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The Top Three K-Pop Songs of March 2021

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.


March 2021 Overall Thoughts

I’ve heard whispers around social media lamenting that 2021 has been a weak year for K-pop so far. At first, I found this perspective odd because I think these last three months have been pretty fantastic.

But, I do feel like 2021 has been a bit lop-sided depending on where your musical preferences lie. Many of K-pop’s boy groups have been absolutely killing it this year, but there haven’t been nearly as many big girl group releases. In fact, I don’t think there’s been a single girl group title track that has stunned me so far. In this way, 2021’s first quarter is almost a direct opposite of 2020. If you’re a bummed-out girl group fan, I’m sure things will get better. In the meantime, give some of these boy groups a chance. They’re finally starting to explore new sounds and energy!

Anyway, March was an absolutely stuffed month, which means the quality varied quite a bit. It gave us a few total standouts, but also delivered The Bias List‘s new lowest-rated song. There were some fantastic b-sides this month, and my top three picks would have changed so much if these had been released as title tracks.

Speaking of my top three, it’s comprised entirely of acts who have never been picked for these places before. This is exciting, and very unexpected given the history of some of the artists who made comebacks this month. DRIPPIN’s Young Blood settled for a very, very close fourth place, while IU and Sungkyu released strong contenders. ATEEZ’s comeback never grew on me, but Super Junior’s House Party sure did. After a week or two, I can even appreciate its jarring trap breakdown. Well… sort of.

J-pop also offered a few very strong releases. JO1, Sexy Zone and Daichi Miura led the pack, while KAT-TUN released a cornucopia of interesting music as part of their 15th anniversary single. Korean group The Boyz had that stellar b-side Prism, which should have been promoted.

Between Prism, Take Me Home and Reach Out Your Hands, I feel like there’s an alternate version of March 2021. In this parallel reality, I’d be eyeing each of these three songs — and their accompanying music videos — for a place in my year-end top ten list. Oh well… maybe one or two will be promoted eventually.

Either way, March continued 2021’s strong run of releases. Given the feast of comebacks on the horizon, there’s no reason for April to falter, so I remain optimistic (though I don’t want to jinx it!).

On a personally-biased note, March was a consequential month for my favorite group Infinite. With Sungkyu, Sungyeol and Dongwoo all leaving Woollim Entertainment in rapid succession, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t concerned for the group’s future. I guess I just have to hope that we can take the name “Infinite” literally!

Month Cumulative Rating: 7.7

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


C-Pop Highlights

Jackson Wang – LMLY (review)

WayV – Kick Back (video)

J-Pop Highlights

Daichi Miura – Backwards (review)

KAT-TUN – Roar (review)

KAT-TUN’s Kamenashi, Ueda & Nakamaru – Pure Ice / Yankee Unrequited Love / Change Your Mind (preview)

Sexy Zone – Let’s Music / Right Next To You (review / review)

Treasure – Beautiful (reviewvideo)

Voyz Boy – Galaxy (review)


TOP J-POP SONG OF THE MONTH

JO1 – Born To Be Wild (review)


K-POP

Honorable Mentions

B.I – Midnight Blue (review)

Cosmic Girls (WJSN) – Unnatural (review)

DRIPPIN – Young Blood (review)

GHOST9 – Seoul (review)

iKON – Why Why Why (review)

IU – Coin / Lilac (review / review)

Kang Seungyoon – IYAH (review)

Kim Sung Kyu – Hush (review)

Kim Sejeong – Warning (review)

MCND – Not Over (review)

MY.st – Dazzle (review)

NTX – Kiss The World (review)

Pentagon – Do Or Not (review)

Super Junior – House Party (review)

Weeekly – After School (review)

Woodz – Feel Like (review)


