The end of the year countdowns are finally here! As always, we’ll kick off with the big one: The Bias List’s top 50 songs of the year! Each day this week, I’ll be counting down ten of the year’s best, until number one is revealed on Friday.
To be eligible for this top 50 list, songs must have had a Korean release as a title track, follow-up or promotional video between Dec. 1st, 2021 and Nov. 30th, 2022.
Curious about past countdowns? Check out the masterpost here!
50. Victon – Chronograph
Victon revisit the dancefloor drive of 2019’s Nostalgic Night with Chronograph’s brisk propulsion. This song fits squarely within a specific boy group archetype, but its bristling energy will always be a hit with me. (full review)
49. NewJeans – Hype Boy
Originally overshadowed by the buoyant Attention, Hype Boy has gone on to become a major sleeper hit, revisiting early-00’s pop sounds with one eye on modern trends. It’s deceptively addictive. (full review)
48. LE SSERAFIM – Antifragile
LE SSERAFIM come into their own by twisting a much-utilized genre to their own ends. Depending on the day, Antifragile can either be \cloyingly repetitive or absolutely thrilling. Lately, it’s leaning closer to the latter.
47. woo!ah! – Rollercoaster
Producer Collapsedone found his 2022 niche with fizzy, retro dance pop. Rollercoaster reinvents woo!ah!’s sound with a sugary headrush of a chorus. Bonus points for those fun robotic backing vocals. (full review)
46. B.I – Keep Me Up
While not as flashy as many K-pop tracks, Keep Me Up had a vice grip on my playlist thanks to its gorgeous vocal arrangement and hypnotic beat. It’s the kind of song you just want to get lost in, scarcely emerging for days. (full review)
45. Treasure – Darari (Remix)
I can’t say I listened to the original Darari more than once before this boisterous rock remix reared its head. But, its reinvention drew out the fun melodic flourishes and ballsy energy of the track. YG boy groups have always thrived on rock sounds, and this is another great addition to that legacy. (full review)
44. Super Junior – Mango
Super Junior could easily put on their dad pants and record an endless stream of ballads for the rest of their careers, but they continue to churn out funky, ultra-smooth dance pop like Mango. We all benefit from their commitment to a good time. (full review)
43. Jay B – go UP
I would have never expected Jay B to pair with Thomas Troelsen, one of my favorite producers in the world. This match bore musical fruit as go UP’s funky backbeat proved irresistible. It’s the most excited I’ve been about a post-GOT7 solo project. (full review)
42. Winner – I Love U
I Love U bounds forward with ebullient summertime energy. Even if those showy high notes during the chorus turn you off, they’re performed with enough panache to withstand criticism. This is the carefree energy Winner does best. (full review)
41. Wonho – Crazy
Wonho’s solo career has long defied expectations. He keeps finding stronger and more addictive grooves, and Crazy harnesses his most rhythmically-satisfying beats yet. It’s a fantastic send-off as he embarks on an enlistment-forced hiatus. (full review)
I remain extremely annoyed that the Darari remix is a CD exclusive, and I say that as someone who’s usually all for CD exclusives. I don’t like the original, so just give me the one I’ll actually stream! Please! I will make you so much money!
Its not even on itunes on a repackage option.
yay to ANTIFRAGILE making it! I think it’s one of those songs that get better with each listen.
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To me, the instrumentation is seemingly sterile, yet there is so much flavour to it. It’s so good
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Resurfacing to join the celebration for Antifragile making it 🥳 was worried since it fell on Nick’s October Risers and Fallers, while it has been doing nothing but grow on me
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Completely agree ~
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Love all the songs here wooooo 😄
ANTIFRAGILE MADE IT WOOOOOOOO
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This is the section which has the multi-multi-way tie for 21st place, and so we must curate. I have some of Nick’s choices higher.
“One Step” – SWEET SORROW & Sunnie = serious happy clappy corny guilty pleasure with 4 or 5 key changes. It just makes me smile and brightens my day, OK?! Plus full sung harmony. Link at bottom. Did I mention corny?
“Devil” – MAX CHANGMIN
“Fever” – MAX CHANGMIN = Darling daughter played these two enough times to not not make the list
“TRIANGLE” – GHOST9 = Technically late Nov21, but it is my list, my rules
“Go!” (OST) DOKYEOM of Seventeen = Singing his heart out
“여행” – F.able
“Heart Light” – H1-KEY = these two were small summer songs, but uncomplicated fun and easy to love
“SCREAM” – SF9 = dirty dirty dirty, and I love it, plus in Korean so the kids have no idea
“Weol” – from20 = yeah, nice
“The One” – DRIPPIN = these two are newer Nov22, but good
My 50-41 :
50 . Verivery Undercover (Honestly Tap Tap would be shared with this spot too lol – That chorus is amazing!)
