Honourable and dishonourable mentions for 2022

It’s nearly the end of the year, and the best and worst songs of 2022 will be released soon!  In the meantime, welcome to the “honourable and dishonourable mentions” post – all the songs that weren’t quite good or bad enough to get into the Kpopalypse end of year lists for 2022!

The following are all songs that were very good, but not quite good enough to get into my 30 favourites list for 2022 (which will be published on 31st December).  There is also, below this, an equal amount of “dishonourable mentions”, songs that were really quite bad, yet not bad enough to hit my worst 30 songs of the year.  Please note:

  • Songs are sorted alphabetically by artist, not by order of preference
  • This list is feature tracks only, either with an MV, or that were promoted on music shows or released as a single
  • OST songs, songs for sporting events and Christmas songs are not eligible
  • This list is pure personal preference only, it does not factor in chart success, popularity, cultural relevance etc
  • Your opinions may (and probably will) differ, and that’s okay – my opinion is not important
  • If this post makes you mad, it’s working as intended, don’t forget to write about it somewhere so we can all pretend to care

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HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Apink – Dilemma

Veterans of Kpopalypse lists will probably be shocked to find Apink’s excellent “Dilemma” here in the honourable mentions and not riding high on this year’s top 30, and to be honest, I’m right there with you, I’m as surprised as you are. “Dilemma” is undisputably awesome, sporting Apink’s signature latter-day sound that they’ve been working to great effect ever since “I’m So Sick” and as one of the very few groups in k-pop that actually even have something vaguely approaching a signature sound, I’m always grateful whenever they drop another track of this quality. However as much as it is great, the hooks aren’t as compelling as before, I don’t think it’s better than any of their other recent high-profile comebacks, and it’s risk-averse enough to fall in the middle ground somewhere between the best qualities of all of them. Of course it’s highly likely that I’m just being a cunt and that this is actually song of the year, but I don’t know, I guess I’m just used to Apink blowing me away a bit more than this, perhaps it’s time for them to change things up a little.

ATEEZ – Guerrilla

Punchy and gritty rhythms with jagged synths in the verses and some epic orchestration elsewhere, ATEEZ nail the correct atmosphere and sound for a face-melting rhythmically dynamic comeback which many of their peers also shot for this year and wildly missed the mark on. ATEEZ made their version work because their production team mostly get the tone right, keeping the mood between all the sections consistent (a common theme that you’ll find repeated with 2022’s better songs) rather than constantly chopping and changing things up for no reason. It’s so well done that when the dreaded trendy “major-scale backing vocals over a minor key for no reason” vocals finally drop in at 2:02 they can’t even do that much to ruin it.

Chaerin – Runaway

You can read all about this great song and video in Kpopalypse Nugu Alert Episode 69 here but if you missed that post (and you probably did, because nobody reads Kpopalypse Nugu Alert even when it’s a sex-themed episode, that’s how unpopular it is) just know that there was plenty of LGBT representation in k-pop this year, but none of it also had songs of this quality. There’s enough sexual metaphors here for a Chuu debut, but that wouldn’t matter a damn if the song wasn’t even catchier than whatever diseases these two gave each other during filming when they were sharing the same saliva-drenched food.

Cherry Bullet – Love In Space

“Love In Space” is clearly just a retread of Cherry Bullet’s own “Love So Sweet” but not as good, and that’s about all I’ve got to say about it. However “Love So Sweet” was goddamn fucking amazing, so ‘slightly less good than goddamn fucking amazing’ is something I will calmly accept. We should cut them some slack for the sake of the planet anyway, it’s probably kinder on the environment to recycle bits from old studio tracks than it is to build completely new ones.

Glen Check – Sins

I’ve always been a little meh about Glen Check, but they really came through with the goods here, both with outstanding sonics and some serious N.O.M vibes in the video. The melody and the use of Autotune are probably the worst things about this track and even they’re honestly quite good, the robot voice suits the material sort-of kind-of and everything else fits together reasonably well, but that driving instrumentation is what really makes this song hit the highs.

Hong Jin Young ft. Frawley – Girl In The Mirror

Such a smooth pop song that I couldn’t even tell where Hong Jin Young’s voice ended and Frawley’s started, Hong Jin Young at this point has pretty much eclipsed trot music in general, and maybe even music in general. My only wish is that the song wasn’t so straightforward just because I would have liked to hear even more of it.

