The Top Three K-Pop Songs of August 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.

August 2020 Overall Thoughts

At the beginning of the year, one of my wishes for 2020 was “a summer to remember.” This summer has been unusual for a variety of reasons, but on the whole I think it was slightly stronger than last year’s. Still, August wasn’t as consistent as July, and few big-name idol group releases really impressed me.

Instead, my top three includes a trio of oddballs. I don’t expect many to agree with my choices (you’ve all made your opinions quite clear in earlier comment sections!), but I’m pretty satisfied with these three songs. Had SoRi’s Intitial S been released earlier in the month, it might also have had a shot at the top three. It’s so hard to accurately gauge a song in less than a day.

Looking back at my ratings, August was a month full of 7’s. LOTS of 7’s… which is reflected well in the cumulative score. This monotony made August a bit of a shoulder shrug. However, my honorable mentions list includes a couple of unlikely growers, including a song I initially rated in the 6’s! See if you can find them.

But, when all is said and done, I can’t complain about a month that gave me Sexy Zone’s Run. It’s one of those songs that only comes around every few years… a song I fall in love with so quickly and completely that it becomes an instant classic. In just under a month’s time, I’ve already listened to it more than anything else this year. It’s far-and-away my favorite thing released in 2020, so I’m not too pressed about the rest of August’s release slate.

Going into next month, I’m back in (remote) work mode, which means that song reviews may be posted at more sporadic times throughout the day before I settle into a new routine. With the Chuseok holiday occurring on October 1st this year, it seems like we’re in for an uncharacteristically packed September. Here’s hoping it’s a good one!

Month Cumulative Rating: 7.6

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

J-Pop Highlights

ANGERME – A Limited Moment (video)

Ayumi Hamasaki – Dreamed A Dream (review)

Da-iCE – Dreamin’ On (review)

Exile Atsushi x Koda Kumi – Osaka Tokyo (review)

JO1 – Oh-Eh-Oh (review)

Official HIGE DANdism – Hello (review)

The Rampage – Fears (review)

Reol – The Sixth Sense (review)

Seventeen – 24H (review)


Sexy Zone – Run (review)


Honorable Mentions

1Team – Ullaeli Kkollaeli (review)

A-Real – Wake Me Up (review)

ATEEZ – Thanxx (review)

Brave Girls – We Ride (review)

BTS – Dynamite (review)

Dreamcatcher – Boca (review)

Jenyer – Bad (ft. Kimmuseum) (review)

Kang Daniel – Who U Are (review)

ONEUS – To Be Or Not To Be (review)

ONF – Sukhumvit Swimming (review)

SoRi – Initial S (review)

Treasure – Boy (review)


3. SuperM – 100 (review)

2. J.Y. Park x Sunmi – When We Disco (review)

1. Yi Saebom – Tonight (review)

Top Three K-Pop Songs Of July 2020

Top Three K-Pop Songs Of June 2020

Top Three K-Pop Songs Of May 2020

Top Three K-Pop Songs Of April 2020

Top Three K-Pop Songs Of March 2020

Top Three K-Pop Songs Of February 2020

2016-2019 Archive Here


27 thoughts on “The Top Three K-Pop Songs of August 2020

  1. I’ve got SuperM 100 and ONF “I’m with a stupid, swimming” and two oddballs myself.

    (Also worth mentioning in passing Seven O’clock, who just released “Hey There” over the weekend, which is pretty good.)

    The first is Yunsae, female singer-songwriter. Her songs could easily slot into any girl group, and I am sure at some point she will find more profit selling them to those agencies. But in the mean time, she seems to be happy just releasing under her own name, garnering single digit youtube views for songs she writes, sings, performs, produces all by herself, everything but the guitar. August 2020 brings us “Cool your mind” which is cute, in a cute fun summer way. I don’t know what side of “too much aegyo” this will fall for you, but everyone should check it out. And that will double her youtube views!

    The second one, well, I have no idea. Really. This one showed up in my itunes suggestions of all places. It was like manna dropping from the heavens. JooHa 주하 “Shipowner”. I have no idea who this JooHa is. (The BubbleX JooAh? someone else?) The only version available on youtube, as far as I can tell has 170 views (yes). Now, I don’t know about you, but when I see songs with so few views on Bugs or the like, there usually is a reason. But this, this … is this good? I think it is. Or maybe it is just Blursday, again. Well, I have played it enough, and it has a nice lilt to it. Not coffee house, but like Billie Eillish covers Jewel done obscure kpop style.
    So go listen to this song. And that will quintuple her youtube views!


