bi·as (ˈbīəs) noun – prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair.
In the world of kpop, bias is a very real thing. Bias lists, bias groups, bias members. Once you get deep into the genre, it’s impossible to ignore. That’s why I’ve built it right into my review criteria. Given that this site will primarily focus on kpop reviews and recommendations, I’ve set a few ground rules, which will hopefully let you know a little bit more about where I’m coming from.
- I like what I like – Yes, I’ll try to be objective, but there are just certain aspects of music that I prefer over others and my posts wouldn’t be authentic if I ignored this. If you followed my previous blog, you’ll know that I’m a sucker for dramatic, bombastic production and that I will always favor melody over everything else, especially if it happens to be an anthemic one. As far as kpop goes, Infinite is my ultimate bias group and if you give me anything Sweetune-produced, I’m a happy camper. My own personal prejudices will be reflected in the “bias” portion of my rating.
- I’m allowed to change my mind – I like to think that, after a few listens to a song, I’m generally pretty good at deciding how I’m going to feel about it in the long run. That said, there are always a few tracks that end up being growers and, months after release, become some of my favorite songs of the year. This happened in 2015 with Shinee’s View and Bigbang’s Bang Bang Bang, in particular. Because of this, the “longevity” portion of my rating is the hardest to assign a number to. Doesn’t mean I won’t try!
- I’ll probably slip in some music from other Asian countries from time to time – Part of the reason why I launched a new blog after a decade of writing my old one is that I wanted to narrow my focus. There’s no way to be sure, and I imagine this blog will be 95% kpop, but there are a few (like, four or five) jpop groups I follow, and I desperately want to get into more cpop. So don’t be surprised if the random Japanese act pops up from time to time. I promise it’ll be worth it.
A little about me
As I mentioned before, I wanted to launch this blog because, after ten years working on my previous one (#1 Hits From Another Planet), I realized that my musical tastes have changed so much. When I first started, I wrote about mostly European pop and rock, focusing on more obscure bands with sounds that matched my taste. When I first got into kpop in 2012, I started introducing it to the blog little by little. This past year, the bulk of my posting has been about kpop and it just seemed wrong to continue along those lines with a hodgepodge blog that didn’t really have much of a focus. So here I am, starting from scratch, but bringing a decade of experience with me.
My rating criteria
Scores are on a 1-10 scale, and I tend to be a pretty positive reviewer so 1’s and 2’s will be quite rare.
Hooks – This refers to anything vocally related, like melody or rap. I wanted to call it “hooks” because kpop really is a cauldron of mixed performance styles. Many times, these tracks aren’t just your everyday pop song.
Production – This refers to anything instrumental, including a song’s beat and stylistic choices.
Longevity – This is me trying to guess how a song’s going to age based on my own taste. Sometimes it’ll be a bit of a crapshoot, but I think we all recognize a one-hit wonder or flash in the pan when we hear one.
Bias – This part is me throwing out objectivity and assigning a score based on how strongly a song aligns with my personal taste. Hopefully, you’ll find that our tastes overlap some bit. If not, I hope you’ll enjoy reading a differing opinion!
And finally, a handy little guide to what my scoring means as to a song’s merit!