Kpopalypse’s 30 worst k-pop songs of 2021

Here we go again with another year of absolute shit.  Buckle up for the worst k-pop songs of 2021, according to Kpopalypse!  Read on if you think you can handle it!

While 2021 wasn’t a total and complete loss for k-pop, it certainly was significantly worse than 2020 on average, with tons of dreary trend-riding nonsense being released, and even more music that didn’t even follow trends but just managed to be shit anyway.  Readers of my weekly roundups and viewers of my livestreams will have noticed my pain levels increasing as I trudged diligently through dozens of songs trying to find a needle of k-pop gold in a haystack of shit, coming away most weeks with no success at all.  Needless to say, competition for this list was very fierce, but I have done my best to distill the worst of k-pop’s trash and give you my worst 30 songs of the year!   

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 2021 to 31st December 2021, however the time window for this list actually extends a little bit before both of these dates to catch any turds that may have missed making it into previous year’s lists.  This list was published on 31st December 2021 but may appear earlier for some readers due to timezones.
  • Feature tracks only – songs released with a music video, or as a single, or featured on live stages.
  • 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 decrepitude just for them.
  • “K-pop” is deliberately defined a little loosely for this list as music coming from the Korean industry – songs that aren’t strictly “pop” are eligible.  Songs from Koreans or backed by Korean labels 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 managed to extract any actual enjoyment out of these terrible songs, I envy you.
  • If you are upset by this list, good.  Usually I write something here encouraging you to take a step back and consider your own mental health or whatever, but fuck that, if this post bothers you, you’re a dumb bitch for reading it and even more of a dumb bitch if you complain about it anywhere.  Maybe come back to these lists in a few years once you’ve extracted yourself from the brainwashing of the k-pop fandom cult you’re in and see if your mileage varies.
  • On the other hand if you’re thinking I’m just someone who hates k-pop in general, on statistical averages that’s actually very true (Sturgeon’s Law applies to k-pop as it apples to everything else), but know that the Kpopalypse favourites list for 2021 is also a thing so maybe go and check that out to hear some much better songs, I highly recommend it.  Also you may wish to check the honourable and dishonourable mentions post for 2021 for more good AND shit songs you may have missed.

 


KPOPALYPSE’S 30 WORST SONGS OF 2021

*

30. Loona – PTT (Paint The Town)

Let’s start off with a song which we all knew was going to be on a Kpopalypse list somewhere, the only question was which one.  “Paint the town”, really?  Before their agency get so ambitious maybe they should pop down to their local hardware store and do a quick price check, they might be surprised how much painting just a single house costs, given the current state of Blockberry I don’t think there would be enough money left on the company credit card for the rest of the town after Yeojin goes for a snack run.  However if Loona’s company did want to try and claw themselves back into the black, perhaps they could start by listening to their own fans who have been begging for their pre-debut sound back for years, and for Blockberry to not outsource their songwriting and productions to a bunch of people who clearly want to push the group in some hazily-defined new direction that nobody asked for and which just doesn’t suit them at all.  The combination of shoehorned-in eastern musical influences, silly chanting, cringe “tough girl” catchphrases and half-time chorus drops in-your-area is an amalgam of most of k-pop’s current peak bad ideas, and the visuals are equally misguided, especially the weird black leather clothes under that red CGI storm – at least in “Yum Yum” only Kim Lip seemed uncomfortable instead of the entire fucking group.  The whole Loona experience is becoming a bit like watching your favourite online computer game get updated into some kind of lazy pay-to-win cash-grab nightmare, where you watch the fans leave in droves and the company lose money hand-over-fist due to completely ignoring the playerbase, but nobody at the company wants to do a “rollback” to how it used to be because that means someone important at the very top with a massive ego might have to admit that they fucked up somewhere, and that’ll never happen so everything just gradually tanks instead.  Their only hope if Elon doesn’t come through with the money would be if HYBE bought them out and gave them the comeback they were going to do for Gfriend, but Gfriend left for no doubt a good reason so I wouldn’t wish that fate on the Loona girls, I’d rather just have Loona 1.0 back because this was one group that played a lot better in alpha test.  

29. Craxy – Gaia

And here’s pretty much the same thing done again, just with even more messy music and smaller bank loans to fund the visuals.  The suddenly weird change up to 6/8 at 1:14 actually sounds pretty cool for all of about two seconds until it changes again, and overall this song really demonstrates one of the big problems with girl group music in 2021 – everyone trying to cram in so many changes and twists instead of just writing a damn song.  It can’t be a good listening experience for anybody, as it doesn’t matter if you find some music in there that you like because just on the basis of probabilities it’s going to quickly flip over to something you like a whole lot less, soon enough.  At least there’s a hilarious extended drama video at the end, although I’m not sure if it was actually meant to be hilarious.  The same unspectacular house shot from ten different angles while crappy “dramatic” mood music plays is funny as fuck, and then we cut to some willowy girl trying to act like a mafia boss when in reality she probably needs special permission from her choreographer to go to the toilet, and it shows.  I love how every insignificant motion she does is over-emphasised to the max with those dramatic strings and crazy swooping camera angles, the extreme overblown crammed-in uselessness of it all is both far more entertaining than the actual song, plus it’s a pretty good analogy for the entire package.  All it needs at the end is Scarface to turn up and lob a few grenades into the studio so nobody can make anything this stupid ever again.  We can dream.

28. Rose – Gone

When Blackpink first came out with their debut songs, the initial big hurdle they had to get over was k-pop fans writing them off as nothing more than a makeover of YG’s previous girl group 2NE1.  The criticism seemed fair enough at the time, after all it was the same team of people behind both groups writing the songs, deciding the image, doing the marketing etc.  By this time however I think it’s fair to say that those concerns have been largely quashed among the general population, it certainly feels like Blackpink have carved out a musical identity of their own, even if what’s really happened is just that Teddy’s songwriting and YG’s marketing have both evolved to account for new trends.  I mean, if 2NE1 were still around and Blackpink didn’t exist, it would be 2NE1 getting all those same songs, and they would sound more or less the same with only minor lyrical changes, it would basically be “2NE1 in your area”.  That might seem like a weird and jarring thing to think about, but what might help you get on board with the idea easier is listening to Rose’s “Gone”.  Nobody is going to say that “Kill This Love” sounds much like “I Am The Best” (even if the musical lineage is clearly traceable), but when it comes to the ballad material, the horrible generic mush written for Blackpink does in fact sound pretty similar to the horrid generic mush that YG write for all their other groups when they’re in “slow mode”.  There’s no real reason why “Gone” couldn’t be a 2NE1 ballad, or a Taeyang ballad, or an iKon ballad, or even a Seungri ballad, heaven forbid, it just happens to be Rose’s ballad because it’s her turn, that’s all.  In fact given Seungri’s recent lifestyle choices, him singing this song would arguably be a marginal enhancement as it would imbue the lyrics with a extra creepy, threatening dimension similar to The Police’s much-misunderstood stalker anthem “Every Breath You Take“, now there’s a thought.  Probably not enough of an enhancement to save this song from the trash heap however, so let’s hope Seungri doesn’t get an early jail release so we don’t get to witness that anytime soon, it’s bad enough that for now we only have to listen to Rose sing this fucking shit (and no I’m not adding the little stroke above the “e” to her name, if she wants that she has to earn it).

