Feature

Top Three K-Pop Songs of September 2019

Monthly Round-UpAt 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.


September 2019 Overall Thoughts

So… I don’t actually have a “top three songs” of September.

I mean, I picked three songs out of necessity, but none were the kind of standouts that will make waves on any of my end-of-year countdowns. Other than the notoriously-dry December, this is the first time this has happened since I started The Bias List. July and August might have been underwhelming, but at least each month had a few highlights I could point to.

I’m sure everyone is getting tired of hearing me say things like this (god knows I am…), but September was probably the most uninspiring month for K-pop I can remember. My monthly cumulative rating hasn’t been this low since March of 2016 — but at least that month gave us classics like Snuper’s Platonic Love and Oh My Girl’s Liar Liar. Honestly, the way this K-pop summer has gone, I’m kind of numb to the disappointment. I only get really irritated when I realize that the industry has essentially pissed away a third of the year now.

If it wasn’t for strong albums by Seventeen and Twice, I’d be happy to write September off entirely. It was a long, boring, barren month. The Chuseok-driven hiatus seemed to last longer than normal this year, all but clearing the K-pop schedule for the first two weeks. Instead of my actual top three picks, I like to imagine an alternative timeline where album tracks and special singles had been promoted. In that case, I could’ve had a solid top three with:

1. Dreamcatcher – Silent Night
2. Seventeen – Back It Up / Lucky
3. Dongkiz – Dreaming You

But alas, this was not meant to be. Just look at my tiny honorable mentions list! We’re in unprecedented territory, folks. Dark days, indeed.

The good news in all of this is that there’s no way October could be worse than September. Even with just the releases already scheduled, that feat would require multiple heavy hitters to all make severely underwhelming comebacks. Looking back at the past few months, I wouldn’t put anything past the K-pop industry in 2019, but this situation still seems unlikely.

I hope.

Month Cumulative Rating: 7.1

(compiled by averaging the scores of every K-pop review from this month)


J-Pop Worth Your Time

Hara – Midnight Queen (review)

Honorable Mentions

AKMU – How Can I Love The Heartbreak, You’re The One I Love (review)

Dreamcatcher – Deja Vu (review)

We Girls – Ride (review)


TOP THREE SONGS

3. Seventeen – Fear (review)

2. CLC – Devil (review)

1. Twice – Feel Special (review)


Top Three K-Pop Songs Of August 2019

Top Three K-Pop Songs Of July 2019

Top Three K-Pop Songs Of June 2019

Top Three K-Pop Songs Of May 2019

Top Three K-Pop Songs Of April 2019

Top Three K-Pop Songs Of March 2019

2016-2019 Archive Here

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14 thoughts on “Top Three K-Pop Songs of September 2019

  1. Everyone waited to have a comeback in October and it’s going to be overwhelming.
    September was so quiet and dull tbh. I agree SVT and Dreamcatcher’s albums are the standouts.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yeah. This month was almost 30 straight days of “where’s the beef?” In addition to what you’ve listed, these other songs dropped:

    – Saturday “BByong” – Meh, 6?
    – LABOUM “Firework” – Bleh. 5.5?
    – Bolbbalgan4 “Workaholic” – Eh, 6.5?

    It could be worse. I remember when I first got into K-Pop and the playing field was no where near as populated. Less than 10 groups I liked, so I was lucky if something outstanding dropped from any of them every other month. I think we’ve all become spoiled now that K-Pop is a crowded stage on a busy street. Bring on OCTOBER! {fingers crossed}

    Like

    • Yes, K-pop releases used to be more sparse, but I’d argue that the overall quality was probably higher. Plus, when I first got into K-pop there was so much backlog to discover that it felt like an overwhelming candyland of fantastic songs.

      Bring on October!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This year in kpop in general has been so underwhelming. I complained about 2018 a lot but at least last year has standout tracks and songs that aged well. 2019… well… However, the boring, insipid commercial hit ballads take the cake for me as the worst musical releases of 2019, with very, very few exceptions. The EDM and tropical beat trend is already passed tiring but at least I don’t get bored to death.

    I miss those old days when the charts were topped with good, upbeat songs, back when South Korea had good taste.

    October will definitely be better with all the groups that are coming back just in time for award season. The problem is that the month will be so packed, they could’ve moved many come backs to September instead. God, I want this year to end already.

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    • Yeah, the ballads can kindly leave. They used to be contained to the winter months, but this year they’ve been omnipresent on the charts. Idol groups are having a much harder time penetrating the digital landscape, unfortunately.

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  4. I was wondering if you have ever considered doing a “top 10 kpop debut songs” or “top 10 kpop boy group/girl group” list. I think it would be interesting and entertaining considering how boring this year has been for the industry.

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  5. I go away for a few days of R&R and return to 11 reviews posted? good god. And it was a quiet month too.

    OK Sept 2019, I got:
    1) Akmu – the whole album. So good.
    2) bollbbaalllggann “Workaholic”
    3) 3YE OOOM. Out of my mind. Hey, somehow this teeny tiny group has 1.5m views on youtube, which is more than some of our favorites we gush about here. Plus it is like Billie Eilish, but a lot happier than Billie Eilish. I mean, I can only listen to Billie for so long before I am really truly in a mood. So this is a little dollop of the BE on the kpop ice cream cone, but not too much.

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  6. Boy, I thought nothing could be as bad as July. I wish I hadn’t been proven wrong.

    I guess my top three would be:

    3. Workaholic – Bubblegum 4 (the instrumental’s pretty)
    2. Deja Vu – Dreamcatcher (feels almost like a video game soundtrack. the modulation is gold, though I still haven’t written a comment about it yet)
    1. Devil – CLC (I found myself listening to this one a lot? and forgetting that it was a September release until now?)

    Special shoutout to the AKMU album. Not a huge fan of the title, but the album? *chefs kiss*

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    • It’s funny because Deja Vu actually is a tie-in release with some mobile role playing game that just came out called King’s Raid

      Like

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