This list was not easy. It took revising and re-editing and it eventually came down to me with a pencil and paper writing down the songs that I must put on this list or it would physically hurt me. It started out as 15 and ended up being 25 because fuck it, why not? Not every song I loved winded up on this, just the ones that had to be in the top 25.
- Song must be a title track. B-sides have a separate list.
- Rap songs can be included, but this is primarily k-pop so I kept it down to a minimum.
- It's all my opinion.
25.) Seveteen & Ailee - "Q&A"
I know this song literally just came out but that doesn't stop it from being a song I will play the living hell out of. It's catchy and always stuck in my head. The female version is Playback's possibly musically better "Playback" and while that song is totally awesome and deserves all the love, it's "Q&A" that I just generally like better. The 90's piano beat, the goofy rapping, and enjoyable vocals by Ailee and Woozi just make this track a pure ear-worm.
24.) Rainbow - "Black Swan"
At first listen "Black Swan" probably will sound jarring and even a bit sloppily put together. But that's actually not the case. "Black Swan" simply doesn't carry the traditional method of structure and that works to it's strengths rather than make it sound like total shit. The instrumental follows a simplistic approach with a subdued electro-pop sound, a catchy melody and a catchy chorus all leading up to a killer end-chorus where all the instruments collide together and it's awesome.
23.) MyB - "DDODDO"
MyB may look like a bunch of Red Velvet fangirls got together one day after school and filmed a music video but that doesn't make their music any less great. Seriously, "DDODDO" is catchy as hell. It's very, very, 90's. In fact I wouldn't be surprise if this took inspiration from the Mickey Mouse Club. Everything from this from the child-friendly colorful MV to the actual music just screams 90's! The dance is also pretty great and easily one of the best girl group dances to come out of k-pop this year.
22.) A.Kor - "Always"
22.) A.Kor - "Always"
When this song first came out back in January I replayed it for a good week. I'd come home and just put on repeat while I was doing homework or projects ect... It's just that good. I love the simplicity of this song. The warm guitar strings with the layered with the drums stays surprisingly makes a good-dancing-around-the-house-while-shouting-the-chorus-at-the-top-of-your-lungs songs. Do you know how long it's been since a song made me do that?
21.) Got7 - "Just Right"
The fact that some people still consider Got7 nugus is a shame. They've literally not had no bad songs since their debut and I'm happy that "Just Right" got a little bit of airtime. The scratch hip-hop beat mixed with those warm melodies on the acoustic guitar sounds terrible on paper but you can't deny that JYP can pretty much make anything sound good when he puts his mind to it. And with "Just Right" being one of his more weirder sounding tracks I hope that Got7 and Twice become the SHINee and f(x) of JYPE and they can both be given great experimental tracks to work with. Or he can just keep doing what he's doing because that's working just as good.
20.) Hello Venus - "Wiggle Wiggle"
20.) Hello Venus - "Wiggle Wiggle"
Like 4minute's "Cut it Out", "Wiggle Wiggle" reminds me a lot of the kind of hip-hop that was being produced when I was a kid. Think about Pharelle's (or Underdog's if you want to get technical) early-to-mid 2000's production. I love everything about this song from the bass-line to the whistles to the dude that sounds like Tyga in the background saying shit like "I'm feelin', feelin' good" and "Shawty where you at?" Good god that is the kind of 2000's cheese I didn't know I was missing in my life. The video is also full of that type of cheese with matching sporty hot-girl out-fits, white sneakers, and the wonky angles. All of it very cheesey and very good.
19.) Dynamic Duo - "J.O.T.S" (Feat. Nafla)
Remember American rap in the 90's and how much it didn't suck? Yeah, while I was born in the late 90's and don't pretend that I grew up on Tupac and Biggie, I still have a deep admiration for that time of rap music, as any actual rap fan would. This contains all of the hard beats and conscious messages that would have been prevalent during that time. While the instrumental is absolutely awesome, it's the message that really stuck to me as it's very uplifting and well welcomed, especially during a time where rappers are just now getting out of the rut of rapping about how much money they make and how many hoes they fucked like we actually give a damn, all while the actual music keeps sucking major amounts of dick with the same old bass line layered under the same old trap beat. "J.O.T.S" is everything American rap music needs more of.
