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The Top Three K-Pop Songs of May 2022

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.


May 2022 Overall Thoughts

So… we’re almost halfway through 2022 and…. hmmm.

Compared to the songs in my year-end top tens from the past decade, pretty much nothing from 2022 is at that same level. I’m talking title tracks, b-sides and albums. I’m kind of desperate, here!

This desperation has shifted my listening habits. From 2016-2020, I listened almost exclusively to K-pop and J-pop. But over the past few months, I’ve become a scavenger again – pulling from every music market I can. I go where the best songs are, and it just so happens that K-pop is not that place at the moment. The industry still excels at visuals and choreography, but when it comes to the actual songs? Houston, we’ve got a problem.

Because of this, most of my favorite songs of May weren’t K-pop at all. That doesn’t mean The Bias List is going away or turning into a pop blog anytime soon. But, it’s been an interesting shift in my own playlist.

So… what’s next for K-pop? Honestly, I’m nervous. Usually, I’d assume we’re in for a strong summer to compensate for the winter and spring doldrums. But, I just don’t know where this amazing music is going to come from. Most of my reliable favorites are either MIA or have already made comebacks this year. And with everyone touring over the next few months, I wonder if there will be many big releases at all? So far, June’s line-up is unusually sparse. I hope that’s not the immediate future we’re looking at. Maybe it’s just the BTS effect.

Okay, okay… enough with the histrionics! Let’s move on to less dramatic bitching instead. May’s releases were largely underwhelming. My honorable mentions list is shockingly small. But, the month’s standouts tended to stick way above the pack. I love my top two, and third place was very competitive. In the end,  Treasure’s fun remix of Darari was narrowly beat out by a song I simply played more often.

Just below my honorable mentions are a host of shouty boy group comebacks. Some of these grew on me (TNX’s debut surprisingly did!), but they’re so similar that I couldn’t justify bumping any above the others. I’m beyond tired of this sound. The global pop market seems to be moving on, but these K-pop producers continue to cut and paste elements that have long since lost their novelty.

Sadly, it was also an underwhelming month for J-pop. However, I’m very excited about the upcoming release slate for Johnny’s Entertainment acts. After a slow start to the year, it seems we’re going to be treated to album after single after album. Sexy Zone’s new single is already among the best of the year. Expect a glowing review very soon. Now, I just need Kis-My-Ft2 to formally announce their upcoming summer single. While we’re waiting, it’s a great time to check out my extensive series on their complete singles run. There’s a lot of great music to discover in that feature.

Month Cumulative Rating: 7.9

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


J-Pop Highlights

BoA – The Greatest (review)

Hey! Say! JUMP – area / I’m In Love / Spring Black Bird (video / video / video)

JO1 – With Us (review)

Onew – Kirakira (review)


TOP J-POP SONG OF THE MONTH

ATEEZ – Rocky (Boxers Version) (review)


K-POP

Honorable Mentions

from20 – Weol (video)

LE SSERAFIM – Fearless (review)

NCT Dream – Beatbox (review)

Seventeen – Hot (review)

Treasure – Darari (Remix) (review)

Woodz – I Hate You (review)


TOP THREE SONGS

3. TXT – Good Boy Gone Bad (review)

2. Astro – Candy Sugar Pop (review)

1. iKON – But You (review)


Top Three K-Pop Songs Of April 2022

Top Three K-Pop Songs Of March 2022

Top Three K-Pop Songs Of February 2022

Top Three K-Pop Songs Of January 2022

Top Three K-Pop Songs Of December 2021

Top Three K-Pop Songs Of November 2021

2010-2020 Archive Here

40 thoughts on “The Top Three K-Pop Songs of May 2022

  1. I didn’t think I would love ‘But You’ as much as I do now. I thought it was great back then but time treated that song very, very well.

    Also I’m very happy to see from20 here. ‘WEOL’ is a great song. This is the same euphoric feeling when Gaho finally got reviewed here 😂

    Unrelated note: I changed my display name of my WordPress account recently and was wondering if your site treats me like I’m a ‘new commenter’ you need to verify?
    After making my comment, it just… disappears? If you could fix it, I would greatly appreciate it Nick.

    I’m using my Twitter account for now so that’s why this comment can be seen here haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like the from20 “Weol” song too.

      Also Ha Hyun Sang’s Magic”. Its a strum along midtempo a la Roy Kim. The vocal is really sweet. Apparently, I already had a few of HHS, and didn’t know who it was until I finally looked it up = the lead singer from Hoppipolla. Yeah, OK that makes sense now.
      ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWw41QTnuB8

      Liked by 3 people

      • Mymagoogle!

        I remember you mentioning Gaho last year or the year before in the comment section with his single ‘Stay’ I think (an absolute favourite of mine by him).
        Either way, I can always trust you when it comes to spotlighting artists with great vocals.

        “Magic” is lovely! Final chorus with a key change never gets old hehe. I always love Ha Hyunsang and Hoppipolla’s approach to the emotional driven tracks.
        Do you have any favourite tracks by either of them?

        Like

        • I am still crushing on Hoppipola’s “Your Ocean” from last year. Its an old school slow burner. Their cello adds a nice touch, as does the guitar solo.

          For Gaho, “Beautiful” is my most played. The vocal is trademark Gaho going full out with lows and highs, just going for it. Gaho is fully present for this performance, balancing tension with release. Then midway through there is a dramatic slide crash where Gaho slips into full belt mode. It sounds in effect like Freddy Mercury covering a Park Hyo Shin song.

          While I am on the topic, Roy Kim, he who is laying low for a while for the crime of having the wrong friends. “Linger On” is his song into which he poured all of his angst and woe, barely concealed, written as if it could be the last song he ever writes. Devastating as it builds. There are these quiet low notes that he keeps returning too, like an anchor both stabilizing and weighing him down.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. i did not expect to see rocky at the top of jpop but i will take it.

