Oops, I'm an idiot and totally forgot to put this in here at the beginning when this was first posted. Anyway, today on my KPop channel, I posted a video ranking all of Day6's album tracks and even though I ranked all of them, I felt the need to write an entire post about it explaining my rankings. So, here we are. As I said in my Ranking Day6's Title Tracks post, Day6 is my favorite band and I legitimately love every single song they've released, but I apparently love to torture myself by forcing myself to rank them. IDK.
Anyway, here are my rankings and explanations. Apologies for the long-windedness-- I really love this band. Also, the rankings are embedded above in video form, if you want to check that out as well.23) I'll Remember
On to the list!
On to the list!
As I've mentioned countless times in these rankings posts, I tend to lean toward more hype songs. And I'll Remember is a much more mellow, static track. Nothing wrong with that, and I still really enjoy it (obviously. I've said about a thousand times that I love every single Day6 song), but I just naturally lean toward other types of songs and therefore this one ends up lower on my list. And that hurts me, because I love it.
22) My Day
I can't re-iterate this enough-- this is a really beautiful song. It sucks to put any Day6 songs down at the bottom. I love the keyboard part, the really in-your face percussion, the little guitar slide before the end of the chorus, and the vocal parts. This is one of those songs that feels very familiar for no reason in particular. Overall, it's a great song that unfortunately just isn't quite as fantastic as some of their other songs.
21) I Would
The chorus of I Would alone almost made me move it higher, because the vocals (Jae in particular) really get to me. Jae's vocal scoops are so great and so pretty. I also love the dichotomy between the chill, acoustic opening and the build up to the electric guitar-heavy chorus. And then the post-chorus (is that even a term) with the call and response vocals is super fantastic as well. The only place it really loses me the slightest, tiniest bit is the chugging guitar in the 2nd verse. That's it. Overall, a really solidly fantastic song.
Whatever! sold me from the very beginning with the keyboard intro and dirty guitar/bass. The little ascending melody that each of them sings as they enter is such a fun little theme to repeat throughout the song, and it's one of my favorite moments. The piano in the background is pretty repetitive, but I really love it. And as always, the background vocals are flawless. With Whatever! we technically get a chorus, but it's interesting in the fact that (to me) it almost doesn't even sound like a chorus??? Typically the chorus is the catchiest part of the song, and perhaps it's just the fact that Whatever! isn't a particularly traditionally catchy song in general (it's really not made to be), but the interesting thing about it is that the rest of the song almost completely outshines the chorus. It's actually kinda cool in a way.
19) I Wish
Once again, we've got a song that in some way sounds familiar (in a good way) to me. TBH I just think that it's that they pull influence and inspiration from many of the same musicians who I love. I know Brian likes PATD, and I'm sure that he was 100% into pop punk in HS, and I wouldn't be surprised if he still is now. Anyway, this isn't a pop punk song, but I can tell that they're getting inspired by other musicians that I also like. Once again, like some other songs that are early on this list, I think that the chorus is probably the least interesting part of the song. There's this really fantastic instrumental break near the end with a really cool guitar part and the verses are really interesting. It's a chill song in the best way possible.
18) Sing Me
I think this is the first entry on the list with a Brian rap. And for a good reason-- I love Brian raps. They're my favorite. Honestly, just anything Brian does. But I think that this is probably my least favorite of Brian's raps, which probably is one of the reasons it's a bit lower. Still love it, just not as great as his other raps. Anyway, there's a lot more to the song than just the rap. I'm realizing rather consistently that the post-chorus and subsequent second verse tend to be some of the most interesting parts of some of these songs. I love the "sing me!" at the end of the chorus. That said, I think the best part of the song is when everything except synth drops out and the whole group is singing. It's pretty great.
I feel like Colors is a fan favorite song, so I'm probably disappointing people by putting it this low. But you had to expect this, given my preference for hype songs, right? Colors is certainly one of their better ballads. Sungjin's gravelly voice works so perfectly on the chorus, and every time someone sings "colors" in the background, I get chills a bit. I also love that the vocals on the chorus are kinda soaring, almost uplifting, but tonally the verses are much darker. It's an interesting song and although it's on the lower end, it's still fantastic.
16) Goodbye Winter
The first time I heard this song, when I was still familiarizing myself with Day6's vocalists, I immediately had to look up the song to see who was singing the chorus because I was so impressed. I've talked a lot about soaring vocals and vocal scoops in this beginning section of the post, but I have to mention it at least one more time, because Sungjin's vocals are just so impressive. The gravelly vocal scoop on "go" is just fantastic and it's one of those musical moments that really stands out in my mind, even above some many moments in the songs above this one.
