This is always a difficult list to form. After all, there are way more b-sides than singles to choose from each year, and with K-pop’s love of promoting genre trends, the most interesting music is often hidden within albums that not every listener bothers to check out.
Today and tomorrow, I’ll be counting down my top 40 b-sides and album tracks of 2019. As always, this list could have easily been tripled in length! As it stands, I already have a large selection of honorable mentions.
GFriend – La Pam Pam
GOT7 – Page
IZ*ONE – Hey. Bae. Like. It.
Nu’est – Bass
ONEUS – Eye Contact
ONF – Asteroid
Taemin – Exclusive
Twice – Get Loud
Twice – Hot
U-Know – Blue Jeans
+ Make sure to check out the rest of the year-end countdowns here!
40. OH MY GIRL – VOGUE
A catwalk-ready pulse of attitude-driven electro pop that pushed Oh My Girl’s sound to new levels. (full review)
39. JEONG SEWOON – LOVE IN FALL
A classic pop song with a killer melody and addictive, EDM-assisted hook. (full review)
38. WINNER – MOLA
An upending of Winner’s typical sound, pounding with exciting percussion and a dynamic techno backdrop. (full review)
37. VERIVERY – GET READY
A rollicking burst of brass-kissed funk pop, harnessing VERIVERY’s boundless energy and youthful enthusiasm. (full review)
36. BTS – DIONYSUS
A revival of BTS’s classic hip-hop meets rock sound, with added theatricality and a double-time climax to die for.
35. COSMIC GIRLS (WJSN) – LUCKITTY-CAT
An extremely funky burst of perky dance-pop, spinning energy from every direction as it gallops toward its standout chorus.
34. X1 – LIKE ALWAYS
A breezy, upbeat pop track with a knockout chorus that hits at breakneck speed. (full review)
33. SEVENTEEN – BACK IT UP
A hard-hitting club track courtesy of Seventeen’s hip-hop team, forgoing trendy genre tropes in favor of a thumping electro beat.
32. ATEEZ – WIN
A hype anthem powered by calypso drum beats and ATEEZ’s unwavering confidence. (full review)
31. RED VELVET – BING BING
A rhythmic treat, powered by addictive guitar and funky bass that gives the group plenty to chew on. (full review)
30. SEVENTEEN – LUCKY
A Seventeen and Monotree collaboration that sounds just as slick and propulsive as you’d imagine. (full review)
29. KIM JAEHWAN – DESIGNER
A vibrant funk throwback that proved Kim Jaehwan a real showman, equally comfortable with party-starting pop as he is with ballads. (full review)
28. ONF – ALL DAY
An exuberant burst of upbeat tropical pop, soaring on anthemic refrains and a palpable sense of joy. (full review)
27. COSMIC GIRLS (WJSN) – YOU GOT
A slice of sophisticated synth-pop that married sly hooks to a gorgeous blend of retro electronics. (full review)
26. ONEUS – RED THREAD
A dramatic EDM ballad with a cathartic beat drop and gorgeous, vocal-led build that harnesses the incredible power of a strong pop melody. (full review)
25. ATEEZ – PROMISE
An anthemic take on ATEEZ’s core sound, pulsing with bright synth textures that build to a showstopper of a chorus. (full review)
24. GOLDEN CHILD – COMPASS
A synth-driven melodic mid-tempo that has a timeless quality, perfectly matched to Golden Child’s impressive range of vocal tones and timbres. (full review)
23. THE BOYZ – CLOVER
A tightly layered burst of sunny dance-pop, in which production team e.one work their ethereal magic over a killer chorus. (full review)
22. ONEUS – BINGBING
An atmospheric brew of dynamic instrumental touches, from a whistling hook to pounding percussion and assertive synths. (full review)
21. ATEEZ – HALA HALA
An attention-grabbing hype track, harnessing the energy of glam rock with the power of hard-hitting EDM hip-hop.
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Yes! WJSN indeed released a lot of memorable b-sides and somehow you covered a lot of them already! Anticipating WW and Oh! My Summer in the next one! Also, happy Oh My Girl made it!
Pingback: The Top 40 K-Pop Album Tracks & B-Sides of 2019 (Part Two: 20-1) | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion
2019 was an incredibly [insert dramatic adjective here] year making it one that I’ll never forget, but at times wish that I could. Despite the psychological/emotional impact of the past twelve months, there has been two firsts for me.
A: This is the first year, in my decade with K-Pop, that rookie groups have impacted me more than established groups. This is partly due to the fact that most of my 1st and 2nd gen groups have slipped from endangered to extinct. Additionally, I personally think the 3rd gen acts haven’t been carrying their weight. There are, of course, exceptions. If I had to give a crown to one 3rd gen group, then it goes to WJSN. Oh My Girl, Red Velvet, and TWICE all sort of tie for second place. CLC, Dreamcatcher, (G)I-dle takes third. Don’t even ask me where groups such as Apink, April, Gugudan, LOOΠΔ, etc. have been.
B: This is the first year that b-sides have commanded more of my play time than title tracks on most releases. I don’t think this is because my expectations have changed; mainly because my tastes vary so much that you could loose an arrow in any direction and you’re bound to at least graze one of my targets. It could be due to hit or miss experimentation, scandals that have left many agencies scrambling, or a general uncertainty in the industry. Either way, 2019 has been, umm.. ..yeah.
If there has been one pleasant, but unexpected aspect of 2019, it’s that girl groups seem to be getting more coverage here on The Bias List. I know they’ll never usurp the boys, but it nice to see them getting more time in the spotlight.
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