Itzy – Voltage

K-pop delivered another year of surprises in 2022 and one that I didn’t expect was Itzy rapping over a beat that’s only one snare drum removed from “Straight Outta Compton“, and then changing it up to rap over another beat that’s even better again. In a year where most rappers globally were either seriously failing or simply coasting on past glory, steadfastly refusing to include anything resembling actual beats in their backing tracks, they should be ashamed that Korean idol groups are picking up their slack. The result is easily Itzy’s best song since “Wannabe” and even if the part of it that’s an actual song isn’t all that great, I’m okay with it because I’m so starved for anything approaching decent new rap music in 2022 that I’ll actually take this Korean idol fluff over what most of “real hip-hop” guys are doing now, the bar really is that low.

Key – Another Life

Finally someone from SHINee stopped trying to be the next Michael Jackson when in solo mode and instead just got on with the task of having a decent song and singing it – and thank fuck for that because the results are outstanding. The track features a great chorus hook plus some real muscle in the rhythm section, but it’s just as notable for what it doesn’t do, with no stupid raps, trap breakdowns, shouty crap or [insert random genre here] segues anywhere to be found. In a year when so many groups and solo artists were trying to do too much of everything at once and botching their own songs in the process, the restraint here pays dividends.

Miss Jung – All Right

There’s two ways to make trot music actually not suck. The first way is to write a song that’s decent, non-cliched and that contains some cool melody and harmony choices. See Hong Jin Young above – I guess the best songwriters in trot demand top dollar for their output so they only get hired by the biggest stars who can actually afford their services, it makes sense I suppose. The budget way to not suck as a trot musician for those too broke to afford top-dollar songwriting talent, is to crank the tempo up as far as your Casio arranger keyboard will allow before everything turns to mush, fill the track with a bunch of chanting and random synth noises, and lyrically encourage your audience to get as fucking smashed as possible so even in the unlikely event that they do notice the music at any point during their intoxicated haze, their critical faculties will be sufficiently dulled to the point where they’ll probably like it anyway, or at least not throw their stein at you. Miss Jung probably doesn’t even need security around her because all her obsessed fans can barely even walk, if you see this girl wandering around Seoul’s nightclub district at 2am don’t worry, she’ll be just fine.

Moonbyul – C.I.T.T. (Cheese in the Trap)

Moonbyul is that girl in Mamamoo who usually gets saddled with the awkward rap parts and the semi-Latin yelping, presumably because she’s not as vocally capable as the others, so it was a real surprise to have her burst out this year with “C.I.T.T” which is pure melody from start to finish and probably the best Mamamoo solo ever. It’s also a rare foray into something approaching a rock sound from someone who doesn’t go anywhere near that style generally, but it works great, because the songwriting is there, and at the end of the day that’s what matters the most. The surest sign that it’s a quality song is that her fans apparently fucking hate it, which is no surprise at all, their senses having already been so dulled into a synaptic mush by Mamamoo’s usual lazy trend-riding and hideous vocal showing-off that their ear for music mostly left them long ago. Sure, the producers had to crank the Autotune a bit harder than usual to get Moonbyul’s vocals over the line, but it’s never nasal enough to interfere heavily. While the song is definitely a bit cheesy (pun intended) in the wrong way especially when it abruptly hits the skids before each chorus, it’s still more charming, upbeat and fun than it is anything else (but no offering to date Moonbyul due to the song’s quality, she already has a girlfriend thank you).

N.O.M – Look

I’ve always enjoyed the first wave of industrial dance music (before it started merging with metal, which actually sounded cool too but also took the edge off what made it unique), and N.O.M are sounding a hell of a lot like that here. “Look” is pretty much just a random track from Front Line Assembly’s “Caustic Grip” album if it was remixed for gay clubs.  Since the lack of gayness is really the only thing wrong with Front Line Assembly’s early 1990s peak period, I have no choice but to accept N.O.M and so should you.