  2. This month was just a big ok. Ateez carried it,like my boys do best.
    Though with dynamite being THE NUMBER ONE HIT IN THE USA, I might have to go listen again because I obviously missed something about that song.


    • Nope, it was just bulk-bought. I mean, the *instrumental* version was #2 on the iTunes single chart for quite some time. Casual listeners don’t buy instrumental versions in that kind of number. There were many bulk-purchasing campaigns happening all over twitter.

      I mean, I guess there’s nothing wrong with that. People can do whatever they want with their money as long as it’s not hurting anyone. But, let’s not pretend that the song has become some sort of cultural phenomenon across wide swaths of America.


      • That was a good move by Bighit, I was impressed. If you know that you have a pretty large fandom/ dedicated listeners almost as big as the casual listeners on some of the platform,why not utilize it or rather You Should utilize it. Also this time there was actual radioplay (Shocked face)(I wanted to add Pikachu but stopped myself).
        I still prefer this than some other means artists use.

        On another note, I just want to say I’m happy. Its always nice to see these achievements for kpop. Also as BTS are in my top 3 groups,I also feel some amount of pride for an unknown reason.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Of course I know why it went #1. The pandemic has been doing weird things to the Billboard hot 100. Its had like 8 debuts in the #1 spot and then they drop like a stone

        But I rather let armies enjoy this. I am kinda worried about the trend its going to set in kpop though. Think we are in a rush for Koreans going English or songs geared towards the west.


        • I think I’m really just cynical about this because I’m tired of all the chart/accomplishment/record-breaking/streaming talk and articles that have taken over K-pop. I mean, I’m happy for the guys, but I would so much rather have people focus on what they love about the actual music. It just sets a precedent where all the a-list acts (and fandoms) have to constantly out-do each other, and I really do think that focus affects the quality of the music. It’s taken over twitter to a large extent, as well as every other K-pop news site. It’s honestly just exhausting, and not at all what I find charming about K-pop or fandom.


          • You both pointed out some really good points which haven’t crossed my mind.

            “Think we are in a rush for Koreans going English or songs geared towards the west.”
            – Please no. I imagined that and the horror. It may sound rude but in some English versions the cringe is too high. I hope/pray this doesn’t happen.

            “I’m tired of all the chart/accomplishment/record-breaking/streaming talk and articles that have taken over K-pop. ”
            – This is a very valid point,and a concerning one at that. Most of the time it feels like some people are not even listening to the song, and I’m saying this for both good and bad songs. Sometimes I feel that the gp is able to enjoy the song more than the fans.
            And this is for all the groups.

            -I have encountered fans bragging about the melon search and who’s trending on it. (Sigh)

            Melon’s chart reform had actually changed the criteria to unique listeners and I couldn’t be more happy.

            “It just sets a precedent where all the a-list acts (and fandoms) have to constantly out-do each other”
            – This one is the most annoying and the most prevalent. Be it a big or small fandom, they all set their goals and are so passionate that it feels exhausting to just look at. And I have even seen them blaming their own if they don’t achieve those.

            “I really do think that focus affects the quality of the music”
            – Yes while I think we all have our own taste and preferences. How is the artist going to know that people don’t like this as much as my previous work. And yes they are allowed to experiment but they should be able to assess the results too.

            •This is why Teddy keep producing those songs.

            •This is why dark/moody concepts with decreasing quality have swallowed some very good groups.

            • I love majority of the BTS albums from their debut album upto persona. But mots7 wasn’t my taste. And while I know there are many who genuinely loved it but still I would prefer if BTS or the company knew that their current inclination in voice mixing is not received with as much fervour as their previous albums… But that seems impossible as it it’s an automatic success.

            And this applies to many groups or majority of the groups this year.

            I’m not on Twitter so I don’t see many things but this is precisely why I’m not there.

            So I really hope these things don’t happen, Because many of us here are simply present for music & the joy it gives us at the end of the day. And I believe we would still continue to find the gems but I sincerely hope this doesn’t becomes a rare thing, finding good music that is.

            Liked by 2 people

    • Disclaimer because last time I posted on this site about BTS I got swarmed, though admittedly I could have been nicer about it. Learning learning, I am joking.

      Nick you ever thought about rating the months by average out the scores of the title tracks and then comparing them to see how the year rose or fell in quality.


  3. can you please do a review of baby you’re mine by high school cause i like your reviews. that is quite good and 2nd gen type song.


