KPOPALYPSE’s 30 Best Songs Of 2014: Part 1 – #30-#21

KPOPALYPSE30Best

Welcome to KPOPALYPSE‘s favorite songs of 2014! It’s time once again to run through my list of the best songs of the previous 12 months!

Honorable & Dishonorable Mentions

Eligibility Criteria

-Feature tracks only.
-If a K-pop person is in it, it’s K-pop.
-No Christmas shit, those songs all suck.
-No sports songs, they all suck too.
-No OST songs.

Other Shit To Know

-These are really my opinions.
-I’m not trolling you.
-I’m not saying that my taste is superior, so don’t assume shit that isn’t said.

Let’s get down to it.

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30. Luluz – How About Me?

Let’s start off the list with a KPOPALYPSE tradition: highlighting nugus that nobody gives a fuck about.

So what’s so good about this song? Well, it draws heavily on Van Halen’s great “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love” in the verses, along with some other 80s pop song that I can’t remember right now in the excellent breakdown at 2:24. It’s probably one of K-pop’s best breakdowns ever, and it’s all sung by moderately attractive women who are pleasant to look at rather than a bunch of sweaty lycra-clad 80s hair-rockers.

The other parts of the song aren’t quite so great, but the better sections mentioned above are still enough to scrape this song over the line to get it into this list. It’s been that kind of a year.

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29. MAMAMOO – Piano Man

MAMAMOO were a new 2014 group that I had no hopes for at all, as they’d been releasing nothing but utter shit all year. “Mr. Ambiguous” was unambiguously fucking boring, that song of theirs with K.Will just made me want to say “k, won’t”, their album tracks all sucked penis, and worst of all was that stupid, horrible R&B nonsense that they did with Bumkey. I guess the girls didn’t have enough money to pay for the meth on the spot, so he demanded that they compensate for the shortfall by warbling all over his awful backing track.

Then “Piano Man” came out and I quickly fell out of my chair when I realised that it didn’t felch colons and was actually quite rocking. Maybe Bumkey did the right thing and passed some of the crystal meth onto MAMAMOO’s producers, because finally they’ve perked up a bit and produced something with a bit of a decent beat to it and that breaks away from the blues and R&B nobody wants to hear.

If this is what distributing a bit of drugs around the K-pop scene can do, then I approve. Let’s hope Bumkey gets a suspended sentence so he can go and visit Brave Brothers and get them all fucked up on E so we can have a decent 2015.

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28. Epik High – Born Hater

Oh look, YGE artists CAN still release good music! Amazing!

What’s Epik High’s secret to evading the rampant shit music disease that has seemingly infected the entire surface area of YG Entertainment HQ lately? Well, it’s probably got something to do with CEO Yang Hyun Suk not allowing Epik High to work in the in-house studio, because he didn’t want them getting influenced by all the other lame-ass music floating around there, and thus having them sound too much like the rest of the bullshit on his label. Smart thinking for sure!

The strict quarantine of Epik High’s musical ideas has kept them safe, allowing them to produce something that sounds almost exactly like an actual rap song without the likes of G-Dragon breaking down the studio door, offering everyone reefer, and suggesting that they swag it up a little with godawful trap beats and corny catchphrases. YG’s new quarantine policy is such a good idea that I’m thinking maybe they can repeat it with some of their other artists, using a process of elimination to narrow down and isolate the source of the trendy bullshit infecting their label’s core sound so they can remove it for good.

Just the fact that the CEO came up with this idea in the first place shows that at least he acknowledges that the problem with YGE sucking lately exists, which is an encouraging sign. There is hope, K-pop fans!

