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