In celebration of The Bias List’s fifth year anniversary, I’ve embarked on my most ambitious project yet. After years of hemming and hawing, I’ve finally ranked what I consider to be the best 100 songs in K-pop.
There will never be a definitive list of this nature, because it’s impossible to rank something that’s inherently subjective. Please feel welcome to agree, disagree, argue and justify, but at the end of the day know that this list is personal. If we happen to share a similar taste in music, it may match closely to your own list. If not, I hope you enjoy reading (and discussing) anyway!
As with any project of this magnitude, I set up specific criteria before diving in. A song’s ranking is based on a combination of these three factors:
To a certain point, “quality” is subjective, but you all know by now what I consider to be the hallmarks of a good song: strong melody, consistently engaging production, etc. Of my three criteria, this was given the most weight.
This wasn’t a huge factor in my rankings, but I definitely took into account a song’s standing and impact in the grand scheme of things.
Like I said, this list is personal – as any “best of” list should be. Songs are going to hit differently depending on your personality, taste and life experience. For me, many of these songs evoke strong memories or feelings that may not be present for every listener.
A couple of rules:
1. This list is exclusive to title tracks and songs promoted with music videos, though I don’t think it would have changed much if I had incorporated b-sides as well.
2. Japanese releases by Korean acts are not eligible.
3. I’m not including songs released in 2020. They just haven’t been around long enough for me to get an accurate read on them.
Finally, some eagle-eyed readers will notice that certain song rankings have changed since their placement in year-end or top ten countdowns. Some of this is due to the natural rising or falling that comes with time and experience, but the act of ranking across years and decades really caused me to reconsider some things as well. It was an interesting process, for sure!
Here’s the plan, though the timeline is subject to change if necessary. All days correspond to US Pacific time.
July 12: Honorable Mentions – Songs 101-125
July 13: Songs 91-100
July 14: Songs 81-90
July 15: Songs 71-80
July 16: Songs 61-70
July 17: Songs 51-60
July 18: Songs 41-50
July 19: Songs 31-40
July 20: Songs 21-30
July 21: Songs 11-20
July 22: Song #10
July 23: Song #9
July 24: Song #8
July 25: Song #7
July 26: Song #6
July 27: Song #5
July 28: Song #4
July 29: Song #3
July 30: Song #2
July 31: Song #1
I wonder which song will be #1! I couldn’t possibly guess!
Hehe in all seriousness though, I’m excited to see how your overall rankings for some songs have shifted over time.
I’m curious about the highlighted years in the teaser you made for this, some of them even go back to the 90s. Are those all the years that produced songs which made the list?
Love this format! I like separating the top 10 into their own posts.
Don’t we all know which song is no.1? Or will you surprise us, Nick?
Well, I’m excited!
I’m excited for this! And off topic, but have y’all heard the GFriend teasers? The song and album sound like they’re going to be very, very good.
This must have been very challenging. I’m excited.
I myself will never be able to rank my top 10 kpop songs in order but now here you are doing 100 songs of all time haha must’ve been tiring.
Excited to see which song is no.1 probably an Infinite song, or maybe Nick is going to surprise us? lol
100% sure there will be many from Infinite, TVXQ, SHINee, B1A4, KARA, Boyfriend, and 2NE1.
Sistar’s “Loving U” and SKZ’ “Miroh” will most likely be there (!!!) and yes I’m super excited for this thread!
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Well, I guess it’s time for me to do my aforementioned happy dance, woohoo!
Super excited to see what songs will be on 125-2! 🙂
But really, our tastes are relatively similar so I’m very curious to see what you’ll say! I always look forward to your year end lists, and this is no different.