    • That would only happen if it comes up as part of my “random shuffle reviews,” since it was released awhile ago. I suppose it could happen, but I currently don’t have any plans to write about it.


  4. This month was unusual as heck! I don’t know why but I’m not satisfied with my Top 3 ,
    Main Reason why I feel weird is because Oneus To Be Or Not To Be was so good , I listened to all day without the Rap! and It not making the list primarily because of The Rap is just shocking to me.
    Anyway here is my list:
    3. Ateez – Thanxx
    2. SuperM – 100
    1. Yi Saebom – Tonight

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I still think I’m in July. I don’t remember many songs from August, maybe I think of this month as an extension of July, something like aftergame content when you defeat a final boss. At least September is here, and that means Spring in my country, so I can finally enjoy summer songs to their full extent! (Count 1 2 I’m coming for you). My top three songs are:

    3. 100 – Superm
    2. Sukhumvit Swimming – Onf
    1. We ride – Brave Girls

    If Hot Air Ballon by Cravity was a title track I would have squished it into the top 3.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It seems like this comment section has filtered out everyone who’s not a huge fan of 100. Which is my top song of the month, so… fitting.

    1. 100 – SuperM
    2. Boca – Dreamcatcher (I’ve probably listened to this more than 100, but that’s because Deukae is that bias group.)
    3. To Be or Not To Be – Oneus (I love the 2nd gen drama vibe this has, even despite the rap verse)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Man, aside from Boca, August has been barren for me, but I’m probably not looking in the right places. I don’t know. I’m not sure what else I remember from it. I guess I should just give up on (G)I-DLE serving me anything good for the foreseeable future (as a fan of their 2018, this kills me to say), and even Itzy stumbled (Don’t Give a What should’ve been title!), but wow, ONF. New World (and even Gepetto) was right there and they promoted Stupid Swimming instead. It really fell off for me. It’s actually not even awful, but I guess I’m just so used to being impressed by ONF that anything less is ehh. And then there’s the subpar Dongkiz track that I almost forgot about…

    My top picks:
    4. Oneus – To Be Or Not To Be (Yeah, it’s really stuck with me and its ambition still leaves me impressed, even though I still think the second verse is ghastly.)
    3. SuperM – 100 (Fuck yes. This song is FUN and SuperM are just so consistent.)
    2. ATEEZ – Thanxx (Though I feel iffy about counting this because it’s been around since July, I just feel it’s everything I love about ATEEZ in a no-nonsense package and easily the best song on Fever Pt. 1. Balances the hip-hop swagger and Jongho’s vocals really nicely.)
    1. Dreamcatcher – Boca (I really, really dig this song. It’s not better than Scream, it’s probably my second least-favorite on the mini but you know what, it’s still high quality and full of moments that had my jaw hitting the floor. Especially love the guitar shredding and Siyeon’s vocals. But of course, ult bias group, so it’s not like they weren’t gonna steal this for me.)

    …and I connected with practically nothing else last month. I did enjoy We Ride and When We Disco and even Dynamite to some extent but much to my surprise/dismay none of these retro-tinged songs have had me really coming back to them. Might have to try out the Yi Saebom and Sori songs.


  8. Well after a few days I’d like to report that Initial S has taken over my life. Like, completely.
    Besides, I’ve just discovered Sori released this (allegedly last) single thanks to crowdfunding and now I’m sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. My top 3:

    3. ONF – Sukhumvit Swimming
    You can’t go wrong with some reggae-lite, what we were blessed with this comeback is a subdued but extremely delightful addition to Monotree’s repertoire.

    2. JYP x Sunmi – When We Disco
    The type of retro excellence that T-ara used to embrace. I’ve missed these synths more than Boram and Soyeon to be frank.. The campiness and video is perfectly reminiscent of classics such as Do You Know Me? and Roly-Poly.

    1. Dreamcatcher – Boca
    Name a better or more consistent girl group, you can’t! Bonus points for staying true to their core sound and still compellingly capture the heat of the late summer.

    I abhor 100 mainly because of Baekhyun’s awful screeching and its cringe-ass lyrics, and that is saying a lot for K-pop! This song warranted the messiest performance ever on GMA. It definitely didn’t help that it got outcharted by Wonho’s excellent X Japan-inspired ballad Losing You which dropped the very same day. I’m quite taken aback by the acclaim it earned here ’cause elsewhere 100 was universally panned, as it should be.

    Having said that, Saebom’s Tonight is flawless and should be included on everyone’s year-end lists.

    Liked by 1 person

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