2021 Year-End K-Pop Recap (& Honorable Mentions)

Top 50 K-Pop Songs of 20212021 will mark the sixth time I’ve deconstructed a “Year in K-pop” through a variety of countdowns. Add a wealth of throwback posts and countdowns, and I feel like I’ve gained some perspective. K-pop has changed a lot since I started this blog at the beginning of 2016, but I’m not sure it’s changing nearly as quickly these days. The industry has become such a hulking beast, stuffed with more acts than a casual fan could count. Because of this, it’s harder for seismic shifts in trends to take place. Change feels slow and incremental, but I guess if it’s not broke, why fix it?

For me, 2021 felt like a tale of two contrasting halves. As the year kicked off, I was more optimistic about the state of K-pop than ever. Those first several months were incredibly strong, and will be well-represented in my countdown. Then, a barren July gave way to a second half of 2021 that was solid but unspectacular. Because of this, I fear many of this year’s countdowns will feel a little lopsided.

Compared to 2020, this year’s Top 50 countdown is more top-heavy. For me, there’s a pretty strong gap between… say… the top fifteen and the rest of the countdown. I had no problem structuring the upper reaches of this countdown. Below that, the songs can be somewhat interchangeable depending on mood.

2021 marked another year where in-person events were sparse. Industry focus shifted toward online outreach. This meant a continuation of 2020’s immense album sales, with so many artists selling more than ever before. A few of the newer-gen groups (2017 and onward) really came into their own. In contrast, this year lagged behind others in exciting new debuts. Most of the big agencies were silent on this front, choosing to promote 2020’s slate of rookies instead.

As always, 2021 saw its fair share of trends. I loved some of them (retro synth) and became tired of others (girl crush). Most of my favorite songs of the year took an entirely different approach, forging ahead with new sounds or reinventions of old favorites.

As of today, I’ve published 762 posts in 2021. That’s an average of 2.2 each day, which explains how jaded and grumpy I can sometimes get (lol). That’s 296,762 words — down slightly from last year. And, you have flooded into the comments section with so many great perspectives and knowledge (13,417 comments’ worth, to be exact!). Thanks again for making this community what it is. I love reading all of your diverse opinions, even if I may not respond directly to each and every one.

Notable and new features this year include The Bias List Bracket (which was… interesting), Battle of the B-Sides, Bite-Sized Album Reviews, Debut Re-Evaluation, The 90’s J-Pop Roadmap, Breaking Down the Song and The Great Bias List Debate. For fans of any of these features, rest-assured. I haven’t forgotten about them and none are officially discontinued. But, I’d love to hear which new features have been your favorite (or least favorite).

For tomorrow’s main countdown, the eligibility rules remain the same:

  1. A song must have been released as a title, follow-up or promoted track between December 1, 2020 and November 30, 2021.
  2. A song must be paired with a full music video or big-budget performance video (the lines get more blurred each year).
  3. English-language singles are eligible. Japanese singles by K-pop artists will be part of the J-pop countdown.

It’s always funny to highlight “bias” in the context of a blog called “The Bias List,” but I want readers to know that this list is very much my own. It’s not a list cobbled together by committee or one that’s trying to be objective or cater to every taste. I’m sure some of you will agree with the bulk of my choices and others will wonder what the hell I’m thinking. Either way, I hope you discover (or re-discover) a song or two that click with you.

I’ll see you tomorrow for the kickoff of 2021’s Top 50 list, which opens the floodgates for several weeks of countdowns here on The Bias List! Before that, here are the ten songs that narrowly missed this year’s Top 50.

Honorable Mentions

60. ENHYPEN – Tamed-Dashed (review)

59. Pixy – Bewitched (review)

58. Kim Sungkyu – Hush (review)

57. Do Hanse – Take Over (review)

56. ONEUS – Shut Up 받고 Crazy Hot! (review)

55. Woosung – Dimples (review)

54. AB6IX – Cherry (review)

53. fromis_9 – We Go (review)

52. GHOST9 – Seoul (review)

51. Ha Sungwoon – Strawberry Gum (ft. Don Mills) (review)


53 thoughts on “2021 Year-End K-Pop Recap (& Honorable Mentions)

  1. Taeg Over really shouldn’t be this low.

    Here’s mine.

