It doesn’t matter how much people love Kpop, there are probably some Kpop songs they find too irritating to listen to, and surprisingly many others agree with them. That’s how a certain number of Kpop songs are held up on criticism.
The list starts with “Wonderland”, the debut song of Gugudan under the management of Jellyfish Entertainment. When the song was out, it immediately disappointed netizens, especially those onshore who raised high expectations since the group had up to two famous producer 101’s contestants, Sejong and Mina.
According to the Knet, Gugudan would better suit upbeat songs with strong movements, rather than what the company served them. Specifically, “Wonderland” was a bland song, following the so-called cuties concept which have multiplied time fed up netizens for being used by so many girl groups.
Since there were inconsiderable add-in elements to the song production, nothing new and nothing satisfied the music lovers.
Even their fans who excitedly looked forward to the debut couldn’t understand why the talented girls didn’t perform Kpop songs that could showcase their true capability and colors.
Currently, the music video of the song on the Youtube platform merely reaches 1.1 million views with 2.7 thousand dislikes over 36 thousand likes after more than four years of release.
However, the music agency did give the girls some favor by investing and taking care of the MV quality with a nice setup. Moreover, the visuals of the members were fresh and eye-catching with soft makeup.
Afterward, the company had taken the comments into consideration, resulting in great success with the song “A Girl Like Me” in the following comeback.
The next to mention is EXO with the song “MAMA”. Though it was a massive hit that brought EXO right to the brightest stardom in the early days, this song fell for criticism due to being distinctly different from what Kpop was serving at the time.
Conforming to the trendsetter behavior of SM, it’s quite obvious that EXO is a group holding the greatest experimental spirit of the company. Born in the phase where gen2 was thriving and gen3 starting to rise, EXO has differentiated itself from the rest of Kpop in an attempt to create a different sound for pop.
From the very beginning, EXO has already shaped their image as an alien group coming to blow a new breeze into the KPOP industry.
To portray that spirit, they chose to start off with “Mama”, a song filled with strange metallic noise and screaming instead of merely rapping.
Though fans did welcome EXO with such a breakthrough debut, many people, especially those who were yet to be ready for new things, find the song confusing and eccentric.
Yet, not just the production part that was abstract, the lyrics of “MAMA” were a huge minus point causing people to wonder. Many netizens complained that the chants at the beginning of the song were nonsense.
Despite how hard SM tried to make it poetically, it was just some random English words put together that were believed to be cringy to hear.
Furthermore, the criticism upon the song also partly came from E.L.Fs. Particularly, E.L.Fs believed SM was trying to remake another Super Junior by the formation of 12 members which has long been the signature lineup of Suju.
As a result, after their debut, EXO was called the fail version of SUPER JUNIOR and didn’t win any significant achievements back then.
Putting all things aside, although the song failed to reach the mass public, “MAMA” won many critics’ compliments for the song structure and the ambitious idea of introducing it to a niche market like Korea.
One of the compliments was about the combination of ancient chants, operatic orchestral conventions layering with deep and heavy bass to deliver a one-of-a-kind music product.
Bet with you that until now, there hasn’t been any debut song that is so sophisticatedly composed and praised by so many critics like EXO’s “Mama”.
The third controversial song on the list is “Tilting My Head” by Girl’s Day. Maybe in KPOP history, there hasn’t been any debut song that received such a massive wave of criticism as this one.
“Tilting My Head” was even said to top the worst K-pop debuts list and Kpop songs in general since the release day in 2010. Even one member of Girl’s Day once expressed how embarrassing she felt during the song broadcasting.
Though the use of autotune was to cover some minor weak vocals and weak performing capabilities, Girl’s Day went overboard and set a bad assumption of using autotune as a completely annoying and cheating tool.
Specifically, the over-autotuned vocal literally triggered everyone at first hearing and made it difficult to see the uniqueness in each member’s voice.
According to fans, this was and always will be the darkest autotune past of Girl’s Day that needed burying deep down in the corner of Youtube or any other music platform.
Not to mention the eye-itching neon themes and the overly comical fashion with their unbearable hairstyles together formed terrible impressions.
Up till now, “Tilting My Head” has only gained 177,458 views on Youtube. In fact, the video was deleted a couple of years after the first release, and then, somehow, being reuploaded in 2016 to the surprise of everyone.
Still, there remains one thing that may never change: the criticized attitude of the public to the song. Another not-so-popular opinion as to why this debut song received so much hate came down to the group’s name.
Since the name Girl’s Day was so similar to the name of the legendary girl group, Girl’s Generation, the group was believed to intentionally replicate Girls’ Generation to feed off their popularity.
However, it was probably not a bad step for Girls’ Day to get in the industry with an unpolished image as having a bad impression could also capture a moderate amount of attention.
Maybe Girl’s Day intentionally created a bad and unprofessional image just to work their way up and prove that they were solid proof for the statement “Start from the bottom and now we are here”? Who knows, right?
Next comes “Signal”, aka the worst song in the history of TWICE according to the public. Unlike any song discussed so far, “Signal” was the song that did well on charts and received many achievements after release. Yet, in the eyes of many people, including a minority of ONCEs, it was just an overrated single.
