The Top 50 K-Pop Songs of 2020 (Day One: 50-41)

The end of the year countdowns are finally here! As always, we’ll kick off with the big one: The Bias List’s top 50 songs of the year! Each day this week, I’ll be counting down ten of the year’s best, until number one is revealed on Friday. 

To be eligible for this top 50 list, songs must have had a Korean release as a title track or promotional video between Dec. 1st, 2019 and Nov. 30th, 2020.

Curious about last year’s countdown? Check out the masterpost here!

Honorable Mentions

50. Woodz – Bump Bump

While most acts tackled a narrow pool of genres this year, Woodz’s Bump Bump delivered a blast of punky pop rock. Harnessing some of the same charismatic delivery that made G-Dragon a star, he more than proved his versatility as a songwriter. (full review)

49. SoRi – Initial S

There will be many retro synth-pop tracks on this year’s countdown, but SoRi deserves a nod for the catchy Initial S, which leverages an addictive instrumental loop to create a song that feels at once familiar and fresh. (full review)

48. BDC – Shoot The Moon

BDC’s Shoot the Moon is mostly ‘K-pop boy group by-the-numbers,’ yet when that majestic synth hook takes over, the track gains new life. But the rest of Moon proved to be a real grower on its own, tying together a series of catchy turns. (full review)

47. ONEWE – End Of Spring

ONEWE like to play with genre, and End Of Spring injected their core rock sound with festival-ready EDM. The result is a joyful sendoff to the spring season, buoyed by an effusive instrumental hook. The “rock” version is even better! (full review)

46. MCND – Ice Age

Some songs are instant hits, while others take time to unveil their charms. MCND’s Ice Age is brash and noisy, but what first felt obnoxious soon grew into an obnoxiously wonderful rallying cry. Never mind the fact that the song is as silly as can be. (full review)

45. Golden Child – Without You

While not as uplifting or intense as their other 2020 title tracks, Without You’s sparse arrangement and looping hook shown great spotlight on Golden Child’s vocals. It’s dynamic in its own way, growing from a hush to an anguished cry with undeniable flair. (full review)

44. NCT Dream – Ridin’

NCT’s 2020 releases were a mixed bag, but Dream remains the Korean unit to beat. Ridin’ harnesses some classic SM sounds and fuses them to an off-kilter chorus that climaxes in a mighty vocal flourish. (full review)

43. April – Lalalilala

In a just world, Lalalilala should have been April’s big breakthrough. It takes so much of what’s great about their sound and ups the intensity, highlighted by a swirling, strings-assisted chorus that feels like a not-so-distant cousin to the work of groups like WJSN and Oh My Girl. (full review)

42. IMFACT – Lie

Though not as well known as many acts on this countdown, IMFACT have a history of delivering the goods. Lie is no different, hinging on the group’s emotive delivery and a driving dance beat that surges in all the right places. (full review)

41. OnlyOneOf -Angel

OnlyOneOf’s Angel is the breezy summer smash that never was, grooving on an addictive instrumental that’s complimented by the group’s airy vocal. This is the kind of earworm that sticks around for much longer than expected. (full review)


27 thoughts on “The Top 50 K-Pop Songs of 2020 (Day One: 50-41)

  1. Yes Shoot the Moon! I loved the song on first listen and was hoping it would grow on everyone else!

    Surprised Without You made it, but not really upset, it is a pretty good song.

    April peak: Imfact – Lie

    I’ll do the peaks for months any day I am not busy, thanks to Yan Zaman for the inspiration 🙂

    Also, Initial S and Ice Age are massive earworms.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am really surprised to see That MCND’s Ice Age and Golden Child’s Without You has grown for you and I am really satisfied… now Has Inception grown for you?


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  4. Every single song you mentioned in this 50-41 category are all songs I absolutely love this year. Bump Bump was a pleasant surprise, to see Seungyoun harnessing his Luizy side, and I’m so happy to see it snuck into this countdown. Lie, Lalalilala, and Initial S were all bops that deserved so much more love than they got; Shoot the Moon isn’t exactly my favourite BDC release but it more than does its job as a song; and End of Spring/Ice Age/Without You are all great songs with their distinct vibes. Ridin’ is one of those songs that I think my bias makes me like a lot more than I ordinarily would because I thought it was one of the weakest songs on the Reload EP as a whole – it didn’t really stick out as a NCT Dream song to me – but I’m happy to see it here because Dream are my favourite unit haha


  5. Seeing this reminds me how good Sept. 23rd was, AKA Nugu Boy Day, AKA when BDC, UNVS, and GHOST9 all released great tracks. Weird and a bit sad that this was probably my single favourite day of the year, but #2020.

    ‘Angel’ and ‘Lie’ are my other big highlights here. The latter in particular probably makes my top 20, if not top 10. I missed the Honourable Mentions until just now – I see my personal #1 (‘Scandalous’) has already dropped. That track gave me faith that Sweetune Greatness still exists; it’s unlike anything else they’ve done, and I can understand it being a bit understated for some tastes, but I found it such a breath of fresh air.

    These countdowns are a highlight each year!


  6. Woah I’m so happy ONEWE made the list! End of Spring’s rock version is fire. I feel like the 2 side tracks of their latest comeback have a similar energy, and they’re all so good.


  7. Ahhh two of my favorite tracks ranking low…Without You and Lalalilala….

    Idk why I love Without You so much, it was my 3rd most listened to song this year…(with One (lucid dream) ranking first and WJSN’s butterfly at number 2)

    For me this chorus is sooo singalongable…

    and Y’s “dan harudo andweneunde Eh Eh” leading into Joochan’s perfect falsetto’d “Without You Woo Woo Woo Woo Woo” is just musically iconic for me.
    I love that moment and it gets me going to hear two vocalists share that kind of energy together.

    I know Golden Child is a huge group of talent, so moments like these can be a dime or dozen – but for me it’s a really special musical moment that happened this year. I’ve written in the past that even through the gloominess of the series, I gave me a lot of warmth through pandemic. What can I say, I am a little bit of an emo/gloomy person…so it spoke to me.

    so just personally With You, might be a higher ranking song…but I’m anti-hierarchy for my own taste so no personal list…I will def continue to enjoy this posting seriessss!


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  9. OnlyOneOf is actually my #1 this year. There’s just something about Angel I love that I can’t describe. It’s not in your face but it hits all the right spots. And it’s a far cry from pretty much every other boy group tropes this year.


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