open discussion

Open Discussion (November 27, 2022)

Open DiscussionIt’s Sunday, which means it’s time to end the week with an open discussion post!

To keep things civil, there are a few rules:

  1. Be kind and respectful to one another. Any harassing language will be deleted.
  2. This is not a place to state what you don’t like about me and/or my blog. Move elsewhere, trolls.
  3. Video/gif/image embedding is totally fine. Just try to limit yourself to a couple per comment. Otherwise my moderation filter goes crazy.

Each week, I’ll open with a question to get the conversation going. Feel free to chat about anything, but if you’re not sure what to write you can use this question as a starting point.

This week’s question:

What’s your favorite year in K-pop, and what are three or four songs that exemplify that year to you?

28 thoughts on “Open Discussion (November 27, 2022)

  1. I have a lot of favorite years, but 2012 will always hold a special place in my heart. The fact that these four songs were all released in the space of seven months (all four are in my top ten K-pop songs of all time) is just staggering. What an exciting time to be a K-pop fan!

    Infinite – The Chaser
    SHINee – Sherlock
    TVXQ – Catch Me
    EXO – History

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Favorite year? Hm. 2012 definitely has to be up there

    On a personal level, I might say 2017 because:
    N.Flying – “The Real” (what I would give for N.Flying to feature this sound again post-enlistment)
    BTS – “Spring Day” (my absolute favorite song by these guys and why I still have a soft spot for them despite being so hard on their recent music)
    GFriend – “Fingertip” (saw this at their Manila concert in 2019 and it was so HYPE)
    A.C.E and ONF debuts that year. While my favorites from both came in later years, they were definitely still solid
    CLC finally finding their footing with “Hobgoblin”
    And of course, Dreamcatcher debut year

    This wasn’t the year I actually really got into K-Pop (that would be 2018, after hearing Dreamcatcher’s “You and I”) but I wish it was!

    BTS – Spring Day
    N.Flying – The Real
    GFriend – Fingertip
    Dreamcatcher – Fly High (still my favorite of their debut-year material, but all of it is splendid)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Also I forgot Snuper – “Back:Hug” as far as 2017 goes. Gah!

      2015 deserves an honorable mention because:

      miss A – “Only You”, GOT7 – “If You Do”, Teen Top – “Ah Ah” (the year of Black Eyed Pilseung)
      BTS – “Dope” (this song is FUN)
      CLC, N.Flying, GFriend, Snuper, DAY6 debuts

      Maybe it should really be 2015 after all. Or 2016 given how many favorites I also have from that year (“YOU=HEAVEN” is my favorite Snuper song of all time). Idk.


          • To be honest 2015-2017 was at the time actually very exciting—especially as an SM fan— because it was obvious there was a transition happening across the industry where new sounds and styles were coming in, and foolishly I thought the classic K-pop sounds I had come to love would remain, but evolve in cool new ways. Unfortunately what took place instead was a sudden absence of melody writing and experimentation, the 2 things I valued the most in kpop songs. By 2018 I think this shift had fully cemented itself, so I’d agree with the drop-off being around that time.

            Liked by 2 people

  3. 2018 was the first full year I followed Kpop and it will always hold a special place in my heart. Some songs that stand out for me are:

    1. Red Velvet – Bad Boy
    2. Blackpink – Forever Young
    3. Winner – Air
    4. Mamamoo – Egotistic

    Honorable Mention: 134340 by BTS

    I still think these songs rank among the best any of these groups have released in their careers to this day.

    Also, I have to acknowledge IKON’s Love Scenario. That song helped define 2018 even though it’s not one of my top 5 from that year.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. oh gosh, what a choice to make!