Though “Signal” was one of many successful Kpop songs produced by the CEO of JYP, Park Jin Young, it still failed to meet the expectation of the public. Since many were expecting TWICE to get out of those bright, cute Kpop songs formulated to do well on music charts, the release of Signal was a slap to their face.
Specifically, the song was underproduced with too many high notes and usually predictable earworm parts. As for others, the song once again followed the cutesy style so it is kinda lame.
Regarding the music video, JYP once again recorded the scenes that were irrelevant to each other, creating the scattering feelings which really had to catch up on the first viewing.
Some even believed that the song showed signs of Park Jin Young’s downfall and if it wasn’t for Twice’s effect, there’s no way the song could go viral.
However, although the digital data of “SIGNAL” was just not as good as Twice’s earlier achievements, it still won over Kpop songs released within the same year.
Specifically, it topped many music charts, won a majority of trophies of 2017, and helped TWICE receive the noble title “Song of the year” in MAMA 2017.
Despite the early wave of criticism, as time went by, Knets admitted that the song kept growing on their mind and they weirdly fell for it.
The next name is a song that managed to cause a clearly polarized spectrum of opinions – “Zimzalabim” by Red Velvet. Just like their senior group EXO, Red Velvet got heavy investments from SM from the concepts, songs to visuals.
Still, “Zimzalabim” was regarded as a failure because of one silly mistake of SM: the overenthusiasm to put so many elements into one music product.
The balance of the song was hard to define with the instruments misplaced here and there. Moreover, for non-professional listeners or non-critics, they perceived the song as messy, all-over-the-place and annoyingly loud with repetitive chorus and under-supported catchphrases.
Besides, many argued that “Zimzalabim ” was clearly a parallel of the production I Got A Boy presented by SNSD or exactly the remake of it. Another element that helped to draw lots of public attention was the visual part.
On Twitter, some netizens even commented that the song sounds like how their outfits look, implying Red Velvet’s clothes were nothing more than a mess.
It seemed like on a beautiful day, the Red Velvet stylist suddenly hit upon a weird fashion sense and decided to try out the fresh ideas on the girls.
As a result, all members were dressed in contrasting colors, distinguished materials, and eccentric redesigns with some weird cuts.
However, as a digital monster, Red Velvet not only managed to take over tons of domestic charts with “Zimzalabim” but also topped the American iTunes Album Chart, helping them become the first-ever girl group to achieve this position.
Plus, despite the odd instrumental and visuals, Red Velvet’s fantasized vocals are also a selling point of the song.
The upcoming song is the one with the cringiest name ever “Banana Allergy Monkey” by Oh My Girl Banhana, a subunit of Oh My Girl.
This was considered a wrong move in the girls’ career, especially after the impactful success of “Secret Garden”.
Despite the catchy melody, the whole song was criticized for its cliche lyrics. For some people, this song has done nothing but make fun of those who are allergic to certain types of food.
In fact, some parents even reported “Banana Allergy Monkey” because they believed it was mocking their children.
Besides, the song also was put under strong criticism for its confusing and repugnant choreography. Particularly, to imitate the monkey movements, the three girls pretended to scratch their bottoms, which was super graceless.
Though the dancing capabilities of Oh My Girl Banhana have always been highly assessed in Kpop, the girls seemed to have downgraded their talents with this song.
Some Knets were so triggered that they even demanded Oh My Girl Banhana to get back to their original style instead of trying to become another Caramel Orange.
Not receiving much support from the public, the song quickly left the top 100 on Korean music platforms.
After three years, the monkey song only got around 9 million views with the number of dislikes reaching 18 thousand, accounting for 13% of the amount of thumbs-up.
Yet, it’s worth noting that in terms of delivering a quirky and funny story to the audience, Oh My Girl Banhana seemed to have done quite a good job.
At the end of the day, they still managed to do what they wanted: blowing a fun and eccentric breeze into an industry full of serious MVs.
The last position on the list belongs to IKON with “Bling Bling”. With the song, IKON was once again questioned whether they were artists coming from YG.
To further explain, since all YG artists managed to mark their very own color on the map of Kpop ever since day one, due to the average quality of iKON’s song, YG lovers were disappointed.
Specifically, the song was described as an old-fashioned hip-hop song but ridiculously lacking the hip-hop elements. There were hardly any hooks to attract the listeners, let alone impress them.
Another minus point derived from the fact that iKON was home to many great vocalists, and yet, the group chose to produce a song mostly filled with Bobby and B.I’s rap lines.
Moreover, Bling Bling’s producers seemed to haven’t paid enough attention to elaborate the melody because when combining it with the lyrics, the whole piece just sounded really off.
Bling Bling failed to maintain a high position on charts, falling to the 73rd position after just one day.
Yet, it’s worth noting that “Bling Bling” still fully expressed the message iKON wanted to deliver: proving their swags, power and wealthiness.
So, which song on the list that you feel shouldn’t have been criticized so harshly? Feel free to comment down below to let me know.
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