Dec 31, 2015

Top 10 Songs of 2015 - B-sides

It's not uncommon that a lot of the times I prefer a B-side on a group's new album to their promotional title track, in fact it happens a lot. The way I see it is that the title tracks, that the groups and soloists promote on shows is made to have a specific sound, one that is the most radio friendly and easy to sing along to. However this means that those songs often come across as generic, and especially compared to other songs on the album that are less contained and more unique and original. That was the case so much this year that I had to do two separate posts for title tracks and B-sides because there were so many great ones to pick from. So here they are below in no particular order; my favorite ones of 2015.

Nine Muses - Trickle

I've been kind of crazy about these kind of slower songs that Nine Muses do, that are not full-on ballads but are more relaxed and with a less bombastic instrumental than their regular uptempo tracks. Although "Yes Or No" of off "S/S Edition" was a really great mid-tempo track as well this one is, in my opinion slightly better. This group's vocalists are amazing and it really shows in this song, which is one of its many strengths.

Exid - Pat Pat

We find another mid-tempo track in Exid's "Pat Pat", which has kind of an early 00's R&B vibe that I've found more of in this group's discography, and it's so unlike their title tracks that you'd wonder if it's actually the same group. Personally I love it when Exid does these kind of tracks, and that's why I liked their mini album "Ah Yeah" so much as well, and this one is particular has been played very frequently in my headphones. Although all of them sound great I must say that I love Hani's vocals in this, and it's terrible how underutilized her voice is in their promotional tracks.

Rainbow - Bad Man Crying

I loved this song right when I heard it, and it was the clear standout on Rainbow's "Innocent" despite it being filled with amazing songs. The instrumental alone is fantastic, with finger snaps, hard-sounding piano lines and echoed effects that make the balances out the otherwise minimalistic backing track. Additionally I think the members' vocals sound amazing, as Hyunyoung and Jisook are bringing their A game even more than usual. To keep it short; I love this track.

Kim Sunggyu - Daydream (ft. Tablo & Kim Jong Wan)

Oh my, have I listened to this song a lot this year. Sunggyu's second solo album "27" was a carefully and thoughtfully planned and executed album with plenty of heart and soul, with the help from Nell's frontman and primary songwriter Kim Jong Wan. I was a bit on the fence about this album because although all the songs were wonderful I had a hard time finding where Nell begun and Sunggyu himself ended. This song is probably one of the most "Nell" sounding out of all them, and it doesn't help that Jong Wan is it himself, but it's just absolutely fantastic. It's a masterpiece.

Wonder Girls - Candle (ft. Paloalto)

I've already raved about how much I loved the Wonder Girls' "Reboot" as it's my personal favorite album of the year, so it shouldn't be surprising that I've included one of their songs on here. When I first heard "Candle" I wasn't instantly sold, but shortly after there was nothing that could keep me from listening to it. The instrumental is one I would gladly listen to without any singing, but on the other hand the vocals by Sunmi and Yeeun and the rapping by Lim and Yubin is pretty amazing too. No to mention Paloalto's rap feature, which still rocks my world.

Red Velvet - Cool World

Red Velvet's first full length album "The Red" was an album filled with both hits and misses, which ultimately brought down its score at the end, but there's no doubt "Cool World" is their best song to date. Unlike some of their other, more spastic songs this one is calm, composed and, you guessed it, cool. I love the dream-pop vibe and the the sense of freedom in the lyrics, as it's one of those songs where you feel like you're flying among the clouds. It's hard to describe how happy and carefree this track makes me feel so I suggest you check it out yourself, but man is it amazing.

Day6 - Colors

The clearest highlight on Day6's splendid debut album "The Day" was without a question "Colors". I've probably it mentioned before but I adore these kind of dark, sad-sounding rock ballads, so this one is right up my alley. It also manages to stand out by including synths instead of only using classic rock instruments, but nonetheless it adds an interesting element to it. It's well known this band is vocally talented, but Sungjin especially shines with his desperate, heart-wrenching vocals in the chorus. It's fair to say "Colors" tears at my heartstrings, and I love it.

f(x) - Rude Love

Yes, here comes the obligatory f(x) insertion onto a "Best of 2015" post. I wonder if there's any category this four-piece isn't featured in this year, but it feels unlikely considering the quality of their comeback this past fall. The B-side I'm choosing to include is "Rude Love", for reasons I shouldn't have to explain if you have listened to the song yourself. I can't even count how many times I've played this track, and it's equally amazing every time. They've really outdone themselves this time.

Twice - Like A Fool

I might be the only one who's this into Twice's debut mini, but alas I am. Seriously, every song on the album is a killer and it was hard for me to chose which one would end up in this top 10 because there were quite a few contenders. I really like the youthful yet sassy sound of pop music they've got going on, but at the end it was the slower "Like A Fool" that stuck with me the most. With lovely acoustic guitars and harmonica the girls sound great singing about their heartbreak, and Nayeon in particular stands out with her strong vocals.

Jung Yonghwa - Last Leaf

Jung Yonghwa made his solo debut almost a year ago now, and his album was a great piece of music despite not all of the songs being my personal cup of tea. However there were a few tracks that I really liked, and this one, with its Beatles-sounding piano intro, was the clear winner for me. This is a rockier type of ballad done amazingly well, as its dynamic and emotional without being over-dramatic, and Yonghwa sounds absolutely stunning.

Wonder Girls - Faded Love

Like I said; "Reboot" is my favorite album this year so that means that yes, this is the Wonder Girls' second song to be in this top 10.  "Faded Love" or "When Love Tries To Leave" is a beautiful and heartbreaking mid-tempo track with heavy synth-work, just like the other songs on the album. Here, again, I could easily listen to the instrumental only and feel completely satisfied, but of course the vocals add something special to it, and the lovely harmonies specifically.

Honorable mentions:

BTS - Silver Spoon
Red Velvet - Oh Boy
Twice - Do It Again
Girl's Day - Macaron
GFriend - Neverland
EXO - El Dorado

What were some of you guys' favorite B-sides this past year? I'm always eager to discover new hidden tracks that might fly under the radar because of a bad title track, so feel free to share!

No comments:

Post a Comment