Kpopalypse’s 30 worst songs of the Golden Age Of K-pop: 2008-2011

It’s Kpopalypse worst-of list time once again!  Time to relax, sit down with your favourite beverage and find out what k-pop songs Kpopalypse thought sucked the most from the Golden Age of k-pop!


Warning: like all Kpopalypse lists, this one has 30 videos and may take a while to load.  Be patient.  Or get a better device to read this on.  Or disable your Flash player – trust me, you might as well, you’re not going to be missing much if you can’t play these horrible music videos.

The years from 2008 through to 2011 were really great for k-pop, there were so many good songs and the best ones in my opinion are documented in my Top 30 songs of the Golden Age list.  However every rose has its thorn, every cowboy has its sad, sad song, and every Kpopalypse favourites list has another list of all the fucking worthless shit that came out at the same time.  A “Golden Age” means that the good stuff was really good, but that doesn’t preclude the bad stuff from also being really bad!  So due to popular demand, Kpopalypse now returns with his collection of the shittiest songs from K-pop’s golden age of 2008-2011!  Read on as Kpopalypse rants about rubbish music and offends everyone with his horrible music taste for your entertainment and amusement!

Usual rules apply for these lists:

  • Must be a feature track (has an MV and/or was promoted on music shows)
  • Songs for sporting and seasonal events are exempt (because they all suck)
  • Songs for OSTs are not eligible (they also all suck)
  • These are my opinions, so if you disagree… handle it.

Let’s get it started!

30.  T-ara – Yayaya

There’s nothing like a good T-ara song to kick off yet another Kpopalypse list, and “Yayaya” is nothing like a good T-ara song.  It’s substandard on every level – the songwriters admitted that the words were a bunch of nonsense that made no goddamn sense unless you could read their minds, the group themselves couldn’t fucking stand the entire concept, but the real problem with “Yayaya” is obviously the music.  E-Tribe, still at that point riding high on their fame from Girls’ Generation’s “Gee“, weirdly gave T-ara a thudding wall-of-noise backing track to sing over that lands the group texturally somewhere between Kraftwerk and Combichrist, and while that combination actually sounds pretty good in theory, it just doesn’t work over the chant-happy joyous nonsense feel that the songwriters were aiming for.  Having said that, maybe a different backing track wouldn’t have helped much, the song has virtually no melody to speak of – which is fine if you’re Ministry but perhaps not ideal for a k-pop group.  At least “Yayaya” did the k-pop world a favour by daringly crossing cultural boundaries, bravely promotiong global racial harmony by letting the Native American people know that their history and culture means something special and unique to the world of Korean music agencies.  Oh and Eunjung and Qri both look super-cute in whatever the culturally appropriate term is for that shit they’re wearing (and really they’re the only ones in the group who pull off this look), so it wasn’t a complete waste.

29.  f(x) – La Cha Ta

SM Entertainment’s left-field idol-lite experiment group f(x) weren’t always awesome and one of the first songs they came out of the gate with was this horrible new jack swing trash, the kind of thoughtless tossed-off crap that SM would normally palm off to TVXQ or CSJH The Grace.  SM at this time were riding high off the massive fame of Super Junior, TVXQ and SNSD’s hits so a crappy debut by their new girl group was really no concern of theirs whatsoever, and it shows with easily the most generic and boring song f(x) ever got handed to them, a tune even more dull and colourless than the girls’ curious semi-grunge styling in the accompanying video.  If only f(x) fans spent their time back in the day whining about this rubbish song instead of other bullshit nobody cares about like why the group don’t have a fandom name (something there’s actually really good reasons for), we might’ve got the quality of “Red Light” and “Rum Pum Pum Pum” a whole lot sooner than we eventually did.

28.  Secret – Magic

All of Secret’s early songs before the excellent “Shy Boy” were universally rubbish and… oh wait, this song came out around exactly the same time as “Shy Boy”.  Well, whatever – this song sucks and whoever the fuck thought that “umma umma umma” line was a catchy chorus idea was probably off their face on some “masic” mushrooms.  Speaking of which, is it really that hard for a k-pop agency to research the correct pronunciation of a word that’s going to form the key component of a song’s chorus and be sung by the group potentially for years to come?  I mispronounce foreign words all the time, just like anybody does when they’re learning a new language, but if I was using one foreign word for the hook of a (hopefully) massive hit single that I was writing I think I would maybe make sure that whoever was singing it got some basic instruction in how to pronounce it.  Then again maybe the writer of “Masic” hates this song as much as I do and just didn’t give a fuck because he was too busy jamming to “Shy Boy” and fapping to Jieun in that pale green dress when she’s having a milkshake, so let’s not be too harsh here.

