VOTE OR VOTE: 2018 GAON #1s RATE (WINNER) | Page 6 | The Popjustice Forum


Discussion in 'K-pop' started by Sanctuary, Dec 12, 2018.

  1. Do BTS actually have any other good songs aside from Spring Day? That was one of my favourites from last year's rate, but I haven't liked anything else I've heard by them at all. Idol was my lowest score here.
    Sanctuary likes this.

  2. I like these. Actually, I think a fair amount of their earlier work is decent (I love the Dark & Wild album) but I'm probably in the minority with that opinion ddd.
  3. Perfect first elimination. I honestly don't understand what they/their team were thinking when BTS released that.
    Sanctuary and vague like this.
  4. I like some of their recent album tracks and ballads more than their recent singles. I hate Idol, but I like Euphoria, Magic Shop, 134340 (Jung Kook in particular), Anpanman, and Trivia : Seesaw especially. Also Singularity and The Truth Untold (V's parts in particular - and I'm a sucker for minimalistic histrionic ballads like that) are very nice songs. Save Me is my favorite single, as derivative as it is. Spring Day is amazing, too. I know everyone, including people I love and respect around here, trashes them (or perhaps just their idiotic fans - deservedly) for various reasons, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I like most of Love Yourself.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2019
    Sanctuary, Slice of Life and soratami like this.
  5. Dddd a BTS song going out first, before all the snoozy ballads, is low key iconic.
    Rem, He, Sanctuary and 6 others like this.
  6. Ooh, ooh, ooh, @Sanctuary! Can I bother you to include sales numbers in the eliminations like you did last year? Pretty please.
    Sanctuary, Slice of Life and vague like this.
  7. dddd sorry for the wait.

    Last rate I did, I had all the information present and typed out (scores/chart stuff), but then wrote the actual write-up as I went to post, which originally fit into my schedule at work.

    I.... incorrectly anticipated this would still be do-able still despite my responsibilities and position at my job now being much larger than what they were last time I hosted a rate. WHEW my ass was living in delusion and anxiety.

    So I decided to just crank out all the write-up's now (which is why it's been a few days delay ddd) so it's just as easily as copy/pasting over the posts and some formatting, which is much more do-able when I'm working during the day.

    I apologize for the delay and we should be cranking out results easily now.

    Let's get to the next elimination...

    24. Pass By
    Average: 3.138

    Highest Score: 6 (@Love Deluxe, @evilsin, @Reboot) 5.5 (@yuuurei)
    Lowest Score: 1 (@Dangerous Maknae, @FunkyButChic, @He, @eliminathan), 0 (@Serg.)

    Year-End Chart: #6
    Went #1: Week 16​

    Let us transition from discussing BTS to someone who feels… semi-associated with BTS through conspiracy and k-pop stan twitter feuds.

    First, let’s meet Nilo:
    Cute, right?

    Sometime in 2018, his song “Pass By” randomly began shooting up the Melon charts. Melon is like the Spotify (or Apple Music for Americans) of Korea, being the largest music service in the country and largely a determining factor in what songs are hits.

    The odd thing about “Pass By” suddenly doing so well? The song was originally released in October 2017; while it’s not odd for songs to randomly pop off much later in Korea (Kelly Clarkson’s Because Of You was one of the best-selling Western songs in 2010, years after release), many people began to suspect sajaegi was at play.


    Not all sajaegi accusations are rooted in reality, of course. SISTAR, for example, was often accused of sajaegi by competing girl group stans for how popular their songs were with the GP without ever building up a huge base of dedicated stans associated with idol groups.

    SISTAR’s continued success through the years showed these accusations to be false; and while Nilo’s company has sworn his success is not sajaegi, the reality is left to be seen.

    But wait… there’s more:


    What was most controversial about Nilo’s success is his ability to end up blocking "What Is Love?" from achieving a perfect all-kill and blocking it for several weeks at the top.

    This caused chaos amongst k-pop stan twitter, with BTS fans eagerly using it to claim BTS were bigger than TWICE if a random could block them. "Pass By" would end up blocking "Fake Love" from achieving a perfect all-kill in its first hours of release.

    6 - @Reboot - The Korean GP really like ballads, huh? It’s nice, though.

    6 - @evilsin - The vocals are giving me a more raspy Jun.K of 2PM, other then that, it's... another boring piano ballad, ugh.

