KPOPALYPSE’s 30 Best Songs Of 2014: Part 2 – #20-#11

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
Part 1 – #30-#21

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20. Yery Band – Romeo Mannequin

Here’s a song and a video that just about all of you fucking slept on, and you shouldn’t have because it fucking rocks. Time to fucking catch up on what you fucking missed, you fucking fucks.

While you were all jerking yourselves off to other girl rockers doing some limp blues-rock or some other weak generic Nickelback-ian bullshit, Yery Band were killing it and you were oblivious. The video alone for this song is unbelievably great, with gory, artery-severing bone-snapping, sword-fighting fun that makes the action in T-ara’s epic and amazing “Day By Day/Sexy Love” drama double-MV look leaden and tame in comparison.

It’s easy to get carried away in the video and ignore the song itself, partly due to how great it is and partly due to the overbearing sound effects, but strip all that away and what you’re left with is Marilyn Manson’s “The Beautiful People” if the whole thing was taken apart and put back together again by someone with pop songwriting sensibilities who knew how to make music beyond pressing ‘Go’ on a sample-and-hold device.

Of course, most K-pop fans didn’t care about how great this song was because it wasn’t “soothing” or “relaxing” or whatever dick-sucking bullshit pop music fans in 2014 seem to want a song to be, but I liked it so fuck ‘em.

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19. Purfles – 1,2,3

Purfles’ “1,2,3” got quite a bit of attention from avid nugu followers, some claiming it to be the nugu song of the year. I personally wouldn’t go that far, but it’s certainly got something about it that’s worth paying attention to.

Whether you like this song or not might depend a lot on whether you’re playing it through a speaker system capable of reproducing the sub-bass melodies in the chorus, because it’s the pedal-point of the static melody over a changing bassline that provides the hook. But if you can’t hear the bassline, then the “na na na na” bit on its own is boring as hell. It probably wasn’t the best idea in the world to bury the catalyst for the catchiest part of the song in the below-80Hz sub-bass range given that most people these days listen to their favourite songs on tinny phone speakers that would struggle to reproduce it, but oh well.

This may not be my #1 song as far as overall song quality, but it’s probably in the top five this year for subwoofer-wrecking. Don’t ask me to make a top subwoofer-wreckers list by the way, I’ve had enough lists for a while.

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18. Delight – Hate You

Delight’s songwriters finally learned something from last year’s great “Mega Yak” and that messy horrible “School Bell” song — namely, dubstep breakdowns fucking suck. “Hate You” mercifully doesn’t have any of that bullshit and is therefore free to rock uninhibited by a sudden need to drop to half-time and start going WUBWUBWUBBZZZZZTWEUBWEUB for no reason other than that it’s trendy.

The result is a great upbeat dance-floor stomper, the sort of thing 2NE1 used to do well and nowadays refuse to even do at all lest they gain a new fan one day. The part from 0:54 is just begging for Park Bom’s characteristic voice instead of generic K-pop nugu #572, but that’ll never happen because Teddy lost the fire to write songs this good when he cooled out his burning loins inside Han Ye Seul’s gaping snatch.

Oh well, let’s hope Delight continue to exist and pump out more songs this good so we can have our 2NE1 cake and eat it too. Also, who the fuck is that girl at 0:40? She’s super-cute and I don’t remember her being in the group before this video came out, but maybe that’s the fault of styling, or maybe I’ve had one too many “jelly snacks”.

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17. Orange Caramel – My Copycat

A lot of people liked Orange Caramel’s “Catallena”, and while it was definitely a good song, for my ear it was just a little bit too clever for its own good. Rather than capitalising on Orange Caramel’s core strength, which is upping the ante on SAW-style catchiness, “Catallena” was pitched just a little left-of-center to maximise appeal to stuffy music critics rather than actual pop music fans.

On “My Copycat”, the balance was firmly restored in favour of addictive melody and fun, with a great dance rhythm and a saxophone riff that you will probably remember in ten years. I was literally jumping up and down in my seat when I first clicked on this, going “ORANGE CARAMEL ARE BACK AGAIN FUCK YES”, because after that horrid J-turd that emerged from their collective anal rings last year, I had nearly completely lost my faith that they would ever consistently be this awesome again. How foolish of me to worry, I shall proceed to my nearest church of Rainaism, kneel, and do 10 Hail Rainas.

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16. The Seeya – Tell Me

It’s no secret that MBK Entertainment have been retreading what I like to call the ‘We Were In Love’ template with all of their artists, with only the most minor of variations. However, on try #37 or whatever “Tell Me” is, they’ve finally perfected that song they’ve been trying to write for the past two years.

What sets this iteration of MBK Ballad 101 apart from the others is that the backings are a lot lighter and breezier, not to mention faster. If you’re going to play through a song that every asshole has already heard before in a slightly different form three gazillion times previously, you might as well do it quickly.

Also, there’s some nice acoustic guitar that recalls some of the fluid swing-jazz guitar work on IU’s “Modern Times” album, plus a great video with KPOPALYPSE bias-list approved Seunghee cast as the slutty wench, always a good thing. Her sluttiness is implied rather than stated outright, but it’s K-pop so they can’t show too much. Still, we can assume she sucked that dude off about five minutes before he had the argument with that other woman. The The Seeya girls (not a typo) look great too, and this whole production just oozes the kind of style that only MBK can consistently bring.

