Honourable and dishonourable mentions for 2016

Welcome to Kpopalypse’s honourable and dishonourable mentions for 2016!

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Here’s the collection of “honourable mentions” for 2016 – sixteen songs which I thought were good but not quite good enough to get in the Kpopalypse top 30 favourites list!  Also below is an equal number of “dishonourable mentions” – songs that I disliked but which just evaded inclusion in the worst of 2016 list!  Read on, and remember:

  • This list is feature tracks only
  • Songs are in alphabetical order by performer, NOT order of preference
  • Popularity of the songs is not a factor, just if I like them or not
  • My opinions only, you don’t have to agree, so chill before you write that 500 word essay on Reddit that nobody cares about

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Amber & Luna ft. Ferry Corsten, Kago Pengchi – Heartbeat

This is some pretty generic bullshit but it’s very well-written generic bullshit that’s a lot of fun to listen to.  Amber and Luna both seem to be having a good time with this song which is better than any f(x) track since “Red Light” as well as far better than anything Amber ever did as a duet with anyone apart from her iconic performance with T-ara’s Eunjung covering PSY on Show Champion which Amber did right at the height of the T-ara hate train because she’s not a cunt like you.  Also Luna suddenly looks like Luna again, the best she’s looked in years, I guess her new chin has settled in or whatever.

AOA (Ace Of Angels) – Wow War Tonight

Just taken on its own, AOA have a cool, anthemic lighter-waving pop song here that would have stood just fine by itself, but then Jimin storms in like she always does and takes the song to a completely new level for about sixteen bars.  It’s obvious that Jimin is the best thing musically to happen to AOA, truly the ace of the angels.  Thanks to the songwriters writing specifically around her unique delivery, “Wow War Tonight” is notable as the only documented instance anywhere in k-pop where a dubstep drop is such a vast improvement in quality over the rest of the song that once you’ve heard it, it completely overshadows everything else.

BeatWin – Your Girl

There’s a reason why T-ara’s “Roly Poly” ripped off everything about The Bee Gees except the stupid male vocals, it’s because nobody wants to hear men screaming like their balls have been cut off.  It seems that BeatWin’s producers didn’t get the memo on that, because this song is full of castrato action, however the backings and melodies are pretty cool and a good song will always rescue a shitty vocal delivery.  That great chorus keyboard riff and the funky rhythms completely save this one.  No matter how much awful “ooo-oooh-oooooh” the guys do over the top, they can’t wreck it (but boy, do they try!).

Blackpink – Playing With Fire

Blackpink is essentially 2NE1 with a complete line-up change – same songwriters and producers, same agency, same video concepts, same hype machine, same CEO being a dick etc.  You can tell that this particular song was written after songwriter Teddy broke up with Han Ye Seul because it’s actually quite good and harking back to 2NE1’s glory days to some extent, here’s hoping Teddy stays single and tormented by relationship failure for a while so we get a few more good songs out of Blackpink before he starts dicking another actress or whatever.

Bloomy – Because Of You

A great, simple, melodic and upbeat k-pop song from these veterans of Kpopalypse Nugu Alert, Bloomy have definitely stepped up the song quality from their debut.  They also get bonus nugu points for using Yongma Land and that brick building with the cross-section windows in the same video.  Best of all, Rainook has never looked better and in fact there’s not a single piece of clothing on any of the four girls in this video that doesn’t look fantastic.  Girls, if you want to dress for Kpopalypse fap, which I’m 100% sure is your sole life ambition as it rightly should be, just watch “Because Of You” and then go shopping for all of these outfits.

BOYS24 – E

I think Boys24 has got something to do with a reality TV show that’s a bit like Produce 101 but with boys in it instead of girls, but I’m really not sure because I don’t follow stupid Korean TV.  I’m also not sure about why these kids are so fascinated by a fucking Rubik’s cube, that shit was old-hat in the 80s.  I am however pretty sure that this song is good and it’s giving me Kraftwerk vibes.

Iron – Rock Bottom

Like western nu-metal but better than almost all of it – way better.  If listening to this song doesn’t make you want to break stuff, you have no pulse.

Jung In – UUU

I do like k-pop ballads when they aren’t a complete pile of fucking dogshit for mental children with special needs and here’s a decent one.  Yes the vocals are prominent but it’s in a sensible context that supports the song, rather than projecting nothing but “look everyone how well I can sing, please love me” like 99% of k-pop ballads do, so it’s okay.  Trying to explain this point of distinction to k-pop vocalfaggots is often like talking to a brick wall, so maybe watching this will help them get it.  Probably not though.

