Looking Back: The Top Three K-Pop Songs of February 2009

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!

February 2009 Overall Thoughts

February of 2009 didn’t offer the kind of ultra-iconic track that January did, but there were actually quite a few great songs this month. Many of these would now be considered “buried treasures,” coming from artists who are either inactive or unknown today.

Unsurprisingly, Sweetune reigned supreme with Kara’s buoyant Honey. Both the producers and the group were still easing into their imperial eras, but Honey was a sugary taste of what was to come. Meanwhile, FTIsland released their first great ballad single: the melodramatic sing-along Bad Woman.

You might not recognize the name 9th Street. They came and went with little attention, but Wanna Go is an underrated jam. Its funky r&b packs a punch, driven by a soulful vocal that delivers a few surprises. The music video version ends up going a bit off the rails, transitioning to an ill-fitting rock section during its bridge. But, the single includes a more straightforward edit that ups the funk brass and keeps the groove consistent.

February also gave us some very fun, very 2009 singles. Wheesung’s Insomnia, Ajoo’s Wealthy 2nd Generation and U-Kiss’s I Like You all sound dated now, but in the most charming way. Those flimsy synths and overdramatic performances are pure nostalgic joy.

Speaking of nostalgia, at this point solo star Jessi was still working under the unfortunate moniker “Jessica H.O.” Her boisterous Life Is Good was actually released in January, but I *think* the music video came out in February? Either way, it deserves an honorable mention.

And, before the world knew Teen Top or 100% or UP10TION or MCND, Top Media debuted duo Jumper. One of its members was actually a pre-100% Rockhyun. Debut track Yes! is good, clean K-pop fun.

Honorable Mentions

Ajoo – Wealthy 2nd Generation (video)

Jessica H.O. – Life Is Good (video)

Jumper – Yes! (video)

Sori – Real Lips (video)

U-Kiss – I Like You (video)

Wheesung – Insomnia (video)


3. FTIsland – Bad Woman

2. 9th Street – Wanna Go

1. Kara – Honey


10 thoughts on “Looking Back: The Top Three K-Pop Songs of February 2009

  1. Oh my god, I just fell in love with Wanna Go by 9th Street. Thanks a lot for the recommendation, Nick! I can’t find the song anywhere else besides Youtube though. Can I ask you where I can listen to it? I couldn’t find it on Spotify or Apple Music, and searching for it on Google didn’t lead me to anything.


  2. Nicole’s rap in Honey should not work, but it worked. And it’s all in English. She paved the way for the current KPop.

    KARA is the group that I underestimated at first but as I dig deeper into their discography, well, they’re one of a kind. Honey lives up to its name. A stone-cold classic group and song for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

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