2017 In Review: Day 15 – Other Recognition
2017 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 Blues
9. Crossover and Other
10. Best Collaborative Work
11. Rookie Artist of the Year
12. Artist of the Year
13. Song of the Year
14. Album of the Year
15. Other Recognition
16. Concluding Remarks
If this is your first time reading our K-music review series, the “Other Recognition” post is where we make up a bunch of “special” (to say the least) award categories that you’re not likely to see elsewhere. There are some categories that may be reasonable, but here we run the gamut from the merely atypical to the downright cherry-picked. (Hint: there’s way more of the latter.) All these things caught my fancy for one reason or another this year, and it’s a fun way to recognize even more artists and their work for different kinds of excellence, or in some cases, give a gentle ribbing. Most of these did not appear in the main series, so hopefully you will find a new favorite listen or two out of these selections.
Here they are, in alphabetical order.
Best 2017 Version of 4Minute’s “Crazy”: CLC – 도깨비 (Hobgoblin). Hyuna helped write the lyrics, and I’d have believed it if you said Hyuna and Jihyun were in the song themselves.
Best Anniversary Project: Time: Traveler, which celebrated Seo Taiji’s 25-year career. BTS, Urban Zakapa, Younha, Nafla, Loopy, and Eddy Kim released remakes of his work, there was a grand concert at the end of it, and they even re-did the poster of Take Five by bringing back Shin Se-kyung.
Best Beat Change: Gaeko – 코끼리 (Gajah) (Feat. Rap Monster)
Best Capture of Three Decades in One EP: Jo Dong-hee – 라디오 (Radio)
Best Dual Track: Theatre8 – 별헤는 밤 + 꿈의 방 (Star-Counting Night + Chamber of Dreams)
Best Homophony in a Title: Palmbeach Wasted Youth Club – 리키와 서영보 (Ricky Was a Young Boy)
Best Incorporation of the Artist’s Child in a Song: Park Ki-young – 자연의 법칙 (Law of Nature) (Feat. Ga-hyun)
Best Lineup That Could Have Used More Punch: Overclass – Royalty (Prod. by Havoc of Mobb Deep)
Best Music Video:
U-Know Yunho – Drop, which was coincidentally also the most SMP song of 2017. Here are eleven other of my favorites, alphabetical order:
BoA – Camo
Chungha – Why Don’t You Know (Feat. Nucksal)
HA:TFELT – 새 신발 (I Wander) (Feat. Gaeko)
Kim Oki – Fuc Ma Dreams
Lena Park – 연애중 (Courting)
Park Ki-young – 거짓말 (Lie)
Shin Hae-kyung – 모두 주세요 (Everything to Me)
Solbi – Red
Winner – Really Really
WJSN – 너에게 닿기를 (I Wish)
Younha – Take Five
Best Remake of a 1990s Anime Soundtrack: SBGB – 카드캡터체리 (Card Captor Sakura)
Best Remake of a Recent Track: Jang Jane, Giantpink, Perc%nt – Dumb Dumb
Best Self-Remake: Kiggen & SBGB – 별들도 눈감은밤 (Starlight Love 2017), cementing SBGB’s lead in the remake category.
Best Sequel to Someone Else’s Song: Dok2 – 엄지손가락 2 (Thumb 2) (Feat. Keem Hyoeun), which hearkens back to Drunken Tiger’s now-forgotten but excellent 2003 song.
Best V.O.S. Song (Cover): Ra.D – 눈을 보고 말해요 (Look Into Your Eyes), curious translation choice aside.
Best V.O.S. Song (New Release): V.O.S. – Time
Best YouTube Comments Section (Again in 2017): Hitchhiker & Taeyong – Around
Fruitiest ?: Errday – 딸기스웩 (Ddal-Gi Swag) (Feat. Homeboy, Ni Ni, Zene the Zilla)
Funniest Album Promo Text: The Barberettes’ seasonal series – any of them.
Funniest Featured Performance: Don Mills in Yumdda – Pick Up the Phone (Feat. Bassagong, Don Mills). That vibrato is something else.
