Tuesday, December 31, 2013

akisame's Top 10 Favourite Nugu Releases of 2013

As kpopalypse has said in his previous posts: 2013 has been a real downgrade for K-Pop this year. Most of what has been released sounds like an elephant anally raping Calvin Harris whilst he produces another piece of nu-disco trash.

Most of what has been released by my favourite mainstream k-pop acts (sans IU) has generally been quite shitty this year - especially coming from the likes of SNSD. After SNSD's release of the musical atrocity that is "I Got a Personality Disorder" I sought solace in many different nugu groups. Whilst the experience could somewhat be horrific (in the case of Dal Shabet), 2013 has been a year where the nugus have released some gems. After the jump is a list of my favourite nugu songs of 2013.

Before I start, I should make a few things clear:
  • Musical composition is not my line of expertise.
  • The list is solely based on my subjective opinion and does not reflect the musical tastes of other AKF authors.
Now let's get started! 

She's not on this list since she didn't released anything in 2013.

10. Ladies' Code - "Hate You"




Ladies' Code are undeniably one of the best rookie groups to debut this year and "Hate You" is a solid reminder of that.

Sojung starts off the song with her sombre vocals against the strumming of an acoustic guitar that gives off an eerie feeling of the song that perfectly matches the concept of the music video. The song also doesn't use vocal whoring to make it good (because we end up getting a fucking earful of strain in "Pretty, Pretty"), instead it sticks to the melody in a simplistic yet stylish manner.The momentum is kept throughout the song and finishes right on time - generally leaving the listener wanting more.

9. ChoColat - "Black Tinkerbell"



Possibly the most irrelevant group to ever grace the halls of the K-Pop industry, ChoColat managed to come back with the beauty that is "Black Tinkerbell" and flop - disastrously. I don't think that ChoColat's success - or lack of - has anything to do with the quality of their music, but the lack of good management and Korea's racism. If the group hadn't been marketed as only having one Korean member surrounded by mix-raced girls with Puerto-Rican ancestry, "Black Tinkerbell" and ChoColat could have been on the nugu level of Ladies' Code. The song is a good dance song with a nice catchy hook and build-up.

The mood (and title) of the song also conveys the dark and possessive emotions that the singer is feeling towards her love: a Peter Pan type figure that only has eyes for Wendy. I tend to enjoy creepy edges in songs.

The only problem I have with the song is seeing underage girls dancing quite sexily in a pool of water. It's just a bit creepy to me considering the fact most of ChoColat's members are 16, but look a lot older. Oh well, maybe that is meant to emphasise the dark side of Tinkerbell.

8. GLAM - "Look in the Mirror"



Taking a break from the dance tracks, GLAM graces this list with their presence with their trot-inspired song "Look in the Mirror". Unlike 2NE1's craptastic and headache inducing "I Love You", you can actually hear the trot influences in "Look in the Mirror" and it really, really works. The song manages to be catchy without having an auto-tune processed hook or an annoying dubstep chorus. It's incredibly refreshing to hear a song that doesn't have dubstep polluting the melody.

It's also refreshing to actually hear a song with a good melody, beats and production which has great lyrics to match. The song pokes fun at the idealistic beauty standards that South Koreans have and it isn't some sappy and pathetically shallow love song about how a girl wants to be beautiful so she can be with her oppa wah wah wah.

7. VIXX - "hyde"



Despite the fact that their name reminds me of a having the flu, VIXX are the only male nugu group to make the list: “hyde”is a fast-paced dance track that I can play for hours on end. It’s far from being perfect, but it gets the eighth position on the list for being so god-damn addictive and having one of the most adrenaline pumped choruses in K-Pop. I hate exercise, but this song makes me want to jump on a treadmill or do about 70 press-ups. Unlike most fast-paced, adrenaline pumping, crack cocaine feeling songs “hyde” manages to keep the momentum up after the first chorus. However, it’s then dogged down by the absolutely horrendous rap break, but the song manages to redeem itself with some vocal whoring from the most alien-faced idol I have ever seen since Jaejoong debuted in TVXQ. This is one song where I find a big strained as fuck high note to be absolutely necessary in the climax of the song, otherwise I would feel a bit deflated (especially after that horrific rap break which sounded like Jay-Z on depressants).