    65. MCND – Not over
    Whistles don’t bother me if they’re used right, and while this could have easily been lost in the trap EDM there never is a shortage of, it’s just something about the song and the guys as a whole that makes it better. The personality MCND bring to their material immediately brings it to life.

    64. Ha Sungwoon – Sneakers
    I did not know who the hell Ha Sungwoon was before this, but this was a great surprise introduction. The song is just so blissfully happy. There isn’t much separating this from something like CIX’s Wave, but it thankfully does not fall there.

    63. ATEEZ – Eternal Sunshine
    I can confidently say that Wonderland is among one of top 5 SONGS of all time (all of the top 5 are K-Pop singles😅) and while I don’t think they’re ever going to surpass that, I did not expect them to fall from the 9’s to 8’s and 7’s. Eternal Sunshine is by far their best single off of their FEVER series. It’s simple, sunny, slightly unpolished pop: and I don’t find anything wrong with it.

    62. A.C.E – Changer
    A.C.E probably won’t be coming back in quite some time, but they definitely gave quite a few singles this year. And the best off the pack is Changer. It doesn’t stand up to anything like Favorite Boys (which by far and away is my favorite K-pop single of 2021), but it’s a great melody strapped to a simple pop instrumental. Nothing revolutionary, but very enjoyable.

    61. BAE173 – Loved You
    Most of my K-pop tastes have been made from Nick’s. I would have probably lost interest in K-pop way before if I had continued to loop around PSY’s and BLACKPINK’s singles, and not clicked on Nick’s review of How You Like That. Since then, I think I have read every single one of his reviews everyday. Thus, while Crooked will never find its way into my Top 10, I still really love the song. Loved You is its twin brother that we all wanted, and while it’s still a freaking good song, some truly weird vocal processing and performance choices heavily affect its longevity.

    60. JUST B – Damage
    Ah JUST B. Such a great debut, such a disappointing first comeback. The central drop chorus is by far the most successful, and this could have been placed higher if it had been surrounded by less by-the-mills melody.

    59. Jessi – Cold Blooded
    Jessi’s other release this year was much more enjoyable, but this is a great piece of industrial hip-hop. I definitely do feel that I have a certain bias towards Jessi since Showterview has by far become my favorite Korean interview series, and that has most definitely affected my gravitation towards this.

    58. BDC – Moonlight
    BDC have had a great trilogy, and while I have never delved into their albums, their Moon singles run has been immaculate. Moonlight is the third(?) of the trilogy, and it is heavily lifted by those atmospheric, spacy synths throughout the song, and dang if it isn’t gorgeous.

    57. TXT – LO$ER=LO♡ER
    It hasn’t aged the best, but it definitely is a great piece of emo pop-rock. It might not be as dynamic or bluntly, as good as IKILY, but I would not think of skipping it if it would come on shuffle.

    56. The Boyz – Thrill Ride
    Funky hip-hop is a very particular weakness of mine, thus why the obnoxious-to-others Thrill Ride makes it so high. It’s just so much fun. Also, I definitely liked it even more after Maverick came out

    55. Lucy – I Got U
    Lucy finally did get me with I Got U. It was heavily buoyed by an incredible album, but even on its own, it’s a great piece of funky, electronic music with a great main vocal. They are the only band that got into this list lol

    54. AB6IX – Close
    Deep house doesn’t always click with me, but it did with this. I was quite surprised that this made it in while Cherry didn’t, but a few listens later, yes, I do like this more. It was by far the best Energetic-adjacent single we got this year.

    53. bugAboo – bugAboo
    This was a great debut. It definitely does establish an identity that I hope they don’t toy with next. Brassy and wild-west-y with (finally) a sung chorus, I really do hope they take this sound further into their career.

