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The Top Three K-Pop Songs of July 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.


July 2021 Overall Thoughts

Well, July was… interesting.

And by “interesting,” I mean unimaginably dull. Other than a spurt of releases during the first week and a smattering at the end, the month was pretty much devoid of comebacks. This would have made total sense for December, but July is K-pop’s big summer month! I guess you can blame the Olympics and music show cancellations.

Given my day job, this scarcity of music happened to hit right when I have the most time and energy to consume new releases. It’s a shame, but I tried to make the blog fun even without much to review.

Picking a top three this month felt like finding placeholders for a list that doesn’t exist. All three are fine-to-great songs, but none would have made my countdown in a competitive month. One of them isn’t even from July! It gets by on a technicality. I could say the same about my honorable mentions. There are a decent amount of them, considering the meager selection I had to pick from. But, none are really knocking my socks off.

Fortunately, J-pop didn’t take as dramatic a pause as K-pop, which is odd since the Olympics are actually happening in Japan. There were a few very strong tracks this month, and likely some that I missed. I’m putting Snow Man on top, and if their incredibly fun b-side YumYumYum (Spicy Girl) had more than a special dance video, it would have easily been my pick for July. King & Prince’s Namae Oshiete also refuses to leave my mind, and Fantastics ended the month with another strong single.

The K-pop dam is finally poised to burst in August, with almost all of my favorite groups scheduled to make a comeback. It’s gonna be a bloodbath in the best possible way, with lots to look forward to. So, let’s just pretend that July never happened!

Month Cumulative Rating: 7.6

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


J-Pop Highlights

ATEEZ – Dreamers (review)

Exile – Havana Love (video)

Fantastics – Drive Me Crazy (review)

King & Prince – Namae Oshiete / Our Great Journey (reviewvideo)

KinKi Kids – Un/Pair (video)

Ryuji Imaichi – Future Lovers (review) (released in late June, but I missed it!)

Sekai No Owari – Tears (video)

Snow Man – YUAN (video)


TOP J-POP SONG OF THE MONTH

Snow Man – Hello Hello (review)


K-POP

Honorable Mentions

AKMU – NAKKA (ft. IU) (review)

CIX – Tesseract (review)

Jeon Soyeon – Beam Beam (review)

Kim Woojin – Still Dream (review)

N.O.M – Mega Punch (review)

Rain x Monsta X x Brave Girls x ATEEZ – Summer Taste (review)

SF9 – Tear Drop (review)

The Boyz – Drink It (review)

Taeyeon – Weekend (review)

Yukika – The Moment (with Pat Lok) (review)


TOP THREE SONGS

3. AKMU – Hey Kid, Close Your Eyes (ft. Lee Sun Hee) (review)

2. Dreamcatcher – BEcause (review)

1. Brave Girls – Pool Party (ft. E-Chan) (review)


Top Three K-Pop Songs Of June 2021

Top Three K-Pop Songs Of May 2021

Top Three K-Pop Songs Of April 2021

Top Three K-Pop Songs Of March 2021

Top Three K-Pop Songs Of February 2021

Top Three K-Pop Songs Of January 2021

2010-2020 Archive Here

30 thoughts on “The Top Three K-Pop Songs of July 2021

  1. I am really, really worried about that Golden Child Comeback. Spell, Track 4 and Bottom In The Ocean seemed like incredible tracks and they deserved to get title track treatment. I am having a slight feeling that “Ra Pam Pam” will turn out good at the end, because StarDust produced it, there must be surprises lying ahead!

    Honestly, I wished the song sounded more like Infinite’s Wind or the group’s very own b-side I’m Falling. Hell! I thought the song was gonna be more like “Eyes On You” from the concept photos….
    If the title track for this comeback won’t work for me, I’ll just hope the re-package will be better!