    5.5 - @yuuurei - Almost indistinguishable to me from 'Good old days', but I do like that one a little bit better ... I think? I'm getting the impression that this brand of "sad dude emotions backed by a piano" is indeed very popular in South Korea, but even for a ballad hoe like myself, this one's a touch too beige and I'm not crazy about this guy's voice.

    3 - @Cotton Park - It's amazing how beautiful and heartfelt ballads can be completely forgotten the second they're done.

    2 - @Oleander - Once again, this is a song that would be improved with a different singer. It’s not that he’s completely bad per se but his voice just isn’t that interesting. He has some roughness that shows through with the high notes and that’s not the most pleasant thing to hear. I’m not a vocal expert like @Vixen but it literally sounds like he is forcing the high notes out of his throat as hard as he can.

    2 - @Empty Shoebox - Hasn't this song been on already?

    2 - @Slice of Life - So why did Korea stanned this so much??????? I don't get it. I say that as ballad believer. WTF.

    1 - @He - The artwork is 100 times more interesting than the song. This is what beige sounds like. A number 1? ihavetolaugh.gif

    1 - @FunkyButChic - The uproar the public had over this is absolutely hilarious considering the stuff they usually let top the charts. I mean, outside of name recognition what sets it apart from every other ballad in this rate? It doesn’t exactly taint their existing history.

    0 - @Serg. - I'm gonna PASS on that one.

    Rem, Love Deluxe, Vixen and 17 others like this.
  8. Gaon ended up hiding the sales information from its charts beginning in 2018.

    All the info I have available, I believe, is the points system they came up with.
    Rem, junglefish, Oleander and 5 others like this.
  9. Ugh, we just can't have nice things, can we? I remember when I only started listening to KPop in... good god, 2008-2009, there already was some kind of points system that had some unbelievable numbers in it. I don't get all the calculations they go through. Why even bother? Oricon isn't perfect, but at least it's not up to this kind of bullshit.
    soratami likes this.
  10. Yeah, I think sometime during 2011 or so, they ended up putting out full sales data (and then streams data). They also rolled out certificates now, which would help in knowing sales benchmarks, but they're so high/hard to reach, I don't think they'll be helpful.

    In 2019, they did expand the main chart into a Top 200 like it used to be in 2010, but they've done entirely away with the "Western/Foreign-only" chart, which makes me pressed as an Ariana stan dddd, but hopefully now more groups can say they have a Gaon-charting single.
  11. Up next...

    23. Good Old Days
    Average: 3.750

    Highest Score: 8 (Sanctuary), 6.5 (@yuuurei)
    Lowest Score: 1 (@Empty Shoebox, @FunkyButChic), 0 (@Oleander, @Dangerous Maknae)

    Year-End Chart: #2
    Went #1: Weeks 2-4​

    Nothing shows the ways in which Western k-pop fans and Koreans diverge from one another then when it comes to the classic ballad. I mean, Immortal Songs 2 even did an entire episode with a Michael Bolton theme, even flying the singer out to be present. Whew, the dedication.

    I’ve written at length in other rate threads about the history and development of popular music within Korea, including the significance of trot songs, the influence of American balladeers after American media was allowed into the country, and the rise of television as a medium for consuming music that has lead to balladry being seen as an ARTFORM in itself in Korea, so we won’t go down a history lesson for this post.

    The song itself touches on classic aspects of balladry - love lost and humble beginnings, hard work and being happy for people even if they're happy without you. Jang Deok Cheol are actually a vocal trio who debuted in 2015. They're also, ironically, the labelmates to Nilo, but were able to avoid controversy and claims of sajaegi because of the song's popularity amongst the karaoke charts (yes, there's a karaoke chart component of Gaon).

    While Nilo had to deal with his his success being portrayed in a negative light, these balladeers had the street-cred of all karaoke-singing ajummas around Busan.

    The song would go on to end-up at #2 in the 2018 Year-End Chart, and spent its time on top of the summit blocking both First Love by Bolbbalgan4 and Heroine by Sunmi from going #1.

    6.5 - @yuuurei - Ah, another sad dude ballad. This one's nice enough, some very pretty piano and dramatic touches in the music. The vocals are fine, a little over-emoted at times which makes it feel somewhat excessively theatrical, but in general, it's a nice song.

    6 - @Reboot - I feel like I should probably point out that I’m a big lover and supporter of ballads. This one is decent.

    6 - @Slice of Life - Not bad actually. At first the singer was giving me Kang Seung Yoon vocals. I just wish the song was a little more memorable.

