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
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.