    Note: I am awaiting for Sunmi, ONF, Astro and The Boyz Comebacks! All of them look promising…

    Like

    • Not gonna lie… I was borderline depressed when I heard the first teaser. It’s not that I don’t think Ra Pam Pam will be good. I’m almost certain it will. It’s just not the sound I tend to like, and it’s disappointing that Woollim decided on it for Golcha. But, plenty of other fans LOVE that style of music, so fair enough. And, the full song might surprise us. After all, I never would have thought I’d enjoy Golcha tackling reggaeton, but I consider Burn It to be a genuine masterpiece and one of their strongest titles.

      I’m choosing to focus more on the b-sides. Some of them sound INCREDIBLE. I’ll no doubt be salty about the fact they didn’t get chosen for promotion, but what can you do? At least we get ’em one way or another!

      With that said, I’ll be kind of sad if Golcha don’t find their way into my top three of August, which is very feasible given the strength of their competition!

      Liked by 4 people

      • I agreed with everything you said! I have a slight feeling “Ra Pam Pam” might be excellent though, Golden Child have never disappointed for me…and their performance can improve almost everything. StarDust is an awesome producer and I am sure he might put some surprises here and there!

        Apart from Golden Child not making your top three of august, I’ll be even sadder with the fact that “Ra Pam Pam” might put an end to their second imperial phase, and recent streak of killer singles.

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      • I was cautiously optimistic when I heard the teaser, and then genuinely a little bit concerned that if I liked it, y’all wouldn’t. Here’s hoping for a happy middle ground!

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      • I agree about the title – got really worried from the teaser. The album teaser immediately turned my mood around, though. Sounds like there might actually be more songs I enjoy on this album than the previous!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Holy crap July has been barren. I only gained an appreciation of to what extent when I was scrolling through recent posts and I noticed a lot of it was for features instead of reviews. And the music that has come out hasn’t exactly wowed me either.

    I was a little surprised Mega Punch didn’t make the top 3. I love that song and video so much!

    Can’t deny Pool Party though. Definitely a shining beacon in a barren month.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My top 3, before I saw this post:
      3. Jeon Soyeon – Beam Beam
      2. N.O.M – Mega Punch
      1. Dreamcatcher – BEcause

      The top is a bias pick, but I honest to goodness love the song. It helps that I have no impulse control and actually watched/listened to the MCD stages, so it’s had a lot of time to grow on me. I’ll confess I’m not sure I’d’ve given it the top spot if I held out until release day. 😛

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for mentioning Mega Punch! Really thought I was the only one who loved it so much. I still adore it, especially when I need a good shot of energy.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Did you listen to ENHYPEN’s first original japanese song, Forget Me Not? I thought it was pretty good and showcased a completely different style for them, a song with actual “emotional weight” (expected since it’s an anime opening theme) instead of all style and coolness.

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    • Oh wow, I missed this one. Thanks! It’s quite good. I can definitely hear the anime influence, which I like a lot. I prefer this to most of their Korean work, actually.

      Like

  4. Actually, my favorite July k-pop song would be Jinyoung’s DIVE. I was not a GOT7 fan, but this song ticks all my boxes! Hope it gets a video.

    I also love Taeyeon’s Weekend and AKMU’s Hey Kid.

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  5. I never really connected with pool party much, so this month was even worse for me. Here’s my top 3 –

    3. Soyeon – Beam Beam (9,9,8,7 – 8.25)
    2. Dreamcatcher – BEcause (8,9,8,9 – 8.5)
    1. Kingdom – Karma (9,9,9,8 – 8.75)

    Karma grew on me a LOT. Even though I’m still not completely over the future bass behind the first two choruses, it doesn’t bother me at all. It’s last twenty seconds are absolutely in credible. So basically July was me playing Hello Future, libidO, Karma, Born To Be Wild and Snow Man’s Grandeur, and for some reason, Block B’s Very Good to death everyday.

