earthings! 2017: My ten favorites of the year

Here’s more proof that I am starting to fall by the wayside, at least when it comes to listening to the songs I’m apparently supposed to listen to and like, here’s a relatively pop-centric list of my ten favorite songs for 2017. I attribute it to the fact that I may have listened more to my K-pop library this year (it does have some therapeutic claims) and that things seem to blend with each other more this year than in previous years. In a way, it’s a good thing: finally, some parity between the slickly produced and the more down-to-earth ones. But some will say this is me selling out. Nah, nobody is saying that. Nobody cares about this thing, yes? But we have to put it out, like everybody else, so here, in alphabetical order, are my ten favorite songs of the year. [NB]

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“안아줄래 안아볼래 안아도 꽉 안아줄래.”

“Rolly” by Good Day | Two disclaimers. One, I’m going to talk about choreography, even if I’m not a dancer. Two, I’m posting the official video here, but you might be better off watching this live performance from rookie K-pop group Good Day. They just debuted, one of many groups that bid to be noticed or be forgotten. “Rolly” is a straightforward Broadway opening number, or so I say. It’s bombastic. It’s a sound we haven’t heard in K-pop in a while – it’s been a while since IU traded on that. I guess people were afraid to touch it: for a long time IU owned that niche, and when last year Brown Eyed Girls’ Gain played with it (and she did well; with a voice I’m putting on the “delicious” category, she ought to), there was criticism that she was ripping the former off. So, this one’s a risk. Thankfully it’s a pretty catchy, fun song. They don’t go too close to IU (and yes, I posted a song of hers called “Good Day”) but that’s a smart decision. They instead play it up with the choreography, which really bears down on the Broadway comparison; there’s so much going on, I hate that the camera had to move! (Plus, that last aegyo moment on the live clip was an inspired touch.) While the rest of K-pop either go for tight (see GFriend) or just-do-as-everybody-does (see SNSD), this stands out. But then, again, what the hell do I know? [NB]