2022 in K-POP so far: Risers & Fallers

Risers & FallersWe’ll take a brief hiatus from the usual Sunday Open Discussion post today because my annual “Risers and Fallers” feature always spurs conversation.

Every July, I like to take a look at which songs have either grown or sunk on my own playlist. With years of reviewing under my belt and a pretty solid understanding of what makes a song work for me (or not), this feature has become less dramatic over time. My ratings adjustments aren’t very big this year, but some feel notable — especially when it means a song gets vaulted up to the 9’s.

As usual, my “fallers” are all songs I still genuinely like. They just didn’t have quite the longevity I’d expected. There weren’t any high-rated songs that took a steep nose dive. So many of my 2022 reviews could be concisely summarized as “meh,” leaving little room for big changes.

We still have yet to see a 2022 title track with a rating above “9” 😩

Make sure to leave your own “risers” and “fallers” in the comments section!

Risers & Fallers Archive: 2016 // 2017 // 2018 // 2019 // 2020 // 2021


DKZ – Cupid (review)

Old Rating: 8 >> New Rating: 8.75

Yeah, the quirky verses ended up working their way into my brain. But, that summery chorus proved to be the real boon for Cupid’s longevity.

DRIPPIN – Zero (review)

Old Rating: 8.75 >> New Rating: 9

Zero vaults into the 9’s with ease. It’s the rare 2022 title track I look forward to playing over and over again. There are just so many bits to look forward to each time.

iKON – But You (review)

Old Rating: 8.75 >> New Rating: 9

Another song that vaulted into the 9’s, which is no surprise given its synthwave sound and focus on big melody.

NCT Dream – Beatbox (review)

Old Rating: 8.25 >> New Rating: 8.75

Beatbox’s upbeat energy proved irresistible in the long run. I love that chorus.

OnlyOneOf – Skinz (review)

Old Rating: 8.5 >> New Rating: 8.75

This isn’t an enormous rise, but it was big enough to push it to my top spot back in January.

Pixy – Villain (review)

Old Rating: 8.25 >> New Rating: 8.5

Again, not a huge jump. But, Villain’s chorus is too good to ignore.

PSY – That That (ft. Suga) (review)

Old Rating: 8.5 >> New Rating: 8.75

It’s all about the beat with this one!

TNX – Move (review)

Old Rating: 7 >> New Rating: 8

Kind of an inexplicable jump, but this one really grew on me after watching performances. That second verse (with the orchestral sample) is so good.

VIVIZ – Bop! Bop! (review)

Old Rating: 8.25 >> New Rating: 8.5

I still think VIVIZ are capable of more than this, but Bop! Bop! had more staying power than I’d expected.



Changmin – Maniac (review)

Old Rating: 9 >> New Rating: 8.75

I still like it. I just don’t find myself listening to it often.

Jinjin & Rocky – Just Breath (review)

Old Rating: 8.75 >> New Rating: 8.5

This is still lots of fun, but I’ve found myself listening to the album’s b-sides more often.

Onew – Dice (review)

Old Rating: 8.75 >> New Rating: 8.5

Dice proved to be a little too light to compete with the bigger releases this year.

TXT – Good Boy Gone Bad (review)

Old Rating: 8.75 >> New Rating: 8.5

I go back and forth on this one. I just wish it had a stronger chorus.

Xia Junsu – Hana (review)

Old Rating: 8.75 >> New Rating: 8.5

I love Xia, but this hasn’t endured long on my playlist.

What about you? Any 2022 tracks surprise you after you got to know them more closely?


16 thoughts on “2022 in K-POP so far: Risers & Fallers

  1. Here’s my list:

    Taeyeon – INVU (8.75 > 9)
    Monsta X – Love (8.25 > 8.5)
    Dreamcatcher – Maison (9 > 9.5)
    Woodz – I Hate You (8.75 > 9)
    Astro – Candy Sugar Pop (9 > 9.25)
    Hyo – Deep (7.75 > 8.25)
    MCND – W.A.T.1 (8.25 > 8.5)
    Kard – Ring the Alarm (7.75 > 8)

    Cherry Bullet – Love in Space (8.5 > 7.75)
    Bigbang – Still Life (8.75 > 8.5)
    Onew – Dice (8.75 > 8.5)
    PSY – That That (8.5 > 8)
    bugAboo – Pop (8.25 > 6.75)
    Drippin – Zero (8.25 > 6.5)
    Nayeon – Pop! (8.5 > 8.25, it’s just way too repetitive)

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I agree with all of it especially TXT Good Boy Gone Bad I felt like the chorus would have more impact if they had include Taehyun’s high note that was in the teaser. The chorus was weak.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. ok so

    glitch mode-nct dream: 7.5->8.75 (its just such a great mix of the old and new sm sound to me)

    pirate-everglow: 9->8.5
    (honestly just bc i overplayed it)

    oo-nmixx: 7->8
    (never gonna be my fav debut song but ive learned to appreciate it for what it is—shOOg shOOgs and all. also the girls themselves are incredibly talented so that helps)

    love dive-ive: 8.5->9
    (GOD i love the production on this song so much)

    skinz-onlyoneof: 8.5->9
    (its not my fav song on the mini—that honor goes to gaslighting/ultimate bliss—but JESUS that bridge/final chorus hits like a brick. the best sequel to libido i couldve ever asked for)

    Liked by 2 people

  4. No ratings but risers and fallers
    Onew – Dice (love the summery vibe)
    Sorn – Sharp Objects (hasn’t left my playlist)
    NCT Dream – Beatbox (it’s Dream, it grew on me)
    Cravity -Adrenaline (don’t know why I was meh on it)
    WEi – Too Bad (might be one of my favorite bg songs this year)

    Omega X – its dumbness wore thin, but that’s not to say it’s not an instant blast of energy at the right time
    Monsta X – You Problem
    Almost exactly the same reason as Omega X.
    Mark – Child – it’s a mess unless you’re going through it, and I haven’t been for awhile (cross my fingers)


  5. I dont think i have any extreme risers or fallers either, but I also havent thought about it much, let me think

    Smiley by Yena didnt age insanely well for me, i still like it a lot but i dont really listen to it often (same with lxxk 2 u, still obsessed with pretty boys though). Something like a 8.5 to 8.75 etc

    Chiquita by rocket punch rose a lot for me, when it was first released i didnt really care much about it but a week or two later something snapped in my brain and now its in my top 3 songs of the year

    In general i agree 2022 kpop has been pretty weak, and imo especially so for boy groups. Ive always held a bias for ggs over bgs but even with that my top 20 songs of the year would be something like a 9-11 ratio (bgs-ggs) but this year my top 20 has like… 3-4 songs made by male artists. ATEEZ still havent their comeback though and theyre my top boy group, so hopefully i like something from the album enough to add it

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: 2022 in K-POP so far: Risers & Fallers - Rapgurus

  7. Now that Villain is at an 8.5, we can now say that Pixy’s title tracks have improved by one point each comeback lol


  8. Pingback: 2022 in K-POP so far: Risers & Fallers | Beatsway

  9. Smiley by yena is the biggest Surprise to me. I listen to pretty boy so much more. Dice by onew also ended up being cotton candy rather than a jawbreaker. I like it but I stopped listening to it pretty quickly.

    O.o was a song I hated originally however, it’s okay now. I really love the pop rock section and can put up with the girl crush caps.

    I really haven’t changed my opinion on songs this year. Probably because I didn’t feel very strongly about them in the first place


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