It’s time to flash back seven years to 2012, an era of huge choruses, thumping dance beats and an endless supply of sci-fi influenced music videos. 2012’s charms were endless, but here are fifty of the absolute best singles.
To be eligible for this top fifty list, songs must have had a Korean release as a title or promotional track between Jan. 1st and Dec. 31st, 2012.
50. Spica – I’ll Be There
Bounding with a sunny pop vibe, I’ll Be There wrote a new page in Spica’s book. It’s one of the catchiest tracks in their arsenal, riding on a propulsive, singalong hook and throwback, synthesized dance beat.
49. G-Dragon – That XX
It’s rare for G-Dragon to sing an entire song, and even here his vocals are a mix of melody and hip-hop. But his impish, emotive tone raises That XX far above similar ballads.
48. Nine Muses – News
One of the group’s more conventional sounding K-pop singles, but its potent melody and propulsive synth production make it anything but forgettable.
47. 4minute – Volume Up
Pulsing with a gorgeous saxophone riff, Volume Up builds to tremendous heights as it transforms into an all-out dance floor assault. It’s flawlessly produced, and that chorus absolutely soars.
46. B.A.P – Warrior
B.A.P burst out of the gate with the combative energy of Warrior. It’s a total statement of intent, from its stadium whistles to the thundering, militant hook.
45. F.Cuz – No.1
Thriving on 2012’s fascination with bombastic electro-pop, No. 1’s hard-hitting, staccato refrain frames a robust production that climaxes in a powerful, gorgeously layered chorus.
44. BTOB – Wow
Wow brings a heavy dose of funk and sharply updates the new jack swing genre with stabs of guitar and a dynamic, loose drum beat. BTOB have rarely sounded like they were having as much fun as they are here.
43. G-Dragon – Crayon
An insanely quotable explosion of candy-colored hip hop. It’s impossible to fully separate from its bonkers cartoonish music video, but that climactic, chorused refrain stands on its own.
42. T-ara – Sexy Love
It’s all about the jerky, corrugated beat that underlines Sexy Love‘s verses in dynamic fashion. The rest of the song plays like a variation on many of T-ara’s past singles, but by now they’d perfected the art of goofy pop awesomeness.
41. Apink – Hush
Hush represents a perfectly calibrated sugar rush of pop hooks and propulsive production. It deftly balances Apink’s cutesy image with weightier electronic dance aspects, resulting in their most addictive and populist single.
NEXT: NUMBERS 40-31