One fourth of a quartet of game-changing first generation k-pop boybands that also includes H.O.T, Sechs Kies and Shinhwa, g.o.d quickly established their signature blend of funk and balladry. In many ways, their sound and success became the framework for what would eventually become JYP Entertainment. Though they promoted together for six years before a long hiatus, nine out of ten tracks on my countdown are from what I would consider their “golden age” between 1999-2001.
10. Saturday Night (2014)
A funk-driven return to form after nearly a decade away, Saturday Night provides a burst of late career fun that proved g.o.d could still keep up with the many acts they inspired.
9. Road (2001)
Driven by a thunder of bass drums and hushed r&b beat, Road alternates between rapid-fire verses and an emotionally cathartic chorus.
8. Lie (2000)
Lie kicks off sounding like the Korean version of I Believe I Can Fly, but soon pulls back for a hushed, gorgeously harmonized hook that packs a sentimental punch.
7. To Mother (1999)
The earliest example of g.o.d’s knack for a surprisingly disarming r&b ballad, To Mother melds an affecting chorus to hip-hop verses that crackle with authenticity.
6. Friday Night (1999)
Not a promotional single in the strictest sense, but Friday Night‘s bass-heavy, party-starting funk has become such an iconic part of g.o.d’s discography that it had to be included.
5. Sky Blue Balloon (2000)
Everyone loves a big singalong, and they don’t get much catchier than Sky Blue Balloon‘s euphoric ode to g.o.d’s fan base. It’s a cuter sound than the group is known for, but there’s simply no denying that sticky synth piano riff.
4. I Need You (2000)
I Need You gallops forward on an aggressively rhythmic sense of propulsion, fueling its sleek chorus and nimble injection of insistent hip-hop.
3. Observation (1999)
Living up to their acronym “Groove OverDose,” g.o.d debuted with this effortlessly funky dance track. It’s still one of their best moments, riding on an addictive blend of squiggly synths and rhythm guitar.
2. The Place Where You Need To Be (2001)
Driven by the group’s most iconic English-language refrain, The Place Where You Need To Be fuses g.o.d’s funk influences with big, glossy pop power. But its potent instrumental breakdown and engagingly brisk chorus ensure that it forges an unforgettable identity of its own.
1. One Candle (2000)
Perhaps the most memorable and unique track in g.o.d’s discography, One Candle takes a full-on gospel approach, blending impassioned verses with the rousing melody at the song’s heart. The addition of a choir during Candle‘s second half really elevates the track into something that goes beyond what we’d usually consider “k-pop.” It’s the perfect marriage between genre and artist, and a rightful standout of its era.