m mixed on it: frankly, it’s a bit of a letdown hearing weaker voices tackle the verses, as if we needed further proof that “line distribution” is a pox on song quality. As for Miss Woohyun… he maybe does a bit too much in the chorus ddd. The rapped middle-eight is also a pretty poor concession to typical idol group structure. This is made especially frustrating by Hoya and Dongwoo only being given one or two sung lines apiece – out of everyone, their voices suit this track best.

    On the other hand, the original’s chorus is climactic, but this is on a whole other level. I’ve still yet to find another group that sounds quite as formidable singing together as Infinite in their prime.

    But then Sunggyu comes in, and I’m reminded whose song this rightfully was all along.




     
  14. Slice of Life

    Slice of Life Staff Member

    I FUCKING HATE IT HERE
     
    BeingNormal, junkos, vague and 10 others like this.
  15. Yeah this is fucked lol
     
    junkos, vague, ysev and 8 others like this.
  16.  
    vague, ysev, Monkey0 and 2 others like this.
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    7.413
    YEAR: 2013

    LOVE TO HEAR IT: (9.5) @thommyh (9) @BeingNormal, @Remorque, @Ana Raquel (8.5) @aux, @junglefish (8.25) @RUNAWAY
    HATE TO SEE IT: (4.5) @M24 (6) @roblognick, @Empty Shoebox (6.5) @Joli Chat
    AS FOR ME: it’s a 7

    Welcome to Wills’ School for Wayward Unnies. Class is now in session!

    Stellar’s second track out is ‘Study’, which marked their first time working with Lee Joohyung, a then-Sweetune member who would later go on to found MonoTree. This was also a major departure from their earlier tracks ‘Rocket Girl’ and ‘UFO’, which… weren’t to everyone’s taste dd. By comparison, ‘Study’ sounded significantly more polished and provided a better showcase for the girls’ talents, becoming their first Gaon top 100 hit. Of course, it also ended up being a bit of a stopgap in image… but we’ll get to that.

    It’s been years since high school music class, so forgive me as I butcher eras and styles (though given the demographics of this forum, I doubt I’m the only one who’s a bit clueless asdfhjk). This comes across as a ‘60s throwback; doo-wop is the style that comes to mind, what with the harmonies and chord progression, but I think it’s too fast for that, so who knows. Either way, it’s a fun take on the sound – the chorus is delightful, but I think my favourite bit is the gentle whimsy of the “oh-oh-oh-oh” in the middle-eight.

    I’m glad that we got to hear Sweetune’s take on this style, which is a great match for their love of layered vocals. The closest they got to this elsewhere was probably ‘You=Heaven’, which might be why I'm always expecting the "stop!" interlude to play. (Weirdly, I’m also reminded of Shannon’s iconic ‘Why Why’, which has a similar texture and era of influence – unfortunately, it’s the type of comparison that makes me want to listen to that instead fff.)

    Oh, but mess at the lyrics – this sounds like the song that launched a thousand sasaengs, with its “you can get with me, but only if you know every single thing about me” messaging. The… implications that has nn.

    BeingNormal expected me to do my homework, but should’ve known better: “Love how they sneak that little hook that sounds like Chibi Maruko Chan OST” YouTube link, juseyo! Meanwhile, M24 hints at why he’s been away from the thread for a few weeks: “Not this cute bop reminding me I have to study haha. A little too cute for my taste though. They really changed radically with Marionette.” I hope classes are going well, unnie!

    Finally, RUNAWAY provides our history lesson for the day: “I really liked this song and was excited for where they would go. They managed to do a cute concept that didn’t turn into total cheese, so they were already high on my list of groups to watch. Then Marionette happened -__- and everyone hated them :|” dsjkahslfk I’m kinda disappointed I wasn’t around for the mess, ngl.

    Below is the video, which – as I said before – presented a bit of a stopgap in Stellar’s image, as if someone realized they needed a new concept STAT, literally anything will do, just step on it!!! It’s a bit of a kii that the outfits here aren't much less revealing than anything from ‘Marionette’ onward – all they needed to blow up was a pervier cameraman. Ah, that’s history!



     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2021
  18. which is something i should be doing now by the way thanks for the reminder!!!
     
    vague, ysev, thommyh and 3 others like this.
  19. Hwaiting!!!

    (this was a bump post nn, and the next one too)
     
    junkos, vague, ysev and 5 others like this.
  20. We arrive at another tie – for reference, this is our fourth of six. For a rate with this many songs, and with a fairly modest voter turnout, I think it could’ve been a lot worse!

    First up, we have…
     
    junkos, vague, ysev and 8 others like this.
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