Discussion in 'K-pop' started by Sanctuary, Dec 12, 2018.
Siren is the only correct choice.
I gave Siren an 8 compared to the 10 and the 11 I gave the Twice songs, so if it won I wouldn't be happy. Then again, if there was going to be another "rates winners" rate with this included, I'd probably want Siren to represent more than the Twice tracks.
03. What Is Love?
Highest Score: 10 (@Love Deluxe, @eliminathan, @BEST FICTION, @Oleander, @vague, @Slice of Life, @FunkyButChic, @soratami, @Serg., @Reboot, @Mikl C)
Lowest Score: 6 (@He, @Empty Shoebox, @Cotton Park)
Year-End Chart: #25
Went #1: Week 15
"What Is Love?" was the first song that TWICE released in 2018 after spending time in Japan for overseas promotions. The song was co-produced by Lee Woo-min, who also helped produce "Candy Pop," the most previous Japanese comeback. Both songs feature retro-pop production elements built upon sugary sweet sing-a-long melodies.
While TWICE has been previously criticized for how heavy-handed and slightly tone-deaf the message of "Likey" could come off, JYP the girls bring a little bit more nuance with What Is Love?, singing more of young people's desire to experience love for the first time, as opposed to waiting all day for oppa to hit the like button on Instagram.
In "What Is Love?", the song is centered around the narrator's bewilderment at all the love she sees around her and wanting to understand what it must feel like for so much of society to write about the wonders of it. It's in the dramas she watches, in the songs she listens to on the way to class, and is experienced by the people around her.
Though very much possible to suffer from the very same pitfalls that "Likey" does in the over-emphasize of young women needing a man's affection, the song pulls from a series of iconic films to try and counter-act this heavy-handedness. The girls also serve accidental (?) sapphic glory through having each other play the love interests in the heterosexual couples from the films, helping to ease up on the super-heteronormative mess JYP sometimes serves up for the girls.
Really, the only downside or negative to this comeback was in its choreo, with the question mark dance being fucking backwards ddddd.
Speaking of stopping toxic heteronormativity, "What Is Love?" blocked "Everyday" by WINNER from hitting the top spot during its one-week reign at the top.
10 - @Reboot - A effortless pop song with an amazing video.
10 - @Serg. - Mina's lines nowhere to be found but it's still pretty much a great pop song and probably my favourite of them this year. 2018 was weaker for TWICE than 2016 and 2017 to be honest..
10 - @FunkyButChic - JYP tries to write TWICE-by-the-numbers and it’s actually great.
10 - @vague - i gave this a 9 in KSOTY, but compared to everything else here, this is a fleeter!!
10 - @Slice of Life - The sweetest Twice single ever. And you know what? I'm here for it.
evilsin - It not their worst song, I would say that.
7 - @yuuurei - So we finally get to a female-vocal song on the list, and unsurprisingly, it's the queens of bland-pop themselves. That said, I don't dislike this track, it's got some good moments and it's cute without being too saccharine.
6 - @Cotton Park - I still don't know. Chaeyoung kills me, though. Is it over yet?
6 - @Empty Shoebox - What can you really say about Twice songs these days? They're all very similar and this one is just average, even for a Twice song.
6 - @He - I kind of like and dislike this song. It’s so silly, but also so catchy. Sadly, I never go back to it, but the chorus is such an earworm the few times I play it. Points for not being a bore like most in the list, and the superb video.
Iconic Top 2.
Poor ‘What Is Love’. Truly their best offering from 2018 xoxo
02. Yes or Yes
Highest Score: 11 (@eliminathan, @Reboot), 10 (@Empty Shoebox, @BEST FICTION, @Oleander, @Mikl C), 9.5 (@Love Deluxe, @Serg.)
Lowest Score: 5.5 (@He), 5 (@yuuurei, @Cotton Park)
Year-End Chart: #91
Went #1: Week 45
Let's get the elephant in the room out the way right now - the lyrical content.
