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.
August 2022 Overall Thoughts
Too often this year, my monthly round-ups have been… kind of a bummer. This month, we have a welcome shift in tone! I think August has easily been K-pop’s strongest month in 2022. Sure, the release schedule was kind of lopsided. But, the quality level has been consistently high. I finally have some serious contenders for my year-end top ten!
Apart from one very notable boy group release, August was especially strong for girl groups. It felt like a battle between high-profile acts, with Girls’ Generation, BLACKPINK, IVE and Twice all duking it out. Add the newly-debuted NewJeans and you’ve got a roster of songs that have taken hold of Korea’s streaming charts. And, us listeners turned out to be the victors because most of these songs have been very good.
Speaking of very good: as a long-time Golden Child supporter I’m delighted with their comeback. Their excellent title track and equally excellent album deserved more attention and promotion. As always, I’m here to spotlight the music for those who may need an extra push to further explore their discography.
August was so strong that I’m forced to relegate a few fantastic songs to “honorable mention” status. Some of these would’ve easily topped many weaker months in 2022. I want to give a special shout-out to Key’s Another Life, Twice’s Talk That Talk, from20’s Chemical and Tempest’s Can’t Stop Shining (which is already proving to be a grower). And on the J-pop side, I hope you’ve all checked out Fantastics’ retro-synth banger Summer Bike.
When it comes to my top three picks of August, spots two and three feel pretty equally matched to me. Depending on the day and mood, I might put one above the other. I’m sure you’ll be hearing about all three songs again at the end of the year. I think it’s my strongest “top three” since the spring of 2021.
As we head into September, my main question becomes: how do we build upon this momentum? I hope August is the start of something amazing and not just an enjoyable blip in an otherwise underwhelming year. Time will tell, but for now I’m more excited about K-pop than I have been in months.
September, please don’t make me eat my words…
Month Cumulative Rating: 8.0
(compiled by averaging the scores of every K-pop review from this month)
Fantastics – Summer Bike (review)
Hey! Say! JUMP – Fate Or Destiny (review)
Kis-My-Ft2 – Smokin’ Hot (review)
News – Triad (video)
SixTONES – Party People (review)
Snow Man – Juicy (review)
Johnny’s West – Hoshi no Ame (video)
TOP J-POP SONG OF THE MONTH
NIK – La Vida Loca (review)
Billlie – Ring Ma Bell (What A Wonderful World) (review)
CIX – 458 (review)
DKB – 24/7 (review)
from20 – Chemical (review)
Junny – Not About You (review)
Lucy – Play (review)
Luminous – Engine (review)
ONF – Your Song (review)
Rocket Punch – Flash (review)
Tempest – Can’t Stop Shining (review)
Twice – Talk That Talk (review)
Wonho – Don’t Hesitate (review)
TOP THREE SONGS
3. IVE – After Like (review)
2. Girls’ Generation (SNSD) – Forever 1 (review)
1. Golden Child – Replay (review)