The Top 50 K-Pop Songs of 2012 (Day Four: 20-11)

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.

PART ONESongs 50-41
PART TWOSongs 40-31
PART THREESongs 30-21

20. Super Junior – Sexy, Free & Single

Building on the successful template established by Sorry Sorry and Mr. SimpleSexy, Free & Single injected a fresh jolt of synth-splashed 80’s funk to craft a potent dance track that manages to overcome some truly cringe-worthy English lyrics through the power of its euphoric sound.

19. G-Dragon – One Of A Kind

Artists like GD exist on bravado, and none of his tracks represents this vibe better than One Of A Kind. Over a spare, elastic beat, he shows us exactly why he’s one of Korea’s most interesting rappers. The song holds surprises at every turn, anchored by the sheer force of his personality.

18. B1A4 – Baby Good Night

You’d be forgiven for mistaking Baby Good Night for the coolest children’s song ever. And it would suffer from this sense of juvenile hookiness if it wasn’t for that unshakable melody and bouncy, carefree production.

17. Block B – Nillili Mambo

With a thundering beat and symphonic samples, Nillili Mambo blasts out of the gate with unbridled energy. From the creative flow of the hip-hop verses to that explosion of a chorus, it’s a total party starter.

16. Boyfriend – Love Style

Take everything that was great about 80’s pop, throw it in a blender, and you’ve got Love Style. Each note, and every punchy rhythmic turn, could have functioned as a lesser song’s chorus.

15. Bigbang – Blue

With its seesaw synth and touches of acoustic guitar, Blue built on the mellow restraint of some of Bigbang’s best work, tethering it to a melody so limber and deceptively simple that it tends to sneak up on you.

14. EXO – What Is Love

Rather than clobber listeners with a high-octane dance track, EXO’s very first release spotlighted their inarguable vocal prowess. None of their slow jams have come close to bettering What Is Love‘s mysterious, downtempo funk.

13. B1A4 – Tried To Walk

Tried To Walk is B1A4 at their pensive best, and a sharp turn from the silliness of Baby Good Night. In some ways, it feels like the Bigbang hit that Bigbang never recorded, but that yearning hook is a lush Jinyoung composition through and through.

12. Kim Sungkyu – 60 Seconds

60 Seconds positions itself as the perfect blend of Infinite’s propulsive, melody-driven sound and Sungkyu’s modern rock edge. It’s so good that they re-recorded it in a full-group version, though the original remains the definitive option — especially if you enjoy a bit of idol-star angst.

11. Girl’s Day – Don’t Forget Me

Don’t Forget Me‘s glossy, propulsive production is flawlessly executed, but the pop music perfection of its yearning chorus seals the deal. This is a tears-on-the-dancefloor masterpiece, and one of the most underrated girl group tracks of any year.



4 thoughts on “The Top 50 K-Pop Songs of 2012 (Day Four: 20-11)

  1. Pingback: The Top 50 K-Pop Songs of 2012 (Day Three: 30-21) | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

  2. Pingback: The Top 50 K-Pop Songs of 2012 (Day Five: 10-1) | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

  3. “Blue” getting the love it deserves!!!! It may be one of the more understated BB singles, but it’s been a longtime fave of mine. “Don’t Forget Me” is also way underrated; I love seeing it at #11.


    • I love that you love Don’t Forget Me too! Honestly my favorite Girl’s Day track by a mile and probably one of my favorite girl group tracks of all time. That chorus just kills me.


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