Wednesday, February 3, 2016

January: A Journey

Good day to you all. Whilst last year I wrote an 'honours list' at the end of every month, it became somewhat stale to write, and I am sure to read, the 'worst of' sections due to most songs being bad by way of being intensely boring. This year, I intend to take some inspiration from James Joyce and write in a more 'stream of consciousness' style; creating a series that will only be entertainingly alliterative for one quarter of the year, leaving us all to survive the other nine months in quiet solemnity, waiting to be brought joy by the mediocre thrill of seeing the tiniest linguistic trick. Basically I will use a series of songs as a springboard for discussion and (hopefully) humour, hopefully this will make the series less repetitive. I will only be focusing on the music, with no outside news coming into it. Now that I have done my spiel, here's January, in whatever order I damn well please.

Dal Shabet's 'Someone Like U' started out 2016 on a brilliant note. We went a week without anything but worthless OST tracks before we were blessed with a song that betters a good number of songs on my top 15 of 2015. It's a timely return to form after the sadly underwhelming 'Joker', proving that the 80s aesthetic fits them perfectly, as well as being my favourite trend in pop music as a whole currently. I did want to start out this series with something slightly more nuanced than me heaping praise on a song, but what can I say? I've listened to this song an unreasonable number of times, watched an unreasonable number of performances, stared longingly into Serri's eyes on an unreasonable number of occasions. This song is unreasonably good, Phil Collins-esque gated drums and all. I expect something of a saxophone quota on songs this year in response to how most labels have just been shat on by this masterpiece.

Next we have a collaboration that seems to be borne simply from slamming together two vaguely popular artists. I'm not going to pretend that I thought it would be interesting, and the video seems to understand this as they spared all expense by just having Suzy and Baekhyun sitting down for the entire thing. Mystic Entertainment is yet to clock that a boring song gives you free reign to create an interesting music video, but they were happy to phone this one in and watch the money roll in. Capitalism is destroying us all.

Next up we have Jessi fulfilling her contractual obligation to keep her two friends relevant too. I find the song to be much better than Jessi's solo effort last year purely because it doesn't hurt my eardrums like 'Sseneunni'  did. However, 'No Love' feels less like a song and more like lots of elements of a song haphazardly stapled together in the hope that this will form something of a complete package. The rap verses are pitifully short, leaving me little chance to care about J'Kyun or the other geezer, and the entire song just feels like one long chorus. I like the beat and no-one is bad per se, I just struggle to understand the purpose that this song is striving for.

'You Don't Know Love' definitely exists... That's all I've got.

I don't really know who Yoon Jogn Shin is, maybe that makes me a philistine. I think I quite like 'The First' in spite of the beat being comprised of 70s porn soundtrack samples. It's got a unique sound, which is worth lauding at least. No doubt this will be a grower and I will adore it come the end of the year, but currently it sits about level with UP10TION; the zone of pleasant indifference.

Baechigi's biggest failing is that they will never make a song as good as Baechigi by Blacknut. 'Walkak' is proof that they have no plan on doing so anytime soon. Whilst not a bad song, it is a step backwards from previous songs, such as the exquisite 'Dduraeyo'. It's a moody rap song with a sung chorus, these things are ten a penny and Baechigi aren't fooling us into thinking they are any different.

Less of this nonsense.

'I posit that TEEN TOP have never made a good song. 'Warning Sign' is pretending to be a decent song, and no doubt it is better than previous pieces of shit like 'Rocking''. This is what I was ready to write about 'Warning Sign' after a first listen but since I've had it on so that my brain can conjure up something derisive to say about it, I have come upon the unfortunate discovery that it's really rather good. Slow buildup, lush instrumentation, and pretty great performances all round. U-KISS will have to carry the flag for groups who have made exclusively bad songs now, TEEN TOP are off the hook.

Don't be sad that 'Sting' isn't as good as 'Vibrato', be pleased that we had Vibrato at all. No, Sting isn't bad and the video is very savvy and Hyoeun is still really hot, but even though this is better than a lot of songs this month, I'm constantly comparing it to a much superior song, which causes it to look relatively weak.

This beat sounds like GREEDER just threw the first three samples he found in Ableton Live together and then rolled with it. I think I like it, this kid is good, boost the meagre view count, loyal readers.

'Cider' is just 'Puss' if the performer actually felt dangerous in any way. Because of this it's pretty good, but I still don't like it as much as Puss for whatever reason, probably because Yezi is a good enough rapper that producers are happy for her to rap all over the beat rather than allow Rhymer to have a solo, as he did on every chorus of Puss. Even if Unpretty Rapstar 2 had to be such an appalling trainwreck, let Yezi's career be a good thing that comes from it.

Who's going to be the first to tell Zico that a) he can't sing, and b) we liked him last year because his songs understood how to be simultaneously obnoxious and satisfying, not because we found him to be a tasteful artist. Needless to say 'I Am You, You Are Me' is as bad as it sounds.

Let's end this on a positive. I generally expect quality from GFRIEND; they have cornered the market on sounding like if Infinite were a group of cute girls rather than angsty teens. 'Rough' is good, very good in fact; it has a sick guitar solo and everything. I can't say all that much about it though, it sounds like a slightly heavier GFRIEND song, and that's why it's very good; GFRIEND songs are good, and this is one of them. I recommend you watch the video as well, they have really cool choreo and it's really cute and shit.


  1. Glass Bead isn't the worst song ever, but it doesn't need two rehashes. One bland, sugary, sleep-inducing song that sounds like an A-Pink leftover is enough.

  2. I always thought everybody else only cared about Minhee in Stellar too.
    I don't even know any of the others' names.

  3. I only know Minhee from Stellar. And I like Sting more than Vibrato. I like Sting more than Vibrato. I like Sting more than Vibrato. I like Sting more...

  4. I liked Yezi, Zico, Stellar, and Dal Shabet's songs the most this month. I actually consider "I Am You, You Are Me" one of his best songs in a long time.

    1. Also add in GFriend's I keep forgetting "Rough" was January and not February comeback for some reason.

    2. GFriend, Dal Shabet, Baek Ji Young, GREEDER were my favourites if I had to pick. I know I didn't write about Baek Ji Young but 'Find A Cure' was some good shit.

  5. Gfriend song is a boring song performed by underraged looking Asian girls pleasing Ajussis and taking place on a school set and deals with same theme "lurve". Thanks. And choregraphy is nothing new coming from typical kpop girl groups one have seen lately.

  6. GFriend are basically there already, Rough is charting very high and they've had their first music show wins.

  7. "underraged looking"

    They're charting well, they're getting more and more popular... No reason for them to be over raged at anything.

    1. So ? They look 10, their song sounds like usual bland 80's shoujo-anime-opening music kpop girls have been releasing lately even the Ruggrats opening theme sounds less predicable. Lazy choregraphy typical kpop girl group.
      On charting yeah good for them reminds me of the like of Justin or niky minaj charting but sucking at their craft. So yeah I will not always follow the mass

  8. My favorite thing about TeenTop is that all of them are at least 20. Time to change to Adult Top?

  9. "This song is unreasonably good, Phil Collins-esque gated drums and all."

    This tripped me the fuck out and freaked me out for a bit because I've literally been listening to nothing but Phil Collins this past week. I have been on a Phil Collins binge so to see you mention him scared me. WHO'S WATCHING ME WATCHING YOU WATCHING HIM!?

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