“난 하고 싶은 말들이 참 많았었는데.”

“The Blue Bird” by April | I was enjoying every second of this song. The outfits are bomb (Lovelyz, anyone?), their vocals are on point, and Jinsol seems to have grown up a bit. I grew fond of her after watching Girl Spirit, thought I wouldn’t really call myself a “stan”. I don’t know much about the rest of the group, but they’ve been releasing “steady” tracks lately. I was enjoying every minute of this song, feeling the strings building up to create a bang at the end. And they almost did. A couple of seconds after the last note, Rachel whispered “할 말이 있어요”. And that’s what killed it for me; they didn’t need that line! It could’ve ended nicely. Just like this song review – I could’ve ended this nicely, but I didn’t. [SY]

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Swap week three, day five: Niko takes on Lips

Swap Week“1993” by Lips | It’s a stretch to call this one of Shalla’s teenage favorites. When we looked this song up, she pretty much cringed. She thought she heard a remix, but no, this is one of those Eurodance songs that sound really dinky, yet take a life of its own for some reason – and then disappear without a trace. I don’t know who Lips are. A perfunctory (sleepy) search turns up nothing. And I don’t even have memories of this song, so I have little to no idea where to start. So this is… well… it is a song named after Shalla’s birth year. Maybe that’s it? I can’t shake off the image of her cringing, though. [NB]

Swap week three, day four: Niko takes on the Pussycat Dolls

Swap Week“Stickwitu” by the Pussycat Dolls | I know I talked about the worst of American pop yesterday, but while this song has the same parameters, it might as well be an exception. I don’t know. Maybe it’s because this was around when I still listened to local pop radio. Maybe it’s because it’s not overbearing. (Mariah Carey’s “We Belong Together”, however – that was on the sidebar. That was overbearing. Or overexposed.) I never even had a crush on Nicole Scherzinger. Had no reason to follow the girls. So, I guess, I can say it’s all on a case-by-case basis. I mean, I liked “Buttons” and I liked “Don’t Cha”. Or maybe it’s the rose-tinted glasses. I don’t know. I’m sorry. I can’t quite think straight as I write this.

Swap week three, day three: Niko takes on Jessica Simpson

Swap Week“I Belong To Me” by Jessica Simpson | Now, a reminder of the things I don’t like about American pop. It can be this saccharine. It can be too much. But who am I to shit on a song that’s supposedly a response to Jessica Simpson’s divorce to Nick Lachey? Okay. Now, to be a nice boyfriend. I get why Shalla likes this: it’s that rumbly bass line thing we discussed yesterday. It’s forceful so as to deliver the admittedly simple message with more punch than expected. And yet I can’t help but think of those songs that pop idols have once in a while where they go emotional and slow to convey depth and it feels weird. Okay. Okay. Okaaaay. I ought to be a better boyfriend. [NB]

Swap week three, day two: Niko takes on Phoenix

Swap Week“1901” by Phoenix | Yes, I’m writing about Phoenix, which shouldn’t be a surprise considering I’ve written about them many times before. Yes, this is the aberration on the theme, a bit, but yes, this song was released when Shalla was just 16, which both slots into “favorite songs when I was a teenager” and “I am very old indeed”. (This makes the list also before Shalla’s always liked songs with… rumbly? Are those bass lines rumbly? We always had difficulty pinning that right word down.) At least we have a reminder that, while this song was ubiquitous, it wasn’t ubiquitous enough to be terribly tired now. It still sounds proper today, even if now I imagine a car commercial. This also reminds me that my first favorite Phoenix song, “Long Distance Call”, was released in 2006, when I was just getting deep into college, and when she was just 13. I really feel old now. [NB]