27.  Secret – Love Is Move

This song is fucking crap too.  A blues trend in k-pop?  Thank fuck that fucking bullshit didn’t take off.  After buying the “Shy Boy” single I went out and bought this album and boy did I feel cheated.  When I looked at the tracklist for Secret’s first full album “Moving In Secret” that contains “Love Is Move” I couldn’t really read the titles because they were silver on a gray, white and silver background so I had no idea what I was buying, but I thought “Shy Boy was GREAT, there’s no way that this album isn’t full of great doo-wop/k-pop hybrid songs”.  How wrong could I be?  As wrong as I was.  The entire album sucks dick and the first person to send me an AOA toothbrush with a return address gets my copy in the post.

26.  ZE:A – Mazeltov

ZE:A are one of those groups that never really ascended to the giddy heights of A-list stardom and with songs like this it’s pretty easy to see what might’ve been holding them back.  While I’m generally not someone who gives a fuck about if Group X is more successful than Group Y, I certainly am one to notice if shit song Z is better than a shit song by a group starting with Z, and this is certainly a song that makes me go Z… but why?  Maybe it’s the dull-as-dishwater k-pop 101 melodies and harmonies, perhaps it’s the 2069 layers of unnecessary hard Autotune dulling my senses into a coma (something we’ll see a lot on this list as hard Autotune was a huge trend during the Golden Age and appeared in songs both good and bad), or it could be the Rebeccablackian snatches of English lyrics, or maybe even the generic tribal lycra spacesuits and bland grey walls they’ve got going on in the video.  Perhaps it’s a combination of all these factors blending to create a near-perfect singularity of uninterestingness, like a Large Uninteresting Collider rubbing two really boring atomic particles together.  The only slightly interesting thing about this song is the weird name because “Mazeltov” sounds a bit like “molotov”, but as soon as I found out it just means congratulations or whatever, it was straight back to uninterestingland.

25.  Dara – Kiss

2NE1’s conceptual strength is as a group with multiple females who have multiple distinct personas.  There’s CL with her brash, bold, bad-meaning-good swagtrocious feminism-lite, Minzy the cute bob-cut dancer with the got-prettier grin and Bom the money-note-crucifying nipped-and-tucked Realdoll – all huge personalities that are memorable in their own way.  Then there’s Dara, who is just… some girl.  I think that Dara is only in 2NE1 so the group appeals more to girls with a “gosh I’m so average and non-special” complex because if someone as bland and nondescript as Dara can achieve her dreams, maybe so can they.  And boy does the song suit this persona, one of the only dull spots on 2NE1’s great “To Anyone” debut album.  Did any 2NE1 fan want this song to be released?  Does anyone reading this even remember how this song goes without clicking the video?  “Kiss” probably owes its existence purely as a necessity for live concerts so that when Dara is performing it the other three members can take a break for a few minutes while the stagehands reapply their makeup, check their microphone headsets and adjust any facial features that may have gotten bumped out of position from all those dance routines.

24.  Stellar ft. Eric – Rocket Girl

In this video the four girls from Stellar break into some kind of control room and shoot a bunch of robot women with laser guns.  One of the robot women puts her hands up but Stellar don’t care that she’s surrendered, in a very non-Geneva-Convention moment they just fucking blast on that robot bitch anyway.  At first I struggled with the meaning of this scene and why they would portray Stellar in such a cruel hate-filled manner but then I realised that the music stops at that point – that’s when it twigged that the robot girls were audio engineers in a futuristic studio control room, and Stellar were killing them so they could stop this awful track, which is totally understandable.  Upon succeeding in stopping the horrible music Stellar grab a pixelated heart which probably represents the beating hearts of fanboys fapping to “Marionette” in three years’ time, and insert it into some kind of time-travel machine so they can move forward to 2014 but instead they inadvertently awaken Eric from Shinhwa who was in his cryo-sleep chamber sleeping off the years until Stellar did a concept he could fap to.  As punishment for disturbing him three years ahead of schedule, Eric reanimates the robot music producers and the shit music resumes all the way until July 2013.  Oh well, I guess the moral of the Stellar story is that all good things cum to those who wait.

