Kpopalypse’s 30 worst k-pop songs of 2019

Oh no, you’ve just discovered the most hated list in all of the kpoposphere, that’s right, it’s Kpopalypse’s worst k-pop songs of 2019!  Read on if you dare!

Hey I thought 2019 was a pretty good year in k-pop, and I don’t mind saying that out loud.  It was legitimately much harder for me to compile this list than it usually is.  This is probably due to a lot of the more nauseating trends in current k-pop songwriting gradually dying down over the course of 2019, and with no one wildly popular completely shit new trend to replace them yet, there’s been a slight overall decrease in k-pop artists and agencies churning out complete unmitigated crap.  Still, some folks have managed to write complete and utter turds anyway, and Kpopalypse now brings you the messiest and smelliest of these for your perusal and entertainment!

Most people will probably skip straight to the list part and then check with shaking hands and sweaty palms if their favourite artists’ favourite songs are included here so they can then go and complain about it somewhere, but if you’re a new reader and/or reasonably intelligent you may wish to read the below dot points before you dive in.  These points explain this list’s criteria and general aims.

  • Songs are from 1st January 2019 to 31st December 2019 (or just before), this list was published on 31st December 2019 but may appear earlier for some readers due to timezones.
  • Feature tracks only (released with a music video, or as a single, or featured on live stages) – I rely on artists and their companies to put their best (or worst) foot forward, because there aren’t enough hours in the day for me to check out everything.
  • OST songs are not eligible, because they’re such complete crap that they would dominate this list and make it a very boring read.
  • Songs for sporting events are not eligible, nor are Christmas songs, which are of such consistently low quality that they have their own special list of ass cancer just for them.
  • “K-pop” is deliberately defined a little loosely for this list – songs that aren’t strictly “pop” are eligible.  Songs from Koreans trying to break into non-Korean markets are eligible.  Western attempts at “being a k-pop” are also eligible.
  • This list is 100% subjective, it’s all about what I think of the music.  Sure, often I’ll discuss other aspects too, but that’s mainly just for entertainment, as most of these songs actually have similar flaws and repeating myself a whole ton does not make for a very fun list.  The other factors don’t really have any bearing on which songs made it into here.  Yes this list is biased – as it should be, because what is the point of a personal list with no bias in it – but it’s musically biased.
  • The opinions expressed here are not important and do not represent any kind of “authority”.  This list proves nothing except what my own subjective opinions are.  Your own opinions will most likely differ.  If you find yourself completely agreeing with absolutely all opinions that you read in this list (or anyone else’s list), I would actually have serious concerns for your mental health.  Thinking for yourself is good!
  • If you are upset by this list, you’re probably taking one person’s opinions perhaps just a little too seriously.  I create these “worst-of” lists for laughs, fun times with my friends, and as a challenge to myself to try and extract entertainment value out of what I consider to be terribad k-pop songs.  The lists aren’t designed to be “edgy” or “antagonistic” – if that’s how you’re reading them, you need to take a serious step back, a deep breath, and consider how you managed to lose perspective on your life to such a degree that you’d actually take seriously a stupid opinionated list of songs written by some idiot on the Internet who just did it for fun.  However if that’s too hard for you (and I understand that k-pop fandom brainwashing is a real thing which can erode individual thinking and make it difficult to separate subjective opinions from personal attacks), there’s tons of other k-pop lists on the Internet, and more being made each and every year, and they’re almost all more fluffy and cuddly than this one, so why not go and check one of those out instead of wasting your time and energy allowing my dumb opinions free shelf space inside your head?
  • On the other hand if you’re thinking I’m just someone who hates k-pop in general, know that the Kpopalypse favourites list for 2019 is also a thing so maybe go and check that out to hear some much better songs, I highly recommend it.

Now that’s out of the way, let’s get started!


 

Kpopalypse’s 30 worst k-pop songs of 2019

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30. Tiffany Young – Born Again

One of the great environmental problems facing Australia is the imminent destruction of the Great Barrier Reef.  One of the seven wonders of the world, the reef is at significant danger from coral bleaching due to warming ocean temperatures, which impacts us all because a lot of marine life depends on coral for survival.  Of course our current government doesn’t give any fucks about the environment and have a firm agenda to destroy human life on Earth in any way possible, and they certainly don’t want anyone talking about the issues either, so nothing is probably going to change and I’d better now shut up about it so I don’t get vanned by ASIO and sent back to China to meet Boram.  Let’s just say that if things do become really inhospitable here in Australia, you’ll know about it, because the coral is going to start looking a lot like Tiffany does in this video.  The washed-up, half-dead appearance that she exudes here is a worthy approximation of what a dying coral cluster looks like, which is a pretty astonishing bit of cosplay from Tiff because honestly she usually looks fantastic and her attractiveness has skyrocketed ever since she left SM Entertainment.  However even Tiffany’s wet tumbleweed replica styling isn’t a match for the limp sogginess of the music, a lame power ballad with melodies so mindless that I’m genuinely surprised that they weren’t lifted from an EXP Edition B-side.  However EXP Edition at least have the excuse that they are inexperienced in actually being a k-pop and don’t know any better, so I could almost forgive them if they came out with something like this – the Canadian boys know not what they do.  Tiffany on the other hand is a veteran and should be fully aware that vocal lines like this do not meet required standards for k-pop, or any pop, and that when it comes to stupid nauseating Christian ballads on the beach, 안물안궁.

29. Hyuna – Flower Shower

Okay so this is no more or less than Blackpink’s awful “Whistle” with a little less hip-hop lite and English language cringe, and a little more of Hyuna swanning around in flower dresses.  Hyuna looks great here, better than she has in years, and she’s no dummy – she knows exactly why she’s famous, making sure to pose extravagantly and work her best angles to maximum effect but at times forgetting to mime the words because she knows just as well as you do that nobody cares about the words, or even the music in general.  I mean the song’s called “Flower Shower” which is a stupid title and everybody knows it, but it doesn’t matter, she might as well have called it “You’ll Buy This Anyway” or “Gosh, K-pop Fans Sure Are Cunts” and the overall effect would be more or less the same because nobody’s really listening.  I can prove this too – go search up comments about this song right now and good luck finding one solitary comment about this song anywhere that discusses the music at all in even the slightest detail beyond “I like it”, or “I don’t like it”.  Everyone will instead be talking about how it’s good Hyuna is on P-Nation now, where on the sexy/cute scale is this concept and what does that mean for how much attention and/or hate Hyuna generates, how shook they are that she looks good dressed as a bumblebee, and so on.  Certainly nobody will be talking about the aggressively random verse melodies, the vaguely reasonable pre-chorus giving a mild sense of anticipation before the Blackpink’s-worst-song-in-your-area wets the bed, or the fact that Hyuna trying to imitate a tabla by doing wide intervals with her grating voice is actually annoying as piss.  K-pop fans operate like a clubhouse and the music is the key to admission, no more or less, certainly nothing anyone is paying actual attention to beyond something to stream in a loop to make digits go up, and that’s that on that.

