In the world of kpop, T-ara is really a one of a kind girl group. At their best, they merge an addictive electro dance club bounce to more traditional Korean trot elements. One glance and you may dismiss them as a gimmicky novelty act, but they possess one of the strongest, most reliably catchy discographies of any girl group. So, what’s their best single? There’s a lot to choose from, but only one can reign supreme!
10. Little Apple (with Chopstick Brothers) (2014)
Pairing with a popular Chinese act to cover their hit song, the girls secured their already strong push into China with the impossibly addictive nonsense of Little Apple. It may not have started life as a T-ara track, but it sure sounds like one.
9. Wae Ireoni? (What’s Wrong?) (2010)
A great example of how insanely effective and catchy T-ara can be even when they’re stripped of the gimmicks. Wae Ireoni is a strong, attitude-filled pop song, through and through. Sometimes it’s just as simple as that.
8. Day By Day (2012)
T-ara’s music can be just as potent when presented as a more traditional, midtempo trot ballad. From the melancholic folk instrumentation to the yearning chorus, it stands as one of their most emotive tracks.
7. Lovey Dovey (2012)
Adding disco elements to their already robust template of electro pop, the song’s strong beat and production flourishes more than made up for a slightly regressive chorus.
6. Number 9 (2013)
Working again with producer Shinsadong Tiger, this underrated gem offered another chance to slowly mature the group’s dancefloor sound. The chorus is an absolute winner, building to a fevered pitch of relentless vocals.
5. Cry Cry (2011)
Taking on a more mature pop sound, the girls veered into a vampy, melodically bombastic style. The dramatic chorus remains one of their stickiest melodies, offering more diversity in sound than many of their singles.
4. Roly Poly (2011)
Few T-ara beats are as instantly recognizable as Roly Poly‘s glitchy 80’s throwback. Like many of their tracks, the chorus is simple enough to be memorized by a five year old, but the song is firing on all cylinders from its first second, crammed full with hook after hook.
3. Sexy Love (2012)
It’s all about that jerky, corrugated beat that underlines Sexy Love‘s verses in dynamic fashion. The rest of the song plays like a variation on many of their past singles, but by now they’d perfected the art of goofy pop awesomeness.
2. Sugar Free (2014)
A blazing comeback that showcased a sophisticated version of the girls’ club-oriented sound. Few 2014 dance tracks were bigger or more in-your-face, and even fewer possessed a chorus so instantly ingratiating and thrillingly expansive.
1. Bo Peep Bo Peep (2009)
The song that launched them into super-stardom during their debut year is still their very best. A song called Bo Peep Bo Peep should get old after about the second listen, especially when its chirpy chorus is essentially an endless repetition of those two words, but this song is a magic brew that somehow transcends novelty. I’ll chalk it up to that addictive beat and an utter allegiance to its own ridiculousness. Whatever it is, kpop just wouldn’t be kpop without a little Bo Peep.