    I’m not very happy Golcha took a Latino-ish sound for their title track, but quite a few songs on the album seem awesome. That’s bad because I’ve recently started to get into Golden Child’s and Infinite’s music. Quite honestly, Infinite’s Back is easily one of the best songs I’ve heard ever. I didn’t like The Chaser much at first listen, but it’s growing on me quite a lot. QUITE a lot.

    I’m cautiously hyped for next month, with Red Velvet, ONF, The Boyz, Sunmi, Astro, my current favourite K-Pop act Stray Kids coming back, and hopefully we get some Mirage and MCND too.

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    • Glad to hear that Back has you in its clutches. It’s such an incredible song. And funny enough, it was partially composed by Razer, who now goes by Stardust, who is the producer of Ra Pam Pam!

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      • I checked out “Back” and “The Chaser” when I saw them on your Best Ever list, and they really are amazing songs. I need to push Infinite higher on my list of older acts to check out. My July was swamped so I haven’t had time for a backlist deep dive of that size.

        Per the Latin-sound of “Ra Pam Pam”, the teaser reminded me a little of “What I Said”, which I love and others here did not so much, if I recall correctly.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Personally,
    1. Sf9 – Tear Drop
    2. Dreamcatcher – BEcause
    3. Girlkind – Good Vibes Only

    I still insist that Girlkind released a great summer song and no one noticed. I can’t say summer song of the year anymore, but it’s highly underrated. BEcause was an instant hit to me, and Tear Drop is still pretty great. AKMU is a somewhat fourth and fifth, while Kingdom a slightly distant sixth.

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  7. I agree… for the first time making a top faves list was hard because there just wasn’t enough songs to pick from 😂.

    I make top 5 lists myself and sadly I could only get 3 from this month – Kingdom Karma, Sf9 Tear Drop and Dreamcatcher BeCause….. Looks like I’ll be importing JustB Damage and BDC Moonlight from last month to July’s list 😂🙃

    Also interesting to see in one of the comments about your views on the Golcha teasers… I can see that Golcha want to continue on the stylish mature route – but honestly though Burn It was good Breathe was what actually made me love them! The chorus of Breathe is truly out of the world! ❤️

    Seeing the cb title Ra Pam Pam I can only hope the chorus won’t descend into a mindless repetition of the words because that’s the one thing which usually puts me off a song 😅

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  8. For me,
    1- Hey Kid, Close Your Eyes (I think this is an unpopular opinion but for me this is one of my favorites of the whole year so far)
    2- NAKKA (this one grew on me a ton from my initial impression)
    3- BEcause (a distant third, but I think it will grow on me as well)

    I think those 3 and Beam Beam (which I liked but honestly haven’t gone back to much) are the only singles I added to my playlist this month, which is insane. Normally I end up with WAY more than that.

    Luckily, the k-pop drought seems like it will end much sooner than the actual drought where I live in CA…lol.

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  9. With how slow July has been in terms of major releases, I was somewhat surprised to see that I added 45 new songs to my various playlists this month, but most of them are rock, hip-hop, or r&b, and even some of the songs I’d consider pop didn’t get reviewed here, which I guess makes them indie pop? /shrug

    Pop:
    1) KIM WOOJIN “Still Dream”: I really like this one, and the lovely choreo took me pleasantly by surprise. I’m hoping we’ll see more performances next month when the full album is released and music shows are back.

    2) DREAMCATCHER “BEcause”. I haven’t heard anything from DC that I love as much as “Scream”, but so it goes. I also playlisted “Intro”, “Airplane”, and “Whistle”, although nothing really rocks my socks. I think city pop might be on my “meh” list along with synth pop.

    3) THE BOYZ “Drink It”: I skipped this at first because I thought I had to download the app to listen to it, but accidentally realized that the Universe tracks are also being released on Apple Music, so I looped around and it turns out I rather like this one. TBZ never go quite as hard as I’d like, but in the absence of anything better, here we are.

    TIED WITH

    3) SF9 “Tear Drop”: I didn’t love this at first, and was fairly disappointed with the EP after playlisting everything from their last two releases, but the title grew on me after watching a bunch of stages.

