NINE MUSES – “TICKET”
As I’ve commented before, coming up with anything remotely interesting to say about Nine Muses has proven to be difficult on the account that they’re not remotely interesting to begin with. However, my shade for Nine Muses finally reached its peak this year with the release of “Ticket” off their ‘Sweet Rendezvous‘ mini-album.
“Ticket“, Nine Muses’ early 2012 single, was by far their strongest, most invigorated release yet. It had the same retro vibes as its predecessors with a more contemporary approach that was blended beautifully. But what was particularly special about this single was that it’s the first time where Nine Muses had come across as personable to me. Nine Muses’ past singles had walked the fine line of being too safe and too unchallenged as musical endeavors, causing them to read as dead and spiritless dolls, vocally and aesthetically. But “Ticket” finally captured all the correct elements – the striking beat, the graceful melodies, and climatic structure – and allowed Nine Muses’ vocals to shine and their charisma to surface. It was the strongest song on “Sweet Rendezvous” and the one piece of the puzzle that tied everything together with a golden bow. – McRoth
PARK JI YOON – “TREE OF LIFE”
Like fine wine, Park Ji Yoon’s “Tree of Life” only got better with time.
An early surprise during the year, this song wiped the floor clean in the indie scene. It is the only song from 2012 that makes my skin prickly from the first note, and it’s moved me to tears more than a few times. NoReply’s production is slow, melodic, and plaintive, never rushing and never slowing down. And it is that combination of superb musicality and gorgeous singing that elevates “Tree of Life” above indie music, and genres, period. Simply put, Park Ji Yoon’s “Tree of Life” is perfection. – drowningn00b
PRIMARY FEAT. E-SENS OF SUPREME TEAM – “POISON”
After last year’s gloomy era of hip-hop, the pendulum swung the other way, back to the carefree and partying ways of hip-hop. Grandline Entertainment led the way in many ways, with Hi-Lite and 1llionaire Records close behind; even Verbal Jint and Leessang lightened things up with their comebacks this year. It took the better half of Supreme Team, E-Sens, and producer Primary to bring the genre to its essence, though; of struggle and perseverance.
Starting with pencil on paper and a piano, E-Sens spends the entire track telling his story of selfishness, self-doubt, pride, and the awful mix that becomes in a person. It’s an arresting track, without lyrical composition, just three long verses. For his part, Primary dropped his partying ways that makes the bulk of “‘Primary and the Messengers‘ LP to make real the words on paper. Strings usher in the drama and the drums bring out the rough notes in the story. Hip-hop, and art in general, helps to illuminate human emotion, whether it’s happy or sad. E-Sens’ “Poison” tells of man done with the bullshit and wanting to reach inner peace. Whatever the language, the message was delivered with clarity. – drowningn00b
PSY – “GANGNAM STYLE”
Like, need I even have to explain this one to you guys? I could have been incredibly anal here and excluded PSY‘s “Gangnam Style” for being a complete rehash of 2NE1‘s “I Am The Best” and for lacking an actual chorus, because by all technical levels it’s as stupidly flawed as any YG song is these days. Yet, those discrepancies are so incredibly minute next to the overwhelming effect of the song and its impact on everyday life – including my own – that PSY has managed to supersede all logic and seep his way into the halls of pop culture fame. Like, I don’t even know what the hell I’m trying to say, but all I know is that it would have been a crime and a dishonest move to not include “Gangnam Style” on here.
All I have to say: great job, dude. You’ve been yourself from the beginning, and you’ve paid your dues. Your hard work will go down as the meme of 2012. – McRoth
SEO IN GUK FEAT. SWINGS – “TIME MACHINE”
While most of you know this lovely lad from his acting endeavors, especially from this year’s massively successful “Reply 1997“, I for one first fell all over Seo In Guk for his music.
‘Perfect Fit‘, his most recent mini-album, might have went overlooked by most, but it did give way to some pretty satisfying numbers, one of which was the crisp, uplifting pop track, “Time Machine.” This ditty is a laid back song that possesses a clean drum kit that keeps the whole thing tight and in place. What really shines in this are the melodies, which are exceptionally pretty and catchy, contrasted with just the right amount of intensity by Swings’ rap verse at the middle eight.
If you’re a fan of Daniel Marriweather and Usher, Seo In Guk serves up a delight that echoes the heart of their music in this track, as well as the EP it derives from. – McRoth