Sunday, January 1, 2017

My Top 25 Title Tracks of 2016

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2016 was a good year for k-pop or should I say, certain groups kept K-pop afloat in 2016? Regardless this year was especially hard to make in terms of favorites. How I usually pick is making a list of favorites (max 30) then pick the essentials from that and knock off some more until I'm at 15. My essentials came at 23 so I just said fuck it and added two more that I thought was great. That said even songs that I still loved winded up not getting on here (Like NCTs "Fire Truck", CLC's "No Oh Oh", Sistar's "I Like That", ect..) so yeah that should tell you how hard this was to make. Anyways here are my favorites of 2016.

Fair warning, I don't believe in the "no double-dipping" rule. Some groups just had a better year than others.


25. BTS - "Fire"


Everything is a mess in a good way. It's a monstrous song with everything hitting you at once, it's the kind of thing YG used to be good if that makes any sense. The best part of the song is the area between the verses and chorus, they perfectly build the song up. The rest is an awesome party blaster. 

24. A Pink - "Only One"


Leave it to A Pink to combine fairy melodies and thriving bass and have it sound good. When this song came out, I replayed it the whole week. I hum it from time to time, it's what A Pink does best while putting a slight twist on it. Also the MV is gorgeous.

23. BlackPink - "Playing With Fire"


Everyone was scared for BlackPink when they debuted but the girls proved themselves with their second comeback and "Playing With Fire" is the best song from YG in a few years (sans Big Bang's "Sober.") It's like a 2NE1 dance number with more glamour making it addictive and aesthetically amazing.

22. Icia - "Time Bomb"


Fuck the fact that this looks like it was filmed with a live potato, this song is pretty damn great. This is the kind of sound that was popular in 2009 and while it does sound dated, it still doesn't stop the fact that "Ticka, ticka, ticka I'm time bomb! 4321" hasn't been stuck in my head.

21. AKMU - "Re-Bye"



This is the kind of sensual rhythmical jazz stuff that AKMU needs to stick to. It's mysterious, subtle and catchy with a music video that's hands down one of the best of the year.  

20. Seventeen - "Very Nice"


This is pretty much what Seventeen is known for: upbeat funky dance numbers with insanely addicting choruses, and it works for them. One thing I do like is that they threw in more horns adding some more flavor. Honestly a great workout song in my opinion.

19. BTS - "Blood, Sweat, and Tears"


On the other hand BTS went with a sound they most definitely are not known for and were still able to pull it off. This dancehall+EDM track is about as pop as BTS has gotten in terms of singles however it's still badass with some catchy verses and chorus and one of the best bridges I've ever heard.

18. Zico - "I Am You, You Are Me"


Zico isn't known for this type of laid back R&B sound (well in the past he wasn't) and while this won't be everyone's favorite release, I find it awesome. This is the kind of song I'd listen to while on the subway or walking downtown, it has that perfect chill vibe and dreamy like aura to it that sets me in a good mood.

17. Stellar - "Sting"


"Sting" is basically the "Mask" to "Vibrato" which means it's pretty damn good. Airy pop melodies mixed with heavy funk always play to Stellar's strengths.

16. Twice - "Cheer Up"


Hands down one of my most replayed songs of the year and not just because I've needed quite a bit of "cheering up" but also because the song is just down right addictive and it brings me back to when I was kid again.

15. WJSN - "Secret" 


"Secret" takes the usual sugary soft funk pop song that used and abused in K-pop and ads some lively beats to it so that I wont go to sleep. I actually like this as much as the energetic "Catch Me!" however in the end I went with "Secret" because it had an infinitely better music video.

14. Puer Kim - "Pearls"


I would describe "Pearls" an electro-dubstep ballad however I'm probably wrong about that. Let's just say that "Pearls" is miles ahead of the average ballad with it's moody texture and hypnotic structure.

13. Dal Shabet - "Someone Like U"


Why aren't Dalshabet more popular? Sure the group has some duds but their really good songs are really good. The group most suits the retro 80s sound ("The Have and Have-nots", and "B.B.B" anyone?) "Someone Like U" is one of those retro songs that fit Dalshabet like a glove.

12. DIA - "Mr. Potter"


They fucking referenced Harry Potter all over one of the sickest fast paced electro-pop beats of the year. Of course they'd make this list. My only complaint: not enough Hogwarts. 