49. Trendz Vagabond
48. Ive Love Dive
47. Cravity Adrenaline
46. Treasure Jikjin
45. Wooah! Danger (Haven’t listened much to Rollercoaster but I have a feeling it will be one of those songs that grow on me next year lol)
44. Chocome Super Yuppers
43. BiBi Animal Farm
42. B.I. BTBT
41. Classy Tick Tick Boom
Yes, some odd choices and… it will probably get weirder 😂
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I bet you that mine will be weirder.
But yes to “Super Yuppers”, though I was never a big fan of the song, the song title alone receives full marks from me.
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so uh… i may have forgotten to post a j-pop review yesterday bcuz i was too lazy, so im gonna do two j-pop reviews to make that up! these will be coming every post for these countdowns so be prepared for them when they show up
mottai nightland – kyary pamyu pamyu
although i dont keep up with her as much as i used to anymore, kyary pamyu pamyu is one of my favorite j-pop artists of all time. her yasutaka nakata (same producer who works with perfume and ado) produced discography has a quirky, bright-colored appeal that really appeals to me, especially when i was 11 and first heard of her. although mottai nightland isn’t my favorite song of hers, it still continues to get its job done with its poppy melody and production.
mottai nightland opens with its bright chorus, backed with glitchy synths and piano, along with some marching drums thrown in. kyary’s airy vocals, although not very strong objectively, can still hold up these kinds of songs. the verses still continue their quirky appeal, trekking through at a quick pace as the descending melody is sung and the electro percussion is played. there’s even that excellent piano riff that plays after the second chorus, which i consider the best part of the entire song.
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Nice. The one song I rank higher is NewJeans’s Hype Boy, which is probably in my top 10. I’m still not sure about Antifragile; I do like it, but it’d probably rank in my bottom 50 as well. The one thing that wouldn’t make my list: I prefer the original Darari over the rock mix; the original would definitely make my list of favorite b-sides.
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Hah the description of antifragile is exactly how I feel about it! Some days the chorus is all i can hear and other days its the strange “lovey lovey lovey” rap. Crazy and Darari would probably rank a little higher for me.
huh i thought crazy would be higher
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oh yeah i forgot to make my second review so here it is
makenai kokoro – aaa
aaa’s incredible discography is something to definitely listen to, but Buzz Communication is the best one they’ve ever released. it feels like a culminaton of their upbeat, eurodance sound and contains some of the best work producer Tetsuya Komuro has made. although Makenai Kokoro isnt the best song in the album, its still an incredible feat to witness
unlike many of aaa’s singles (at least the ones i’ve listened to so far), Makenai Kokoro is all about the ladies, Misako and Chiaki. they attack the song with their powerful voices, delivering an anthemic, take-over-the-world chorus that goes big and doesn’t turn back. even those gargantuan synths feel out of the universe and feel like something that belongs in the best superhero movie. as soon as they start blasting, resistance is futile.
I had no idea what to think about Antifragile when I first listened to it as it’s so far outside my usual box, but that dang chorus is so darn addictive, and it ended up being a big grower for me. Hype Boy was also a grower, though I actually did like it a bit more than Attention on first listen.
I was pulling for Mango to squeak into your 50-40 section, and I got excited when I saw it here! It’s way up my list based on a combination of number of listens, my actual enjoyment of the song (which is considerable), bias, and the sheer number of times it’s been stuck in my head this year – it hacks my brain pretty much every time someone mentions “mango” anything.
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The first time I checked out Antifragile, it literally woke me up lol. I love the energy the ladies bring to the track and their performances. It’s easily one of my songs of the year.
And I’m glad to see Winner on here too!
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=== PART 2 ===
From the journal of Xeno Terran..
March 23, 2022
Hey Mr. J, how are things? I’m okay; I guess. Whelp, 2022 didn’t start off all fireworks and ‘splody things, but it’s not that bad. It seems like for every “yeah” moment there’s a “meh” moment, but that just keeps the scales even. Still, it’s better than all being “meh”, amirite? Maybe I should’ve started the year with less enthusiam? Huh? No.. ..I’m not being a stick in the mud! Chin up! ..as they say. While there were some potholes, it’s still been a smooth ride so far.
Let’s see. Who moved into the neighborhood so far this year? Well, there’s the Billlie, Choi Yena, Kep1er, NMIXX. VIVIZ, WJSN Chrome, and Yuju households.
– First up, if you’re thinking the VIVIZ girls and Yuju look familiar, then you win a gold star. They use to live in the big GFRIEND house, but they got evicted or moved away or something and some of them chose to stay in the area. I tell you, those VIVIZ girls really know how to “Bop Bop!”; so much fun.
– and Yuju? She got a place of her own and.. ..well, there’s no denying she has charm, but as far as having “Play” time? Hmm, maybe she needs to adjust to living alone.
