Honourable and dishonourable mentions for 2015

Welcome to Kpopalypse’s 2015 honourable and dishonourable mentions lists!

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These lists comprise of 16 songs that were decent but not quite stunning enough for the 2015 favourites list, and 16 bad songs that didn’t quite lick enough surface area of elephant nutsack to make it all the way down into the Kpopalypse 2015 bottom 30.

A few things before we get started:

  • These two lists are in alphabetical order, NOT order of preference
  • Non-Korean-language releases count if they’re by k-pop artists
  • Songs with some kind of official music or performance video only (because I can’t listen to everything)
  • These are my opinions only.  Try not to be butthurt about it.

 

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

After School – Shine

All you dumbasses were so busy whining about no After School activity this year and Pledis being supposedly “broke” despite obviously having more than enough cash to invest in a brand new 13-member boy group that you didn’t even notice that After School made the only decent Japanese cigarette-lighter-waving power-ballad by a k-pop group ever (oh my god the crying from After School fans: yes the song came out last year but this is a post about music videos, so I use the official video post date for these lists).

Apink – Petal

Apink usually get this kind of thing oh so wrong, but finally they got the right balance of breezy ambience and brisk tempo to make their cheesiness work.  It only took their songwriters about 53 cracks at it over four years.

BigBang – Sober

BigBang will probably never return to their 2012 peak but it’s good to know G-Dragon can still write a decent song when he wants to, in the rare instances when he’s not scrounging Traponia, Domain of Yoloswags looking for 10 yolos to smite so he can collect 10 severed yolo penises and give them to the guy back at the village with the exclamation mark hovering over his head, or whatever it is he usually does with his time.

D.Holic – Murphy & Sally

The type of vaguely experimental pop song that f(x) doesn’t do anymore, but sadly nobody will care this time because it’s some nugus and not an SM group.

DIA – My Friend’s Boyfriend

Similar to Twice’s debut but far better musically, this song also sadly suffers from the same flaw – rampant studio overcooking.  However there’s still catchy fun here to be had if your ears have the stamina to penetrate all 67 layers of nauseating shrill overdubbage.

GFriend – Me Gustas Tu

It’s just as well for everyone that Gfriend blundered their way into moth-squashing viral fame to the fairly decent “Me Gustas Tu” rather than the dull “Into The New World” style ben-wa insertion anthem “Glass Bead“, or people globally might have found themselves not giving a fuck.

Jimin & J.Don – GOD

Jimin whispers, yelps and screams her way through this deliberately oddball track, leaving J.Don with the actual rapping, and it’s all for the best.  All that’s missing is the clock around her neck.

Jimin ft. MC Meta, Nuck – T4SA

However she can rap when she wants to.  All that listening to Dr. Dre’s “Detox” obviously paid off in spades.  Also, an actual proper rap beat makes an appearance here, which is such a rare event in Koraen hip-hop these days that I feel the need to comment about it every time it happens.

Jun Jin ft. Eric – Wow Wow Wow

The trick to making male group dance productions work is to give the backing track some actual nuts, and even with that castrated vocal line in the chorus “Wow Wow Wow” has still got oomph in the mix to compensate, making this one of 2015’s best songs that sounds great on big speakers.

K-Trance – Hey Hey

This Korean nugu’s shoegaze-inspired dance-pop excursion is better than all western attempts at the same thing since about 1990.

LaBoum – Aalow Aalow

It lacks the melodic smarts to get into the favourites list but yes this song is cool anyway, and better than The Wonder Girls’ recent attempt at exactly the same thing, plus I don’t have to look at those disgusting unsexy “Simply Irresistible” uniforms that JYP insisted on fitting The Wonder Girls in and which traumatised my childhood.  Robert Palmer you cunt.

Lizzy – Goodbye PMS

So PMS is like looking like Lizzy and having a red devil stalk you and feed you milk and cupcakes while punk guitars play in the background.  I don’t know what all my female friends are complaining about.

Melody Day – #LoveMe

Great retro-style verses sadly ruined by a crappy blues-based chorus makes this song the spiritual opposite to Girls’ Generation’s “Lion Heart” which has the same problem in reverse.  I hate mash-ups as a general rule but one that combines the verse of this and the chorus of “Lion Heart”, with the tempo and key appropriately adjusted to segue smoothly could actually be worth doing.  A project for ambitious caonimas!

Playback – Playback

Now that Sistar are redundant it’s good to have a replacement, but what’s really amazing about this one is that the beat actually goes harder than 95% of Korean hip-hop these days.

