2016 in Review: Day 9 – Best Collaborative Work

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[2016 in Review]

1. Prelude (Best Album Art)
2. R&B and Soul
3. Rock and Alternative
4. Rap and Hip-hop
5. Dance and Electronic
6. Pop and Ballad
7. Folk and Country
8. Jazz and Crossover
9. Best Collaborative Work
10. Rookie Artist of the Year
11. Artist of the Year
12. Song of the Year
13. Album of the Year
14. Staff Picks
15. Other Recognition
16. Concluding Remarks

For collaborative work, the criteria differ from those of the genre categories. The winning selections are not necessarily what I think are the best songs and albums out of the list; instead, they feature excellence in the scope, quantity, unpredictability, or synergy of the collaboration. We are looking for things that are only made possible through cooperative work and in no other way.

Unlike the genre categories, works picked here can appear in the general categories – for example, one of the albums featured below could also be the Album of the Year. And of course, you will see lots of repeats below from the genre categories.



Best Collaborative Album 2016

Jang Soo-hyun and Won Da-hee - Between


Jang Soo-hyun and Won Da-hee – Between

Between covers a ton of ground for a 6-track EP. I already wrote a bit about the brilliance of “Someone’s Personality” yesterday, and that’s indeed the crown jewel. But each track here is an elegant representation of the diverse timbres that a violin and piano can show off together. “Peaceful Afternoon”‘s cavernous space and “Vacate”‘s rapidly expanding sound offer very different experiences in terms of flow and tension. Ever the genre explorers, the duo perhaps couldn’t help themselves when they delve into Latin for a rendition of Biréli Lagrène‘s “Made in France”, the violin and piano taking seamless turns taking over the original guitar line. As the song hurtles on, the duo switches off between melody and accompaniment every couple of measures and back again, and again, and again. This complimentary dance, their communication and interplay, well encapsulates why this little album works so well.

Runner-up Collaborative Album 2016

Jerry.K - 감정노동 (Emotional Labor)

Jerry.K – 감정노동 (Emotional Labor)

Hip-hop albums are often like cheating for this category just because of how prevalent collaborations are, but this one is a little different. Emotional Labor finds itself here mostly due to two tracks. “콜센터” (“Call Center”) is an auditory pleasure blending a mellow beat with Oohyo‘s steadying chorus, and the bitter irony of a call center employee who has the most need for an outlet is slowly unspooled in the warm interplay between the two performers. (And given the tone of her past work, Oohyo seems like the right candidate to ask to generalize the tale.) On the other hand, the fuzzy and nocturnal mood of “No More Heroes” is illuminated by the soft call of Room306‘s Hong Hyo-jin, who guides the track to a determined finale. These particularly well-chosen collaborators, in addition to the participant MCs of cypher-like “No Role Models” as well as Rico, Deepflow and This Is Manner help round out this thoughtful album.

The First Ten Out


Best Collaborative Song 2016

Whang Bo-ryung=Smacksoft – 저녁하늘 (Night Sky) (Featuring Asian Chairshot)

You expect a certain amount of weighty emotion from Smacksoft, but even in a heavy album like Urbane Sanity “Night Sky” stands out with its forlorn melody and bleak atmosphere. Whang Bo-ryung coarsely sketches out the melody, soon joined by Asian Chairshot’s Hwang Young-won doubling her lines. Though the sound matches that band’s brand of plodding hard-rock, it’s hard to tell that it’s actually him until about two minutes in, when the chorus flares up and Hwang’s shouting tone takes over. The two Wh/Hwangs repeat the simple melody with rising key, giving desperation to the narrator’s struggle to hold on to slipping memories and dreams. It’s not the most aesthetically pleasing harmony, Whang Bo-ryung in particular screaming her lines with every fiber of her being, but a harmony it is – this scratchy, rough, unkempt layering of voices voicing one of our basest fears.

Runner-up Collaborative Song 2016

HyunA – 나팔꽃 (Morning Glory) (Featuring Qim Isle)

Who saw this collaboration coming? This track wouldn’t feel out of place in Qim Isle’s own Boylife in 12″, Sunwoo Jung-A‘s playful, active synths and attitudinal piano immediately setting mood and HyunA matching its vitality as she navigates the sometimes pouting and fretful, but ultimately self-assured lyrics. HyunA’s (characteristic) confidence is the key to making “Morning Glory” and its overarching metaphor work, rather than falling as a flat affection-seeking verse. The stage set, Qim swoops in with the response to her offer, the sunshine to her flower, a similarly confident character “breaking this long silence to briefly shine my light for you”. (He is, of course, not to be outdone by anyone in playfulness.) I think it’s one of the best relationship songs of 2016 – seems a bit odd to call it a love song – and it works entirely due to the two stars.

