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The Top Three K-Pop Songs of October 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.


October 2020 Overall Thoughts

After a fantastic September, October was another strong month. And, it was also a packed one. Most of the highlights were squeezed into the beginning and end of the month, which resulted in a somewhat lopsided release slate. But by and large, October gave us more treats than tricks.

“Lopsided” has been a trend in 2020. At this rate, I feel like my year-end countdown will be heavily weighted toward June-November releases, which is actually pretty unusual for me. Musically, synthpop continued to dominate the month, which plays right into my taste. I’m hoping that K-pop will eventually move on from straight-up 80’s pastiches and incorporate the sounds in more daring ways, but for now I’m very much on board the retro train.

My top three of the month are super strong, with an obvious number one and a razor thin margin between numbers two and three (they were basically tied). And, there was actually quite a bit of competition for these slots. Great releases from TXT, BLACKPINK and The Midnight Romance are likely to appear in my year-end list. Some might even place quite high. There were also a couple not-quite-title-tracks (GHOST9, NCT U, ATEEZ… maybe Cravity) that will be relegated to the b-sides list even though they appear on this round-up.

October was also a strong month for debuts. Boy groups DRIPPIN and P1Harmony both impressed me, and the rebranded Blackswan and solo debut of Lee Suhyun were also definite highlights (particularly the latter). Albums were strong, too. TXT and DRIPPIN released fantastic minis. Twice delivered a solid full album and NCT’s ambitious 23-member project had its highlights as well.

What’s most notable about this month’s round-up is the absence of one group: B1A4. They are among my absolute favorite K-pop acts, but their new single and album kind of fizzled for me. That’s a shame, but at least it’s nice to have them back.

Looking forward, there are a few things that get me excited about November. We’ve got the long-awaited debut of SM’s new girl group, the conclusion to Taemin’s Never Gonna Dance Again series, big name comebacks (BTS, GFriend, Kim Junsu) and a couple of potentially-exciting debuts (ENHYPEN, StayC, BAE173).

And… maybe even a comeback from Sungkyu? Woollim, are you listening?

Month Cumulative Rating: 7.9

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


J-Pop Highlights

Nu’est – Drive (review)

Snow Man – Kissin’ My Lips / Stories (review / review)

Stray Kids – All In (review)


TOP J-POP SONG OF THE MONTH

Fantastics – High Fever (review)


K-POP

Honorable Mentions

ATEEZ – The Black Cat Nero (review)

BLACKPINK – Lovesick Girls (review)

Blackswan – Tonight (review)

Cravity – Ohh Ahh (review)

Dawn – Dawndididawn (ft. Jessi) (review)

GHOST9 – Reborn (review)

JBJ95 – Jasmin (review)

Lee Suhyun – Alien (review)

LOONA – Why Not? (review)

The Midnight Romance – Nightmare (review)

NCT U – Make A Wish / Misfit (review / review)

P1Harmony – Siren (review)

Seventeen – Home;Run (review)

TXT – Blue Hour (review)

Weki Meki – Cool (review)


TOP THREE SONGS

3. DRIPPIN – Nostalgia (review)

2. Twice – I Can’t Stop Me (review)

1. Golden Child – Pump It Up (review)


Top Three K-Pop Songs Of September 2020

Top Three K-Pop Songs Of August 2020

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

2016-2019 Archive Here

13 thoughts on “The Top Three K-Pop Songs of October 2020

  1. I knew Nostalgia would be on this list, it seemed so tailored to your tastes that it had to be here.

    Sadly I’m not as enamoured with Pump It Up as many are, but that’s just me having a disconnect with it. I normally can vibe with upbeat songs, but Golcha’s new song just doesn’t quite reach me.

    Top 3 for sure is:
    3. TWICE – I Can’t Stop Me
    2. DRIPPIN – Nostalgia
    1. LEE SUHYUN – Alien (curse you MYMA you made me revisit this and I got addicted.)

    Honorable mentions go to Why Not and Cool. Why Not grew really well for me that I went from uncomfortable to on board quite quickly honeslty. Cool is just a nice song that would get third in one of those weaker months.

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  2. TWICE, BLACKPINK and WJSN Chocome may be my top 3, I think (not necessarily in that order). Ghosting by TXT and Voice by LOONA would be up there too if they had received title track treatment, and Nostalgia and Alien impressed me quite a lot.

    Oh my God, I can’t wait for æspa’s debut. I hope it sounds as (literally) fantástico as the promo pictures look like.
    And I’m like 100% sure that GFRIEND’s MAGO is not gonna disappoint, the chorus snippet that’s out there is just gorgeous and they can do no wrong this year (to these ears at least). Apple’s disco big sister is coming for blood!

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  3. ENHYPEN, StayC, BAE173 ? These new groups names are getting worse recently ! Joking aside, this was a pretty good month and I agree that this year will probably be more remembered for its second part.
    If I wanted to be very demanding, I would say that all these groups doing retro songs should add more personality when performing them. It’s good, sometimes very good, but there is something missing to cross the “awesome bar”.

    1. Lee Suhyun – Alien
    2. The Midnight Romance – Nightmare
    3. TWICE – I Can’t Stop Me

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  4. This month was a great one for 2020 once again……. I mean , TXT ‘s single has grown on me alot. Golden Child’s Pump It Up (obviously) takes the spot , and same with Twice and DRIPPIN Spots.

    TXT and Seventeen’s song has grown on me a lot! While , I do wish for something better I am happy with what we got.

    I am so excited for November and possible Top 3’s are:
    1. TXT’s Ghosting
    2. GFriend’s MAGO
    3. Aespa’s debut!

    I hope it’s like that and Monsta x seems like they are coming back with something promising.

    Pls do something daring with Synth Pop by the way , we desperately need it.

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  5. What, its November already?

    1) Ay ay ay ay ay an Alien

    2) Two (2) awesome b-sides
    “Nemonade” by P1Harmony (rhymes with “Lemonade”)
    “Reborn” by Ghost9, technically late Sept but I didn’t buy it until mid October

    Honorable mention:

    4) “Misfit” – NCT____

    5) SuJu KRY “Traveler” (in Japanese) a bit more spritely than their usual fare

    6) Kang Hyung Ho “In the Flower Garden” – somehow this is available on US itunes, oh happy day! The live version is even better that the recorded version ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyKEOYnB1QY A performance so lovely that it got Kim Gu Ra to shut up, and that guy hardly ever shuts up.

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  6. For me,hmm:

    TWICE I Can’t Stop Me
    B1A4 Like A Movie (it grew on me incredibly much)
    PENTAGON Daisy

    Honorable mentiones CIX and TXT’s entire albums lol.

    AND YES! Where is that Sunggyu come back, it’s been 86 years…

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  7. Very satisfied of course to see Golcha take that top spot, as they do for me.

    Numbers 2 and 3 go to Seventeen (HomeRun has grown on me) and NCT’s Misfit (a sound I wish we heard more of in kpop). Honourable mentions for Weki Meki (Cool has also grown on me) and Drippin, Nostalgia is just solid.

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  8. I didn’t care for Nostalgia or I Can’t Stop Me. I would definitely rank Home;Run, Ohh Ahh, Misfit, and even Blue Hour above those two. Pump It Up is a great song, but I loved Home;Run so it falls to second place on my list.

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  9. Pingback: Song Review: Bling Bling – G.G.B | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

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