    52. NCT DREAM – Hot Sauce
    There are going to be quite a few very polarising choices in this list. I have had a roller-coaster journey with this song. I liked it first, then hated it, then hated it more, then loved it, then hated it, and now I freaking love it. HOT SAUCE GIPI DIP DAT

    51. TO1 – Son Of Beast
    TO1 have also joined on the great-debut-disappointing-comeback trend, but their debut was a shot of fun-injected bravado over a funky as hell beat. I even like the trap-break now. Also, the title is a great reminder why K-pop lyricists should really know more English.

    Liked by 4 people

    • 58, 60 and 65 are higher on my list, and I’ve playlisted 51, 53, 59, 61, 62, and 63. 57 is on my HM list. I gave the others a re-listen, and gave “Thrill Ride” and “Sneakers” retroactive playlisting. I also came to a bit of a realization about why NCT Etc are so hit-or-miss for me, which is that SM’s current batch of rappers don’t so much rap as they talk rhythmically a-la Rex Harrison, which is fine sometimes (SHINee are masters of it) but as a bit of a hip-hop snob irritates/bores me in songs that rely on it too heavily, as many of NCT Ect’s tracks do.

      You should give BDC’s “Mystery Circle” a listen – based on our shared tastes I think you might like it.


  2. I feel like 2020 had better songs overall than 2021. My top 10 is top heavy too, whereas my top even 30 last year are much more close.

    And imo the middle of the year (April – September) is probably where the bulk of my favourites for this year come from, barring a couple.

    Out of the honourable mentions, Hanse is the one I have high in my own list, like very very high, and it a lesser extent fromis.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ITS FINALLY HERE. Excited to experience one of these in real time rather than reading everything after the fact. My list is very much still in the beginning stages so I can’t even really have a say on anything just yet. I’d prolly put Take Over and Bewitched higher though.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Brave Girls, an all-women clique consisting of Minold, Yujeong, Eunjaja, and Yuna, enters the Bias High School hallway, stares following them. They’ve risen to popular status after their song “Rollin” went viral this year, and they’ve followed it with some of the best songs of the year too. They stand in the hallway and put their stuff in their locker room.

    “Aren’t y’all excited?” said Minold.
    “Yeah,” said Yujeong.
    “It’s here, the Bias List year-end award show!” said Minold “And we’re definitely gonna take one of the top spots!”
    “Of course, that’s why I’m so excited,” said Yuna.

    While talking about the upcoming year-end awards for the best song of the year, Dirtee, a clique consisting of Oold, Door, Mean Hoe, and Toemint oppar, bursts through the hallway and looks down upon everyone else in the school. Toemint oppar, the straightest one in the group, is seen french kissing his first prize award. Mean Hoe sees the perpetually horny Monsta X.

    “Out of our way, jocks,” Mean Hoe says as he pushes Monsta X over like dominoes.

    Dirtee are confident that they’re gonna win the top spot since their song “Atlantis” got a 9.75 rating in April. Soon after, the bell rings and everyone goes to class, where they sit in front of JYPapi oppar, their teacher.

    “joh-a modudeul,” said JYPapi oppar. His pheromones made everyone fall for him because of how smexy he is. “Today is the year-end awards, meaning I’m going to announce the honorable mentions. I’ll now pull down the curtain.”

    JYPapi oppar pulls down the curtain and shows the honorable mentions. Jilost, a member of Fromis_9, sees she’s in the honorable mentions and starts yuyuing as she isn’t in the top 50 at all.

    More kimoiness to come soon…

    Liked by 7 people

  5. Prologue

    Brave Girls, an all-women clique consisting of Minold, Yujeong, Eunjaja, and Yuna, enters the Bias High School hallway, stares following them. They’ve risen to popular status after their song “Rollin” went viral this year, and they’ve followed it with some of the best songs of the year too.