28. iKON – I’m OK

If I were to make a list of the different types of musical elements that turn a k-pop song into complete garbage, I’d have to say that vocals is definitely far and above everything else, the main factor that turns most k-pop songs into worthless turds.  I’m not talking about whether someone can sing or not – as anybody with a brain knows by now, “good singing” isn’t a requirement in k-pop where everything is pretty much created electronically.  I’m also not talking about the tone of someone’s voice, whether they are nasal, breathy, high, low, or any of that.  I’m talking instead about vocal writingwhen they sing, what they sing and how much they sing.  K-pop songs tend to favour “too much, too much of the time” and the melodies of the bad songs are generally either twee and beyond awful, or just far too busy with pointless detail.  iKON’s “I’m OK” however is not like that at all, in fact I’d actually say that the vocals here are quite good in every aspect that matters.  iKON’s song is unusual in that the real problem with it is actually 100% contained in the backings, specifically that portamento keyboard effect that is all over all the hook parts of the song.  Because the notes in the keyboard are frequently bending around the notes in the vocal line, there’s this really awful clash of sounds that happens when the two notes almost but not quite line up, which is actually about once per bar in the song’s main sections.  It would all be fine if the song was like Eyedi’s “& New” which has a similar atonality but also has lots of vocal space, the keys and the vocals get to live in separate camps and are largely allowed to stay the fuck away from each other – that’s not the case with “I’m OK”.  iKON are being given a typically busy YG chorus line, and the keys have got no room to breathe so they just sort of scribble all over the top and continually clash with the melody.  The result is near-unlistenability, which is such a shame as this is a song that could have been completely fixed in the studio by the engineer literally pressing one button.

27. Damoim ft. Woo, Keem Hyoeun, Nucksal, Huckleberry P – I’mma Do

The great thing about rap is that anyone can do it without any musical skill.  However the problem with rap is that anyone can do it without any musical skill.  It’s both a positive and a negative, because while it opens up the style to a ton of creative people who might otherwise have had an insurmountable barrier to getting involved at all (also see: punk), it also means that said people often don’t have a fucking clue what they’re doing and any decent results are generally down to good luck rather than good management.  That’s why there’s no consistency to the vast majority of rappers’ catalog, and why your favourite hip-hoppers can suddenly turn around and start sucking on a dime in the space of one album – non-musicians are easily led astray by musical trends or suggestion from those supposedly “more skilled”.  It’s also the reason why when rappers appear in my favourites list, they very rarely appear the following year, because they’ve usually moved onto some other bullshit that sucks just due to sheer probabilities.  The lack of expertise is palpable – you can tell just by looking at the people involved in “I’mma Do” that they’re all a bunch of musical know-nothings who are just here to hang out with their friends and pose with microphones, because how the hell else would anyone have been able to talk them into this weird “tropical trap” nonsense.  They certainly wouldn’t be smiling this much if they had any concept of what they were doing musically, that’s for sure.  I’m not sure if we should tell them so they might perhaps stop it, or if it’s more appropriate to just point this out as an example of what not to do for others.

26. Jiyeon – Take A Hike

Wait, did someone say “tropical trap”?  Jiyeon returns after far too long a wait and while it’s pleasing to see that she’s still alive and looks much the same as ever, the musical results are not good.  “Take A Hike” was a very last-minute entry to this list, and people will inevitably ask me which song in the originally drafted bottom 30 did Jiyeon’s song push out of consideration.  The answer is “none”, because the original draft of this post only actually had 29 songs in it.  I left one space open, because I had a funny feeling that we might get a last-minute stinker like this, and both Jiyeon and Red Velvet hadn’t released songs when I’d written that first draft – T-ara solo songs and Red Velvet comebacks are both traditionally “high risk” affairs quality-wise, so it seemed sensible to wait, just in case.  As it happened Red Velvet’s “Psycho” was actually really quite good and the best song they’ve had in a long time, but Jiyeon has instead come through the winner (of sorts) with this incredibly turgid mess.  It’s not quite as disastrous as ex-T-ara groupmate Hyomin’s disarmingly horrid “Mango“, but it’s certainly in the same general vicinity of crap and for similar reasons.  Once you’ve heard the first minute or so, you’ve heard all there really is to hear, but lack of variety isn’t necessarily a bad thing if what’s there is worthy of repetition.  However once you hear that sickeningly boring sub-bass, the annoying flutes and that incredibly unimaginative non-hook, you’re not going to want to hear them again, and only the most avid of T-ara fans are going to actually be replaying this.  It’s telling that even Jiyeon’s own agency wants nothing to do with this, refusing to let Jiyeon perform the song on music shows, and no wonder.  I guess they too are old-school T-ara fans waiting for the girls to actually produce something of quality again before thrusting them fully back into the public eye.  Although if you’re from her agency and you’re reading this, you should let her perform it anyway because she does look good and at least the stage outfits will be sweet.  Cheers.

25. High School – High Class

Using face masks is an intelligent low-stakes way to debut, I suppose it doesn’t matter if the song sucks because who’s gonna even know who you are?  It’s not like anybody would actually admit to being in this.  This is K/DA’s fault of course, they made rapping with a face mask on trendy with that stupid song of theirs, now we’re probably going to have to put up with every last nugu girl group member who plays a bit of League Of Legends in between calisthenics and starving themselves to the point where they can’t menstruate properly doing lame yolo-Akali cosplay.  In the K/DA video it didn’t actually look too frightfully stupid because it was CGI and they had some teeth on the mask so when the girl rapped the teeth moved, whereas here it just looks like the girls of “High School” are staring into the camera for no reason – since we can’t see their faces or see their mouths move in any discernable way, who knows who is really even singing this.  Having said that, if I had to sing a crappy tune with a chorus this mindlessly repetitive, I’d probably want all the identity protection I could get.  These girls should count their blessings as they are at least potentially now free with clean reputations, ready to start afresh doing something actually useful to society, like stacking supermarket shelves or running a sajaegi phone room operation, both high-status employment opportunities compared with being yet another k-pop.

24. Choa & Way – My Universe

But wait…
oh, what’s this song doing here?
Right, hang on…
I’ll just check my drafts…
No way is this right…
[goes away to check drafts]

Boy, where did those drafts go
Apparently I’ve
lost them…
Like how does that even happen…
Ah, here they are!
Damn that was close…

[comes back]
Rightio, nope
A quick check of my drafts has confirmed it
Pretty obviously this song wasn’t supposed to be here.

Why, in fact, I don’t even understand what
happened here
at all.
This is a great song, surely?

Way and Choa (especially Way) are just so talented,
everything they do is
really so great, it’s
evident that this song being here doesn’t make sense.

