Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Toheart – Delicious

Judicious or malicious?


Edward Okulicz: Look, I know that it says that it’s a new song from Korea, but if you don’t know to be sceptical of labels by now, you’re in trouble. You know better! It’s 1993! It’s alt-pop-rock with flowers in the hair and bright mismatched colours, along with equally bright, lobotomised and scarcely matched song parts and ridiculous facial expresions and cheekily and vapidly spat words! Energy to burn, and possibly homocide-incuding after ten more listens than I’ve given it so far. 

Madeleine Lee: Toheart is the first proper product of the odd coupling of labels SM and Woollim, capitalizing on the pre-existing friendship of SHINee’s rapper Key and Infinite’s vocalist Woohyun to present a unified front. The writing credits on “Delicious” are split down the middle, with two representatives from SM’s international crew working alongside Sweetune, the production team that basically raised Infinite, and the result is what one might expect: SHINee’s zippy R&B, Sweetune’s retro styling, Key’s charisma and Woohyun’s big notes. It’s surprisingly laid-back, coming from two groups known for the complexity and intensity of their singles; maybe a little too laid-back, since it seems somebody forgot to fill in the bridge, or find another word that rhymes with “delicious.”

Alfred Soto: Nobody in this thing rhymes the title with “ridiculous,” which is exactly why this bubblegum is almost a triumph. The rhythm guitar slinks faster and better than anything Maroon 5 has done since 2007, and unlike Adam Levine the singer doesn’t hide his puerile demands in stupid double entendre.

Scott Mildenhall: It’s not just the nutritious/delicious pairings that make this sound like a rad and gnarly Sunny Delight advert. Toheart bound around to a sound too vacant in its happiness. Even if the girl was interested in either of them, they’d probably be too wrapped up in each other to notice — she’s not even in the video. An unambitious if not inauspicious start.

Jessica Doyle: On the one hand: this is unequivocally terrible. On the other: there is an energy to it, a sense of being let in to watch best friends goofing off and having fun together, that makes me grin. Back to the first hand: the Jukebox is not, and hopefully will never be, a place where you can win a high score by combining the third runner-up for Jedward’s Eurovision song choice with a seven-minute-long argument that Key is the big spoon.

Brad Shoup: At times, it sounds like they’re flexing over some “Been Caught Stealing” guitar. This is boypop completely through the looking glass; they’re busting capillaries trying to put over assurances no one really requested. But after the dropout, there’s no gearshift keychange. Maybe the caffeine wore off.

Iain Mew: “Love is so nutritious” doesn’t quite meet any demand for more songs about food, and is also one of the more ridiculous possible word choices. Still, two guys having a laugh in the kitchen of love is distinctive in its own way, and these two guys are just charming enough to keep the music sounding light rather than limited.

Megan Harrington: In high school I had a good natured biology teacher who was generous enough to indulge any of the class’s questions and it was during a unit on cellular biology that I learned that semen, while mostly protein, would have to be consumed in bulk to be a significantly nutritious part of an average diet. It’s also very low-cal. So girls, if he offers that he’s both delicious and nutritious, you’re now armed with enough facts to disprove one claim taste un-tested.  

Patrick St. Michel: INGREDIENTS: Artificial Sweetener, High Fructose Corny Lyrics, Repetition.

Reader average: [6] (2 votes)

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38 Responses to “Toheart – Delicious”

  1. MEGAN.


  3. The best thing about those two comments is that I can hear Jessica using her mom voice and David using his excited and immature teenage boy voice.

  4. Given that Maddie had to warn me off linking to actual Wookey fic, I can say with some confidence that that is not my mom voice, or at least not a mom voice my mom would ever have had anything to do with

  5. The first rule of fanfic club is: you do not talk about fanfic club.

  6. I for one welcome our new fan fiction overlords.

    (Iain pointed out that one of our recent followers on tumblr is the Of Mice and Men fan fiction tumblr. Awesome! I’m not saying I’m going to read it, but I’m not not going to.)

  7. I’m the hugest Sweetune/SHINee/INFINITE stan around so this should be heaven for me, but I simply cannot get past the “nutritious delicious” line. It’s so awful. And bad Engrish in K-pop has never ever bothered me, I actually usually love it because it’s funny, but this is just too embarrassing.

  8. You lost me at “Engrish”.

  9. Holy fuck, you racist asshole.

  10. Engrish isn’t fucking racist. You guys are so predictably politically-correct it’s embarrassing. It’s no different to pointing out Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s British accent, Iggy Azalea’s American accent, The Streets’ cockney accent, or my small town Aussie or queeny accent.

    There’s nothing wrong with any of it, and if you guys take it as such a negative it says more about how you view it than how I do.

  11. Maybe like using a catch-all term to point out Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s accent when the same term has been used as part of systematic discrimination against people of her race, except oh yeah that’s never happened.

  12. I’m kinda missing how “Engrish” isn’t racist, dude. Come on.

  13. I seriously don’t get how it’s a bad thing. I used to review on Allkpop and they even used it in the headlines. Never have any of my Asian friends in real life or online said that it’s racist if the term is used while we’re discussing K-pop and J-pop, like when B.A.P said “the loof is on fire.” If somebody pointed out that my accent sounded “queeny,” which has been used as an insult to homosexuals for years, I wouldn’t be offended one bit unless they meant it in an antagonistic way, which I clearly didn’t when I said “Engrish” here.

  14. @Iain

    Sorry, just to add, I haven’t heard Engrish being used as a negative before? To me something like “ching chong” would be racist because it implies all Asians are Chinese. To me Engrish has always just been a slang term for an Asian accent and doesn’t imply anything negative. Even Soompi and AllKpop have used the word in their headlines.

  15. Sorry to keep commenting here when nobody cares any more, but being called racist is one of the worst insults there is, so I just want to clarify one last time.

    While I still don’t think Engrish is racist and I think everyone is overreacting which doesn’t surprise considering the constant cultural appropriation accusations in every second review here from the primarily white writers, I think I worded my comment poorly and therefore it came across badly and caused a misunderstanding.

    It was just a quick comment I fired off without thinking while tabbing between pages or eating lunch or something, but when I read it back I think where I said “because it’s funny” comes across bad — as if I’m mocking Asian accents or think they’re some kind of novelty. All I meant by that was that in the context of K-pop when I hear a Korean singing in English and there’s an obvious accent I find it cute and charming. When I saw Crystal isolate my comment on Twitter I realized how it could come across the wrong way, especially if you don’t know me personally. So I’m sorry about that and didn’t mean to offend anybody.

    I still don’t find the word Engrish offensive though and after asking my Asian friends at Asian Junkie, Allkpop, and some other places about it neither do they. So I will continue using it unless I’m around predictably overzealous PC white folk, in which case I’ll tweak it to the correct terminology of Konglish when discussing K-pop so you guys don’t have an excuse to act all self-righteous as many music journalists tend to do these days.

    But I am genuinely sorry if the comment –not the Engrish part but the rest of it– was misinterpreted because that was my fault for not being more thoughtful when writing it in the first place.

  16. There’s nothing specifically Asian about the expression here. “Love is so nutritious” could have come from any ESL songwriter whose enthusiasm is more than their skill, or whose lack of boundaries has given us wonderful formations that could never have sprung from the pen of a native speaker. I mean, remember Roxette’s “The Look”, to name one example? That made even less sense than this. And you could just as easily get it from Belgium or Brazil or anywhere — Korea included, ditto Japan.

    Let’s call it what it is – comedy ESL. ESL is my favourite pop language.

  17. I don’t understand how Arcadeys comment is considered racist. I feel as if though a lot of you guys are being hypersensitive. Relax and breathe.

  18. I also don’t understand how engrish is considered racist, really; that is the best way to describe the English in this song. I myself still enjoy the song (appreciate the collab between the companies and really cute music video) even with the engrish! (I’m also asian and don’t even feel offended at all, don’t see what the problem is)

  19. Thanks for coming out of the woodwork, guys, but there’s a reason I’m sensitive about this, and if anything you’re maybe being not sensitive enough. I’m not concerned about the concept of non-English speakers putting together English in ways native speakers don’t expect, as Edward said. But the specific term “Engrish” is aimed at a specific set of non-English speakers, shall we say, and the R/L distinction specifically has been used historically to discriminate against people who don’t have it and/or to belittle their actual language abilities. I mean, it doesn’t help that the context was “non-native English speakers using my primary language not as well as me is hilarious to me”, but please understand that the specific word “Engrish” carries a lot of hurt for some of us. Why are you asking us to accept that hurt to make the person who hurt us comfortable?

  20. Oh honestly, if you’re the type of person to get all bent out of shape over “political correctness,” maybe TSJ isn’t the right site for you.

  21. I am too late to white-knight this — which is to say, Maddie does a perfectly good job of explaining why “Engrish” is hurtful, above — but also: Arcadey’s original comment doesn’t even make logical sense. “C’mon, girl, love is so nutritious” is dumb and cheesy; it is dumb and cheesy regardless of the identity of the speaker. But it is syntactically correct and perfectly comprehensible. (It’s more comprehensible than “every little thing the reflex does leaves you answered with a question mark,” for example.) I have heard K-pop performances in which the singer’s comfort level with English was clearly so low that it made the performance awkward. That’s not what’s happening here.

    So even if you think that calling accents or garbled grammar from non-native-proper-English-speakers “funny” is not demeaning — and I would disagree with you — then it doesn’t make sense to call the spoken English in this song “Engrish.” Using that term here has nothing to do with the performance and everything to do with the race of the performers.

  22. “I mean, it doesn’t help that the context was “non-native English speakers using my primary language not as well as me is hilarious to me”,”

    Maddie, I don’t appreciate you twisting my words like that, especially after I clarified EXACTLY what I meant. It was clear after my explanation that that’s not what I was saying at all –I went out of my way to voice it here and to say it to Crystal directly on Twitter because I was concerned it would come off like that– so don’t twist it just to suit your agenda.

    “Why are you asking us to accept that hurt to make the person who hurt us comfortable?”

    Why not just address me directly? Crystal reacted by swearing at me, and now you’ve addressed the people who sided with me, but not me directly. While I personally think you’re overreacting and being over-sensitive about this, if you had just expressed what you did up here to me instead of ignoring me and calling me a “moron” on Twitter, I would’ve had the chance to understand where you’re coming from and why you think it’s offensive. It would make me more inclined NOT to use the term; not because I think it’s wrong, but because I don’t want to needlessly contribute to human misery and “hurt” people as you claim you have been.

    But you didn’t do that. You acted rude, and then twisted my words, and then tried to play the innocent victim card. So I will tell you to just get the fuck over it instead. I grew up gay in a small country town. I was the only person out in my whole school from a young age. Everyone knew about me and people I didn’t even know would yell “FAGGOT” from cars. I’m not oblivious to discrimination. REAL discrimination, not pedantic perceived “discrimination.” I’m not some insensitive prick. If I thought that what I said was in any way discriminatory I would feel awful because I’ve experienced these things myself and so have my friends, whether it be for religion or sexuality or race. It’s something I feel strongly about. But I’ve never used “Engrish” in a derogatory negative manner and I’ve never heard or seen anyone anywhere ever do that. This is the first time I am ever even hearing of it supposedly being some racist term. Obviously some people agree with me, and some people agree with you.

    You need to get some thicker skin because if innocent comments like this “hurt” you so much then I don’t know what something that actually is racist or discriminatory would do to you. I imagine you’d be a suicidal wreck. I don’t even know how you manage to survive in this big harsh world.

  23. @Jessica

    I know what you’re saying, and I pretty much agree for the most part. What I actually meant was that it sounded like something a non-English speaker wrote, which is why it came off so cheesy and silly. But it was just a quick comment I fired off in about two seconds, and I just said “Engrish” as a blanket term really for all the awkward and funny language issues in K-pop. Obviously I never expected my comment to turn into this or even be acknowledged really.

    If someone had a problem with it then it would’ve been better to receive a comment like yours, or Edwardo’s, or even Maddie’s without the undercover shade in it, so then I could’ve clarified it. When I’m suddenly met with someone swearing at me calling me aggressive then it just makes me react in a similar way (but more stunned, really) and then all this happened…

  24. ugh typo “…being aggressive…”***

  25. I don’t think arcadey is “getting bent out of shape”, certainly not more so than warranted by being called a “racist” “asshole” over an arguably poorly-worded but plainly well-intentioned message. Anyway, “Engrish” does mean a specific kind of English by a specific set of non-English speakers, with distinctive characteristics of its own, and consequently more descriptive than simply saying ESL.

    Alfred’s review had the word “stupid” in it, as do previous reviews from other writers. The word and similar ones have been used in a derogatory manner towards mentally disabled people, but I do not think purging that word entirely, simply because it has been used hurtfully in other contexts, is a very reasonable or useful project. Nor would I require its use to be ceased altogether simply because I’ve been hurtfully called stupid before. It has a use, and at the same time, politically correct formations can be wielded equally hurtfully and carry the same derogatory loading (which, to clarify, I do not think the phrase “Engrish” necessarily has, and certainly not in rkd’s use here, just as the aforementioned “stupid” and “queeny” do not).

  26. Arcadey, dude, I understand why you’ve got your back up, because I would too (and have, when I’ve been called out). And I doubt you’re an “insensitive prick” in real life. I think you have a persona that relies on saying outrageous things (e.g., Gayoon is so hot now that she has an eating disorder!) and that persona is to some degree required to fall more on the insensitive-prick side of the spectrum than the politically-correct side. (I can’t carry off insensitive-prick humor, so I stick to the overzealous-PC/privileged-white-feminist side.)

    But that persona doesn’t travel well. Yeah, none of us “know you personally”. That doesn’t put the onus on Crystal and Maddie to accommodate your particular brand of humor, especially when you’re in the wrong. “‘English’ as a blanket term really for all the awkward and funny language issues” is demeaning.

    I’m sorry you’ve been treated badly in the past, hon. That doesn’t give you a free pass to tell other people when they should or should not feel hurt.

  27. @dilia: what alternatives would you propose for “dumb” and stupid”? “Poorly-thought-out” is maybe more accurate but unwieldy. I once heard someone suggest “smurfy” but I don’t think that carries well.

  28. Hi, Jacques. My very first comment (made before the tweet) was directed at you, and my second comment was directed at the others because I thought everyone else already said what I wanted to say to you. My apologies for talking around you rather than to you.

    As for everything else, well, there’s a reason I’m not one of your Asian friends, okay? I’m sorry that you too have been discriminated against in the past and I wasn’t trying to imply that you hadn’t. This is not a “who is more oppressed than who” battle. I just wanted to explain my own position more clearly, too.

  29. @dilia

    Thank you Dilia. I appreciate that.


    I appreciate you speaking to me like this instead of just being aggressive or condescending. I get where you’re coming from and I like that you tried to see it from my point of view even though I feel you’ve misunderstood certain things about me.

    I wasn’t trying to be funny or stir the pot with that comment. It wasn’t some joke that I feel like you all didn’t get it. I sincerely believe that “Engrish” is not offensive. After this situation first started I went on all my social media accounts and frickin’ messaged every single Asian I know to get their opinion just in case I had been throwing around some grossly offensive word all this time and never realized, and not one them said I was in the wrong or felt that it’s offensive.

    Yes, the comment I left was poorly worded I totally agree, which is why I clarified it. And I personally addressed Crystal about it on Twitter to try and explain, as I felt that she was thinking I meant something by my comment that I didn’t, so I wanted her to be clear on it so she wasn’t as offended. She just laughed at me mostly.

    You can say you don’t like me or my persona as far as my general comments on this site go, that’s fine. You can call me out about countless things. Many of them are true. Say I’m a shit writer or I’m immature or I have an irritating personality or a bad taste in music or I come across poorly to others. But I won’t accept that “Engrish” is racist or offensive, and I won’t wear the racist tag. It would’ve been different if I’d just been called out for the way the comment was worded because I can see how it’d cause a misunderstanding which I had no problem admitting to and apologizing for, but I’m not accepting being called out for the “Engrish” word which I think is B.S.

    You don’t need to feel sorry for me. I wasn’t really treated any better or any worse than anyone else. Everyone gets teased for something, it’s normal. In my opinion some people need thicker skin, and if I’m telling Maddie what she should or shouldn’t be hurt by it’s because from my perspective and many others there is nothing wrong with the term “Engrish.” It wasn’t meant in a negative way, it wasn’t meant to discriminate against Asians. I explained it all in depth ten times already, so in my mind there is nothing to be upset about from her end. It’s more like a simple misunderstanding that you clarify and then move on. And if she’s upset about these kinds of things, then yes, I advice her to develop a thicker skin and maybe focus on some real racial discrimination instead of this ridiculous nitpicking.

    Sorry if I sound aggressive here, I don’t mean to be, especially since you were so nice to me.

  30. @Maddie

    Okay, thanks for explaining that Maddie.

    I didn’t mean it’s about who has been oppressed more, I don’t feel that I’ve been oppressed and I don’t feel bad about anything that happened to me, I was just trying to show you that I’m not some totally ignorant white guy that’s never known discrimination before.

    I’m glad you explained your position so I can understand where you’re coming from. It helps me have a clearer picture of the issue even though I still stand by my opinion. I appreciate hearing your point of view more as an Asian rather than some random white guys wagging their finger at me. From my end I can agree to disagree and I think everything has pretty much been said now.

  31. Over half of the people in this comment thread are not white guys.

  32. meanwhile, the Tumblr post can’t buy a commenter

  33. But, anyway, as I really do not care about this at all, [4000 words follow]

  34. I understand that the term “Engrish” can be upsetting to some, but I don’t think arcadey meant it in an offensive way.

    But I agree with Jessica that his sense of humor may not be for everyone.

  35. his intent doesn’t matter, the word is offensive even if he thinks it means/is using it to imply “an elevated form of English correlating to massive intelligence and advanced education.” we know the word is offensive because it offended people. it’s troubling to be called racist, but if you’re not racist then your response should be pretty simple: I’m sorry, I won’t use that word anymore.

  36. This is ridiculous. Like dilia said, at this rate we may as well start a lynch mob against every writer that uses the word “stupid” too since it might offend the intellectually disabled. Let’s just ban the entire English language altogether!

  37. guys did you know accidental racist turns a year old in like a week???

  38. crap I think I just slipped down this entire slope