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!
20. PSY – That That (ft. Suga)
It’s the return of a legend, flanked by another legend. PSY’s goofy schtick should be getting old by now, but That That’s lively groove and series of addictive hooks yet again secures his place as K-pop’s number one life of the party. (full review)
19. ONF – Goosebumps
Putting a temporary capper on ONF’s imperial phase, Goosebumps made for an unexpected swan song before enlistment. It’s a rugged funk workout, playing with sound and structure in a thrilling composition that hits hard. (full review)
18. Rocket Punch – Chiquita
After flirting with retro influences on past title tracks, Chiquita completed Rocket Punch’s transformation into synth warriors. Its mighty riff gives them plenty of ammunition and the song’s chorus seizes that energy with panache. (full review)
17. Key – Another Life
By now, Key should be well aware how much we love his embrace of synthwave sounds. Fan favorite Another Life made the perfect pre-release, pleasing longtime fans as it deepened the majestic energy of last year’s Bad Love. (full review)
16. NewJeans – Attention
If executed well, laidback grooves can be just as thrilling as club-ready bangers. Attention pulls from airy 90’s pop to reinvent how a modern K-pop debut might sound. The song’s influence quickly became clear, but even after its reign on the charts has ended that harmonic chorus that will stand the test of time. (full review)
15. WJSN – Last Sequence
After winning this year’s Queendom competition, WJSN took a well-deserved victory lap with the stomping Last Sequence. The ladies aimed straight for the dancefloor and hit their mark, resulting in a track that only grew more addictive with time. (full review)
14. Rie – Because
OnlyOneOf’s Underground Idol bore plenty of fruit in 2022, but no song resonated as clearly as Because. Over a sentimental pop/rock soundscape, Rie bears his all in a performance that evokes nostalgia. It’s amazing how many nuances he can pack into the song’s plentiful “yeah yeah yeah” ad-libs. (full review)
13. CSR – Pop? Pop!
Many girl groups debuted this year, but CSR’s Pop? Pop! stands as one of the most memorable arrivals. I have a serious soft spot for this early Lovelyz/GFriend sound and instantly fell in love with this rush of sugary sweet melody. A bounding dance break is the cherry on top of an already-delicious confection. (full review)
12. Twice – Talk That Talk
Jumping aboard K-pop’s retro train for the first time since 2020’s I Can’t Stop Me, Talk That Talk is the ebullient sound of a group confident in their own power. Its blissful chorus sweeps you off your feet and the instrumental crackles with a buoyant pop energy. (full review)
11. iKON – But You
I would’ve never expected iKON to go full-on synthwave, but the genre turns out to fit them like aglove. But You surges on anthemic energy, tied together by an emotive performance that sees the group taking full advantage of their vocalists. It’s one of the year’s most underrated tracks. (full review)
Now I’m curious to see which songs snuck into your top 10.
I assumed Chiquita, But You, and Pop? Pop! would all have a chance to sneak in (at least the latter two)
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Although my predictions from yesterday were quite wrong, I predict:
1) Golden Child – Replay
2) ALICE – Dance On
3) IVE – After LIKE
4) Road-B – Nonstop
5) TO1 – Drummin’
6) SNSD – Forever 1 7) Tempest – Can’t Stop Shining
8) Road-B – Icarus
9) DRIPPIN- Zero 10) DRIPPIN – The One
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Oh, I forgot about Can’t Stop Shining! I didn’t think about Drummin’ though
Since Rie’s Because surprised me and made it on today’s list, I’m hoping YooJung’s Begin makes it too.
FOREVER 1 and After LIKE top 10 😱
love to see Talk That Talk, Last Sequence, Attention and Another Life!
Hang on, regarding ONF, I thought December tracks were ineligible? Snuck that one in! 😉
I always include December songs from the previous year since I cut my eligibility off at the end of November. Sometimes it feels a bit awkward, but otherwise I’d have to wait until January to publish my year-end lists and by that time I’m already knee-deep in releases of the new year 🙂
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Oh, right, my bad; I thought Goosebumps was a new song that just came out earlier this month. Somehow I missed it when it came out last year.
Wow, lots of pleasant surprises here. I wasn’t expecting Rie’s Because to leap over the other OnlyOneOf tracks from this year. I didn’t expect Attention over Hype Boy, and I didn’t expect Twice to make it. Great song though. (I wonder if Nayeon’s Pop! will also make it? I didn’t like that one at first, but it’s grown on me in recent days. The production sets it apart from other songs; it sounds great in playlists.)
I still don’t get the massive love everyone has for Psy’s That That. I must have heard it a dozen-plus times, and can’t remember a single hook from it, the chorus, a line. I’ve got nothing. My favorite Suga production of 2022 is JungKook’s Stay Alive, an excellent tune many seem to have forgotten about. I’d also put Jin’s Astronaut and RM’s Wild Flower over That That. But I’m sure the problem resides in me, and maybe the song will click with me later and I’ll feel embarrassed about not getting it earlier…(?)
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A bop after a bop after a bop! My personal favs from here gotta be Chiquita and Another Life but I love everything else too. So excited for the top 10 songs!!!
My favorites from the 10 above: 1-2) iKON – But You & Rie – Because in a virtual tie, followed by 3) NewJeans – Attention (although Hype Boy would rank above all of them), 4) Twice – Talk That Talk, 5) Rocket Punch – Chiquita. The rest, I’m a bit indifferent about; or I don’t know them well enough yet, they haven’t stood out to me yet.
My top 20
20) Le SSERAFIM – The Great Mermaid
19) DRIPPIN- Switch
18) Yerin Baek – It was me
17) fromis_9 – Rewind
16) Golden Child – Miracle
15) Boa – The Greatest
14) Acid Angel from Asia – Generation
13) Kb – Be Free
12) Rocket Punch – Chiquita
11) fromis_9 – DM
glad to see someone thought of DM… i just realized how extra great this song is (that hairtie momenttttt). but i still wonder if it will make TBL’s list hehe
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Love seeing Last Sequence so high up! Wasn’t expecting that one! This bracket of mine is the one with the odd picks! 😀
20. Pritti-G Love Taker – Group bias almost always plays a huge role and that’s how certain songs may end up very high on my list; but THIS is an example of a great song making its way so high all by itself. The girls did their best though it’s not really that suited for their voices and I still say in the hands of DC or even Pink Fantasy this could have been more explosive!
19. Aespa Girls – Myself and a rare few shall valiantly swim away on this plank 😭 A cohesive, hard-hitting yet enjoyable great song – and seeing how it got hated makes even me turn into that guy screaming at the sky. It’s almost sure that we won’t get great stuff like this again so I’m going to treasure this song lol.
18. Dreamcatcher Maison – One of their best cbs so far for me. ❤
17. TAN Louder 💀 Seriously though, this is LIT on Spotify!! All those clicky sounds and oh ohs are so brilliantly perfect when it’s audio alone. Also though I don’t use Spotify much this was my most listened song there lol
16. Kingdom Promise – 2nd cheat bside. They made a whole drama out of this song – This is the kinda ballad I really love!
15. MCND #Mood – I have a soft spot for them and this song’s great fun!
14. Treasure Darari Remix – I love this so much! It can perk up my mood any day!
13. Up10tion What If Love – I like this kinda stuff. I find what Up10tion does very close to my views on an ideal structure of a song lol – a bit of everything and it’s all memorable.
12. Cravity Party Rock – This is the best thing from them this year and I can go on and on about how interesting and fun this song is in so many ways!!! ❤❤
11. Nine.i Young Boy – The biggest grower of this year… Infact it might have even got into Top 10 with some more time lol. It’s a very anime vibe song and for once the feel-good vibes totally work on me!
#mood is a banger and a half tbh!
Glad to see Talk That Talk, Attention, Pop? Pop! and Chiquita in these high positions ❤
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attention and Talk The Talk are some of my FAVORITES this year and are in my top 10 for this year.
my predictions for the top 10:
10 – Icarus (road b)
9 – the one (drippin)
8 – drummin (to1)
7 – dance on (Alice)
6 – forever 1 (snsd)
5 – zero (drippin)
4 – replay (golcha)
3 – after like (ive)
2 – cant stop shining (tempest)
1 – nonstop (road b)
actually after thinking abt it some more its more like
10. icarus (road b)
9. drummin (to1)
8. zero (drippin)
7. dance on (alice)
6. cant stop shining (tempest)
5. the one (drippin)
4. replay (golcha)
3. forever 1 (snsd)
2. after like (ive)
1. nonstop (road b)
My 11-20 list. I give an order, but really it is a bucket.
11 Lim Young Woong “Rainbow”
12 Lim Young Woong “Our Blues, Our Life”
13 Lim Young Woong “Love Letter”
14 Lim Young Woong “If we ever meet again” (link at bottom, with live live singing)
Yassss, I love his album, his baritone is like butterscotch. Biaszens, are you like me? Does that third of the Korean music that is slow OST ballads leave you bored? Every Day, Every Moment, still on the charts, what, how? I have the cure for you and that is Lim Young Woong’s I’m Hero album from this year. It is this decades
15 Golden Child “Replay”
16 ATEEZ “Guerilla” – technically better than their others, just missing a better hook
17 ATEEZ “Sector 1” – played it a lot, despite the irritating high timbres
18 Wonho “Eye on You”
19 Drippin “Villain”
20 Ghost9 “X-ray”
Love Rie, WJSN and Twice. I would have them all at different positions (Rie top 10, Twice top 15 and WJSN top 30) but all very solid songs 🙂
Final top 10 predictions, in descending order
golden child – replay
road-b – nonstop
to1 – drummin
drippin – zero
ive – after like
tempest – can’t stop shining
snsd – forever 1
alice – dance on
drippin – the one
road-b – icarus
will this be the first year golcha takes the crown?! i say yes! i am also pretty confident in the one and icarus being on the lower end of the list, and i suspect that time has put after like > forever 1. can’t wait to see how wrong i end up being 😛
I really think Drummin is the dark horse this time lol. Even I feel #1 is going to be Replay but I have seen Nick being far more excited about Drummin as a song than Replay I think lol
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I was rooting for Talk That Talk in the top ten but this is a solid ranking! I’ll do a list tomorrow of all my favourite title tracks of the year
I’m surprised to see iKON’s ‘But You’ this early. I was betting on it to be in the top 10 but I’m off by just a little bit. I’m going to guess Road-B and Golden Child will be in the top 10 for sure. Seeing how much you love GC and liked ‘Icarus’.
Sad to see ‘Another Life’ by Key not in the top 10 as well but I’m going to assume ‘Gasoline’ will be there. If ‘Gasoline’ is in the top 10, I would have personally switched the placing of the 2 songs.
I’m very curious as to what you have in your top 10
Gasoline is #55 😭
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oh I somehow completely missed that. Damn…
Want to wipe my tears more than 100 times to accept Attention is placed so damn high. Perhaps it’s my personal problem to not see its charm, the same case with Next Level last year, so sad!
Thought Talk That Talk could come into the top 10 but nope.
I love most stuff of ONF 2021 but Goosebumps is an execution.
How about After Like would be the winner and also the first song by a girl group to top the rank?
Nah, I kinda relate to this too lol. I thought Attention was ok – my fave from NJ, but honestly I liked AAA’s Generation more inspite of the comparisons. And Next Level… I’ve never got that song. I think even Savage had a small redeeming moment when some other groups covered it, but NL – it’s definitely not my taste.
Generation turned out to be such a grower. Amazing song.
Whatever sound New Jeans have created, someone’s already beating them at their own game.
I’m hoping we get a fifty fifty song in the top 10.
Some of my faves of the year are here, i’m very curious which songs will enter your Top 10… probably we will see Road-B?
obligatory j-pop review starts now
taiyomo tsukimo (sun and moon) – generations from exile tribe
i still don’t have an absolute favorite exile tribe group, but generations is probably up there to be the one. last year’s “liberation” was one of my favorite songs of that year, and the rest of their songs really build upon their brother groups’ sound. “taiyomo tsukimo” stands out as my favorite, delivering an electric guitar-driven slab of dance-pop that drives and drives.
the song opens with one of its main trump cards; that excellent distorted guitar. i wrote about how this is one of my favorite sounds in music in my “Heaven Is A Place on Earth” review (right under the INI’s “Spectrum” review in this website), and “Taiyomo Tsukimo” might just be one of the peaks of that sound. the verses make way for some funky guitar, but those distorted guitars are still going strong.
the chorus!!! this one right here, everybody! each melodic line builds upon each other, creating a structure that’s absolutely irresistible. again, it continues to be bolstered by those guitars and drums in the background, keeping up with its fist-pumping anthemic sound! if songs like these continue to exist, including in k-pop, i’ll die a happy man
I am so happy to see two of my personal faves this past year. I thought Key hadn’t cracked top 50 because Gasoline was an HM, and I didn’t think you’d go for But You. IMO, the thing that pushed But You over the edge for me was the lyrics. The “brave face” lyrics really underline the meloncholy that’s trying to be covered up.