Since 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!
March 2009 Overall Thoughts
Only three months into 2009, SM Entertainment had already delivered two iconic K-pop classics. That’s pretty incredible, and a testament to how influential they were during this era. “Hook songs” — in which the chorus hinged on a repetitive, addictive phrase — were becoming emblematic of the year. And, there is no hookier hook song than Super Junior’s Sorry Sorry. It casts a long shadow over the month of March, and the entirety of 2009.
But, Sorry Sorry wasn’t the only classic released this month. Son Dam Bi’s Saturday Night was a huge number one hit, and fully embraced the 80’s aesthetic that has always been prevalent in K-pop. March also gave us our first look at a pre-debut 2NE1, who joined Bigbang for the cheesetastic Lollipop.
I’m a little unsure about release dates for a couple of the songs in my honorable mentions. SE7EN’s English-language Girls (with Lil’ Kim, of all people!) was released in February, but I don’t think the video came out until March. And I’ve found conflicting information about Davichi’s 8282 (Baby Baby), which was either released at the very end of February or beginning of March depending on where you look. Either way, it’s a super fun reminder of a time when the duo released upbeat club bangers.
Rounding out my top three is a follow-up track by Girls’ Generation. Way To Go is an irresistible cheering song, and harnesses a timeless spirit that feels welcome even a decade later.
Bigbang & 2NE1 – Lollipop (video)
Davichi – 8282 (Baby Baby) (video)
Epik High – Map The Soul (video)
F.T.Island – Missing U (video)
SE7EN – Girls (ft. Lil’ Kim) (video)
2AM – Confession Of A Friend (video)
TOP THREE SONGS
3. Girls Generation (SNSD) – Way To Go
2. Son Dam Bi – Saturday Night
1. Super Junior – Sorry Sorry
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1. Super Junior – Sorry Sorry
As much as like to claim I immune to catchy hooks, I must admi- SORRY SORRY SORRY SORRY NEKA NEKA NEKA MUNJO – I mean, I think it is pretty – SORRY SORRY SORR- ugh, i give in.
2. FT.Island – Missing U
It samples Vivaldi’s Winter, and I am really enjoying that choice. The chorus is an instant classic.
3. Epik High – Map the Soul
I mean, Epik High are the kings of K-Hip-Hop. Map the Soul might be one of their eeriest songs, and I love it for that.
4. Davichi – 8282
I mean, one of K-Pop’s most underappreciated MVs. If you can make it to the end, it really is a masterpiece. The song itself could have used a better transition between the chorus and verses. Best if followed by I Made a Mistake, which has the second part of the MV. Unsure if it was released in the same month. But if so, it deserves an honorable mention.
5. SNSD – Way To Go
Not as strong as Gee, but still really solid, driven by the incredible chorus.
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Hi Nick! this is very premature, but will you be interested in reviewing any songs released by the (fictional) kpop groups from Imitation (a new kdrama). One of the groups released a (fictional) comeback teaser and I’m surprised by how promising it sounds (it’s generic, but generic done well)
There are quite a few active idols participating in this kdrama, including a huge number of Ateez members, so the (fictional) performances are definitely going to be great haha
this is the teaser btw: https://twitter.com/SHAX_twt/status/1386560676903129089
I might! I’m planning on watching the drama either way, and hope that it lives up to expectations.
Sorry Sorry on top, of course, the source of many many viral dance moments. I love how the video has the camera set low so the guys are literally coming out at you. Also the song itself, how it is a good example of the (mostly) one note chorus that is still effective. Style and substance.
Also, I am a bit of a softee for Big Bang 2NE1 Lollipop.
Again, Taeyeon adlibs at the end of the song. She ate.
Sorry Sorry, at first, was horrible for me. The autotune? The repetitive chorus? But then, it’s a classic for a reason. Now, I memorized the whole song in my head. It grew on me immensely. I’m not bothered anymore by the autotune. I even memorized the chorus dance. Sorry sorry.