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27. AOA – Like A Cat

Brave Brothers produced not one but two great songs for AOA this year (plus one forgettable song, the dull “Short Hair“), and I agonised over which one was going to end up in this list. In the final analysis, I think that “Like A Cat” is a slightly better song than “Miniskirt“, and I feel this way for the following reasons:

-Vuvuzelas annoy people, which I think is funny
Jimin says “hey” a lot louder
-The syncopation on “the pretty girls are AOA” is cool, and that whole spoken intro is corny and hilariously awesome
-Jimin meows, it sounds silly but I like it because I know it annoys others (a recurring theme in these posts)
-A little more sonically harsh and wall-of-noise than the usual Brave Sound production, not so fucking boring and smooth like every other piece of shit song this year
-Jimin’s squeaky voice irritates the living shit out of people, which makes me love her
-Jimin
-Jimin, in general

Jimin musically carries AOA, they’d be nowhere without her, and it’s simply because she sounds different. It gives the group some character to make them stand out in a genre where everyone is trained to sound the same, look the same, dance the same, and act the same. You could have someone blindfold you and put on a bunch of K-pop songs that you’ve never heard before, and with a lot of them you’d probably have no clue which group a track belongs to, but as soon as you hear one fucking syllable of that squeaky voice, you’ll say, “Yep … I’m definitely listening to AOA”.

That kind of instant recognition is money in the bank and means 12957320 times more than “vocal talent” in terms of what actually matters to K-pop – catchy songs that build a brand identity. It’s a pity that the rest of the song doesn’t live up to the bliss of the first 30 seconds and Jimin’s rap parts, but it’s okay because I’ve got seven girls in catsuits to watch during the other bits, and that pretty much takes up all my leftover critical faculties anyway.

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26. T-ara N4 & Chopstick Brothers – Little Apple

Everybody loves to criticise MBK Entertainment’s decisions, as if listening to K-pop gives them a wealth of experience and wisdom in music management and creative entrepreneurship, but which one of you fucking self-appointed business experts noticed that T-ara were about the only K-pop group to NOT have a controversy in 2014?

Everyone else’s faves fell apart at the seams or went through some other major drama, but the well-oiled T-ara machine kept right on chugging, debut lineup still intact years after every editorial predicted disbandment, releasing songs, and touring around Asia … oh, and releasing “Little Apple” with Chopstick Brothers as the first step in their multi-million dollar Chinese enterprise after Chinese fans warmed so much to “Number 9” and “Sugar Free” that they became impossible to justify ignoring.

The song is far from T-ara’s best, but given that the bar is set so high quality-wise with T-ara songs, generally, that’s no surprise. It’s still got all the typical elements that make T-ara’s best feature tracks work (upbeat disco feel, multi-layered melodies, succinct arrangement, lack of trendy bullshit, T-ara being hot), and it still kicked the shit out of 99% of other K-pop this year.

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25. Pritz – Sorasora

Unlike pop groups who aim to be polite and liked by as many people as possible, metal artists thrive on offending overly sensitive fuckheads, and are generally happy to exist with just a cult following that understands their mission rather than trying to resemble a dollar bill that is made to be liked by everybody.

Whether Pritz is a pop or a metal artist sonically could be debated, but at least on an ideological level, the answer lies in how their agency reacted to people whining about their super-cute pseudo-Nazi doll concept — a very polite “go fuck yourselves, we’ll do as we please”. This puts Pritz squarely in the “metal” camp conceptually, and that’s a good thing because what the K-pop scene definitely needs are more groups and agencies with a “fuck what you think” metal mental attitude.

Pritz are therefore already in the good books with KPOPALYPSE before I’ve even factored into the equation a single note of their music, but the fact that “Sorasora” looks and sounds like J-gimmick BABYMETAL — but with a focus on catchier tunes instead of schizophrenic genre-hopping, and sung by women of actual fappable age — means that this is a group I have no choice but to support.

The reactions to them are hilarious — BABYMETAL haters hate them because they sound like BABYMETAL, the BABYMETAL fans hate them also because they sound like BABYMETAL, and everyone else hates them because they can’t admit to themselves that Nazi fashion is hot. Go, girls! Extract those netizen tears! I think you’ll find it’s not too difficult!

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24. Stellar – Marionette

In today’s world, true political power is minimal, concepts like “left” and “right” no longer have any real meaning, and global commerce is now the real democracy. This means that if you like something, get behind it and vote for it with your dollar, because every time that you spend money you’re enabling more of what you’re spending on and less of what you’re not spending on. If everybody who was concerned about Apple’s shitty iPhone factories didn’t buy an iPhone but bought phones only from we-treat-our-employees-fairly-r-us, there would be no more demand for the Apple product and their factories would close down. By spending or withholding money, you’re making a tangible difference to society and casting your vote for the kind of world that you want to live in.

