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.
Make sure to check out the rest of the countdown first!
Day One: 50-41
Day Two: 40-31
Day Three: 30-21
20. Girls’ Generation – All Night
Celebrating their tenth anniversary in style, All Night gave Girls’ Generation a giant rush of pure pop bliss. Its disco-kissed bounce managed to feel sleek and riotous at the same time, cementing their place as modern k-pop’s leading girl group. (full review)
19. EXID – DDD
After testing out several shifts in style, EXID returned to the boisterous dance funk they do best. If DDD‘s repeating vocal riff doesn’t get you, that immense chorus will. In a year full of cute and innocent concepts, it’s a welcome dose of hot-blooded club excess. (full review)
18. Akdong Musician – Dinosaur
Akdong Musician have long been one of k-pop’s most creative acts, but by fusing EDM to their quirky songwriting style, Dinosaur pushed their sound to new levels. Suhyun’s brilliantly simple flute-like vocal hook was among the year’s most memorable. (full review)
17. Rainz – Juliette
Proving that your name didn’t have to be “Wanna One” to share a slice of the massive Produce 101 success, Rainz smartly paired up with producer Ryan Jhun for the addictive 80’s synth-funk of Juliette. (full review)
16. ONF – On/Off
ONF established their sound right out of the gate, debuting with a quirky blend of percussive electro pop and flourishes of dramatic vocal hooks. On/Off‘s experimental structure hit the sweet spot between sing-along pop and thrilling unpredictability. (full review)
15. Super Junior – Black Suit
After over two years away, Super Junior cobbled together its available members for a distillation of their most successful sounds. Black Suit pulses with an undeniable sense of good-natured fun, bolstered by its hooky brass riff. (full review)
14. Pentagon – Pretty Pretty
Though it was relegated to follow-up promotions rather than full title track, Pretty Pretty offered a glimpse at Pentagon’s poppy side. The song is as straightforward as can be, but with a chorus as punchy and euphoric as this, its limited ambition hardly matters. (full review)
13. B1A4 – Rollin’
Twisting the year’s tropical trend to fit within B1A4‘s classic power pop sound, Rollin‘ proved that the sub-genre could be transformed into something grand and affecting with the right blend of bombastic instrumentation and shout-along hook. (full review)
12. G-Dragon – Untitled, 2014
The year’s most searing piano ballad, and a testament to G-Dragon‘s enduring artistry. By pulling the veil away from his charismatic hip-hop persona, Untitled revealed an even more compelling performer underneath. (full review)
11. BLACKPINK – As If It’s Your Last
BLACKPINK may have only released one (!) song this year, but it was a doozy. By merging their dual sounds into one celebratory summer anthem, the girls delivered their most addictive hit yet. (full review)
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I actually don’t think EXID’s “DDD” was the best representation of their musical shifts that was conveyed in the best manner. “DDD” seems reminiscent of title tracks in which they do have a very strong chorus vocally speaking and the build-up is the same on “DDD” as their past title tracks. I would say perhaps “Boy” is a better representation of the musical shifts because they have Hyelim taking on Solji’s role and roles within the group are shifted because of Solji’s hiatus. Nonetheless, good article.
Maybe not a great representation of a musical shift, but its big pop hook and insistent beat brought me back after being a bit underwhelmed by their more recent material.