by: Jeffrey posted: 9 months ago
Another year has come to an end and what a year it has been. With the disbandment and debut of many great groups, I feel a new era has started. The groups I started listening to when I got into K-pop have almost vanished and new groups have started to take their place. If I had to give this year a name it would definitely be the “bias-wrecker” year. If you would ask me here and now to name my favourite groups, I wouldn’t be able to answer. But that’s not why you are here. Because what I can answer is what my favourite songs of the year were, even though it was incredibly hard to make this list.
Like last year I’m limiting myself to only one song for each artist/group. This year I won’t be making a separate list for boy and girl groups, just for the reason that there weren’t a lot of boy groups I listened to. As a male K-pop fan I’m naturally just more inclined towards girl groups. I’ll only talk in depth about my top 10, but if you are curious, here is the rest.
Number 10 was very hard to pick. I kept switching around number 10 to 13 up until the moment of writing because they are all great songs. I know people will think I’m crazy for picking this one, because a lot of people have complained that this song is a complete mess. For me it’s the complete opposite. The mismatch of styles somehow works for me and makes me want to keep listening in case I miss some sort of musical element. Honestly, I’m also just happy to see Yoojung debut, because she was one of my favourites from Produce 101. And since I actually bought the signed album I think it’s only fair to give them the number 10 spot.
It took me so long to actually start liking Twice. I even watched Sixteen, so I really don’t understand why it took me so long. It came out of nowhere that I started liking and listening to their songs. In fact, I really disliked “Signal” and I thought “Knock Knock” was nice, but nothing special. Now I’m utterly confused why I thought that way. Don’t get me wrong, I liked Twice and enjoyed their songs, but suddenly I like them so much more. Maybe “Likey” just has some hypnosis track playing in the back… or maybe it’s all those Twice crack videos I have been watching lately. Yeah, that last one seems more likely.
This year really seems like one where the more I listened to certain songs the more I liked them. I dropped both “Wee Woo” and “We like” after my first listen. I listen to a lot of songs and if I don’t like the first 30 seconds of a song I just skip it. I have to do this just because of the amount of music videos that come out. In fact I don’t even listen to albums just because it’s too much to listen to. Or at least that’s what I thought at first. If I hadn’t heard the complete song somewhere else I would totally have missed this gem of a song. Don’t judge a song by its first seconds, you could end up really regretting it like I did.
Holy shit, EXID did it again. This song is one of the sexiest of the entire year. Ahem, yes people, I’m talking about the song. The music video is kind of sexy too I guess. Not that it matters, you know. Okay, who am I kidding, Hani and LE can look down at me like that all day.
All jokes aside, this song is amazing. Hyerin did a great job subbing in for Solji as main vocal. I really wonder how the song would have sounded if she had joined them again for this comeback, but she is still recovering from Thyroid disease. Here’s hoping that EXID will return in full glory in 2018.
There is no denying BTS anymore. They have taken over Kpop in a way that no other group has ever done before. “Not Today” and “DNA” reached so many views in so little time it’s absolutely incredible. Do I like their songs? Heck yeah. It’s just their fan base that is so overpowering. I see them everywhere commenting in other music videos and during parties their songs keep being played over and over again. It kind of makes me want to distance myself from male groups, because I see the same thing happening with EXO, Seventeen and their fans. Not that everyone is like that; it’s just that some of you are kind of intense. It’s scary.
I already knew about MINX and kind of liked their songs. However, they were nothing special. When I heard they were re-debuting under a new name I was kind of interested. This doesn’t happen a lot. The concept they were debuting with made me more than just interested. I took only a couple of seconds from “Chase Me” to realize that Dreamcatcher is now one of my favourite groups. Their songs bring me back to the time I listened to Jpop and even before that Metal. Because if you are a fan of anime I can almost guarantee that you thought that this would make a great anime theme song. And it’s not just “Chase Me” that’s amazing, “Good Night” and “Fly High” are great songs too. I can’t wait until February 21st, because that’s the day I will get to see them perform their songs live (if I can get tickets of course).
Seeing a live performance of certain songs makes the song so much better. It makes you appreciate the song a lot more. I was already a big fan of KARD before going to their concert, but seeing them perform their songs live made me a complete fanboy. “Don’t Recall”, “Rumor”, “Hola Hola” and “You In Me”, all of them are great. People often complain that their songs sound kind of the same, but how is this a bad thing? Of course you need some variety in your music, but if you’ve got a unique style then just stick to that. For KARD it just works.
Why Blackpink? Why just one song this year? I know they released all their songs in Japanese this year and we got a to hear all the rap parts in English, but another Korean comeback would have been nice. Especially since we got 4 songs this year. But I will stop my complaining, because the one song that they released this year was complete gold and competitor for best song of the year in my opinion. If they had released it later in the year it might have honestly topped the list, but because I listened to it so much already it was just pushed slightly down to the 3rd position. Honourable mention goes out to their year-end performance of “So Hot”, a JYP song performed by a group from YG. Who would have thought?
“Peek-A-Boo”, “Red Flavor” and “Rookie” all fall under the same category as Pristin’s songs. When I first listened to them I didn’t really like them. But learning from my mistakes and listening to them a couple more times made me like them more. This seems to be a recurring theme especially with Red Velvet songs. They are super catchy, but it takes me a while to get in to them. And can we just talk about that one moment in the music video, the one were Joy brought everyone so much Joy. That part got replayed a great deal of times.
In the past few years I had a clear favourite song by the end of the year. I could easily pick out that one song that was just different from the rest. This year it was not so clear. Looking back at my top 10 of last year, I think that the overall quality of the songs was just better. What I wasn’t expecting however was “Gashina” at the top of the list. I can’t even explain why this song is my number 1, it just is. I was never a big fan of the Wonder Girls, but I do really enjoy Sunmi’s solo songs. The music video is also really fun to watch and if you haven’t watched her live performances yet I highly recommend you do so. Sunmi almost single-handedly beats EXID by herself in terms of sexiness.
Ending this list is a song I didn’t particularly enjoy, but have to mention because of its epicness and apparently $500,000 music video budget. That song is “My Turn” by the 126 idols that are currently participating in KBS’s The Unit. I’m currently really into the show and like produce 101 I’m there are some things I really hate and love about it. Once it’s over I will be writing a post about it similar to the one I did on Produce 101.
Looking back on my top 10 of this year there is one thing that really stands out. What used to be my 5 favourite groups are completely missing from the top 10. This makes me rethink who my actual favourite groups are. For me this year truly was a “bias-wrecker” year. This year I’ve also been highly absent from the website. Let’s hope that this isn’t the case in 2018 and that this year will not just be a great one for Kpop, but also for Dr. Hallyu.
I’m really curious as to what your favourite songs of this year were. If you have any that you think I missed, leave them in the comments down below. Also if you are curious, below is a playlist of my favourite Kpop songs that I will keep updated throughout the year.
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