PRSNT – Like a Butterfly

PRSNT, aka Jenyer AKA Jiyoon aka [insert whatever she’s calling herself next week here] had outstanding songs in 2022 and this is one of them, milking those old-school T-ara album vibes for an outstanding chorus and a great track in general that hits all the right moody notes. For some reason a lot of people have been reacting negatively when I praise PRSNT to the skies lately which is weird because back in the day whenever I’d repeatedly give her old group 4minute shit for not living up to their potential and foisting trendy musical disasters onto us everyone somehow got the shits with that too. There’s no pleasing k-pop fans I guess.

Sagong – Dear, Ann

I don’t like Korean ballads very often, but when I do, it’s sometimes because they have the same type of melodic smarts and dynamic subtlety that powers the better European neo-folk music, like Forseti and Of The Wand And The Moon. Who is/are Sagong I don’t even know, but they certainly get it absolutely right here, with beautiful acoustic guitar work powering the harmony and the vocals never once overstepping the mark into showing off for its own sake like 99% of Korean ballads ever made. You’ll probably ignore this song because it’s not your bias and that’s fine because people who congregate in fandoms and treat music like sport are the problem with society today and those people don’t deserve to discover music this good.

Synsnake – Flip

While I do like a good death metal growl, higher-pitched “screamo” style vocals just kind of piss me off because it sounds less like someone playing the latest zombie FPS game and more like someone just being upset, and I don’t actually enjoy listening to people being upset all that much. However the right context can work wonders – the vocals provide exactly the right jolts at exactly the right times in this track to give it a kick up the ass exactly where it’s needed, while still leaving enough of the song with melodic singing to make you feel like you’re listening to actual music and not baby’s first guitar lesson. The arrangement is also a welcome reversal of the “screaming verse, melodic chorus” structure that’s a real cliche in metal circles at the moment, so overall I really dig this, and if you like what you’re hearing here as well I strongly recommend that you check out their other stuff as it’s all impressively played and arranged and none of it is bad. 

Taeyeon – Toddler

Taeyeon has just been good this year and that’s all there is to it. While “INVU” was cool and had a nice cruisy vibe that worked well with all those duck videos, “Toddler” is better and even cruisier, but still without being boring because someone actually wrote a decent topline for it that carries the listener’s interest, and the rhythms are straightforward and punchy as hell. It’s not a song that’s going to blow anybody away, it’s just a modest tune that does a lot right and nothing all that wrong and sometimes that’s all that’s required. Rachel Kim could never (or at least, hasn’t yet).

Treasure – Hello

There’s nothing even remotely innovative about “Hello” and just about everything in this song is something that you’ve heard a thousand times before elsewhere, but sometimes you just have to keep getting the same dish at your favourite restaurant because it’s so good and you know there’s other stuff on the menu which is probably good too but what if you miss out on one more chance to eat your favourite food and then the place closes down before you get to visit again? It’s happened to me before quite a few times and it sucks, so eat up while you can. Not every restaurant is as popular and financially secure as the Paradise Diner, you know.

BONUS SONGS

CL did something good as a solo artist!

CL – Chuck

By far the best track I’ve ever heard CL on as a solo artist, she both looks and sounds great, and yeah of course it’s a little cheesy with the goofball cringe phrases as always (I mean, it’s CL, we all know what we’re getting lyrically by now) but damned if she doesn’t make it work. Brash, bold and rhythmically unusual enough to maintain interest, it actually kicks quite a lot of ass and The Black Eyed Peas were idiots to not hire her as Fergie’s permanent replacement because this is shitloads better than anything she ever did.

I’m going to like this if it kills me, and it just might

Jvcki Wai – Go Back

Jvcki Wai’s Autotuned whining works where other people’s Autotuned whining fails miserably, and after years of being addicted to her and her only doing it and doubting my own sanity as a result I’ve finally worked out why. It’s because Jvcki Wai actually has a very good handle on how to use Autotune melodically to create interest in a track, which is actually a really really rare thing for a performer in this godforsaken music style to have, in fact it’s so rare that I can’t even think up a single comparable example in this style off the top of my head. The reason why it’s so rare is that most people who rely so heavily on Autotune either love R&B (in which case they just think that semi-improvising on a blues scale is fine instead of writing actual planned melodic parts), or they just aren’t really musicians at all and are trying to use the machine to fill in the creative gap as well as the sonic gap. This always ends in disaster, of course, and you’ll hear many such disasters when I bring out the 30 worst k-pop songs list at the end of this year. Anyway it’s good to have Jvcki Wai back and let’s hope she shuts down everyone else trying to do this type of thing for good (except Swervy, she can stay, hopefully her and Jvcki have some sort of beef so we can get a highly entertaining diss track war one day) but knowing our luck Jvcki will probably just end up “inspiring” everyone instead and in 2023 we’ll have to deal with yet another army of clones with 50% of the style and 0% of the substance.