There’s just no way that this song legitimately got this
high on the year’s worst songs.
Errors can happy to anybody.
Yeah, this definitely isn’t right.

This is obviously just some kind of list error
Hey even the best of us make mistakes
I’m sure we can all ignore it and move on.
Nothing to see here, really.
Keep in mind to support Way on YouTube,
Isn’t her channel so
neat?  I think it’s
great!  Three cheers for Way!

23. Lim Kim – Yellow

Hey it’s great that Lim Kim has come back lately and it’s also great that she’s exploring some really different styles, because “Awoo” really was a bucket of dogshit and if she got pigeonholed into that sound for her entire career that would certainly have been a waste.  So it’s definitely the right move that she’s come out with some new song which is such a garish clash of genres that it doesn’t really sound like anything else anyone has ever done, however it unfortunately also doesn’t sound like anything that anyone should do.  The unusual backings are appreciated, but any good work this song has built up through being fresh and different is undone about 99.9% by Lim Kim’s choice of vocals.  The backings are so unusual especially with the cutting-across-time sections, that I get the feeling perhaps something good could have been done with them, but the completely standard “egotistical identity-politics rap by numbers” over the top just makes everything sound like CL doing another song with Riff Raff.  It doesn’t really suit the context of her comeback anyway – all the “who’s your fuckin’ queen” bragging would only be cheesy, annoying, cliched, lame, tokenistic, juvenile, comical and ear-grating from someone like CL, BoA, or maybe Miryo or Yoon Mirae, or even Hyuna, but when it’s being intoned by someone with a very slim back catalogue and who’s seen the better part of half a decade completely missing in action, it’s also nonsensical.  Girl, if you want to call yourself a queen and be taken seriously about it you’ve got to at least put in some throne time, or failing that, at least have a less annoying rap style than this.  Apparently we’re all supposed to give this a pass anyway because she’s Asian or something (as if a third of the world somehow isn’t) and there may indeed be a positive message about the perception of Asian women buried in here somewhere, I’ll let you know if I ever find it underneath all the generic hip-hop screeching.

22. Ravi – Tuxedo

I honestly for the life of me do not remember VIXX’s Ravi looking like an Asian Nicholas Cage.  When did this happen and how?  I’m not sure what it is, but it’s definitely true and now I can’t stop seeing Nicolas Cage whenever I look at his face (and now nor will you, aren’t you glad you read this).  If Ravi is in fact a version of Nicolas Cage if he were a k-pop, “Tuxedo” is like a musical version of Cage’s stellar performance in the remake of “The Wicker Man“.  You’ll be screaming “Not the bees!  Not the bees!” just like poor Nick as you listen to Ravi’s voice, which has been computer-processed into a shrill buzz that only the craziest pagan k-pop cult could love, and the dull funk groove is enough to make you want to don a bear suit and punch random women in the face.  All of this is paired with a video where Ravi shows just how much fun he is to party with in the club, especially when he transforms into Hitler for no apparent reason in a bizarre scene that k-pop’s legions of “oh so woke” fans oddly didn’t even notice, but then maybe that’s got something to do with the fashion-centric theme of the song as the Nazis for all their faults were pretty snappy dressers.  Maybe k-pop fans understand context for once… no, that can’t be it, it’s probably just because it’s Ravi from VIXX.  Imagine if a girl group did that shit.  Anywa who cares, song is a bunch of trash – next!

21. Minty – Rat Chat

I always wondered about Minty’s weird “let’s hide my face” schtick in music videos.  I thought maybe it was part of some “don’t objectify my facial features” bullcrap, or perhaps she was trying for some Sia-esque “anxiety”, or just scared of retribution from knuckle-scrapers upset about the intro to “Candy Cloudy” because of her support for feminism (because you know how Korean men are about that).  However recently the truth was revealed that Minty is actually an old cunt like Kpopalypse and was just hiding her face so her age wouldn’t be as obvious and so she could be more marketable.  So much for her supposed feminism and challenging beauty standards I guess, although she probably had a good laugh baiting pedophiles who thought she was a good ten years younger than she actually was.  I definitely can’t hate on her for it, not for any political reason necessarily, but just because if I had released a song as awful as “Rat Chat” I think I’d want to hide my face too, just out of pure fucking shame.  The worst thing about the song isn’t Minty herself though, but that horrible vocal hook, every time she sings “Rat Chat!” in that nauseating upward tone I just want to bash a brick up my ass.  It’s really shameful especially when you consider that’s not her natural voice – she’s actually putting that on for effect (presumably to make the age-play more convincing), her real voice is as it is in her apology video.  If she actually rapped using the way she naturally sounds using her real speaking tone instead of deliberately trying to sound like a toddler, she’d probably be ten times more listenable.  At least now that the cat is out of the bag, there’s hope for Minty in the future to bring us something harder sounding and finally get herself off these fucking lists.

20. Yoona ft. 20 Years Of Age – Summer Night

Anyone familiar with the recent history of my favourites lists will be well aware that over the last two years Girls Generation’s Yoona has weirdly been pulling fantastic solo ballad songs out of her ass that have really surprised me.  I’ve been at as much of a loss to explain this phenomenon as anyone else, but I guess it couldn’t last, and so now we have “Summer Night”.  The weirdest thing about this song however is that “Summer Night” actually isn’t a ballad, yet it sucks far more than Yoona’s previous songs that definitely were ballads, so that’s a strange thing as it’s quite well-documented that I don’t like ballads generally.  There’s not much point going into what makes this musically crap as it’s fairly self-evident, and the most telling sign of its low quality is that while there’s plenty of people singing and dancing in the video, none of them, including Yoona herself, are actually singing or dancing to this particular song.  Who knows how any of this happened.  Maybe Yoona’s face is such a black-hole of fucking boredom that it actually has the power of inverse musical quality, the ability to make possible shit songs great and theoretically much better songs completely terrible.  Perhaps one day someone will shoot a particle from the Large Hardon Collider into Yoona’s face, it’ll fall into this fucking vortex of shit and come out the other end the opposite of itself, then all of us will be in opposite-world where R&B is great, T-ara never had a good song and pop from Central African Republic is taking over the world.

19. Jay Park – Feng Shui

Has Cha Cha Malone been responsible for one solitary good song in all of k-pop?  For that matter, has Jay Park?  I vaguely remember Jay Park not sucking in perhaps one out of every thirty songs he does, but this isn’t one of them, and the converging forces of fucktarddom here in the vortex where Jay and Cha Cha meet (is the second Cha his middle name?  If I meet him informally can I just call him Cha?) are too much for any sane person.   The title “Feng Shui” is a typically high-school grade JayParkian reference to rearranging the furniture because Jay and the imaginary girl he’s both fucking and singing his song to are having sex in various different places in the house and so the furniture is bumping and moving around a lot – and I hope that lyrical metaphor or pun or joke or whatever the fuck it is blows you right the fuck away because that’s about as sophisticated as the wordplay gets here.  The lame lyrics alone of course wouldn’t be a deal-breaker if it wasn’t sung in that incredibly horrible Autotuned R&B style that every person with an IQ over 80 hates, with the same four notes grinding over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over (fuuuuuck) and carving out a notch in your hearing frequency that you’ll probably have for the rest of your life after only a few listens.  Then there’s the “Cha Cha beat boy” coating everything with an extra veneer of manure, because it’s 2019 so we can’t have good rap beats anymore, and of course there’s no harmony variation either, but I guess it suits everything else well enough in the sense that it sucks just as much.  Someone hang up some fucking crystals or something to redistribute the Chi energy and make this go away.

