Welcome to Kpopalypse’s 2015 honourable and dishonourable mentions lists!
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.
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 Korean 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.
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 Eurosleazepop “Hot 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!