Road Boyz – Show Me Bang Bang

Brand new on the k-pop scene, Road Boyz have a pretty decent debut song, somewhat lacking in production polish but making up for it with sheer catchiness… or is that cuntiness?  Who can tell, but let’s support our new iljin thuggin’ friends anyway!

Tahiti – Skip

“Skip” doesn’t beat Sunny Hill’s “Midnight Circus” as far as k-pop/ska blends go due to a lack of a compelling chorus but it’s still pretty cool and better than whatever bullshit is trendy these days.

BONUS: Best song kept off the 2015 favourites list purely by excessive unwelcome vocal masturbation:

Oh My Girl – Closer

People have been asking me to give examples of decent songs ruined by vocal wank, so here you go – prime example A from 2015.  The simplistic writing and polished production of this song hits exactly the right balance between upbeat danceability and maudlin pathos, until some truly horrid faux-improvised vocal warbles take a fat shit all over the vocal harmony breakdown and throw all the built-up atmosphere straight in the bin.  What the fuck did they do that for?  They can’t even use the argument “oh it’s to show off how great our singers are” because it’s so obviously Autotuned.  This song is catchy as hell, perfectly produced and would have easily climbed very high up on the favourites list without Korea’s obsession with money-note masturbation shooting it in the knees.


 

DISHONOURABLE MENTIONS

Akdong Musician – Ga Da Na Together

Yeah (ga da) na.  At least it’s short, and Suhyun looks less and less like a truck hit her every day.

Dal Shabet – Joker

This song is about as accomplished and well-made as the makeup of that guy with the painted face who turns up in the video every so often, which is apparently a reference to some bullshit film I haven’t watched.

Davichi – Cry Again

Now that Davichi aren’t with MBK they don’t even get songs as good as MBK’s filler ballad rejects anymore.  It’s enough to make any music fan cry (again).

4Minute – Cold Rain

Death, taxes and 4minute in ballad mode.

Elsie (Eunjung) ft. K.will – I’m Good

Hey let’s rewrite Jiyeon’s great “Never Ever (1 min 1 sec)” but slow it down to half speed, remove all the catchiness and make it sound as shit as possible, plus mostly substitute Eunjung in the video for some other girl who isn’t nearly as hot, sounds like a fucking great idea.

Gain – Paradise Lost

It’s amazing how someone can throw a bit of religious imagery together along with Gain’s tits and ass and people suddenly are hoodwinked into thinking that they’re listening to something decent.  I bet this is high on everyone else’s “best of” list but if someone like Justin Bieber did this song nobody would accept this crap even if the music wasn’t one note different.

Girls’ Generation – Catch Me If You Can

Jesus fucking christ, look at them.  You’d start a fashion label too if this was the alternative.  I know you Sones will be all pissed that I sidestepped talking about the musical content here but if I were you I’d be grateful I’m not even going there.

Hyosung – Into You

The only thing the k-pop world didn’t need more than a soundalike of The Spice Girls’ “Say You’ll Be There“, is a soundalike of The Spice Girls’ “Say You’ll Be There” that’s actually worse than the original.  No, Hyosung’s tits do not make it okay, I can see those anytime just by typing “hyosung boobs” into Google image search and I won’t have to endure a shithouse song for my trouble.

Joo – Cry & Blow

I cried because this blows.

Minah – I Am A Woman, Too

Yeah yeah, the song is shit and we all know it, but what’s really amazing about this one is that Minah doesn’t even look any good.  It must have taken some serious styling and choreography effort to make someone so beautiful look so ugly.

Moon Myung Jin – Excuse Me

The type of fucking garbage that the k-pop vocal masturbation set cream their pantaloons over on forums and in chatrooms everywhere but anyone with actual music taste can’t hear over the sound of their own dry-reaching.

NS Yoon G ft. MC Mong – Wifey

This is just here for “later use” because I couldn’t work out how to work it into a blog post.  Oh and it sucks.

Oh My Girl – Cupid

I’m a big fan of marching band style rhythms in k-pop songs so it really surprised me how badly Oh My Girl’s producers fucked this one up.  Just because you like both chocolate and bacon doesn’t mean they go together (quit drooling, lardass).

Park Jimin – Hopeless Love

Oh jesus, stop rubbing it in.  Haven’t you tormented me enough.

Rap Monster – Awakening

It’s well known that rap music has largely lost the art of beat-making these days.  Rap Monster has seemingly conceded defeat and not even included a beat at all.  I suppose we should be grateful for his humility.  Think how much worse this could have been.