23.  Sistar19 – Ma Boy

A few isolated good songs notwithstanding, Sistar have overall managed an incredible sleight-of-hand over the years, injecting enough fraudulent girl-power-lite into their tedious R&B junk to keep their female fans onside while simultaneously also maintaining the required amount of beach-body sex appeal to keep themselves on centerfolds sticky-taped to the back of army barracks locker doors across South Korea.  In “Ma Boy” Sistar19 (a subunit which in practice is “Hyolyn ft. Bora” as Bora usually gets about two lines of mumbled rap per song) turn up the gyrations to eleven in the hope that nobody notices that they’re dancing to some horrid mothballed R&B track not even fit for Chinese restaurant background music.  The strategy must have worked because Sistar are supposedly really popular now (or something) but that doesn’t prove anything much except that Koreans either like shitty music or know how to turn the sound of their laptops down while they masturbate.

22.  E.via – Chu~♡ (Pick Up! U!)

These days E.via goes by the name of Tymee and is busy being a quality thugged-out Unpretty Rapstar contestant and occasional League Of Legends competition player, but there was a time when she was doing cutesy raps catering to those who wished that IU would write a rap song about jacking off uncle fans.  Needless to say she cleaned up nicely, or rather her record label cleaned up and left her with pocket change, but that wasn’t the worst crime committed by E.via’s old agency DLine Media, who actually let this gaudy, hideous clusterfuck of a song through quality control.  Just to rub more salt into her wounds, Dline Media’s MV director didn’t even bother to make E.via look any good, throwing a horrible retro posterize filter on top of everything that just screams “this is cheaper than hiring stylists”.  At least the agency only ever released this severely shortened version of the song as an MV, sparing everybody a good two extra minutes worth of grating synthesisers, tedious Saturday-morning-cartoon-speed rap and cheese-grater-to-the-face aegyo.

21.  2AM – Never Let You Go

When JYP split up his eleven-member trainee group One Day into two separate units before debut, he called one unit 2PM and the other 2AM.   The symbolic meaning of the names seem clear enough – at 2PM the average person is awake, out and about working, at school or having fun, doing their business, and enjoying life.  At 2AM that same person is usually either fast asleep or alternately puking their excess alcohol out behind a bush somewhere while trying to simultaneously hold back a diarrhoea-infused turd threatening to creep out of their anus.  Thus it can be observed that the original group correspondingly were divided into two subgroups with the concepts of “music some of which somebody might actually want to listen to one day” and “nobody is going to give a fuck about this trash, gee we’d better make sure we throw down some money on the MVs”, and that they did.  Many ladyfaps were probably had to these guys singing while crying as rain wets their hair and clothes in a music video tour de force which is as well-executed as it is mystifying.  Why is everything blurry around the edges?  Why were three backing dancers given a doorway to to do a dance in that barely even fits them, let alone the dance moves?  Why didn’t JYP bury all the filler ballad rubbish like this in the albums like everyone else does instead of releasing it as a feature track?  No wonder half the group fucked off at the earliest possible opportunity.  Those tears are real, 2AM’s members are probably crying about drawing the short straw and getting relegated to the shithouse ballad group.

20.  Secret – Madonna

There are songs in the western pop canon that should never be copied or “soundaliked” by k-pop, simply because they are classic tracks that nobody is ever going to improve much on, because it would be almost impossible to do much better with them.  I’d put ABBA’s “Dancing Queen“, Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick In The Wall Pt.2” and the large majority of Queen feature tracks in this category.  Generally it’s better to copy a song that wasn’t that great to start with instead, because then there’s some room for improvement.  However one doesn’t want to go too far in the other direction either, because there are some western pop songs out there that are so utterly awful that even the best, brightest musical minds in history couldn’t salvage their basic ideas into something acceptable.  Without a doubt one of these terminally awful songs is Beyonce’s “Crazy In Love“, and we know for sure that it’s not salvageable because k-pop has had umpteen cracks at it, and each and every one of them is utter shit.  Ailee has had more than one shot at it, and Secret also had several attempts, including “Madonna”, which inexplicably was an even more boring song that Madonna’s “Secret” despite the latter song being one of Madonna’s worst ever singles, a turgid ballad of nearly unfathomable dullness.  Secret would go on to have many more attempts at the “Crazy In Love” template, all similarly awful, but none quite as awful as…

19.  5Dolls – Like This Like That

“Like This Like That” (not to be confused with “I Likey Likey Dis, I Likey Likey Dat“) wasn’t the first clone of Beyonce’s “Crazy In Love” to hit the world of k-pop but it was arguably the worst, topping everybody else’s disgraceful multiple attempts at this style in terms of plunging straight toward the bottom of the barrel of shit.  Out of all the 692 different soundalikes that exist in k-pop it was also the most faithful to the original, which obviously explains why it sucked the most.  Not only is “Like This Like That” musically total garbage (of course), but the girls don’t even look any good in the video, not even in the scenes where they are wearing school uniform-inspired clothing.  It’s like the group have extracted the powerful force of worthlessness in Beyonce and allowed it to infect not just the music but everything else around it and associated with it.  Don’t watch it for too long, or this supernatural force may transmit itself directly to your brain, and before you know it you’ll be spreading unfounded bullying rumours about adorable Eunkyo.

