At 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.
January 2022 Overall Thoughts
It’s a new K-pop year! I always feel optimistic in January because it’s the one time of the year where anything feels possible. I can’t help but imagine the epic tracks that might be coming our way. And in recent years, January has become a heavy-hitter when it comes to new releases.
The past few weeks have been stuffed with music, most of it pushed up front to avoid the Lunar New Year holiday. In fact, there were a couple days with six or seven new releases each, making for some marathon blogging! And, there were a lot of songs I liked this month. I don’t think there was anything I loved, and none of the singles are likely to threaten my year-end top ten when we reach December. But, January was reasonably solid.
My top song of the month climbed its way up, eclipsing higher-rated tracks along the way. It’s not an unexpected result, but may be surprising to some. The rest of my top three is filled with music that’s very suited to my own taste. Neither song is perfect, but both are strong and satisfying. Yena’s infectious Smiley takes a close fourth place. I really shouldn’t enjoy this track as much as I do!
My honorable mentions is filled with solid material. If anything, I’m pleased that January saw a diverse array of musical styles. Current trends prevented most of these tracks from blossoming into something more unique and timeless, but many K-pop acts seemed to be branching out this January.
This month was also notable for debuts. From the bad (Trendz) to the “meh” (Got The Beat) to the good (Kep1er), none of these new acts totally slayed me. But, we’ve got a few more big-name arrivals on the horizon.
I’ve been a big J-pop consumer over the past few months — even more than usual. There were some great releases this month, even though most flew under-the-radar. The Rampage’s cover of Van Halen’s Jump was easily my favorite song of the month, but I can’t count it here since it’s not a single. Luckily, their actual single was great, too. My personal bias group Golden Child also made their Japanese debut. I still like A Woo, but I definitely overrated it on release day. It’s probably more of an 8 or 8.25. Hopefully the wolf howling is a one-off…
Despite some big releases, February promises to be comparatively dry. With the effects of Lunar New Year and the Olympics, I expect its release slate to be much more leisurely paced. Hopefully we’ll get one or two knockouts.
Month Cumulative Rating: 7.9
(compiled by averaging the scores of every K-pop review from this month)
Black Iris – Headshot (video)
Golden Child – A Woo!! (review)
The Rampage – Ray Of Light (review)
TOP J-POP SONG OF THE MONTH
Kimura Takuya – I’ll Be There (review)
Changmin – Devil (review)
DRIPPIN – Villain (review)
ENHYPEN – Blessed-Cursed (review)
fromis_9 – DM (review)
Hyolyn – Layin’ Low (ft. Jooyoung) (review)
Jinjin & Rocky – Just Breath (review)
Kep1er – Wa Da Da (review)
Kim Yohan – Dessert (review)
Mirae – Marvelous (review)
Momoland – Yummy Yummy Love (ft. Natti Natasha) (review)
P1Harmony – Do It Like This (review)
WJSN Chocome – Super Yuppers! (review)
woo!ah! – Catch The Stars (review)
Woozi – Ruby (review)
Yena – Smiley (ft. BiBi) (review)
TOP THREE SONGS
3. Victon – Chronograph (review)
2. Changmin – Maniac (review)
1. OnlyOneOf – Skinz (review)