When read from a Western context where discourse around women's rights still centers around issues of understanding consent in the face of things like #MeToo, yes, it's totally understandable why the lyrics could illicit a bit of discomfort in the listener.
I personally don't like the type of reactionary "if this was sang by a man" arguments since they read like bad-faith gotchas that don't understand the societal differences that inform such a reaction, but I totally think being put off by the lyrics is 100% valid and okay.
South Korea, in its own right, finds itself as a cultural crossways when it comes to women's rights and gender equality. K-Pop has never been bigger than it currently is, but some women are rejecting the the over-emphasis on beauty it takes to make it in Korean media. Male celebrities are becoming more comfortable attacking feminism and feminists, while one of the biggest scandals involving violence against women, corruption, and bribery in modern Korean history is still unfolding as Seoul police file a warrant seeking the arrest of former k-pop idol Seungri for his role in facilitating prostitution. If you come across pieces from Korean women on the state of women's rights in their country, feel free to share.
The video is a bit of a theatrical sight and gives spooky nods to the kind of playful horror imagery the girls played with on "TT". That one performance - linked below - that opens up with Mina playing some fortune teller / card reader kind of makes me unironically scream and I love it. C'mon Casper the Friendly Ghost as the 10th member of TWICE. Only spooky gays listen to TWICE.
When it comes to the actual music, the song is a continuation of the sugary sweet melodies and retro-pop sound found on both "Candy Pop" and "What Is Love?". Leaving behind the LMFAO-style electro-funk of "Dance The Night Away," the girls made their last 2018 comeback one more for the books. TWICE remained a digital force throughout 2018 despite complaints from some that it felt the creative well was finally dry as dust.
On the bridge side, if 2018 represented a victory lap year for TWICE where they dominated both Japan and Korea with ease and creative bankruptcy signaling a finality to their sugary sweet image, let's hope 2019 is the opening of a new door..
11 - @Reboot - Still one of my favourite songs from last year and their best single yet. I know that there have been discussions over the meaning of the lyrics, which I more than understand, but I always turn to this song when I need a bit of confidence. That is what this song means to me: just the Twice girls being confident about themselves. I love it.
10 - @Empty Shoebox - We have mentioned before that the lyrical content of this song is problematic at best, but it remains a bop.
9.5 - @Serg. - Controversial queens.
9 - @evilsin - This has a bit of JPop DNA to it, which I really like. It's also catchy AF, and I usually can get it out of my head for quite a bit.
9 - @FunkyButChic - Say what you want about TWICE but at least their chart hits ensure the whole Korean public doesn’t fall into a permanent comatose state.
8.5 - @Slice of Life - Not my favourite Twice single but it's still better than, like, 2/3 of the songs here ddddddd.
8.5 - @vague - cute, brainless fun, which is all i want/expect from these gals
5.5 - @He - I really don’t care about this TWICE release. The chorus is fun, I guess.
5 - @yuuurei - This certainly is a TWICE song that exists.
5 - @Cotton Park - I have to deduct points for the tone-deaf theme of this song (yes and yes, I'm one of those people), which by the way, is decidedly not terrible. Musically, a perfect vehicle for Twice. But... no.
WIG FLEW TO SOUTH KOREA!
AND THAT MEANS YOUR WINNER IS..
Highest Score: 11 (@Love Deluxe, @BEST FICTION, @Oleander, @He, @vague, @yuuurei, @Mikl C), 10 (@eliminathan, @Slice of Life, @soratami, @Serg.), 9 (@FunkyButChic, @Cotton Park, @Dangerous Maknae)
Lowest Score: 8 (@Empty Shoebox, @Reboot), 7.5 (@evilsin, Sanctuary)
Year-End Chart: #60
Went #1: Weeks 36-37
In both of her 2018 singles, Sunmi doesn't hesitate to project the imagery of what she sees as strong womanhood.