15) Out of My Mind
The music of Out of My Mind is really boppy and lighthearted, despite the fact that the lyrics are a bit more emo (shocking-- Brian's lyrics are emo? WHAAAAT?). The melody that Brian sings throughout the verses has a really fun contour. I also love the guitar part in the chorus. It's a bit repetitive, but it makes me think of the types of lighter pop rock songs I would hear on the radio in high school. It's just really fun and boppy. *shrug*
I love the piano at the beginning of the song. Honestly, one of my favorite things about Day6's first mini-album is the piano lines. They're really great. But what really shines throughout the majority of Habits is the way the vocal lines are traded off and woven together in the verses. The second verse is especially great, with Jae and Wonpil paired off, followed by a brief rap from Brian. That, paired with Sungjin's vocals on the chorus is just really great.
13) Better Better
I found it really difficult to place the two newest songs within the ranking that I'd already established before they were released, but this is where Better Better ended up landing for me. The first time I heard it, I kinda expected it to end up slightly higher on the list, but this is where it ended up. The best part of this song is they're constantly playing with the rhythm and tempo. It's a really cool way to play with expectations, and it makes the song really musically interesting, because they're never letting you fully find your footing with a pattern. The guitar part is also especially fun for me, and I love the gang vocals. I also like the comparison between the more synth-based sections and the more guitar-based sections. It's really cool and really shows off Day6's composition abilities.
12) I'll Try
Speaking of Day6's composition abilities, I'll Try marks the first song without lyrics by Brian. It's also the 2nd Day6 song without music by Brian (the first being I'm Serious). And that really shows and becomes obvious very quickly because the fact that it sounds very different from any other Day6 song that has come before it. In terms of the actual quality of the music, it's at the tippy top of all Day6 songs. I'd verge on calling it a piece, not a "song." The piano part is incredibly musically interesting, and the piano solo and subsequent a cappella section are absolutely beautiful. Possibly the best-written section of music in any of Day6's music. Seriously. So... why is it all the way at 12? Personal preference. It's an absolutely beautiful song, but I've already driven my point about how I feel about slower songs versus more intense songs. I'll Try simply isn't going to get as much replay as the songs higher on this list.
11) First Time
To be perfectly honest, I literally just moved this into 11th place. As I was doing this write-up, I got to where it was at (#8) and realized that my love for the next few eclipsed it. So I slid it down a few slots. I think I was blinded by my love of Brian rapping at first, but regardless, I still really love this song. The fact that I can spur of the moment change my mind and re-edit the whole video (it's literally rendering as I type this) really just speaks to how fantastic every single song on this list is. They're all fantastic. Anyway, apart from Brian's super chill rap, my favorite part of this song is the very Beatles-esque harmonies that they have going on throughout the whole thing, especially in the bridge. I can't put my finger on what exactly about them screams Beatles to me, but if you listen to it, I'm sure you'll hear it. Maybe it's the intervals, maybe it's the production, maybe it's the swell & fall of the notes, IDK. But it's fantastic. Seriously, that last 1:30 of the song is really just fantastic.
10) Man in a Movie
I saw a Tumblr post that described the poster's perceptions of the stans of each Day6 member, and one of the Young K perceptions was that they probably love Man in a Movie. As a Young K stan, I guess that's somewhat accurate, given that I do definitely love it, but it's only at 11 on my list. Either way, I feel like it slightly breaks my own preferences, as it's one of their less musically intense songs. But I have such a soft spot for Man in a Movie. It's got almost a bit of a 50s/60s vibe to it, and the chorus is just so fantastic with the background strings and vocals. And then there are some brassy sounds in the background and I'm still not sure if it's instruments or just Wonpil's synth, but it's so cool. It's well documented in these posts how weak I am for brass instruments. And they start out incredibly faint in the chorus the first time (you have to listen really closely to actually hear them) but by the last iteration of the chorus, the instrumentation is so full and the brass is really prominent. It's fantastic. And the outro with the violin (or synth violin? I can't tell) and piano outro is fantastic. It's a cool song. The more I gush, the more I guess that Brian stereotype is correct lol.
9) Say Wow
The dichotomy between the verse and chorus in this song is fantastic. The verse is all piano, strings, and vocals, and then it builds up to this really gritty, in-your-face chorus with intense brass, piano, guitar, strings, percussion... everything. It's so cool. Seriously, when listening to the song, put on earbuds and pay attention to the piano when it's in the background throughout the song. It's either chugging away, or (as is the case in verse 2) playing this really dramatic, quickly flowing part that's really just background noise to what's actually important. But it adds so much interest to the song even though you have to really listen to notice it. And then, the bridge. The beautiful, glorious bridge. The percussion takes over and it's almost a march, with a piano melody and brief intrusions from the guitar... before building again to the final chorus, where almost all the instruments drop out at the beginning for Day6's harmonies and the piano to shine. It's just really freakin' cool. Sorry I've been so heavy on the musical analysis for these past 2 but these songs are just so good.