Fantastic, but disappointingly familiar…

Rolling Quartz – Good Night

Slightly better than Dreamcatcher’s excellent original just because it benefits from the extra rough edges that a bona-fide rock production provides, but it also loses points because it feels like a lost opportunity for them to put their own stamp on it. To be clear, this is the only reason why this song is here and not in the top ten – it’s just a little too similar to the point where the entire remake seems a little pointless as I don’t even feel like I’m even reviewing anything new. It would be good to see Rolling Quartz go this fast and heavy (or heavier still) on one of their own songs.

DISHONOURABLE MENTIONS

Apink CHOBOM – Copycat

While Apink have struck gold with their full group high-profile comebacks very consistently over the last few years, their side projects where they flirt with softer styles are generally fairly weak and inconsistent. So “Copycat” being a bit of a bland stinker really isn’t that much of a surprise. It’s really quite shit musically, it might look like Orange Caramel on acid but the sound is just that same boring mid-tempo bland lounge R&B thing that clutters up the second half of 99% of all k-pop albums released since 1997.

BigBang- Still Life

A lame emotionally manipulative ballad necromanced from the scraps of BigBang’s album filler past, designed to help you to forgive the boys for all those controversies over the last decade, not that you even cared, you probably just wanted the new song to not suck, right? Oh well, you can’t always have what you want I guess. Of course Koreans love it, but they also love bullying, dropping dead from overwork, bullying, molka and bullying so forgive me if I don’t give a fuck what they like.

BM – Strangers

“Strangers” can’t decide if it’s mumble rap or mumble generic gym music but BM is a grown adult and someone should teach him how to move his tongue around in his mouth properly. Surely there are some people out there motivated enough to help him learn that particular skill, maybe there’s an opening for a Yua Mikami k-pop comeback here. In the meantime maybe we’ll get lucky and he’ll just delete this garbage straight off the Internet completely like he did with his last crap solo song from a few years back.

CRAVITY – Boogie Woogie

Despite being a designated “kid’s group” or whatever for the first part of their careers, The Jackson Five actually had a pretty raw and sophisticated funk sound. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that I like their music or that I’d listen to it by choice, but I really don’t mind “I Want You Back” when it comes on, if nothing else that bassline is absolutely killer and the co-ordination required from every member of the group to hit all that syncopation and pull out dance moves at the same time proves that they were a James Brown-tier tight unit (just a pity that they were abused even more than James Brown abused his backing bands). Also I dig the production of those early tracks because it’s clear, but not too polished, they were recorded before over-reverbed mixes really became a thing so the balance is about right and there’s a lot of clarity, even if it still sounds a bit like it was recorded in a lounge room. So hearing a shit Korean knock-off version that has all the syncopation and grittiness systematically stripped away is a really unappealing prospect and Cravity can get fucked basically.

ETERNITY – DTDTGMGN

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Fatou – Castle Key (Roll)

One of the women from Rania reboot #57 wastes her time and ours by Autotune-mumbling over the most generic of trap beats imaginable when literally anything else except this nonsensical garbage would have been preferable. I guess at least her label are actually letting her do stuff at all, I suppose that’s a step up for her agency Dr. Music isn’t that right Alex.

Girls’ Generation – Forever 1

A Girls Forever sorry I mean Girls’ Generation reunion trotting out a “we’re all about unity baby, yep that’s us for sure, you can trust us” theme without Rachel Kim sure is shady, the fakeness here is as thickly woven as those tragic knockoff fashion jumpers and the timing (being released shortly after certain totally-not-autobiographical-really k-pop “fiction” books) is telling. Despite the fraudulent theme of forever relevance, this song is thoughtless-sounding enough to prove with a doubt that SNSD has been completely put out to pasture as a going concern at this point. Mind you, I’m sure Jessica Rachel is secretly grateful for having been forced off the ship at exactly the right time, who wouldn’t be glad about not having to grind their way through this millennial-vibe nonsense.

