[#1] HA:TFELT - "Truth"

From: "Me?"
Released: July
Territory: South Korea
Previous Best of Entries: first appearance (as a solo act)
Other notable song(s) from 2014: "Ain't Nobody", "Iron Girl", "Wherever Together", "Peter Pan"

I had an especially difficult time choosing this year's #1 -- aside from the fact that 15& were very, very strong competition, it was hard to single out a song from HA:TFELT's release because I liked all of them for very different reasons. Usually when I start the countdown my #1 and #2 songs switch around, but in this case practically the entirety of "Me?," at one point, was my #1. But I've made my choice, and I know it's the right one.
..."Truth" is the gripping kind of epic. The focus is clearly on YeEun the whole time -- she leads the dynamics of the song from the soft, vulnerably emotional verses to her soaring vocals on that attention-demanding chorus. Those dynamics are really what drive the track, and they show that to strip emotions down to their most raw is to bare all their different complexities. Loud, soft, gentle, urgent, pleading -- that's all reflected in the music through Ye Eun's belting, her vibrato and other vocal techniques. through the quiet verses, the build-ups and transitions.
In the intro to this countdown I mentioned how I think that if 2014 was "the end of an era" that people say it has been, then as far as the music is concerned this era has ended on a high. "Truth," to me, is two things -- an encapsulation of the technical and musical developments that have happened to K-Pop in the last five years (which is ridiculously fast considering the improvement in the general quality of releases), and what I hope K-Pop will become in the near future.

But I don't mean that everyone will end up churning out carbon copies of "Truth" next year because it's "the future of K-pop". These last few years have been spent perfecting production quality, learning, and practicing, competent (at the very least) composition and songwriting and generally finding talented people to get into K-pop whether on stage or behind the scenes. Now that the foundations have been laid out and really mastered (as shown by the rest of this countdown, the Top 10 in particular), it's time we start getting some genuinely creative, artistic, music. As far as the music is concerned, K-Pop is ready to innovate and not just buy from European production houses or copy from others. That's what I mean when I say that "Truth" is the direction I want K-Pop to go in -- releases with concepts that apply not only to the presentation or choreography, but to the music itself. (And hopefully also more idols writing their own material that's up to par with "professional" composers, but that will take some more time.)


And with that, My 2014 Picks Top 50 ends. Thank you all so much for reading, sharing your thoughts, and spreading the word this whole month. And this whole year actually! It's great to be back knowing that people still want to read my work. :D I'm drawing up a few more year-end posts, and they'll most probably be up in January. Happy New Year everyone!


  1. Thanks PRN (Nicole) for another great year of the Top 50 countdown. Heard alot of new songs comings from this list based on your personal recommendations.

    I also agree with your number 1 pick as I was looking for Ye Eun's name through the list (LOL!) Truth is artistically awesome and 1 of the best songs I heard this year. Great to see it here.


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