 

6. EvoL - “Get Up”



This song sort of reminds me of Jason’s Derulo “Talk Dirty Me” as in the instrumental sounds quite foreign - kind of like Arabic pop music, but upgraded and without the annoying as fuck goat-like vocal runs. This song has everything I could ask for from a hip-hop style girl group. It’s fierce, edgy and sexy. Due to the repetitive nature of the song, “Get Up”’s short length is perfect as it prevents the song from becoming stagnant and irritating. If there’s anything that I hate more, in a song, than vocals that sound like they are going through a meat processor and rapping that sounds like vomiting, it’s a repetitive song that is as stagnant as a polluted river.
Despite its high position, the song would be better without:

  • The “Hey Boys, Hey Ladies” phrase.
  • The deep, masculine voice that one of the rappers is putting on which is reminiscent of Bang Yong Guk - whom I hate.
I think the music video could have benefited with a bit less ass-shaking and maybe some belly-dancing.

  5. Glam - “I Like That”



This was the song that I ran to after SNSD released a huge stinking turd on the K-Pop scene when they came back with the Lord Voldemort of rhapsodies.”I Like That” is like two songs put together, but it works because it doesn’t sound like a cluster-fucking hot mess and there is some sort of a correlation between the verses and the chorus. It’s basically everything that “I Got a Personality Disorder” should have and could have been if SM stopped pumping their producers with caffeine and crystal meth so they can work day and night to produce “funky” new tracks, and actually looked outside of their own label for decent songs.

 

4. Nine Muses - “Gun”



“Gun” has got that perfect late 70s/early 80s pop song vibe and is probably a rehashing of a song from those times, only upgraded to sound a lot more sexier. The hook is one huge eargasm as the Muses voices blend so well with each other, creating a femme fatale sort of feeling that is emphasised by the trumpets in the background. The song is catchy, sexy and fun without being a hot-mess - each aspect of the song slides perfectly into each other - and the music video matches brilliantly with “Gun”.

 

3. RaNia - “Just Go”



This song is spot on greatness. If it wasn’t for the next two songs on the list I would have happily given RaNia the #1 spot. The song builds up the perfect momentum and doesn’t lose it. The chorus is powerful and the slide from the chorus into the bridge is AMAZING! The vocal whoring is incredibly worthy and adds to the ferocity of the song. Everything from the title of the song, to the production, the singing and the music video is spot. What else is meant to be expected from a song about a woman eliminating a lousy man from her life but a fierce song with a sexy music video?


2. Ladies’ Code - “Bad Girl”




Ladies’ Code smashed into the K-Pop song with the retro-esque, big band sounding song “Bad Girl”. Don’t be fooled by the piano intro, “Bad Girl” isn’t a love song, it’s a song about a girl who cannot and will not take any type of shit from her man and is more than happy to resort to violent methods so she can school him.

Whilst not being the most vocally accurate group in K-Pop, the girls all manage to deliver and it doesn’t feel like there is only one member doing the hard work in the song. And Sojung, wow that girl’s tone suits the song perfectly, she sounds like Lee Hi except she doesn’t sound as if all of the life has been sucked out of her. Her jazzy tone complements the song perfectly.

The song also lacks one of the major flaws that can be found in female kpop songs: rapping. If rapping had been added into a song like “Bad Girl” it would have totally been ruined. I am just so happy that producer or the writer didn’t feel any satanic urges to add rapping into such a flawless song.

“Bad Girl” has also got one of the most enjoyable music videos I’ve seen.

If Ladies’ Code keep going at the rate they’re currently going out that could really be successful in the future.

1. TINY-G - “Miss You”



TINY-G are my new obsession and it’s all because of “Miss You”. If I hadn’t been so bored out of my fucking mind (after listening to Girls’ Generation’s sucky new Japanese album), I wouldn’t have clicked the video for “Miss You” on YouTube. AND THANK THE LORD ABOVE THAT I WAS BORED OUT OF MY MIND BECAUSE THIS SONG IS SHEER BRILLIANCE!

