If you casually browse any forum devoted to k-pop, you’ll quickly see that there’s a lot of nonsense going around the place about the relative talents of vocalists, as if vocal talent is a criteria that actually means something in this style. I mean, come on people, since when was vocal talent suddenly a requirement to make production-line pop music? I must have missed the latest memo that was circulated on that topic, because it seems that there’s tons of fans fighting over who can sing better and who is the most knowledgeable and talented musically, versus who is just a nugu to music that is just being told what to say, what to play, how to stand, where to go, and is the musical equivalent of the “airhead” reporter on Broadcast News (decent film from the 80s, worth a look) who just reads lines from cue and smiles and doesn’t know what the fuck he’s actually on about or what any of the news stories really mean. Of course, most k-pop fans believe that their bias COULD NEVER BE LIKE THAT and is THE BEST EVAAAR AND KNOWS EVERYTHING ABOUT MUSIC, so I thought that even though I personally have no vested interest in this topic whatsoever, it would be interesting to devise a test to set the record straight and see how much they really do know. Even better, I thought, if this test didn’t require any knowledge of actual music production or vocal skill on the part of the tester or even any listening to the songs and anybody with access to a computer could do it in an instant.
I have devised just such a test, and I’m going to break it down for you in a nice long tl;dr post only because I know you’re into that sort of thing.