– Another familiar face is Choi Yena from the IZ*ONE complex. Another new’ish face is always welcome here and as far as faces, man, she sure knows how to put a “Smiley” on one, but she’s still going to need time to settle in.
– Then there’s newbie neighbors WJSN Chrome. They moved into the old Orange Caramel house. They’re not technically new neighbors. More like.. ..vacationing. They’re from the big WJSN place on the other side of town. A lot of people gleefully greeted them with “Super Yuppers!”, but I’m thinking.. ..Super We’ll See; if you catch my drift.
– NMIXX finally moved in and boy do I have mixxed feelings about their chances. While everyone was “O.O” at their arrival, I was more like “-.-“. You know those new girls that try so hard to fit in that they mimic the other girls? Yeah, there’s some of that going on. It’s a shame because they don’t need to be like anyone other then themselves; they’re charming without all that mirror play. I hope they can settle in.
– Closing out the new arrivals list, the Billlie girls moved in. Barely over the threshold and they blurted out “GingaMingaYo (the strange world)” to everyone. ‘Strange world’ is right because I was like, “What the f.. ..udge?”. I was ready to keep my distance from them until I recieved a mysterious package labelled “a sign ~ anonymous”. I don’t know who anonymous is but I’m like to buy that person a beer. Scratch that, I’d buy them a whole case because that “sign” is proudly hanging on my wall. So.. ..much.. ..charm!
That’s it for newbies. I can’t wait to see who else moves in this year.
As far as existing households,
– Those darling fromis_9 girls sent everyone a “DM” and man, is was such a joy getting that in my inbox. I can’t count how many times I went back to that.
– The Nature household is still trying to establish themselves in the ‘hood. I know.. ..it’s taking forever. Still, the “Rica Rica” party they held was a thing. Not a bad thing; just.. ..a thing.
– The Apink house is still kicking. There’s rumors that Naeun is thinking of moving out, but I’m sure they can work things out. They created quite the “Dilemna”, but everyone was mixed on whether that was a good thing or not. I’m.. ..on the fence about it.
– Taeyeon told everyone “INVU”, which is a head scratcher because if the envy is going in one direction, then it’s pointing in her direction. I mean, come on, she’s a legend in this place.
– OH! STAYC brought a little Young-luv to the table and man.. ..I told them they don’t need to run to me because I’ll definitely “RUN2U”. a LOT of neighbors didn’t get the message, but that’s their loss.
– The Craxy household wanted to know if everyone wanted to “Dance with God”. Some did, some didn’t. My toes were definitely tapping, but I didn’t go all “mosh pit” meets “the worm” as I have at some of their other parties.
– The Rocket Punch girls let everyone know who the “Chiquita” in the neighborhood is; but we already know they’re cuties. However, who knew they were filled with so much ‘vintage’ charm? Well, now everyone does because they’re dripping with it.
– A shot rang out from Cherry Bullet. Yep, apparently they still had one in the chamber and while they may be getting “Love In Space”, they sure ain’t getting that same love here on Earth, which is a damn shame if you ask me.
– Weeekly wanted everyone to “Ven Para”, but what is there to ‘get over’? Oh, maybe they want everyone to ‘get over’ the fact that their not that innocent any more. Well, I’m not going to ‘get over’ it that easily. I actually liked them when they were the quirky girls-next-door.
– Then there’s the (G)I-DLE house. Eh.. ..where do I take this? Well, they want everyone to see them through a “Tomboy” lens, but they still act so feminine. It’s confusing, much like the presentation they made delivering that message. Don’t get me wrong, I’m so glad they’re part of this community, but.. ..yeah, “Eh” is a good word for my take on this.
– Those Brave Girls said “Thank You” to everyone. I don’t know why because we should be thanking them. I was so nervous they were going to move away. Heck, they practically had their bags packed, but the neighbors rallied and told them “Don’t even think about it!”. Much love.
– …and then there’s the Red Velvet house. I tell you, I could definitely “Feel My Rhythm” during their recent festival. So much elegance, charm and warm fuzzy vibes. Gosh I wish I lived next to them. Not to route through they’re trash or anything; maybe. But having those song birds next door to wake up to every day would be bliss.
Man.. ..I sure did chew your dog-ear off this time, didn’t I Mr. J? Sorry about that. It’s just that so much has happened so far and it’s ONLY MARCH 23rd. I mean.. ..really! This year may be just the medicine I need after taking all that yucky medicine for the past couple of years.
Talk to you later, Mr. J! Extra hearts and puppy stickers for you!!!
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Had missed Jay B’s go UP but now it’s on 2 diff playlists. So much fun!
Pretty tired of Hype Boy being hyped almost everywhere… The most realistic part of me completely rejects the song! So seeing it show up in the top 50 is quite a surprise to me. It also got me thinking about how Sneaker (another annoying song) would have a chance to make it into the top 50.
Haha fear not. Sneakers is nowhere near the top 50 🙂