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
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With “Sexy Love” that’s two of my all time faves out of the way. What could be on the top end of this list? Well, I personally have no idea what #1 could be… it couldn’t possibly be a Sweetune-produced song that rhymes with “pacer”…?!
Speaking seriously, I think I have three of your top 10 with absolute certainty. There are many songs from 2012 that are undeniable classics, but who knows how this’ll shake out. I’m hyped to talk about classic second gen groups again! It sounds weird, but I don’t have the same attachment to any of the groups releasing really good songs in this era of kpop, even if the quality is the same. Most of my long-time faves are just about dead – especially on the girl group end – so this revival is fun. I don’t know if I could make a list because so many of my favorite songs ever come from 2012, but I’ll let you know my faves when they come up (and if they don’t!)
P.S. Russian Roulette > I’ll Be There
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Ha! Never has their been an easier number one to predict 🙂
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