27. Mad Monster – Along Came Beautiful Nuna

I don’t know who Mad Monster are, and I don’t know who “beautiful Nuna” is, but it seems to me that Nuna has a serious flatulence problem.  Clearly beautiful Nuna was sitting down next to her beloved friends in Mad Monster at the recording studio mixing desk, taking a healthy interest in the creation of the track, when all of a sudden she bent over in the wrong direction in a way her lower abdomen wasn’t ready for and sharted in Australian prime ministerial style.  In an understandably embarrassed panic, Nuna then got up, apologised and ran off to the bathroom, while the Mad Monster team cowered in the corner and waited for the smell to subside, but the mood in the recording studio having now been broken, Mad Monster declare “that’s a wrap” and finish up with mixing for the day, deciding to pick up the session where they left off at another time.  However when they later do the maths, Mad Monster realise that the studio sessions have gone over-budget, so they decide to send the pre-mixed recording as-is to the mastering studio instead of doing more sessions, unaware that the sound of Nuna’s shart actually made it into the drum loop for the final track.  So that’s probably how we ended up with this mess, and you can hear this noise in the video for the first time at 0:49, and repeated thereafter through every four bars of drum loops as it’s permanently embedded as part of the cycle in much the same way that droplets of her shart residue are probably now embedded into the recording studio carpet.  There’s also a really great isolated shart moment at 3:32 where you can hear the noise much clearer as the rest of the backings are faded out.  You should definitely seek out and savour these moments in the track, as beyond the shart noise everything else is as generic as it gets, in fact thanks to that stray piece of anal flatulence this might be the most ground-breaking R&B song of 2021 (but if not, it’s certainly the most wind-breaking). 

26. Yezi – Secreto

Who remembers that block of about six months worth of time in 1963 when people actually gave a shit about Yezi?  Her group Fiestar were still riding high (well okay, not financially, but they had a few good songs in amongst the crap and k-pop fans at least kind of vaguely knew who they were) and Yezi had all that viral fame from not winning that stupid rap show Unpretty Rapstar (because some other much more talented chick won it who nobody can even remember the name of now, but the kids said she was “problematic” or something so it didn’t matter), it seemed for a little while that Yezi was going to take over the Korean rap world.  Then that totally didn’t happen because she just started doing other really off-brand stuff instead, fast forward a few comebacks later and now we have “Secreto” which doesn’t sound anything like the Yezi of old and doesn’t even look like the Yezi of old either.  Now I’m not suggesting that all k-pop stars should be adverse to an image and music change, or that Yezi has to constantly do the same thing for 40 years like she’s AC/DC, but if you are going to mix things up and do different styles, at least try and do something that doesn’t suck a dog fart.  In a scene already overcrowded with exactly this type of latin nonsense music, more of it certainly wasn’t what anybody asked for, and especially not such a limp, weak-sounding version as this.  I’m not even sure if Yezi will be able to come back to the k-pop world at all after this, given that everything that was unique about her back in the day seems to now have been tossed to the wind, which means she’ll possibly be leaving us not with a bang or even a whimper but a “secretion”.  (That’s what “secreto” means in English, I’m pretty sure.)

25. Amber Liu – Vegas

When I was a child, my father would go to the greyhound races and bet on the dogs.  This didn’t happen very often, maybe once every few months or so, and it was treated as some kind of special family occasion, sometimes our whole extended family would come along to all “have a flutter” on the dog races.  I guess normal families might go to the park or something, I don’t know, but we probably weren’t normal and it never registered to me at the time that gambling was an incredibly deadbeat activity for losers and that we were possibly surrounded by desperate people fruitlessly throwing away the last of their life savings before they hung themselves in their lonely apartments, I just thought going to the dog races was what families did.  I wouldn’t actually bet on dogs myself, I was too young and didn’t have money anyway, my parents would just buy me potato chips and I’d sit and eat them while watching the dogs go around in a circle chasing the mechanical rabbit, empathising with their frustration as cyber-Daewang remained just out of their reach.  One time probably in the name of family inclusivity and reducing my boredom levels, my father asked if I’d like to him to buy me a ticket so I could bet on the dogs for the first time, so I said okay and he asked me to pick a dog.  With no consultation with any experts or observation of the dogs during warmup to gauge their muscle tone or anything like that, I randomly decided to pick dog number 8, I guess I thought 8 was a nice number.  My father then went and stood in the line for tickets and bought the ticket for me, a process that takes a few minutes as the ticketing booths were quite busy with everyone rushing to buy tickets in the small amount of time before the next dog race started.  When he brought back the ticket and gave it to me I noticed with utter devastation that it was actually number 9.  Any normal person would of course build a bridge and get over a mishap like this quickly, but I as a child was far from normal – I started crying uncontrollably about the seriousness of this issue and begging my parents to go back in the line a second time to change the ticket over to one with the correct number.  There wasn’t much time before the start of the race but somehow I convinced my father, no doubt pissed off that he had raised such an OCD little shithead, to tediously queue up a second time and swap the ticket over for one with the number 8 on it.  Just before the race started he grudgingly presented me with my “number 8” ticket and we sat down to watch the race… which dog number 9 promptly won.  This of course made me feel much, much worse, so I started crying again, confounded at how the universe could possibly be so cruel, and no doubt making my long-suffering parents search the phone book for orphanages in their area.  Reflecting on this incident later that night, I decided I clearly was not destined to be a lucky person who was ever going to win anything significant in life, and I haven’t gambled since that day.  Also, fuck this bullshit song. 