    While talking about the upcoming Bias List year-end awards for the best song of the year, Dirtee, consisting of Oold, Keyhole, Mean Hoe, and Toemint oppar, bursts through the hallway and looks down upon everyone else in the school. Toemint oppar, the straightest one in the group, is seen kissing his first prize award in the lips. Mean Hoe even pushes the perpetually horny Monsta X away from them, knocking them down to the floor like dominoes. Dirtee are confident that they’re gonna win the top spot since their song “Atlantis” got a 9.75 rating in April. Then the bell rings and everyone goes to class where JYpapi oppar-nim announces the year-end awards. He then gives the honorable mentions to everyone, who start crying sob sob :(.

    More kimoiness coming soon…

    Liked by 4 people

  6. This is hard lol. I tried making a top 60 and oh boy I’m pretty sure my top 10 might confuse the heck out of people 😂, but for now I’ll give a shot of 60-51.

    60. G-idle Hwaa
    Can’t believe it was this year. But it still makes me feel the same way.

    59. Ateez I’m the One Fireworks
    Fun. Yunho, Seonghwa and Yeosang could sing in their natural pitch and great performance.

    58. Dreamcatcher Because
    Bridge is heavenly

    57. MCND Not Over
    Yeah!! Most funnest song really!! I’ve got great memories of all those live stages!

    56. SF9 Year Drop
    Pretty vibe, good choreo and nice chorus

    55. D&E Zero
    Strong vocals and love the instrumental

    54. Enhypen Drunk Dazed
    Especially love the last part of the song!

    53. NCT 127 Favorite
    Ok, I admit I’m getting into NCT’s style a lot now. The chorus alone is a winner! ❤️

    52. Dreamcatcher Odd Eye
    Handong killed this one. And Jiu who got some amazing lines too!

    51. Cherry Bullet Love So Sweet
    This song just makes me happy. And the harmonies in the final chorus are amazing!


      • Ngl I’m surprised how much I’ve fallen off from Favorite. I was pretty into when it first dropped but repeat listens really exposed the song’s cracks for me. Mainly the due to damn near unbearable verses.


        • For me Favorite wins only because of the chorus 😂 I’m the kind of person who is ready to forgive an overall messy or weird song IF its chorus is something I find fantastic 😂. On the flip side an overall alright song with a lousy chorus is immediately kicked out even though it actually might be ok (I’m looking at you TBZ Maverick. That pre-chorus was a winner…😋)

          I love Ateez I’m the One but I’m more of a Deja Vu person which is higher up on the list somewhere. Also Drunk Dazed is something that was great during the initial few months but I’m a Given Taken fan really and while that still gives me feels, Drunk Dazed has subdued a bit.😅

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Went through the Top 3 of the Month wrap-ups and made a prediction list: boy am I excited!!! Some of them are already HM though.

    soty candidates
    Beautiful Beautiful – ONF
    Atlantis – SHINee
    Bad Love – Key
    libidO – OnlyOneOf

    high tier (top 10-20)
    Burn It – Golden Child
    Chi Mat Ba Ram – Brave Girls
    Butter – BTS
    Breathe – Golden Child
    Killa – Mirae
    I Know I Love You – TXT
    Gambler – Monsta X
    After We Ride – Brave Girls
    Popping – ONF
    Frost – TXT
    Scientist – TWICE
    Bonnie and Clyde – Yuqi
    Ugly Dance – ONF

    possibilities (top 30-50)

