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!
40. LE SSERAFIM – Fearless
Shredding current girl group trends with a sleek and stylish sound, Fearless thrives on simplicity and a sense of effortless cool. It’s a wisp of a song, but one that never wore out its welcome even as more bombastic competitors emerged. (full review)
39. IVE – Eleven
Who knew what we were in for when IVE debuted with this fun, early-December bop? The group would go on to conquer charts, but the seeds were sown immediately with Eleven’s charismatic vocal phrasing and wicked, bhangra-inspired beat. (full review)
38. Everglow – Pirate
For those who like their K-pop big and weird, Everglow’s Pirate is a ship worth boarding. The song hearkens back to early-10’s EDM, anchored by a mammoth chorus and a sassy performance that has its tongue placed firmly in its cheek. (full review)
37. Tempest – Bad News
Rarely do debuts act as such blatant statements of intent. Tempest literally introduced themselves to the K-pop industry with Bad News. Its giddy free-for-all intensity is hard to resist. Overstuffed, yes… but in the best possible way. (full review)
36. DRIPPIN – Villain
DRIPPIN kicked off their Villain series with flair, harnessing a rugged electro beat and swinging chorus that only grew stronger with age. It borrows liberally from boy group tropes, but they’re well-honed and polished to a bright sheen. (full review)
35. YOUNITE – Everybody (ft. DJ Juice)
Though YOUNITE’s debut year was marred by disappointing comebacks, they emerged with the groovy, old-school Everybody and instantly carved out a fun, funky niche. It’s a wonderful red herring in their discography. (full review)
34. NCT Dream – Beatbox
While most of the NCT universe engaged in a shouting match this year (Dream included), the peppy Beatbox stood out as an early-summer highlight. This is what happens when boy groups are given a chorus worth getting excited for. (full review)
33. VERIVERY – Tap Tap
Some songs just keep getting better the more you hear them, and Tap Tap’s idiosyncratic quirks helped smooth over its jarring transitions. More than anything, it’s wonderful to see VERIVERY re-embrace a bright sound and energy that fits them like a glove. (full review)
32. IVE – Love Dive
Love Dive will go down as one of 2022’s most iconic songs, and for good reason. The music drips with personality, finding a middle-ground between meme-worthy catchphrases and compelling electronic soundscapes. (full review)
31. Nature – Limbo!
Hearkening back to the days of Bo Peep Bo Peep and Bar Bar Bar, Limbo tempers its novelty with a blazing instrumental and go-for-broke performance that verges on straight-up bonkers. These are the ingredients for my kind of bizarre K-pop highlight. (full review)