24. DJ Soda & Lost Chameleon ft. Ahin – Okay!

DJ Soda is one of those DJs who dances around the decks and holds knobs pretending that she’s really doing something while a pre-mixed backing track plays.  That doesn’t mean she doesn’t legitimately pre-record her own mixes though (she may or may not), it just means she couldn’t be fucked mixing in real time on a live stage and leaving things to chance because she might miss an opportunity to arch her back and let the stage lights illuminate her cleavage, which is clearly how she’s gotten to where she is today – she’s no dummy, she knows what’s up.  Who knows how much input she had in this track, but you’d think it was about 99.9% given the way that she hogs all the screen time in this video, although it was kind of cool to see that fat dancing guy with long hair again who I’m pretty sure is the same one from Soyeon’s awful “Interview” video.  Ahin however gets very short-changed with the screen time, I think perhaps DJ Soda didn’t want any Momoland members outshining her so Ahin is sort of relegated off to the side for the most part and they only focus on her for as much as they absolutely have to so they don’t seem rude.  I know I’m not discussing the music here but there’s really nothing to discuss, it’s a horrible “DJ track” and if you’ve been to a club before ever in your life you know how those go, this one being particularly awful because of that sawtoothy electronic grinding “eee eee eee” synth lead they’ve used to carry the song’s hook, so if you’re in a nightclub anytime soon and this song comes on, I suggest you “eee eee eee” your way out of there.

23. Lisa – Money

There’s something about one of the only girls in all of k-pop who is actually making any money at all, singing a tuneless trap song that is thematically basically “stupid poor people, I have more money than you“, instead of literally anything else, which kind of just makes me cool about whatever happens to humanity from this point onward.  Climate disasters, pandemics, earthquakes, supply chain breakdowns, energy crisis, famine… fuck it.  If this ship sinks, I don’t even care if I’m on it or not, just as long as everybody responsible for this song also is, as well as everyone who created the cultural environment which made this song possible.  Do your worst, planet/god/whatever, I’m ready.  Oh wait – except the trumpet player.  I kind of like the trumpet part actually, can we please spare him/her thanks… mind you it’s probably not a real trumpet player but just Teddy’s sample library again and he fucking wrote this shit so forget I said anything about that, just go for it.

22. Oh My Girl – Shark

A late entrant to these lists, and one of those trash songs which on initial release was exclusive to the “Universe” app and received a general release a few days later when they realised nobody cared, I was able to use my sneaky caonima resources to get hold of the entire full song and video of Oh My Girl’s “Shark” before the list cutoff date so I could take a look in enough time to give it a chance to be included here, and it certainly earned that chance.  For those not in the loop, the Universe app is apparently someone’s brain-dead idea that k-pop fans will flock to this app thing to see full versions of videos if only shortened versions are provided on the group’s official channels.  It also has some super-weird shit like “AI versions” of your favourite idols you can talk to and who try to farm data from you by asking where you live and being weirdly possessive etc, it doesn’t sound that far removed from certain fanfictions I’ve written recently, I almost feel like the company behind this app trash are stealing my ideas.  Whether it’s a profitable venture or not I don’t know, you would surely have to be pretty stupid to sign up for such nonsense, but then diehard k-pop fans do certainly possess the right amount of stupidity to make that possible.  For the rest of us, I don’t think we’re missing much, especially not song-quality wise as all of the Universe app songs so far have been profoundly disappointing, although none have been as bad as “Shark”.  The song starts off with some limp funk music and dull blues-based vocal meandering which isn’t very interesting but also isn’t notably bad compared to most of this year’s turds, the problems start with the “feel like a shark” chorus, where they obviously just couldn’t be bothered making the girls sing an actual melody so they just get them to chant the whole thing instead, then everything becomes even worse when the second half of the chorus comes down with a severe case of the chiki-chika-chuus, making it easily one of the very worst choruses in all of k-pop in recent years.  On top of that the general dryness of the sound is strange and flies heavily against whatever “party time” feel they’re seemingly going for, balancing is also weird as fuck with vocals and instruments varying wildly in volume for no clear reason, and of course there’s a horrid half-time trap breakdown because it’s 2021 so why wouldn’t there be.  The entire song sounds like it was recorded in a rush to meet some sort of unrealistic Universe app release schedule, and perhaps it was, but at least the video has some interesting moments (like how they’ve trussed up the girls in frilly dresses to try and hide the fact half of them are wasting away due to their agency’s diet plan) so I’ve got you covered with an improved version that preserves the most important aspects of the package – enjoy. 

21. Shin Hyunhee – Happy!

I’m sorry, Shin Hyunhee.  I just really hate ragtime.  As a piano student since the age of five, do you know how many times I had to sit there and practice all those fucking annoying piano tunes with the ostinato bass and “rag” somewhere in the title, while constantly being berated by the teacher for fucking up important notes?  I’m sure everyone else thinks this song is cute and some of you even probably like it, but it just had me curled up in the opposite corner of my room to the stereo, stuck fast in the foetal position, questioning my life choices.  I couldn’t even get up to walk across the room to turn the music off because that would have involved the music getting slightly louder in my ears as I moved closer to the volume control, so I had to run out of the room and cut the power to my whole house instead just to make it stop and get the voices out of my head.  I threw out my stereo remote control ages ago because I thought remote controls were only for lazy people but now I know the real reason for their existence, it’s so you can deactivate mentally unsafe music from the source while minimising the collateral damage to your own mental state.  Sucks to find out the hard way, but let this be a lesson to all of you – have a device handy so you can deactivate a sound source quickly if needed.  If you don’t have a remote control handy either, I suppose a fire extinguisher or a gun will do.

20. Hyolyn, Dasom – Summer Or Summer

Everyone cruelly had a crack at poor old Giselle from Aespa recently when she offhandedly remarked that she’d absolutely definitely jump off a bridge to her death if she ever lost a grip of her mobile phone, however Hyolyn performed a whole-ass maudlin depressing boring trashy ballad that was literally about not having any reason to live and somehow she was waved through the checkpoint of problematicism by supposedly “concerned” k-pop fans like Jim Jeffries with his shoe bomb.  Not only that, but the bridge Hyolyn was thinking of jumping off was probably the very same one right behind her in the background of that video, yet nobody even thought to ring any alarm bells or even highlight the issue, and that song was recorded right in the middle of Korean summer too, right when Hyolyn was probably feeling more isolated than ever thanks to having no group left to perform her usual dreadful summer comebacks with.  Fortunately, her old pal Dasom was paying attention to the warning signs and quickly gave Hyolyn a speed-dial.  “Hey, I’ve got a new summer song coming up and you can be in it too!  It’ll cheer you right up!  Just to make sure it has extra sunny positive vibes, I’m getting the songwriters to make it a trap song and a boassnaova song at the same time… yeah look, I know that’s not really a musical combination that actually works, because they’re two totally different rhythmic feels, but I just got them to write pretty much whatever real quick because so I was worried about you – what’s more important is making you feel good!  Come around to my place and let’s pick out some outfits!”  Good on you Dasom for being a good buddy to Hyolyn when she needs help the most, and I’m now not going to say anything bad about this song at all because Hyolyn still looks fragile to me and I don’t want to risk anything bad happening by dragging on this fucking atrocious musical turd.  Let’s give Hyolyn and Dasom lots of love and support!

