Review

2019 In Review: Day 15 – Other Recognition

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2019 In Review

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

If this is your first time reading our series, the “Other Recognition” post is where we make up a bunch of “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. (Spoiler alert: there’s way more of the latter.)

All these things caught our 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 Commentary Album: So!YoON! – Album Commentary: So!YoON! No, we don’t know of any other commentary albums this year. It’s absolutely a thing we need more of.

Best Debut from a Musical Actor Group: Pink Lady – God Girl

Best Fan Service in Lyrics: god – 눈을 맞춰 (Eye to Eye), which features a trip down memory lane with various god song titles of yesteryear.

Best Featured Performance by the Artist’s Child: Ra.D – 30 (Feat. Michael)

Best Gag Song: Hyungdon & Daejune – 니가 듣고 싶은 말 (Secret Love Song)

Best Meta-Commentary on Creative Process: Han Hee-jung – 두 개의 나 (Two Me)

Best Mix of Instrumentals and Narration: Han Hee-jung – 불안 (Anxiety)

Best Music Video: one day this might actually be its own category in our series. For now, here are some favorites in alphabetical order.

  • Dbo – Horse
  • Chen – 사월이 지나면 우리 헤어져요 (Beautiful Goodbye)
  • Chungha – Snapping
  • City Alone – Crime Night (Feat. Yeseo)
  • (G)I-DLE – Lion
  • Haon – 꽃 (Flower)
  • Kim Dong-ryul – 동화 (Fairy Tale) (Feat. IU)
  • Leegikwang – Don’t Close Your Eyes (Feat. Kid Milli)
  • Loona – Butterfly
  • My Q – Touch
  • ONF – 사랑하게 될 거야 (We Must Love)
  • Park Hyo-shin – Goodbye
  • Punchnello – 낙서 (Doodle) (Feat. Baek Yerin)
  • Sunmi – Noir
  • Sunwoojunga – Classic
  • Winner – Soso

Best Pun Rhyme in an Idol Group Song: Oneus – 발키리 (Valkyrie)

Best Portmanteau in Title: Jo Tae-joon & Theatre8 – 족발보싸 (Jokbal Bossa), nicely mixing a pig’s feet dish with bossa nova.

Best Reconstruction of a Historically Important Song: Ahn Ye-eun – 8호 감방의 노래 (Women’s March)

Best Remake: All About the Bird – 겨울숲 (Winter Forest), originally by the late Jo Dong-jin (1997).

Best Remake Billed Under Original Artist: Fly to the Sky – Sea of Love (Song by Ailee)

Best Single Verse: There are many candidates, but in the interest of naming something that’s not in the rest of the series, it’s Olltii in Olltii – OSU (Feat. YunB, MaseWonder, Jerd, Yanu, Frog, Oscar $mith)

Best Use of Typing Shorthand: it’s a tie between –

  • Bill Stax – Idungivaㅗ
  • Nuun – FLWM <3

Biggest Missed Opportunity to Use “Undecimber” in Album Title: Lim Chang-jung – 십삼월 (Never Ending)

Biggest Scale: Zeniac – Reus Ex Machina, which (somewhat incoherently) follows an inanimate protagonist leaving our solar system and ends with a track titled “12000 Years Later”.

Cheekiest Recreation of an Era: CSVC – Summer Love… If you’ve been following this ubiquitous ‘newtro’ movement, you realize that this is a real big distinction.

Does This Man Never Age: Jang Woo-hyuk – Stay (Feat. Babylon)

Longest Awaited Comeback:

  • FIN.K.L – 남아있는 노래처럼 (Like the Song Remains) (14 years; 17 years if not counting Forever FIN.K.L)
  • Shin Joong-hyun – Shin Joong Hyun for the Tribute Guitar (14 years)
  • Infinite Flow – Flow Forever (13 years)
  • Kim Hyun-chul – 돛 (Sail) (13 years)

Did we miss one longer? Let us know!

Longest Credits: Nah Hoon-a – 벗2 (Friend2). The promo text says its 28 composers and lyricists is the largest ever, which I’m not too sure about. But its alleged 204 (!) total participants including musicians is surely up there.