    5 - @vague - pretty, i guess, but also pretty...dull.

    4 - @Cotton Park - Pretty song, but I can understand why their label was accused of manipulating chart rankings. I'd rather hear Red Velvet do it. We can't have everything.

    3 - @Serg. - This is not completely awful like the previous song but it's still very boring

    3 - @evilsin - This is bordering on the most generic KPop ballad.

    3 - @He - A piano ballad, shocking. Do better, SK! Why are they yelling? Foul

    1 - @FunkyButChic - The acapella intro drew me in and then the 10,000 pointless layers came in and ruined everything.

    1 - @Empty Shoebox - It starts with the sound of rain and a spoken word intro. I think it's terrible and clichéd.

    0 - @Oleander - Oh honey…….those high notes and belts…….atrocious. I haven’t heard someone struggle that badly since that Kids Bop cover of We Belong Together with the girl who completely fucked up the money note. The instrumental itself is nice so I will give it credit for that but next time…..find an actual singer.

    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
    Rem, Love Deluxe, junglefish and 14 others like this.
  12. He


    The sheer tear down comments. I live.
  13. Dddddd this is why you don't write commentary when you are a bit stressed out from a million different things happening at once. I was a bit of a savage towards some of these songs.
    Rem, Cotton Park, evilsin and 4 others like this.
  14. Next up....

    22. Me After You
    Average: 4.069

    Highest Score: 8.25 (@Oleander, 7.5 (@Slice of Life)
    Lowest Score: 2 (Sanctuary) 1 (@Empty Shoebox, @FunkyButChic), 0 (@Dangerous Maknae)

    Year-End Chart: #75
    Went #1: Week 44​

    Dddd it seems like the bigger someone is with the Korean GP, the more K-PJ doesn't have the time for them. This time, we meet South Korean ballader Paul Kim.

    Debuting in 2014, Paul Kim largely remained an unknown entity until last year, and even then, he's not prominently featured in much of the visuals for his music. This is what he looks like for reference:


    A cutie. And he has a favorite angle:

    His first hit, and what is ironically his biggest hit, is called Every Day, Every Moment. The song was released as part of the OST for the Korean drama Should We Kiss First?. The song eventually peaked all the way at #3 on the Year-End Gaon chart despite only ever attaining a #4 peak on the individual weekly chart.

    It's likely that the goodwill and new star power from having one of the largest soundtrack songs at the beginning of the year would propel his future releases, even going as far as to help him snatch a week on top of the Gaon Digital Chart. Balladry always wins, huh?

    He's also somehow friends with V from BTS:

    Yes, that's weirdly a thing.

    7.5 - @Slice of Life - Cute but I think a female vocalist would've killed this better. I do love the on and off use of falsetto. I've never heard that before from a male Korean vocalist.

    6.5 - @Reboot - Not bad. This ballad actually goes somewhere, unlike the other ballads in the rate.

    6 - @yuuurei - Even I can only handle so many similar-sounding ballads but I'm trying to rate each one on its own merits. However, this is just not that interesting. Even when it gets to the parts that should be "big" moments, it falls flat and the singer sounds like even he's bored with it.

    4 - @evilsin - Well, I didn't even snooze, so fine, have a 4.

    4 - @Serg. - Lovely video.

    3 - @Cotton Park - I've learned not to automatically skip past a South Korean ballad when it comes up on the playlist because sometimes they evolve so nicely, building and uplifting, taking you on an emotional journey in a mellifluous language you only know five percent of, making up your own meaning to whatever psychic journey you're flying through at the moment. This isn't one of those.

    3 - @He - step off the piano, Korean balladists!

    1 - @Empty Shoebox - Nice of them to include a lavatory break in the song list, wasn't it?

    1 - @FunkyButChic - Sometimes I listen to stuff like this and wonder to myself how it’s coming from the same country that’s released some of the most interesting pop music of the past decade.

    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
    Rem, Love Deluxe, He and 13 others like this.
  15. Dddd, this ballad massacre.
    He, Sanctuary and Slice of Life like this.
  16. I got nothing to say about these first eliminations except that I'm not surprised or sad about 'em.

    However. The whole scandal Seungri is involved in is making my skin crawl and I'm deeply regretting giving that Big Bang song an 8, even though my scores were for the songs alone and not the artists, etc. Obviously it's too late to retract my score but this is my more direct statement that it doesn't reflect any support on my part for that creep, and that goes for any other creeps that may be behind decent songs. I know y'all know that and feel the same, but I had to get it off my chest in writing because the thought of being misconstrued as supporting scum like that for even a second legitimately makes me anxious.

    All right, I'm done now.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
    Rem, Vixen, He and 6 others like this.
  17. Two 0s and a 1 of mine are out. If we lose The Hardest Part and Sound of Winter next then I won't have any scores below 2 left xx
    He and Sanctuary like this.

  18. ...well....

    21. The Hardest Part
    Average: 4.111

    Highest Score: 10 (@Oleander), 8 (@evilsin), 6.5 (@Love Deluxe), 6 (@yuuurei)
    Lowest Score: 1 (@Empty Shoebox, @FunkyButChic), 0 (@Dangerous Maknae)

    Year-End Chart: #80
    Went #1: Week 38​

    Will we lose even just one uptempo song (besides Idol - RIP Nicki Minaj’s career) before we see every single ballad in our rate fall? We’ll just have to wait and find out.

    For now, we lose a titan of the ballad world with this elimination: Roy Kim. Kim rose to fame at the age of 20 when appearing on Superstar K 4, a singing reality show, back in 2012.

    As touched on in a previous elimination, singing competitions play a huge part in what the Korean GP - or what one could call locals ddd - end up being exposed to, with many of those who do well on singing competitions like Superstar K going on to record songs for soundtracks.

    In these competitions, the worlds of jazz, rock and folk music take prominence. There’s an entire different side of the Korean music industry, quite opposite to the perfect pop music people have come to know Korea for, shown on these kinds of GP-targeted shows.

    Unfortunately, it seems all genres of music in any music industry are full of questionable men lacking ethics and respect for women. Another aspect of Kim’s fame has been his close friendship with fellow singer Jung Joon-young, whom he met on set of Superstar K 4.

    Does anyone else smell bacon?

    Jung Joon-young has admitted to illegally filming possibly a dozen or so women during sex and sharing the videos with fellow Korean male celebrities. Many suspect Kim to have been part of the group chat in question due to their extremely close friendship. It’s distressing how such misogyny exists behind such good-guy marketing for many of these indie and folk singers, especially when Kim had multiple hits in 2018, including “Only Then” that ended up in the Top 10 on Gaon’s Year-End chart.

    Kim ended up blocking a female balladeer from taking the top spot, as well. Let’s give the good sis a stream for prosperity:

    10 - @Oleander - Maybe I’m just in an emotionally vulnerable state due to all the school work I have but I freaking love this. Now this is a singer that should be singing ballads. Those high notes are very sweet.

    8 - @evilsin - Well, this is definitely the better ballad of the rate. Love it when it gets loud and big in the middle. I kinda almost shed a tear, wow.

    6 - @yuuurei - Well, here we have yet another sad man singing sadly over sad music. At least this one's got some nice guitar work. His voice is pleasant enough as well, and the dramatic swell of the music toward the end is a nice break in the monotony.

    5 - @Serg. - A lovely ballad I guess?

    4 - @vague - zzzz not the worst song here, but perhaps the most boring.

    4 - @Slice of Life - I truly like Roy Kim's voice. It has that classic quality to it that we don't hear that often nowadays. With that said, I'm pretty sure I've heard this song from him, like, three million times already. The same guitar-driven ballad that explodes near the end. Switch it up juseyo.

    3 - @Reboot - I found it really hard to get to the end of this song.

    3 - @He - Korea really chose this as their crowning number 1 after SIREN?! Offensive.

    3 - @Cotton Park - Well I would rather hear this than "Idol." So there's that.

    1 - @Empty Shoebox - I'd rather have the Coldplay song with the same title. If that was on your bingo card, you're a liar.

    1 - @FunkyButChic - The hardest part... was having to listen to this boring song.

    I'll link to the song in hope Kim is not involved and condemns his vile friend...

    but also let's enjoy this Renaissance-like piece of art:
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019
  19. Slice of Life

    Slice of Life Staff Member

    Dddddd I'm so glad I tanked this now that Roy Kim is possibly connected with the scandal of that trash Jung Joonyoung.
    Rem, ohnostalgia, Vixen and 7 others like this.
  20. Another one who might be involved?! Gross, I'm glad it's out then. Truly the hardest part is knowing which celebs' work is safe to enjoy these days.
    Rem, ohnostalgia, Vixen and 6 others like this.
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