Looking Back: The Top Three K-Pop Songs of October 2010

Monthly Round-UpSince the start of The Bias List in January 2016, I’ve always looked back at my three favorite title tracks by K-pop artists each month. Now, it’s time to look even further into the past, one month at a time. And, yes, the top three rankings count toward The Bias List’s personal artist scorecard!

October 2010 Overall Thoughts

October 2010 was a jolt of energy, as the month delivered a consistent stream of releases. That doesn’t mean all of these releases were excellent, but there was a nice diversity of sound going on.

We got some great rock in the form of Lee Juck’s With You, some fun, fast-paced hip-hop from Outsider, some laidback funk from Supreme Team and Young Joon, and even some tango from Ga-In! We also had a big comeback from PSY, which functioned as his first work with YG Entertainment and a template for many of the aspects that would make 2012’s Gangnam Style such a massive global success.

Speaking of YG, 2NE1 continued to promote their first full album with It Hurts. Trio JYJ made their global debut with the Kanye-West-featuring Ayy Girl, which sounds pretty dated now but is worth checking out as a curiosity. SHINee followed up their hard-hitting Lucifer with the saccharine sweet Hello, one of their few title tracks I’m not too enthusiastic about. But, they’re SHINee… so they make the honorable mentions list. Much better is 2PM’s classic I’ll Be There, which is a very close fourth place for me this October.

But when it comes down to it, this month was all about the girl groups – even the little-known ones like HAM. Yes, there was actually a girl group called “HAM,” with a song called So Sexy. And… it’s surprisingly good!

My top three is filled with girl group classics, and my top pick is one of my all-time favorite girl group tracks. Can you imagine following up something as underdeveloped as Tilting My Head with a song as transcendently excellent as Nothing Lasts Forever? What a massive step up!

**And yes, I’m cheating a bit because the Korean version of Rainbow’s Mach doesn’t actually have a music video. But, the song was still promoted and is regarded as one of their most iconic singles.

Honorable Mentions

Co-ed School – Bbiribbom Bbaeribom (video)

Ga-In – Irreversible (video)

HAM – So Sexy (video)

JYJ – Ayy Girl (ft. Kanye West & Malik Yusef) (video)

Lee Juck – With You (video)

NS Yoon-G – Let’s Dance (video)

Outsider – Hero (ft. LMNOP) (video)

PSY – Right Now (video)

SHINee – Hello (video)

Supreme Team & Young Joon – Then Then Then (video)

U-Kiss – Shut Up!! (video)

2AM – You Wouldn’t Answer My Calls (video)

2NE1 – It Hurts (video)

2PM – I’ll Be Back (video)


3. Girls’ Generation (SNSD) – Hoot

2. Rainbow – Mach

1. Girl’s Day – Nothing Lasts Forever

12 thoughts on “Looking Back: The Top Three K-Pop Songs of October 2010

  1. A 2010, the golden era of tacky outfits and questionable MVs…

    I kind of want 2PM to react to their I’ll Be Back MV, classic song though.

    Nothing Last’s Forever is a very Alienhits-esque song.

    Am I the only person in the one who loves Hello?!

    Classic month, and many great songs would miss my personal top 5.

    1. Outsider – Hero

    What can I say? This is Outsider explaining why he is such a legendary rapper, and concluding his feud with Oxygen by absolutely murdering it, and at the same time showcasing why he should have been cast in City Hunter. The speed here is legendary.

    2. Rainbow – Mach

    Probably Rainbow’s peak, one of the best girl group songs overall from that era. Those synths, the guitar, the vocals, all make a great chorus.

    3. SHINee – Hello

    Along with Super Junior’s Mr Simple, one of the most important songs for me getting into K-Pop. That bridge still puts a smile on my face. Sure, it is light-hearted and a remake, but it sounds so joyous.

    4. Girl’s Day – Nothing Lasts Forever

    Sounding a lot like Europop in Korean more than actual K-Pop, Nothing Lasts Forever to me is all about those amazing vocal harmonies and the aggressive synth beat sucking the listener in.

    5. 2PM – I’ll Be Back

    Okay, the outfits are SUPER questionable, but the electronic 2010 dance beat is so classic the song is hard to deny. I remember that I always listened to this along with Again and Again.

    Top Honorable Mentions:

    2AM – You Would Not Answer My Calls

    Not exactly original, but I love a good K-Drama-esque ballad.

    SNSD – Hoot

    Nearly made it into the top 5. Shows just how strong the month was that such a classic song missed the top 5.


    • Nah I adore Hello too. I had it ingratiated into my head because I learned part of the choreo with my friends for a dance competition, and I have a lot of positive memories associated with it.

      I think it’s also the first SHINee MV I ever saw? A friend sent it to me gushing about how cute it was, and….I was not ready for it at the time. I was not ready to accept the truth!!


  2. .
    I have in some order Rainbow “Mach” and Shinee Hello.

    Yes I like Hello. Its like Call Me Baby 2.0 … idk which came first. Oh wow Call Me Baby is from 2015, well then, Hello is the early precedent for Call Me Baby. Love me Right too. There are cleverer regulars here who can tell us all the chord progression, but it is so utterly simple and yet effective. The simplicity and spare arrangement makes it a personality showcase in mid tempo. If you don’t know what each member sounds like by the end of the song, go listen again. This is a fine example where you can really hear how Jonghyun can craft such a good vocal line from something that is so simple, he just digs into it and emotes with his whole being.

    Also Xeno floves Rainbow, and introduced me to them, so I will say that here. idk if he crushes more on Rainbow or Girl’s Day, probably both in turn. If he ever posts on this post, maybe he will let us know. Xeno, what say ye?


  3. Pingback: Looking Back: The Top Three K-Pop Songs of October 2010 | Rap Star Media

  4. I feel bad for Shawols who got disappointed by Hello after coming off the heels of a song like Lucifer, and had to wait 2 in-a-half years for a korean comeback to arrive. But hey! At least that comeback was Sherlock.

    Anyways, I keep on forgetting how amazing Girl’s day are, they have made such amazing songs and while I still think there are better songs in their catalog, Nothing Lasts Forever is certainly a hit. But I prefer Hoot, It’s one of Girls Generation’s best songs and a rapid-fire hit for me.


  5. Oh hoot, one of many GG songs in which they literally shoved Hyoyeon in the back, gave her unflattering hair and literally half a line for the entire song. Oof!!

    And yet, it’s a total fave of mine lol


  6. Nothing Lasts Forever’s intro is a menace. I can’t play it out loud because it’ so misleading. Shame because the whole thing is fire.


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