8) Be Lazy
I think we all know what the star of this song is. Let's all say it together: Brian's funky bass line. It destroys me right from the beginning every single time I listen to it. And the little "ooh, ahh" repeating theme is fantastic when paired with it. Apart from that, my favorite single section of the song is Jae's part in the chorus. His soft but jazzy vocals are just fantastic-- the moment that always murders me is his little lilt on "neowa-ah." It happens like 3 times throughout the song and it melts me every single time. I just absolutely love this song and if Day6 wants to tell me to be lazy, who am I to ignore them? haha
7) Lean On Me
Literally the second this song hit my ears, I was in love. As I've stated, I love pop punk, and the guitars in this song are pure pop punk perfection. Especially at the beginning of the song and in the pre-chorus. It was like All Time Low had possessed them during their songwriting process. I love how chill the verses are before building to that very pop punk chorus. Any time any of them sing "Lean On Me," it's absolutely beautiful. Often, with pop punk songs (or just any songs in general, tbh), prominent percussion is something I really love. But in Lean On Me, it's all about the electric guitar. Most of the song, the percussion is practically an afterthought, which I surprisingly really love. Even though their music is very pop rock/ pop punk, this is really the most pop punk they've ever gotten and therefore it's tonally very different from their other songs. It's really cool.
6) Like That Sun
Jae's rap in Like That Sun gives me so much life. This song is just a bop. That's the best way I can describe it. I absolutely love the back and forth in the verses, and the melody in the second half of the verse is super cool. And then in the chorus, all of the instruments come together to create near-perfection. The bass is so funky, the guitar is really boppy and fun, and the synth just brings it all together. Brian's rap bridge is fantastic, and then the ending with Brian's vocals and entrances from each of the other members is just really great.
I was wanting something really up-tempo out of Day6's November release. So after the slow, melancholy All Alone, the second I heard Pouring, I was in love. The percussion is so in-your-face right from the beginning, and the entire song has this throwback vibe to it that I absolutely love. I love the section in the pre-chorus where they trade off lines really quickly, and then... we get the beautiful chorus. The ascending strings are everything. I just love everything about this chorus. It's so great. And then the synth returns and the verse has this really fantastic guitar part and bass line. And I really can't stress enough how much I absolutely love the percussion in this song. It's not constantly changing or anything, and I guess it's technically not even that musically complex or interesting but it's one of those really great moments where you feel like you have to move, whether tapping your toes, stomping your foot, something.
And then, in true Day6 fashion, we get this fantastic breath of silence and this really soft bridge which just explodes back into the chorus and it's just so good. But seriously, the strings are the star of the show in this song. At the very end when they've got the prominent melody, I'm living for it. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if I went to re-make this list after it's been out for longer and put it even higher. It's that good. For now, though, this is where it remains.
As we'll see happening a lot in these last few songs, the highlight of Freely for me... is Brian's rap. First off, this is the first song on Day6's debut mini album. And what a way to start. I love the back and forth in the vocal line in the verses. The timbral shift between voices is just really fantastic. And then the chorus-- definitely one of the most fun choruses in Day6's discography. There's that really interesting synth sound right in the middle of the chorus that's so cool. And the shift from the first half of the chorus to the second half of the chorus is fantastic. I love when choruses have vastly different sections (think Got7's Just Right- 3 very different sections to that chorus, all fantastic). And then... Brian's rap. I have no words. It's just fantastic. And then we get that same intense synth sound leading into the chorus... it's just so interesting and cool. And then in the bridge, everything drops out and slowly adds back in and the synth takes over. Freely is definitely one of their more synth-heavy songs and while I'm a lover of guitar and drums, this is definitely my favorite of their more synth-y tracks.
Remember when I talked about how much I loved brass in songs? Synths re-producing brass instruments aren't quite as good, but they are in Hunt. I love this song so much. Jae & Brian's vocal lines in the first verse are fantastic, especially that falsetto, and my heart melts every time Brian sings "girl I can make you feel alive." The guitar in the pre-chorus is just so great and dirty and gritty and ugh I love it. And then everything builds up to the chorus.... and then just drops for Wonpil's "baby eodi" before jumping into this really in-your-face chorus with chugging guitar and percussion. And I can't tell if it's still Wonpil's synth or actual brass (guessing the former), but those brass sounds just really give the chorus so much more complexity of sound. And the brief guitar solo at the end of the chorus kills me every single time. And then, of course, the highlight... Brian's rap. I love every single time he rolls his Rs. Ugh I don't even know how to put it into words. Brian just has such a strong sense of rhythm and therefore he plays with it in really great ways and the fact that he's also a singer means that he's good at sing-rapping and I just really love him ok.
