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.
40. B.A.P – Feel So Good
Released at the wrong time of the year, this summer-ready single cruises along a bright, throwback groove. It’s the funkiest thing B.A.P’s ever done. (full review)
39. Astro – Breathless
Released at the exact right time, Breathless absolutely screams summer with its acoustic riff and bouncy, youthful energy. Its goofy charm is impossible to resist. (full review)
38. EXO-CBX – Hey Mama!
Upon hearing about EXO’s first sub-unit, I expected some autumnal ballad. Instead, they delivered a rousing dance track that took full advantage of the members’ charms (full review)
37. NCT 127 – Fire Truck
One of the year’s biggest growers, this unusual debut became more addictive the longer it stuck around, highlighted by its impressive choreography. (full review)
36. Monsta X – Fighter
Shedding their hip-hop heavy sound, Monsta X returned with an adrenaline-pumping anthem inspired by the bombastic power rock of the 80’s, augmented with cinematic symphonics for a knockout punch. (full review)
35. Jung Joon Young – Sympathy (ft. Suh Young Eun)
Proving that he is one of k-rock’s most commanding vocals, Jung Joon Young teamed up with the ethereal Suh Young Eun for this stunning power ballad. (full review)
34. Winner – Baby, Baby
Though 2016 ended in heartbreak for Winner, the year began with a blitz of high-quality releases, highlighted by this bluesy rock ballad that showed a different side to the typical YG Entertainment sound. (full review)
33. Kei x The Solutions – Beautiful
An unlikely collaboration between the Lovelyz vocalist and indie group The Solutions, Beautiful was a power pop surprise, wrapped in fluffy sing-along hooks and bright synth riffs. (full review)
32. EXO – Monster
One of the year’s biggest singles, and a convincing display of EXO’s hip-hop skills. It had been awhile since they’d showcased the darker side of their sound, but Monster brought it roaring back. (full review)
31. Red Velvet – Russian Roulette
After the underwhelming balladry of March’s comeback, Russian Roulette returned Red Velvet to the style they do best — quirky, ridiculously catchy dance pop with a hint of darkness lying underneath the bubblegum. (full review)