Looking Back: The Top Three K-Pop Songs of September-October 2008

Looking Back

September-October 2008 Overall Thoughts

In addition to my monthly K-pop round-up, I’ve taken a look at my favorite three singles from each month since 2009 and factored them into my ultimate Bias List scorecard, which can be found here.

The problem is, prior to 2009 it becomes harder to find reliable sources for K-pop release dates. I’m going to do the best I can with the information I have, but occasionally I may place a song a month early or late (it becomes even more confusing when you factor in separate release dates for mv and album!). And because K-pop releases were far less prolific fifteen years ago than they are today, I’ve decided to feature two months each week. That gives me more music to choose from and ensures I’m not spotlighting songs I dislike simply because there’s nothing else that came out during that period!

As we draw closer to the end of 2008, the months of September and October unleashed some serious firepower. Nearly every a-list star of the moment released something, whether it be in the form of an album, a single or a repackage.

Chief among these releases is TVXQ’s Mirotic – the group’s final Korean album as a quintet and a mammoth success. At the time, it set the record for highest first-week sales and proved popular on a global scale. Also riding high on international popularity was Rain and Wonder Girls. Coming off his role in the feature film Speed Racer, Rain delivered some of his most iconic, enduring music. Rainism is a stellar title track.

In fact, this era represents the seeds of K-pop’s western expansion. BoA tried her hand at the English-speaking market with Eat You Up, which would later be followed by a full English album. Wonder Girls released their iconic Nobody – a song that would later break the Billboard chart when it was re-released in 2009. I actually find Nobody a bit overrated as a song (don’t kill me!), but there’s no denying its place in K-pop history.

As if this wasn’t enough, heavyweight acts like Brown Eyed Girls, SHINee and Son Dam Bi all released new music. We also had the debut of soon-to-be massive IU with Lost Child. The industry was really starting to shape its next generation. Super Junior’s Chinese sub-unit Super Junior M also unveiled their first original single, which received a music video after its initial release in the spring. Me is a forgotten gem.

Even among all these milestones, we can’t forget the debut of boy group U-Kiss. I’m not a big fan of their single Not Young, but they’d quickly grow into a popular and super-solid act.

Honorable Mentions

Brown Eyed Girls – How Come (video)

FTIsland – Heaven (video)

IU – Lost Child (video)

Rain – Love Story (video)

SHINee – Amigo (review)

Son Dam Bi – Crazy (ft. Eric) (video)

Super Junior M – Me (video)

Notable English Releases from K-Pop Acts

BoA – Eat You up (video)


3. Wonder Girls – Nobody

2. Rain – Rainism

1. TVXQ – Mirotic


6 thoughts on “Looking Back: The Top Three K-Pop Songs of September-October 2008

  1. I saw this on my phone first, scrolling down I thought “hmm, what could be better than the Wonder Girls song”, then “yes, of course Rainism … … but what could be better than Rainism ….” then” yes of course “Mirotic”, I mean what else could better than Mirotic”. Not much else.
    One hell of a bi-month for kpop.


  2. Lost Child remains one of my absolute favourite IU songs! I love how much drama there is to it and wish she had continued this sound a bit more instead of the lighter fare of Marshmallow and Boo. They’re cute, but her vocals really shine in a song like Lost Child.
    Nobody is an absolute classic although it’s not one of my favourite Wonder Girls tracks, it’s still a total bop and truly iconic in k-pop history.
    How Come is my third pick! I really love Brown Eyed Girls and actually found out about How Come from the Brave Girls cover they did. It’s a really good example of a deeply 2000s quirky, electronic k-pop song.


  3. I had heard bits of Mirotic covered and mentioned a bunch but danced around listening to the actual track for over a year. Finally did at the very beginning of this year. It’s fantastic and has had significant air time in my head since. It’s very hyped. It very much deserves it.

    And geeze, I love Super Junior M’s Me. That’s another one that’s guaranteed to put a smile on my face. Sunshine in a song.


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