I apologise for my tardiness once more. Let us traipse through another month of mediocrity to find the diamonds in the rough, along with a whole bunch of other superfluous shit.
Much as Stellar caused a big splash with "Marionette," and the fact they were undeniably hot in the MV still remains, I can't claim to have been overly taken with it, or any of their following tracks for that matter. This changed with the completely unsubtle, vaginal imagery toting, superb release that is "Vibrato." The MV still opts for extended shots of the members' posteriors and mammaries (to the complaints of no one), but it sounds like they hired a genuine fucking producer this time around, which means that "Vibrato" comes out sounding like an actual song, rather than merely a vessel to transport the message of tits. It has the feel of a retro jam, what with the sweeping strings, dirty sax, and stabs at the piano; I never expected Stellar to make a song that sounds like this, predicting far more that they would opt for the type of song you would hear in the scuzziest of clubs. This is the type of song that you could show to your parents, even if you would hesitate to show them the video. The chorus is one of the very best this year as it builds off the verse the perfect amount and continues to build to a point where even I, with my lack of any Korean proficiency, can sing along with the last line, if there is no one else around. I don't need that kind of self-consciousness.
'Don't Be Shy' (PRIMARY feat. Choa & Iron)
Praise every deity, Primary finally made a song that doesn't sound like his usual fare to create a slow, absolutely in-control, reggae-esque piece that I hope he is remembered for far more than his derivative R 'n' B he usually spits out. Choa doesn't really do anything flashy with the vocals, instead keeping at the sung equivalent of a whisper, creating a sultry tone that makes her even more attractive than she already is. Unfortunately, Iron isn't in the MV, possibly because that would have compounded the attractiveness to unsafe levels; I understand that. I guess Iron's verse left a little something to be desired, but it got the job done and didn't detract from the song at all. Primary also does his usual fantastic job as a producer (much as I find a lot of his output boring, his skills are undeniable), the trumpets near the end of the song are a particular highlight, but the entire beat is utterly controlled and deliberate. In the midst of mediocre pop that sounds like it is trying to copy itself, "Don't Be Shy" is incredibly refreshing, and if you are yet to listen to it, then I hope you rue your life choices.
DISCLAIMER: The honours list posts only take into account songs with an MV, if I allowed myself to pick any song then Nochang's "Hip-Hop" would be the best song of the month, probably the best song of the year.
'Devil' (Super Junior)
I find Super Junior's late career surge deeply confusing. The same group who put out shit like "Sorry Sorry" and "Spy" are now a group who I would consider to have some of the most consistently high-quality output. Latest in their winning streak is the amazingly danceable, light-soul masterwork that is "Devil." I don't know whose arse at SM Super Junior have fingered to ensure that they get all of the best songs, but "Devil" really proves that they are streets ahead of most every other SM release this year (Red Velvet come close, but Devil still outranks them). Along with 2PM, SuJu are really championing the "K-Pop groups old enough to be your dad" aesthetic and showing the youngsters how to do it. I don't want a ripping EDM beat, I want to have fun while listening to a richly produced song that's actually worth a damn. Also you can hear that the SuJu members who can sing are really fucking good at (I know that fakery is fuckin' likely, but you can still hear when some singers are better than others). This amounts to one of the best songs of the year, which you should not sleep on due to Super Junior's past indiscretions.
In case you are yet to realise, the worst songs of a month are usually the boring ones rather than those that crash and burn. "Remember" is devoid of fun, choosing to emulate the sound of an anime ending rather than a good pop song. I didn't like "LUV" that much but would gladly listen to it straight for an entire day than have to endure the tedium of "Remember" one more time. What's more, my distaste for "Remember" doesn't mean shit because Cube is gonna make so much fucking money from it anyways, which leaves me staring out of my window, bitter that I am unable to make money by asking a machine to create the most generic song for me.
"Oasis" (Crush feat. Zico)
I have come to the conclusion that all Korean R 'n' B sounds the damn same. All pop R 'n' B does honestly. I am tired of hearing the same pseudo-sexy song with piano stabs and occasional bass, do something different for once in your wretched lives. The addition of Zico rubs salt on the wound and absolutely ensure that you never listen to this song again. This actually kept out an equally worthy contender for one of the worst songs of the month, another boring ass R 'n' B track. When will the flood stop?
"Just Right" (GOT7)
Despite hating myself for it, I genuinely believe that "A" by GOT7 might just be my favourite K-Pop song. Because of this, I can never truly begin to hate them as a group, even if they have only ever put out one good song; the rest of their output being mediocre at best, and ball-shatteringly bad at worst. That said, they have truly plumbed new depths with their most recent "effort." The beat sounds like BG music to an unlicensed NES game, the raps do not even resemble good, the transitions are about as smooth as YG's arse, and the chorus makes me want to slowly remove each and every one of my internal organs. I can never truly despise them, but this song doesn't make it easy.
Most extreme slurring
"걍 음악이다 Remix" (Cjamm feat. Vasco and Nochang)
This song is fantastic in the same way that a greasy kebab is amazing; it lacks value or quality in the traditional sense, but it is greasy and satisfying and wonderful. Anyways, I am mainly hear to talk about how Cjamm gives up with anything resembling diction during the chorus and just makes noises that somewhat resemble the words he is trying to say. This is a blessing for the international fans as it means that we needn't worry about getting our pronunciation right, it will probably be better than Cjamm's anyway.
I am often unable to criticise bad lyrics because I get the feeling that something is lost in translation. There is no excuse for "He's like cushion" though. It sounds like a very poor attempt at a term of endearment. Cushions aren't even that comfortable; they always get in the way when you are sitting on the sofa. Then again, I guess the sofa itself is made of larger cushions. Makes you think, doesn't it?
Best attempt at the EDM craze
"Hurt Locker" (Nine Muses)
I didn't seem to go as HAM for "Hurt Locker" as everyone who exists on the internet but will admit that it is far superior to other ill-advised efforts. It has pacing, and the verses are actually fun rather than a humourless drudgery of random noises. Overall though, I am disappointed that they didn't go with the Iraq War concept as the title led me to believe that they would. Furthermore, after going with the stevedore concept, they did fuck all with it; I expected a port-based plot as rich and deep as "The Wire" Series 2, but unfortunately, it was not to be. The song is still decent though.
Best bounceback to something resembling quality
"Ring My Bell" (Girl's Day)
This song was actually really quite good, which means that we don't have to speak of the darker times.
Video that is most reminiscent of 14-year-old boys who think they are cool
"털어" (Jooheon X Mad Clown)
That award name just rolls off the tongue. This is fairly self-explanatory to be honest. When watching the video, it just gave me the impression that Jooheon was a teenage wasteman who had convinced his friend (who is better at rapping but far more awkward) to record a song together and shoot a super $waggy video for it while they are at it. The song is fairly decent, but it doesn't mean that the video is any cooler than a couple fuckboys who pose in front of a Lamborghini that they found.
Have a great month. Have a great life.