ϟ The Sweetune Singles Rate: Now it's actually finished ϟ | Page 21 | The Popjustice Forum

ϟ The Sweetune Singles Rate: Now it's actually finished ϟ

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

  1. [​IMG]

    YEAR: 2014

    LOVE TO HEAR IT: (10) @Slice of Life, @RUNAWAY, @camden_italian, @junkos, @Joli Chat (9.5) @Wills (9) @Monkey0
    HATE TO SEE IT: (4) @thommyh, @soratami (5.5) @ysev (6) @codecat, @roblognick
    AS FOR ME: it’s a 9.5

    LUCKY UNNIES*: @thommyh (4), @soratami (4)
    *meaning this was their lowest remaining score

    Oof, that’s a lot of high scores. We last heard from Infinite back on Christmas Day, and yes I will continue reminding you that I did that, what a serve. ‘Last Romeo’ was the title track from Infinite’s second full-length, Season 2, as well as their Sweetune swansong. This would sting more if they hadn’t continued putting out career highlights immediately thereafter, but still, what a bittersweet end of an era. Luckily, they went out with a total triumph.

    That half-point lopped off my score is a casualty of trying not to seem too biased ddd – frankly, this is such an easy ten. ‘Last Romeo’ strips out Infinite’s trademark synths in favour of a live-band sound, piling on one instrumental layer after another. The drums in particular give this a rockier edge than any of their other titles, and it’s easy to see the shared DNA with Sweetune’s later work with IZ.

    The hooks here are less immediate than many of their other tracks, and I wonder if that hurt them in the scoring. The song didn’t properly click for me until I noticed how every bar contributes to a single, focused melody, starting from the piano intro and continuing uninterrupted until Sungkyu’s final line. This topline is passed seamlessly between vocals, piano, and guitar, with trumpets popping in to provide a triumphant countermelody. It’s rare to find a track so single-minded in its approach to melody; paradoxically, the less-obvious nature of the hooks wound up proving more addictive than I ever expected.

    As a final note, I don’t think the guys have ever sounded better than they do here. The track’s a perfect fit for their individual voices, and even better when they come together for the chorus. Special shoutout to L – I was so gooped when I watched the video and realized it wasn’t Sungkyu on the final pre-chorus. Talk about most improved!

    Despite the (relative) deluge of tens, we only got one bit of commentary from RUNAWAY – but it’s a good one: “this song gets me all emotional for some reason. I don’t even know why. I love every second of this song, and it’s another one of those songs that defined the genre for me.” Yep, yep, that’s exactly how I feel unnie – maybe I’m doing a biT much, but this is one of those songs that make me realize how little lyrics matter to me. It’s the universal language of music, and the right melody can convey so much more feeling than words ever could.

    Below is the video, which might be my favourite of theirs – it’s simple, but so stylish and suits the tone of the track to a tee. I’m glad they tacked on the ‘Season 2’ intro, which always gives me goosebumps. Plus, lots of Woohyun focus, which is pleasant at the best of times, but here is an especially welcome distraction from Hoya’s wretched dye job.

    junkos, M24, Empty Shoebox and 18 others like this.

    RUNAWAY Staff Member

    Me CONTINUING to get tagged in this thread:


    Also FUCK YOU ALL. This deserved top 20 at the LEAST.
    vague, Cotton Park, Monkey0 and 6 others like this.
  3. nn I know you're just playing babe but you had the highest average by a fair margin, and beat the total rate average by over 1.5 points. Not to mention you were one of the first voters = higher up my spreadsheet = first to get tagged, so get ready to see notifs right until the bitter end ddddddd.

    But also, yeah, fuck everyone, 'Last Romeo' deserved better!!!
    junkos, ysev, vague and 10 others like this.

    RUNAWAY Staff Member

    The highest average?! Oh fuck...
    I'm in for a ride when all my actual 10s start going one after the other....
    vague, Cotton Park, Monkey0 and 7 others like this.
  5. I’m feeling quite emotional today, so we’ll also do this one.