Red Velvet – Dumb Dumb

If Aretha Franklin stuck inside a broken tumble-dryer on spin cycle sounds like good music to you, this should keep you happy until Red Velvet bring out their next shitty S.E.S ripoff.

BONUS: Most disappointing comeback that should have been amazing:

f(x) – 4 Walls

It’s far from the worst song this year but certainly the biggest letdown.  f(x)’s songwriters have made a point to genre-bend and experiment with every single comeback over the past few years, producing consistently great results while never going too far left-field and still keeping firmly within the pop sphere.  “Nu Abo“, “Electric Shock“, “Danger“, “Rum Pum Pum Pum“, “Red Light” – take your pick, it’s all solid gold, and even their remake of Monrose’s EurosleazepopHot Summer” was a vast improvement and one of their best-ever efforts.  So why the fuck is “4 Walls” just an obviously half-assed, inferior retread of SHINee’s “View“?  I’m thinking it’s because Sulli left the group, taking with it the need for the songwriters to insert oddball content that would actually work with her voice and presentation.  Far from being the group’s Achilles heel, Sulli’s lack of ability was forcing her songwriters to innovate so they could write within her limitations and now she’s gone f(x) are free to be just as generic as everybody else.  Of course I could be wrong and maybe just nobody at SM gave a shit about this comeback, after all they have Red Velvet now.  Or maybe, just maybe, the most terrifying of possibilities is true, and someone thought this song sounded fantastic and would be a great idea.  Let’s all pray to the deity of our choice that this isn’t the case, or there’ll be a lot more generic crap like this from SM in the future.  Excuse me now while I do ten Hail Rainas.


That’s it for Kpopalypse’s 2015 honourable and dishonourable mentions!  The best and worst lists for 2015 will be released at around midnight on Jan 1st 2016, but may appear earlier in some countries due to timezone differences… or if I get impatient!  Expect them fondly!

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21 thoughts on “Honourable and dishonourable mentions for 2015

  1. Oh boy! List season is the best time of year. Been listening to all the K-Pop I could get my hands on these last 6 or so months to form my own opinion of the year.

    Thoughts that no one asked for:

    Sober is great
    Murphy&Sally is cool, it could easily be on Red Light after Spit It Out or something…
    Jimin’s solo rap career is surprisingly good, I liked GOD a lot, didn’t quite make my honorable mentions though. (I know a lot of people who were making KPop countdowns and it seems like GOD is making HMs but missing out a lot on mainlists, funnily enough!)
    Jun Jin’s song is such a banger, love it.
    Was worried for Tahiti when they released Phone Number, but Skip was one of my favorites this year. If there was a K-Pop band who could capture the duality of Madness songs being both unnerving and upbeat, ala Midnight Circus and Skip-type songs, they’d easily be my favorite group.
    Closer is ethereally soothing, made my HMs too.
    Aalow Aalow is cute, thought Sugar Sugar was a lot better though. (I know that’s making your list proper!)
    Show Me Bang Bang is fantastic, I love how punchy it is and how much singing there is in it, one of my favorite KPop songs of this year.
    And I didn’t like Playback at all, made my worst of actually, reminds me of J.LO and Ashanti’s really poor early noughties work. I agree that it knocks harder than most K-Rap these days!
    Goodbye PMS is fun, somehow I missed it, thanks for sharing!

    Paradise Lost is basically a funeral dirge to me, CMIYC is a jumbled mess, both made my DMs. Cupid too. It was attractive to me at first because it reminded me of my time in marching band: but then I realized it was a BIT too accurate what with the dragging snareline.
    Never heard Excuse Me before: it’s very bad! Nice choice. Wifey is new to me too: just sounds like a lot of songs I’ve heard on my mom’s Urban AC station (Not a fan tbh!).
    Actually snorted reading the Joo write-up: knew it was coming, but sometimes the low-hanging fruit is the best option.
    Really liked Dumb Dumb, made my HMs, I felt like the rap and “dumb dumb” sections were lengthy enough to redeem the cool backing track. (The vocal editing on the MJ titles is a neat little easter egg of sorts.) Had a group with more modest vocal ability recorded this I feel like it would’ve been better for it.
    4 Walls is just so… blah. Album ended up not being very good either. (Surprised that Glitter seems to be the most hated track when that song is closest to f(x)’s old sound.) I know arcadey doesn’t like Electric Shock because he felt like it was too basic for a group like f(x), but I feel like 4 Walls fits that description better now. There may be something to your theory of their writers including singing, rapping, and speech in their tracks to make sure all the members had something to do…

    And sorry to disappoint you, but I read somewhere that SM’s goals for 2016 was to release more hip-hop and… electronica like View and 4 Walls. With how much buzz f(x) got for 4 Walls I wouldn’t be surprised if they forge ahead with this sound to position them for some Western touring.