The First Ten Out

BoA X Beenzino – No Matter What

Born Kim & Life and Time – Goes On

Danpyunsun and the Sailors – 연애 (Lover) (Featuring Kim Sawol)

Far East Movement - Identity

Far East Movement X Marshmello – Freal Luv (Featuring Chanyeol, Tinashe)

Feel Kim – 괴수 (Monster) (Featuring Echae Kang, Koh Sang-ji)

Kei & The Solutions – Beautiful

Kim Chang-wan Band – 시간 (Time) (Featuring Koh Sang-ji)

Samuel Seo - Ego Expand

Samuel Seo – Hit & Run (Featuring Kim Oki)

Stellar Moments – Journey for Emptiness (Featuring MC Meta)

Younha – 알아듣겠지 (Get It?) (Featuring HA:TFELT, Cheetah)

Honorable Mentions


Cas.T & Lee Sang-ah – Surrounded the Light
CuzD – CuzDcustic Lounge
Danpyunsun and the Sailors – 뿔 (Shofar)
Holmes Crew – Holmes
Idiotape – RE
Im Hye-min – Unnoticed
Jay Park – Everything You Wanted
Kim Hee-chul & Kim Jung-mo – 종합선물세트 (Goody Bag)
Plastic – Love Falling
Sol Lee X Inyoung Chung – 전보 (Telegram)
Sunwoo Jung-A & Jung Yong-hwa – 교감 (Empathy)