LaBoum – Imagine More

LaBoum have been getting pretty good lately, and the Makestar-funded “Imagine More” is one of their best songs so far.  Some of the girls are starting to get noticed by avid k-pop fappers too so here’s hoping that this newfound attention sustains LaBoum for a little longer and they don’t all disband next year with house-deposit-sized debts each.

Oh My Girl – Liar Liar

Nauseatingly shrill and over-produced in the style of Twice, DIA, Red Velvet etc… but better than most of those group’s output.  It’s a bit like bashing your head against a wall, but when you’re really happy.

Red Velvet – Russian Roulette

Easily Red Velvet’s best song, which isn’t hard because apart from “Ice Cream Cake” it’s all a bunch of fucking crap.  For once it’s just Red Velvet doing a straight-up catchy 80s-style pop song with chunky Jean-Michel Jarre style synths and vocal treatments but without any weird chanting shrillness or hideously bland coffee-shop S.E.S-isms.

Sixbomb – Wait Ten Years, Baby

Some songs take a while to grow on me, but I knew from the very first note that this was going to be great.  All of the outfits in this video are fugly beyond belief and the girls look absolutely fucking terrible thanks to some truly horrible styling and makeup, but none of it can dull the experience of a great song that has me jumping in my chair every time I listen.

Sixth Sense – Feel Me

Everything about this one is shit except the music.  The girls have terrible clothes, hair, dancing, makeup, plus the locations are poo, the cinematography is fucked, the film isn’t colourised and post-edited correctly, the list goes on and on.  The only reason this didn’t make it onto Kpopalypse Nugu Alert is that the video astonishingly isn’t actually nugu enough to meet the requirements, how 40,000 people all found out about this video to click on it I have no idea, but bless them because the song is good.

Snuper – It’s Raining

People complained about the chorus vocals sounding “strained” but the only thing that’s getting strained here is the intellectual capacity of moronic k-pop fans who care about vocals to the exclusion of what the actual fucking song sounds like.  I wonder if these idiotic fans also need a “taste analysis site” to work out what their favourite foods are.

Tiffany – I Just Wanna Dance

I love the production on this, I can just listen to it for the synth keyboard sounds, but the whole package here is really good.  Notice how Tiffany is in a coffee shop, but the song isn’t a boring coffee-shop ballad piece of shit, now isn’t that nice, maybe some people could learn from this.

Wonder Girls – Why So Lonely

Remember not that long ago when everyone thought the Wonder Girls were over due to JYP’s “mismanagement”, and that JYP Entertainment itself was in deep trouble?  Remember that I told you it was going to be alright and JYP knows what’s up and to just fucking chill and you were like “nah man JYP has no idea, they’re going to go broke next week I can just tell”.  Stare at that cleavage now and weep for your incorrectitude (totally a word btw).

BONUS SONG WHICH TECHNICALLY ISN’T ELIGIBLE FOR CONSIDERATION BECAUSE IT’S FROM AN OST BUT I’M PUTTING IT HERE ANYWAY BECAUSE FUCK IT, IT’S MY BLOG AND I CAN BREAK THE RULES IF I WANT TO

Gain & Minseo – Imi Oneun Sori (The Sound Of You Coming)

No shit, this song is a miracle, because:

  • It’s for an OST
  • I actually noticed its existence
  • It’s fucking amazing

I don’t usually bother to even check any OST stuff out at all, so I’m not sure how I even found out about this one, maybe I saw Gain’s name come up on the YouTube sidebar and was hoping for some classy-sexy material.  I’m sure I was disappointed at the time, at least visually – the official MV for this only features half the song, and no Gain at all.  What I did get instead however was a song similar to the better Forseti material, which is a sound that I haven’t heard in k-pop anywhere apart from Hong Jin Young, but Gain’s song gets closer to the mark due to more subtlety and less trot concessions.  It’s certainly a shitload better than Gain’s messy rework of IU’s “The Red Shoes“, and in fact tons better than anything Gain has been involved with musically ever.  It’s the sound of me coming alright.