Despite the fact that it's in 2nd place, Blood has possibly my favorite musical moment in any Day6 song ever. Want to guess what it is? If you guessed Brian's rap, you'd be... mostly correct. In actuality, yes, it's Brian's rap, but also the fact that immediately after delivering my favorite rap in the entirety of Day6's discography... Brian goes directly back to falsettoing the chorus again. His rap voice is so much deeper and his vocal range can reach up so high, and I'm just impressed every single time. Sometimes I will turn on the song and literally just skip to that part to listen to it. I love it that much. His rap absolutely kills me. Once again, he plays with rhythm absolutely brilliantly, and his R rolls are really fantastic. Anyway, that said, the rest of the song is fantastic as well.
One thing I've noticed in the billions of times I've watched this live, the instrumentation is really sparse. Typically, only one of the guitarists has to play at a time, and I find it fascinating that so many of Day6's songs have such thick textures and yet this sparse one is just as great, if not better. (IMO, it's obviously better given that I've got it at 2, but like... they're all fantastic.) Anyway, literally all this song has is some simple, catchy instrumentals and simple, catchy vocal lines. Even Brian's rap isn't like super intricate or complex or anything, it's just something simple and interesting executed perfectly. For me, that's like the tagline of the song-- simplicity, perfectly executed.
1) I Need Somebody
Is there a single My Day who didn't fall in love with I Need Somebody immediately upon its release? Seriously, this song is... dare I say?... a masterpiece. I said it. It's brilliant. Two things that Day6 are masters at (that I haven't touched on too much here) are A- subverting the listener's expectations, and B- introducing new material every single time something is repeated. I'd have to go back through to confirm this, but generally in any of their songs, if something is repeated, even a chorus, they're doing something different with it the 2nd and 3rd time it appears (and often don't repeat something more than that). It's what makes their music so fascinating and musically interesting. And that's exactly what they do in I Need Somebody. Like with Blood, the song isn't incredibly complex. It's simplicity, executed perfectly by constantly subverting your expectations. I'll repeat: It's a freaking masterpiece.
So now on to the actual music. At the beginning of the song, it's simple piano and vocals. Soft, emotional, and seemingly leading us into a ballad. And then, with literally .5 seconds of any sort of preparation, suddenly we're at the chorus and Brian's giving us power vocals with acoustic guitar. It's such a tonal shift and done so brilliantly. But, by the end of the chorus, we've mellowed out into a really relaxed feel that's more expected of Day6 ballads. Sparse instrumentation, softer, more emotional, but still leaps and bounds different from where we were with the first verse. And as the electric guitar slowly builds, it's building expectation for the chorus, when suddenly... everything's gone and there are soft background vocals WITH A WHISTLE BREAK. A LITERAL WHISPER BREAK. This is what I'm talking about with subverting expectations. At this point, I feel like it's safe to assume that somewhere in the song, Day6 is going to give us a brief moment of silence (ex: the repeat of the chorus in Dance Dance with Jae's throat clear), so just the break wouldn't be that shocking. But... the whistles. It's so great.
And then, we get the full intensity of the chorus with electric guitar and all. If you thought the first iteration of the chorus was a shock to the system, this is even bigger. See what I said about changing it every single time? By the end of the chorus, we've come down from the intensity just a bit, but then the song transitions into the bridge, with vocals, light keyboard, acoustic guitar and these quick, almost spastic electric guitar intrusions. It feels so pop punk it almost hurts, and I love every second of it. And then, finally, into the chorus for the last time, and once again, it's different. The instrumentals will hit and then back off, giving intense emphasis on certain beats in the chorus rather than just chugging through. And then we get this great guitar outro, which is possibly the most overtly pop punk thing in the entire song, and then... Sungjin's vocals just fade out.
I know that I literally just word vomited the entire song to you, but this serves two purposes.
1- although I've walked through some other songs on the list, I can't talk about them with quite the same enthusiasm or detail as with I Need Somebody. Proving that there was literally no other song that could take its place.
2- to show you just how brilliant this song is. It's so simple but also so complex. I literally cannot say enough good things about this song. It's so fantastic, and that's why it's #1.
Also, I've gone this entire thing without talking about the lyrics of I Need Somebody, which are possibly the most relatable of any Day6 lyrics ever. Seriously, they hit home real hard. Brian knows how to write lyrics that hit me right in the feels.
Anyway, there you are, my extremely long-winded, rambly ranking of all of Day6's album tracks, because I am absolute Day6 trash. Once again, I usually do a top 20 or so, but they have literally 23 album tracks and all of them are perfect, so I figured I would go ahead and do all of them in the ranking. I'm also considering doing a very quick ranking of all of Day6's songs (aka combining their title & album tracks into one list). Given that I've already talked your ear off about each list, I'd probably just literally rank them and not discuss them at all, so if that's something you're interested in, let me know! Also, if you haven't already, you can check out my ranking of their title tracks HERE.
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