18. Chung Ha – Gotta Go

There’s been a lot said about the evils of tropical shithouse on Kpopalypse blog over the last few years as the style has come into force, peaked and then gradually waned.  As the style is now in its final death throes, “Gotta Go” feels like an attempt to kill it completely by making us all as sick of it as we can possible be in three minutes.  Sure, I’ll admit that rhythmically it’s not quite a tropical song, even though I do get the feeling that this is good luck rather than good management, like the songwriters were aiming for it just didn’t quite know how to program “tropical” correctly with their tinny drum machines.  It really doesn’t matter much however, because literally every single fucking second of this shit is filled to overflowing with endless layers of tropical toot-tooting, that fucking stupid echoey squirt noise that is in everything now, and of course there’s the rapid-fire trap style snare drum just to top everything off with another layer of manure.  Chungha’s painfully strained-sounding melody over the top is the diarrhoea icing on this shit-cake, and of course she has to pretty much hack her uluva in half while singing this just to compete with all the relentless cacophony.  It’s times like this I bet that she wishes she joined a group so she only had to sing half of one verse and could let the other girls do the rest, and I think I’m wishing the same – surely there’s some groups out there with better songs than this and some vacancies who could take her in, give her some trauma recovery counseling, and get her to sing something proper for once.  Maybe hit up Momoland, Chung Ha – I’ve heard they’ve got some recently vacated spots to fill.

17. Dean – Howlin’ 404

Those of you interested in recent South Korean history may or may not be aware of the Sampoong Department Store collapse, an incident that was at least as tragic as the awful Sewol Ferry tragedy, and claimed even more lives.  Without wanting to go into too much detail about it (click the link if you’d like to know more than this crappy review of Dean’s shit song will tell you), an entire shopping centre wasn’t built correctly (because the owner basically didn’t give a fuck about OH&S compliance) and collapsed, killing hundreds of people.  Apparently the structural integrity of the building just wasn’t sound enough to handle the weight of the number of floors and the building’s lifts.  I’m sure that in Korea people have learned from this horrible incident and build their multi-storey buildings much better now, but I still can’t help but get a little bit worried when I see Dean howling away in an underground car park.  I think there’s a very good chance that his hideous echoey caterwauling and dying-cat melodies are weakening the foundations of whatever structure he’s under, and that the whole thing is eventually going to come toppling down.  It certainly can’t be helping, having a concrete structure trying to contain vibrations so unpleasant.  As if to demonstrate the potential chaos, near the end of the video the acoustic guitar stops and we’re treated to some weird concrete CGI whirlpool, which makes me think that like the Sampoong CEO, Dean is aware of the health hazard that this song presents, but just doesn’t care.  I guess if it comes crashing down on Dean himself, then that would be tragic but at least we won’t get any shit acoustic warbling crap songs like this in the future, but there could be other innocent people in the same location making better music who might also suffer, let’s think of them and not listen to this song or anything else of Dean’s within 500 metres of any man-made structures.

16. Hyungdon & Daejune – Mumble

So obviously this is a parody of “mumble rap”, and that’s a good thing, because mumble rap definitely deserves to be lampooned, however the main problem with “Mumble” is that it makes even less sense to me than what it’s taking the piss out of.  Here’s what I can understand so far:

  • Mumble rap sounds mumbly
  • Mumble rappers also look stupid and dance stupidly
  • Also their music sucks
  • Something about ducks and geese
  • There’s a Donald Trump bit but I’m not sure why
  • That’s about it

I don’t know why the humour in this is passing me by, I wonder if it’s maybe lost in translation by the style of jokes, but then I completely understood “Park You” and thought that was relatively funny (and it’s a much better song by the way).  It just seems like the same weird exaggerated Korean humour that’s also in all the Korean dramas, where the scriptwriters constantly lean on “oh look how zany this is, omg so random and freaky” rather than actual jokes.  That or I’m just a dumb fucking cunt, but either way I still can’t enjoy this.  It’s hard to create a song in this genre that makes less sense than Kris’ “Juice“, but I think that Hyungdon and Daejune have done it, how one can make a parody of mumble rap and miss the mark so badly I’m not sure.  On top of that the music blows in that obvious trap-type way, and of course that’s the point, but just because it’s the point doesn’t suddenly make it something you would want to listen to.

15. Fin.K.L – Like The Song Remains

Obviously, I was hoping for a T-ara comeback this year, and I didn’t get one.  Now that’s certainly a shame, as their track-record for generally-above-average songs would be very welcome.  However if I were to hypothetically hear about news of a T-ara comeback tomorrow, I’d actually be more worried about it than I would be looking forward to it, and this might seem odd coming from me, but I have my reasons.  You see, enough time has passed since the last full-group T-ara activity, that the risk of them producing some kind of dogshit sentimental “reunion” song like this is actually quite high.  Time moves fast in the k-pop world and the length of time that qualifies as “shit reunion ballad song worthy” seems to be shortening each year.  Nobody wants to see news of a comeback from their favourite previous-generation k-pop group only for them to do some stupid cigarette-lighter waving, sitting around in the park reminiscing and crying, “oh aren’t we all happy to see each other in the studio again it’s been so long”, hand-holding, dick-sucking piece of fucking cunt-jaculate like Fin.K.L have on their hands here.  Maybe I needn’t worry as perhaps the next T-ara track will be another great club stomper, or maybe they just won’t do anything together at all anymore – honestly I’d happily take either of these outcomes over the members of T-ara taking a Kombi out into the woods, lighting an unsafe campfire and croaking out one of the worst ballads ever imaginable.

