The end of the year countdowns are finally here! As always, we’ll kick off with the big one: The Bias List’s top 50 songs of the year! Each day this week, I’ll be counting down ten of the year’s best, until number one is revealed on Friday.
To be eligible for this top 50 list, songs must have had a Korean release as a title track, follow-up or promotional video between Dec. 1st, 2020 and Nov. 30th, 2021.
Curious about past countdowns? Check out the masterpost here!
40. SHINee – Don’t Call Me
After a long hiatus, K-pop legends SHINee returned in fine form, tackling new-gen sounds with their trademark panache. Don’t Call Me might have fumbled in lesser hands, but SHINee make it stand out. (full review)
39. ATEEZ – Eternal Sunshine
ATEEZ have been a frequent visitor to my top ten. This year they settle for the low-30’s, but Eternal Sunshine‘s buoyant sound is still a triumph. It’s nice to hear the guys cut loose over a bright instrumental and euphoric chorus. (full review)
38. Just B – Damage
Just B left their mark with debut track Damage. Co-written by B.A.P’s Bang Yongguk, the song’s seismic synth offered an intense energy the group struggled to re-create later in the year. (full review)
37. GHOST9 – W.ALL
Released back in December 2020, W.ALL built upon GHOST9’s debut in exciting ways. The guys have become known for their killer choruses, and W.ALL‘s towering hook wallops listeners in the best way. (full review)
36. Seventeen – Ready To Love
Taking a rock-inspired approach, Ready To Love is disarmingly simple for a Seventeen title track. But, there’s a ruggedness underpinning its pop melody, fueled by hits of sharp percussion. (full review)
35. ONEUS – Black Mirror
ONEUS proved themselves masters of all genres in 2021. Black Mirror is a slinky disco departure, allowing the guys to embrace their sense of showmanship as the bassline grooves across their nimble performance. (full review)
34. Wonho – Lose
Wonho’s solo work is miles away from his old Monsta X sound, and the chugging dance beat of Lose proved a perfect match. The song snowballs as it goes, growing bigger and more intense with each passing segment. (full review)
33. Ciipher – Blind
After a regrettable debut, Ciipher became K-pop’s “little engine that could” with the addictive Blind. The guitar-led drop makes a perfect centerpiece, but the rest of the track is just as fresh and rollicking. (full review)
32. 2Z – Stupid
The underrated 2Z offered their own take on the industry’s retro trend, tying their band sound to a bright synthline and a melody that glides and coasts in all the right places. It’s the aural version of cracking the car window open on a hot summer day. (full review)
31. Park Jihoon – Gallery
Park Jihoon’s sound tends to jump all over the place, and it jumped right into my heart with Gallery. The addictive synth immediately captures attention, pulsing with lively rhythm that suits his skills as a dancer. (full review)