19. Skyle – Fly Up High

Whether you love or hate Blackpink, you have to admit that the worst thing about Blackpink isn’t actually Blackpink themselves, it’s their effect on everything else.  I hated the p-funk sound in rap music in the 1990s, but I didn’t hate Dr. Dre, even though he started the trend, because he was the original guy doing that stuff and his version of that sound was the best version out there.  It wasn’t his fault that a thousand inferiors saw dollar signs and came up with pale imitations of what he was doing.  Likewise it wouldn’t be fair to blame Blackpink for their success just because it compelled hundreds of other money-hungry agencies to think to themselves “gosh, that could work for us too” and churn out awful soundalikes of their biggest hits.  Skyle’s “Fly High” is a great example of this, everything you loved (or didn’t) about Blackpink’s more recent comebacks is here, you can literally bookmark all the bits and pieces from “Kill This Love” that they snatched and slightly altered, which wouldn’t be so bad if they did a reasonable job, but unfortunately they’ve also surgically removed all the catchiness from the original.  The only somewhat unique section is the double-time beat in the chorus and even that’s lame and not really worth going back for a repeat listen of.  There’s literally no reason why someone would want to listen to “Fly Up High” because if you love Blackpink you’ll just listen to the originals and if you hate them you’re probably going to hate a lame copy of them even more.  I honestly can’t work out who this mess is even aimed at, but in any case it’s not my problem, just know that the whole thing really is a pile of duu-du.

18. Rumble-G – Roopretelcham

Those of you who have been scouring these lists looking for a song within the new generation of k-pop to finally replace the iconic “so bad it’s good… although really, it’s just bad” charm of A Force’s “Wonder Woman“, I may have finally found what you’re looking for.  Okay, so it’s missing a Nazi salute and a crab dance, but “Roopretelcham” has their awkward-looking token Amber screaming on a bridge for no reason, iconic vocal lines like “fly fly, you have a wing” and some pretty wild emotional scenes which all combine to give a similar effect.  It also has very similar melodic writing (i.e bad) and even the same disregard for vocal compression as some main vocal lines just sort of vanish into the background while others hit you with full force.  I wonder if those tear-stained eyes are just makeup or they made the girls listen to their own song enough times to make them cry like that for real, either way it worked because I definitely feel sorry for them, I think it’s by now dawned on them that they picked the wrong agency to debut with.  It must be tough being forced to sing something with so many obvious problems, so here’s hoping that they get something better in future and can eventually find their “wing wing wing wings”.

17. Majors – Rain On Me

Well “Rain On Me” is at least visually competent, so I can spend this entire review just shitting on the music instead.  Here we’re starting off with a Beyonce-ish sax riff, which like most things related to “the B word” isn’t a great idea for anyone else to adopt, and then straight away the verse melody is added to it… unfortunately this sounds really messy because the pentatonics of the sax and the diatonics of the vocals don’t really match up, meaning that the two lines tend to rub against each other rather than complement each other.  The chanting in the pre-chorus is actually the right choice (for once) because it doesn’t interfere so much but then they just throw some weird major-ish ascending vocal in there at the end, gosh that wasn’t a good idea, now we’ve got three different tonalities all introduced in the first 35 seconds all competing with each other, it’s hard to even know what to listen to.  Then we get to the chorus and it actually isn’t too bad, at least it straightens the tonality out finally, but it’s also got nothing to do with what came before it, plus it has those hideously awful keyboard stabs in it that I’ve heard way too many times these past ten years.  The whole thing loops over again for another round of mess, and then we’re into the breakdown which kind of has a “Whole Lotta Love” guitar solo feel where everything stops for the guitar to do its thing except for instead of Jimmy’s Les Paul it’s someone on a keyboard triggering a Pokemon bubble beam noise.  Then back to the chorus for a final run and why not add ten layers of overdubbed vocal improv in there just because we can, at least it makes that horrible keyboard a little less obvious.  The whole thing is just so screechy and overbearing, it really does feel like you’re getting rained on with waves of sonic bullshit.  At least it’s alright with the sound down, nobody looks shameful or anything and the beret-wearing is absolutely on point, so at least this product has a possible use for bored window-shoppers searching for that next k-pop inspired look.  Seeing as how most k-pop fans don’t care about music anyway, it should be a big hit.

16. Henry – Trust Your Pace

Henry is here to help you with your exams or whatever other bullshit you feel like you can’t do without some k-pop person “giving you strength” and gosh that’s very nice of him.  Maybe he should worry more about himself though.  Don’t worry Henry, Kpopalypse has got everyone covered if they need help with study, you just focus on writing an actual song next time instead of this horrible “motivational” crap that sounds like a christian television ad.  You’ve had good songs before, you can do it again, I believe in you.  It’s okay to be late.  Take one step at a time, you will eventually achieve your goals. 

15. NCT 127 – Favorite

When “Favourite” was released, I asked my readers to guess what I thought was the one shitty idea was that ruined the song.  Of course everyone said “the dubstep drop at 2:34” and who can blame people for thinking this, given how much the unwelcome influence of dubstep has traumatised k-pop fans over the last decade.  However, in 2021 dubstep drops are relatively rare and therefore a lot less annoying than they once were, so it didn’t bug me all that much.  No, the real crime that “Favorite” commits is that horrible whistling noise that drives the song, that starts off pleasant and melodic enough, then goes all pear-shaped at 0:14, but either way never fucking shuts up, gradually needling away at your eardrums until they resemble the holes in the guy’s neck at 0:44.  The only time when that noise actually fucks off for more than ten seconds is when that aforementioned dubstep drop hits, which ironically makes it the most listenable part of the song.  Apparently I have a hearing notch at around 6k which is probably due to standing too close to too many drummers who are addicted to constantly hitting their crash cymbals, but now I wish that notch was just a little bit wider so this whistle frequency would fall within its range and then I might actually be able to enjoy this song, but probably not as the annoying-as-piss whistling noise is really just hiding some pretty generic boy-group-by-numbers that probably wouldn’t get in any lists at all, so NCT fans can thank whoever put in that stupid fucking whistle for “driving engagement” I guess.