    Eternal Sunshine – ATEEZ
    Trigger – VERIVERY
    Moon Rider – BDC
    What Type of X – Jessi
    Lose – Wonho
    Don’t Call Me – SHINee
    Abittipsy – Youha
    Thank U – U-Know
    Tail – Sunmi
    Oh! That Girl – C.T.O
    Young Blood – DRIPPIN
    Lilac – IU
    Black Mirror – ONEUS
    Son of Beast – TO1
    Next Level – aespa
    We Go – fromis_9 (HM)
    Spin Off – UP10TION
    I GOT U – Lucy
    Up All Night – GHOST9
    Ready to Love – Seventeen
    Moonlight – BDC
    Ra Pam Pam – Golden Child
    Promise – Everglow
    Gallery – Park Jihoon
    Life is Beautiful – ONEUS
    Changer – A.C.E
    Cherry – AB6IX (HM)
    Blind – Ciipher
    Dimples – Kim Woosung (HM)
    Luna – ONEUS
    Better – BoA
    Switch to Me – Rain x JYP
    W.ALL – GHOST9
    Crush – MCND
    Bewitched – Pixy (HM)

    Liked by 4 people

    • unpopular opinion but ugly dance is quite possibly my least favorite onf title track. it felt like a complete slog to get through, especially with that godawful instrumental. there’s just no energy in the song


      • I’m not 100% on the ONF train anyhow, but agree that I do not get the appeal of “Ugly Dance” past the first five seconds. The dancing robots were kind of fun, I guess, unless I’m thinking of a different MV.


        • I’ve listened to a strong amount of ONF this week for no particular reason and I like Ugly Dance now WAYYYYY more than it did when it first came out. Dk why but it’s grown on me massively. Admittedly it’s a very WEIRD song but that hook is great imo. It’s like if Sticker was made with my taste in mind.

          Liked by 1 person

      • It made to number 4 on my spotify wrapped lol – it’s really fun to run to (so disagree on the energy part). The bass is so fun, the rhythms, and the symphonic instrumental coming in under the last chorus is divine.


  8. SHINee saved this year for me with both their group releases and solo releases. KEY’s Bad Love is just magnificent. So of course, I expect to see them on the top… 👀

    Just B also got my hopes up with their debut but they fell off my radar quickly with whatever that last comeback was…

    ONEUS got my attention back with their last releases, ONF delivered excellent title tracks and I’m looking forward to see more of KINGDOM since I’m among the group of people who enjoy the extravagance of it all.

    Excited to see what’ll end up in your list!


    • I haven’t connected with a lot of SHINee’s older music (excepting “Sherlock” and most of Taemin’s solo releases) but I ended up loving both of their 2021 title tracks as well as “Bad Love”, “Hate That” and “Advice”. All five are in my top 50.


  9. I, for one, will be glad to see 2021 become a memory.
    Since the pandemic, I think collectively; no one has had it easy.
    But music continues to be a source of joy, amongst the headaches, especially k-pop.
    So I know this is another year that I’m grateful to enjoy many songs, mv’s and performances.

    I’m grateful for the Bias List and comments community. It’s music journalism that’s actually about music (not mythologizing or unnecessary metaphors), and nothing can match the feeling of an amazing song that takes everyone by surprise.
    I think some of the best songs this year were quite divisive.
    Even while most agreed, there were always contrary opinions.
    So I’m excited to see how Nick’s list turns out and the ensuing reader reactions.

    Liked by 5 people

    • also – i may do a top 5 later (top 10+ overwhelms me)
      But I thought I’d share my top 5 songs that I listened to this year (not released in 2021) since it surprisingly was all K-pop.
      1. Save me, Save you – WJSN
      2. Secret- WJSN
      3. As You Wish – WJSN
      4. Love so Sweet – Cherry Bullet
      5. Unnatural – WJSN

      Yes I am pretty dedicated listener to my ult group hehehehe

      Liked by 1 person

      • Given that you’re one of the folks who as I recall sometimes supports my unpopular love for obnoxious boy band songs, I’m genuinely surprised to learn that WJSN are your ults! “Unnatural” is on my 2021 honorable mentions list and “Love So Sweet” is somewhere between 31 and 40 because my list is divided by tens but not fully ranked.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I went hard in the comments for Sticker, but I go even harder for WJSN b-sides, a true gift to music lovers world wide.
          I love WJSN and listen to them doing daily chores, riding my bike, playing videos games, etc…

          Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh heyy it’s starting!