    YEAR: 2018

    LOVE TO HEAR IT: (10) @BeingNormal, @junglefish, @Joli Chat (9.5) @vague (9) @Wills, @RUNAWAY, @Hurricane Drunk
    HATE TO SEE IT: (5) @Empty Shoebox (5.5) @M24 (6) @evilsin, @roblognick, @Ana Raquel
    AS FOR ME: it’s a 9

    LUCKY UNNIES*: @aux (6.5), @Monkey0 (7), @Ana Raquel (6)
    *meaning this was their lowest remaining score

    ‘Paradise’ becomes TST’s final track to fall, marking their exit from the rate. They lost ‘She’ all the way back at #74, but even that was only a hair shy of the 7.000 mark, meaning their whole oeuvre scored comparably. Of course, one had to outlast the others, and I’m pleased it was this – as the group’s fourth Sweetune collaboration, it was also their only mid/downtempo (depending on who you ask), and an example of this approach really paying off.

    This is a very simple composition, with some surprising concessions to 2018 trends – the mellow guitar in the verses felt right at home in the year of ‘Love Scenario’, and the toot-toot synths in the background are a (troubling) reminder of the interminable K-trop trend. Even once the chorus hits, not much is added – the intensity is ramped by cranking the volume, and that’s about it.

    But the instrumental was never meant to be the focus here – instead, the spotlight is on the guys’ vocals, which deliver one of Sweetune’s most affecting melodies. It’s a simple eighth-note refrain, which could sound stiff elsewhere, but here feels carefully measured. It's gorgeous.

    I’d written more about the composition, but I'd like to focus on the lyrics. 'Paradise' wasn’t TST’s final comeback before Yohan’s passing last year, but like ‘Sketch U’ before it, its lyrics have gained a new, heartbreaking dimension since the tragedy. The song is full of examples, but here’s a part I find especially affecting:

    It’s so clear outside today
    I’m so curious about you
    Under this sky, without you
    I’m just doing ok
    Almost paradise,
    like a paradise
    bliss of paradise

    as well as this:

    I hope you only see good things
    And meet good people
    I hope you’ll make good time
    Good memories
    All the things you like
    I hope you see and experience them all
    I hope you’ll have a good day
    I hope you will

    TST has experienced more difficulties in their few years together than most groups ever will, and I can’t imagine singing those lyrics without being reminded of their loss. But they also read as hopeful – that Paradise, whatever that may be, is only just out of reach. Once someone is no longer with us, the best we can do is trust that they’ve found it.

    I’d also like to thank @junglefish unnie for the beautiful banner of Yohan – I'm not sure if it was deliberate, but I’m so grateful it's the image you chose. ♡

    A few pieces of commentary on this one. M24 helpfully flagged that there are two Paradises here, which had nearly messed up my commentary VLOOKUP ddd: “I like all Paradise songs in this rate xD Love the melancholic vibe here.” High-scorer Joli Chat praises the “Lovely melodies <3”, and other high-scorer BeingNormal calls this “Sweetune best attempt at midtempo, RIP Yohan.

    Below are two videos – the one labelled “Full Ver.” is actually a performance video, performed on a helipad (you know the one) at sunset. Both are great, but this one really nails the emotional atmosphere. Plus, it beautifully showcases some of my favourite choreo in the rate.

    BeingNormal, junkos, M24 and 18 others like this.
  6. Well this is sad, Paradise is my biggest discovery in the rate and I wish it could have stayed a little longer. Beautiful write up @Wills♡
    And yes it was deliberate dd
    BeingNormal, vague, Joli Chat and 5 others like this.
  7. I'm loving the "lucky unnies" idea! I think I'm gonna steal it kii
    vague, RUNAWAY, Joli Chat and 3 others like this.
  8. I know it's unrelated but
    Nooooooooooooo, not Last Romeo and Paradise, Unnies... wtf...?! How is Janus still here and Paradise not omfg
    vague, Wills and junglefish like this.
  9. A farewell to TST will be coming, but I’m a little short of time today, so I’m just going to do an elimination!