Funniest Unintentional Featured Appearance: Beenzino (showing up via phone call) in Bill Stax – Sushi (Feat. C Jamm, Genius Nochang)
Greatest Amount of 90s Delinquency: UV – 조한이형 (Johan Bro) (Feat. Johan Kim). UV is basically cheating for this category, I know.
Longest Hiatus Broken:
Jerastar – 꿈속의 꿈 (The Dream in Dreams) (22 years)
Yang Soo-kyung – 애련 (Compassion) (20 years)
Honorable mention for K2’s “눈빛만 들려” (“Can Only Hear the Gaze”) (13 years). As always, if I missed a longer hiatus please let us know in the comments!
Longest Hiatus of Original Core Members Broken: Eve, who got the original crew back together after 16 years to make Romantic Show.
Longest Intro Relative to Song: Nam Tae-hyun (South Club) – 아니 (No)
Longest Post-rock: FauloCity – Full Metal Jacket (14 minutes and 39 seconds)
Longest Project Hold Resumed: Kim Kyung-ho – Coexistence. I reviewed Coexistence Part 1 when it came out in 2013, and had assumed it was dead when Part 2 didn’t follow. But Kim released Coexistence Part 2, Episode 1 in May 2017, after a 51-month gap.
Most Bittersweet Idol Group Sendoff Song:
Take your pick between –
2NE1 – 안녕 (Goodbye)
As One – 잠시만 안녕 (Goodbye For Now)
Wonder Girls – 그려줘 (Draw Me)
Most Compact Album Promo Text That Still Says Something Meaningful: Superbee – Pattern (Feat. Tiger JK, Double K, Junoflo, myundo, Yoon Mi-rae)
Most Controversial Music Video: Ja Mezz – 17 (Feat. C Jamm)
Most Different Halves of a Song: Weki Meki – I Don’t Like Your Girlfriend
Most Dynamic Bass Line: Grace Shin – Groovin’
Most Energetic Idol Rapper Album: Ravi – R.eal1ze
Most Faithful Classic Southern Hip-hop: Alpha Da One – Ride Like Me
Most Faithful Replication of Loveholic: Kang Hyun-min – 추억 (Memories) (Feat. Kim E-Z). I mean, hardly a surprise given that Kang was IN Loveholic, but I didn’t expect he would carry over this much fidelity to solo work.
Most Gloriously 90s: Bomin Park – 울희액이 (OolheeAegie), with a bonus rap part that channels Hwangbo’s 2001 “gui”-syllable rapping.
Most In Need of a Killer Hook: Roy Kim – 이기주의보 (Egoist). Has all the pieces except for that.
Most Inspirational Comeback: Broken Valentine – Project. Nabla
Most Interesting Album Promo Text: Chungwan – Side, Side, Side. Ties into the unnerving music video of “Deep Love”, as well.
Most Jarring Hook: Red Velvet – Rookie, although there are many strong contenders.
Most Nostalgia for 2005 Induced by a Band: izi – Re;start, which does not reclaim the glory of “Emergency Room” but we’ll take what we can get.
Most Nostalgia for 2005 Induced by a Collaboration: MC Sniper – 뒤로 가는 남과 여 (A Man and Woman Going Backwards) (Feat. AG Sung-eun). Bido Seungwoo is active again too, so maybe we’ll see some Kinetic Flow-type collabs going forward.
Most Satisfying Chorus: GFriend – 두 손을 모아 (Ave Maria)
Most Subtly 00s: EXID – 덜덜덜 (DDD), at least in that fabulous chorus.
Most Successful Name Change for Established Group: Highlight
Most Unexpectedly Cutting Vocals: Sunmi – 가시나 (Gashina)
Most Unexpected Stylistic Pivot: Story Seller – Wonderland
Most Unorthodox Idol Debut: Dreamcatcher
Most Unpredictable Romanization: 신나라 (Xxinnara)
Most Unpronounceable Title: Jang Heewon – ㅎ/. The consonant is fine, but what’s the intonation on the slash?
Please Make It Longer:
Two major candidates:
Sonamoo – So Good
Taeyang – White Night
Wildest Punchlines: Goretexx, Giriboy, Black Nut, Bill Stax, Genius Nochang, and Swings – 음음 (Umm Umm). Just the Black Nut part, really.
Sources: “Drop” video thumbnail from SM Town on YouTube
Read our past series: