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The Top 50 K-Pop Songs of 2022 (Day Three: 30-21)

Top 50 K-Pop Songs Of 2022The 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!

Honorable Mentions

Numbers 50-41

Numbers 40-31


30. ENHYPEN – Future Perfect (Pass The MIC)

What?? A comeback that initially scored a lowly “7” rating is sitting comfortably at number thirty? Well, I don’t know what to tell you. Future Perfect defied expectations and became one of the year’s biggest growers. I guess some songs just need the volume cranked extra loud to fully appreciate their charm. (full review)


29. CRAVITY – Party Rock

“Dark to bright” concept switches were a big 2022 highlight, and no group pulled this off better than CRAVITY. Party Rock is cotton candy pop music, big and silly and overflowing with sugary hooks. (full review)


28. Changmin – Maniac

Prior to unveiling the title track of his 2022 album, Changmin let his ambition flow with Maniac’s theatrical glam rock splendor. It’s a thrilling and unexpected turn for one of K-pop’s most potent vocalists — far and away the most surprising piece of music to come out of SM Entertainment this year. (full review)


27. OnlyOneOf – Skinz

OnlyOneOf set the bar impossibly high with last year’s libidO. Rather than trying to surpass that track, the guys just dug their feet in and went weirder. Skinz works its way underneath your… well… skin with its abrasive textures and alluring sense of danger. (full review)


26. KB – Be Free

Speaking of OnlyOneOf’s catalog, Be Free stands as a highlight in their expansive Underground Idol series of solo tracks. The song replaces their usual flair for the experimental with an amiable groove that spotlight’s KB’s confident performance. (full review)


25. CRAVITY – Adrenaline

Another standout from CRAVITY, Adrenaline inches above Party Rock thanks to its propulsive pace and that megawatt (and very SHINee-esque) chorus. It all builds toward a fiery climax that sends the song out on a high. (full review)


24. Brave Girls – Thank You

Brave Girls placed two songs in my top ten of 2021, but despite a stint on season two of Queendom they didn’t release much material this year. Thankfully, the electro funk of Thank You maintains the goodwill from their well-deserved resurgence. It’s a buoyant victory lap. (full review)


23. Astro – Candy Sugar Pop

Here we have yet another boy group who reverted back to the bright, poppy sounds of their debut era. Astro may be down one member, but the jubilant Candy Sugar Pop stands as their most enjoyable single in years. That pinwheeling chorus is everything. (full review)


22. Treasure – Hello

I have a strong affection of the maximalist EDM pop of the early 2010’s and I never expected Treasure to harness this sound for a title track. Hello is fun and cheeky and totally in your face when it comes to its Take On Me-referencing synth bombast. (full review)


21. from20 – Chemical

Synthwave has been a popular K-pop genre for years now, but often it’s the under-the-radar acts who utilize it best. From20 has mastered these sounds, and Chemical is his most immediate and affecting work yet. (full review)


NEXT: NUMBERS 20-11

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41 thoughts on “The Top 50 K-Pop Songs of 2022 (Day Three: 30-21)

  1. haha great to see Future Perfect so high here! I totally agree – that song needs volume and the mood to enjoy! 😀

    So for my 30-21 today :

    30. P1 Harmony Do It Like This (Really got me into this group and is kinda special because of that!)

    29. Kim Yohan Dessert (One of the nicest solos this year really. It’s so breezy.)

    28. Woo!Ah Catch the Stars (I love these girls so much now! 😭 I can write an essay on their stage presence with like 10 pages on Nana alone! ❤)

    27. Nmixx Cool Your Rainbow(The first bside cheat XD It has an MV and I feel it’s actually a decent title track material too so had to add it here)

    26. Le Sseraffim Anti Fragile (This song got me into them! It’s addictive and grew on me a lot – especially that chorus! That Lovey Dovey though is a mood 💀)

    25. AAA Generation (What I really loved about this was that thought for the first 30 seconds or so I have no idea where the song is going once it picks up it doesn’t stop! It just flows chorus to chorus to finale!)

    24. H1-Key Athletic Girl (This was a great debut! They remind me a lot of Mamamoo and this really highlighted their vocals!)

    23. Kingdom Ascension (Whelp, everyone knows I’m heavily biased towards these guys. Yeah this one has all the noisy horns and I really love jamming to it!)

    The next two are totally interchangeable!!

    22. Drippin One
    21. Drippin Zero

    Initially One was at a way lower bracket but each day it just kept rising and now it’s here 💀 These songs make me feel the same way and it’s a good thing because I like what it is! ❤ I have raised hopes for these boys now, I hope they stick to this cool sound.

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  2. Future Perfect—the grower of the year for me as well! I expected the OOO songs to be quite a bit higher though, so now I have no idea what to expect for the rest of the bracket.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m so scared of anyone who can get along with Future Perfect. My intuition now tells me Good Boy Gone Bad will be in the top 11-20, one of the most mediocre boy group songs for me this year, err…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. First of all, great list! Regarding OnlyOneOf, I’m starting to worry YooJung’s begin and Rie’s because won’t make the list. Oh well. There’s at the top of mine, that’s for sure. I loved KB’s Be Free immediately – still do, it’s definitely one of the best of the year – but the other two were real growers, and I now consider them the equal to, and perhaps rated higher than, Be Free. Begin is like candy to my ears, I never tire of it. As for Because, it’s everything I was hoping for from Key’s comeback. I mean, I enjoy Key’s album, but Because is the kind of post-Bad Love song I was hoping for from him. The funny thing is, I wasn’t as into their pre-Idol songs, such as Libido & Skinz. But this Idol series has made me appreciated their previous work, and to look forward to what’s next.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. And to the top 20 predictions!
    rocket punch – chiquita
    road-b – nonstop
    ikon – but you
    drippin – zero
    wjsn – last sequence

    csr – pop pop
    key – another life
    twice – talk that talk
    tempest – cant stop shining
    ive – after like

    snsd – forever 1
    golcha – replay
    road-b – icarus
    alice – dance on
    drippin – the one

    onf – goosebumps
    newjeans – attention
    dc – maison
    psy – that that
    billlie – ring ma bell

    Last three are probably interchangeable, but i can’t think of what else might go there save for maybe Yena – smiley.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Maybe TripleS?

      I’ll be a bit disappointed if That That makes it this high. I must have a big blind spot regarding that it, because I honestly don’t get the love for that song.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Nayeon’s Pop too…

      This year is INSANELY great for girlgroups.

      My favorite this year is probably DM by fromis_9. Yes, it’s not in this list but it doesn’t matter.

      Liked by 1 person

      • DM is great!! And I was ignorant of it until a month or so ago where I was suddenly impressed by the strength of the chorus. Well within my top 20.

        Maybe it’s the “Cinema” (CIX) of this year, where a strong and cleanly produced pop song wins you (or Nick) over eventually. I can’t think of other songs (apart from Drummin and Smiley) that’d be in the top 20, as I don’t think PSY, Billlie, or Dreamcatcher would be in it. I also don’t think VIVIZ would be in the top 20. Even ONF’s Goosebumps is questionable, but perhaps it is because it aged poorly for me – but it’s not my list, so I guess we’ll find out tomorrow.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. In some order

    “E R A S E” – MIC SWG ft Do Han Se and one or two others – my find of the year for Do Han Se lovers.
    Victon “Chronograph” which benefited from being one of the few good boy group songs from early in the year. Also, Do Han Se.

    Stray Kids “Venom” – yes, of course. It has a point of view and sticks with it.
    Dreamcatcher “Starlight” – a favorite of darling daughter

    NCT Dream “Glitch Mode” – non-shouty in a world of shouting
    NCT Dream “Fire Alarm” – Did I say shouting? Yeah, OK in THIS one, shouting is ok. I love it when the batman-like chase theme kicks in. We pull the fire alarm GO! Wee-oo wee-oo — bap bap bap baaap – wee-oo wee-oo – bap bap bap baaap.

    Winner “I Love you-ooo ooo ooo oo WOOO oooh” I look like a nutter singing along to this, but I am old and don’t care what people think.

    Son Tae Jin (of Forte Di Quattro) “Today” – Apparently I never skipped this one
    Kyuhyun “Love Beyond Words” OST – Apparently I never skipped this one, either
    Super Junior “Calling” – or this one either

    Liked by 2 people

    • I keep track of the songs that get stuck in my head every day because my brain is like a radio, always soundtracking my day, and it becomes sort of a musical diary of my year to have it all laid out. Plus I love the statistics I can pull from it. Anyhow…all of that to say that Calling is the song that currently has the highest play count in my brain for the year. We’ll see if anything gets out around it in the next couple weeks, heh.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. skinz and be free are def in my top 15 (haven’t decided if be free is top 10 yet but skinz is def top 10). to me skinz is really not far off libido which was my soty last year and be free is in my top 2 of the OOO solos (along with because).

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  8. Will VIVIZ enter the Top 20? I’m scared…

    Bop Bop! is a funky jam, easy to dance to.

    While LOVEADE is so refreshing and addicting especially when the weather is hot.

    Like

    • I don’t think so, and neither are they for me, despite GFRIEND being my favourite group.

      I think the strength of Viviz (or at least for me) is their album tracks – I think Love, Love, Love may place in the b-side countdown.

      Like

  9. As a fun exercise, here are the 20 songs I would have in my top 20 singles that haven’t made TheBiastList so far, in some kind of attempt at an order. Of course, many of these won’t be on Nick’s list: 20) Hyolyn – Layin’ Low, 19) Max Changmin – Devil, 18) Red Velvet – Feel My Rhythm, 17) PIXY – Villain, 16) Dreamcatcher – Maison, 15) Jessi – ZOOM, 14) Sorn – Sharp Objects, 13) Woozi – Ruby, 12) Fifty Fifty – Lovin’ Me, 11) NewJeans – Attention, 10) Rie – because, 9) LE SSERAFIM – Impurities, 8) TO1 – Drummin’, 7) IVE – After LIKE, 6) Golden Child – Replay, 5) iKON – But You, 4) Fifty Fifty – Higher, 3) YooJung – begin, 2) RoaD-B – Icarus, 1) RoaD-B – Nonstop

    Like

  10. obligatory j-pop review starts now (man i love doing these)

    tsugitsugi zokuzoku – angerme

    Angerme are part of the girl group collective Hello! Project, lead by the iconic Morning Musume. like their sister group, they run on an admission-graduation system, and release at least 3 songs per single at a time. of the few songs i’ve listened to by them, “tsugitsugi zokuzoku” stands out as my favorite, thanks to its aggressive dance beat and pinwheeling melody

    opening with a marching chant of the title, we’re soon lead to a series of gargantuan synths that build the song’s instrumental. the verses have some really exciting parts, mending singing and playful rap together into a blend of perfection, all while that techno instrumental continues to build and build

    then we hit the chorus, which is absolutely fantastic. from here, the melody moves a mile-a-minute, barely giving any time to breathe as a whole assault of quick-moving hooks happens. it’s fortunate that the chorus is also given a second part, allowing the melody to land on its feet without collapsing on itself. it’s some thrilling stuff, and is up there with my favorite Hello! Project songs.

    hooks: 9
    production: 9
    longevity: 9
    bias: 9

    rating: 9

    Liked by 1 person

  11. ‘Chemical’ by from20, ‘Adrenaline’ and ‘Party Rock’ by Cravity, ‘Be Free’ by KB bring this low hurts me. I was definitely expecting these to be in the top 20. I enjoyed these songs quite a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This blog convinced me to listen to OnlyOneOf and I’m so glad I did. Skinz is a sleeper hit that sneaks up on you, and I don’t think any other 4th gen boygroup could make a song/concept like this at the moment. Definitely a standout of the year.

    Cravity’s turn back to brighter music is one of the best things that happened in Kpop this year! I really thought Starship lost the plot after the “vroom-vroom-skurt” era, but Adrenaline and Party Rock were breaths of fresh air. I hope they continue to evolve their sound in this area in 2023.

    And a huge “YESSSS” for Candy Sugar Pop! I really think this is in the top tier of Astro’s discography and is easily one of the best title tracks of 2022.

    Like

  13. Funny to see where your list and mine overlap! I probably downloaded a good 15-20 of the songs on your list so far (including the honorable mentions); and I’m picky about what I add to my library.

    Although for me, Changmin’s Maniac would be way higher. I remember I wrote a comment on your original review back in January where I said I wasn’t sure if anything else this year would be able to top that for me…and I was right, lmao. It is still my #1 and my Apple Music backed that up as my most played song this year. Which doesn’t even include all the times I rewatched the incredibleeeee video. A shame it was so underrated by most!

    (also of course my ELF heart would put Mango in my top 5 as well, but there’s clearly bias at work there…)

    Looking forward to the rest of the countdown!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Enhypen’s Future Perfect is overhated, really. I liked the song ever since the first time I heard it because it just reminds me of BTS’s Fire, loud and dominant but darker.
    Anyway you should also check their webtoon’s OST One in a Billion. It’s cool and definitely one of my favorite releases of Enhypen this year!

    Like

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