    … in which I expose myself as a bit of an anti ddd


    YEAR: 2014

    LOVE TO HEAR IT: (10) @RUNAWAY (9.5) @junglefish, @M24 (9) @Slice of Life, @Monkey0 (8.75) @vague (8.5) @aux
    HATE TO SEE IT: (4) @Wills (5.5) @Hurricane Drunk (6) @Empty Shoebox (6.5) @ysev (6.75) @Remorque (6.8) @junkos
    AS FOR ME: it’s a 4

    LUCKY UNNIES*: @Wills (4), @Remorque (6.75)
    *meaning this was their lowest remaining score

    Nicole’s final solo track falls out of the race, after losing, erm, ‘Lost’ all the way back at #70. Not a bad improvement for her second attempt! After her contract with DSP Media expired in early 2014, Nicole signed with B2M Ent. (home of Spica and Heo Youngsaeng) and released First Romance, her debut mini. ‘Mama’ was the album’s title track and became her most successful charting single, peaking at #69 on Gaon.

    Um… well first of all, I’m sure some of you won’t love my score, but I had to watch this sail past some of my favourite songs ever, so you can all suffer! Ha!!! In all honesty, I feel the same as I did about ‘Lost’ – I just don’t get it. Part of me assumes this did so well just because we stan Nicole (or KARA in general), but I know that’s unfair to those who actually love the track nn.

    I really like the organ riff. And… that’s it! I find this so insubstantial – it feels like treading water for 3+ minutes, waiting for something (anything!) to happen. None of the melodies grab me, there are no interesting production details… issa vibe I guess, but the same vibe I get from being put on hold by my ISP.

    I’ll leave it to you unnies to elucidate why we like this. RUNAWAY maybe lowkey confirms what I said about stanning Nicole nn – “an iconic forgotten moment in history. I was so here for solo Nicole after Lost, and I remember getting a signed copy of this mini album. A STAN.” And, uh, roblognick doesn’t really present the most compelling argument either: “it's like I know this song is average or original, but I have not stopped humming it.” Love you both but this is only fuelling my ambivalence loooool.

    We’ll close with M24, who gave this a near-perfect score: “It's quirky, seductive and the chorus packs a punch! This is probably not going to get the recognition it deserves… I hope I'll be proven wrong.” alsdfkjhsa I think I’ll just leave it at that!!!

    Below is the video, which features Nicole performing in various decrepit environments. Incidentally, that’s also how I’d describe my tenure on this forum. Let’s hope you all stan me as much as you stan this!

    BeingNormal, junkos, M24 and 18 others like this.
  10. Slice of Life

    Slice of Life Staff Member

    Vixen, Newbie Four, vague and 10 others like this.
  11. ddd I actually dislike Nicole for some reason. She was always my least favorite KARA member, I can't explain why. But this song is... so good. I can imagine SPICA or even AOA singing this. It brings me back to that time when every soloist or group tried their hand at sexy concepts.
    vague, Love Deluxe, codecat and 4 others like this.

    RUNAWAY Staff Member

    Me and my signed First Romance mini album are outta here. How can ANYONE be a Nicole anti?! The damn DISRESPECT.
    vague, Cotton Park, Monkey0 and 3 others like this.
  13. asdhfjlksh I even like Nicole, but losing this directly after Last Romeo AND Paradise has me teetering on the brink of full-fledged anti
    junkos, ysev, vague and 5 others like this.
  14. Wait


    #47 - that's our halfway point!!!

    I'm... only 50% of the way through this! Wow haha alright!
    junkos, Empty Shoebox, ysev and 12 others like this.
  15. [​IMG]

    YEAR: 2008

    PRETTY GIRLS: (10) @BeingNormal, @junglefish, @Monkey0, @Joli Chat (9.75) @codecat (9) @thommyh, @Hurricane Drunk
    SHITTY GIRLS: (4) @Empty Shoebox (4.5) @M24 (5) @Wills, @roblognick (6) @soratami
    WILLY GIRL: it’s a 5

    LUCKY UNNIES*: @Wills (5), @RUNAWAY (8.75), @M24 (4.5)
    *meaning this was their lowest remaining score

    First thing’s first:

    If you wanna pretty
    Every wanna pretty


    I know, you know, we all know that these are the most iconique lyrics of all time. It feels passé to even feel the need to mention it, but downright treasonous not to.

