Discussion in 'K-pop' started by Wills, Oct 20, 2020.
@Slice of Life
Well so much for “tomorrow,” but as promised: an eleven drops.
NO SERIOUSLY, THEY PEAKED: (11) @camden_italian
LOVE TO HEAR IT: (10 x 5) @Slice of Life, @Monkey0, @junkos, @Joli Chat, @vague (9.5) @Wills, @M24 (9.25) @RUNAWAY (9) @thommyh, @evilsin
HATE TO SEE IT: (5) @Empty Shoebox (7) @Hurricane Drunk, @codecat, @roblognick, @Crisp X, @Ana Raquel
AS FOR ME: it’s a 9.5
LUCKY UNNIES*: @RUNAWAY (9.25), @codecat (7), @roblognick (7), @Crisp X (7), @Ana Raquel (7), @Empty Shoebox (5)
*meaning this was their lowest remaining score
We’ll ignore the pileup of Lucky Unnies for now: this seriously did great to make it this far. When the worst you can say about a song is it got a handful of sevens – which are more than balanced by a healthy serving of 9+ scores, including our first eleven of the rate – you know you’re dealing with quality.
‘Paradise’ was Infinite’s fourth 2011 release, and (ignoring the Christmas song for a moment, just like y’all did when scoring!) it was sandwiched between their two remaining tracks: breakout hit ‘Be Mine’ and enduring classic ‘The Chaser’. While I agree that this doesn’t quite scale the heights of those behemoths, it’s yet another essential entry in their singles run, showcasing a different mood (and tempo) than many of their other tracks. ‘Paradise’ also joins the previously-eliminated ‘Man in Love’ and ‘Last Romeo’ as my trio of Infinite 9.5s – a trifecta that puts other artists’ entire discographies to shame, and it’s not even their best work! …IMHO.
I’ve mentioned TheBiasList before in this countdown, and honestly, I’m gonna take the easy way out and share his thoughts on this song – he considers ‘Paradise’ the tenth-best Kpop song ever and provides an excellent play-by-play of the composition. It covers everything I’d want to share (and more eloquently, at that), so I don’t see much sense in duplicating his work!
I will say this, though: this arrangement is full, but never overstuffed. Everything from the orchestral instrumentation to the vocal arrangement is gorgeously lush, with interesting textures popping up throughout. I’ll admit I found the falsetto-driven chorus (and corny-ass interjections from the rappers fhsajkf) less than engaging at first, but it soon hooked me, thanks largely to the melodic interplay with the strings. Everyone involved was operating at the peak of their powers throughout this period, and ‘Paradise’ is yet another sterling example.
Commentary for this was positive across the board – even from Crisp X, who may not have expected to find herself in the low-scorers: “I can’t name the instrument, but I really appreciate the kind of oboe that pops up in the verses.” The post I linked above calls it a “sneaky little flute-like synth,” I feel like it might just be… a straight-up flute? Whatever the case, I like it too! It complements the strings that appear elsewhere and adds to the rich, orchestral feel of the track. Meanwhile, Monkey0 forgets all about ‘Nothing’s Over’ – “Perfect ending to trilogy with BTD and Be Mine.” – and you know what, I kinda had too!