    Great write-ups, good show, looking forward to the mainlist! Sorry for the long ass text, haha

  2. Great stuff, as usual.

    I love your f(x) theory. The album, in general, is just a lot of soft meandering. It never seems like it really goes anywhere. It’s so bizarre coming after Red Light. It reminds me of why people love the older Final Fantasy games compared to the new ones. Limitations actually force you to be more creative.

    Alright, I’ll bite on CMIYC. I agree that the chorus is dull as hell (and it sounds like they go overboard on the saturator/compressor on Seohyun’s “I’ve got a feeling”), but I think the chromatic descending stabs, LASER sounds, and harmony work in the rest of it are well worth the price of admission. That dance is pretty cool, too.

    Oh, and fuck GD’s horrendous Billie Joe Armstrong-esque snarls in his vocals. Shit is awful.

  3. I knew you would have Catch me if you can in here Im not mad I like it but I can understand how others wont. I liked 4 walls though I thought it was good but I like your theory on F(x) it makes me think of Dara she really cant sing that great and for me in some 2ne1 songs its like okay this part was only added so Dara can have a part in the song. Anyways I love hearing your opinions even if I don’t agree o/

  4. My big surprises on this list are Hyosung, Red Velvet and Oh my girl, then most of the songs are exactly what expected on your rank (high-fives myself)

    But they are some song a didnt listen so i will give it a chance.

    Oh, your f(x) theory is flawed, and show how biased you are, since they still have Victoria and Amber, so they still have the limitations to keep “experimenting” (I would add Krystal too, but compared to the others (sans Luna) there is a reason why she is next to Luna, plus she is the stan atracttor in Korea so they need her).

    I just finished listen that D.Holic song, i guess you are right about that is based on your opinion becauses that sound like some rejected song for Monsta X, BTS, Topp Dogg and Try-Hard-Cutified Psy Gentleman and nothing like f(x) (unless you refer on the pre-chorus, because thats the only thing i find, not f(x), but Sm Style.).

    But you posted Meloday…so Im cool =).

    Expecting many BIG 3 songs on your official list (Hello Bitches is mostly in korean, just saying)

  5. As is standard I agree with most and disagree with some. Disagree most with Minah’s song. But I’m a massive Girl’s Day fangay and you have shit opinions.

  6. Only picks I really disagree with are Playback which would’ve gone onto my DM and Me Gustas Tu which I would’ve saved for the best list (and maybe Dumb Dumb for the worst but maybe that’s just because I’ve been forced to listen to it a lot which reinforces my dislike for it). But I’m glad there’s a few points we differ on, otherwise I would’ve been almost creeped out at how accurately this represents my taste.
    As always I love the way you make these lists and I can always count on you for a good laugh.

  7. I had to use my computer to read this post (and only this post) because it kept not wanting to load properly on my iPad after several days and tries.

    As much as I may agree or disagree with your choices, it’s still fun to read your comments. Thanks for all your posts this year!

  8. Some of the songs is some of my favorites from this year. “Sober”, is my favorite BB songs of all time, but I normally don’t listen to them much so that don’t say much. Apink – “Pental” was also a really nice song, their best since “Hush” in my opinion. Two other great songs was “Me gustas tu” and LaBoum – “Aalow Aalow”.

  9. oh man, is it weird that i don’t know half the bands/artists on these lists? am i so out of the loop on hot new rookie groups? jesus xD
    anyways, what are your thoughts on releases from dbsk, miss a, vixx, and bts (who even tho i dont know anything about, have somehow managed to make waves in 2015)

  10. I was surprised to see “Cold Rain” and “Dumb Dumb” on the list there(i enjoy them both up to this day) and about “4 walls” it was a dissapointment for me too bust mostly because it was chosen to be the title track.

    Also, i’m new here and i’ve only read a handful of posts. Everything seems fun here, funny reviews, some quick analysis here and there, in depth posts, silly posts etc. But imho the wittiness goes away when the “bad song” “worst songs” trend appears in some posts. Does it bring that much traffic? Yes? Of course it would. I get it though… It’s hard to be funny when you say you didn’t enjoy a song without shitting on it. Anyways, KIU.

    P.S some of the most iconic and influential rap songs have very generic beats.

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