“Miss You” has got the most catchiest chorus I have heard this year and it isn’t catchy in that sexually transmitted infection sort of way, you actually want to listen to the song again and again because it’s just so good. It’s kind of cute as well, but not in that sickly sweet way in that hug-able way. Maybe it’s because the girls are so petite, but I really just want to hug all of the members, even though they do sound kind of sexy in this song. This song is just really good, the verses aren’t dull, the chorus is catchy and the bridge contains a high note that - technically - is very well executed.

I haven’t bothered to research the producer of “Miss You”, but whomever he/she is they’ve got the formula for fun correct. That’s really what a lot of kpop songs this year have lacked: fun and entertainment factor. There have just been way too many songs this year that are mopy, sappy, melodramatic or just plain weird, but they aren’t fun. Yeah, sure some of them are funny, but they don’t have that entertainment factor to them that makes us like the song (EXO’s “Wolf”).

I just hope that 2014 is the year where we can get more fun and good music from TINY-G because so far, they’ve been really good.


So that’s it, folks! That was my top 12 favourite nugu releases of 2013, you might love these songs or you might loathe them. Tell me what you think of them in the comments, and don’t forget to mention some of your own favourite nugu releases of 2013!


Happy New Year! :)

43 comments:

  1. "The list is solely based on my subjective opinion and does not reflect the musical tastes of other AKF authors."

    You are taking this shit way too seriously. Anyway, solid list.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She has to write that because there are still many retards out there that think I write every article on here.

      Delete
    2. Yeah that's why I have similar disclaimers and also wrote KPOPALYPSE in big-ass capital letters at the top of my lists. Some people are easily confused!

      Delete
    3. What are you guys even talking about, are you trying to tell us you're not the same person? It's too early for April Fools.

      Delete
  2. Glad to see a lot of GLAM on here. I think they have a lot of potential, and I'm really anticipating their next comeback. I also played I Like That a lot right after SNSD released IGAB. It was like therapy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is GLAM even still around? I have heard nothing about them in months and they weren't part of Big Hit's Christmas song with the rest of their labelmates. I hope they are, but part of me thinks they have joined the nugu graveyard.

      Delete
    2. Some of the members have been on variety, but I think they're preparing for a 2014 comeback. It's just rare for rookie groups like EXID and GLAM to drop off the face of the earth like they did, as the norm for rookie groups is non-stop promotion.

      Delete
  3. You should've added Spica somewhere, Probably 10th because the rapping from that ugly bitch was horrendous.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Slight correction, I think it's the vocalist that looks like my grandma's vagina.

      Delete
    2. Tonight was like the most generic, tumblrcore, pop-anthem you could make, but in Korean. Spica's solid vocals can't fix that.

      Delete
    3. I thought it was alright, But Boa's face and the rapping made the song a downer.

      Delete
  4. Love the GLAM and Ladies Code. I'm not a big fan of "Bad Girl," though. It sounds too generic.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yay my new favorite nugus Tiny-G topping the list :)) I saw the post about Miss You in your blog and expected to see them here. Awesome that they're #1. They don't have many songs but their releases keep getting better.
    And wow, I downloaded every single album containing the songs on this list... I guess I truly follow nugus.
    I'd write down other good nugu releases but this comment would be longer than it already is.
    Btw, this "she sounds like Lee Hi except she doesn’t sound as if all of the life has been sucked out of her." was so accurate and hilarious.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I think GLAM folded though. Ugh, besides their semi-disastrous debut, they had two solid releases… Nice list though, there really were a few gems inside the KPop black hole of 2013.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. GLAM folded? Noooooooooooooooo....

      Delete
    2. Thankfully, false alarm. They just stopped updating their FB and Twitter pages on August 10th, but their Me2Day is still active.

      *Whewww*

      Delete
    3. Ah thanks for telling me. I was busy looking for a rope and a chair.

      Delete
  7. GLAM and Ladies' Code are some of my favorite new girl groups, so I'm glad to see them getting recognition. Nugu girl groups in general have been coming out with some nice tracks (BESTie, Blady) this year, in an unfortunate contrast to established groups that have been releasing shit. Vicks stood out to me a bit in 2013 with singles like On and On and Hyde so I read with a halfhearted hope that they'd make the list.

