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.
March 2022 Overall Thoughts
I’m eager to write a super effusive, super excited monthly round-up. Unfortunately, we’re not quite there yet. After a slow February, March moved in with a slew of new releases from big names. You’d think this would result in a competitive top three. But, I struggled to fill the spaces. In fact, I haven’t yet heard a 2022 song that competes with my year-end top ten of 2021.
It doesn’t help that last year opened so strongly. By this time in 2021, we’d heard Beautiful Beautiful, Burn It, Take Me Home, Killa, Prism, Moon Rider, Breathe, Reach Out Your Hands, Born To Be Wild, What Type Of X, and I Really Want You… with libidO and Atlantis just around the corner. That’s six-tenths of my top ten right there! The first three months of 2022 remind me much more of 2020… except we had ATEEZ’s Answer and Dreamcatcher’s Scream back then.
This is me getting inside my head, which isn’t particularly helpful. But, I’m eager for a song or two to break through and reinvigorate my excitement. It’s not like K-pop has been awful over the past few weeks. It’s just that nothing really sticks out. It feels like everyone in the industry is chasing each other’s tails. Because of this, we end up with a muddled mess of sound-alike tracks. I tend to reference past K-pop eras quite frequently, but I don’t want the industry to go back and recreate its history. Trends change, and that’s a good thing. I’m just eager to hear the very best version of these current trends. It all feels very cut-and-paste at the moment.
This month delivered a few notable debuts and plenty of comebacks from established artists. Tempest’s song grew on me a lot and TAN’s track was much stronger than anticipated. And despite only releasing one song, the yet-to-debut YOUNITE have definitely captured my attention.
Established artists mostly underwhelmed — at least where title tracks were concerned. Fortunately, Brave Girls and Oh My Girl released two of the strongest albums we’ve heard in awhile. In fact, I think 2022’s girl group releases have been more consistently solid than the boys so far. We’ll see if that holds up as the year goes on.
For now, I consider my top three choices to be solid. None will threaten my year-end top ten (at least, I hope not!), but I listened to each quite frequently this month. March has been about as predictable as the rest of 2022. Apart from the top spot, I would never have imagined this top three at the beginning of the month.
J-pop releases weren’t as prolific as K-pop this March, but they gave us higher highs. It was a close race for my top pick, with Snow Man and Johnny’s West very competitive. And hey, INI finally released a decent song! So, all is not lost.
Come on April… I’m counting on you to deliver. I’m getting a little worried.
Month Cumulative Rating: 7.7
(compiled by averaging the scores of every K-pop review from this month)
INI – We Are (review)
Johnny’s West – Shirankedo (review)
KAT-TUN – Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet (video)
Nogizaka46 – Actually… (review)
Sakurakaza46 – Samidare Yo (review)
SixTONES – Fashion (review)
Snow Man – Brother Beat (review)
TVXQ – Epitaph (For The Future) (review)
TOP J-POP SONG OF THE MONTH
Miyavi – Strike It Out (review)
Cherry Bullet – Love In Space (review)
Kihyun – Voyager (review)
Oh My Girl – Real Love (review)
Red Velvet – Feel My Rhythm (review)
Stray Kids – Maniac (review)
TAN – Du Du Du (review)
Tempest – Bad News (review)
VERIVERY – ‘O’ (review)
WEi – Too Bad (review)
Xia Junsu – Hana (review)
TOP THREE SONGS
3. YOUNITE – Everybody (ft. DJ Juice) (review)
2. CRAVITY – Adrenaline (review)
1. Brave Girls – Thank You (review)