The Bias List’s Lowest-Rated Songs, Revisited!

The Bias List’s Lowest-Rated Songs Revisited!I’ve been wanting to write this post for awhile because I think it’s really fun to look back at old reviews and re-evaluate them with fresh eyes. Opinions on music change over time, and that’s just as true for songs I despised when they were first released.

Here, you’ll find the nine lowest-rated songs in Bias List history. Each has a rating in the 3’s or below. I’ve linked their full, original review, pulled a sample quote and re-evaluated their standing with fresh 2022 eyes.

So without further adieu, here’s the worst of the worst. Or… maybe not?


EXO-SC – What A Life

Full Review

Sample quote: “The entire arrangement is so murky and sluggish and unrelentingly dour.”

2022 thoughts: This is one of those reviews that wasn’t fair to the song itself, because it was less about the track and more about my disappointment with where K-pop summer songs were headed in general. Bright, buoyant summer fare had started to become more down-tempo and vibe-driven, which has definitely continued to this day. And as a big-name example of this style, What A Life bore the brunt of my frustration.

This isn’t a particularly stellar example of its sound, but it’s not nearly as bad as my rating made it out to be. The vocals in the hook are actually kind of nice. Today, I’d probably give it a “7.”

Jackson Wang – Okay

Full Review

Sample quote: “It’s simply a claustrophobic, depressing piece of music without the skill or imagination to transform that emotion into anything compelling.”

2022 thoughts: I really wasn’t holding back on this one, was I? It’s funny to look back knowing what we know about Jackson’s solo career now. He’s far usurped the quality of his early material and become a compelling vocalist in his own right. I still don’t care for this track (that chorus is just awful) and Jackson’s delivery feels like cosplay. If I’m being generous, I might elevate this into the 4’s, but it wouldn’t be much of a jump.

Miss $ – Don’t Speak Without Soul

Full Review

Sample quote: “It’s rare that a kpop song leaves me so cold. Literally, the moment it was over, I had no thoughts about it whatsoever.”

2022 thoughts: 2016 was such a different time in K-pop. For me to rate something this inoffensive in the 3’s means the bar for music was super high. Don’t Speak Without Soul is indeed boring, but it’s not something I would go out of my way to avoid. It’s a perfectly serviceable mid-tempo, driven by a strong performance. Mid-7’s for me now.

Nada (Wa$$up) – Trippin’

Full Review

Sample quote: “Trippin‘s musical centerpiece is a disaster for the ages — an ugly, overstuffed hodgepodge of grating production elements thrown together without any sense of purpose beyond being loud.”

2022 thoughts: Ah, the instrumental drop chorus. I was particularly annoyed by this trend in 2017… and I’m still annoyed by it today! The drop here is certainly an assault on the senses, but the rest of the track is decent enough. Nada is a compelling rapper, and I like the experimental nature of the beat. Do I want to listen to this often? No. But, I’d probably bring it up to the mid-6’s at least. It’s abrasive, but also kind of cool.

24K – Bingo

Full Review

Sample quote: “24K have seemed to developed a strong allergy to choruses. “B-I-N-G-O” just does not cut it.”

2022 thoughts: My god, this could be released today and fit right in with what all the boy groups are doing! That’s a depressing reality, but also makes for a great comparison. In the grand scheme of things, Bingo’s verses are decent. The chorus is still as obnoxious as ever, throwing everything it can at the wall without much of a hook to fall back on. I admire just how noisy the song is, but this still isn’t for me. With today’s (more generous) eyes, I’d probably put it in the 5’s.


Ravi – Still Nirvana

Full Review

Sample quote: “Still Nirvana imagines a world where computers have finally replaced human musicians, churning out cheap, mind-numbing trap beats with no sense of adventure and no heart.”

2022 thoughts: This one really broke me in 2019, didn’t it? I guess I was going through a phase… or something? I still hate the vocal effects on Still Nirvana, but the song was clearly acting as some sort of sacrificial lamb for my pent up emotions! The track itself is… fine. Mid-6’s for me in 2022.


Lay – Sheep

Full Review

Sample quote: “As soon as the track throws an actual sheep sound effect into the mix, any hope of this disaster becoming salvageable is over.”

2022 thoughts: Okay, this song is just funny. I certainly don’t like it, but I also can’t hate it because it’s just so… stupid. That drop chorus is awful and the “I am the sheep” line is iconically bad. But, the rest of the beat kind of slaps in a cheap EDM way. I’d probably give this a mid-6’s rating just for the comedic effect.


Episode – Open My Door

Full Review

Sample quote: “Open My Door is its own special level of bad. I don’t think I can point to a single redeeming quality, and that’s rarely the case for me.”