14. Bling Bling – Oh Mama

Girl group Bling Bling are no strangers to these lists, but I’ll admit that they have been getting better lately, at least visually.  Their videos don’t look like they were made with $500 and some op-shop clothes anymore, and I like this one’s use of recycled Aespa sets or whatever the hell it is they’ve got going on here, with colours, outfits and styling all looking generally quite appealing.  The music however is still lagging behind, and here we have one of the messiest ‘latin’ comebacks that I’ve heard in k-pop, with those annoying keyboards grinding away on those same few notes compounded by the usual chaotic overabundance of non-melodic girl vocals.  It’s hard to pinpoint just one particular annoying thing about what’s going on here because it’s all so messy, but any other sound besides the ‘latin’ one would have done the song wonders, or maybe at least rescued it from the depths of this list, because I’m just over latin lately.  Sadly for now, in absentia lucis, tenebrae vincunt. 

13. Chuu & Kim Yohan with Eric Bellinger – World is One 2021

Chuu has been pretty busy saving the world this year with her “Chuu Can Do It” TV series which is actually pretty entertaining, you should check it out because it’s very environment.  I don’t know how many episodes of that show we’re going to get, but I sense Chuu has high determination levels so I presume she’s going to keep at it until all the environments are officially saved from the climate thing, or until Blockberry can’t afford to lease her out anymore, whichever comes first.  I think it’s important that we all do our bit to be as environment as possible, but just in case any of us are struggling with motivation, Chuu is here once again to help us along with this song “World Is One 2021”.  You see that year at the end of the song title is no joke, this is Chuu threatening to release this horrible fucking jingle each and every year until we all learn to stop burning our carbons buying gorilla pictures or whatever, so lets all do our very best to save more environments for our future, because the alternative is “World Is One 2022” next year which is a scarier thought than any Kpopalypse fanfiction.

12. Itzy – M.A.F.I.A In The Morning

JYP has always been historically a bit of a retro-themed producer, yet “M.A.F.I.A In The Morning” is a very modern-sounding song, so it makes sense that he didn’t write it alone, but I wasn’t quite ready for just how much collaboration was involved, especially given the very bare-bones nature of the end result.  Researching this track revealed that including JYP, nine songwriters all had a hand in the production of “M.A.F.I.A In The Morning”, that’s actually pretty amazing because it’s three songwriters for each note in the main riff, it’s like some kind of “how many k-pop producers does it take to screw in a lightbulb” joke.  I guess this is what happens when songs are written by committee, as any office worker knows if you want something to get done in a really lame half-assed way, round-tabling it is definitely the way to go.  The result will always end up as crap as you can imagine as everybody considers the sensitivities in the room and plays to the lowest common denominator, while avoiding responsibility because the result is “the committee’s idea” rather than any one person’s so nobody ever shoulders the blame.  Adding to the crap factor, this entire thing was probably co-written during Zoom chats as that’s the standard mode of operation for committee meetings in 2021, and if you’ve ever used a Zoom chat to do any sort of audio work you’ll know how useless Zoom is for that.  There’s a fair bit of lag involved on the network so you can’t do stuff like jam along to a song together, so these songwriters probably couldn’t even get together to test their ideas out with each other in real-time as the Zoom lag would have fucked it up, plus the alternative of having all nine of them in the same room probably broke some kind of government social distancing regulation.  That’s the only way I can think of that the combined efforts of nine talented people came up with such a truly fucking awful song, with not much going for it besides a tinny and annoying three-note riff, some constantly farting sub-bass and cringe lyrics delivered in the worst way possible.  Whenever the girls aren’t shouting inanely doing those hideous scotch snaps and sounding super awkward, they’re doing lame nursery-rhyme style melodies and sounding even more awkward, but the most mystifying thing about it all is the song title.  “M.A.F.I.A In The Morning”?  Who the fuck thought that sounded cool or acceptable?  Someone important must have suggested it, because there’s just no way otherwise that such a dumb idea wouldn’t have been immediately laughed out of the songwriting meeting, so I’m blaming that particular part on JYP himself as only he would have the power to float that particular concept and have it last all the way to release date without being ridiculed into early retirement.  As for the rest of this musical disaster, nobody will ever be called to account for any of this nonsense as each songwriter is only going to take about 11% of the blame, but we can certainly all do our part and give less than 11% of a fuck about the end result. 

11. Jimmy The Awesome feat. EK – Race Boi

Just play it to 0:12 and stop when you hear that very first “skrt” noise.  There’s no need to listen from that point onward.  As soon as you hear “skrt” in any song it’s time to change the channel, close the window, say “google next song” to Google Nest or however you kids do it these days.  Just like if you buy a new computer game and it won’t let you invert the Y axis of the mouse you should just uninstall it immediately, because you know at that point you’re dealing with lazy good-for-nothing developers who won’t get several other key facets of the game right either, likewise the “skrt” is a black mark of super-low quality and care-factor, it signifies that nobody really cared about anything important and just thought it would be okay to lazily say anything at all because they think you’re a dumb bitch who will just lap it up.  Your time is too valuable to waste those precious minutes being disappointed, this is time that you’ll never get back, you won’t be on your deathbed many years from now thinking to yourself “gosh I really wish I spent a few more minutes with that shitty Autotuned trap song from 2021 that my dementia-addled brain can’t remember the name of anymore just to see if it improved later on, maybe it had a really wild guitar solo later or something”.  You know that’s not going to happen, so be your own best friend and make the choices in life that value your own time and mental health first.

10. Lim Kim – Mago

Lim Kim teamed up with some fashion labels here for this supposedly “feminist” anthem which is billed as “a hybrid project between fashion and music” which means it’s about using feminist slogans as bait to get you the consumer to buy clothes a lot.  This isn’t a new grift, it’s actually exactly what Han Seo Hee has been doing all this time, except she at least had the decency to milk idealogues for their coin without boring us to death with a crappy song in the process.  As it turns out “Mago” is so musically slight that it’s barely even a song at all, it’s pretty much nothing but a beat and Lim Kim sloganeering over the top with nonsense phrases like “women born strong empowering wisdom” which sounds cool and woke until you think about it a little more and realise that in the context presented it could mean literally anything.  Maybe she’s talking about the wisdom of spending money on the clothes she’s wearing, and the song and video might get a few people to buy some clothes I suppose, or maybe it won’t – looking around the Internet I was surprised to see that a lot of k-pop fans didn’t really like the song either, and the threads hardly scream “k-pop fan friendly”.  Still even though the song sucks because it’s written so much like the afterthought that it probably is, she does look good in the clothes, she’s about as far from my type as it’s possible to get but I can see that she’s got modelesque features so I understand why she was chosen for this.  I’m not sure what that says about her feminist pedigree, nor can I figure out what the exact market for shit like this is, but I think she can at least be justifiably proud of the visuals, modelling something or other might actually be a promising path forward for her, perhaps just leave the song out next time.