    ‘Pretty Girl’ is KARA’s second track out, as well as their second time working with Sweetune. And, in an art-imitating-life-imitating-art moment of whatever, it falls after ‘Rock U’, which we eliminated all the way back at #72. After appearing in its original form on the Pretty Girl EP, it showed up as two remixes – ‘Bani Version’ (?) and ‘School Rock Version’ – on the subsequent Pretty Girl Special Edition, AKA Honey EP. Tbh I prefer both remixes to the original, especially the School Rock one, which keeps the best parts of the instrumental but amps up the rawk factor.


    This did well for KARA compared to their previous singles and “charted high on various websites and digital music retailers,” though it’s hard to find much data from this period so I’m kinda taking Wikipedia’s word for it. Either way, I’ve certainly heard this referenced more than some of their other early work, so safe to stay it stuck around in the public’s (or at least the forum’s) consciousness.

    Well… at least my score here stands out less than yesterday’s! Looking down the spreadsheet, it seems we mostly agree that KARA had a bit of a ramp-up period, with the only major difference being when they properly got good. Despite liking this more than ‘Rock U’, it still doesn’t really do it for me – I think both KARA and Sweetune were still getting their feet under them, making for a startling quality differential between this and their later work.

    That said, I’m not a total Ugly Girl with Ugly Taste – there are elements here I enjoy, like the aforementioned lyrics and the liberal use of guitar in the instrumental. There’s also that forgotten-kettle sound that shows up in the outer channels from time to time, which always reminds me – of all things – of Taylor’s ‘Death By a Thousand Cuts’. Probably not the comparison you expected, but it was one of the few salvageable best tracks from Lover, so let’s celebrate that!

    But yeah. I’m sorry unnies, I’m not here to be a joyless grouch, I just don’t like this as much as… a bunch of other songs we’ve already lost fff. At least y’all get the last laugh – just be sure to spare a chuckle for M24, too: “Sweetune's production is pretty good here. I like the beat. The song itself… well… it's a bit underwhelming. Wish it had Rock U's chorus, but at least there's not that much chanting here, so that's a plus. I'm giving it a slightly lower score than Rock U anyway, because unlike that song, it suffers from being boring.

    Monkey0 knows impact when he hears it: “IF YOU WANNA PRETTY, EVERY WANNA PRETTY - lyrics that changed generations.” And Joli Chat turns a mirror toward the wretchedness within a few of us: “Do you wanna pretty? Yes, I do; If you give this song less than a 9.75 you’re officially an Ugly Girl with Ugly Taste, quite the combo to have! Queen Gyuri can’t relate and neither can I <3

    Below is the video, in which the girls appear to have raided someone’s closet and makeup drawer, complete with Nicole parading around in a training bra. I love it when a video absolutely nails the spirit of the musical content! <3

    EDIT: just realised this is KARA’s third song out, but I don’t feel like restructuring my intro so we’ll just pretend ‘We’re With You’ never happened!​
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2021
    BeingNormal, junkos, M24 and 17 others like this.
  16. Pretty Girl...at...#46?




  17. Hmm I think I would 11 this in a do-over teebs
    BeingNormal, vague, Joli Chat and 6 others like this.

    RUNAWAY Staff Member

    The KARA rate is coming this April!!
    BeingNormal, vague, Joli Chat and 7 others like this.
  19. Of course, @RUNAWAY has 45 9+ scores, of course.
    vague, Joli Chat, RUNAWAY and 2 others like this.

    RUNAWAY Staff Member

    OOP...I honestly didn't realize.
    vague, evilsin, Joli Chat and 2 others like this.
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