ANOTHER BONUS SONG WHICH JUST MISSED OUT ON THE LIST OF SIXTEEN BUT IS INCLUDED HERE ANYWAY BECAUSE SHE’S PROBABLY NUGU AS FUCK AND COULD USE THE FREE PROMO

Lady Jane – Just 2 Days

This song starts off like your typical Fender Rhodes shitball but then it switches everything up with a really cool Europop style chorus.  I have no idea who Lady Jane is and I give no fucks, because this is as close to ABBA as any k-popper has gotten since T-ara’s iconic “Why Are You Being Like This?“.


DISHONOURABLE MENTIONS

Brave Girls – Deepened

Bravesound’s “in-house” group makes a comeback and I surely thought that Bravesound would reserve only the very best tracks for their self-branded girl group.  For some reason this doesn’t seem to be the case and this song is some completely underwhelming boring slow bullshit instead.  Oh well.

BTOB – Remember That

Remember when BTOB came out with cool upbeat songs like “Wow“?  Ah, those were the days.

Crush ft. Taeyeon – Don’t Forget

Don’t forget what – a good song?  Oops – too late, I guess Crush left it on the tram and had to write this bullshit in a hurry when he got to the studio instead.

f(x) – All Mine

This song was pretty flat and boring just like “4 Walls” was, f(x) are seemingly a spent force as a four-piece group without chief caonima Sulli’s valuable limitations to guide their unseen creative hand.  Oddly, many of f(x)’s fans fought me bitterly over my opinion of “4 walls” but actually seemed to mainly agree with me about “All Mine” being pretty dull even though both songs sound very similar, go figure.

Jero & Dok2 – Paradise

That painful “ooh, ahh” vocal line Jero sings doesn’t sound like he’s in paradise to me – or maybe it’s just a different kind of paradise to the one I’m used to.  I think my idea of paradise now is a world where Jero and Dok2 don’t have music careers.

Jia – Drip

Jia is fucking hot as fuck, so how the hell JYP made the song so shit and made Jia not look any good I have no idea.  He’s a smarter man than me.  Wait… JYP didn’t write this?  Ah.

LaBoum – Shooting Love

A truly painful combination of the negative elements of Red Velvet’s “Dumb Dumb” and Twice’s “Like Ooh Ahh” make this song screechy and unlistenable.  At least it comes with an astonishingly good video.

Lee Hi – My Star

This song is a “Lion Heart“/”Sugar Sugar” type of retro jam, except that the songwriters forgot to write the actual interesting chord changes part and just said to Lee Hi “I don’t know, can you rescue this bullshit song with your voice somehow?”  That type of situation never ends well.

Luhan – Adventure Time

Disneyland reflects the real life, and who more qualified to tell us this than an ex-EXO member.  Unfortunately, Disneyland also reflects the music.

MC The Max – You You And You

I don’t know about you but when I hear the name “M.C. The Max” it conjures up visions of me getting my ass blasted by the most amazing motherfucking crazy rapper MC ever.  Imagine my disappointment when I found out what MC The Max really sounds like.

NCT 127 – Fire Truck

Some people thought that my “Amy” roundup review post was some kind of way of dodging telling people how I felt about certain songs, but you didn’t need a crystal fucking ball to know that I think this song fucking sucks.

Taeyeon – 11:11

Horrible bland acoustic guitar balladeering of the kind that only SM can do.  Actually I tell a lie – everyone does this, unfortunately.

Taeyeon – Why

Why indeed.

Twice – Cheer Up

Speaking of “why”, I’d really like to know why Twice keep trying to copy Shannon Williams’ great “Why Why” and failing.  “Cheer Up” is an even more shamelessly drab copy of “Why Why” than “Like ‘Ooh-Ahh’” was.  They even copied the reggae-lite parts as well as the verse and chorus this time.  Proof that which k-pop songs get successful and which ones don’t is at least 90% in the name.

Urban Zakapa – I Don’t Love You

It’s all very good to be creative and creativity should be encouraged, but the rarely-discussed negative side of groups who write their own material is that if they’re shit songwriters like Urban Zakapa are, there’s basically no chance of them ever fluking a good song and you can pretty much write off their entire careers as musical trash.  A group like this would be better off rolling the dice with an idol super-producer than releasing the same crap song over and over again.

Youngji – Sober

Jesus fuck, this girl sounds like she’s about to fucking pass out.  How the hell do people enjoy this?  I’m so concerned for her health I can’t even concentrate on the song.