    Oh, and alien-face is Leo. He looks like a bit like a Kaminoan if anyone else here is a Star Wars fan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know someone who likes him... She likes them alien looking lol.

      Delete
    2. A lot of girls I know like him, but his face makes me feel menopausal.

      Delete
  8. Nine Mooses would be considered a nugu group? I wouldn't think so, they've been out for years now.

    Everyone mentions Gun when talking about their releases this year, I thought Glue was much better, as much as I like Gun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are definitely a nugu group. A group's age has very little to do with their relevance. Nine Muses has been around forever but have never been able to make a splash musically or in any of the different aspects of Korean entertainment industry (variety, acting, MCing, CFs...). 2014 is unquestionably their most successful year and even with four promotions they were still being beaten by other fairly nugu groups like Rainbow (who are at the very least a bit more mutuality-facitited thanks to Jaekyung and Woori)

      Delete
  9. I'm really not a fan of not translating words... what does "nugu" exactly stand for ? Doesn't it mean fresh debuts or something like that ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. I usually see it in the context of referring to rookie groups as nobodies, "who are these nugus/nobodies."

      Delete
    3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atzf8POR2Y0&t=7m36s

      i always secretly thought that akf starting the word nugu was a reference to this

      Delete
  10. The "nugu" category has always been a bit vague for me. For instance, I don't know if Nine Muses would be considered in nugu category at this point. I had high hopes for Tiny-G when they first debuted with "Tiny-G", which I thought was a good song, but I didn't feel the songs that came afterwards, but did think that "Miss You" was the first decent catchy song since their debut.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. they're nugu for the horde. i for one didn't know then until wild. now i think they have some recognition.

      Delete
  11. I'm so glad VIXX has found their color. I love all of their dark eerie concepts and it beats any other concepts they've done before that. Glad they're finally getting some recognition.
    On the other hand, i'm sad GLAM doesn't get as much love. I've really enjoyed their releases. Aren't they under big hit entertainment?? Why don't they get as much screen time as their other nugu group BTS???

    ReplyDelete
  12. YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS RANIAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

    ReplyDelete
  13. A little thing, but "I Got A Boy" actually was composed by people outside of SM.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But YYJ and Kenzie still produced that hot mess.

      Delete
    2. They took the track that Dsign Music (correct me if I'm wrong, but they produced the original "Shiner On You" demo) and then added all that bullshit to it. If they hadn't added anything to the track they were given (and gave it to f(x), huhuhu) perhaps so many people wouldn't hate it.

      Delete
    3. At the end of the day SM's drugged-up work force are still to blame for IGAB's shitness.

      Delete
    4. Yeah, you guys are right. They did add a bunch of stuff after the demo.

      (I really like IGAB though. The end-of-year performances were great! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v65Njk5hb9o)

      Delete
  14. I read this because I love (fapping to) NS Yoon G ;)

    ReplyDelete
  15. The producer for Miss You (Red Rocket) also produced the majority of Rainbow's 2013 album Rainbow Syndrome (including Tell me Tell me and the masterpiece Don't Touch) and Tahiti's Love Sick aka Potential Breakup Song 2.0.

    ReplyDelete
  16. vixx is nugu???? i think everyone knows them, if only for how ridiculously hideous all of them are

    love love love tiny g but i still think minimanimo is their best release

    ReplyDelete
  17. Solid list although I feel "Meh" about Tiny-G. I was a bit surprised that u liked "Gun" for Nine Muses. They released Dolls, Wild, Glue, & Gun for 2013. I guess they wanted to achieve relevance by staying present. I think Dolls & Wild were better but to each his own.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I'm glad to see GLAM in your list. I like the group although they are completely unknown.

    ReplyDelete
  19. http://vigilantcitizen.com/musicbusiness/jax-ladies-code-two-blatant-examples-mind-control-culture-k-pop/
    hmm,interesting;what do u guys think?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Confirmation bias bullshit. I Easter-egged this in a blog a while back, it's thoroughly laughable.

      Delete