Worthy Hit Leisure / JYP Leisure / SM Leisure
2019 was as soon as a tumultuous year for Good adequate-pop; rocked by scandal, flagrant abuse of energy, loss, and tragedy, Korean artists continued to push boundaries nonetheless, making big waves abroad and producing a couple of of the year’s most dynamic, bright work.
This year, BTS smashed streaming data, topped the Billboard 200 albums chart for a third consecutive time with Draw of the Soul: Persona, and made history, changing into the first Korean community to present at the Grammys and construct on the Saturday Evening Live stage. SM Leisure supergroup SuperM debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, changing into the 2nd Good adequate-pop artists to prime the chart. EXO made their triumphant return with Obsession, an album elephantine of broody bangers, funky pop, and sensual R&B. Twice, Stray Kids, and Monsta X sold out venues all by North The US. And monster rookie groups esteem ATEEZ, The following day X Collectively, and ITZY didn’t appropriate reach to play — they got here to take.
In the sector of Good adequate-pop, there’s no longer any such thing as „too worthy,“ and the following release — single, album, and song video — is continually around the corner. (Stray Kids dropped three EPs, five singles, and 12 song videos this year by myself.) With so worthy work being produced, it can be straightforward to miss the particular gems in a community’s discography.
So here’s to the tracks that on a customary basis walk overpassed with this listening e-book to some of basically the most efficient Good adequate-pop B-facets of 2019.
20. Blackpink: „Kick It“
Blackpink is identified for their in-your-face anthems and bombastic bops, which is what makes „Kick It“ this kind of standout in their catalog. It’s quintessential for the girl community, confident and stuffed with perspective, but softer than their conventional tracks. Its mellow entice beat is paying homage to their debut single, „Whistle.“ It’s relax nevertheless anthemic — especially as Lisa asserts, “Below no circumstances predominant nothing else / Right a itsy-bitsy little bit of love from myself.“ It’s the final discontinuance-of-the-birthday party song, when it’s appropriate you and your chums doing all your like thing.
19. Everglow: „Moon“
Making their debut with the banger „Bon Bon Chocolat,“ Everglow simplest released a couple of songs this year, every sounding totally varied from the final. They’ll walk sizable (hi there “Adios”), nevertheless the boring-burning „Moon“ is their most intoxicating release to this level. Atmospheric and sportive with entice drums and a bouncy beat, it’s finest for must you may per chance per chance dance out your frustrations. With „Moon“ Everglow delivers a subtle roughly alchemy, person who leaves you below their spell.
18. Oneus: „Crimson Thread“
2019 was as soon as the year of the rookies. So many talented objects emerged, every vying to construct their label with numerous releases and contemporary ideas. But no rookie community has as many hidden gems in their younger catalog as Oneus. The six-member boy community debuted in January with the moody „Valkyrie,“ nevertheless it surely’s the sweeping pop ballad „Crimson Thread“ that showcases the depth of their musicality. Oneus has an inherent skill for dramatics (stare: „Twilight“), nevertheless „Crimson Thread“ is uncharacteristically stripped down — permitting vocalists Seoho and Keonhee to genuinely shine while rappers Ravn and Leedo resolve the song to new heights with a pinch of their signature roam.
17. NCT Dream: „Bye My First…“
„Enhance“ was as soon as an ideal single. Visually and sonically, it signaled a mature, edgier, generation for NCT Dream, the teenage subunit of NCT. In distinction, We Enhance’s standout song „Bye My First…“ is luminous and poppy, nevertheless it surely still finds the community wrestling with sizable feelings esteem past love. There is one thing nostalgic about the explicit groove on „Bye My First…“ — a mixture of Jaemin and Jeno’s mellow raps, Haechan’s falsetto, and a strumming guitar that keeps the song mild and contemporary. It’s youthful without being childlike; here’s NCT Dream all grown up.
16. GFRIEND: „Paradise“
It’d be argued that any song given the name „Paradise“ may per chance be basically the most efficient B-aspect on an album. Imprint: „Paradise“ by BTS; „Paradise“ by NCT 127; and now, „Paradise“ by GFRIEND. It’s a funky song with jazzy flourishes (that bassist is the particular hero here) and beautiful harmonies. There is nothing Good adequate-pop loves bigger than an explosive fall, which makes a song esteem „Paradise“ the roughly groovy straightforward-listening that stands out among the noise. It’s no longer a yelp; it’s a twinkle.
