Looking Back: The Top Three K-Pop Songs of July 2012

Monthly Round-UpSince the start of The Bias List in January 2016, I’ve always looked back at my three favorite title tracks by K-pop artists each month. Now, it’s time to look even further into the past, one month at a time. And, yes, the top three rankings count toward The Bias List’s personal artist scorecard!

July 2012 Overall Thoughts

Just when you thought K-pop couldn’t possibly have anything more to give, 2012 unveiled another blockbuster month. We were in full-on summer here, treated to a July full of upbeat dance tracks and bright, exciting sounds.

Historically, July of 2012 is probably most notable for debuting PSY’s mega-hit Gangnam Style, which brought a lot of international eyes on the K-pop scene. Personally, I prefer its accompanying mini album, which holds more than a few iconic buried treasures.

Elsewhere, July gave us the debut of the soon-to-be-huge AOA with a fantastic track, as well as the debuts of not-so-huge C-Clown, A-Prince and Big Star. And, we can’t forget Crayon Pop, who officially released their first (great) track this month. Ironically, they’d go on to replicate PSY’s viral success almost exactly one year later.

July also saw the solo debut of 2PM’s Jang Wooyoung with an excellent Park Jinyoung-penned electro dance track, and the pre-debut of girl group Fiestar, dueting with IU on a brilliant synthy Take On Me pastiche. Whew, that’s a lot of debuts!

Despite this, my top three songs of the month all come from established acts. It’s a consistently classic top three, with each track standing the test of time thanks to well-written pop melody and exciting production. I’d just like you all to take a second and compare this month’s crop of music with the sounds of 2020. It’s crazy how much K-pop has changed — and not for the better.

An extra shout-out has to go to Nu’est’s Action, which is a very close fourth place, and one of their absolute best songs.

Honorable Mentions

A-Jax – Hot Game (video)

AOA – Elvis (video)

B.A.P – No Mercy (video)

BoA – Only One (video)

Crayon Pop – Saturday Night (video)

IU & Fiestar – Sea Of Moonlight (video)

Jang Wooyoung – Sexy Lady (video)

Nu’est – Action (video)

PSY – Gangnam Style (video)

ZE:A – Aftermath (video)


3. Beast – Beautiful Night

2. Super Junior – Sexy, Free & Single

1. 2NE1 – I Love You

2011-2019 Archive Here


21 thoughts on “Looking Back: The Top Three K-Pop Songs of July 2012

  1. 2NE1’s ‘I love you’ was TRULY on another level. As good as the song was, the video and the FASHION was on a level all its own. The mind boggles that YGE’s misogyny supersedes its desire to properly promote their female acts. With a company that cared more about them 2NE1 could easily have been the group that broke the hallyu wave in North America wide open; granted, given everything that happened last year I’m glad they weren’t but 2NE1 deserved better and BlackPink does too.

    AOA and Elvis was such a fun time but I’ll always have bittersweet feelings on them since the company ditched their dual concept the moment they could


  2. I was getting angry that the fact that This “Take A Leap” album is just generic with mid-tempos flying everywhere!! New World , Haven and Labrynth were there so I wonder why Golden Child has not released a single out of the world B-side (not even OMG comes close to my least favorite of their older material) And ONE has grown on me but……….. I still haven’t listened to the full album yet. But K-pop WHY?! Why do you have to take the fun songs? Summer songs are nowhere near to be found in the current k-pop landscape , WHEN IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE SUMMER? THIS MONTH IS OFFICIALLY HANDS DOWN THE MOST DISAPPOINTING MONTH IN ALL OF KPOP!
    This is my Top 3:
    1. 2ne1 – I Love you
    2.Nu’est – Action
    3. Super Junior – Sexy , free and single


    • I don’t think we can make these assumptions until:

      a) we’ve heard the actual Take a Leap album in full
      b) June is over

      But, I share your disappointment at June’s lack of upbeat, summery material. I mean, you all know I’ve felt this for over a year now, so I don’t think I need to keep repeating myself…

      Liked by 1 person

      • I know we can’t but I can’t help but notice how the preview is just……………… why?! And I don’t really care if June is over , So many groups Had so much potential and also how have you been able to survive this for over an year by now


        • By listening to a healthy dose of old and new J-pop, honestly. Plus, I’ve just kind of gotten used to it, which is sad.

          Still, I know I’ll love the new Golcha album even if it doesn’t have the kind of classics found in their past work (which is still a big “if”). Bias is one hell of a drug, and I am not completely immune to it!


      • If anything these posts are KEEPING Nick from offing himself lol, sometimes it helps to look back at what you really love about something to try and rekindle your current investment in it here and now


  3. Pingback: Looking Back: The Top Three K-Pop Songs of July 2012 | Rap Star Media

  4. Ah…..gangnam style. It was one of the few moments where k-pop actually leaks into my real life. Very surreal it is.

    Also, 2EN1 – I Love You stays as the low-key best song from them (Doesn’t really gets talked as much as Fire or I Am The Best)


    • Honestly, Fire is one of the worst debuts in k-pop for me and I honestly don’t know why it gets talked about a lot , I Am The Best , though is a classic! I can fit it right there in my Top 90 k-pop songs of all time


  5. .

    Sexy Free and SIngle I’m a little bingle! for the win!
    The video is another prime example of the “dear lord what are you wearing” era in SM.

    I also have ZE:A “Daily Daily”. I don’t know if it was ever promoted as a single, but I enjoy it as much as “Aftermath”, perhaps more.


  6. I’m appreciating this series!! as someone who got into k-pop more recently it’s helpful to find jumping off points into the mass of discographies from before I was actively paying attention to releases (currently on replay: KARA).

    (outside of that, i’m enjoying the kcontact strems (definitely not illegally), wjsn and wekimeki bsides, new heize album (though I don’t think it would change your usual feelings on her work), the hazy lee jin ah track from may (that you would almost definitely dislike), stay gold (easily more than ON), and the new svt mv (though maybe not peak svt, left&right is definitely proving an earworm))


  7. 2ne1’s I Love You will forever remain a classic. The song structure is unmatched, not to mention their fashion in that era was iconic too, esp Dara’s half shaved hair.


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