M24 has extremely high praise for ‘Paradise’: “My other favorite song from them after Be Mine… it's more of a grower, but damn, there's a lot to unpack in that double chorus!” Hmm I feel like that’s just the prechorus unnie, but we’re all sluts for a double chorus here, so we’ll pretend that’s the case xx. Agreed that it’s a grower, though! And – of course – this elimination wouldn’t be complete without a note from 11-giver and Infinite megastan camden_italian. After teasing us with his ‘White Confession’ writeup ahead of the reveals starting, he opted to go all-in on his #1 and only provided this one piece of commentary:
“So, it comes as a shock to no one that an Infinite song was going to get my 11. While they are not talked about on this forum for the most part, I have tried my best to express how if it was not for this group, my true love of KPOP would have never sparked. I was resistant to your praises of SHINee and EXO because I didn’t understand how you could love both of those and whittle their contributions to the industry to only “The Chaser”. Childish I’m sure, and when you really listen to them none of the 3 sound anything alike, yet for whatever reason their praises aren’t sung in the same. Because I knew that KARA and 9Muses were going to dominate the top of this rate, I contemplated giving my 11 to The Chaser simply because I knew it was the only chance these guys had of making it anywhere near the top spot. HOWEVER, you guys know me, I can’t do strategic, I like what I like and I follow my heart when it comes to rates and I am probably the ONE Inspirit that believes that Infinite had many better songs than that. My top 3 songs aren’t Sweettune produced but coming right in at number four is “Paradise” and my 11 for this rate. Paradise is a title track unlike anything Infinite put out, and unlike anything they put out afterwards. So many of my non KPOP liking friends praise this song the most, many saying that the chorus sounds like the Bee Gees. If a KPOP song isn’t going to make me dance, I need you to make me feel something, without even knowing the words. THIS song was one of the first to do so and began a long love with mid-tempo/ballad songs that are often looked down upon, especially in rates. Although there is very little L in the track, this was casual’s first listen to Hoya’s singing voice. As a fan taking the journey (just not in real time) the growth that Myungsoo, Hoya, (and Dongwoo) had vocally as time went on isn’t praised enough. Woohyun and Sungkyu, what can be said about their voices that hasn’t been said before? Woohyun’s voice deserves to be names alongside the likes of Jonghyun and the vocal line of EXO, Sungkyu as well. This video is absolutely STUNNING.”
Speaking of, below is the video, and it really is a lovely watch. I think there’s some lore floating around about them being on a train to the afterlife or sumn, which makes sense after they got beaten to a pulp in every other video. The scenes of them standing together, po-faced, staring off in different directions while singing the chorus are… a very awkward kind of dated nn, but overall, it's a great treatment for an excellent song.
LOVE TO HEAR IT: (10 x 9) @thommyh, @camden_italian, @BeingNormal, @junglefish, @codecat, @Remorque, @Crisp X, @Ana Raquel, @soratami (9.75) @RUNAWAY (9) @aux, @vague
HATE TO SEE IT: (5) @Joli Chat (6) @Empty Shoebox (6.75) @ysev (7) @junkos, @roblognick, @M24
AS FOR ME: it’s an 8
LUCKY UNNIES*: @Slice of Life (8), @RUNAWAY (9.75), @Joli Chat (5), @roblognick (7)
*meaning this was their lowest remaining score
Whew, so we’re at the point where receiving a ten from 40% of participants isn’t enough to stick around. And we’ve only just cracked the top 30! With the loss of ‘Mask’, Stellar finds themselves with only ‘Marionette’ left in the running – a result I’m sure most of us foresaw.
‘Mask’ was released in 2014 as a digital follow-up to ‘Marionette’, and from what I’m seeing, it sounds like it was intended as a bit of damage control. If nothing else, it was a softening of their harder edges sonically; this is a slinky, midtempo, disco-inspired track, basically 9Muses at 60% BPM. And it’s a serve! I like this a lot, especially for the variety it brings to the rate.
All of the touches here are a bit subtler than we’re used to from Sweetune, but give this a sensual, organic feel: the funky guitar lines, disco strings, and sparse synth lines all contribute to the smouldering atmosphere. The girls also sound wonderful, giving a breathy performance to Hwang Hyun's understated (but gorgeous) melody. If there’s one area this suffers slightly, it’s offering fewer capital-M Moments than other tracks in the rate, which makes it a bit tough to write too much about. Don’t get it twisted, though: this track is bulletproof and absolutely deserved to come as far as it has.
It seems you all decided to respect the understated tone by keeping hushed in the commentary. M24 whispers: “Quite sophisticated, I really like it. Doesn't snatch my wig, but it doesn't need to.” It’s more like a very gentle plucking of the wig, isn’t it? thommyh adds to our little ASMR moment, cooing, “I love how soft and delicate their vocals are on this.” The way doing this writeup has somehow calmed my frayed nerves, I-
Below is the video. I’m too ashamed to reveal my source, but someone I follow noted, “Stellar’s agency responded to criticisms of ‘Marionette’ by adding more clothes and more sexiness,” which feels like a perfect description. Again, it suits the tone perfectly: muted colour palette and so much sensuality mmm yas.
…ok trying to write about sexy things really isn’t my bag hfsdjhfas let’s pretend this never happened
I've always liked Mask more than Marionette tbh, the chorus is just... It never leaves your head once you hear it. I also love how sad it sounds but still manages to make me feel like a thot.