    I admire Nick and everyone in the comments who put in the effort to actually create a full ranking of their favourite songs this year…I’d try but I don’t think I’d be able to do it 😂. I might end up with an un-ordered top 10, but I don’t even know if I’d be able to choose that haha. Something I think I’ll struggle with when creating a list is trying to get past recency bias…it’s not that a lot of songs age poorly for me, but there might be many songs that really excited me on release earlier in the year that now, even though when I play them I think “ohhh that’s a good song”, have faded a bit so that it’s hard to compare between them, or tell whether I really do enjoy it more over a recent song that still has that new, shiny hype. If that makes sense?

    This year, with the help of your blog, I made an effort to listen to a lot more releases than I did before (stay “updated”, if you will haha). I didn’t listen to as many as I would have liked to (so there are songs on your countdown I haven’t heard), but I think I did alright – after all, people are allowed to enjoy music they want to, and shouldn’t feel pressured to check out everything ^~^;. I’ll “improve” for next year lmao

    Out of these honorable mentions I think fromis_9 – We Go will be higher on my list. Maybe a lot higher actually – somehow it ended up as my Spotify Wrapped number one song of the year?? Blame my spotty Spotify usage (hehe) for that one – I like the song a lot, but I don’t know about #1 of the year.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I feel the same way you do about struggling to create an ordered list of favourites! I enjoy reading this blog and everyone’s comments to see how people come up with these structured thoughts but my own feelings are way more volatile and prone to change (and I’m very susceptible to recency bias as well, I’ve had my feelings about songs swing wildly over time).

      My criteria for liking a song is simply – am I vibing with this? lol And the ability to vibe with a song is obviously generally more amplified when it comes to groups or artists I really love or am super interested in, but that aspect is absent when it comes to others who I just casually listen to, so I struggle with accounting for that kind of bias too in coming up with a ranked list.

      Anyway, We Go was such fun! I really like a fun bright summer song and We Go certainly put fromis on my radar very strongly with that.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m surprised to see “Tamed-Dashed” this high, and “Take Over” this low, but putting together my own list has given me some surprises too. My honorable mentions playlist has 26 songs on it and exactly zero overlap with yours, although “Tamed-Dashed” comes the closest, having somehow snuck into the bottom of my top 50. It turns out that, while in theory I find ENHYPEN kind of boring and dare-I-say-it overrated, in practice their songs are hella fun. I think all of their promoted songs made my top 50.

    This was my first full year as a kpop fan and I want to thank you, Nick, and the other regulars here for making this such a good community. Following the Korean music scene and idol music in particular has become a fun and distracting hobby during an especially rough time of my life. Thanks for putting up with my occasional glee in being a contrarian and I genuinely hope some of my comments have made someone smile or give something a re-listen or check out an artist not covered here.

    I won’t put my whole HM list here, but I’m pretty confident that the least likely to appear higher on Nick’s list are BLITZERS “Will make a mistake” (BLAH BLAH BLAH GO AWAY!) and T1419 “Flex” (FLEX!). I had a harder time picking the tracks most likely to appear higher on Nick’s list, but settled on BDC “Moon Rider”, Jessi “What Type of X”, and TXT “LO$ER=LO♡ER”.

    I went back and forth on how to put my lists together, and ultimately decided not to include any groups or soloists that don’t usually incorporate dance in their live performances, because from my perspective, ONEWE and NELL are pretty indistinguishable musically and I didn’t want to include a bunch of artists that aren’t reviewed here. I put together separate lists for rock, hip-hop, and vocalists, but there were also a few random songs that didn’t get reviewed here that I really loved and wanted to share, so here they are.

    A.C.E “Spark”: Their best release of the year, in my opinion. I don’t think they had a bad year, but they didn’t have a great year either, which is too bad. I’ve been hoping Jun and BK would enlist soon just to rip off that bandaid, but it looks like they’re going for acting and variety instead. They’ve had a really solid run of OSTs, usually in units, so I’m hoping that continues as I’m not really expecting new music from them for a while otherwise. “Spark” is one of the few they did as a full group and maybe it’s my bias speaking, but I put it up with “Stand By You” as an excellent vocal showcase.