11. BAP - "Skydive"


"Skydive" shows BAP back at their A game with it's gritty style, and fast paced nature. I really like that BAP took a stab at an electronic sound this time around as it added some extra flavor to their original concept.

10. Oh My Girl - "Windy Day"


Sweet, weird, experimental, don't all belong in the same basket however Oh My Girl somehow manage to make it work. "Windy Day" rocks as much as it takes a relaxing swim if that makes any sense. It combines the upbeat sweet style of an A Pink b-side with the bombastic nature of a classic 2NE1 song.

9. Up10tion - "Attention" + G-Friend - "Navillera"




"Attnetion" has that suave R&B+pop and horns sound that takes me back to the late 2000s, so that along with it being awesome and having a great chorus keeps it in my top ten. Of course G-Friend would make the list since they had an A+ year, in all honesty I love "Rough" and "Navillera" equally however I put "Navillera" here because I like the chorus slightly more.

8. Taeyeon - "Why"


My bias of biases came out with another solo track and mini album, some of the best work of the year goes to both. Taeng's "Why" came out around the time I started working in the summer and seeing as I took the early shift I needed something to wake me up during my commute and something to energize me after the work was done - "Why" was the song I kept coming back to. It's such a carefree, refreshing, and happy song I couldn't resist.

7. Red Velvet - "Russian Roulette"


Everyone hates this song for some reason? I don't see what's so bad about it, maybe because it's not as out there are Red Velvet's other tracks however it remains just as catchy and addictive. The style is certainly different, taking a more 80s sound with choppy synths and static vocals however that all adds to the computer-like theme of the release. I couldn't stop replaying this song for a good week, and honestly this music video has to be in one of the top 5 of the year.

6. Twice  - "TT"


One of the catchiest songs on the planet, I'm always singing it. Great verses, great chorus, I love the house-ish beat and of course "I'm like TT, just like TT" bit got stuck in my head.

5. Snuper - "Platonic Love"


Snuper have a consistent 80s sound that I really love, with the twee melody and smooth guitar licks I find this song particularly spectacular just for how unapologetically 80s it is. The fact that it's also a great song that I could see my whole family getting drunk and dancing too is just a bonus.

4. Ladies' Code - "Galaxy"


And in the completely opposite direction of "Platonic Love" we have Ladies' Code and their sombre return with "Galaxy." It's chill, silky, and dark. It sounds like something Vanessa Daou would have done in the 90s which is just a bonus but a really great bonus. Thumbs up for the cello towards the end of the song, more songs need cello.

3. BTS - "Save Me"


More sad shit but good sad shit. BTS's "Save Me" continued their new sound of emo+dance hall and instead of going off in all directions it stays pretty concise and well executed. The beat gradually builds into the massive dance break and then goes back to the moody verses and doesn't come back until it's ready. One of BTS's best and it's stayed on my playlist since it's release. The music video while minimal is still awesome. Also Jimin sings like 70% of the song which is a plus for us Jimin stans and a minus for...well everyone else.

2. Lovelyz - "Destiny"


"Destiny" is pretty much a masterpiece from both a musical and visual standpoint, the melancholy violins, the hard hitting synths, the harmonization, that fucking bridge was beautiful. All of it, it's just honestly great. 

1. Luna - "Free Somebody"


Best SM solo out of all SM solos, seriously Luna did a spectacular job with this. She perfectly combined the pop+EDM trend that SMs been pushing for a minute and she had the vocal chops to pull it off while not having it be overbearing. Great great great beat, great chorus, great breakdown. Everything about this is just pure greatness right down to the music video. 

Overall 2016 was one of the better years in Kpop since that plunge in 2013, so I guess that's one bright thing that happened this year. Anyway looking forward to a bright 2017 with AOA kicking off everything. Look forward for my top b-sides coming in the next day or two.

4 comments:

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    1. Sorry to be late on this - thank you!

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  2. (Belated) Happy New Year! Always nice to read your thoughts on songs—mainly because you know how to get straight to the point. Hope you're doing well in college.

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    1. *Sorry for the late reply* Thank you! And a Happy New Year to you too! So far all's been going well, I had a pretty decent first semester. I go back in a week O_O.

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