The end of the year countdowns are finally here! As always, things kick off with the big one… The Bias List’s top 50 songs of the year! Each day this week, I’ll be counting down ten of the year’s best, until number one is revealed on Friday.
To be eligible for this top 50 list, songs must have had a Korean release as a title or promotional track between Dec. 1st, 2018 and Nov. 30th, 2019.
Curious about last year’s countdown? Check out the masterpost here!
30. Youngjae – Forever Love
A dark horse candidate for this list, B.A.P’s Youngjae came out of nowhere with a confident EDM dance track that generated (and sustained) the kind of anthemic energy that has been missing from so many recent offerings of this genre. (full review)
29. AB6IX – Breathe
My biggest grower of the year, Breathe won me over in a big way thanks to its slick, fashionable chorus and hooky verses. It may not be unique among K-pop’s endless supply of deep house inspired fare, but AB6IX brought an undeniable polish and personality to the genre. (full review)
28. ONF – We Must Love
ONF took the top spot in last year’s countdown, but tumble a few ranks with We Must Love. This shouldn’t discount the song’s dynamic energy, which pushes the group in angstier directions without sacrificing the pop melodies of their best work. (full review)
27. DAY6 – Time Of Our Life
DAY6 can cast off an anthem with the best of them, and Time Of Our Life is as festival-ready as any rock track this year. Over a driving drumbeat, the guys belt to the rafters, relishing the opportunity to deliver a galvanizing slice of good old fashioned power pop. (full review)
26. Pentagon – Sha La La
Pentagon’s sound has encompassed many iterations over the years, but the propulsive dance-floor pulse of Sha La La may just fit them best. They were the first of many boy groups to tackle this style in 2019, and set expectations sky high. (full review)
25. SuperM – Jopping
As addictive as it is ridiculous, Jopping‘s the rare concession to Western audiences that actually works. That’s a testament to its confident sense of goofiness and embrace of the classic SMP sound that powered so many first and second generation K-pop acts. (full review)
24. AB6IX – Blind For Love
Blind For Love isn’t all that different from Breathe, but AB6IX one-upped themselves by keeping the tempo high and filling the track with a series of sneaky hooks. That chunky house piano that supports each post-chorus is an inspired touch. (full review)
23. Golden Child – Wannabe
I dreaded the day that Golden Child’s music would take a darker turn, but the guys proved me wrong with a very Infinite-esque slow-burn that twisted some of my least favorite musical tropes in interesting (and catchy) directions. Their slick, commanding performance seals the deal. (full review)
22. VERIVERY – Tag Tag Tag
VERIVERY were at their 2019 best when releasing songs with three-word titles, and Tag Tag Tag matured their new jack swing style just enough to hint at funkier horizons. It’s a track with irresistible energy, stuffed full of charismatic turns and bright rookie energy. (full review)
21. Cosmic Girls (WJSN) – Boogie Up
The more cosmic that Cosmic Girls go, the better. However, the buoyant Boogie Up is an exception to that rule. Kicking off the summer music season with aplomb, the track’s synth-disco hook is about as carefree and spirited as you can get. (full review)