Looking Back: The Top Three K-Pop Songs of September 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!

September 2009 Overall Thoughts

Closing out the third quarter of 2009, K-pop’s biggest agencies dominated. I’m talking specifically about SM and YG Entertainment, who not only fill my entire top three but also spill over to the honorable mentions.

The big story of this month has to be debuts. September saw the debut of f(x) and NS Yoon-G, as well as boy group Shu-I and girl group H.A.M. Yes, these were actually real names of K-pop groups! H.A.M’s song, in particular, exemplifies a time when girl groups could perform bubblegum pop in a lower, more powerful register. I’d love to see this approach make a comeback.

Elsewhere, a number of idol groups spawned soloists. 2NE1’s Dara, Tritops’ Goon and g.o.d’s Kim Tae Woo each released songs. The latter is a particular favorite, even if it sounds a bit like worship music at times. Shinhwa’s Jun Jin and After School’s Uee also collaborated for His & Her Situation, while Whale and Jo Kwon put their spin on 90’s hit Dunk Shot (which NCT Dream would cover nearly eight years later).

But for me, the month belongs to G-Dragon and Super Junior-M. Depending on my mood, I I like Breathe even more than Heartbreaker. And SJ’s Super Girl is great in Mandarin or Korean. It’s got that crunchy SMP sound, highlighted by an iconic vocal hook.

Honorable Mentions

Dara – Kiss (video)

Goon – I’m Superman (video)

H.A.M. – TT Dance (video)

Jun Jin & Uee – His & Her Situation (video)

Kim Tae Woo – Love Rain (video)

NS Yoon-G – Headache (video)

Shu-I – Bomb Bomb Bomb (video)

T-ara – TTL (ft. Supernova) (video)

Tae Goon – Betrayed (video)

Whale & Jo Kwon – Dunk Shot (video)


3. f(x) – LA chA TA (full review)

2. Super Junior-M – Super Girl

1. G-Dragon – Breathe

12 thoughts on “Looking Back: The Top Three K-Pop Songs of September 2009

  1. Guys! You know how there are some weirdos who go to find out which name produces the best k-pop singles? I am one of those weirdos and I have come to the realization that “Breath” is the king!

    Think about it!
    Miss A – Breathe
    ZE:A – Breathe
    Astro – Breathless
    AB6IX – Breathe
    Blitzers – Breathe again
    G Dragon – Breathe

    and my two personal favorite “Breath/Breathe”:
    Beast – Breath
    Golden Child – Breathe

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My top 3 is the exact same. Breathe is one of my all-time favorites, truly just uber fun pop. Both it and Super Girl really solidified my love for K-Pop when I was getting into it in 2010. 2009 is just one of the best years for k-pop in my opinion.

    And as a forever MeU, I’ll always have a deep love for La Cha Ta!


  3. As a native speaker I always remember being kind of baffled by how well they pronounce the lyrics in Super Girl (especially since the lyrics are a lot more intelligible to my ear than those from any of WayV’s singles, which is a little awkward). Hearing Kyuhyun’s mandarin pronunciation was probably what sunk the bias hooks so deep into brain.
    +++for La Cha Ta too, f(x) can do no wrong in my book.


  4. Unrelated, but I just listened to EXO’ s comeback teaser – I don’ t want to get my hopes up too much, but this little snippet sounds pretty good! “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAcIPnJ5G0k”

    Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, this sounds like a post-chorus, with the instrumental preceding it being the chorus (without vocals) – but we’ll see.. I’m getting Power vibes – a fun song with a fun concept, not too complicated.


  5. Wait, NCT Dream’s amazing Dunk Shot is a cover?!

    I hadn’t heard Super Girl before, but it sounds like classic Super Junior. The harmonized hook is just off-pitch, probably intentional but it bothers me a little.

    Breathe is one of those songs I forgot existed until now. I did not recognize it until I started listening to it, so thank you for that huge wave of nostalgia. I think I haven’t listened to this track since 2013, but it’s still great! I think it’s impossible for me to dislike a G-Dragon song.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There are parts with seriously diminished chords, lots of close seconds to sound deliberately distorted. I can’t pick out the exact notes as my ear is that good, but I know my hand would be in a fairly closed position with all the fingers bunched up.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Second of all, La Cha Ta. I never got into this particular GD song.

    And now first of all, Super Girl, Ah yes, the first in the long running series of Super’s from Super Junior to feature in their Super Shows, such as Super Girl, Superman, Super Duper, Super Clap, and just plain Super. Which begs the question: why did SM name their Super Group Super M featuring no one from Super Junior?

    Related: apparently this week it is now a thing for various Asian wannabe pop stars to feature “Superman” behind them on TikTok and related social media sites. This leaves the ELF extremely perplexed, given that the lyrics are so Super Junior specific. Super Junioh, the last men standing!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The “effect” that Super Girl has at the bridge is kind of similar to ONF’s Complete’s, and it’s great.

    La Cha Ta’s bridge is amazing.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.