Looking Back at Last Year’s K-Pop Resolutions — Did 2022 Deliver?

K-Pop ResolutionsIt’s that time of year again! Before I make my 2023 K-pop resolutions (ie: wishes) tomorrow, I’d like to rewind one year and see how well 2022 fulfilled those hopes. This is usually a pretty disappointing reflection, but maybe this year will be different?

Make sure to look back at 2022’s resolutions before continuing!

1. Comebacks and Stages that Feel Genuinely Fun

Did 2022 deliver? — Honestly, it was more of the same

While there were definitely a few fun, goofy comebacks in 2022, the standard for most performances (especially boy groups) remains the same: choreo-heavy with plenty of posturing. I don’t see this changing anytime soon since the industry itself is built upon a veneer of perfection and polish.

2. Lasting Producer/Artist Partnerships

Did 2022 deliver? — not really

Much of my favorite 2022 music came from artists who found a great producer and stuck with them. I’m thinking OnlyOneOf, DRIPPIN, RoaD-B, etc. But, the overwhelming trend in K-pop remains the same. Artists hop from producer to producer without a ton of continuity.

3. No. More. Shouting.

Did 2022 deliver? — Oh, definitely not

This was a particularly frustrating issue with boy groups in 2022. Some tracks built their entire chorus around chanted shouts. Others shouted their way through the verses or bridge. It was another shouty year, for sure.

4. Onomatopoeia No No

Did 2022 deliver? — It’s getting much better!

There were still Wa Da Das and Gratatas here and there, but this trend seems to be on its way out. Even groups who embraced it in the past have moved on. Thank goodness!

5. An Exciting New Crop of Rookies

Did 2022 deliver? — Definitely! At least on the girl group side

This was very lopsided, with far more notable girl groups debuting than boy groups. But, many of my favorite songs from 2022 came from rookies. Better yet, many of them seem to be ushering in new sounds and ideas.

6. Cut it with the Competition

Did 2022 deliver? — Not really

I think we just have to accept that competition (especially in our streaming era) is a central component of K-pop fandom. It’s probably not getting any better, so it’s best to ignore the bragging and boasting (and fan wars).

7. The Return of Classic Producers

Did 2022 deliver? — Nope, though there were slivers of hope

While 2022 didn’t see a resurgence of 2nd-gen producers, I was happy to get a couple excellent Sweetune tracks. Brave Brothers was oddly quiet after his huge 2021 success, while other creators from this era were simple MIA.

8. Big Songs that Stay Big

Did 2022 deliver? — No

Apart from a couple big standouts (basically, most of my top ten of the year), K-pop remained allergic to big dance tracks that don’t swerve into some half-time breakdown or slow, mopey verses. On the plus side, a couple of the year’s biggest hits (After Like and Forever 1) hinted at the possibility of more upbeat dance music in the future.

9. The Return of Cheering Songs (ie: less “I,” more “You”)

Did 2022 deliver? — Not really

Most K-pop songs continue to place the “I” front and center, acting as delivery methods for boasting and braggadocio. This seems to be what sells, so I don’t imagine it changing any time soon.

10. Loving More “Big” Groups

Did 2022 deliver? — No

My dilemma remains the same. Most of my favorite music comes from lesser-known artists. This is fine, but it can make me feel like I’m missing out on big part of the K-pop experience. I’d love to see some of my favorite songs performed at the year-end festivals, for example. But, that’s just not in the cards right now. When it comes to music, I found almost every “big name” group to be pretty underwhelming this year.


15 thoughts on “Looking Back at Last Year’s K-Pop Resolutions — Did 2022 Deliver?

  1. 2. Lasting Producer/Artist Partnerships
    I personally want to add Le Sserafim. So far 13 (Score/Megatone) currently have production and writing credits on every Le Sserafim track to come out this year. the debut EP was especially very enjoyable for me! I hope this partnership continues.

    Looking forward to seeing 2023’s resolutions


    • I remember this site fondly every once in a while, but in the past year I’ve been so little interested in kpop that I haven’t consistently read and commented anymore. It’s really too bad ;/

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah, I agree. This year was pretty frustrating, when it comes to releases. Wanna believe it’s gonna get better in 2023, but for some reason I’m afraid it won’t happen…
    And because of 2022 delivering so many disappointments, my interest in k-pop is slowly falling down. Though I’m trying to do my best to prevent myself from quitting.