18.) Nine Muses - "Hurt Locker"
Speaking of awesome instrumentals, "Hurt Locker" was the anthem of the summer. It didn't follow the laid back half-assed vibe as most songs this summer came with, it went hard with a clubbing beat and never gave up. While the lyrics are sad, the song is upbeat and makes you want to dance and sing at the top of your lungs like T-ara's "Sugar Free" and anything that reminds me of that song is automatically gold.
17.) Up10tion - "Catch Me!"
If Up10tion keeps their current sound up I can see them getting huge in Korea. They have everything a boy group needs. Hard hitting beats, hot boys, catchy melodies, hot boys, music videos with interesting concepts, hot boys, catchy chorus, hot boys, cool dances, and of course hot boys. Did I also mention how great this song is? Weird and energetic and in all the right places receiving an A+ from me. Also Wooshin is hot.
16.) OMG (Oh My Girl) - "Closer"
Another great song from another great rookie group. This mixes the melancholy aura of a break up song while still keeping a good amount of dance aspects of a pop song. What more could you want?
15.) Red Velvet - "Automatic"
I swear only me and like two other Red Velvet stans love this but it doesn't matter. I'm cool with R&B as long as it's well done and on a personal level, "Automatic" is one of those smooth and sophisticated R&B songs that made me fans of the likes of Mary J. Bliege and Ne-Yo so it's impossible to act like this song doesn't keep me coming back like an addict.
14. 4Minute - "Crazy"
You know why Western pop is sucking so much as of late? Poorly done trap+hip-hop songs. You know why Western hip-hop has been in a rut for the past, like, eight years? Poorly done trap+hip-hop songs. 4Minute perfected that formula to a tea and actually made it listenable. This is the type of nut-crushing-in-your-face party anthems that the West needs more of, and that 4Minute needs to keep doing.
13. CLC - "Pepe"
I swear I didn't plan to put two Cube artists back to back, that's just kind of how the list came about. But anyway, while "Crazy" was awesome because it was in your face, "Pepe" is awesome for the opposite. It's and upbeat and playful jazzpop song and the fact that while CLC is has some pretty good singers in it, that they don't overpower the song but let their voices flow with it, makes for a pretty good classic ear-candy.
12.) Infinite - "Bad"
Violins in mainstream is music is something I didn't know I needed it. The tension that they bring here is stellar. This song is so bombastic and fresh. This song cemented Infinite being in my top 5 boy groups. K-Pop gods please listen to me, give more boy groups songs like this pretty please?
11.) BESTie - "Excuse Me"
11.) BESTie - "Excuse Me"
RetroModern can make some killer ass songs and that shows no better than in BESTie's amazing "Excuse Me." Old school horns(?) accompany the melody hear along with a chorus that will knock you on your respective ass. How could this not be one of my favorites of 2015?
10. BoA - "Who Are You?" (Feat. Gaeko)
"Kiss My Lips" will forever be worthy of a praise but I "Who Are You?" on repeat for the longest. Upbeat R&B can almost never fail especially when BoA, a person who composed gems such as "Only You" and "Disturbance" is given the wheel.
9.) Crayon Pop - "FM"
Everything about this song is catchy. Catchy melody, catchy chorus, everything is catchy catchy catchy. A lot of people call it a T-ara b-side but can you really call that an insult when T-ara have more solid b-sides than most K-pop groups? Also extra points for the Sailor Moon concept.
8.) Lovelyz - "Ah-Choo"
Upbeat 80's synth-pop coming from a girl group that uses the school girl concept is rare since most cute groups go for the 90's sugar pop sound (nothing wrong with that but still.) What I love about Lovelyz is that their songs always sound like they were produced for them as a group instead of just being handed an A-Pink b-side which is what a lot of cute groups get thrown these days. This song was produced to pure perfection with no part being dull. The verses contain a certain "umph", the chorus is stellar and even the bridge is very well done. Another triumph for Lovelyz!