18.  BigBang & 2ne1 – Lolipop

BigBang and 2NE1 were two groups who mostly did quite well for themselves during the Golden Age, both musically and commercially, therefore it would make sense in theory that having them together on a track should be a recipe for awesomeness.  Apparently not so in practice, as the energies of the two groups seem to have cancelled each other out and what we’re left with is basically just a pedestrian electro beat with bland “stuff” over it.  It’s like Brokencyde’s “Freaxxx” with the screaming, bad hair, horrible raps and hard Autotune replaced with screaming, bad hair, horrible raps and hard Autotune.  Now I know what you’re thinking – “there’s no screaming in this song, Kpopalypse, what are you on about?” but every time I play it I hear screaming from somewhere.  Maybe it’s my neighbours screaming at me to turn this fucking lame shit off.  Maybe it’s my girlfriend who has finally had enough of my shitty blog-research music and is screaming that she’s leaving me and flying to a country where k-pop is banned.  Maybe it’s the internal scream of my brain cells from the part of my brain that processes sound deciding one by one that they don’t want to live in this world anymore, commmitting seppuku and leaking out of my under-utilised eardrums.  Or maybe I’m just imagining screaming because that would actually be preferable to what I’m really hearing.

17.  T-ara ft. Electronic Boys – Beautiful Girl

Actually it’s only one member of T-ara who got on this recording (Hyomin) so this is really “Electronic Boys ft. Hyomin” but T-ara gets top billing here anyway because their brand power is so fucking massive and all-encompassing that anyone with the opportunity would be crazy not to use it to the fullest.  T-ara can be used to sell damn near anything to anyone from shitty disgusting pot noodles that nobody in their right mind would eat to artery-hardening fast food strictly for homeless people and junkies so it figures that it can also be used to sell this awful song.  Hyomin’s voice cops a thorough molesting here from trendy-at-the-time constant hard Autotune but that’s probably nothing compared to the molesting that Electronic Boys wanted to give her, all through the cheap-ass studio MV you can see the guys sneaking sideways looks at her boobs when she’s not watching and inadvertently rubbing up against her.  Clearly the two members of Electronic Boys were so happy just to get Hyomin into the studio so they could engage in some sneaky frotteurism and writing an actual song wasn’t even an activity on their radar.  Hell, they’re probably not even a real group.  I can see the conversation these two charlatans had while they were planning this now:

“Damn Hyomin is fine.  Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if we were idols and we got to rub up against her and grope her?”

“Well… why don’t we call ourselves a group and ask for a collaboration?  Then we can record in our tiny studio that barely fits three people and molest her a lot while looking at her boobs.”

“Yeah that’s a great idea!  But what do we call ourselves?”

“I don’t know.  Well, er… we’re boys and we’re making electronic music, so… how about… um, Electronic Boys?”

“Fuck it,  that’ll do… let’s ring CCM!”

“But wait… don’t we need a song?”

“Nah, don’t worry about it.  Pay the fee to the agency and she’ll come, then we can just write any old crap while she’s on the way here in the van.  How hard can it be?”

16.  SM The Ballad – Hot Times

SM The Ballad have sure been responsible from some hideous musical turkeys over the years.  I wonder if perhaps the true function of this project group is as a dumping ground for ballads that SM Entertainment is required to release under some kind of contractual arrangement with the freelance songwriters but that are so shit that SM doesn’t want to pollute the reputation of any one single group with them.  The poor unfortunate souls who are lumbered with the task of trudging their way through “Hot Times” and sharing the load of collective shame are Super Junior’s Kyuhyun, Shinee’s Jonghyun, TRAX’s Jay and a rookie singer called Jino who never debuted.  Clearly after Jino was forced to sing this lurching, warbling pedestrian vocal-wank nonsense he understandably decided that the idol life wasn’t for him.  Maybe the initial signing sessions between Jino and SM were full of promises of all the quality music he’d be making as a part of the team, riding the new wave of sudden k-pop quality – then this song was tabled at a trainee meeting before the ink was dry on the contract and Jino suddenly felt like he’d been sold a bridge.  I wonder what he’s doing now – not reminiscing fondly about singing this, I suspect.

