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.
Following up from yesterday, I’m counting down my top 40 b-sides and album tracks of 2019. As always, this list could have easily been tripled in length!
20. THE BOYZ – COMPLETE ME
A funky blast of summertime synth pop, grooving on its chunky electro beat and addictive hook. (full review)
19. GOLDEN CHILD – NO MATTER WHAT
A new take on the hip-hop unit track, laying Jangjun and TAG’s personality-rich verses over an exciting EDM instrumental. (full review)
18. DONGKIZ – DREAMING YOU
A synth-kissed fan song with one of the year’s most buoyant, brass-assisted hooks. (full review)
17. DREAMCATCHER – OVER THE SKY
An anthemic burst of rock-and-piano driven power pop with a surging chorus to die for.
16. PENTAGON – SPRING SNOW
A rock reinvention for Pentagon, performed with a rollicking energy that harnesses the group’s amiable personality. (full review)
15. COSMIC GIRLS (WJSN) – WW
A funk-fueled blast of hard-hitting electro pop, perfecting Cosmic Girls’ e.one-assisted sound. (full review)
14. DAY6 – EMERGENCY
An experimental rush of quirky new wave, taking DAY6’s sound to unforeseen places while delivering a series of killer hooks.
13. ATEEZ – DANCING LIKE BUTTERFLY WINGS
A good old fashioned stadium rock anthem, delivered with all the aplomb of a dynamite idol group.
12. TXT – OUR SUMMER
A sun-kissed ode to to the summer season, driven by a melodic chorus and gorgeous vocal blend. (full review)
11. SUPERM – I CAN’T STAND THE RAIN
A ballsy hybrid of traditional and modern elements, powered by incredible percussion and striking performance. (full review)
10. COSMIC GIRLS (WJSN) – OH MY SUMMER
A convincing bid for ‘summer song of 2019,’ Oh My Summer picks up right where all those old Sistar classics left off. (full review)
9. ASTRO – 1 IN A MILLION
A return to the bright synth-fueled pop that made Astro such a force, with a propulsive chorus and relentlessly upbeat energy. (full review)
8. TXT – NEW RULES
A funky throwback track from the year’s most promising rookie, stuffed to the brim with inventive hooks and potent charisma . (full review)
7. GOLDEN CHILD – LATELY
A surging blast of guitar-and-strings dance pop, harnessing Golden Child’s impressive vocals over a hands-in-the-air, sing-along melody. (full review)
6. DREAMCATCHER – SILENT NIGHT
An icy, theatrical barrage of dynamic electronic elements and clobbering psy-trance, pulling Dreamcatcher’s already-exciting sound in new directions. (full review)
5. BTS – MIKROKOSMOS
A warm blend of lush synths and chugging, gently anthemic melodies that culminate in a transcendent chorus. (full review)
4. ATEEZ – UTOPIA
A glam-rock meets dance-pop explosion that funnels ATEEZ’s incredible energy into a streamlined, arena-ready anthem. (full review)
3. TXT – BLUE ORANGEADE
A brand-defining volley of inventive harmonies, retro percussion and unflagging rookie energy that still found room for a dynamic, addictive chorus.
2. GOLDEN CHILD – SHE’S MY GIRL
A throw-down-the-gauntlet moment for the group, who harnessed SHINee’s Sherlock-era funk pop for a mammoth pop showstopper that deserves an equally galvanizing live performance. (full review)
1. DAY6 – DEEP IN LOVE
A stirring attack of powerful arena rock, taking influence from the great anthems of the 80’s but never at the expense of DAY6’s own personality. It improves more and more the louder you crank the volume, bringing that chorused hook to pop nirvana. (full review)