TOP THREE SONGS

3. BDC – Moon Rider (review)

2. Jessi – What Type Of X (review)

1. Mirae – Killa (review)


Top Three K-Pop Songs Of February 2021

Top Three K-Pop Songs Of January 2021

Top Three K-Pop Songs Of December 2020

Top Three K-Pop Songs Of November 2020

Top Three K-Pop Songs Of October 2020

Top Three K-Pop Songs Of September 2020

2010-2020 Archive Here

22 thoughts on “The Top Three K-Pop Songs of March 2021

  1. Pingback: The Top Three K-Pop Songs of March 2021 | Rap Star Media

  2. Wow, looking at this list is a reminder of how many new releases went over my head this month. I hadn’t listened to BDC Moon Rider before this, but it’s fantastic!

    Most of my Kpop playlist for this month appears to have been eaten by Buzz’s new album, because Min Kyunghoon and rock ballads are a tried and true combination. The title is alright, pretty nice, but I adore Tomorrow Is and Rain. Worthy of mention in my books as well is WayV’s Kick Back, partially for that amazing pre-chorus, and also partially because I have recently fallen victim to NCT disease after years of writing their music off as not my style.

    For the obligatory Dreamcatcher mention: they released a Japanese EP with Eclipse, which we previously only had the 1:30 anime opening version of. The only new b-side is Don’t Light My Fire, which I am an unreasonably large fan of. The opening instrumental with the piano loop is so Nightwish reminiscent to me (I can’t put my finger on which song exactly right now, so I’ll go with Amaranth), and well, Dreamcatcher doing songs on the (comparatively) heavier side is always a win.

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  3. Anyways, this comment is going to be a long-winded rant for ATEEZ and KQ and their stupid concept photos.
    On The Date of February, you can see ATEEZ promoting that they’ll do something newer, and after a long hiatus for fans with no music whatsoever, we finally get something. It looks pretty exciting! don’t ya think?
    “https://twitter.com/ATEEZofficial/status/1357343155360833536”

    Then, they kept on teasing it with a bright, fantasy- like concept. “https://www.hellokpop.com/kpop/ateez-to-declare-im-the-one-in-my-zone-in-their-upcoming-comeback/”
    It felt kind of annoying when they shifted it, but it’s ATEEZ! The creators of Wonderland! being packed with Edenary is sure to make a knock-out of a comeback.

    And…….they kept on releasing concept photos after concept photos after concept photos, with no tease of music earlier so we can put our expectations accordingly, only at the end of a month (!) did they give us the song. And after such a long wait, my disappointment was immeasurable.

    But I knew that ATEEZ would release a follow up! Right? What were those extra concept photos for? Right! A Stupid Special Video!

    I have no problem with Celebrate being chosen as the follow up, but it was released as a special Music video with no effort put in it. After 8 months of barren music, this is what you really give us? The Promotional choices was ass and just straight up bad. What was the point in those dumb concept photos? WHAT WAS THE POINT?! What was the point in making us wait, there was no reason for those photos to exist that means.

    It could have been much better if you shortened it with releasing the dark photos at first and unveiled I’m The One and the album, only to later one bright photo with the group titled “special music video”. Instead, you never utilized the potential you put in the OFFICIAL concept photos and released ONLY a photo shoot mv. I want to choke the fuck out KQ’s promotional team for this, because it was super dumb and unnecessary.

    I just have one problem with KQ and it’s the promotional map. Please re-arrange it and tease some music in the middle, otherwise please stop spamming concept photos even at the end of the month.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nick, I think this month is the main reason why you must have b-side section.

    Just look at the b-sides!
    UNO
    Reach Out Your Hands
    Take Me Home
    Prism
    Money Money
    That’s Me
    Burn The Floor

    All of these song s are amazing and deserve a mention!

    Take Me Home easily takes the crown but for singles I’d say Moon Rider, It’s melody is superb!