    I mostly skip OSTs unless I like the artist already, but I also love CHANYEOL “Break Your Box”, Hwang Sang Jun “My Name (feat. Swervy & JEMINN)”, NELL “Glow in the Dark”, and Simon Dominic “Run Away”.

    Somehow I managed not to get distracted by the other big Asian pop markets, partly because of access issues and how depressing Chinese cultural policies are these days, but mostly because there are only so many hours in the day and I technically have a full-time job, sometimes debilitating mental health conditions, and two disabled family members to care for (TMI!). A few leaked in anyhow and I can’t be mad about it, most notably MIYAVI’s amazing “Imaginary” album. A couple of great Chinese singles that YouTube recommended are ROY “Blow My Mind” and 링차오 “Rebellious” (I think this artist is DIDI from a group called ONER but I’m not positive).

    Liked by 3 people

  12. My method is to rank primarily based upon play count from my itunes, with a mental, gentle normalization for those later in the year versus earlier in the year. I believe the replay button does not lie for what I really liked versus what I merely admired or what thought I should like.

    Except that for most of the time, darling daughter is in charge of the ipod in the car, and I listen to what she subjects me to. Mostly her choice. “Child, why do you like ___ so much?” In the eloquent language of Teen, she replies “I dunno”. And, so, there it is.

    The top 9 (mostly hers) were really high play counts and the ranking wasn’t even a close call. And then similar to Nick, I have something like a 30 way tie for 10th place, therefore the rest were me mom’s subjective ranking. So my list is a blended list of hers and mine.

    That said

    Kim Sung Kyu and Do Han Se are easily in my top ten.
    The Pixy Bewitched song is higher on my list.
    Shut Up I go Crazy Hot is also honorable mention for me.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Ah shut up crazy hot. For me that ranked much much higher. It was loud, intense and addicting. The piano chords at the begining and the chorus were catchy. Thus, it would probably be ranked in the 35-40 range for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. The Bias List Bracket is something I wish you wouldn’t do again. I didn’t think it would turn into a “just vote for my favourite oppars” contest. I thought The Bias List was immune to that sort of stuff. Maybe don’t put this on Twitter next time…

    Battle of the B-Sides, Bite-Sized Album Reviews, Debut Re-Evaluation are my favorite features to come out this year. Due to your blog’s inception in December 2015, we haven’t seen many songs pre-2015 being reviewed and I think these features provide great opportunities to do just that! You do have other similar features too to which I say the more the merrier!

    I don’t remember if a debate topic came out this year but The Great Bias List Debate is also a good one.

    Thank you for 6 years of providing a space for Kpop intellectuals and fostering insightful discussion matters. I think you have a community that you can be proud of.

    p.s. I bet no.1 is GOLCHA’s Burn It.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. This may ride on the extremely blurred lines of a music video, but I feel like Lilili Yabbay from Seventeen Ballad version (They went and made a ballad version) should be up there. I don’t think anyone pulled off a ballad as well as they did this year, contrasting how electronic based the original was.

    Aside from that, ONF Ugly Dance, ONEUS LUNA, Golden Child Burn it, SHINee CODE, ONEWE LOGO were my fav songs

    My favorite albums has to be, SHINee Don’t call me album, ONEWE Planet nine: Alter Ego, Dreamcatcher Dystopia: Road to Utopia


  16. Calling it.

    After reviewing a lot of your song reviews for this year, I believe your top three would be Key’s “Bad Love”, OnlyOneOf’s “libidO”, and SHINee’s “Atlantis”, with the latter being first place. These three are amazing songs.

    But I love surprises though and of course your ratings can change over time, so I can’t wait for the next few weeks.