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15. 912 Crew – Roller Skate

Regular KPOPALYPSE readers all knew that “Roller Skate” was going to be on this list ever since I featured it on Nugu Alert, it was just a matter of how high it would get. I owe the discovery of “Roller Skate” to one of my Ask.fm anons, and if any of you are wondering why I bore you all with that fucking thing, it’s because for every 5000 questions I get about the same couple dozen topics, someone throws me a video like this and I watch it and start fist-pumping the air as the pure awesomeness washes over me.

“Roller Skate” is proof that you don’t need much of a budget to make a K-pop video if you’ve got a bit of imagination, personality, a sense of humour, a cool song, and if you don’t mind too much if the results look a bit ragged. It’s probably not good enough for the average K-pop fan spoiled on half-million dollar productions, but I grew up from a punk and metal background where almost all the videos are this crappy, so I love it.

The whole package is awesome, simple, effective, and, most of all, fun. These five people are probably having more fun in this video than every oh-so-serious K-pop netizen put together has ever experienced in their lifetimes. Also, the girl is cute. Just saying.

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14. Orange Caramel – Abing Abing

Abing Abing” was a bolt out of the blue. It arrived with absolutely no fanfare at all from the agency, and proceeded to be the best thing Orange Caramel have done since “Magic Girl“. “My Copycat” might have great sax riffs and a great beat, but “Abing Abing” trumps it because it’s got superior vocal melodies and a better chorus, which is more important for a pop song. Plus, it has more traditional electro SAW-style backing, which is what Orange Caramel have always done best.

The song’s also an advert for Baskin Robbins ice cream, which I didn’t even know was a thing that existed until this song came out. Now, of course, I have to eat it at every opportunity because idols make more money from endorsements than music sales. So hopefully someone over at Harbour Town has noticed the influx of ice cream fans since this song came out, makes the connection, and Raina gets a brownie point or something that she’ll later thank me for.

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13. M.O.A – Run For Your Dream

One of the most astounding achievements in K-pop nugudom, 2014 nugus M.O.A debuted with the completely hideous “I’ll Call Ya”, and then instantly redeemed themselves with the amazing “Run For Your Dream” — a bizarre pop song with a progressive arrangement that does something incredible: it actually works (unlike many others). The secret to having a progressive arrangement work well is that it actually has to progress rather than regress, and “Run For Your Dream” always sounds like it’s building and going somewhere, right up until the orgasmic chorus at the end, with no gimmicky stylistic hiccups to completely kill the momentum.

Unfortunately, M.O.A as a group didn’t progress quite as well career-wise and have since disbanded, though some of the girls involved found their way into nugu fap group Four Ladies and are probably still running for their dreams as you read this … just with less clothing.

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12. Minx – Why Did You Come To My Home

Why Did You Come To My Home” definitely shouldn’t work, but it does anyway. It has an annoying YGE-style intro thing, a dubstep breakdown, and even irritating vocal wank at the end where one of the girls shows off her whistle-register vocals as if anybody with a life gives two shits. However, it’s also got that killer chorus, which makes me forgive all its other sins, and just goes to show the importance of a good chorus in these things. Adding to the appeal are the cute 80s verse rap parts that are kind of like Wassup but with the swag-lite toned down to acceptable levels.

Bonus points for how at 1:41 one of the girls is wearing orange Dead Kennedys socks, and I’m just impressed that those are a thing that actually exists. I wonder how Jello Biafra would look in those? Anyway, this song is basically 2NE1’s “Gotta Be You” in a parallel universe where it isn’t a complete piece of shit.

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11. INFINITE – Back

Speaking of 2NE1 sucking (always a relevant topic), some of you may remember that in 2013 I singled out 2NE1’s “Missing You” as the complete pile of cow dung that it undoubtedly is. This was a controversial selection — some of you had difficulty understanding why I felt that way and even suggested that I was just trying to be “edgy” or that I was clickbaiting 2NE1 fans by stating an opinion that nobody could possibly agree with. But a listen to INFINITE’s “Back” should explain everything perfectly.

Both songs start off with a mellow, slow-paced ballad-style intro, and both songs sound like they’re gradually going somewhere interesting. However, the payoff is very different in each case — while the chorus to “Missing You” is a giant, snaky, carrot-encrusted turd of a piano ballad gradually sliding out of Bom and CL’s gaping anuses directly into your ears, INFINITE’s “Back” gets to about 1:38 and then fucking explodes in your face with a fast beat and great chorus melodies, paired with an awesome keyboard riff vaguely reminiscent of “Sweet Child Of Mine”, except better because it works its magic over more than just three fucking chords.

The ideas behind both songs are similar, but the difference in execution is utterly massive. I don’t know what’s so difficult to understand, it’s as if YGE fans don’t remember the musical glory days of their own favourite groups and don’t want their music to be interesting and exciting and engaging and fun … oh wait, you guys actually liked “Eyes, Nose, Lips“, forget I said anything.

Anyway, back to “Back”, because it’s easily INFINITE’s best song ever, and not many boy groups are ever going to get given anything this good to sing during their careers … but even if you hate the song and hate INFINITE, you get to watch them get the shit beaten out of themselves in the video, so there’s still a positive side.

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