At the end of each month, I look back at my three favorite title tracks by K-pop artists. I take my own ratings into account, but there’s a bit of wiggle room as certain songs tend to grow or fade.
January 2019 Overall Thoughts
Last year, January bucked expectations and became my favorite musical month of 2018. These past four weeks didn’t quite hit those same heights, but it was still a solid kick-off for 2019.
As usual, the release slate wasn’t as stacked as heavy-hitter months like July or November. However, January saw new material from many Bias List favorites. Astro and GFriend unveiled a full album each, and both were very strong. Seventeen proved yet again that they can take any genre and make it their own. Yet, all of these acts just missed out on my top three.
Instead, my top songs were delivered by newer groups with refreshing energy. It was a great month for debuts. 2019 seems poised to usher in a new generation of acts who will (hopefully) upend some of the stagnant trends we’ve been hearing over the past few years.
It was incredibly hard to rank my top songs, which led to a Bias List first. In three years of these monthly round-ups, I’ve never had a tie. But, I couldn’t justify leaving either of my “number three” tracks off the list. And if you’ve been following my reviews this month, you’ll probably be surprised by both entries. Never underestimate a K-pop grower!
Truthfully, there’s very little room between these four songs, and there were at least three or four additional releases that could have easily pushed themselves into the top rankings. That’s a testament to a month with no real standout, but plenty of 8.5/8.75-rated successes. Time will tell how things eventually sort themselves out. Looking back, two of my top ten K-pop singles of 2018 came from last January. I don’t see any of this month’s song’s threatening that position, but I do think there will be a handful that make it into the top 50.
Some exciting things seem to be on the horizon for February, so I remain cautiously optimistic (as always!).
Month Cumulative Rating: 7.7
(compiled by averaging the scores of every K-pop review from this month)
J-Pop (and C-Pop!) Worth Your Time
IZ*ONE – Suki to Iwasetai (review)
Pentagon – Cosmo (review)
Red Velvet – Sappy (review)
Snuper – Weekend Secret (review)
V6 – Super Powers (review)
WayV (NCT) – Dream Launch (review)
Apink – %% (review)
Astro – All Night (review)
Cherry Bullet – Q&A (review)
CLC – No (review)
Favorite – Loca (review)
GFriend – Sunrise (review)
IMFACT – Only U (review)
NeonPunch – TicToc (review)
Seventeen – Home (review)
Shaun – Bad Habits (review)
TOP THREE SONGS
2. ONEUS – Valkyrie (review)
1. VERIVERY – Ring Ring Ring (review)