The Top Three K-Pop Songs of February 2023

Monthly Round-UpAt the end of each month, I look back at my three favorite title tracks by K-pop artists. I take my own ratings into account, but there’s a bit of wiggle room as certain songs tend to grow or fade.

February 2023 Overall Thoughts

I hate to say it, but my interest in K-pop is kind of on life support at the moment. I go through these phases more and more frequently as time goes on, but this one has lasted three months now. I don’t know what’s going on with the industry, but the combination of dull releases and a comparatively sparse comeback schedule has proven to be a real buzzkill.

So… why has 2023 been so underwhelming so far? This is all subjective, but I was curious how many “9”-rated tracks usually emerge between the months of January and February. Beyond being the crown jewel of song ratings on this blog, “9”-rated tracks are ones that I fall in love. They take long-lasting residence on my playlists and tend to buoy an entire era of K-pop, elevating my interest in the entire industry.

Luckily, The Bias List is easily searchable, so I took a look at how many “9”-rated songs featured on the blog each year during this January/February period. This includes title tracks, b-sides and Japanese songs by Korean artists. Here’s what I found:

2016 – 7
2017 – 7
2018 – 13
2019 – 6
2020 – 4
2021 – 11
2022 – 4
2023 – 1

You can see the problem. By statistics alone, 2023 has been severely underwhelming. And without those highlights lifting all boats, everything else tends to fade into the background.

Thankfully, February delivered one “9”-rated track. Thank goodness for SHINee’s Key! He — along with STAYC — are easy choices for my top three of the month. It’s nice to hear big choruses and robust melody in K-pop.

I know it’s not nearly as popular on this blog, but J-pop had a standout month. Truthfully, I’ve been listening to way more J-pop than K-pop lately, and I’ve started a new weekly feature highlighting songs that catch my attention. If you’re as down in the dumps about K-pop as I am at the moment, I highly encourage you to check these posts out. I’m including them in my honorable mentions and also including my three top J-pop tracks below.

I’m curious to see how 2023 plays out. There are K-pop related things to look forward to in the coming months, but they feel pretty nebulous and distant. Looking at March’s release slate, I’m not convinced it’ll be the epic month we need to break out of the industry’s doldrums. But, I’ve been proven wrong before. I’d love that to happen again!

Month Cumulative Rating: 8 (I don’t trust this at all…)

(compiled by averaging the scores of every K-pop review from this month)

J-Pop Highlights

INI – New Day (review)

NCT Dream – Best Friend Ever (review)

New & Noteworthy J-pop: Weeks One-Three

New & Noteworthy J-pop: Week Four


3. The Rampage – No Gravity (review)

2. Snow Man – Tapestry (review)

1. Genic – Flavor (review)


Honorable Mentions

E’Last – Thrill (review)

Lucy – Unbelievable (review)

Purple Kiss – Sweet Juice (review)

Seventeen BSS – Fighting (ft. Lee Youngji) (review)

TNX – Love Or Die (review)

tripleS – Rising (review)

Woodz – Abyss (review)

This Month’s Risers and Fallers

This Month’s Global Pop Round-Up


3. Hello Gloom – Dancing In The Dark (review)

2. STAYC – Teddy Bear (review)

1. Key – Killer (review)

Top Three K-Pop Songs Of January 2023

Top Three K-Pop Songs Of December 2022

Top Three K-Pop Songs Of November 2022

Top Three K-Pop Songs Of October 2022

Top Three K-Pop Songs Of September 2022

Top Three K-Pop Songs Of August 2022

2010-2020 Archive Here


26 thoughts on “The Top Three K-Pop Songs of February 2023

  1. I just can’t get on board with STAYC’s Poppy & Teddy Bear. I loved everything they did till now. Purple Kiss makes my top 3, along with Key. Maybe Fifty Fifty for the 3rd slot.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. For the first time ages, years, perhaps ever, I have purchased zero kpop this month. So I have nothing to rank.

    That said
    This is my favorite kpop of the month, the mashup that makes both songs far far better. I want to see this mix on a year end music show stage.

    Liked by 6 people

  3. You can always trust J-Pop to come through with choruses. For years, one of my big gripes with K-Pop has been its drop/instrumental chorus offerings, so I probably would have jumped ship to a much greater extent around 2019-2020 if not for J-Pop’s general lack of presence on Spotify. The Snow Man one from this month is very pretty.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. 1. HelloGloom’s Dancing in the Dark
    2. TNX’s Love or Die
    3. Wait for it…Donghyun’s Driver’s License

    They are catchy, quirky, weird…in a good way🤷🏻‍♀️

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Established acts just aren’t hitting it this year for me, except NCT maybe.

    My faves this month are (they are songs I discovered this month idk if they are all released in Feb tbh):
    Lucy – Unbelievable
    TripleS – Rising
    Bikini Cactus – 2tails
    Cherry Boy 17 – A World of Fun
    The Deep – Sensitive Cat

    At least OnlyOneOf is in a week iirc 😆

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yeah, it hasn’t been great.

    1. Fighting (the force of my bias carries this one to the top)
    2. Teddy Bear
    3. 7PM by BSS , because I have literally nothing else to put here.


      • I just heard, too. Not extremely surprised when it comes down to it, but it’s awfully strange to realize that the groups who were rookies when I got into K-Pop are hitting natural end-of-contract departures already.