15.  Dal Shabet – Pink Rocket

Dal Shabet were originally conceived as E-Tribe’s pet project group, a special group that E-Tribe would write all the feature tracks for.  If you ever wanted to know why Dal Shabet never got anywhere over the course of the first few years of their history, now you know.  “Pink Rocket” is a typical E-Tribe production, full of random noise that just doesn’t fit and sounding like a cross between Juno Reactor, the more dance-oriented side of Throbbing Gristle and the sound effects for Commodore 64 computer game Wizball.  Which once again should be good in theory but is just not the right fit for what’s going on over the top of it all.  It hasn’t helped that they’ve used a wet electronic fart noise for a snare drum and most of the track has a really intrusive bubbling-lava-pit sound cutting through it that will blow your speakers’ bass response out twice as much as the song’s actual beat.  Eventually E-Tribe stopped producing feature tracks and shitting in Dal Shabet’s bathwater and it’s not coincidence that this is also around the time that the group finally stopped sucking.

14.  Girl’s Day – Kyawooddung (Tilt Your Head)

When it comes to shit debuts from groups that went onto much better and brighter things, it’s hard to top “Tilt Your Head” by Girl’s Day, a song that always comes up when “shitty k-pop debuts” rears its head as a forum discussion topic.  The awful music is self-explanatory and not really a mystery of any sort, after all in k-pop a shit song can happen to anyone, but what’s really puzzling here is that the video is also ugly and the girls even look like crap.  It’s helpful that the text “Girl’s Day” is in the bottom-right corner of the entire video because I really do need that constant reminder when I’m watching this video that I am in fact watching Girl’s Day and not some nugu group that went absolutely nowhere due to their debut song flopping harder than Hitomi Tanaka’s boobs on a glass tabletop.  It’s telling that when Girl’s Day released their first full album they included almost all of their early years-old singles apart from this one.

13.  U-Kiss – Not Young

This song is very confusing, because it starts off with “U-Kiss, we’re new kids on this block, you heard?” and then in the very next breath “stop treating us like kids, because we’re not anymore, you know what I’m saying?”.  No U-Kiss, I don’t know what you’re saying, that seems contradictory and I think you need to explain it again… or better yet, don’t – but if you absolutely must, explain it to me in a better song than this one.  “Not Young” sounds like it’s trying to be some kind of reggae-lite thing, but it seems that nobody told the songwriter how reggae actually works and that an important requirement of the music style known as reggae is that the emphasis of the chords fall on the off-beat (2 and 4) instead of the on-beat (1 and 3).  With the chords in the wrong spot this tune has all the flow of Elvis Presley’s last toilet visit but with none of the warmth, and unfortunately all of the pain.

12.  SHINee – Replay

Believe it or not, there are some people alive in the world today who believe that this song is not just SHINee’s finest moment, but represents some sort of high water-mark for k-pop in general terms.  I guess they’re just so blinded by the way these guys look that some bad music is not an issue, or perhaps k-pop has a lot of fans who dig generic R&B slop songs with vocal warbles and guys going “who-a-oh-oh-oh-aohhh” in horrible descending pentatonic scales over limp, soft beats.  Given how the k-pop world reacts with horror and disbelief whenever I tell people that Whitney Houston is a completely trash artist who never did anything remotely worthwhile with her life except take drugs with Bobby Brown and thus boost the American black market economy by a few tenths of a percent, I guess the latter may be true.  Anyway it’s hard to believe that this song is from the same album as the excellent “Lucifer. (EDIT: okay it actually isn’t, I fucked this bit up, but then SHINee’s crappy songs tend to all blend into each other like a seamless grey mush of their used hairspray and botox so it’s hard for me to remember what song is on what album.)  Almost every k-pop album in existence ever has a crap filler R&B track or seven, but what’s harder to believe is that SM actually released “Replay” as a feature instead of leaving it on the album to rot like they usually do with this type of crap.

11.  Kino – Actually

This song doesn’t start off too badly and then it gets to that blonde guy singing in the shower and it’s just nope.  It’s a moment that rivals Samwell, Skatt Bros or Azis for sheer gay video presence, and while there’s nothing wrong with the actual gay part of the proceedings, there certainly is something wrong with the song from that point forward.  I’m not sure what it is.  Maybe it’s the hard Autotune clunking away as per usual, maybe it’s that weird hiccup that the synth rhythm does that kind of fucks up the groove every few bars, maybe it’s the song just being boring and unremarkable as shit generally, or maybe I’m secretly mega-homophobic and in denial and me putting “Actually” on this list is a way for me to push away my inner demons rather than confront them.  In any event I’m pretty sure Kino didn’t release anything else after this, I guess 2011 was just a few years too early for K-pop to have a dog-whistle gay-friendly MV concept.