14. Peniel – B.O.D

So there’s a few types of bad songs that feature in these lists.  One type is songs that could have potentially been good but are struck by fatal flaws that make them basically unenjoyable.  Then there are the songs that are bad because they’re incredibly, inescapably dull, usually horrid trendy bullshit that just sounds exactly like everything else but worse.  Then there’s songs like Peniel’s “B.O.D”, which are actually fucking funny as hell, and while they certainly don’t represent any kind of good or even vaguely acceptable musical experience, it’s still possible to enjoy them in their own way.  I have to be honest and admit that when I first heard Peniel intone “motherfuckerrrrrr” at 0:50 while making some silly dance move which seems to be indicating either a gun or a samurai sword, I could not stop myself from laughing from the unbelievable stupidity of it all.  The low intellectual bar which was already on the floor by that point then started sinking into the ground when the second verse started and Peniel explained how Seoul is “NYC but on steroids”, not even bothering to rhyme because I guess they feel that the message that Seoul is so hardcore or whatever is clearly so incredibly important that rhyming can be compromised.  The incredibly harsh beat (but not in a good way) combined with the general theme of drinking is also really weird, and sits in the same uncannily mismatched musical valley as “beer metal”, making Peniel come off like the Korean yolotard equivalent of Tankard.  The entire experience is just really weird, really funny and really quite shithouse, and who said that rap guys were even allowed to dance anyway, nobody should be dancing or doing anything while listening to this song, except trying not to laugh and possibly also picking their eyes up off the floor after they rolled all the way outside of their skull.  Motherfuckerrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

13. SMTOWN – This is Your Day

SM Entertainment must be salty as fuck about the rise and rise of BTS in the American music market.  They’ve been trying to crack their own artists over there for many years, and as the Korean agency with the most polish, the smoothest productions and the biggest stars not to mention the most active gangsters they probably felt entitled to have the first artist solidly break through be one of their own.  It probably would have seemed unthinkable to SM that the group to finally bust open the doors not only wouldn’t be one of theirs, but also not anyone on any of the “big three” k-pop labels.  So the success of BTS probably gave SM some time to reflect and think – “how can we do better than this?  How can we be more relevant to the world than this nugu agency BigHit who have lucked out and pulled the rug out from under all of us?”  The result is “This Is Your Day”, which is a very clever two-pronged attack on everything that BTS stand for.  Of course, there’s the championing of UNICEF, something that BTS have done before but now that BTS are “no longer political” and are performing for countries that are bombing the crap out of the same kids that UNICEF are trying to save, any further pro-UNICEF action from the boys is now going to look a bit silly.  Enter SM Entertainment, who haven’t don’t anything silly like perform in Sau… oh wait, actually Super Junior performed there earlier this year, and Siwon is in this video so now that’s a bit of an oopsie, but hey it was a whole six months ago and went by with far less people kicking up a stink so SM are hoping that enough time has passed and you’ve forgotten about that.  The other secret weapon that SM Entertainment have up their sleeve is Sunny’s chest, it’s well known that BigHit are far too scared to float a girl group right now, so SM were sure to capture Sunny in a white lacy top “arriving at the studio” ahem (“just go out the door and then back in again so we can film it with the camera angled down a bit, dear”) to capture that Kpopalypse boobs-post audience that BigHit are neglecting.  It’s brilliant tactics really, exactly what I’d expect from the leaders in “culture technology”, pity they fucked up the song and it’s just the usual sub-“We Are The World” fucking bollocks that tries to guilt you into liking it like all of these things always are.  Why doesn’t anybody ever do children’s benefit songs that sound like Slayer, a bit of fast punchy music would perhaps encourage people to address the urgency of the situation, or might at least motivate those aid workers to drop their food parcels a bit quicker.

12. Hinapia – Drip

Isn’t it weird how Hinapia, a new group made up of almost all ex-Pristin members, released something within weeks of the hotly anticipated, hugely hyped and widely popular Pristin officially folding after many months of doing nothing, I guess something internal really was holding them back.  It’s a shame that we probably won’t get to find what it was anytime soon, Kyla sure as fuck isn’t interested in saying jack shit about what really happened but at least she’s talking, the other ex-members seem even less likely to give us even her amount of extremely marginal “tea”.  What the presence of Hinapia however does seem to confirm, is that the Pristin girls who made their way into this group may have had a reasonably active role in shaping the group’s sound.  I think this is likely, because “Drip” is utter fucking garbage in much the same way as Pristin’s “We Like“, and for much the same set of reasons.  The stupid major scale vocal parts out of nowhere are back, as are all the sections of the song sounding weirdly disconnected like they all belong in completely different songs of their own, and of course we have a terrible English hook that just sounds laughable in any context possibly imaginable.  It’s easy to hate Pledis for a whole bunch of reasons, and sure it’s fun to joke about the “dungeon” but without any hard information coming out, all I can speculate is that perhaps Pledis do actually have a functioning quality assurance department that was rejecting all these Pristin songs.  Of course fans of any k-pop group are brainwashed so they’ll lap up anything no matter what it sounds like (just witness all the “get ready to support and streeeeeam” threads they create before they’ve even heard what a song from their faves sounds like as evidence of that) so naturally they’re bummed about the lack of product, but maybe, just maybe, Pledis was doing us all a big favour this whole time, diligently listening to all the material beforehand, shaking their heads while saying “yeah nah” and demanding that the group rework their songs into something listenable before release.  If true, that’d be the biggest “Kpopalypse saw it coming” plot twist since Shampoogate.

11. TXT – Cat & Dog

A lot of people seem to think I’m some kind of BTS hater these days.  A lot of people are wrong – far from hating them, I can’t bring myself to feel any emotions about BTS at all.  Since about 2015, BTS haven’t have any good songs, but they haven’t had any really bad songs either.  BTS’s sole achievement over the past four years in my eyes is making music so average and ordinary that the only Kpopalypse list any of it could have gotten on this year would be one titled “Kpopalypse’s list of 30 songs from 2019 least likely to appear on a Kpopalypse list”, they’re the musical equivalent of staring at a brick wall and waiting for wind erosion to provide some visual variety.  So it was with great surprise that I found out their labelmates TXT seem to have music that actually is capable of eliciting some strong emotions from myself, I feel like this is certainly a step in the right direction.  It’s just a pity that in the case of “Cat & Dog” those emotions are disgust, dread and nausea, but I guess you can’t have it all.  That’s not to say that the boys of TXT don’t have other songs that aren’t good (check the favourites list), or that they aren’t talented, and in fact they’ve mastered one talent which I didn’t even know existed which is the subtle art of making Autotune sound out of tune when it’s actually not, or maybe that was just the sound of my inner ears convulsing in horror as TXT made their way through this trap-infused shit-fight.  The worst part of the song however is easily when the trap beat periodically drops out, leaving only the vocals and that horrid metallic “wooo-oohoaaahahhhh” fucking thing, needless to say that when the trap sections of a song are actually the best parts, you know the entire musical piece has serious issues and is probably beyond any hope of redemption.  At least the song title seems appropriate because your cat or dog could probably easily produce something about this musical.