    Btw, july is gonna be packed with releases, Ateez and Aespa are confirmed , and some rumours going on about others.

    (btw Aespa pre-released a song today in case you missed it)

    Like

  3. I’d say that this is one of the worst months of k-pop releases I’ve ever experienced through all the time of being a k-pop fan. But You, Good Boy Gone Bad, Candy Sugar Pop, I Hate You and Fearless were great, though. Also, here are my honorable mentions:

    Kang Daniel – Upside Down (8.25/10)
    Jeong Sewoon – Roller Coaster (8.25/10)
    Victon – Stupid O’Clock (8/10)
    Cravity – Vivid (8.25/10)
    NCT Dream – Beatbox (8.25/10)
    P1Harmony & Pink Sweat$ – Gotta Get Back (8/10)

    Now I hope that June won’t disappoint us like May did.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I have 10 and these includes B sides cause bg title tracks this month? Excellent Bsides though. No particular order.

    Astro – Candy Sugar Pop
    Minseo – Self Trip
    Victon – Bonnie and Clyde
    PSY and Hwasa – Now
    Kaneki and Dinojr – Lightsign
    Gwanjil Jo & Fana – On and On
    Oneus – Mr. Wolf
    Seventeen – March
    NCT Dream – On the Way

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Definitely a forgettable month. My overall top song is definitely Rocky 😂 Damn! That’s an amazing jp version from Ateez! And the Darari remix is fantastic as well!

    Tbh I haven’t even heard all the releases this month but from what I’ve heard I think Oneus Bring it on, Le Seraffim Fearless are what come to mind first. I really liked iKon’s song as well, just didn’t listen to it much. TNX Move had quite a few fantastic parts, I would say AB6IX Savior had a fantastic pre-chorus as well.

    In other good news I ended up listening to some songs from earlier this year again and I’ve found how much I love Yuju’s Play! 😄😂 That and Rocky were all I have been humming this month!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I just have a bunch of like k-pop songs not from the Month of May slated for this month, with the exception of Candy Sugar Pop, which to be honest I didn’t listen to that much. I do like POSE and Red Sun!, but I don’t know if they count yet.

    I am excited for June… mainly because PIXY is coming.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. But You has really grown on me, especially that transcendent bridge. I’m only familiar with Love Scenario, does iKON have any other similar songs (minus the recent retro styling, I’m guessing)?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t think iKON have a lot similar song to this one. I think the songs you might like are Why Why Why, Beautiful, Rubber Band, Dive and Goodbye Road.
      It’s worth listening to the entire iKON discography, I recommend watching their killing verse from dingo freestyle channel. Hopefully some songs catch your attention.

      Like

  8. actually, I really like your honorable mentions list & the #3 & #2, so much that they’re prob my faves of the year! they’re nothing special but those songs felt better than 75% of anything we’ve gotten this year, so they alr top my “best of 2022” list. hopefully the coming months will top that though, bc there’s still not really a title track that holds a candle to the best of 2020 & 2021.

    curious though, since you mentioned no b-sides have piqued your interest this year either – have none of your past buried treasures stayed on your playlist? and did you not find a buried treasure from the new seventeen album?

    Like

    • It’s not that the b-sides have been bad. I still stand by most of my buried treasures. But, if I compare them to my top ten b-sides of past years they don’t feel all that impressive.

      Like

  9. 1 Astro – candy sugar pop
    2 txt – good boy gone bad
    3 le sserafim – fearless

    And for jpop octpath – perfect

    May was boring

    Like

  10. Haven’t listened to a lot of the releases from the last week or two of the month, but it doesn’t seem like I’ve missed much lol. I think my top songs would be (in no particular order)

    Astro – Candy Sugar Pop
    Ikon – But You
    Le Sserafim – Fearless
    TXT – Good Boy Gone Bad

    Will echo that But You has aged really well. Fearless has also grown on me. B-sides wise I’ve been mainly playing TXT’s Thursday’s Child Has Far to Go and Le Sserafim’s The Great Mermaid.

    Like

  11. le sserafim’s fearless, blue flame and the great mermaid and seventeen’s don quixote, march, domino and shadow >>>

    don’t even know what else came out this month

    Like

  12. Yeah, May was rather meh. My own top 3.

    3. Treasure – Darari (remix)
    2. Astro – Candy Sugar Pop
    1. TXT – Good Boy Gone Bad

    I’m not particularly excited about any of the above, but “Good Boy Gone Bad” has grown on me in a huge way. It’s still not as great as their peaks (Run Away/Lovesong) but it’s a solid addition to a generally great discography.

    I really wish I liked “But You” (it’s my fourth, mostly by virtue of me not caring for anything else) as much as some of the people here do. It has a lot going for it, and this kind of synthwave sound is catnip to me… but the melody leaves me cold. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  13. As one of the first people who believed in But You by iKON i’m glad it got the top spot this month! Agree with TNX’s Move although it’s still not something I would wanna listen to but the stages have been solid so far.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. “I live in America. Land of the free, home of the brave, etc etc etc. One thing that they forgot to add to our anthem is that the music on our radio is crappy. There’s no getting around it. These days, if you don’t want to hear some country tune about “gettin’ all jacked up” (a stellar example of the english language, yes?) or the tenthousandth variation on the same rap song, you’re pretty much out of luck.

    So, I invite you to hop aboard your nearest rocketship and fly to the planet Melodia (just play along, please) where radio is nothing short of epic. These songs may never get airplay where you live, but they are the #1 Hits From Another Planet…”

    -nick’s first words on his old blog, which unfortunately hold up today

    Liked by 1 person

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