10.  Teen Top – Supa Luv

Hard Autotune and vocal manipulation is one thing but Teen Top’s “Supa Luv” takes it to the next level.  In the chorus it sounds like the keyboard Laurie Anderson uses to make the repeating vocal noises in “O Superman” had a Guru Meditation error and started spazzing random noises everywhere.  They might as well have just sampled each member’s raw voice, gotten the vocalists to go home and just played the whole thing on a keyboard with the captured samples, and in fact I’m reasonably sure that that’s exactly what the producers of this song did.  I’ve got no problem with any of that but if you’re going to use samples instead of the real voices of the guys this should open up a world of possibility because you can write outside of their vocal ranges and do all sorts of cool stuff, or at least use the opportunity to use samples to make a good song and not yet another k-pop song from the Golden Age that sounds like a reject from a Brokencyde album.  Watching Teen Top recreate this hot-stepping electrofart awkwardness on TV shows is certainly a laugh though, recommended.

9.  Kim Tae Woo, JYP & Rain – Brothers and Me

It’s bad enough that these k-pop labels try to convince everyone about the special camaraderie between idols with their stupid marketing (SM Town, JYP Nation, YG Family, FNC Kingdom, CUBE Rape Dungeon etc), now they want to convince me that CEOs are all buddy-buddy with singers who used to be on their labels… like “brothers”!  Suuuuure.  This song and video is directly aimed at the kind of people who actually would believe that SM’s CEO goes out for weekly drunken karaoke singalong sessions with Kris and Luhan, and it’s insulting to watch because they obviously think that YOU the viewer are that person.  Prepare to not just be insulted but also mortified and second-hand-embarrassed as you watch awkward-as-shit cringeworthy staged shots of the three guys pretending that they’re really the bestest buddies in the whole wide world, no, really guys, look at us clown around in front of the camera, yep we do this all the time this is totally what we’re like.  The song perfectly fits the action because it’s a sentimental pukefest every bit as trashy and bile-inducing as anything any of these people have been involved with at their lowest points.  You know you’re musically in trouble when JYP whispering his own name at the start of a song is actually the sonic highlight.

8.  Piggy Dolls – Trend

In such a crazily beauty-obsessed society as South Korea, debuting a chubby-chaser girl group was a bold business move, even if it was one that the label swiftly renegged upon.  Sadly it was a move that failed, because Koreans are Koreans, but I would have stood right behind Piggy Dolls with all my support if they actually had any fucking decent songs.  Having chubby girls in the group sadly just meant more vocalfagging, probably because of the prevailing attitude behind the scenes of “well, they don’t look any good so we’d better make sure that people know they can sing” – and this was also combined with plenty of trendy-at-the-time hard Autotune, a weird opposites-don’t-attract combination.  As a result the song is total trash because it’s designed to cater heavily to that “look, they’re talented really” plus “look how trendy we sound” aspect simultaneously, instead of, you know, just being a decent song.  At least the girl with the red hair was hot so this song and video wasn’t a complete waste of everyone’s time – or at least not mine.

7.  New.F.O – Bounce

If there’s one thing that’s pretty obvious to me when reading Allkpop, it’s that Johnny Noh thinks you’re a fucking moron and that he can get away with anything he wants and you will just roll over and accept it like a bitch.  What’s freaky about that is that he’s probably right – people complain about his shitty site all the time but apart from me it seems all you spineless fucks still fucking visit it.  Even after he attempted to destroy Ailee’s career over some leaked titty photos and enraged a whole country the best anyone could manage was a 72-hour boycott, as if that’s going to achieve anything.  Anyway with New.F.O Johnny discovered that even the stupidity of k-pop fans has its limits, and while putting up with his bullshit website is one thing, the k-pop group that Allkpop’s parent company 6Theory debuted was clearly stretching the gullibility of their reader base way past breaking point.  Everything about the song is dumb, from the moronic chorus that makes T-ara’s “Yayaya” read like a James Joyce novel, to the typically turgid dubstep breakdown, to the what-were-they-thinking styling.  Even the name treats you like an idiot, “New.F.O” stands for “New Five Order” but sounds like “UFO” so we have a sci-fi UFO concept, harhar get it?  Dad-humour at it’s worst.  Fortunately nobody gave a shit about New.F.O’s terrible song and they were disbanded very shortly after this song came out, which is a victory for music but a shame for the girls’ careers.  Mind you, maybe they dodged a bullet because imagine being a girl in a girl group with Johnny Noh as your boss and having him suggest that you get breast implants every other day and make lame “edgy” jokes about kicking you in the face if you don’t “get prettier”.