10. Luna – Bye Bye

Speaking of pets, starting from about 2:16 in this video, there’s some sections where Luna is playing hide and seek with a cute puppy.  Adorable, right?  Sure, but try to ignore the canine shenanigans for a moment, and look over to the right hand side of the frame.  Leaning against the wall, being the helpfully labelled “sketch book”, is an acoustic guitar.  However there’s something wrong – the guitar is oddly misshaped for no clear reason, like a Mosrite except with the asymmetry the other way around.  It took a while, but then I remembered where I’d seen almost that exact guitar shape and orientation before – the Gibson Firebird X.  For those unaware, the infamous Firebird X was released by Gibson, one of the most successful guitar companies ever, right at their height of their “let’s embrace technology” phase and it actually was pretty ambitious and cool, featuring all sorts of wacky cumbersome electronic shit to basically make it perform like an equivalent to a modern keyboard workstation, although you could actually also just play it like a normal guitar if you wanted.  However the instrument was a complete marketing disaster that failed to capture the hearts of Gibson’s conservative customer base who didn’t want to take a chance on such an unconventional guitar with a high price point when they could just buy another beloved Les Paul, and it got to the point where Gibson recently crushed hundreds of Firebird X’s because they were allegedly faulty (the “fault” presumably being that they weren’t selling).  Luna has a lot in common with the Firebird X – she’s actually pretty good under the hood and is suitable for a wider variety of applications than the competition, but given the large amount of well-loved models already in existence as well as newer models appearing all the time, nobody really gives her much of a shot, despite her A-list brand.  As a result, instead of being welcomed by the most prestigious in the industry, Luna is typically lumbered with music that shouldn’t ever leave anybody’s bedrooms.  Luna is the Firebird X if it were reincarnated into a k-pop, and “Bye Bye” is her syrupy, ultra-slow samba of decay, the maudlin acoustic-driven soundtrack to the pink tank in f(x)’s “Hot Summer” video driving over and snapping 324 maple guitar necks.  It’s one of the saddest sounds you’re ever likely to hear, but for all the wrong reasons.

9. Fromis_9 – Fun!

Easily the worst song that “the underscore group” have ever been involved with, “Fun” dies a quick and painful death due to that utterly atrocious descending chromatic chorus vocal line.  For those not conversant with that terminology, I don’t even need to explain to you what a “descending chromatic chorus vocal line” is, because it’s immediately evident to anybody right where the songwriters fucked up as soon as this song starts.  Whoever the fuck thought repeating that melody over and over again like a broken police siren was not only appropriate pop song material but would work fine for the song’s actual hook must have misplaced their morning valium.  Even Public Enemy at their most abrasive were considerate enough to keep their chromatic tuneless wailing noises somewhere in the background and just do raps over them, but with Fromis_9 the unlistenability is front and center all throughout the song’s most important sections.  I’m sure it would work in some other kind of musical context but it certainly doesn’t work here, and in fact, all those “power electronics” and “death industrial” groups in a competition to make the most tuneless unlistenable crap would do well to stop pissing around with tone generators and ludicrously overpriced analog synths, and just sample and repeat large chunks of Fromis_9’s “Fun” at jackhammer volume to induce the appropriate nausea levels in their audience.  Or maybe not – power electronics visionary William Bennet has shown no signs so far of caring about “the underscore group”, he listens to Gfriend, IU and Apink instead like any normal person.  Perhaps you should, too.

8. Bryn – Lilly

One of the only terrible musical trends that didn’t significantly decrease over the course of 2019, a lot of this nu-school poser R&B/trap fucking shit came out this year and it’s a minor miracle that this entire list isn’t filled with bullshit that sounds exactly like this.  There sure is a lot of it too.  Did I mention that there is a lot of this type of music being made right now, and that it all unconditionally sucks?  The only person I’ve heard get this kind of robotic R&B fuckwit vibe right is Jvcki Wai and even then she only manages to carve something listenable out of her Autotuned bleating maybe 20% of the time, everyone else has pretty much no chance in hell.  Speaking of hell, Bryn seems to be going for some kind of satanic cosplay in this video, which is by far the best thing about this package and certainly suits the music which definitely is a diabolical creation with a tuneless vocal melody oscillating like a serpent emerging from the pits of hell.  However most satanic music actually sounds way better than this, when Alistair Crowley said “do what thou wilt” he wasn’t talking about making music so terrible that it could destroy plant life.  Then again, maybe that horned thing she’s cosplaying is something completely different and I’m just being a really culturally insensitive cunt, but then I don’t see why I should be respectful to any culture that is capable of making music this bad, why can’t they be respectful of my music-evaluating culture instead and make a better song next time.

7. B1A4 – A Day Of Love

I’ve been in a lot of commercial recording studio sessions over my years as either an audio engineer, producer, or band member, and they’re generally really high-pressure, un-fun environments to work in.  The reason why is because studio bookings are expensive and everybody is on the clock – all the time is bought and paid for, and there’s tremendous expectations on all concerned parties to get the job done and generate an acceptable product within the timeframe.  The engineer is under pressure to make sure all the gear works with no fuckups, the performers are under pressure to nail their parts efficiently with the best performance possible so they don’t waste time doing multiple takes, and whoever is paying for the studio time is under pressure from their bank manager to make the repayments.  Paradoxically, while time is of the essence, in practice there’s also a lot of boring waiting around for things to happen in any studio session, as parts are often tracked individually and when one person is recording their bits, the other people don’t always have much to do. Plus then there’s all that time spent with setting up gear, pulling down gear, mixing the product once it’s recorded, tweaking things, etc. – all processes that not every person in the entourage is involved in at all times, so inevitably some have to just wait it out.  This combination of high pressure to perform and intense boredom means that the nastier side of people’s emotions can sometimes come to the fore.  What you don’t see in these sort of environments, at all, ever, is a lot of is aegyo poses, clowning around, dancing for no reason, and so forth, that shit is in real short supply.  The other thing about studio sessions is that you get to hear each song a lot while it’s being worked on, so these boys would have had to listen to and sing this painful crap over and over.  The song is weirdly almost all drums and vocals with nearly everything else pushed right into the back of the mix, possibly as a result of audio engineer fatigue, which is a real thing – ears get tired and the brain loses objectivity after multiple listens, that’s why it’s important to take breaks when mixing, so you don’t fuck up a song as badly as this.  Not that there’s much musically good here to work with anyway, the song is generic to the core and wouldn’t have been that much more acceptable with better mixing.  Anyway I can guarantee you that as soon as the cameras were off the B1A4 members went back to their usual sullen expressions of extreme concentration and endurance, and did not do one aegyo pose more than what was required to compile this video.