7.) Yankie - "Sold Out" (Feat. Tablo, Zion.T, and Loco)
You know what will make my ears have an orgasm? Get together a group of good rappers and combine with A Tribe Called Quest like jazz-meets-hip-hop beats and boom, you pretty much have me sold. No pun intended. Also it contains a chorus by Zion.T, and it mixes well with the song instead of sounding jarring. Even the aesthetics of the MV seems to be very 90's with those rounded-out Busta Rhymes camera lens and baggy clothing. "Sold Out" is pure old-school hip-hop fun which is all very good.
6.) Purfles - "Bad Girl"
I know this song just came out like two weeks ago but I replayed it so much it threatened to become my favorite song of the year. This is the kind of cool 70's funk that needs to become a thing in K-pop. I get bored very quickly with the subdued 70's funk that gets pushed so hard these days. More producers need to follow Purfles and Primary's example and put some damn energy in it! Also extra points for sounding a bit like Sailor Moon transformation music.
5.) BTS (Bangtan Boys) - "Run"
While this strays away from their normal sound "Run" still kicks all kinds of ass. BTS doing a non-hip-hop but still kind of hip-hop dance number? On paper that sounds horrible but the result is damn near flawless. Also good God they look so fucking hot here. I especially like that pillow fight. I want to see more male pillow fight. Jimin, please crush my head with your beautiful thighs.
4.) Stellar - "Vibrato"
4.) Stellar - "Vibrato"
Sweetune nailed it with is. Funky guitars and bass mixed with a seemingly modern dance beat, all tied together with a music video that means more than what meets the eye. It's the Stellar comeback that everyone can get something out of, and what I got was a treat for the ears and a teaser for the brain.
3.) SHINee - "Married To The Music" + f(x) - "4Walls"
Couldn't chose which one I liked more so I put them both here. SM's two best groups put out equally great songs this year, coincidence? Maybe. "Married to the Music" is an awesome retro dance song with an upbeat and energetic 70's funk beat, hard hitting synths and awesome climax. Pure, raw awesomeness. Nothing to hate. "4Walls" is a sleek and sophisticated deep-house track with a very f(x)-ey melody and also a great climax. Both of these songs impressed me and had me hitting the replay button, and while they're two vastly different songs that take vastly different approaches, they're both equally awesome and therefore take up this spot on my list.
2.) Seventeen - "Mansae"
"Mansae" rocks so hard though. No seriously, the song doesn't waste anytime it just goes right into some thick bass licks under an opening (and they very typical Vernon swag-style rap you've probably come to secretly like) before kicking into a very 90's but very awesome dance track. So much about this is so right. The chorus is just fucking stellar and "flawless." The music video is interesting... but hey if you don't like the opening rap Vernon gets bitch slapped in the video so you have some visuals if you wish to do that, keep in mind, he appears to like it so you might be encouraging him. Who cares though when you have a great songs like "Mansae"?
1.) Red Velvet - "Dumb Dumb"
Funny isn't it? My favorite song of the year is a kind of a "non-song." Everything about "Dumb Dumb" is pretty much just weird isn't it? The song sounds like it was just your typical structure at one point with nothing special about it, but then someone through into a washing machine, added brass, thriving bass and slew of other random shit to spice it up then said "There, that's better." While other songs who have this similar "thing" done to it, nine times out of ten it turns out utter shit but "Dumb Dumb" turned out absolutely fantastic. Would you believe the first time I heard this it gave me headache? I came back to it a while later and couldn't get it out my head nor stop replaying it? "Dumb Dumb" is easily my most played song of the year, it never fails to make me want to dance or put a smile on my face or make me stupidly sing a long to the chorus. Sure it has flaws, sure most of it is probably just noise it's the kind of noise that I love, and to be honest, I'm pretty sure only Red Velvet could be given a song like this.
See you all in 2016!
See you all in 2016!