I know exactly where this comes from without even googling it hdsfjkqk
LOVE TO HEAR IT: (10 x 5) @aux, @RUNAWAY, @BeingNormal, @junglefish, @codecat (9.5) @Slice of Life, @Ana Raquel (9) @thommyh, @Hurricane Drunk, @Monkey0, @Crisp X, @vague
HATE TO SEE IT: (6) @M24 (7) @ysev, @evilsin, @Joli Chat, @soratami (7.5) @Wills
AS FOR ME: it’s a 7.5
LUCKY UNNIES*: Not a single one!
*meaning this was their lowest remaining score
Well how about that, huh? Literally no one’s happy about this one going now – not really surprising, as it cleaned up on nines, with a handful of tepid-at-best scores in the 6-7 range pulling it down ever so slightly. ‘Lonely’ was Spica’s fifth and final 2012 single and their second to be written and produced by Sweetune. It was also their second-highest charting song of the year after ‘Russian Roulette’ – which, incidentally, is also their last track remaining in the rate.
Candidly, this is my least favourite of the three Spica songs – still strong, but similar to ‘Mask’, I don’t have much to really say about it. Once again, it’s a more conventional composition; highlights include the surf guitar that pops up throughout, the call-and-response chorus and – as always and until the end of time – the vocal blend. Everything is put together masterfully; there just isn’t much to pull me back in time and time again like other tracks here.
I’m keeping this one short because school’s ramping up (and for the reasons outlined above), so let’s check in with our panelists. M24 issues a cruel reminder that Spica deserved a long career full of ‘Lonely’-calibre hits: “I much prefer Russian Roulette but this one's decent too. Wonder why they were so short-lived?” Don’t rub it in! Meanwhile, I’ll pretend to know what RUNAWAY’s talking about so the British hunties don’t boot me off the forum: “this song was always very Can’t Speak French for me, and I loved it upon first listen, and still do to this day.”
Even though y’all loved this, it seems I wasn’t alone in finding it less compelling to write about – no college essays this time! So we’ll close off with BeingNormal, who makes an interesting observation: “Banger, is that a Gimme Gimme Gimme-lite synths or is it just me ?” I hadn’t made that connection, but you’re 100% right unnie!
Below is the video, a sultry little thing with lots of fronds to remind me I never finished Assassin’s Creed, and likely never will. I went on Reddit to see what the girls were saying when this came out, and… they were all just being mean to my mother BoA, so I will not be making that mistake again!
I really like that chorus and it’s SO Sweetune. That video does not suit the song though. Aren’t KEEMBO essentially what remains of SPICA?
LOVE TO HEAR IT: (10 x 8) @Slice of Life, @aux, @RUNAWAY, @thommyh, @camden_italian, @Remorque, @Crisp X, @vague (9.5) @Ana Raquel (9) @Monkey0, @Joli Chat, @soratami
HATE TO SEE IT: (4.5) @M24 (6.5) @ysev, @evilsin (7) @junglefish, @roblognick, @Empty Shoebox
AS FOR ME: it’s an 8
LUCKY UNNIES*: @junglefish (7), @roblognick (7), @M24 (4.5)
*meaning this was their lowest remaining score
After 67 eliminations, we finally come to this: the most recent Sweetune track in the rate. If that’s not proof they’ve still got it, I don’t know what is! It certainly feels like we’ve moved into a new phase of the rate: where the first 70% was spent exterminating all the men, the last few eliminations have seen us turn our attention to our beloved ladies. Specifically, it’s the more organic, rock-tinged tracks that seem to be getting cut now, but I don’t imagine anyone would be surprised to see the upper ranks stuffed with dance-pop.
As the most recent track here, ‘Scene’ is also Keembo’s latest – or it was for a few months, before they dropped an entire full-length on us just last week. We’ll save that for their farewell, though! This also means that Keembo joins their parent group Spica with one track apiece remaining – who will win the ‘Russian Roulette’ vs. ‘Scandalous’ standoff?
‘Scene’ really highlights one of the most interesting parts of the Keembo project: the frankly insane degree of versatility Sweetune’s taken when composing their tracks. Where ‘Scandalous’ was a quirky Frankenstein’s monster of sounds, and ‘99’ was something fun for the summer, ‘Scene’ takes an indie rock-inspired approach, falling the closest to Spica’s output in the process.