  17. I’m a huge fan of the debut evaluation feature. I get so excited when we get to turn back time on this blog.

    I really enjoy the breakdowns too. I often try to dissect songs I like really and discover be things. However, you do a great job articulating the effects that certain parts have. Since they’re in depth you can cover all the little things and it feels great to see someone appreciate a short part that I love (Jessica’s 도와줘 is one of my favorite ad libs in kpop too!)

    I like all the others too except the 90’s j-pop one (I just haven’t read it, someday though). And I am concerned with how the bracket would go if you did it again I wouldn’t want a fandom to get a hold of it


  18. This is something I’ve been waiting for! These lists are always a treat to witness.
    I am not going to say I had the exact same feelings as you did but I agree that the first half of the year was SUPER strong. When it comes to b-sides, singles and albums, that era was easily THE best era of Korean Music I’ve ever witnessed as a fan.
    Then July happened.
    Of course I can’t expect 2021 to keep up the consistency but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed by the output in the latter half. Overall, it was a good year but just wish the latter at least started out strong.

    Shifting to my list, I haven’t made one yet but I’ll just place the songs which will be presented here to the most accurate ranking I can think of.

    ENHYPEN’s Tamed-Dashed: Yeah…no where near my top 50 list, I kind of forgot it existed. Album was incredible though and I can’t wait for the repackage (which is coming on my birthday!).

    PIXY’s Bewitched: It would be much, much higher. I am thinking of Top 30-25, It’s soundscape is compelling and it reminds me alot of Seventeen’s fantastic Anyone.

    Kim Sung Hyu’s Hush: Thinking of top 40’s or something. Gorgeous song powered by a fantastic voice. Nell and SungKyu are a fantastic partnership.

    Do Hanse’s Take Over: Wouldn’t make my list, mostly because of that bummer of a chorus. It’s thrilling and all, but not something I’d willingly listen to.

    ONEUS’s Crazy Hot: This! Is! Awesome! and It would most definitely make it onto my honorable mentions.

    Woosung’s Dimples: Good song, good song. Might make it into my honorable mentions or late 50’s.

    AB6IX’s Cherry: This is good and all..but I kind of forgot about it. Ditto with Stay Young honestly. My favorite track from them this year is Close, that’s a jam and would make it into my honorable mentions list or higher.

    Fromis_9’s We Go: Girl Groups most probably delivered my favorite summer jams this year and We Go is definitely one of them. The Melody is bright, breezy and culminates in a chorus which hits hard. 40’s for sure.

    GHOST9’s Seoul: Confused and Repelled on first listen, this is one of those massive growers for me. I love, love, LOVE Seoul! and it’ll most likely land on the Top 25 spots for me.

    Ha Sungwon’s Strawberry Gum: I think it’d narrowly miss my countdown or be slotted in my honorable mentions, Ha Sungwon has some other singles I’ve loved this year so…yeah!

    Excited to see the rest of the countdown! This is gonna be SO GOOD!

    (P.s. This is Yan by the way, since google is the best at making sure my account is protected, I am unable to recover my account…so I made a new one instead. I’ve legit lost all important mails I received and have to find my friends to make new chats.)

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I want to participate but I agree with the commenters who say they couldn’t possibly rank songs. For me mostly due to my trash memory (what was released this year? what was a title track?) so instead I will just be commenting on which of these songs I liked.

    fromis_9 We Go was a big grower for me, I listened to it all summer, in fact I would like to go listen to it again right now. I’d put it higher.

    I listened to the ENHYPHEN song when it came out and liked it but never revisited it. Same with Take Over.

    I’ve listened to the PIXY album a few times but their vibe is not really for me, at least as of now. Maybe I should try again now that it’s winter. Idk I just tend to prefer more fun music. Same applies to the ONEUS song, I always feel like I should like them more than I actually do.

    I don’t follow male soloists at all (most don’t have a distinct sound/brand that I can make out so it’s hard for me to be invested, especially as someone who doesn’t follow Produce or other competition shows) so I skipped the rest of the releases.


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