This is one of those features I’ve been wanting to tackle for years now. In many ways, the singles of 2012 set the standard I measure all future and past K-pop against. Song for song, it was the pinnacle of so much that I love about Korean music. It was a year of gargantuan choruses, wall-of-sound vocal bombast and musical excess. 2012 rarely did subtle. 2012 was in the business of crafting epic sounds.
As EDM began to sink its teeth into the global pop scene, and western stars like Lady Gaga and One Direction continued to lead a resurgence of megawatt melodies, K-pop found itself twisting those trends into innovative, genre-defying anthems. There was certainly an eye towards international audiences, urged along by PSY’s monster hit Gangnam Style, but the industry was not yet held captive by western trends. 2012’s slate of thrilling singles harnessed a uniquely K-pop energy that seemed to draw upon decades of influence.
This countdown will be structured the same as my year-end lists, but could have easily stretched far beyond fifty tracks. I’d consider the majority of these songs to be “top ten” worthy in many other years, with a generous handful of “number one” quality tracks at the top of the list that just happen to be some of my favorite songs of all time.
Before the countdown kicks off tomorrow, here’s a healthy dose of honorable mentions — many of which were incredibly difficult to leave off of the main list.
But that’s 2012. It was an embarrassment of riches, and truly a watershed year for K-pop.
This couldn’t have been better!
Awww Spica’s Russian Roulette didn’t even make it to the top 100. That’s one of my personal favourites. They debuted with a bang with that (at least for me).
Definitely in the top 100… just not quite in the top 50.
But like I said, there were so many excellent tracks I had to leave off the list. 2012 was *that* strong.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Wow… Lovey-Dovey, Touch, Flashback and Roussian Roulette are not in the top 50? I get that 2012 was *the* golden year but those songs are bops. I’m excited to see what songs you consider the best!
(I also have a blog where I talk about k-pop, but I’m Brazilian so everything’s in Portuguese lol)
I’m pretty sure songs from 2012 almost singlehandedly got me into kpop. “Touch” is one of my favorites of all time, so you better have some relevatory content in your top 50!
I fully expect arguments and disagreements! How could there not be when assessing such a strong year?
With that said, any of these honorable mentions probably would have made it into my top 50 of the past couple years.
Doradora was one of my favorite songs of that year and one of U-KISS’ best imo. I’m expecting to see Stop Girl on here but not Believe which I also love but most people aren’t fans of. Sea of Moonlight is such a fun pre-debut song as well, hoping to see Fiestar’s actual debut on here! 2012 is my favorite year of kpop as well so I’m so excited!
All fantastic songs and easily part of my long list, but none quite made it into my top 50. Hopefully you won’t be disappointed! (I’m with you in preferring Believe over Stop Girl, btw)