6.  miss A – Breathe

When the idea of making up this list occurred to me, miss A’s “Breathe” was the very first song that sprung to mind for inclusion.  A tuneless, nightmarish tribal-themed disaster similar to but far worse than T-ara’s awful “Yayaya”, “Breathe” swaps out T-ara’s garish American Indian costumes for tight-fitting tops and short-shorts yet manages to make the girls look even more horrid anyway.  Then there’s the music which sounds like Ladysmith Black Mambazo snorted a bunch of helium, drunk a case of Jack Daniels between them, then staggered into their local electronic keyboard store and started fucking around with the drum machines until the store manager kicked them back out onto the street.  It’s as if JYP bought a new keyboard and just decided to fuck around with what it could do instead of actually writing a song with it, and it’s telling that this is one of the first JYP-written feature tracks to not feature his trademark whisper at the start – I guess he was as embarrassed about putting his name on it as the girls were to be singing in it.

5.  April Kiss – Hello Bus

This group is so nugu that the MV for “Hello Bus” is either lost in time or it just didn’t exist in the first place because it just wasn’t worth the expenditure for the label to make one.  Either way, I wasn’t able to find it and you’ll have to settle for this TV show appearance.  There’s not even any comments on the video because everyone who watched it just stared with their mouths agape in stunned silence as to how a song this shitty can even get on TV in the first place.  I’m not even sure what to say about it myself, but the Lil’ Wayne-esque random yelling on the backing track is probably the only notable feature about this entirely flat, generic and boring song, and when the most interesting thing about a song besides the inexplicable name is that it sounds like Lil’ Wayne is on it, you know you’ve got problems.

4.  A-Force – Wonder Woman

Regular readers of Kpopalypse Nugu Alert knew that this song was definitely going to make the cut here, and the only question left was where exactly in the list it would be.  As it happens, pretty damn close to the top and there’s good reason – “Wonder Woman” is devastatingly bad, from the horrible synthesised guitars, to the “aaaaah, I’m wonder woman” chorus that seems to be inspired by a particularly painful dental visit, and nearly everything else about it from the styling to the dancing to the video is incompetent and laughable as fuck.  Just try and get all the way through the video without either laughing or turning it off, good luck with that.  This trash is also notable for coming from the songwriting pen of Bravesound (which seems incredulous given that even at their worst they’re not usually quite this bad but it’s true), and also featuring ex-Dal Shabet member and Korean softcore porn star Viki – but don’t get your hopes up for this video to deliver the fap, she gets the same ugly overdone bedazzle-makeup and terrifying clothing here as the rest of them.  How this hasn’t gone viral yet I’m not sure, but why not “Force-roll” your friends and help it along?

3.  Coin Jackson – Feedback

Imagine that it’s late at night and in the company gym Lipservice are practicing the choreography for “Too Fancy“.  After several takes, the choreograper stops the music and leaves the room briefly to grab a drink from the coffee machine.  Once the door to the kitchen swings shut, Bipa moves up close to Cora.

“Hey I found out you were in that useless group Coin Jackson – it figures, because you’re so crap” Bipa whispers.

“No… that wasn’t me… that was some other girl called Kora… with a K.  It’s spelled different”, Cora protests.

Bipa is unconvinced.  “That song Feedback was so fucking shit, what are you still even doing in k-pop?  Better not pollute my group with anything like that trash, you cunt.”

Bipa motions Anna over, who walks up and hisses in Cora’s ear: “I bet the reason why they didn’t focus the camera properly for that video is because you’re so ugly that you’d crack the lens.”

“But… it wasn’t me!” whimpers Cora.

Bipa snorts.  “Bullshit – I’m onto you, bitch.  You’d better start doing everything we say from now on, or we’re gonna fuck you up.  In fact why don’t you go right now down to the corner store and pick up some bread?  My friends drinking outside are hungry and I need twelve hot loaves, here’s 50 won” – Bipa reaches into Cora’s trackpants and deposits a single coin.

“50 won isn’t enough for twelve loaves!”, Cora protests.

