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The Top Three K-Pop Songs of April 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.


April 2021 Overall Thoughts

2021 continues to be a strong year for K-pop. When it comes to consistency, I think April dipped a bit — particularly during its saggy middle. But, the month delivered a few incredible tracks and ended up with my highest cumulative rating since November. My top two picks are nothing short of excellent, and the third place is no slouch either. The fact that we’re getting this kind of adventurous variety from K-pop is quite exciting.

Two repackages loomed large over April, bookending the month with knockout singles and strong album tracks. SHINee’s Atlantis and ONF’s City Of ONF will surely rank among 2021’s best albums when all is said and done. Nu’est’s Romanticize was also very strong, and the quality of its b-sides helped me appreciate the title track more. Inside Out proved to be a big grower.

Another big grower this month was Lunarsolar’s DaDaDa. The song’s silly, exuberant live performance (seriously… the punch-spanking??) quickly won me over during music shows.

Speaking of “winning me over,” OnlyOneOf’s libidO is the kind of “entry point” song that had me reconsidering their entire discography. Despite loving last year’s Angel, I had never really invested in the group prior to this month. That has definitely changed.

On the other hand, vocal arrangements and vocal mixing marred a few otherwise great title tracks. BAE173’s standout Loved You could have been even better with a gutsier vocal performance, while ENHYPEN’s Drunk-Dazed suffered from HYBE’s obsession with tinny mixing. Both songs were still highlights, but they also feel like missed opportunities.

As we approach the summer months, funk-pop and disco seem to be emerging trends. Call it the “BTS Dynamite effect.” Great Guys, Dongkiz, CIX, Hoshi and SuperM all opted for funky sounds, but J-pop group Fantastics ended up delivering the best example of this upbeat energy.

Speaking of J-pop, April felt like a slow month for Japanese releases. Luckily, Stop For Nothing appeared right in time to claim an easy victory, even if we haven’t seen its “real” music video yet.

It’s crazy to think about where we were this time last year. I was pretty pessimistic about K-pop, and 2020 didn’t really start to turn around until June. We don’t have that problem in 2021. I just hope the year continues to offer highlights. I would love nothing more than a super-competitive year-end list when December rolls around.

Month Cumulative Rating: 7.9

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


J-Pop Highlights

CIX – All For You (review)

Exile – Paradox (review)

Generations – Liberation (review)

Seventeen – Not Alone (review)


TOP J-POP SONG OF THE MONTH

Fantastics – Stop For Nothing (review)


K-POP

Honorable Mentions

AB6IX – Close (review)

Astro – One (review)

BAE173 – Loved You (review)

D-CRUNCH – My Name (review)

Dongkiz – Universe (review)

ENHYPEN – Drunk-Dazed (review)

Great Guys – Touch By Touch (review)

Hoshi – Spider (review)

Kim Jaehwan – I Wouldn’t Look For You (review)

Lunarsolar – DaDaDa (review)

Nu’est – Inside Out (review)

P1Harmony – Scared (review)

STAYC – ASAP (review)

SuperM – We Do (review)

Wendy – Like Water (review)

2Z – Stupid / O@SIS (review / video)

3YE – Stalker (review)


TOP THREE SONGS

3. ONF – Ugly Dance (review)

2. OnlyOneOf – libidO (review)

1. SHINee – Atlantis (review)


Top Three K-Pop Songs Of March 2021

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

2010-2020 Archive Here

27 thoughts on “The Top Three K-Pop Songs of April 2021

    • I realize now that this may have come off as being quite a rude comment. I did not mean to question and/or pressure you on your personal ratings; I was genuinely curious and did not word that well. My apologies.

      Liked by 1 person

    • No offense taken!

      Honestly, right now I’m still deciding which 2020 tracks will bump up to 10’s (spoiler: there aren’t many…)

      What I will say is there are already a few tracks this year that will definitely be inaugurated into my “Legendary Songs” page 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  1. For me Shinee Atlantis and OOO Libido are essentially tied, but I will give the month to OnlyOneOf. They are promoting this song everywhere, and I think in the fullness of time, they will be remembered for this song and its gutsiness for kpop. It will be on youtube video compilations for kpop songs that are _____ for years to come.

    Shinee Atlantis is an equally good song, but we expect this from Shinee. In the fullness of time, this will be on their greatest hits compilation, but it will be one of many and perhaps overshadowed by Lucifer and Sherlock and others.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, they’re essentially tied for me too, and it will be interesting to see how things shake out come December. Two fantastic songs!

      I also agree that OOO have been my artist of the month, if only because Libido sent me down a rabbit hole when it comes to their past work. I’m excited to see what comes next for them.

      Like

        • Sage is even greater than I gave it credit for.
          Savanna has proven itself to be a huge grower.

          Boss and Designer are fantastic b-sides (though I loved the latter from the start).

          Also, this is one of the most entertaining variety shows I’ve watched in ages:

          Liked by 1 person

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

  3. This is the kind of month where there is just too many classics to pit against each other, It’s a clash of singles and while I do have qualms with the overall consistency of April, I can’t lie about the incredible songs we have been getting.
    Since that is out of the way, let us move onto the top songs of the month!

    Honorable mentions to the Top:
    AB6IX – Close
    Taking the deep house trend, Close offered a ton of great hooks, from it’s rhythmic hook to the wistful pre-chorus. It’s engaging from start to finish.