    Off the strength of Nine Muses, Sistar, Miss A and f(x) I HAVE to say 2013! The year was SO stacked from front to back that I’m naming albums and minis first:

    Pink Tape – f(x)
    Hush – Miss A
    Modern Times – IU
    Give it to me- Sistar
    O!RUL8,2? – BTS


    Dolls, Wild, and Glue by Nine Muses
    Damaged Lady by Kara
    24 Hours by Sunmi (a DEBUT for the ages!)
    Love Options by BESTie
    Give it to me (the song) by Sistar

    Oh and a lil album & song you might have heard of by EXO called Miracles in December ;D

    2013 was stacked from front to back and I am so glad to have experienced it in real time


  5. 2013 has a special place in my heart for sure! not sure it was the height of musical quality (though there were some bangers to be sure), but it was the height of my first round of kpop fandom before totally ignoring the genre for a few years. I have very fond memories of it and the three songs that really encapsulate that year for me are:

    Growl – EXO
    I Got a Boy – SNSD
    Everybody – Shinee

    with runners-up including One Shot by BAP, Boy in Luv by BTS, and Very Good by Block B

    Liked by 1 person

  6. 2012 for me too, but for different reasons than Nick. I remember my ESL students (I teach at a community college) buzzing about a new video that I had to check out; of course it was Gagnam Style. Previous to this, I had lived in China for many years teaching at uni and had just returned to the US in 2012. I know my wife (who is Chinese) listened to all kinds of music (Cantopop, Mandopop, J-pop, K-pop, Malaysia, Taiwan, etc), so it was always playing at our house, but this was the year when K-pop really separated itself from the pack, in my mind. Suddenly there was a lot of Bigbang, Teen Top and Infinite (those 3 are my wife’s favorites) playing at our flat. I was more drawn to female bands at first: f(x), Wonder Girls. Took me awhile to come around and really appreciate all of it. Honestly, in 2012 I was still more into Burial (UK dubstepper), that was my musical obsession (continued up to about 2015 or so, when I realized his ‘imperial phase’ was over, crowned by his masterpiece Rival Dealer) (anyway, I don’t expect anyone here to be into that kind of music;) . My post-Burial obsession gave way to a K-pop obsession;)


    • I wish we could edit our posts; I’m used to sketching things out quickly, then taking my time editing and cleaning it up. What I was trying to express was that 2012 was when I became aware of K-pop. Most of the music that came out that year and subsequent years only unfolded itself gradually to me over the years. As I settled into life back in the US, my culture shock only grew and I longed to be back in Asia. (When I was *in* Asia, the music I listened to was mostly techno and dubstep; great for soundtracking rides on subways, trains, buses, ferries.) When I listen to K-pop, I remember nights out with mates, in Shanghai and Hong Kong, and many other cities when traveling (Xiamen, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Beijing, Guilin, etc.); it brings me closer to Asia, which I still miss greatly.


  7. I think 2019 (which is also the year I started listening to kpop, but I think it’s probably still the strongest year for me overall.) For me you have:

    “De-aeseohsta” and the b-side “Violet” from Honey Popcorn

    “Run Away” and “Crown,” i.e. the first boy group songs I enjoyed

    “Side Effects,” i.e. the third boy group song I enjoyed

    “Valkyrie,” the fourth boy group song I enjoyed

    AOA releasing “Come See Me,” a killer send-off

    Hayoung having a really solid grower of a solo release (“Don’t Make Me Laugh”

    Sunmi releasing one of her strongest MVs ever with “Noir” (which is also a really nice song)

    Hong Jin Young killing it visually and sonically in “Love Tonight”

    Taeyeon killing it with “Four Seasons” and “Spark”

    CLC releasing “Show,” b-side of the century (and Dreamcatcher with “Over the Sky”)

    Twice releasing “Fancy,” the first kpop song I liked so much I memorized the words to the chorus

    Red Velvet releasing “Psycho,” which was my favorite song of all time for a while, and “Umpah Umpah” also being great

    Itzy with the very solid “Dalla Dalla” and “Icy”

    Gidle with “Senorita” which I really like

    IU with “Above the Time,” “Love Poem,” AND “Blueming”

    Gfriend with “Sunrise,” not one of their strongest ever efforts but still great

    G-reyish with “Kkili Kkili,” Pink Fantasy with “Iriwa” AND “Fantasy,” Dreamnote with “Hakuna Matata,”

    and “Gottasadae” and “Art Gang Money” in k-rap land.