6. Red Velvet – Zimzalabim

Red Velvet do have the odd isolated quality song (most recently, “Psycho“) but they’re certainly no strangers to the Kpopalypse worst of k-pop lists either, and “Zimzalabim” is probably the most predictable entry in this entire list for my readers given their fairly consistent track record of being lumbered with the worst of SM’s failed musical experiments. “Zimzalabim” was a song that was written around the same time and in much the same spirit as another notoriously messy disjointed piece of shit, Girls’ Generation’s ambitious but deeply flawed “I Got A Boy“, and the lineage certainly shows, with the song oscillating between something f(x) might have done in 2014, something Girls’ Generation might have done in 2013, and a chorus that nobody should be asked to do ever.  Even the song’s intro is terrifying, with one of the Red Velvet girls (which one, who the fuck knows or cares) chanting “Are you ready for this?  Zimzalabim!” with the same vocal tone and fake smile that your mother used to use when you were a toddler and she’d say “here comes the aeroplane!” when feeding you a heaped spoonful of distasteful synthetic gruel in the desperate hope that you’d stop crying and find mealtimes more “fun”.  That hope was in vain of course, as well as any hope that this song would be anything other than hot garbage with a chorus of nothing but boring monotone “exotic” chanting over a computer fart noise, which is apparently supposed to be the highlight or something.  Special mention also should be made of the wardrobe, with the girls apparently cosplaying as a bunch of fluorescent used dishrags, appropriate for a song that sounds like it was recycled from parts of other songs that were consigned to the scrapheap five years ago.  In most scenes the Red Velvet girls are looking none-too-impressed about it either, once the music starts most of them can barely even drag more than the vaguest cheeky grin out of themselves… and who can blame them, you probably wouldn’t smile any more than your contract stipulated that you had to either if you were forced to dress up as a green toilet brush and chant this stupid nonsense.  It really is a fucking total disaster which makes the troubled “I Got A Boy” sound positively coherent in comparison, and even the most one-eyed hardcore Red Velvet fan would still have to admit that Red Velvet can and have done a hell of a lot better than this.  If anything I like the girls themselves a little bit more after hearing “Zimzalabim”, as it’s impossible not to feel empathy for them.  Imagine being in Red Velvet, knowing SM’s history and their better songs for Girls’ Generation and f(x), and feeling like you could have had actually something of that quality had you debuted a few years earlier – it must suck far more for them than it does for us, because this is their careers.  If I ever get to interview any of the girls, I’ll be sure to ask them “ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?

5. Girlkind XJR – Money Talk

Although I started learning piano from about age five, the first music that I really got into and enjoyed a lot when I was young were “chiptunes” – music that accompanied computer games on the Commodore 64.  The Commodore 64 had 3 channels of 8-bit mono sound and some basic wave synthesis, and some of the composers for the machine really pushed that simple hardware to its absolute limits to make some great tunes.  However more often than not the tunes were really bad, and one of the worst was for an odd and really quite decent (for its time) pinball game called Slamball.  There was no way to turn Slamball’s in-game sound off, and as the game itself was fairly addictive, I ended up spending hours playing Slamball while listening to some of the worst sonics imaginable – a combination of repetitious pinball blips and bloops accompanied by some awful seasickening nursery-rhyme sub-bass (you can listen here if you dare).  Eventually the novelty of playing the game wore off, as while it was fun there wasn’t really a whole lot to it, plus the sound really was that fucking annoying, so I started playing other stuff instead and forgot Slamball existed.  The game and its horrible audio has since laid dormant in my memory for decades, only to be reactivated like a cryogenic zombie when Girlkind XJR’s “Money Talk” hit exactly the one minute mark and the girls start singing “I like it, I like it like that” tunelessly over that random-ass bassline.  While the effect isn’t an exact recreation of Slamball’s computer-farting, the two elements mesh about as well as Slamball’s disconnected sound effects.  The overall mood is certainly much the same and the psychological result is similar too, generating comparable feelings of listlessness and existential dread.  I guess it’s fitting for a barely coherent yolotard rap song which seems to be about materialism but has no other discernable message or purpose, living just for money and nothing else sure is as depressing as being trapped in this atonal pinball machine of a song.

4. Turboy – Bean Bean Bean

Okay, so go ahead and play this video.  Then, stop the video once it reaches the four second mark.  You now know everything that you need to know about Turboy’s “Bean Bean Bean”, as everything else that you are going to hear from that point onward is either identical to or a vague extrapolation of what you have just heard.  Since the video is actually three minutes and 20 seconds long, you might want some suggestions for what you could do with the remaining three minutes and sixteen seconds.  Why not try the following:

  • Go for a walk
  • Make a snack
  • Think about life
  • Listen to HYO’s “Badster” which is 3:16 and will fill up the remaining time precisely
  • Read some other posts on this website (check the index)
  • Text a friend about how you’re reading a really interesting/boring/shitty k-pop song list right now
  • Leave a comment on your favourite social network about how this list is “problematic” (perhaps don’t also admit that you actually made it this far down the text or you might look a bit silly)
  • Do a sporting activity (you know the song is bad if I’m suggesting this)
  • Etc

In fact, just about any activity will nicely fill up that remaining time.  You’re welcome.

3. JYP – This Small Hand

JYP spends the first minute or two of this maudlin, dreary, sickeningly sentimental, vomit-inducing ballad telling a fascinating story which sheds a lot of light on him as an individual.  Apparently, after his partner gave birth, he had a profound revelation that moved him to tears – he realised that his father was partly responsible for his own existence.  Of course a fact like this shouldn’t really be that much of a revelation, and it makes me think that perhaps he wasn’t paying enough attention during sex education class, or at least wasn’t watching enough Sechskies live stages about what bits go where during conception.  Despite this disturbing lack of understanding, JYP’s partner has somehow managed to give birth to a child anyway, so I strongly suspect that there’s something that she’s not telling him.  I was told a story a while back about a sex counseller who worked in Asian countries and met an exceptionally conservative religious couple who just couldn’t get pregnant no matter what they tried.  The man kept complaining that his penis wouldn’t go in her vagina properly, and the woman kept complaining about a sore stomach – after some questioning about anatomy it was revealed that he was trying to get her pregnant by penetrating her belly-button.  I wonder if JYP also had this misunderstanding for a while, and I’m sure it’s difficult to win an argument with JYP about anything because CEOs tend to be rather headstrong, so rather than talk him out of it or try to educate him, his partner perhaps has just sort of accepted her fate and squeezed in a little action on the side from someone with a bit more of a track record of knowing how to get someone pregnant (Jay Park perhaps, or maybe Kim Hyun Joong).  Now you know why there’s all those exposed belly buttons in old JYP videos.  Anyway, if it were me squeezing an infant out of my vagina (or belly-button) that JYP was going to look after 50% of the time, I think the main message I would have told him would be “I don’t care what you name it, just don’t write a fucking k-pop ballad for it, I’m in enough pain already thanks”.