“Think I give a fuck?  Go, get the bread now.  If you’re not back in two minutes you’re fucking dead meat, slut.”  Bipa gives Cora a pat on the ass as Cora runs out of the room.

A few seconds later the choreographer returns, coffee in hand, and immediately noticed that there’s only two of them.  “Where’s Cora?” he asks.

Anna shrugs.  “I dunno, she just left.”

Bipa plays dumb and looks nonplussed.  “She ran off, said something about dance practice interfering with her lifestyle choices.  She probably went food shopping because she’s such a pig.  I bet she comes back with tons of bread to feed her fat face.  She’s so sketchy, I wouldn’t trust her if I were you.  Just as well we hired Anna, hey?”

2.  Sistar – Tic Toc

This song is so incredibly bad that I couldn’t even believe it was Sistar at first.  Are these girls in the ugly T-shirts doing completely crap dance moves to one of the worst songs on the planet really the super-hot girls from Sistar?  Much research later and I confirmed that it is definitely them, and boy must they be embarrased by this one, because this sucks so badly that Starship won’t even put the song up on the official Sistar YouTube channel.  Sure, it’s only for a commercial film, but that’s no excuse for this fucking garbage – Orange Caramel, T-ara and SNSD made some of their best music ever for CFs so if it’s good enough for those groups to put in effort, it’s good enough for Sistar.  How the fuck this group ever got to the A-list with shit like this I have no idea but then Koreans will actually buy Busker Busker every spring so there’s no predicting what crap they will go for next I guess.

So who’s number one for the shittiest shit that was ever shat during the Golden Age of K-pop?


1.  The Grace (Dana & Sunday) – One More Chance

There’s been so much negativity here so let’s end this worst-of list on a positive note.  In the dark days of k-pop, the days before 2008, there was no sun, no life, no warmth, no flowers bloomed, dark clouds obscured the sky and a group were active under SM Entertainment called CSJH The Grace.  The tyranny of their shit music infested the TV, radio and Internet of Asia, spreading the plague of shit music disease to the populace wherever it went.  True music fans cowered in fear and subjugation, dreaming of a better day, a day when they would no longer live under the oppression of this group’s horrible music.  Then, all of a sudden, a miracle happened – a new group formed by SM Entertainment called Girls’ Generation released a song known as “Into The New World“, and the song title was not coincidental.  The new group were commercially successful, gradually diverting SM’s girl group energies away from CSJH, but more importantly they had much better music, showing the people what was possible for the k-pop of the future.  A new hope had arisen.  The clouds parted and the sun shone through for the first time, birds sung, flowers bloomed once again, and the frightened people came out of their houses for the first time and basked in the warm sunshine.  Eventually the news filtered back to SM, who upon realising what had happened, that they had lost their iron grip on the people to buy utter shit, quickly rushed out a CSJH subunit called “Dana & Sunday” with an awful song to try and regain their lost power and give themselves “One More Chance” to control the masses.  However it was too late, the chance was in fact lost.  The standards had been raised – no longer would the people accept what once was, they now knew of a better way.

Thanks for reading this epic list!  There’ll be more of these from me at the end of 2015!  Until then, stay safe and don’t listen to any of this trash!


25 thoughts on “Kpopalypse’s 30 worst songs of the Golden Age Of K-pop: 2008-2011

  1. I’m surprised you didn’t put any TVXQ songs since you seem to hate their pre-split songs. I’m actually a fan of their pre-split songs, but I like to read criticisms of groups I’m a fan of. I’m disappointed lol.

  2. While I agree with many of your choices (I haven’t heard some) I have to reserve a few as what the movie critics call “guilty pleasures”. I know it isn’t great, but sometimes you just enjoy it anyway. I’m sure you might have a couple of those floating around yourself. “yayaya” is definitely one of those for me, as are a few others. But thanks for the perspective.

  3. I liked Secret’s “Madonna”, disliked “Magic” and T-ara’s “Yayaya”, but the other 27 songs..I haven’t even heard of them. Gee, man, what kind of slums have you been visiting to gather this crap?

  4. I was confused at first as to why I liked most of these, before remembering I got into them back when I first started to listen to K-pop and had no standards whatsoever for what a good song was.

    • Stephanie had a solo comeback in Korea in 2012 and has been a regular contributor to a radio show. Lina is married and has been dabbling in acting, Dana has opened her own dog care facility, is also dabbling in acting and has released a few OST songs, and Sunday is performing in musicals.

  5. I don’t think rocket girl was SUCH a bad song, i mean, for a debut song it was not really “good” to start off with but the first rapping part was actually quite good, ma boy was also not bad.

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