    Liked by 5 people

  8. My knowledge of pre-2015 k-pop is spotty, so with that in mind, I’m going to say that 2019 was my favorite year. as someone who didn’t follow K-pop until 2020, looking back 2019 seems like the year where a lot of 4th gen group released strong music that cemented their artistic identities, and it also felt like the year k-pop as a whole genre came into its own on the global stage. It was BTS’s MOTS persona album released that year that got me into K-pop, and some of my favorite songs of all time were released that year. Crown, Wannabe, Miroh, and Wave have yet to leave my heavy rotation.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I guess i have to go with 2020, being the year that got me into the kpop world.

    Sure, i guess i can’t call it a grandiose year, with tons of genre defining moments like some of the already mentioned ones, but some records from that year (and the whole global situation we were on) definitely made a mark on me.
    And i think that when we look back at it, from 10 or some years forward, Kpop will have been one of the bright spots of hope in such dark times.

    Sunmi – Pporappippam
    Taemin – Criminal
    YooA – Bon Voyage
    The Boyz – The Stealer
    Twice – I Can’t Stop Me and Better
    SuperM – One
    TXT – Ghosting
    GFriend – Labyrinth

    Liked by 1 person

  10. 2019 is when I got into kpop so thats my favorite year! My faves from that Year were Adios by Everglow, Hip by Mamamoo, Lion by (G)I-dle, and Fancy by Twice

    2019 is so slept on bruh

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I considered 2018 because it has so many of my favorites from certain artists (Sunmi “Heroine,” Exo “Tempo,” April “Oh My Mistake,” The Boyz “Giddy Up,” APink “I’m So Sick,” SF9 “Now or Never,” Yubin “Lady,ONF “Complete).

    But 2012 IS Kpop to me. Looking up songs for this, it’s mind-blowing how many legendary songs came out that year. Quickly, I wrote down 15 that I consider essential to the genre. Fantastic Baby? The Chaser? Bloom by Gain? 2012 was the year I told everyone I could about Kpop, begging them to discover this treasure trove of pop spectacle. No year tops that one.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. 2016 or 2017. Choosing 4 songs is impossible.

    – 2016 –
    GFriend released ‘Rough’ and ‘Naverilla’. I wish I could wipe my memory and rediscover them for the first time again.
    BOL4 released their RED PLANET Full Album’. I love BOL4 so much.
    WJSN released ‘Secret’.
    SEVENTEEN released ‘Pretty U’ , and ‘VERY NICE’
    DAY6 released ‘Letting Go’
    Wonder Girls released ‘Why So Lonely’

    – 2017 –
    AKMU released ‘Dinosaur’. I need more people talking about this song.
    BOL4 released their EP ‘Red Diary Page.1’ which was honestly life changing for me. ‘Some’ and ‘To My Youth’ are 2 of my favourite songs of all time.
    The Rose released ‘Sorry’ and ‘Like We Used To’ also 2 of my favourite songs of all time.
    Taemin released ‘Move’. Need I say more?
    BTOB released the ‘Brother Act.’ album. Just WOW.
    WJSN released ‘I Wish’.
    DAY6 released ‘I Smile’ and ‘You Were Beautiful’
    Taeyeon released ‘Fine’. The feeling of hearing that chorus for the first time. Oh Boy. (Especially that concert)(I wish I could have been there). (
    IU released ‘Ending Scene’ , ‘Through the Night’ , and ‘Dear Name’.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. It’s 2015 for me. I love how richly varied the sound in that year. Some songs laid a foundation for the artists’ future sound and some marked a turning point in their artistry, but the year’s high point for me has got to be the UK garage & deep house sound brought by LDN Noise. I have so many favourites narrowing them down to 3-4 songs is quite painful, so here’s my top 11 in this order

    1. View – SHINee
    2. Married to the Music – SHINee
    3. Call Me Baby – EXO
    4. Awoo – Lim Kim
    5. 4 Walls – f(x)
    6. Love Me Right – EXO
    7. Upgrader – Lim Kim
    8. Springirls – Sunwoo Junga
    9. Bang Bang Bang – BIGBANG
    10. If You Do – GOT7
    11. Ah-Choo – Lovelyz


    • Also agree with 2012, but unfortunately I wasn’t there yet. My pick for 2012 are

      1. Electric Shock – f(x)
      2. The Chaser – Infinite
      3. Sherlock (Clue + Note) – SHINee
      4. Only One – BoA
      5. Memory of the Wind – Naul


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