Jay Park feat. IU – Ganadara

Jay Park’s riches are no humble brag, he’s got enough money to get IU on his track and even in his video, despite the fact that the two have zero chemistry as a musical duet couple and their song is limp fucking R&B balls. Fuck knows how much she would have charged him for this appearance, at least one soju franchise leasehold probably, but you know it was a lot because both her phoned-in vocal performance and that faraway look in her eyes definitely indicate that she’s thinking of the money.

Kang Daniel feat. Jessi – Don’t Tell

Another duet disaster, they try to mix up the tired old “Latin” formula we’re all sick of by syncopating the beat a bit more than usual, but it’s just not enough to make anybody give a fuck. 

Kep1er – Wing Wing

One of the new yelpy shouty garbage nonsense groups to burst onto the k-pop scene recently, Kep-one-er have done nothing but suck flat out since debut and “Wing Wing” is a bunch of hookless, brainless trash seemingly assembled by pasting random musical ideas onto a drawing of a donkey’s ass and throwing darts at it while drunk and blindfolded. Undemanding k-pop listeners brainwashed by marketing will eat it up of course while enthusiastically declaring “it’s camp” (which is just k-pop fandom lingo for “I have low standards and like having my intelligence insulted”), the rest of us would probably prefer to be shat on by a real donkey.

Kwon Eunbi – Esper

I can’t even remember how many songs for the creepy Universe app are on the worst list this year, but this dose of generic “Latin” garbage is worse than most of them. In absentia lucis, Tenebrae vincunt.

No War – Let Us Return To Home

For nearly a whole year the Ukrainians have been tearing the Russians a new asshole on the battlefield, and who knew the Russian army was so weak? I guess that’s what happens when the entire military system of Russia is completely corrupt from the top down and lying is so commonplace, nothing functions as it should. Anyway let’s keep this particular song under wraps and not let the Russians find out about it because it’s bad enough to qualify as some sort of banned chemical weapon and given how much Russia likes using those let’s not give Putin any more ideas.

SOB3R feat. Jaeha, Effie – But!

Obviously this song is trash but if you happen to disagree and absolutely love this type of garbage, I’ve got good news for you – the worst 30 of 2022 list contains quite a lot of this type of talentless, soulless, tuneless idiocy, so expect it fondly.

Treasure – Jikjin

Treasure actually had some pretty good songs this year.  They also had “Jikjin”, which actually starts off reasonably well but then that Morse-code chorus happens. If you don’t burst out laughing at 0:53 from the sheer stupidity of it all, I suggest that you go to see a doctor to get your clinical depression diagnosed.

TRI.BE – Kiss

Another song where the chorus sounds like someone’s server crashing. Someone should try switching this group off and on again.

Winner – I Love U

Seriously, people are just putting anything in choruses now and expecting other people to like it. Of course they’re not wrong – the parasocial marketing of k-pop is there for a reason, to make sure that you accept whatever these companies deem fit to throw at you. One day there’s going to be a Jonestown-style incident at some kind of k-pop gathering with people screaming at each other “you must support the company” while they murder each other in a fandom-approved frenzy, remember that I called it.