The ladies’ vocals are always a highlight, and this is no exception: the standout moment for me is when they come together to harmonize on the bridge. This is teased earlier on, but truly comes to the fore in the middle-eight, where it’s preceded by a swirling maelstrom of a breakdown and followed by a brief rap from BoA. (aside: she’s an excellent rapper too, isn’t she? Multitalented queen!)
Other than that, this is a straightforward (but solid) jam, with a blistering(? idk rock) guitar solo partway through and dynamic instrumental performances all around. The live band feel really suits these two – I hope they continue to revisit this sound!
Before jumping into commentary, special shoutout to @Slice of Life and @soratami for pushing for ‘Scene’s inclusion – safe to say it was widely appreciated! roblognick highlights the versatility on display – “Keembo really showing Sweetune’s diverse song writing skills!” – while BeingNormal references a song I really ought to know ddd: “Sistar - Give It To Me reimagined.” I’ll take your word for it!
RUNAWAY unwittingly provides a callback to yesterday’s elimination, but it’s pretty much tens all the way down for him now, so these things are to be expected: “this literally brought me right back to the days of Lonely. This sounds like that, but more mature and grown up. Seriously SO AMAZING. They’ve had such an amazing year.” Keembo saved 2020! Lastly, thommyh gets his own paragraph because he was kind enough to stan at length:
“Ah.. this instant classic, and it's barely a few days old as of this writing! This has such a sophisticated vibe to it, I feel like I'm ordering an expensive glass of whiskey while I sit down in a Parisian chaise lounge, while the Keembo girls belt out this bop. Talent!” I hope it’s held up for you, unnie!
Below is the video – wbk there isn’t a ton of budget getting thrown around, but the stripped-back approach works for this kind of track (while also making IZ’s videos seem especially impressive, knowing they easily could’ve gotten away with this). The red filter that shows up adds a nice pop of colour, and my moms look amazing but that’s nothing new.
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)
Untouched Since Top 30
21 / 22
Not IZ making a comeback! This rate's impact tbh
I would have given this a 10 now. I was listening to the album yesterday and it ended up being my favorite track.
Wanna talk impact, you debuting this news in this thread is impact!!! Because no one outside of here will care!!!
...............sadly not seeing any indication of a Sweetune connection this time tho, and I have no loyalty to the band itself nn
I'm not 100% sure if it's a synth or an e-bow used on the guitar -I'm going with the latter considering we're in rock territory- but that high-pitched elongated sound is so transcendent and really helps put Scene together as an immaculate package for me. I was certain I had heard a similar effect of the sort in another K-Pop song, but nothing's coming back to mind right now... so here's a non K-Pop one instead.
WaiT, I hadn't really noticed that detail fff but it's so cool! And I love how it's used in that example you linked! Thank you for the insight unnie, time to stay up way too late learning about e-bows.
Would definitely score this higher now. Keembo are fast becoming a favourite of mine.
They’ve done exceptionally well, but it’s finally time for a much-beloved group to take their first hit.
LOVE TO HEAR IT: (10 x 7) @Slice of Life, @aux, @RUNAWAY, @thommyh, @BeingNormal, @codecat, @vague (9.25) @junglefish (9) @soratami
HATE TO SEE IT: (6.5) @M24 (7) @Monkey0, @roblognick (7.5) @evilsin, @junkos
AS FOR ME: it’s an 8.5
LUCKY UNNIES*: @Monkey0 (7), @roblognick (7)
*meaning this was their lowest remaining score
Despite Jin and Jiae both losing their solos before the top 50, Lovelyz has done very well to make it to our top 25 intact. ‘That Day’ was the group’s first Sweetune collab, released over three years after their debut. It’s also their only “true” Sweetune cut… but we’ll get to that in due course! The song did reasonably well on Gaon, matching the #42 peak of their misunderstood classique ‘Twinkle’.
More importantly (and egregiously!), it bowed out of KSOTY18 at #98 after being supersomethinged by none other than @codecat. As if the placement isn’t bad enough, consider the average score of 6.885 – what the fuck happened there!? Luckily, no one present appeared in the lowest scorers, so the lashings can stop there. Plus, a full 2-point increase confirms: this rate attracted the most discerning unnies on the forum!