    – AKMU “Hey kid, Close your eyes” (with Lee Sun Hee), “Stupid love song” (with Crush), and “EVEREST” (with Sam Kim)
    – DAY6 (Even of Day) “We” and “WALK” (B Sides)
    – TAEYEON “Weekend”

    Folk/Indie Pop:
    HA:TFELT “Summertime”: I don’t generally like ‘summer songs’ but I really liked this, and I love the acoustic remix b-side. I almost put this on my top 3 but decided to limit that to releases actually reviewed here. From the looks of your archives, I definitely need to check out her backlist next.

    – ESO “Orgel”
    – Lim Kim “FALLING” (prod. DPR CREAM)
    – Minzy “Teamo”

    Hip-Hop:
    punchnello “Demon Youth” LP: My #1 find of the month, I playlisted 6 of 11 songs and would have added more if he didn’t use a little more English than I’d prefer (not to mention occasional usage of the b-word, which is an automatic nope from me). A lot of the tracks hit my sweet spot of hip-hop/rock/EDM perfectly – not dissimilar from some of Stray Kids’ more obscure B-sides (“The Tortoise and the Hare”, “Booster” or “STOP”). “Yellow Tape” and “9 to 5” in particular are just about perfect EDM-influenced hip-hop.

    – Bewhy “Pack Up” (feat. UNE)
    – Coogie “I Got A Feeling” mixtape – title + “What” (feat. Wonstein) and “Swoosh” (feat. ILLBOI)
    – DPR LIVE “Hula Hoops” (feat. Beenzino & Hwa Sa)

    R&B:
    – Hyolyn “To Find a Reason” (feat. Mad Clown & Kim Seungmin)
    – SAM KIM “These Walls”
    – SOLE “Stay With Me” (feat. Wonstein)
    – Soovi “Lazy” (feat. JAEHA)

    Rock:
    – COLD BAY “LIP (Love is Poison)”
    – LOREN “NEED 9ooo-eee)” and “EMPTY TRASH”
    – NELL “Glow in the Dark”
    – NIve “I’m Alive”
    – Peppertones “FILM LOVE” (feat. Stella Jang)
    – sunwoojunga “BUFFALO” (feat. DAMI, et. at.)
    – SURL “Beside” and “Colors”

    Pop-Adjacent:
    A.C.E “SPARK” (OST): I’m delighted that the boys have been building up a respectable portfolio of OSTs and I even enjoy most of them! This one is a little more upbeat than a lot of OSTs and features all five guys rather than a subunit, which is nice.

    – ATEEZ “Dreamers” and “Blue Summer”

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  10. I’ve got in some order Min Kyunghoon x DinDin I should not have loved you, Dreamcatcher BEcause/Whistle, and the AKMU singles. I also really like NELL’s Glow in the dark (although I believe this is some kind of OST track?), and have some small honorable mention to Kyuhyun Together, mostly because I don’t think I’ve ever seen him shake it shake it for summer. Like all Kyuhyun songs, I grade on a very generous curve. I’ve actually played the Min Kyunghoon song a lot this month though, and between it and Buzz’s EP and I may have involuntarily become a huge fan.

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    • I always grade on a curve for my Kyuhyun too. Have you heard this b-side off of the Gwanghwamun album? Its a cover of an old song “Flying Deep in the Night”. He does it lie from time to time.
      ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZcsUlUjU58

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  11. My list for this month is so short it almost isn’t a list at all. I went back and listened to some of the smaller songs that some listed on their lists, and as it turns out I had heard them too (qv red watched bar on youtube), and they didn’t make much of an impression then or now.

    So I am just going to take a pass for the month, except for one honorable mention.
    Min Kyung Hoon + DinDin “I should not have loved you”. One of the top comments on youtube phrases it well “… Kyunghoon is the one who sounds like he’s experienced every possible pain known to man”
    ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnR3jyfsCRs

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

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