2022 thoughts: Now we’re getting down to the songs that are just poorly produced. I feel for Episode, because no group deserves a hack job like this. Open My Door is unlistenable from a serious perspective, but works as unintentional comedy. If anything, I’d probably lower this into the 1’s. It’s an iconic example of bad K-pop and I love it for that. “Oh poo, my door!” indeed.


Eternity – I’m Real

Full Review

Sample quote: “Eternity is like a nightmare come to life. You half expect the girls to pause mid-song, voice lowered to a hellish tone, and mutter ‘I’m going to kill you in your sleep.’”

2022 thoughts: Now we’ve reached the MVPs of badness. This AI group is responsible for the lowest-rated song in Bias List history, and that’s not going to change anytime soon. I’m Real is an experience I’ll not soon forget. It haunts my dreams to this day. I almost want to pull it down to a “0” rating just for how singular it is. I still can’t believe someone actually made this, but I’m glad they did.

(Honestly, though… that guitar-led bridge kind of slaps.)


17 thoughts on “The Bias List’s Lowest-Rated Songs, Revisited!

  1. I really like Lay even when he tosses out head scratchers like Sherp and Honey. He also writes some gorgeous ballads. Eternity’s I’m Real is probably the closest thing K-pop’s ever going to get to outsider artists like The Shaggs or Jandek in rock music. It’s painful, but sometimes you can’t look away.


  2. If Nick has revealed this list for us, okay then. Why don’t I actually write down my own one?

    TNX – Move (4.5)
    The Boyz – Maverick (4.25)
    DKB – Sorry Mama (4)
    Trendz – Trauma (4)
    Blackpink – HYLT (4)
    Lapillus – Hit Ya! (3.75)
    Cravity – My Turn (3.5, the lowest-rated k-pop song ever for me)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I actually find gas pedal to be worse than my turn imo, I think my turn has such a comedic vibe on it that would work if the boys weren’t taking it seriously. But yeah I agree that these aren’t the best, that’s for sure.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I agree, at least My Turn was funny (I still randomly yell vroom-vroom-vroom-vroom-vroom-vroom-vroom-vroom-skrrt to this day) but Gas Pedal was not as catchy 😦

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Let us all now fondly remember when Ravi broke Nick. What a day.

    What I really want to know, and this is perhaps the perfect place, is Nick’s thoughts on Rozy. I myself am absolutely baffled. Is it the Milli Vanilli of the modern age? I mean, this song is by “Rozy”. Its usual imagery is all deep fake AI. The video has none of the Rozy appearing, just actors. But this song is clearly sung by a real human, and pretty well too. And it isn’t a bad song either, perhaps not everyone’s style but bright and poppy. So who is the artist called Rozy?
    I know that Hatsune Miku is all vocaloid and there are many others, but clearly Miku is on the far side of the uncanny valley. But what about the aespa-style avatars where we know which is which and who is who, and they use their own voices but and which at times get heavily autotuned to morph into their alt selves.

    But here, I am at a loss. I am lost. I am walking through the shadow of the uncanny valley, nodding along to a song sung by human, visualized by humans, but attached to something utterly crafted in a computer. I have fear!


  4. I kinda wish you’d expand your rating system — reminds me of a professor who doesn’t want to fail their students but doesn’t give em many A’s either. I miss salty Nick posts, that Ravi one is very fun to read 😛

    Liked by 3 people

    • To be honest, I’m not sure an expanded ratings system would do much to solve the underlying issue. As the K-pop industry has grown more and more saturated and cast its eyes toward a broader audience, the music has (unsurprisingly) become more formulaic.
      There’s rarely anything that surprises in a good or bad way anymore. Most of it just exists right down the middle, which makes it difficult to give extreme ratings in either direction. It’s something I definitely struggle with. Ratings were much more varied in the early years of the blog, for sure. But, I think the music was too.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Do you want some rabid fandom zombie trying to eat Nick’s brain while he is off in his own world listening to music? The zombie might get better music taste, but all poor Nick gets is a funeral and cranky readers. Besides, all Bias List readers know our true ranking system isn’t 0 – 10, it’s 7.5 – 9.5. Anything below 7.5 is not worth your time and anything above 9.5 is a knee jerk reaction, since true 10s need to marinate with the soul for a while and not just temporarily please the ears! 😹


  5. I’m someone who’s getting into Exo (very late I know). I already listened to Cbx’s discography and loved it. I never listened to any SC, so the whiplash I got from What a Life can not be described.


  6. “Be careful sheep in the neighborhood.” I’m just amazed this song was allowed to exist. I particularly like the part where they’re dancing inside the microwave with the popped corn. Because popcorn and sheep…you know.

    Liked by 1 person

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