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:
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.
|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.
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.
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! :)