1Take & Trippy – Driving
2nd Moon – 이별가 (Song of Parting) (Featuring Kim Jun-su)
45RPM – 붐박스 (Boombox) (Featuring Kirin, DJ Soulscape)
8BallTown – 8BallTown (You Are Not Alone)
A-Fuzz – Mr. 수박 (Mr. Watermelon) (Featuring LeeSA)
A-Fuzz – 좋아 (Like) (Featuring Koh Young-bae)
ALi & Horan – 품 (Poom)
Babylon – 비 오는 거리 (Rainy Street) (Featuring HA:TFELT)
Baek Ji-young & Cheetah – 사랑이 온다 (Can You Feel Me)
B.A.P – Le Noir (Piano by Juju Song)
Basick – 그 집 앞 (Outside That Home) (Featuring Kim Jin-ho)
Bernard Park & Hyerim [Wonder Girls] – 니가 보인다 (Can See You)
BewhY & Talib Kweli – International Wave
B-Free – Homies (Featuring Classic)
Big Earth Little Me – 아이좋아 (I Good) (Featuring Annie K & Wujud)
Brown Sugar – Vitor (Featuring Illinit, Deepflow, Kwon5Fresh, DJ Young)
Cas.T & Lee Sang-ah – Boy A (Vocal by Taebal)
Chen, Heize, Ryu Jae-hyun – 썸타 (Lil’ Something)
Cherot – 혼자가 편해 (Easier Alone) (with Sugarhate)
Cho Jung-hee – 이미 알고 있었던 얘기 (Good-Bye, My Love) (Featuring Kyu Young)
Code Kunst – Beside Me (Featuring BewhY, YDG, Suran)
Core Magazine – 겨울화답 (And She Said) (Featuring Echae Kang)
Crucial Star – 가을엔 (In Autumn) (Featuring Kim Na-young)
Crush – 잊어버리지마 (Don’t Forget) (Featuring Taeyeon)
Crush & Han Sang-won – Skip
Danpyunsun and the Sailors & Choi Sam – 날 (Hasta)
DyoN Jyoo – 변명 (Shame) (Featuring Wings of the ISANG)
ELO – F.W.B. (Featuring Hoody)
Eluphant – 화분 (Flower Pot) (Featuring Feel Kim, Jo Jung-chi)
Eric Nam & Wendy [Red Velvet] – 봄인가 봐 (Spring Love)
Esbee – Sparkling (Featuring As One)
Fromm – 서로의 조각 (Pieces of You and Me) (Featuring Giriboy)
G2 – 식구 (Family) (Featuring B-Free, Okasian, Reddy, Huckleberry P, Paloalto, SwayD, DJ Djanga)
Garion – 그니까 (For Real) (Featuring Sonnet Son)
Heo Jeeyoung – 날씨가 많이 추워 (It’s Very Cold) (Featuring David Oh)
Hyolyn, Bumkey, Jooyoung – Love Line
Im Se-jun & Ben – 오늘은 가지마 (Don’t Go Today) (Duet version)
Jay Park & Kirin – City Breeze
Jerry.K – 콜센터 (Call Center) (Featuring Oohyo)
Jessi, Kim Young-im, Crispi Crunch – 쾌지나 칭칭나네 (Kwaejina Ching Ching Nane)
Joe Won-sun & Jinsil [Life and Time] – Mismatch
Joora, Deepflow, Nucksal, Fana, 11th – 프로폴리스 (Propolis)
Jung Jun-il – Plastic (Featuring BewhY)
Jung Jun-young – 공감 (Sympathy) (Featuring Seo Young-eun)
Jungkey – 바라지 않아 (I Don’t Want) (Featuring Sojung)
Kim Hee-chul, Kim Jung-mo, Wheein [Mamamoo] – 나르시스 [Narcissus]
Kim Hyun-suk – Take It Out (Featuring Kim Ho-yeon)
Kim Jong-seo – Home (Featuring Kim Boa [Spica])
Kim Jung-hoon – Marry Me, Marry You (Featuring Cho Hyunyoung)
Kim Mi-so – 사랑해 사랑해 (Love U, Love U) (Featuring Koh Sang-ji)
Kim Tae-woo – 시간 (Time) (Featuring Yu Sung-eun)
Kim Wan-sun – Set Me On Fire (Featuring Kebee; Produced by Cassette Schwarzenegger)
Kwon Jin-ah LOVE Sam Kim – 여기까지 (For Now)
Louie – 그림자 (Shadow) (Featuring Kwon Soon-il)
Louie & Lee Hyun-woo – 니 얼굴 (Your Face)
Noh Sun-taek (NST) – Look At Me (Featuring Kim Sawol)
Now and Then – This Love
Oh Eun-bi – 줄다리기 (Tug of War) (Featuring Park Kyung-hwan of Jaejoo Boys)
Ok Joo-hyun & Cho Young-nam – 그대 따르리 (I Will Follow)
Onew & Lee Jin-ah – 밤과 별의 노래 (Starry Night)
Paul Kim & Sleeq – 미뤄 (Put It Off)
Peejay – Moonstruck (Featuring Qim Isle, Ohhyuk)
Peterpan Complex – 새벽에 든 생각 (Morning Thought) (Featuring Oohyo)
R3hab, Amber, Luna – Wave
Raspberry Field – John (Featuring John Rhee)
Roo – 딱좋은 (Just Good) (Featuring Truedy)
Sam Kim – No눈치 (No Sense) (Featuring Crush)
Seul Ong X Yoon Hyun-sang – 뭔가 될 것 같은 날 (On the Way to Love)
Seventeen & Ailee – Q&A
Sol Lee X Inyoung Chung – 그 겨울 그리고 너 (Blowing Winter)
Spacecowboy – Grotesque (Featuring Paloalto)
Swimming Pool – 꽃 같은 마음 (Heart Like Flowers) (Featuring Koh Sang-ji)
Suzy & Baekhyun – Dream
Temperature of Saying Hi – 이별이 유일했던 날 (The Day We Said Goodbye) (Featuring Hello Gayoung)
Vibe & Kim Heung-guk – 원샷 (One Shot)
We Are The Night – 자연스레 (Natural) (Featuring Eunhye Ko)
Wheesung – 제껴 (Hold Over) (Featuring LE)
Yang Da-il & Hyolyn – 그리워 (And Then)
Yang Yoseob & Richard Parkers – 이야기 (Story) (Featuring Noblesse)
Yesung – 벚꽃잎 (Spring In Me) (Duet with Dalchong)
Yoon Mi-rae – Because of You
Yoon Seul – 여름 가을 (Summer Autumn) (Featuring Jun Je-duk)
Yoo Young-jin & D.O. – Tell Me (What Is Love)
Young Jun – 시작의 여름 (A Summer of Beginning) (Featuring Ryu Su-jeong)
Zico – 사랑이었다 (It Was Love) (Featuring Luna)

Sources: album art from Bugs Music; Jang Soo-hyun and Won Da-hee header image from Mirrorball Music

Read our past series:

2015 in Review

2014 in Review

2013 in Review

2012 in Review

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