BONUS SONGS

Everything that went wrong with k-pop in 2022, in one song

NMIXX – O.O

I can only assume by the group title that NMIXX is actually meant to be a “medley concept group”, and someone of JYP’s vintage should have known that this was a shit idea right from the get-go because no medley in human history has been worth a goddamn as anything more than a party mixtape gimmick. I can only assume he’s trying to invoke the fun of listening to random mixtapes of your favourite songs, but this just reveals the problem – none of these songs are anybody’s favourite. The only reason why a mixtape is interesting in the first place is because it’s songs you already know. Snippets of three short ideas that aren’t from anything else in particular and without any longer context that they were drawn from completely misses the point, but even if there was a reason to care, nobody would anyway because only the middle of the three is any good. The correct move would have obviously been to make the middle song the feature track, extend that out to full length, and relegate the other two trappish pieces of shit to filler b-sides that can go on the single but I guess we can’t have that because it would take too much time away from JYP writing his new book about how cults are cool or whatever. It’s so jarring when things are changed up for no reason. The other day I was fapping to KYMI-028 where Ichika Matsumoto doesn’t even take her clothes off and I was thinking to myself “why do I like this skinny chick so much when everyone else in my fap folder is thicc like Nina Nishimura” and then I realised that it’s her face, when she smiles it’s quite a bit like my girlfriend’s smile, and women always reach maximum attractiveness for me if they resemble my girlfriend in some key way. So I went to my hard drive and within my fap folder I made a ‘face’ subfolder and tried to sort out all the videos that had a girl in them that had a smile like my girlfriend’s but I really struggled because that kind of smile is actually really rare, I’ve still only got Ichika Matsumoto in there so now I have two folders and they all have exactly the same videos in them which is a bit silly really but at least my dick is happy. People don’t realise how much smoke-and-mirrors actually goes on at a live concert, Just because someone bothered to plug in a microphone doesn’t mean it’s switched on, and we all know pop singers mime, but it’s not just the pop genre that cheats. Big rows of amplifiers at heavy metal shows are usually hiding the one tiny amplifier behind them that’s actually making all the sound, that or there’s no amplifier at all but just a DI from an amp simulator direct into the PA, however they often still have the Marshall stacks up there because it looks ‘rock and roll’. Backing vocals are often samples triggered from keyboards or drum machines, and DJ decks are quite often just playing a completely pre-recorded mix with almost no real-time mixing at all. Don’t think the world of snobby classical music is any better, Pavarotti completely mimed his final performance and for outdoor gigs where amplification is a requirement backing tracks are used often and the performers just play along to the backings (just like how k-pop singers sing along to a backing track with their own voice on it) because micing up an entire symphony orchestra is like a whole-day project that requires tons of specialised mics as well as the people to set it all up and try getting 51 performers to all not bump their microphones plus keep wind noise out of all of them. It’s so much easier to just put on a CD.

Do you want another reason to hate CUBE? Here you go!

(G)I-dle – Nxde

(G)I-dle’s Soyeon had a really clever idea with the concept for the song “Nxde”, it’s just a pity that it didn’t pan out the way that it should have, and it’s probably because her agency are morons. The song initially comes off as a burleseque type of concept but it has a deeper meaning which isn’t immediately apparent among the at-first-glance contradictory lyrics and muddled genre-hopping music. The word 아이들 (idle) in (여자)아이들 ((G)I-dle) actually means “children”, which meant that a lot of searches in Korea for the group (G)I-dle would actually get mixed up with search results for child pornography. Soyeon noticed this (don’t ask how) and in order to fuck with these people a little bit, she decided to make the concept and title for her new song “nude” so that if the song gained any traction the korean word “아이들” and “nude”, when searched together, would always come up with their song, and not any child porn. Now that’s actually very smart and clever, definitely a big mind on Soyeon for thinking of that one. However there’s an issue with how the end product has come out – as (G)I-dle didn’t actually call the song “nude” but instead “nxde” (so the YouTube algorithm is friendler to it), and nobody searches for the character string “nxde” anyway, least of all people searching for smut, because the word “nude” isn’t a swear word or explicit in any manner, the only people actually searching for “nxde” are therefore going to be the ones searching for this song. As a result the net effect of all this careful planning was absolutely fucking zero because it’s obviously not going to confuse any search engines at all (don’t test this though). No doubt this is CUBE’s fault, as Soyeon says herself, she likes to take risks and then the label tries to tone it down, so they always end up coming to a compromise, so I’m blaming them 100% for this as that x instead of u is no doubt part of CUBE’s compromise solution. So in summary, (G)I-dle’s Soyeon could have ended child porn on the Korean Internet for all time with just one song but she wasn’t able to do it because some idiot in a suit at CUBE Entertainment messing their diapers while thinking about their bottom line thought sucking algorithmic cock was more important.

If “less is more”, does that mean “nothing is everything”?

Sunmi – Oh Sorry Ya (mute mix)

I have no idea what possessed her to do this, but at least nobody can accuse her of showing off.  I hope Sunmi is able to win in her upcoming lawsuit against John Cage’s estate.

