The end of the year countdowns are here! We’re kicking 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.
To be eligible for this top 50 list, songs must have had a Korean release as a title or promotional track between Dec. 1st, 2016 and Nov. 30th, 2017.
Curious about last year’s countdown? Check out the masterpost here!
50. Twice – Likey
After two singles away from producers Black Eyed Pilseung, Twice came roaring back with the endlessly playful Likey. That thundering instrumental alone deserves a place on this list. (full review)
49. GFriend – Love Whisper
Initially, Love Whisper‘s reversion to safe sounds made it a huge disappointment. But the song quickly became perfectly suited to the hazy days of late summer, blossoming into one of this year’s biggest growers. (full review)
48. B.A.P – Wake Me Up
In a year that often felt like a descent into dystopian fiction, Wake Me Up was a dramatic rallying cry. It’s B.A.P‘s strongest single of 2017, with a potent gut punch of a chorus. (full review)
47. N.Flying – The Real
Just when it seemed as if N.Flying had been left for dead, the injection of Produce 101‘s Yoo Hwe-seung proved the catalyst for their best comeback yet — the goofy pop-rock jolt of August’s The Real. (full review)
46. Dreamcatcher – Chase Me
In one of k-pop’s most dramatic reinventions, girl group MINX reformed as the mighty, rock-infused Dreamcatcher. Chase Me was a dynamite debut, throwing down the gauntlet with a heavy metal dance assault. (full review)
45. Nine Muses – Remember
Challenging a more sinister sound, the remaining members of veteran group Nine Muses found the sweet spot with Remember. Its slow-burn verses are stuffed with claustrophobic atmosphere, but the sledgehammer chorus is the real star. (full review)
44. KARD – Hola Hola
KARD were one of k-pop’s biggest international stories this year, and Hola Hola‘s upbeat EDM sound evolved their tropical pop just enough to hint at more exciting things to come. (full review)
43. Highlight – Can Be Better
Beast‘s re-branding as Highlight proved to be more successful than anyone could have imagined. Their “debut” Plz Don’t Be Sad may have received the bulk of the 2017 love, but the rockier power pop of Can Be Better improved on the formula. (full review)
42. Winner – Really Really
Tropical pop was the year’s biggest trend, and Winner‘s Really Really was the catalyst for its ubiquity. For that alone, I should despise this track. But in addition to being one of 2017’s biggest hits, it also stands as a high water mark for the entire sub-genre. (full review)
41. JJ Project – Today, Tomorrow
As GOT7 continued to stray from the sound of their debut year, sub-unit JJ Project proved that sometimes two members can be just as potent as seven. Today, Tomorrow‘s ultra-melodic heft hinted at a newfound sense of musical maturity for the duo. (full review)
God there was so much trop house this year it actually feels like it was already everywhere before Really Really happened…but I think you’re right, it’s success surely breathed even more life into the trend and extended its longevity all the way through to the end of the year. Hey kpop, let’s cleanly leave that sound inside the confines of 2017, shall we?
Looking forward to the next part!
You’re right. I distinctly remember talking about how sick I was of trop pop at the beginning of this year.
But then again, I’m not the typical listener, since I basically go out of my way to seek out every single k-pop track that gets released. I don’t think the casual k-pop audience fully embraced the genre until springtime… which was well past its expiration date (in my opinion).
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