9. NiziU – Chopstick

I don’t know how high school works these days, but when I was growing up the first class of the day was “home group” where you had to be present for roll call, this class would last about 15 minutes and then you would be farmed out to various other classes throughout the day depending on your year and what subjects you were doing.  There wasn’t one big “home group” class but lots of small ones of about 30 students each that all ran at the same time, so counting attendance was quick and easy for the teachers.  Of course home group was mega boring, it was basically just waiting for everybody to show up and then listening to the teacher run through whatever dull crap that they felt you needed to know for that day (usually reminders to be on time for classes, don’t bully, don’t deal drugs, things like that, as if politely mentioning this would stop us instead of just give us ideas).  One year I was lucky enough to have all my home-group classes in the school’s music room, just because the school didn’t have much real estate so they decided to put one of the home groups there, this was super cool because I could just practice on the piano in the corner while I waited for everyone else to stop being boring.  This annoyed the other kids though because even though I was trying to be as quiet as I could pianos even with the “soft pedal” deployed are still kind of loud so anyone else who was there would be listening to me practice whether they wanted to or not.  They’d often complain about my “depressing” piano pieces, to which I’d reply “this is classical music you cuntface, show some respect to the dead syphilis-infected shit fetishist who wrote this garbage”.  Their response would generally be to just forcibly push me off the piano and play the only song that anybody in my home group who wasn’t me knew how to play – Chopsticks.  It was easy for them to do because one person could take the left hand part and another could do the right hand, so it didn’t require too much coordination even if you sucked at piano generally, so they all taught it to each other so anybody in the class could play it at any time whenever I was trying to practice something different.  Anyway that got super annoying because we’d all fight about it and I’d complain about bullying but the other kids would be like “we just want to play the piano too, miss” and after a while the home group teacher just got sick of all the commotion and banned the playing of piano completely during home group just so she didn’t have to constantly break us up.  Anyway NiziU’s version of this shit where they flesh out that initial idea into a full pop song doesn’t improve it at all, it’s still a boring piano piece that sucks and maybe I’m a little biased due to my high school trauma but I think JYP is bullying me and miss can you please give him detention, it’s wasn’t me, he started it.  

8. Dbo – Who U

When I first heard death metal and grindcore I probably laughed at the vocal style a bit, and seriously, who wouldn’t.  I mean, it’s legit funny if you’ve never heard that “growl” voice before and then you’re suddenly hearing it for the first time, and it certainly takes a little bit of getting used to before you can really digest those kind of songs, because you have to stop listening to the vocal with any kind of expectation that a melody will come out.  However, the same can’t be said for whatever the fuck this is – I’ve been listening to this type of fucking trash for at least a decade now and I still can’t stop laughing as soon as any one of these losers opens their mouth for the first time in a track, or at any time in the track, for that matter.  He literally sounds like he’s trying to do a Monty Python style voice of someone’s mother, when his actual mother nags at him to turn the fucking shit music down I bet this is what she sounds like.  Actually maybe this isn’t even him singing but his real mother who overdubbed her own voice on to the track before it got shipped off to mastering, yes, that must be it.  “A crazy prank” surely is the only way to even explain how “Who U” exists at all.  I hope much belly laughs were had when Dbo heard his mum’s voice on the track, “oh you’re such a card, mum… you really got me this time” he’ll say to her, scheming about how he’s going to get revenge.  Whatever method he takes to get one back on his prankster family, I really do hope that another song isn’t involved.

7. Tae Jin Son with Wendy – Be Deep

SM Entertainment are never going to get placement of the Shure Super 55 microphone correct in their music videos, ever, are they?  I wrote an article on this eight years ago, and they still haven’t done anything about it.  You’d think that a k-pop agency that’s taken such a keen interest in trying to shape the direction of my writing over the years by sending me constant spam emails and even having discreet little “chats” with some of my collaborators might have also noticed all the actual legitimate help I’ve been giving them over the years by constantly mentioning how much they suck at microphone placement in their music videos.  The microphone reveal at the start of this video, complete with swirling strings and cursive song title text, might look impressive to someone out there but to me it might as well be a picture of someone’s gaping unwiped asshole scrolling into view, given the incompetence that it signifies.  It’s forgivable when some moronic agency with no clue like MBK does this type of thing, I mean you’d expect it from those clowns, but SM Entertainment are supposed to be “the leaders in culture technology” (emphasis mine), they’ve been in this game longer than anyone and they should know their shit by now.  At least this mega-gaffe prepares you for the incompetence of the rest of the song, a huge treacle-infused turgid mess of quasi-operatic vocals, orchestral mayhem and general noise, which is trying to be “sentimental” or something but really just ends up being overbearing and creepy, like your pestering uncle asking you a dozen times in half an hour if you liked the socks he just gave you for Christmas.  I don’t think it’s completely useless though, I can see some industrial band grabbing some of the busier walls of sound here, isolating them out of context and looping them over a heavy drum track or something, that’s the only way this track will ever be of any practical use.

6. Eternity – I’m Real

For those out of the loop who don’t really follow k-pop (and who can blame you) Eternity is some deep-learning AI project and I’m not exactly sure how it works but the basic gist of it is that the vocals and faces of the performers here are all machine-generated.  It’s not too bad an attempt for an AI I suppose but it’s still a pretty objectively awful song like an AKB48 reject and the sheer textural unpleasantness of that uncanny-valley computer voice doesn’t help matters any.  However it’s also not the worst song ever, or even the worst song this year (that’s below), but if any other reasonably high traffic k-pop website has the balls to write a “worst of kpop” list besides my problematic ass, Eternity’s “I’m Real” will almost definitely be at number one, in fact they would probably just go the safest, most cowardly, least likely-to-anger-kpop-fans route and do a “list of one” and just have this song in it, and nothing else.  The reason why is obvious, and perfectly summed up by this comment:

It’s obvious to anybody who has been following k-pop for any length of time that the k-pop fans who are neck deep into the “culture” don’t even listen to music at all, really – the music is just a conduit for them to fall in love with the idols.  That’s why these k-pop fans always ask you to support their faves’ next comeback regardless of what it sounds like, and often before they even know what it sounds like – appreciation of music itself clearly isn’t the endgame here.  So by removing the actual idol and replacing it with some rubberised bolted-on face, you’re actually removing the one reason why k-pop fans would even care about k-pop at all.  Most of the other k-pop computer avatar creations that have seen any significant market and fan traction also have a human presence to go along with the CGI stuff so you don’t lose that personal connection.  For instance you have the ae-Aespa CGI girls but you also have the four real girls of Aespa to fall in love with (or not), with K/DA it’s not hidden who the creators are, you know that G-Idle’s Soyeon and other identified humans are behind it, and so on, companies consider it important to keep the human element intact in some form even if it’s just in liner notes.  Of course the personalities and emotions that you see from real k-pop idols aren’t exactly real either, and by that I don’t mean they’re completely “faked” but they’re certainly heavily editing themselves for public consumption, they can’t just scream out “fuck this shit I want to go home and see my parents once in a while, why can’t I just do that?” halfway through a fanmeet or something without their handlers freaking out and quickly escorting them to the Bad Thoughts Room.  Even someone like Loona’s Chuu who seems completely uninhibited still has to be careful about what she says, there are some conversational topics where she knows she’s not allowed to go.  A product like “I’m Real” brings a lot of that reality home, because while these are not the idols you want, they are definitely the idols that agencies are trying to create for you, just (usually) with real people instead.  Remember how Loen staff wouldn’t let Fiestar’s Cheska express any individuality whatsoever and she had to fight tooth and nail just to have even one tiny fragment of self-expression, which was keeping her nose-ring in?  The reason why Eternity exists at all, is because this is what companies think you want, because this is what you’ve told them you want, over and over again, by accepting the conformist idol world’s obsession with image standards at face-value, championing only the most bland cookie-cutter versions of female beauty and shouting down any valid criticism or complaint with “don’t hurt my bias” excuses.  This agency has just extrapolated the manufactured desires of k-pop fandoms to their logical conclusion.  You might complain that you don’t want this, but “I’m Real” is everything that your aggregated purchasing decisions and social networking data shows that you’ve been begging for, now shut up and open your mouth, here comes the fucking aeroplane.

5. Cravity – My Turn

When I was going through my shortlist and writing up this post, I looked at Cravity’s draft position that I’d set from earlier in the year, and noticed they were a long way down the list.  “So close to the bottom?  I don’t remember them doing anything quite this bad, maybe I just messed up, hmmm… better listen to the song again just to check it.”  So I put the song on again and checked it out.  I sat back in my chair as the song started up and thought “hmmm, doesn’t seem too bad, this verse is okay, I mean it’s not fantastic or anything, it’s just some guys rapping which is kinda boring I guess, but certainly doesn’t seem worst-list worthy.”  I kept listening and the pre-chorus started and I thought “you know, this isn’t too bad, I don’t know what I was talking about… but if I put it this low, maybe there was a reason for that that I just can’t remember right now, I should probably proceed with caution” so I backed the sound level down slightly.  Then all of a sudden out of nowhere, “VROOM VROOM VROOM VROOM VROOM VROOM VROOM VROOM VROOM SKRT” – I turned the volume down quickly but it was too late.  The next thing I knew, I woke up in hospital.  The doctor came in and shook his head.  “I’m tired of you people cluttering up the hospital system, we’ve got fine upstanding heroin addicts that we can’t offer a hospital bed to because we’re so busy dealing with you lot” he admonished as he sighed and readied his stethoscope.  “I didn’t know it was going to be that, I thought it was a k-pop song!” I protested.  He just grunted dismissively in reply – he’d heard that line before.  He then continued: “Just as well your volume level wasn’t that high, you don’t seem to have any permanent brain or internal organ damage.  We’ll keep you under observation for now, but we can probably discharge you later today.  Just remember – don’t skrt.  Not even once.”

4. HOOONiYONGi feat. Lee Changmin – Welcome

It’s funny how Korean pop music latches onto some trends from the western music world for absolute dear life (skrt), but completely disregards others that are often just as popular overseas.  One type of musical movement that we haven’t really seen in k-pop over the years in any big way is a country music trend, which pleases me greatly as I generally hate that fucking shit, but also surprises me given how absolutely huge country music is in the USA, the country that k-pop tends to look towards most often for whatever bullshit trend is riding high.  Sure, a 4minute subunit tried it, but it didn’t really take off and nobody cared enough to emulate it, so we’re mercifully fairly country-music free up until this point.  Even “Welcome” here is only country music texturally – they’ve got the drums and guitars correct and present, but the type of chord progressions and vocal arrangements they’re using here would never actually happen in country music, not the original real-deal stuff nor the butchered modern Nashville high-production versions.  This actually isn’t a good thing, because it means that “Welcome” does a lot of things wrong that country music does wrong (unadventurous melodies, the same boring cheesy textures over and over) and also does a lot of things that Korean pop in general does wrong (boring harmony, crowded vocal arrangement) so you end up with something that is really the worst of all possible worlds.  They’ve grabbed the worst genre in popular music worldwide and actually made it even worse by honing in on its weaknesses, it’s actually kind of impressive how terrible this is.  Maybe this isn’t random at all but in fact an attempt to make sure country music can never rise in Korea, as all who hear this will be instantly turned off the style for life, and if that’s their plan I certainly support their efforts.

3. Scott Brenner & Levites – You Must Increase

I don’t know exactly which denomination of god-bothering bullshit these folks are into, but I get the feeling that we probably wouldn’t even have a pandemic at all if it weren’t for these assholes.  All these people gathering around because of “christ in me the hope of glory” or whatever, spreading their filth everywhere is a big part of how our friend the coronavirus got a big boost in some countries, South Korea included.  Everyone thought that if they just gathered together in a big old circle and concentrated their “magical miracle rays” they would be able to zap the germs away.  These are the type of people who tell you that it was god’s will when you get sick and that you should “pray harder” instead of going to see a doctor, and then you die and they say “god took my baby to a better place, it was god’s will, oh glory to god” instead of “oh gosh I just murdered my child with my own stupidity, perhaps I should confess to the nearest law enforcement agency”.  Anyway their music sucks because they’re always thinking about how to praise the Tooth Fairy first and how to write decent music second, they even know how to make guitar solos sound like shit.  At least they’re not trying to millennial-whoop their way through the pearly gates but if I were them I’d show some more respect for god’s creations, maybe they can take a leaf out of Islam’s book and their code of silence around mosques thing, now there’s an idea.  Don’t get me wrong I think all organised religions are more or less equally moronic, but even a broken clock is right twice per day, and if there’s only one thing I agree with the Islam guys on, it’s that if god exists he probably doesn’t want to hear your shitty fucking music.

