In honor of Teen Top’s new single and mini album (which sadly will not feature on this list) I thought it was a good time to look back at their singles run. To give you a bit of background, Teen Top is a group that I like quite a bit, but has never crossed into true bias territory for me. They’ve had a handful of excellent singles since their debut in 2010, but haven’t been able to build much momentum of late. It’s a shame, because I feel like they’re continually on the cusp of breaking into to the A/B level, but just haven’t had the hit they need to get them there.
- Updated 5/28/17
Clap (2010) – Their debut track, and like many debuts it doesn’t sound much like what they’d eventually become. More percussion-based and sparely produced than most of their later material, it’s a song that deserves more attention than it gets.
10. Be Ma Girl (2012)
Sound-wise, this feels like the template that informed all their other title tracks for at least a year after it was released. While it lacks the standout quirks of their more memorable material, it’s one of their most enjoyable summer party tracks.
9. Miss Right (2013)
This song will always be memorable for its bratty “la la la la la la” bits more than anything else. It’s a solid Brave Sound track, which allows the boys to explore their more urban side. That chorus is one hell of an earworm.
8. To You (2012)
The first time they refined their Brave Sound style, To You is a slinky pop song with a funkier, more syncopated sound than the guys had explored before.
7. Going Crazy (2012)
This has got to be one of the most frantically produced kpop songs ever. I don’t know what the BPM is, but there’s hardly a chance to breathe between the bright techno synths and kaleidoscopic melody. Digitally, it’s their biggest hit, which kind of surprises me.
6. Missing (2014)
The first of their more mature-sounding releases, this also took the longest to grow on me of all their title tracks. After the blitzkrieg of uptempo pop they’d released in 2013, the weight of expectation caused me to initially devalue exactly how good this smooth, melodic song really is.
5. I Wanna Love (2013)
The first few months of 2013 were Teen Top’s to lose, as they released several singles from their full length album. I Wanna Love was the best of the bunch, with its synth-drenched production and gorgeous chorus.
4. Love Is (2017)
A synth-driven dance beat fuels what is one of the group’s most propulsive, compelling pieces of work. It’s their first as a quintet, and a strong case for their continued relevance as one of k-pop’s polished veteran acts. (full review)
3. ah-ah (2015)
A breezy, dayglo fantasia of a song, and probably their most underrated single overall. Few songs from last year depicted the feel of summer better than ah-ah, with its easy melody and hypnotic, chill vocal delivery. Infinitely re-playable.
2. No More Perfume On You (2011)
They’ll never have a song like this again. Perfume‘s chorus stands alone in their discography as the mightiest, most anthemic melody they’ve put their names to. With even bigger production, it could have easily landed on top of the list. As it stands, it’s a foray into a more propulsive direction that I wish they’d have experimented with more.
1. Rocking (2013)
One of the best examples of what a Brave Sound production can be when it’s firing on all cylinders, Rocking remains the group’s most memorable moment. From the breakneck pace of the refrains, to the aggressive siren call of that unflagging beat, the song is like its own generator, constantly spinning off energy, only to come back stronger again and again.