At 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.
November 2020 Overall Thoughts
November was absolutely packed with releases, and though only one title track received that rare 9+ rating on the blog, there was a lot to like about this month.
The quality of tracks seemed to peak somewhere in week two before sputtering out toward the end. And as we move into December, the eligibility for my year-end chart has officially closed. In a couple of weeks, I’ll be unveiling all those countdowns you’re either anticipating or dreading!
My top pick of the month will be no surprise, but I think the second place will be unexpected. This song proved to be one of those K-pop dark horses — a track I enjoyed on first listen but grew to absolutely adore. I love when that happens!
November gave us some high-profile debuts, and if I were to rank them from most favorite to least, that would probably look like:
- StayC – So Bad
- BAE173 – Crush On U
- aespa – Black Mamba
- ENHYPEN – Given-Taken
I enjoyed all four to some extent, but this ranking isn’t what I would have predicted at the start of the month. Kudos to the smaller(ish) agencies!
Speaking of agencies, large ones dominated November, with SM and Big Hit being particularly prolific. SM delivered no less than seven singles/title tracks, with another on the way tomorrow. Big Hit wasn’t far behind, with four groups promoting. That’s pretty intense for November. But sadly, less than half of these tracks made my honorable mentions or top three. I guess sometimes less is more. Instead, under-the-radar songs from groups like The Midnight Romance and Secret Number flourished in my own personal ranking.
November also delivered a lot of great J-pop. There were too many songs for me to cover in detail. After all, there are only so many hours in the day and The Bias List is still a K-pop blog first and foremost. But, I’d recommend checking out some of the highlights. There were tons of solid songs this month. This year’s J-pop countdown is going to be very, very strong.
And while you’re at it, spare a view or two for my favorite underdogs, WARPs UP. This J-pop/C-pop crossover group is delivering awesome funk pop music that deserves way more attention than it gets!
Month Cumulative Rating: 7.9
(compiled by averaging the scores of every K-pop review from this month)
WARPs Up – Hali Gali (review)
Arashi – Do You…? (review)
Bullet Train – Asayake (review)
Deep Squad – Good Love Your Love (video)
Exile – Red Phoenix (review)
JO1 – Shine A Light (review)
Jr.Exile – Way To The Glory (video)
Mamoru Miyano – From Zero To Infinity (video)
Sakurazaka46 – Buddies / Nobody’s Fault (video / review)
Sandaime J Soul Brothers – Rising Soul (review)
Sekai No Owari / End Of The World – Rollerskates (video)
Sexy Zone – Not Found (review)
SixTONES – New Era (review)
Tasuku Hatanaka – Promise For The Future (review)
Twice – Better (review)
7ORDER – Life (video)
TOP J-POP SONG OF THE MONTH
BuZZ – Sun and Love (review)
aespa – Black Mamba (review)
Akdong Musician – Happening (review)
BAE173 – Crush On U (review)
Berry Good – Accio (review)
Chungha – Dream Of You (with R3HAB) (review)
DRIPPIN – Shine (review)
E’Last – Tears Of Chaos (review)
ENHYPEN – Given-Taken (review)
GOT7 – Last Piece (review)
Ha Sungwoon – Forbidden Island (review)
KEEMBO – Scene (review)
The Midnight Romance – I Don’t Want To Live Without You (review)
Momoland – Ready Or Not (review)
NCT U – 90’s Love (review)
Secret Number – Got That Boom (review)
StayC – So Bad (review)
TXT – We Lost The Summer (review)
Woodz – Bump Bump (review)
TOP THREE SONGS
3. Xia (Kim Junsu) – Pit A Pat (review)
2. Lucy – Snooze (review)
1. GFriend – MAGO (review)
Top Three K-Pop Songs Of October 2020
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
A point for team Lucy!
I’ve been thrown into a bit of a Lucy frenzy myself for the past few days (since I saw that DAY6’s Young K released a cover with them, which was super exciting! Hopefully it puts them on the map a bit more), so I’m really glad their latest has resonated with you well. I mentioned this one in another comment a bit back, but Flare from their Superband run and last mini album is a very special musical experience, to the point that I can confidently say that I have a favorite song for the first time since I was maybe eight years old. Can’t name another slow burn song executed that well, especially with such a huge payoff! Hoping they continue to utilize their sound in the best way possible.
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Yes! Flare is fantastic. I was latecomer to that mini album, which is why there was never a buried treasure. But, you might expect to see it mentioned sometime later this month 😉
STAYC’s song is really amazing. It manages to mix the current 80s-synth trend with drum&bass and top it with a killer chorus.
I wish Black Eyed Pilseung were more prolific.
My personal top 3 would be something like:
1. So Bad – STAYC
2. MAGO – GFRIEND
3. Got That Boom – Secret Number
That third song really surprised me, it’s maybe a little by-the-numbers girl crush to be top-notch but I forget all my complaints about it when that climax comes around!
Got That Boom has an INCREDIBLE climax! I love when songs switch up the melody like that, even when the original was strong itself. They’ve got an excellent cast of vocalists, too!
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Yep, that Secret Number climax is absolutely fantastic.
Lucy is my #1 this month. Still playing it almost daily.
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I have in some order Xia “pit a pat” and Lucy “Snooze”.
My most played song is SuJu “Melody”, because it is so nice and soothing.
StayC “So Bad” is my honorable mention. The song really is under produced, but it has charms and it charmed its way into my head.
after completely forgetting what came out this month, and being reminded just now, i’d say my top picks this month are (in no particular order):
– 90’s love
– Got that boom
– Bump Bump
work it ended up growing on me a lot, guess that’s what a simple dance song does to you. i love given-taken but it literally just came out today so im giving it some time to sit.
can’t believe i’m saying this but i’m looking forward to December and a break from constant releases. october and november alone felt like 6 months in 2.
Mago is the indisputable highlight of the month for me, but the song I ended up playing the most was actually Hong Jinyoung’s Never ever. I liked Bump Bump and Berrygood Accio a lot too, and while I wouldn’t necessarily think of them as top songs, I played Taemin Be Your Enemy and BTOB Show Your Love quite a bit.
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I like the Hong JinYoung song too. Its very nostalgic, and in a way reminds me of an updated contemporary “Fate” by Lee Sunhee with some of the phrasing and oriental twirls.
Is it just me or is it weird that , The Top 3 Kpop Songs of both January 2015 and November 2020 , Both of which came out in the same day , Gfriend is at the Top.
Also , I wished you mentioned that this is the first time that GFRIEND have TOPPED in this feature after 3 YEARS and 8 MONTHS. Is it me or is that like an Awesome Return -To-Form. So Gfriend , make labrynth Pt.2!
My Top 3-
Gfriend – Mago
Xia Junsu – Pit A Pat
Lucy – Snooze
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100% agree with your top pick. Mago is fantastic and, imho, GFriend’s best title this year. In fact, probably my favorite title since Fingertip.
I would then put Keembo – Scene (I’m a bit of a Sweetune fanatic, and Last Romeo is my favorite Infinite song so of course I took to that one) as my second placer. Don’t have a clear third placer after this. STAYC’s debut is solid/growing on me but I still think it would’ve benefited from some parts being lowered a bit. Hell, I might even consider the Purple Kiss track, despite the irritating trap breakdowns and vocal processing, because I really dig the chorus and I’m a rock fanatic. Everything else on the list is decent to unremarkable. I could cheat and say Loona – Star even though I somewhat prefer Voice (the Korean version). Oh, if only Mamamoo had chosen Travel (hell, even Chuck) as the title!
(On another note, your Top Three of September 2020 link actually links to March 2020.)
I would say Show Your Love due to my love for BTOB and LEEZ/Ollounder but if I’m being honest this track isn’t either of them at their very best. I still spin it quite a bit though.
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