2. Enhypen – Hey Tayo

Okay look I found something even worse than last year’s Pororo songs.  Having said that, I’m probably going to exclude future “children’s collabs” from consideration for these lists completely simply because it’s unfair to all those other people making shitty fucking music that isn’t aimed at children, that stuff like this dominates the lists now.  I guess it depends on quantities, but if there’s just going to be more and more of this fucking crap each year, then no, I think I’ll just turf all of it.   It’s not like I don’t have enough rubbish songs already that aren’t aimed at children.  So what I’m trying to say is, fuck this song.  Also don’t you love the little reminder to subscribe at the start, just for the kids, don’t worry you little shit, mum and dad won’t mind if you subscribe to our channel and get spammed with all our Tayo the bangbus crap.

And now it’s time for the #1 worst song of 2021 – are you ready?  Yes that’s a rhetorical question of course, none of us are ever truly ready for any of this bullshit.

1. UNDyte – Sin Virus Vaccine

So because you’ve been very brave just to get to this point, and your determination and good behaviour probably deserves a reward of some kind, let’s change the topic, and not talk about UNDyte and their song “Sin Virus Vaccine” just yet.  Instead, let’s talk about the best song that was released this year.  No, I’m not talking about the best k-pop song this year (that’s over on the other list) but the best song this year, period, fullstop, in any genre, in any part of the world.  Here it is, so enjoy it.

So “Glory To The World” by Japanese metal band Lovebites is actually a really fantastic song, and I’m not going to into too much detail about what it is and why it works so well (this isn’t j-metalypse, although maybe it should be) just fucking listen to it and see if you notice anything in particular about it.  You might notice that we have a very fast-paced song (remember back when the majority of new k-pop songs had high BPM?  Lest we forget) featuring a vocalist with an actual stage presence to die for that no k-pop performer has ever come close to, plus an amazing voice that none of them have come close to either (and she sings live properly without backing tracks, unlike your k-pop bias), a super-tight rhythm section, crazily cool twin guitar solos including perfectly harmonised guitar parts, fantastic orchestral elements that actually complement the power of the song instead of sounding like the arranger going “look at me look how I can arrange the things” and great melody and chord choices throughout.  The other thing you might notice, and that hits you pretty much straight away before the song proper even starts, is that lyrically and thematically it’s god-bothering as fuck.  In the video you’ve literally got some Jesus guy wandering around being a Jesus guy doing Jesus things, meanwhile the girls all perform dressed like ballerina-priests in a fucking church, the lyrics are all about how god is so great or some bullcrap, they’ve got a choir of angel-monks or whatever singing along with them in one part, they even quote noted famous junkie and occasional singer Whitney Houston in the chorus for fuck’s sake, so you know they’re big on christian values like forgiveness.  I have no idea whether these girls are genuinely this heavily into the god thing or if it’s just some kind of weird conceptual business like that one Swans album, but whatever the case they’ve certainly gone as all-in on the Christianity here as I’ve ever seen any actual verified Christian musician ever do.  As a confirmed goat-sacrificing illuminati-secret-hand-shaking satanic asshole who routinely shits on religious songs when they appear in these lists, you’d think that all this devotion to the “cloud guy” would bother me, but no, it doesn’t, and the reason why is because the music fucking rocks, and that’s that on that.

So that’s how do a Christian song right.  Now let’s take a look at “Sin Virus Vaccine” – just as much of a Christian song as the Lovebites track, so they have no fucking excuse to suck.  What do we have?  Instead of kick-ass NWOBHM style metal we have horrible 90s idol pop style like all those pop groups from the 90s that sucked and that nobody remembers except the suckers who originally bought those albums which are now collecting dust somewhere.  Instead of crazy fast beats we have pedestrian plodding.  Instead of a consummate professional of a vocalist belting out amazing vocal lines (and who bears a striking resemblance to peak-era SNSD Jessica if she were some kind of ballerina warrior fighting for heavy metal) we have lame generic Autotuned warbling.  Instead of a tighter-than-Wonho’s-thighs-on-the-leg-press rhythm section, we have uncontrolled sounding sub bass warbling away and shitting all over the low end of the mix.  Instead of cool Thin Lizzy/Iron Maiden style twin guitar harmony leads, we have that fucking annoying whiny synth and random keyboard stabs for no reason.  Instead of cool lyrics that actually make being a Christian sound oddly appealing and self-empowering (even if it really isn’t), we have lyrics likening accepting god into your life to the important but annoying ordeal of going and getting your COVID shots, which is probably more accurate but also way less cool sounding and definitely unlikely to get any bums on seats on Sunday morning.  Oh and instead of performing in an amazing looking church on a windswept hill or whatever the fuck, they just borrow that same set that H3athr Sun and countless other nugus used for their videos, except that all of them had better songs than this.  Invert all the properties of the best song this year, and sure enough, you’ve got the worst song this year – who would’ve thought it would be that simple?


That’s all for Kpopalypse’s worst songs of 2021!  If you want more don’t forget to read the dishonourable mentions (songs which narrowly escaped the fate of appearing on this list) for more fun!  On the other hand if you wish to restore some of your faith in k-pop, or your ears are now hurting and need a good cleanout, feel free to check out Kpopalypse’s 30 favourite k-pop songs of 2021!

8 thoughts on “Kpopalypse’s 30 worst k-pop songs of 2021

  1. The absolutely best thing about these lists every year is the inclusion of the most laughably songs of the year. Last year we had the amazingly ridiculous Pillies, now for this year we have Along Came Beautiful Nuna, songs that had me in tears from laughing when I first heard them and they still succeed in that now. Thank you oppar for your services, I would have forgot these gems if it weren’t for you

  2. My head hurts after listening to that lovebites song. The drums are fucking painful. Anyway, nice to see itzy on the list given how disappointing and shitty they were.

  3. Everything sucks, which we already knew.

    But holy snapping duckshit batman, Mad Monster might have the worst video i have watched in the last few years. The arbitrary application of filters on their faces is mentally destabilizing… I haven’t been able to hear the music or the sharting yet, all i can hear are the screams of demons.

  4. Shit I actually like Chopstick and Okay!. Also that Happy! song is originally by an Indonesian band called Mocca. I didn’t realise it spread so much that there’s a kpop cover. Glad to say I share your hatred of trashy autotuned trap with no flow.

Leave a Reply to Pesky Bits Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.