So yes, time has been kind to ‘That Day’, and my score has ballooned from a 7 then to an 8.5 now – and even that feels conservative. This would be an easy 9+ in any other rate but, again, the competition. This is also up there as one of my favourite Lovelyz songs, though I admit I find their strength as a group to be their incredible consistency over the years, rather than any specific highlights.
That said, this track certainly stands on its own merits: I love love love the housey intro, which soon blossoms into the fizziest, most uplifting instrumental imaginable. The entire track is a cascade of synths: I especially love the high countermelody in the prechorus (which sounds like something out Bomberman 64 or sumn), as well as the synth bass that swoops around under the chorus. This is Sweetune with every last edge sawed off, and it absolutely works.
Of course, Lovelyz has also always been a powerhouse group vocally (even if their style doesn’t make it as obvious as, say, Spica’s). The girls sound wonderful here, making every line sunny without ever verging on cloying. The chorus is, of course, a triumph, but for me the highlight is V2 where Sujeong and Kei take turns showcasing their distinctive tones. Their voices couldn’t be more different, but the melody suits both perfectly. Ugh, I gush: this really deserved a 9+ dammit!
M24 wasn’t around for KSOTY18, meaning he’s starting his journey a bit later than the rest of us: “This is pretty good, I should get into Lovelyz! I haven't paid them much attention tbh.” Been there, and trust me: it’s worth it! Meanwhile, BeingNormal rightfully praises the track for its singlemindedness: “Sometimes pop song doesn't need to be so complicated and full of intricate to be good. That Day is fairly simple, but it's simplicity and lightweight that makes me love this song so much.”
Speaking of simplicité, Joli Chat serves KISS: “cute bridge! <3” And RUNAWAY should be very happy with the glowup this received: “Before this rate I had no idea this song was even produced by Sweetune, but it explains why I love it so much. This song was robbed in the SOTY 2018 rate, so I really hope it does a little better here. I’m a Lovelyz stan, and they deserve so much success <3”
To close, we’re gonna do something a little different and go airplane emoji plagiarism: codecat provided some brilliant commentary to go with his KSOTY pick, and it more than deserves to be exhumed here.
“Key changes are like crack for a gay and guess what THIS SONG IS BUILT AROUND AT LEAST THREE OF THEM. That day is one of the finest examples of the Lovelyz sound: a smart blend of bubbly synths and traditional instruments, somewhere between beaming happiness and concealed wistfulness, and full of intricate harmonies and BVs that are so easy to get lost into. You hear those ahhhhhs? That is the universe whispering beauty in your ears. For each play you give this, you age a year backwards - I have listened to this a gazillion times and I am now a rejuvenated fetus (don't ask how I typed this). Lovelyz had an amazing run on 2018, and both this song + Lost N Found have found a spot for themselves among the group's glory singles such as Twinkle, Wow, Destiny and Candy Jelly Love - and I hope some of you unnies liked this song enough to seek the other ones I mentioned!” You heard the woman!
Below is the video, a classic Lovelyz moment of pastel-coated whimsy. I love the little animations that pop up, sometimes changing the colour of the screen border with them; they emphasize how this is a little sunburst of a thing, injecting a bit of cheer into the world around it.
God I still love this song so much — the places it takes you...ahhh it aged so well too!
I'm rereading the elimination post....the cheap unnies list.....the fucking commentary......let me hit close tab real quick
That Day is Lovelyz’s best song
Speaking of, some interesting findings:
Ahhh this timeless commentary, still just as relevant today!
Best of all though, this must be what forced @Joli Chat into Witness Protection:
Honestly I'm just proud of all of us for stepping it up stepping it up this time around ♡
I actually like Lovelyz, especially Candy Jelly Love, A-choo and Destiny 11/10 all three
That was just the tip of the iceberg, there's also @Miyawakiwi (Who I don't know) tanking every Chungha and Loona song in that rate (except Egoist), dragging Gugudan's best song "Not that type" and getting called out for it
and ending up in the bottom 5 lowest scorers that year. There was also that time user @Miyawakiwi betrayed the Idols in the first slasher game, got Music is Life killed, and sealed the Idols' fate... all in all, a mess. Don't know where she is now, Don't know where she's gone to.
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