"Heroine" speaks of a woman who calls out her boyfriend for only wanting to be the leading man for the sake of show, not caring for when he makes her cry or hurt. He sees their relationship as a drama and takes more value in the image of himself as her hero in his mind. Even without a man's affection, Sunmi reminds the listener the show must go on. In the end, it ends up Sunmi being the true hero of her own story - the heroine.
The transition from "Heroine" to "Siren" is represented in the lyrics mentioning crying - in the former, Sunmi sings of her realizing her love interest doesn't care for when she cried, but now declares in "Siren" that she no longer cries over a man.
The attitude is what changes in "Siren," where Sunmi turns from introspective to aggressive, and warns the faceless male listener that she's singing to (and to an extent - the male media / haters / critics) that being seen as a dangerous woman is not something she's scared of. In fact, she embraces the imagery of being a song-baring siren from the sea, proudly singing men to danger and their deaths.
At the young age of 27-years-old, Sunmi has spent 13 years in the industry, debuting at just the age of 14. Throughout her journey in the industry, she's seen it all and has reached a stage in her career where she's not afraid to perform how she wants, look how she wants, or sing about the things she wants.
This is no better represented with how Sunmi started off her 2019. In a culture where media validation runs rampant, Sunmi took the rare instance to push back:
Sunmi's decade of experience as a woman in the industry grants her not only valuable insight, but the ability to speak on things that some may not be able to, and that makes her presence in k-pop ever the more important.
11 - @Oleander - There were a few favs in this rate but at the end of the day, Sunmi just had to get my 11. Everything about this is flawless and I can't wait for her to destroy me with this song and all of her other hits when I go see her next month.
11 - @yuuurei - Absolutely flawless track from a top-notch EP. I just fall more in love with this song each time I hear it. I want to send it back in time for my 19-year old-self to jam to while planning that one big break-up. It's both relentless and melancholy and the final note is so haunting ... I love it.
11 - @vague - truly deserved to be a world-conquering hit EVERYWHERE, but at least it deservedly went to no.1 in South Korea.
11 - @He - Perfection. Talent sometimes wins.
10 - @Slice of Life - Congratulations to our very deserving winner. Sunmi just gets it right every single time. Decapitate me, kween.
10 - @Serg. - Kinda the most obvious winner in a rate like ever? I'd be surprised if this doesn't have 10+ average.
9 - @FunkyButChic - I’ll take expensive noise over whatever else BTS are trying to do these days.
9 - @Cotton Park - It's all been said. At the risk of blasphemy, "Herione" has aged better.
8 - @Empty Shoebox - I don't know what to say about this song. Obviously Sunmi deserves to be worshipped, but I have never loved this. It's just a bit short unfortunately.
8 - @Reboot - Quite good. I like the angry vibe a lot.
7.5 - @evilsin - This hasn't clicked with me as much as her previous title tracks, sadly. Still quite an entertaining song, mainly due to the 80s wobble synths in the chorus.
Well done and thanks @Sanctuary.
Great job as always @Sanctuary.
See y'all next year when another queen wins with Four Seasons xx
YATH A DESERVING WINNER. Sunmi just gets it right all the time.
Thank you for another amazing rate, @Sanctuary unnie. I stan. ♡
Fabulous job as always @Sanctuary. And the most deserving song won.
Now for the double crown of winning SOTY too!
@Sanctuary, you're an icon. fantastic job hosting! looking forward to whatever rate you decide to host next x
Siren winning is not my preferred outcome, to be honest. She has better album tracks than this.
I gotta admit I was nervous a couple times that some lesser track would somehow pull off the win despite Siren being the only proper choice but thankfully talent won in the end!
You did a great job with the rate despite the challenges @Sanctuary, thank you for hosting.
I'm really happy for Sunmi even if I'm not a big fan of Siren. Thank you so much @Sanctuary for hosting!
The correct song won.
Thanks so much for hosting this @Sanctuary and for doing a great job in getting us to the end all in one piece!
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