    Worst song of the month is the drugged Fireworks by one of my favorite groups……

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  5. I was really surprised you said that about girl groups… I’ve thought Dreamcatcher, Cherry Bullet, Weeekly, and now WJSN have all released great stuff this year. Then again, I’m so tired of boy group moody dark noise music that even groups I really like (ATEEZ) or songs I otherwise think are good (the GHOST9 song) just aren’t getting on my radar, and I don’t feel like checking out new groups so much. Hoping April brings a great month with ITZY, Day6, and SHINee repack!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have to punt on ranking this month, as I downloaded lots and listened to little. All the b-sides would rank very high. Moonrider and Killer both grew on me, as did House Party.

    For “House Party”, it helps that they have done so many music show performances and alt video versions cooped up in a apartment, and outtakes from the same. SuJu are having so much fun performing the song that it really sells it. For the younger groups, they are so focused on doing a flawless perfectly synced performance, hitting all the marks, making all the faces right into the camera*. Here, the boys are still hitting all the marks, but those marks are kept deliberately loose and shaggy so the exuberance comes through with ad libs and inside jokes and all packed in. The fun is palpable and makes the audience share in the fun.

    *Yes, I watched the newest Kingdom episode this morning, and once again there are lots of dark theme with vigorous arm movements.

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    • I barely watched promotions for House Party but a clip of Heechul being a very confused and awkward ending fairy made it onto my feeds and it was beautiful.

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  7. So far, I have found myself seriously enjoying 2021 kpop, far more than I was enjoying 2020’s releases by this same time last year. Granted I got Shinee back and that alone is pretty impactful in itself.
    The release slate has been pretty lopsided towards boy groups which is kind of odd but I imagine that won’t last. Although the number of new boy groups that have debuted within the last six months is absolutely wild. As much as kpop continues to grow its audience I worry that there simply isn’t enough room for all of them. It will make for steep competition which may or may not prove to be a good thing in the long run. As always, I just hope no one gets hurt, but that always seems to be too much to ask for.

    As for march itself I agree with your top three, and I’d throw in Wayv’s kick back as my favorite releases of the month. Without a doubt Mirae’s debut was my favorite part of march. I love their name, I love their concept, and I love their debut mini album. Song for song it’s my favorite mini released so far this year, and perhaps my favorite debut mini in well over a year. I am super excited to see where the future takes them!

    April is already stacked as well. Of course, we are getting a Shinee repackage because its SM. Apparently its Atlantis themed, as if I needed more reasons to love Shinee than I already do. It also seems were getting a seven member dream comeback which based on the café teaser looks like it might bring Dream back to their bright and youthful sound. Nuest and Astro are both dropping full albums and Itzy will finish off the month, so maybe that’s when the girl groups will start to kick in, maybe it’ll be a girl group kinda summer. Then on top of it all Kingdom will begin, so all in all being a kpop fan certainly keeps one busy but you won’t find me complaining about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. May I take a bit more of your time to highlight another indie artist with a song from March 2021. This guy is from MONT and this song sounds like an early Zico from back when Zico was good Self-composed, self-produced. And the song has an awesome live guitar crushing it on not one but two solos.
    Roda from MONT “Anxious”

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can really hear the Zico influence in his delivery. The lyrics are pretty relatable and I like how the production brings that anxious feeling to life, while still being super catchy and even fun.

      Liked by 1 person

    • For the legendary Kingdom war, why were all off the performances so plain?

      Road To Kingdom had more dynamic stages, Golden Child and The Boyz killed it and TOO and ONF bought in some legendary songs and pulled them off with panache. We had great story telling from ONEUS too, but this? No.

      I like to think that all of these performances were too *PERSONAL*. Fans could easily spot out the re-arrangements each group did on the stage, but people who aren’t fans can’t. That’s the whole problem, these stages might’ve been fun to fans but don’t expand wide enough to appeal to others, that’s the main problem behind these stages.

      Anyway, that’s my ted talk.

      Like

  9. Pingback: The Top Three K-Pop Songs of April 2021 | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

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