2018 was a fantastic year when it came to album tracks. In fact, many of them were stronger (and more interesting) than their title track counterparts.
This makes for a very competitive top 40 list, as well as a host of honorable mentions. Honestly, I could’ve tripled the amount of honorable mentions and still had more songs left to spotlight.
Infinite – I Hate, Begin Again
Red Velvet – Mosquito
NCT Dream – 1, 2, 3
Monsta X – Destroyer
Twice – Sunset
ONF – Your Day
EXO-CBX – Off The Wall
2018 United Cube – One & Young
+ Make sure to check out the rest of the year-end countdowns here!
40. BOA – MANNISH CHOCOLAT
A pulsing burst of catchy deep house taken from BoA’s ninth Japanese album. (full review)
39. ALPHABAT – BLOCKBUSTER
A percussive thump of electro pop that hearkened back to the best of 2013’s experimental K-pop sound. (full review)
38. A.C.E – DESSERT
A grade-A take on tropical house trends, incorporating icy 80’s synths and an instrumental drop that didn’t totally suck.
37. UP10TION – BIG WAVE
A rollicking explosion of sing-along power pop, standing as the most memorable entry in the group’s growing Japanese discography. (full review)
36. CHUNGHA – CHERRY KISSES
A good old-fashioned pop track with a sweeping chorus and an assured performance that began to unlock more of Chungha’s enormous potential. (full review)
35. FROMIS_9 – 22nd CENTURY GIRL
An ultra-catchy stab at retro dance-pop, dialing down the group’s cuteness in favor of a refined melody and sterling instrumental. (full review)
34. GOLDEN CHILD – I SEE U
A strong reminder that tropical pop can still yield success if paired with a fantastic hook and solid vocal layering.
33. ATEEZ – TWILIGHT
A beguiling blend of flute-like synth hooks and gorgeous vocals, buoyed by a memorable chorus and warm instrumental breakdown.
32. SEVENTEEN – THINKIN’ ABOUT YOU
A summer single posing as a mid-winter album track, and a refinement of Seventeen’s sound at its most carefree and pop-informed. (full review)
31. KEY – GOOD GOOD
A charisma-dripping blend of funk guitar and pounding percussion, Good Good harnessed Key’s addictive attitude better than either of his singles.
30. GFRIEND – LOVE IS IN THE AIR
A robust blend of GFriend’s stellar vocals and a lush instrumental that layered strings upon strings for maximum pop potency. (full review)
29. TAEMIN – ECLIPSE
A throwback to the Taemin sound of 2014, Eclipse‘s driving chorus sets its sights toward the stars, radiating dancefloor-filling power. (full review)
28. TAEYANG – LOUDER
A suitably anthemic slice of pump-you-up pop that provided a soundtrack to the 2018 Olympics while recalling the stadium-filling material of pop legends past. (full review)
27. BLACKPINK – FOREVER YOUNG
An album track that feels more like the main single, Forever Young‘s tropical pop is trendy but unarguably addicting.
26. BOA – U&I
A rousing blast of 80’s-inspired dance pop that gave BoA plenty of space to show off her admirable range and undeniable allure. (full review)
25. SHINEE – CHEMISTRY
Another example of SHINee breathing new energy into a tired trend, Chemistry‘s tropical pop improves tenfold thanks to a knockout chorus and powerful vocal performance.
24. NCT 127 – REPLAY (PM 01:27)
An uncharacteristically straightforward shot of electro-pop, leveraging its slight hook with enough variation to make it an album standout. (full review)
23. DAY6 – FEELING GOOD
A breezy surge of throwback dance-rock that saw the guys aim straight for the pop jugular with energy-boosting success. (full review)
22. SHINEE – JUMP
An airy blend of retro electronics and tight pop songcraft, performed to perfection with an offhand sense of cool confidence. (full review)
21. SEVENTEEN – HOLIDAY
A concentrated barrage of Seventeen’s most upbeat charms, standing as the chart-conquering summer smash that never was. (full review)
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Feeling Good was a great track, and I’m loving how much SHINee there is here! Nice to see A.C.E making an appearance too 🙂
I’m not sure why, but I just couldn’t ever get into NCT’s Replay no matter how many times I listened to it. I just find it too repetitive, and it doesn’t quite make up for it as well as, say, Good Thing from their Limitless album.
Ah, my favorite countdown is here! This one’s always super interesting because your music taste is very similar to mine, but there tend to be a handful of songs on this list that are far from stellar to me. Even though I don’t typically rank songs, the order in which you put them is often pretty different from what I think I would have, though the actual songs are the same. This half of the list doesn’t conflict with my opinions at all, but a good number of them are songs I’ve never listened to. I’ll have to give them a shot and see if we’re still mostly in agreement!
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