2. Noh Sabong – Woo Ah Song

For a fandom community that is at pains to be as “woke” as possible at all times, even when it doesn’t really make sense to be (like when consuming a satirical list of worst k-pop songs for instance), k-pop fans sure are weirdly ageist as fuck.  I’m convinced that if k-pop fandoms ran the world they’d quickly turn it into the dystopia seen in Logan’s Run where they hunt down and kill all citizens once they hit the age of 26.  The ageist attitude is so pervasive that I’m sure quite a few of you are nodding your heads right now while reading this, thinking “wow, killing all the old cunts would be fucking cool actually”, and indeed it would, until it’s your turn to become an old cunt.  When that happens, you’ll tell young people “music used to be good back in 2019, like Twice’s “Fancy“, now it’s all garbage, what you listen to is not even music really” and all the youngfolk with their annoying wrinkle-free skin and technological savvy will reply “ok millennial” and “don’t talk to me as if you have human rights, your generation did nothing about the rise of AI”.  So I’m very sympathetic to Noh Sabong getting out there and doing her thing, and there certainly won’t be any ageist attacks coming from Kpopalypse.  No, my derision will purely be reserved for the music, which is far crustier and dated than not only her and me combined but possibly any human alive today and makes North Korea’s Moranbong Band sound like f(x) at their most experimental.  It doesn’t start too bad, with the beat actually being directly lifted from highly reminiscent of E.via’s “Shake” which is impressively only nine years behind the times, but once the vocals get going it turns into something that would have made my grandmother say “don’t be a square, daddy-o”.  That would normally be fine because trot is good, but this doesn’t sound like trot, or at least not like any trot I’ve ever heard.  No – this is something else, something long forgotten perhaps except for in the dustiest bingo halls and Freemason parties, something exhumed from the forgotten tomes of old-person music that is obscure even to someone of my advanced vintage, that belongs with party freak oddities like “The Chicken Dance“.  Not sure what this is even doing on Stone Entertainment’s channel, maybe a bunch of geriatrics worked out how to hack YouTube with abacus beads and slide rulers, but I hope whoever was responsible behind the scenes for uploading this enjoyed the experience of logging on and was able to work out how to use a website without too much trouble.  If you’ve made it to this site as well, hit me up via Twitter DMs (click Yves on the right, and you’ll need to make an account, here’s a tutorial) and I’ll teach how to delete System32 to make your computer run faster.

So what’s #1 on the shittiest k-pop list for 2019?

1. Dongkiz – Blockbuster

Even though I was a child in the 80s and grew up right when it was huge, I was never a massive fan of the original “Ghostbusters” movie.  It was by no means a bad film, but it didn’t fascinate me the same way as other films from the era that were similarly successful, but I wasn’t able to work out why at the time.  Looking back on it now, I can see that the film had only two good qualities that lifted it above what was otherwise a fairly average film – the imaginative special effects (legitimately technically impressive for pre-CGI days) and Bill Murray’s charisma borne from his excellent sense of comic timing (most of his dialogue throughout the entire movie was improvised, something nobody knew at the time).  Note “the theme tune” is not one of those two qualities.  Actually the theme tune by Ray Parker Jr wasn’t that bad, it’s certainly one of those songs that isn’t too terrible the first time you hear it, but it grates on repeat listens because there’s really not a lot to it.  By the time one sitting of the film finishes you’ve already heard the song a bunch of times, and growing up in the 1980s in the midst of “Ghostbusters mania” the song was on a higher radio/TV rotation than everything Madonna and Michael Jackson managed between them.  It was impossible to be alive in the 1980s and not be thoroughly sick of that song, which achieved “Gangnam Style” levels of penetration in popular culture and would have gone similarly viral, if viral media was actually a thing back then.  So you can imagine how sick I personally am of that song, but I’ve added it below so you can get sick of it too.

However the song, like the film, also has two saving graces.  One is Ray Parker Jr himself, who for what it’s worth certainly delivers the tune with charm and style, and the other good aspect of the original piece is the guitar riff that drives most of it which I’ll admit is actually pretty damn cool.  So it’s pretty unfortunate for Dongkiz that the songwriters and producers of “Blockbuster” have worked out a way to lift everything from the original Ghostbusters theme except those two positive aspects.  The pre-chorus riff, the big brass, some of the more well-known vocal lines, even the intro are all recreated in some form, but incredibly poorly and with all of the original’s appeal removed.  The real kicker however, is that as lame and cheesy as all this legally-questionable wholesale copying of the theme is, the “Ghostbusters” bits are still by far the best parts of “Blockbuster”.  The rest is just nonsense, with a rambling melody that flips between emphasising the minor 3rd and major 3rd for no good reason in that k-pop boy group way which is oddly trendy at the moment, random snatches of vocals and chord changes “just because”, and tons of crowded noise everywhere in the mix from extra instrumental parts that add nothing.  When the song stops and one of the guys in the group asks at 2:06 “is it over?” it’s difficult not to empathise.  “Blockbuster” is a song as bad as the nightmarishly terrible 2016 Ghostbusters remake, and would have actually made a perfect theme for that film just because the quality of both is about the same, which is about the most damning criticism that I can think of for any song.


That’s all for this year’s worst songs!  However if you’re now feeling completely depressed like all hope for society is lost, don’t forget to also check out Kpopalypse’s favourite songs of 2019 to restore (some of) your faith in humanity and k-pop music!

18 thoughts on “Kpopalypse’s 30 worst k-pop songs of 2019

  1. Ah, the worst song list has it all… Trop, trap, trop-trap, Rat Chat, yolo, Yoona’s spectacular blandness and the yearly dose of cringe from Red Velvet. Now I look forward to listening to the best songs.

  2. Only one favorite of mine (yellow) made it to the worst songs list. The rest gave me a headache i think. Anyways, I took my dose of Enchanted Propaganda at the end, so I’m good.

  3. God I wanted to cry when I heard Take a Hike. I thought it was gonna be like Victorious’ Take a Hint, and got unreasonably hyped over it. Really, I should know by now not to do that. Oh wait. I did cry. And then went to listen to Psycho for the next hour. Good times. Well, onto the next list!

  4. Are you sure that you want to include Choa and Way on this list? I’m going to check in daily to make sure that you’re safe.

    I couldn’t pick which way you were going to go with Zimzalabim. There was every chance you were going to laugh in our faces and tell us how great it was.

  5. Ironically, the only one that I disagree with is the #1 song. I personally really like it, easily would be on my “favourites” list if I cared to make one.

    Agree with the rest though, especially Cat & Dog (ugh, definitely the year’s worst song for me) and B.O.D (I’ve accepted that Peniel will forever be the representative of cringe in BtoB and it’s fucking funny). Bit surprised that you ended up putting Gotta Go here and not Snapping.

  6. Thanks again for dredging up the filthiest kpop songs, and explaining why they’re so bad. Of course I knew Zimbalabim (repetition!?) and TXT’s Cat and Dog would be here (all the stupidest video tricks in one vid) but now I can love to hate Bean Bean Bean (how high do you have to be to think that much repetition is good?) Your #1 reminds me of Crayon Pop’s FM, except for being garbage.

  7. Pingback: Kpopalypse’s 10 most fappable music videos of 2019 | KPOPALYPSE

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