    Enhypen – Drunk-Dazed
    Drunk-Dazed is the aural equivalent to a hurricane sweeping in, It’s a massive title track! Becoming better and more adventurous through it’s run time before climaxing on that excellent additional melody.

    P1Harmony – Scared
    Hearkening back to BTS’s early hip hop roots, Scared offers a bite. With ear-catching rhythms and a full-bodied beat, It’s a great showcase for the guys skills.

    ONF – Ugly Dance
    ONF (and Hwang Hyun) add another excellent to their song into their very excellent discography. Ugly Dance may be simple but it’s backed up by a top tier arrangement and ONF’s fun performance.

    SHINee – Atlantis
    Atlantis builds on SHINee’s towering sound but with a unique, larger-than-life oceanic sound. Laying down catchy bass, cool strings, and heart-pounding electronics to make something sonically immense. Better Yet, SHINee (or more specifically OneW) Offer a grand vocal performance which culminates in a stellar climax.

    TOP SONG OF THE MONTH:
    OnlyOneOf – Libido
    Libido is K-pop at it’s most creative, incorporating high-concept into their songs to make a stunning comeback!
    Literally everything about this song is just top-tier excellent, presented with a ferocity which jettisons the normal swaggy fits presented by boy groups to deliver something more sinister. The whole songs builds on this intense atmosphere which beckons listener to venture through the entire song. It’s an utterly thrilling song, built on it’s gargantuan bass, driving beat and hypnotizing vocals. High point after High Point after High point man!

    TOP B-Side Of The Month:
    ONF – My Genesis (Übermensch)
    My Genesis is a song which plays on it’s tempo structure, putting it’s listeners off-balance to deliver something truly epic. Hwang Hyun works his magic once again, and blends an equal amount Rock and Jazz, and the results you’d expect is something truly epic. Everything segment of the song is strong, but it’s the electric guitar truly steals the show, allowing for an invigorating climax which shoots this song to the stars!

    Really Strong Month overall.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. that’s a LOT of honorable mentions wow, probably the most I’ve seen in these lists. a testament of April 2021 being an amazing month for k-pop.

    Like

  5. Couldn’t honestly give you a Top 3 right now — I’m still in Drunk-Dazed fever mode! I actually love the processing (for once), and any problems I do have with it I only have after consciously thinking about it, which I don’t really do while listening. Maybe it’s because, unlike TXT, whose voices I have at least some familiarity with, I actually have no clue how any of ENHYPEN are meant to sound (or maybe it’s just because the vocals fit the concept!).

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Atlantis suitably at number one. What a month! Just listened to Fantastics’ Stop for Nothing too, great song.

    Like

  7. My ranking this month is 100% different, partly because I still dislike Atlantis, didn’t listen to libidO much, and though I actually really like Ugly Dance, it’s just an honorable mention.

    1. Yukika – Insomnia | Still love the song to this day. It’s just classic city pop to my ears and it’s just so easy to listen to.

    2. 3YE – Stalker | Proud for 3Ye chugging and giving us a really good track and I am still angry at the lack of attention this song got.

    3. AB6IX – Close | I love this song more than most. The whole thing just really works for my particular tastes.

    That said, a lot of songs did grow on me. ASAP is a complete grower and incredibly catchy. Watercolor by Wheein, though completely generic, did worm its way into my head. Drunk-Dazed’s hook ended up actually working even if I didn’t get it the first few times. I also felt very annoyed at Astro’s ONE at first but it’s a lot more enjoyable once I got over their concept and just enjoyed the music.

    Aside from that, Inside Out and All for You were an instant favorite for me though not Top 3.

    Lastly, though I like In the Morning more than most people, I cannot in full conscience recommend it to other people because that song should not have made it to the public the way with the way it was made.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: The Top Three K-Pop Songs of April 2021 | Beatsway

  9. My top five:

    Wendy – Like Water
    ONF – Ugly Dance
    P1Harmony – Scared
    Nu’est – Inside Out
    Wheein – Watercolor

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    • I should have added YB’s Silence; it’s actually my No.1 for the month of April since I listen to this more than any other songs. This song **seriously** rocks!

      Like

  10. My Top 3 of the Month:
    OnlyOneOf – libidO
    – it is the most creative, groundbreaking and impactful release I have ever seen since Beautiful Beautiful. It portrays everything in an impactful and direct way. This is just a revolution.
    ENHYPEN – Drunk-Dazed
    – It is the most artistic and groundbreaking production techniques I’ve heard this year. Especially how distorted the whole song feels and it is just so heavy that it makes you so paranoid and disoriented. A very great analogy of the idol world.
    D-CRUNCH – My Name
    – An underrated song that just features the amazing and authentic vocals of D-CRUNCH. It is what made me reconsider their artistic value as a group. Such an uplifting and dramatic song.

    B-side of the Month:
    OnlyOneOf – tear Of gOd
    – The most thought-provoking, lyrically defying and sonically interesting b-side of the year. It creates such impact to a person that deeply stays with them for a long time. This is the most authentic confession I’ve heard in 2021.

    Like

  11. I agree, strong month for kpop, but incredibly weak releases from girl groups this month. the only gg songs I enjoyed were kura kura (twice), new me (wjsn) and asap (stayc).
    may and june have lots of big name ggs, so I’m betting on these later months.

    Like

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