Longest Title: Decadent – 어느 누구의 어떤 모습의 사랑에도 이와 같이 찬란한 때가 있으리라고 감히 생각합니다. 부디 이때를 오래도록 많은 사람이 있는 힘껏 누리길 바랍니다. The official translation is simply “Null”, but translated in full, it reads: “I Dare Think That in Love, for Anyone and in Any Form, There Will Come a Time This Brilliant. I Dearly Hope That Many People Will Fully Enjoy This Moment for a Long Time.”

Longest Track: Rainbow99 – 낙검자수용소, 밤 (Monkeyhouse, Night), or at least we think.

Longest Tracks (Grouping of 3): Detection of Dead Spot – Wave

Most Absorbing Experience with Short Tracks: Fisherman – Well Being

Most Absurd Hook: Dbo – Horse. Is it cheating to pick this guy? Maybe it is. This also wins Best YouTube Comment Section.

Most Adorable Lyrics: J Rabbit – 작은 도룡뇽 (A Little Gecko’s Story)

Most All-In Commitment to a Food Theme: Han Min-joo – 땅콩버터 (Peanut Butter), which probably should also win Most All-In Commitment to a Stage Costume.

Most All-in Commitment to Linguistic Uniqueness: Ye Ram – 바다넘어/Umikoe (Over the Sea)

Most Businesslike Album Concept: Verbal Jint – 이것은 음악인가 업무보고서인가 (Is It Music or Is It a Report)

Most Ill-Fitting Music Video: Maktub – Violet Night (Feat. Lee Raon)

Most Improved: Lovey – 27

Most Inexplicable Remix of a 2018 Song: Katie – Remember (Feat. Ty Dolla $ign)

Most Interesting or Faithful Concept Album: several choices, many space-themed.

  • Colde – Love Part 1
  • Lee Aram – Pale Blue Dot
  • Nevada51 – Solar System
  • Olltii – 8Beat
  • Parallel – Satellite
  • Stella Jang – 유해물질 (Hazardous Materials)

Most Jarring Stylistic Mix: Wetter – 꼰대 (Ggondae)

Most Jarring Title Mismatch: Hongshine – K-Goth Pop

Most Notable Lyrics: it’s not “best lyrics”, because most of those are already covered in the rest of our series. These are lyrics that stand out in some other way, whether by way of subject matter, uncommon metaphor, or something else.

  • Cho Kyu-chan – 오디션 (Audition)
  • HyunA – Flower Shower
  • Kwon Jin-ah – 시계 바늘 (6:35pm)
  • Wussami – 동 동 동 동 동 (Villains)

Most Pleasant Surprise of a Comeback: Rainbow – Aurora

Most Romantic: Daybreak – Romantic, very aptly titled as you can see.

Most Stream-of-Consciousness Lyrics: a tie.

  • Choi Sung-ho Singularity – 주기율표 (The Periodic Table)
  • Woo – 호불호 (Taste) (Feat. Giriboy), specifically Giriboy’s verse.

Most Striking Title: also a few choices.

  • 10cm – 방에 모기가 있어 (Do You Think of Me?) (original title: There’s a Mosquito in My Room)
  • Big Baby Driver – 열두 겹 이불 아래 완두콩 (A Pea Under 12 Featherbeds)
  • Kim Oki – 실직폐업이혼부채자살 휴게실 (UnemploymentBankruptycyDivorceDebtSuicide Rest Stop) (Feat. Bek Hyun-jin)
  • Lee Kang-seung – In Other Words It’s All Made By Kyeongsuk

Most Tantalizingly Close to a CSJH Reunion: Stephanie – Say It (Feat. Lina)

Most Unexpected Genre Swerve: Han Gi-ran – What U Gonna Do

Oldest Artist to Release Album: Shin Joong-hyun was 80 years old when he came back with Shin Joong Hyun for Tribute Guitar in July.

Sequel Released After the Longest Gap: Jang Hye-jin & Yun Min-soo – 술이 문제야 (Drunk on Love), following the 2006 original.

Sequel With Happiest Resolution for the Characters: IU – 시간의 바깥 (Above the Time), and IU’s liner notes on coming up with this song were nice as well.


Lyric translations by author. Header image captured from ONF – We Must Love.

Read our past series:

2018 In Review

2017 In Review

2016 In Review

2015 In Review

2014 In Review

2013 In Review

2012 In Review

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