Wrapping up the end of year countdowns, it’s time to delve deeper into the albums 2016 gave us. Among hundreds and hundreds of tracks released this year (and last December!), here are forty of the absolute best.
40. OH MY GIRL – KNOCK KNOCK
A smooth slice of disco funk from the girls’ breakthrough album. Gorgeous, layered production all around.
39. INFINITE – LOVE OF MY LIFE
A big, bombastic 80’s power ballad from the guys’ second Japanese album. Like nothing they’ve ever done before.
38. MONSTA X – THAT’S A FOUL
A punchy blend of their trademark, hard-hitting hip-hop and addictive electro beats. (full review)
37. PENTAGON – PENTAGON
A slow-burn, dramatic midtempo that fully displayed the layered vocal power of a 10-member group.
36. B1A4 – I DIDN’T SEE IT
An impressive middle ground between their uptempo anthems and more pensive pop moments. (full review)
35. GFRIEND – GONE WITH THE WIND
A strings-drenched pop truffle that closed their first full-length album with a driving energy and dense production.
34. B1A4 – GOOD TIMING
A nod to their uptempo power pop sound, Good Timing bursts forth with anthemic, fists-in-the-air joy.
33. 100% – A DAY LIKE TODAY
32. PSY – I REMEMBER YOU (FT. ZION T)
A collaboration between heavy-hitters, and a great example of how potent PSY‘s music can be when he loses the gimmicks and focuses of a pure pop melody.
31. AOA – 10 SECONDS
A perfect recapture of hazy 80’s synth pop, and the single best thing that AOA gave us all year long. (full review)
30. KEY & DOYOUNG – COOL
A funk rock collaboration between members of Shinee and NCT that bucked the trend of OST releases being nothing by overwrought ballads.
29. NICOLE – LUNAR
A brilliant Sweetune-produced dance track that rides of a gargantuan, spacey synth riff and Kara-esque chorus.
28. SEVENTEEN – STILL LONELY
A smooth, disco-kissed pop trifle that borrowed the best from breezy, 70’s-era Michael Jackson. (full review)
27. GOT7 – WHO’S THAT
26. NCT 127 – ONCE AGAIN
A bright summertime pop track that dialed down the group’s more aggressive elements in favor of a warm r&b bounce.
25. GFRIEND – WATER FLOWER
A blending of their girlish pop sound with punchy rock influences, powering an addictively catchy, multi-pronged hook.
24. B1A4 – MELANCHOLY
A classic power pop track with electronic ornamentation that takes the band down a slightly more experimental route. (full review)
23. DAY6 – FIRST TIME
A grand rock sing-along that powerfully opened their most recent mini album. This is the reason k-pop needs more idol bands!
22. BTOB – YES I AM
A rousing pop anthem delivered by one of k-pop’s most talented vocal groups. It would have made a tremendous single. (full review)
21. SNUPER – YES OR NO
Another effortlessly fun example of Sweetune and Snuper’s synergy, highlighted by its propulsive 80’s beat and swirling chorus. (full review)