WORST SONG THAT I REALLY WANTED TO LIKE BUT HAD TO EVENTUALLY ADMIT WAS KIND OF CRAP

AOA – Good Luck

Of course with everybody hypocritically boo-hooing about AOA because the girls couldn’t recognise Korean historical figures from a fucking portrait (a test that I’d fail for sure with Australian historical figures) I really wanted this song to be great but unfortunately it was all aboard the Beyonce-fail-train for a huge dose of very attractive gyrating bullshit.  Also I was kind of traumatised by the Baywatch theme because you don’t fuck around in the Australian sun like that unless you want third-degree burns to 80% of your body after 5 minutes.

WORST SONG THAT I KNEW WOULD BE GARBAGE BEFORE I EVEN LISTENED TO IT

Kard – Oh NaNa

It’s really not good people.  Combining that shitty yolo sound and that other shitty sound that everyone is doing now… no, just no.  I don’t give a fuck who is in the group or that it’s a co-ed group, fuck off and come back with a decent song.

BONUS SONG THAT WAS KIND OF WEAK BUT COULD HAVE BEEN A LOT WORSE

Jessica ft. Fabolous – Fly

If you had told me at the start of this year that Tiffany would have the cool synth-based solo dance track and Jessica would have the god-bothering millennial-whoop cliche-fest, I would have said “no fucking way”, but here we are.


Honourable/dishonourable mentions from previous years:

2015

2014

2013

2012

The Golden Age: 2008-2011


Kpopalypse lists with return soon with a Christmas roundup, the 2016 favourites list and worst of 2016 lists, and more!  Until then, stay safe, caonimas!

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25 thoughts on “Honourable and dishonourable mentions for 2016

  1. I actually think Laboum’s ‘Shooting Love’ is like Twice’s ‘Ooh Aah’ done to the extreme, and I love it. Twice’s song has got shit verses but a decent chorus, Laboum’s has got fucking super shit verses but a great chorus. Idk maybe I was just craving so much upbeat tempo in kpop these days.

  2. I love Fire Truck with all my meme heart but I understand the song is utter shit show for others. Other than that, I agree. I feel a lot of people have hyped way too many dreadful songs in 2016, even people who I thought had a little sense. I can’t even imagine what 2017 will be like with this “Stan talent, stan blah blah” mentality.

  3. To see Bloomy made it into your honourable list is quite a surprise, I hope more people will give them a listen.
    And I think Laboum’s Shooting Love is their worst song, closely followed by Winter Story.

  4. I confess, I don’t understand why you say “All Mine” is dull? I’ve been enjoying it for a month or so now (maybe I get hooked on the video way more than you; I guess it’s a fan thing, since Amber’s my UB.) Have you heard their collab with R3hab, “Wave”? I like that too, and it feels too short every time.
    I’m afraid to ask, is Gfriend on one of your lists…? Again, I’ve totally become a fan, so any musical objectivity is long gone. 🙂

  5. I’m one of those people who loooove 4walls and don’t like All Mine lol
    I think it’s because the first has a typical f(x)-sound, so mysterious~~ ahah (the remixed ver are even better imo). While All Mine is really cute but kinda generic.
    Oh, and I loved Luna’s Free Somebody (better than Tiffany’s solo, sorrynotsorry)

  6. Only one YG song in the dishonourable mentions? Now that’s surprising. Does that mean CL will FINALLY get that #1 on the worst list? Please, Kpopalypse oppar, I think it’ll be the only chance to see our queen CL get a #1 song for a long time!

  7. I think it’s hilarious that while I appreciate your views on kpop, the industry, etc and you’re my favorite caonima, our tastes in music seem to vastly differ.

    Laboum’s Imagine More is one of my favs, but Shooting Love is a song I go nuts over. It’s just so fun. And Deepened was fantastic, how could you?

    And you hate Why? I can give you 11:11 because it reminds me of bedtime with how fucking boring it is, but Why is my favorite Taeyeon solo track. It’s so jammable.

    Also Cheer Up was mad fun to sing with Twice at KCON

    basically your opinions suck don’t come near me or my son ever again

    love you oppa

  8. The movie the OST is from, The Handmaiden (which I saw days after you posted this and didn’t realize the connection till now, since I also tend to skip over OST stuff…) is rather good. It has the same director as Oldboy, which is why I gave a fuck in the first place. Gore level is at a minimum sadly, but he still adds in that plot twist which I was sort of expecting to happen sooner or later. Oh, and some girl on girl stuff but anyway the song doesn’t show up till the credits.

    Glad to hear a couple favorites during your radio show, I’ll expect 15-1 fondly and calmly accept the results.

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