The end of the year countdowns are here! We’re starting things off with the big one… the top 50 songs of the year! Each day this week, I’ll be counting down ten of the year’s best, until number one is revealed on Friday.
Unlike last year, j-pop releases will be placed in their own countdown, including those by Korean artists.
To be eligible for this top 50 list, tracks must have had a commercial release between Dec. 1st, 2015 and Nov. 30th, 2016.
50. GOT7 – Hard Carry
Though it borrows heavily from current trends, GOT7 prove they have the energy necessary to push past the track’s derivative nature and turn it into an unlikely rallying cry. (full review)
49. Wonder Girls – Why So Lonely
Taking a step back to the 70’s from their 80’s comeback in 2015, Why So Lonely proved the versatility of the Wonder Girls’ new band configuration. (full review)
48. DAY6 – Letting Go
Rock music isn’t all that popular in mainstream k-pop, but DAY6 are right at the top of the genre when it comes to quality. Korea needs more of their indie-influenced sound. (full review)
47. Sistar – I Like That
Sistar returned with a darker sound, capitalizing on the success of producers Black Eyed Pilseung. I Like That isn’t quite as joyous as their other summer singles, but it’s just as addictive. (full review)
46. Jeung Jin Woon – Will (ft. Tiger JK)
A little-known, but hugely enjoyable, slice of glittery funk rock from the former 2AM member. Another example of non-traditional k-pop making a splash in 2016. (full review)
45. The East Light – Holla
The youngest artists on the countdown, The East Light seemed to appear out of nowhere with their catchy brand of teenage pop/rock. They are undoubtedly ones to watch in 2017. (full review)
44. Pledis Girlz – We
Though they haven’t yet officially debuted, We is more than enough to raise excitement for Pledis Entertainment’s new girl group. Its breezy summertime hook is unadulterated joy. (full review)
43. Dal Shabet – Someone Like U
After the loss of two members, Dal Shabet returned victorious with this ridiculously catchy Brave Brothers track. It started the year off right, released all the way back at the beginning of January. (full review)
42. Oh My Girl – Windy Day
Taking influence from folk music, ABBA and even middle eastern sitar, Windy Day melded the experimental with the bubblegum, resulting in a blast of high quality, risk-taking pop. (full review)
41. Cosmic Girls (WJSN) – Secret
One of 2016’s rookie groups, Cosmic Girls rebounded after their underwhelming debut in February and delivered this stately, beguiling pop track. It was one of the year’s biggest growers. (full review)