As for the world that I want to live in, it’s definitely one where there are more songs and music videos like Stellar’s “Marionette”, so I made damn sure that I went out and got my autographed copy of their excellent Sweetune-produced mini album as soon as possible, because I wanted to send a message to the K-pop industry — keep making more shit like this. You don’t need me to tell you how great this song is because you’ve already listened to it 21096 times while fapping to the excellent video (or complaining about other people fapping to the excellent video), so let’s just move on.

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23. Kemy & Minju (A.KOR) – And Go

How To Save Worthless Shitty Western Rap Music Forever:

-Locate awful western rap song with a good beat and nothing else going for it.
-Remove Lil Wayne.
-Remove any other assholes.
-Remove the shit chorus, rap music doesn’t need lame sing-songy bullshit choruses, rap needs to GO HARD OR GO HOME.
-Add a couple of hot K-pop girls who can rap, then change the lyrics to suit them.
-NO! Not her. Can’t you read? HOT K-pop girls who CAN rap.
-Ah, that’s better.
Repeat as necessary.

You could say it’s not K-pop and not eligible for this list because they’re just rapping over a western beat, but most SM Entertainment groups spend most of their time singing over a bunch of European-made backing tracks these days, so I don’t see how this is any different.

I played Kemy and Minju’s mixtape raps more than just about any other rap shit this year, and that was before I found out about Kemy pissing off Blackjacks, which only made me like her more even though I disagreed with her anti-drug stance.

It’s a pity nothing Kemy or A.KOR have done since has come even close to this yet, and it’s also a pity Minju hasn’t done any solo rap stuff, because she’s the hot one and I would appreciate some more fanservice. Give these two girls a full rap album already … or just tell me where I can get this mixtape if it’s got a dozen tracks like this on it.

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22. Lovelyz – Candy Jelly Love

Speaking of drugs, 2NE1, and Blackjacks, it’s fairly obvious that “Candy Jelly Love” is a shady reference to Park Bom smuggling drugs inside her shipment of candy jellies, but that’s not actually the best thing about Lovelyz’s debut song. Nor was it Seo Ji Soo’s iconic “you’re the best ever cum in my life” line, the subtle jizz references elsewhere throughout the Korean lyrics, or even the obviously fake but completely hilarious Ji Soo rumours (you’d think K-pop fans would be used to this shit by now and be able to pick out fabricated evidence a mile away, but nope, they’re still dumb as fuck).

The best thing about “Candy Jelly Love” was the music, which completely nailed the sound of the melancholy 80s British synthpop groups that pop songwriters from just about everywhere have been trying and dismally failing to recapture the spirit of for decades. These influences sailed right past dipshit K-pop fans undetected, many of whom rushed to accuse Lovelyz of copying SNSD and A Pink, but the overall sound plus the video’s randomness and artsy still-life vibe seems more to me like a nod to New Order’s “Blue Monday“, except that the New Order members probably wouldn’t look this hot dancing in school uniforms.

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21. 100% – Beat

Now that Big Bang don’t want to be Big Bang anymore because G-Dragon’s too busy running around being a swag-prince to write an actual song these days, someone’s gotta fill the gap, and 100% look like a strong contender. They’ve got everything that a K-pop boy band needs: silly leather outfits, weird metal arm and leg guards, makeup, strange geometric sets, makeup, silly hair, energetic dance moves, and makeup.

Pity they’re still somewhat in nugu land, but the song is pretty damn good as far as epic K-pop anthems go, and I really wish some girls were singing it instead of these skinny dudes, but I guess I’ll settle for how it is because at least they’ve got a sexy female arm-guard curator (or whatever the fuck she’s doing) in the MV.

Also, did you know that the mini-album that this song comes from is called “Bang The Bush“? Ladies, form an orderly queue, no shoving! I moved them up a few places on this list for that title alone.

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