Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it! In honor of the holiday, I thought I’d unwrap K-pop’s 2019 slate of seasonal songs. Whether they’ll soundtrack your holiday gatherings or not, here’s my ranking of nine of this year’s offerings.
9. Jung Seung Hwan – My Christmas Wish
A whisper of a song by one of K-pop’s leading new-gen balladeers, My Christmas Wish is pretty but melodically slight.
8. Lee Mi Dam x Jung Myong Hoon – Hello Christmas
A surprisingly downbeat, jazzy affair from this young duo. The song doesn’t bring anything new to the holidays, but feels well-suited to lounging by the fireplace.
7. Moonbyul – Snow
Though Snow finds Moonbyul (mostly) singing rather than rapping, it’s an otherwise bland piano-led mid-tempo that kicks things up a bit during its second half.
6. Park Bom x Sandara Park – The First Snow
An oddly downbeat winter piano ballad, The First Snow’s best selling point is the opportunity to hear these two nostalgic voices together again. (full review)
5. The Boyz – White
This is a cover of the classic single by 90’s girl group Fin.K.L. Honestly, I’ve never been all that hot on the original despite its status within the industry. The Boyz’ version retains the same festive cheer, but is otherwise skippable.
4. Kim Heechul x Lee Soo Geun – White Winter
Watch the video for the silliness (and ITZY!). The song itself has the requisite holiday trappings and Heechul’s gorgeous vocals, but is pretty lightweight. Even so, it’s still one of the year’s better wintry offerings.
3. Ailee – Sweater
A perfectly comfortable pop ballad, Sweater succeeds largely on the strength of Ailee’s vocals. It’s worthy of adding to any holiday playlist, though it’s not the kind of song I’d seek out all that often.
2. Brand New Music – Melting
This year is short on upbeat holiday offerings, but the Brand New Music crew bring a welcome sense of joy to the season with Melting’s boundless energy.
1. NCT U – Coming Home
The best r&b ballad of the season, powered by NCT U’s dynamite roster of vocalists and producer Yoo Young-Jin’s stirring composition. (full review)