        ASTRO was my very, very first group — they’re what brought me to this blog, I think, and I even tried (and very quickly quit) Twitter for them over half a decade ago — and, while I definitely fell off of their bandwagon for the last third or so of their career, I’m always quietly rooting for all of them. I hope they keep at it, and I hope Rocky stays in the industry to some degree, too! He had my favorite voice of the bunch even before he’d been given much of a proper vocal part, and ASTRO is already full of vocalists that would easily be my favorite if they were against anyone else but their own bandmates. They won’t be the same without him, but I’m at least glad that we’re talking about his contract running its course rather than a forced departure due to some scandal.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Thank you for sharing! Ahh.. it makes me sad to think of my favourite groups slowly going their own way :’ c But agreed, this seems like a natural way to leave rather than a scandal breaking up the group.


  7. My favourites are definitely Sweet Juice, Teddy Bear, and Killer! As in, literally nothing else was released from groups I care about. It’s definitely been a quiet month so I’m looking forward to March getting underway, especially the Twice comeback!

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Probably Killer, Teddy Bear, and Sweet Juice for me, in that order – funny how they also released in three consecutive days this month in that exact order as well lol

    Looking forward to Twice in March >:) and of course their newly announced tour and THEY’RE COMING TO CANADA EEEEEEEEE LETS GOOOO

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Key and StayC really saved this month for me. March should better. There’s a lot of upcoming releases like Twice, Onew, Key, Jimin, and Kai. I agree though that the last few months have been slow.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, March is very packed with releases. I’m looking forward to a lot of the songs that will be released next month as most of the artists have crafted a very solid discography. We’ll have to find out if the songs live up to our expectations once they’ve released.


  10. My top 3:
    1. Key – Killer
    2. TRI.BE – We are young
    3. Yaeji – Done

    1. New Look – TripleS
    2. Colorful – TripleS
    3. Autopilot – Purple Kiss


    • Other songs I liked but am not totally into:
      ◙ XG – Left Right
      ◙ JeA – Congratulations to you
      ◙ Park Rossi – Gossip
      ◙ Just B with Alexa – MBTI


  11. My Top 5 look like this:

    Title Tracks:
    1. THE BOYZ – ROAR
    2. KEY – Killer
    3. BSS – FIghting
    4. Purple Kiss – Sweet Juice
    5. STAYC – Teddy Bear

    1. Purple Kiss – Autopilot
    2. KEY – Easy

    3. THE BOYZ – Diamond Life
    (There’s a gap because Number 1 and 2 are much much better than Number 3)
    Not much else for B-sides other than that…

    I’ve also been enjoying BOYS PLANET’s Select Song ‘Here I am’
    I’m such a sucker for these types of songs so I’ve always enjoyed the produce songs (GIRLS PLANET ruined the song with that weird sudden happy part).

    I also discovered this song 2 days ago and have been listening to it non stop

    For me, this song is just perfect for walking around the city.


  12. February was another exceptionally quiet month. Others have disagreed, but I see my thoughts echoed here. There really hasn’t been too many big releases and I know there where weeks in Feb where almost literally nothing was released. I did dive a little deeper this month into b-sides and mini albums and enjoyed catching things I would have missed otherwise. March is FINALLY starting to look up and there seems to be a lot more to look forward too.

    Top 3 Feb. 2023:
    1. KEY – Killer
    2. Seventeen BSS (ft. Youngji) – Fighting
    3. E’LAST – Thriller

    *Honerable Mention: XG – LEFT RIGHT

    Top 3 B-Sides:
    1. TripleS – New Look
    2. Purple Kiss – Auto Pilot
    3. Seventeen BSS – LUNCH


  13. Personally
    1. Key – Killer
    2. TNX – Love or Die
    3. STAYC – Teddy Bear

    Other than that, I was singing “Fighting, something, Fighting, something” a lot earlier this month, and then……kind of just forgot it existed. So yeah, nothing else. Hopefully march fares better……


  14. 1. tripleS – Rising
    2. Purple Kiss -Sweet Juice
    3. LimeLight – Honestly

    Honorable Mention: FIFTY FIFTY – Cupid

    1. Purple Kiss – Autopilot
    2. tripleS – New Look
    3. triples – Beam

    Purple Kiss was a surprise for me because I didn’t follow them before and only checked out their album because someone recommended Autopilot. Sweet Juice really captured me as well now. For tripleS, I already had high expectations, but they fulfilled or even exceeded them very well. Otherwise, this month has indeed been on the slow side, but I’m still content and I’m looking forward to March already – TWICE, Cherry Bullet, Billlie, and possibly CSR who are reportedly having a comeback “soon”. Especially CSR is going to be exciting because they’re my favorite rookie group next to tripleS and Billlie at the moment.


  15. The usual mish-mash of j-pop, k-pop and b-sides. 5 tracks
    Key -Killer
    NCT Dream – Best Friend Ever
    Purple Kiss – Autopilot
    E’Last – Thrill (Instrumental)
    BSS – Lunch

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Killer, Teddy Bear, Love or Die, Sweet Juice and We are Young are probably my picks. Love or Die and Sweet Juice are definitely growers! SKZ’S Sound is probably my favorite – i don’t know whether it goes this month or the last though! 😂

    Anyhow March looks exciting for my personal tastes anyway – Chebul, Pixy & Twice on the same day, Cravity, NMIXX, Trendz and finally the one I’m the most hyped about Kingdom! 😀 I’m not a merchandise person but the sakura aesthetic Kingdom is going for this time is so damn pretty!


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