It’s the week of Lunar New Year, which means new K-pop releases will be few and far between. That makes this the perfect time to go back a few years and celebrate highlights of days past. Following up on last year’s countdown of my Top 50 Songs of 2012, The Bias List is tackling 2013!
I often credit 2012 as my favorite year in K-pop, but I think that 2013 was its most consistently strong. What little trends there were (I’m looking at you, dubstep) were overshadowed by a daring sense of experimentalism. Buoyed by the massive global success of 2012’s Gangnam Style, 2013 felt like the year that K-pop confidently pushed itself into the world. But, it was not yet held captive by western trends. It presented itself in a big, ballsy way.
This was a high-concept, musically diverse period. Hip-hop hadn’t yet taken over, and melody was still king. Instrumentals aimed for the rafters of stadiums, bringing in explosive guitar, sledgehammer beats and bombastic electro riffs. Songs played around with structure in artful, unexpected ways, often polarizing opinion before unveiling themselves as future classics.
This countdown will be structured the same as my year-end lists, with ten tracks highlighted each day. Like 2012, even the lower half of the list is full of music that could have threatened my top ten in weaker years. The same could be said about these honorable mentions, which I had an incredibly hard time whittling down. There are at least fifteen more that could’ve been included, so imagine how tight my criteria for the actual Top 50 list was!
I think Roy Kim’s Bom Bom Bom was one of the first kpop songs I downloaded along with some GD and BAP tracks.
I think at some point I’ll have to get into 2NE1’s discography just so I can understand why they were so popular. I don’t think I ever understood the hype behind them. I hate I Am The Best and the chorus of Falling In Love is catchy but that’s about it…
Have you listened to I Love You? IMO it’s 2NE1’s best single.
I hadn’t but I have now. It’s alright; I don’t dislike it but I don’t particularly like it either. Thanks for the suggestion though. I guess the style just isn’t for me.
G R O W L
I think I can already guess most of your top 10, especially your top pick, but since songs like No No No and Gun were in the honourable mentions im stoked to see which songs made it in to your top 50. Really hoping I get to see B.A.P’s One Shot or Besties Love options (one of my absolute fav songs of all time) in here somewhere
It kills me that Bestie only promoted for such a short period, and even then, their company never really committed much to them. But even in spite of all that, they wracked up a decent amount of popularity, a Golden Disc Award, and then just poof. Gone. So much lost potential…
omg i’m so excited!! 2013 was the first full year i was a fan of kpop so this will be such a trip for me
i’m so happy you mentioned flower by junhyung LOL that song has been wholly forgotten but i can never forget…
Honestly, it was on my top 50 list until the last minute, when another song just edged it out.
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Awesome! my guess was right!
Sad that standing still did not make the cut as love it and stop girl. 2013 was truly the year I began following K-Pop as my main music. I am pretty sure I know your top picks though, I guess I am right again!
An excellent year. In the western world, this was the year of both “Let It Go” and “What does the fox say”. Hi dee, hi dee, hi dee ho ….
For kpop, I have 40-some songs on my short list, and I have no idea quite yet how to rank them. But for honorable mention, I would like to shout out to Henry and Speed.
Henry released his first solo album inn 2013. Despite his many and varied talents, multiple languages, multiple instruments, songwriting skillz, SM didn’t have any faith with him and stocked his minialbum with milquetoast pop lite crafted by song camps. To add further insult to injury, SM also felt the need to bolster the debut solo single with cameos by both Kyuhyun and Taemin, and added Amber to one of the b-sides. Really, SM wasted his talents. I hope that he is faring better with his new agency, and is happy and healthy with his promotions.
Then there is SPEED. Another group that MBK managed to ruin. The MBK wiki page has far more “former groups” than current groups. (Speed is also known as the kpop group that had Zico’s brother Tae Woon as leader.) SPEED’s debut album “Superior Speed” is really quite good, one of the few kpop albums I just click go and listen through in its entirety. One or more of the songs on it will make my top list. “It’s Over” has this mellow electronic mid tempo vibe that lays down such a simple groove and is quite nice to listen to. Really, MBK, how did you manage to screw this up?
One final note: Roy Kim Bom Bom Bom – I may have put it higher than honorable mention. Love Love Love will definitely be in my top 10.
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Pingback: The Top 50 K-Pop Songs of 2013 (Day Two: 40-31) | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion
Pingback: The Top 50 K-Pop Songs of 2013 (Day Three: 30-21) | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion
Pingback: The Top 50 K-Pop Songs of 2013 (Day Four: 20-11) | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion
Pingback: The Top 50 K-Pop Songs of 2013 (Day Five: 10-1) | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion