Top Three K-Pop Songs of May 2020

Monthly Round-UpAt the end of each month, I look back at my three favorite title tracks by K-pop artists. I take my own ratings into account, but there’s a bit of wiggle room as certain songs tend to grow or fade.

May 2020 Overall Thoughts

Well… I’m officially worried.

We’re almost halfway through the year, and at this point it’s hard not to start imagining what an eventual end-of-year list might look like. By the end of May in 2019, we’d heard Miroh, Crown, Highway to Heaven, Dalla Dalla, Under Cover and Boy With Luv – with Wave and Side Effects waiting just around the corner. In 2018, we’d heard Good Evening, Lady, It’s U, Heroine, District 9, That Day, and Baby Don’t Stop – with Complete only days away. That’s eight out of my top ten songs each year. 80%! This year, I’ve got… maybe two?… songs that could threaten a top ten during a weak year.

2020’s been beyond weak. It’s been downright anemic. Disappointment after disappointment. Carbon copy after carbon copy. I’m beginning to wonder if everyone else is feeling the groove and I’m the odd one out, but I don’t think that’s the case. Overall, 2019 was very strong, and I came into this year optimistic. Just eight months ago I was handing out 9+ ratings like they were candy. I don’t think I’ve rated a K-pop title track above 8.75 since early March, with an endless surplus of “meh” 7’s and a worrying increase in 5’s and 6’s.

May should have been magnificent. We had so many comebacks from groups who’ve made my countdowns in the past. TXT, Astro, NCT, DAY6, Nu’est. Yet, none of these cracked my top three picks of the month. In fact, only one even made it to my honorable mentions! I’m honestly shocked.

Let’s talk about TXT for a moment. Going into May, they were by far my most anticipated comeback. They had two songs in my top five singles last year, and were an easy pick for my favorite 2019 rookie. Yet, Can’t You See Me has been the opposite of a grower for me. I didn’t love it on release day, but now there are parts I find so grating that I can hardly enjoy listening to it. Personally, I think this is the most egregious plummet in quality I’ve seen since starting this site, which is really sad. I’m hoping this can turn around later in the year, but for now their comeback has easily been my biggest disappointment of 2020.

My honorable mentions list looks pretty robust this month, but that’s only because there were so many songs released. However, I would like to point out a few growers. Moon Jongup’s Headache and Fanatics’ VAVI Girl ended up becoming real earworms for me. Ditto for my number three pick, which has very quickly proven to be more addictive than I first thought. It actually knocked KEEMBO’s Sweetune-produced Scandalous down to honorable mention status, though I still like that song quite a bit as well. It’ll be interesting to see how things play out as these songs age.

Because this was such an underwhelming month, I expect my top three to be pretty volatile as time goes on. I have no idea if my top song will continue to hold that spot in a few weeks because I just haven’t had enough time with it. My number two pick was a real surprise, and one of the few May releases that actually grew more addictive the more I heard it. Still, none of these tracks are likely to feature very high on my end-of-year list — unless 2020 continues to be such a letdown.

Looking forward to June, and the sheer onslaught of comebacks on the horizon, we have the potential for 2020 to finally take off. But, every time I’ve tried to be optimistic this year, the results have disappointed. So, in an attempt to thwart this jinx, I’m just gonna say that June will totally suck. Prove me wrong, K-pop!

Month Cumulative Rating: 7.3

(compiled by averaging the scores of every K-pop review from this month)

J-Pop Worth Your Time

Bullet Train – Stand Up (review)

Stray Kids – TOP (review)

Honorable Mentions

Fanatics – V.A.V.I. Girl (review)

IU – Eight (ft. Suga) (review)

KEEMBO – Scandalous (review)

Moon Jongup – Headache (ft. Yunhway) (review)

Natty – NineTeen (review)

NCT 127 – Punch (review)

Park Jihoon – Wing (review)

Raiden x Chanyeol – Yours (ft. Lee Hi & Changmo) (review)

REDSQUARE – Color Full (review)

Ryu Sujeong – Tiger Eyes (review)

Secret Number – Who Dis? (review)


3. ONEWE – End Of Spring (review)

2. OnlyOneOf – Angel (review)

1. With Woollim – Relay (review)

Top Three K-Pop Songs Of April 2020

Top Three K-Pop Songs Of March 2020

Top Three K-Pop Songs Of February 2020

Top Three K-Pop Songs Of January 2020

Top Three K-Pop Songs Of December 2019

Top Three K-Pop Songs Of November 2019

2016-2019 Archive Here

41 thoughts on “Top Three K-Pop Songs of May 2020

  1. It seemed like that May 2020 was going to be another meh month, but it turned out to be at least satisfactory. To be sure, nothing is an absolute stand out by itself, but all the songs I downloaded have a nice flow in a playlist that arose organically day by day, like I have been settling into this sort of mellow groove for work from home week number … wait, what week is it?
    I have in the playlist:
    Roy Kim “Linger On” – Park Ji Hoon “Wing” – Keembo “Scandalous” – OnlyOneOf “Angel – Ryu Su Jeong (of Lovelyz) “Tiger Eyes” – Yunsae “Feeling of You” – Raiden et al “Yours” – Day6 “Love me or Leave Me”
    Wait, what, who? Yunsae “Feeling of You”, was ist das? This Yunsae, she wrote the song, sings it, sings her own harmony, did all the synthesizers, she did it all. The song is a charming little cute thing. There is a thumb piano instrumental behind the second verse that is adorable. Much bigger agencies with much bigger pockets have produced songs like this, I mean this could be an Oh My Girl b-side easily.
    If this young woman doesn’t have a career of her own in kpop, which at some 14,000 views total on youtube is a highly speculative proposition, one year post-debut she has already created a portfolio of really quality songwriting that some bigger agency with big bucks better scoop her up for.