    • I don’t know, I kind of felt that music in general was quite disappointing in 2022, in terms of artists I love: The Weeknd’s album and singles didn’t reach nearly the heights of past work; Doja Cat only had Vegas, which was okay, but not top-drawer level imo; Ariana Grande seems to have taken a step back from music, Rihanna’s been silent, etc. Only a few Western tunes this year seemed truly great (from Lizzo, Beyonce, Styles).

      My first love is probably rock/indie, and that’s a dead horse at this point. The only thing I loved is Beach House’s album Once Twice Melody.

      As far as K-pop, even though there were loads of disappointments, other artists really stepped up, and at the end of the year, somehow I have no trouble at all putting together my 100 favorite tunes of the year.


  3. Hehe, I’m generally a huge pessimist and can’t bother to get myself excited in anything or “see the good side of things” but when it comes to kpop for some reason I’m actually more upbeat and positive! 😂

    Good things of this year :

    1) A couple of bg really managed to do happy fun songs and show the bright side of things – Cravity leading this with 2 bright cbs with Treasure and Nine.i just behind 🙂

    2) There were more gg featuring higher in my list this year – 3 even in my top 10!

    3) Smaller unexpected groups putting out great stuff. Of my ults I feel Ateez did the best followed by DC and then SKZ. Oneus went down a lot on my lists this year but I’m generally positive for all these 4 groups in the next year too

    4) Consistency on a personal standpoint from some last year rookie groups that I absolutely loved – Kingdom and Blitzers especially. Pixy had just one cb which was fine. Billlie had a great year. JustB and Mirae did ok in the sense it wasn’t as good as their debuts but still alright. Lightsum had just one cb. Tri.be and T1419 probably fell off the most for me with just one cb. Still again, I’m positive about all of them next year. Sad about Bugaboo disbanding though.

    5) And on a personal level, many groups I simply did not care about or have high opinions on last year ended up favorably on my radar this year – P1Harmony (I frankly could not stand Scared), Treasure (I’m finally into them!❤), Aespa (Finally I loved something from them since their debut era!), Drippin, big groups BTS and Blackpink where I atleast enjoyed one cb from them in recent times – Yet to Come and Shut Down!

    6) Some good debut songs- Fearless, Attention, Du Du Du, Bad news – and some unexpectedly good ones I didn’t even know until it hit me- Here I’m mainly referring to Xeed’s Dreamland, &Team’s Under the Skin, H1-Key’s Athletic Girl.

    I would say, for me, 2022 was an year for redemption as I ended up loving many groups whose music I never thought I would enjoy. There were a few reverse cards like Weeekly and TXT who went waaaay down for me but the general trend was more surprising groups going up!

    So, some of my hopes for this year did work out and I would say it was a pretty ok year! 😀


  4. Global Song of the year – Titi Me Pregunto by Bad Bunny

    Global Album of the year – MOTOMAMI by ROSALIA

    K-Pop song of the year (tie)
    – TOMBOY by (G)I-DLE
    – But You by IKON

    K-Pop album of the year – Aura by Golden Child


  5. Honestly, for me, the best stages this year were the JinJin and Rocky “Just Breath” stages they were just so fun to watch, it was awesome


  6. I think the shouting songs received more criticism from fans than in years past. I say this because I feel like I saw more people openly say that they weren’t going to listen to certain songs on repeat in attempt to like the song, and many of those were shout-driven. A year or two ago, I don’t think that would be the case.

    The fun songs were great this year! The stages for Nayeon’s Pop and Tempest’s Bad News made me smile and it was refreshing to hear after being bombarded with darker music.

    Speaking of Brave Brothers, is there a reason why he isn’t heavily involved in the music for DKB? Considering his role in the music that helped Brave Girls have a resurgence, I’m surprised his hand is all over the music his youngest group puts out.

    Finally, I think the big names gave us some good music. However, I wonder if some of the inconsistency you feel is due to the companies managing these artists. There were definitely decisions made around everything from title track selection to comeback scheduling for groups that just didn’t seem to be planned out the best in hindsight for these major acts.

    Hopefully 2023 brings more good music and content!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha not obnoxious because these things stick out to me too.

      I think I’ve overworked myself these past few weeks with all the countdowns and features. Typos and grammatical errors are popping up much more frequently! 😅


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