Music video of the year

Na Hoon-A – Face Off

The most outlandishly over the top music video I’ve ever seen in a Korean ballad, let alone a Korean trot ballad. I won’t spoil it – just stick with it, I promise you probably won’t regret it. Nothing but pure entertainment here, an entire Tolkien/Wagnerian fantasy epic story squeezed into trot song length. If you don’t like this video you deserve death just like all those skeleton armies.


Thanks for reading! The Kpopalypse favourites list and worst of k-pop list will be published soon!

23 thoughts on “Honourable and dishonourable mentions for 2022

    • Looks like hex.

      I put it into a hex to text converter and got this

      “I m a g i n e a c t u a l l y b e i n g o n e o f t h e p e r f o r m e r s i n a g r o u p w h e r e t h e y s l a p p e d a c o m p u t e r – g e n e r a t e d f a c e o n t o p o f y o u . T h e t a u n t s a t s c h o o l y o u w o u l d g e t : ” y o u ‘ r e s o u g l y t h a t t h e y d e c i d e d n o a m o u n t o f m a k e u p o r s u r g e r y c o u l d f i x y o u , t h e y j u s t h a d t o s t a r t w i t h a n e w f a c e f r o m s c r a t c h d i d n ‘ t t h e y ” . E v e n y o u r p a r e n t s c o u l d n ‘ t l o o k y o u i n t h e e y e a n y m o r e , k n o w i n g t h a t y o u w e r e t h e o n l y p e r s o n t o d e b u t i n t h e h i s t o r y o f k – p o p w h o t h e b e s t k – p o p a g e n c i e s c o u l d n ‘ t f i x , t h e o n e p e r s o n t h a t w a s s o u g l y t h e y n e e d e d t o b e q u i t e l i t e r a l l y C G I e d o u t o f e x i s t e n c e i n p o p u l a r c u l t u r e . Y o u s p e n d w e e k s c r y i n g a n d d e r a i l i n g y o u r s e l f e s t e e m u n t i l f i n a l l y s o m e t h i n g s n a p s – y o u g r a b a m a c h e t e , s h a r p e n i t t o a r a z o r ‘ s e d g e a n d g o t o t h e C E O ‘ s o f f i c e l o o k i n g f o r a n s w e r s . A f t e r c u t t i n g h i s f e e t o f f s o h e c a n n e v e r s e t f o o t o n a v i d e o s e t a g a i n , t h e C E O b e g s f o r h i s l i f e . ” I w a s o n l y t r y i n g t o g i v e t h e p e o p l e w h a t t h e y w a n t e d – p e o p l e l i k e p e r f e c t c o o k i e – c u t t e r m u s i c , s o w h y w o u l d n ‘ t t h e y l i k e p e r f e c t c o o k i e – c u t t e r v i s u a l s t o m a t c h ? ” Y o u t h i n k a b o u t i t a s h e w h i m p e r s p a t h e t i c a l l y – i t ‘ s t r u e w h a t h e ‘ s s a y i n g , i t ‘ s d e f i n i t e l y t h e p r o d u c t k – p o p f a n s h a v e b e e n a s k i n g f o r . B u t i s a s o c i e t y o f p r i s t i n e p e r f e c t i o n a c t u a l l y h e a l t h y ? W h a t i f t h i s i d e a s p r e a d s t o a l l a s p e c t s o f r e a l i t y ? W h a t ‘ s t h e p o i n t o f e v e n l i v i n g a t a l l i f e v e r y t h i n g i s p r e d e t e r m i n e d a l o n g a p e r f e c t p a t h ? C o u l d a d h e r e n c e t o a n i d e o l o g y o f p e r f e c t i o n b e d a m a g i n g e n o u g h t o k i c k – s t a r t t h e e n d o f t h e u n i v e r s e , a s a l l e n t i t i e s f r o m t h e h u m a n r a c e a n d t h e m o s t c o m p l e x A I s , r i g h t d o w n t o t h e b a s i c l i f e – f o r c e o f a s i n g l e c e l l , s i m u l t a n e o u s l y s e e n o f u r t h e r p o i n t t o t h e i r c o l l e c t i v e e x i s t e n c e a n d s h u t d o w n ? ” I t ‘ s b e t t e r t o b e s a f e t h a n s o r r y ” , y o u t h i n k t o y o u r s e l f a s y o u g r a d u a l l y s a w y o u r m a c h e t e b l a d e i n t o h i s t h r o a t .”

      Enjoy

    • 49 20 62 65 6C 69 65 76 65 20 74 68 65 20 63 6F 64 65 20 68 65 20 75 73 65 64 20 69 73 20 63 61 6C 6C 65 64 20 74 68 65 20 41 53 43 49 49 20 43 6F 64 65 20 69 6E 20 48 65 78 61 64 65 63 69 6D 61 6C 20 66 6F 72 6D 61 74

  1. Personally, I love “Love In Space” even more than “Love So Sweet”. It’s similar, but I think it does everything slightly better. 2022 was an amazing year for girl groups, and I think that “Love In Space” was the best song of them all.

    I didn’t care for “Dilemma” at all, and it makes me think that Apink’s collaboration with Black Eyed Pilseung has run its course. Honestly, I haven’t particularly enjoyed any of BEP’s work over the past 2 years, making me wonder if they might be resting on their laurels now that they have their own hugely successful girl group (STAYC).

  2. I’d also like to go on record and say that despite their flaws, I actually really liked Kep1er’s “Up!” and “Wing Wing”. They’re not as great as Pop! Corn’s “Shoot!”, but they’re still 10x better than “Wa Da Da” and “We Fresh”.

    • O.O sounds like the product of a bunch of cartoon characters jumping on their throat for “I’m the one who could make the BEST jam!” on a computer, accidentally mixing the song then it turns out to be some kind of mishmash K-Pop parody. Something that We Bare Bears would do.

  3. Sorry but you’re completely wrong about Forever 1 and Esper. Both are bangers and Esper’s the best song Universe is ever going to put out.

    • Yeah, I recognize there are some parts of Esper that could be “cringe” for some people (as if k-pop isn’t inherently cringe but anyway), but I also really enjoyed it and was spamming it quite a bit for a while there. Forever 1, I go back and forth on, but it would never go this low for me at least.

    • I love “Forever1” myself, but that’s partly as a nostalgia piece. It’s an entirely by-the-numbers song, but it sounds good.
      I didn’t really expect SNSD to push any boundaries on a reunion album, but there were a couple surprises for me.
      I’m not really concerned with how BS the message of the song is since the vast majority of all songs have bullshit lyrics anyway, so that didn’t effect my opinion.

  4. “Dilemma” is an interesting one; I liked the song when I first heard it, but kind of forgot about it over time. It’s certainly no “Dumhdurum”.

  5. INVU album had quite a few good songs. Besides INVU and Toddler, I also really liked “No Love Again.” I also thought “Timeless” and “You Better Not” were quite decent too.

  6. I ~loved~ “Another Life” for its smashing beat and “Look” for the cyberpunk beats. Super intrigued about what’s on your top list if some of these songs aren’t on there. And I agree, “Dilemma” just fell a bit short for me from my high expectations that got drummed up from Dumhdurum, one of my favs of all time. Super interesting facts about “Nxde”, makes me love the song even more and get even madder at Cube. Can’t imagine how much more amazing their songs could be without all that pesky Company Compromise.

    • I’m predicting Sparkling, Don’t Go, After Like, Blossom by Hwayoung, Chiquita, I hate You, Que Sera Sera by IlY:1 and Like Psycho by WeNa. Maybe Last Sequence, Pop?Pop! and WAT1 as well? I have no clue tho, hopefully I haven’t jinxed myself

  7. I am glad you enjoyed Guerrilla, not sure you are aware in the japanese album they released a flag version that is a less edm and lots more metal instruments.
    This year honestly I didn’t enjoy many songs and I am over saturated with how much a few girl group songs were over played. The song was ok for me before but after listening to much of them cause they were everywhere in korean content I just can’t stand a few ones.

    I loved Key’s song, really great, I also enjoyed DPRian but I think that’s it.

  8. I know you never miss an opportunity to talk shit about Mamamoo’s reputation as a vocal group, but I really appreciate the way you tend notice their severely underrated visual appeal in your roundups. Moonbyul’s great, and I’m glad she got a great song, and a great year. Mamamoo has been around for a long time for a non big whatever group, and if you’re still giving them shit for bad songs, then it means they’re still booking. Good for them. More of that please.

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