  2. I’m sure there’re thousands, if not millions of people who enjoy most of this year’s releases, I’m with you on that it’s been pretty disappointing so far. And with every upcoming comeback I’m like ‘that’s going to be the song we’ve all been waiting for!!”, but… it’s not.
    All I can wish for now is that the rest of the year brings us the long lasting hits we’ve all been waiting for.

    (psst, Onewe appeared twice on your list 😉 )

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Just a heads up, the Onewe song is mentioned as a HM and a top 3 song.

    Thoughts on this month,okay month. Wings has no competition. Enjoyed IU’s song for squarely 4 days. Yubin just made go back to her city pop gem ‘Lady’.

    Western music had a better fare honestly with Charli XCX, Gaga and Carly.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Do you realize how much This summer might be good. I mean I think you already realized but just wanna say it’s gonna suck because obviously 2020 songs suck currently. Okay, I am also gonna go around and say June will suck because all k-pop comebacks have been disappointments with a few exceptions but it’s hard not to get excited when your’e ult group (golden child) followed with your second fav ( svt) and followed with some of your favorite K-pop acts which might give us the blockbuster summer which 2019 obviously didn’t give us. We have Twice , WayV , Stray Kids , Seventeen , Golden Child , TXT might release Drama and Fairy of Shampoo as their mv’s a follow up singles. Ab6ix to victon to WJSN and following the pattern ATEEZ might even make a comeback this month. I am honestly dumb putting stuff like this but I am honestly really excited what June might bring us……… maybe even a 2014-esque Back song (jk lol 2020 Can’t even reach that mark) but………… if this is a whole dark concept trap thing then this system is rigged and only benefits dark concept lovers who get everything even when it’s supposed to be SUMMER SONGS!!
    Now with that out of the way I’ll present my three fav tracks which Honestly are here cause the other tracks sucked.
    3: OnlyOneOf- Angel
    2: With Woolim – Relay
    1: KEEMBO – Scandulous


  5. NIIIICK, is there a chance of you doing a fallers and risers this July? I really wonder how or if some of the songs changed for you!

    Also, May has been a good month! I’m so glad I could keep up with the debuts and amazing songs through the blog!


  6. 1. NCT 127-Punch
    2. OnlyOneOf-Angel
    3.TXT-Can’t You See Me?
    Honourable Mentions
    (SM Station-Yours, ONEWE-End Of Spring, Park Jihoon-Wing, IU-Eight, Woollim-Relay, Nu’est-I’m In Trouble)
    Overall it was a very solid month, with many groups putting out good, but not great tracks. It was nice to see a little bit of summer and groups stepping out of their comfort zone. This month contained solos and collabs in many variations, sadly only half ended up being good but its better than nothing. My top three consists of three songs I loved at first listen. Each holding up enough to make it onto my top three but NCT 127 take the cake by pushing their sound in interesting directions and showing us that while NCT 127 certainly has a formula, they know how to keep it fresh with each comeback. Giving us the beak of NCT 127’s hip hop formula and pairing it with the excellent b-side Nonstop to boost longterm appeal.
    Conclusion: I was pleasantly surprised but not blown away.


  7. Hey Nick, did you listen to January’s SF9 album? It was pretty solid and I thought you’d make a Buried Treasure for One Love or Beautiful Light but it never ended up happening so I’m just curious if you liked them.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Top Three K-Pop Songs of May 2020 — 911 News

  9. If I had to make a top of the year right now, many songs from this month would be in the top 20. But I don’t think more than 5 songs of this top would be in my 2019 top 50 and it says a lot about how poor 2020 is. But I want to see the optimistic side of May, songs like Angel, End of Spring or Wing are maybe the first indications of dark songs going out to be replaced by lighter ones. I didn’t listen to TWICE teasers except the individual ones but it doesn’t seem to be another girl crush song. WJSN and IZ*ONE either.
    Anyway, my top is 3. KEEMBO – Scandalous 2. Park Jihoon – Wing 1. With Woolim – Relay


  10. The highlight of the month for me was definitely Keembo’s Scandalous, although the Day6 album (as expected, I suppose) grew a lot on me. Listening to the English version of Zombie has really helped me appreciate the song more, even if I still think it had much stronger contenders for title track. Definitely agree that a lot of the songs this year have been kind of in one ear out the other, but June is already shaping up to a hell of a packed month, so we can only hope.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. 1. Scandalous – KEEMBO
    2. Tiger Eyes – Ryu Sujeong
    3. Relay – With Woollim

    That would be my personal top 3, I think.
    Rooting for TWICE & Sunmi to take it this year to the next level though ♥️


  12. I’d actually forgotten that there were any releases in May, except for Relay. I guess we can’t expect too much with this situation even though South Korea had all restrictions lifted for some time. In the meanwhile, I guess I’ll keep listening to the hits of the past.


  13. Pingback: Top Three K-Pop Songs of May 2020 | Rap Star Media

  14. Man the only songs from this month which are on my playlist are Onlyoneof’s angel with their b-side Designer, and Yaya by Yubin. Although I only got into kpop in 2018, this month was pretty basic. I switched on music shows hoping for music I would like and was only left with those three songs I already knew. Maybe I need time for some songs to grow on me who knows?


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  16. I respect everyones opinion but I think you guys shouldn’t say the songs sucks just because you don’t like it, that’s really disrespectful to all those idols who worked hard to comeback.
    I understand you don’t like it but be respectful,I can agree that can’t you see me by txt was not their best but it didn’t suck, I liked it.
    Thanks for reading this comment.💜


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