15. Itzy: „Cherry“
Who slip the sector? Teenage ladies. It’s no longer easy to take into yarn a single rookie community that made extra of a cultural influence than ITZY, the intrepid fivesome from JYP Leisure. With their shiny sound and chilly-chick energy, ITZY dominated this year with two break singles, „DALLA DALLA“ and „ICY,“ which swept South Korea’s televised song shows and grew to alter into mainstream hits. But „Cherry,“ a B-aspect off their EP IT’z ICY, provides a peep into the band’s future. The brooding, minimalist song is an different for contributors Yeji, Lia, Ryujin, Chaeryeong, and Yuna to flex their versatility with smokey verses and a hypnotizing hook. But the song’s staunch energy is the capability by which ITZY relate themselves; they’re no longer asking to your attention, they’re taking it.
14. EXO: „Toddler You Are“
We almost went a entire year with no single release from one among South Korea’s ideal boy bands, nevertheless that each one changed in leisurely November with the release of their sixth elephantine-size project Obsession. And lucky for us, when EXO commits to a memoir, they the truth is commit. But what makes „Toddler You Are“ stand out on a tracklist jammed with dynamic pop songs and sensual R&B cuts — simplest EXO may per chance per chance also place their rhythmic pièce de résistance in the guts of their album — is that it follows the formula for every thing that makes EXO an undeniable force in the alternate: a sticky hook, tight vocal harmonies, charismatic rap verses, and lush vocals. EXO doesn’t have one thing else to reveal at this stage of their careers, nevertheless a song esteem „Toddler You Are“ reminds you why they’re all americans’s obsession.
13. ATEEZ: „Utopia“
Protect your eyes on ATEEZ. It’s been a itsy-bitsy little bit of over a year since this eight-member community stormed onto the scene with their boisterous pre-debut song „Pirate King,“ and the momentum has been building ever since due to their extremely effective performances and memeable personalities. The community is a itsy-bitsy little bit of tough around the perimeters — with their punk-rock perspective — nevertheless „Utopia“ is their most digestible pop effort but. It’s the roughly song that you just would be able to no longer judge wasn’t a single (though it was as soon as later re-released as a Japanese single), an brisk mix of prismatic melodies held down by one hell of a catchy hook. It’s thrilling from beginning to enact.
12. SuperM: „2 Lickety-split“
On first hear, “2 Lickety-split” may per chance per chance also simply seem esteem basically the most efficient song you’ve ever heard. Definite, that can sound hyperbolic, nevertheless must you hear to this SuperM song, it feels equivalent to you are ascending. To where? Presumably to a field where „jopping“ is universally understood. The song — from contributors Taemin, Baekhyun, Imprint, and Lucas — is still and sultry, leaning into SM Leisure’s R&B sensibilities. The bouncy synths and radiant harmonies the truth is feel paying homage to a SHINee minimize, nevertheless „2 Lickety-split“ provides up ample surprises (including a thrilling mid-song tempo swap-up) to protect listeners guessing. It’s a song that, esteem SuperM, below no circumstances settles into one singular groove.
11. CIX: „What You Wished“
For a rookie community, a first single is predominant — especially in a year as competitive as 2019. CIX debuted in early August with „Movie Famous person,“ a smoldering pop song with killer level choreography. It’s stylish and effectively-produced, nevertheless it surely lacks the roughly entice, charm, and energy that B-aspect „What You Wished“ has in spades. The song is confident, paying homage to ’90s boy band greatness, and it hooks you straight with its strong beat, velvety vocal harmonies, and seamless transition between singing and rapping. „Movie Famous person“ left a lawful first influence, nevertheless „What You Wished“ made a lasting one.
10. Crimson Velvet: „Sunny Aspect Up“
Crimson Velvet has one among basically the most spectacular discographies in Good adequate-pop, thanks in section to their versatile theory that enables them to construct energetic earworms („Crimson“) and still R&B tracks („Velvet“). So it’s no longer gorgeous that they’re usually frequently known as the Queens of B-facets by followers, and „Sunny Aspect Up“ is a considerable addition to their catalog of hidden treasures. A standout minimize from The ReVe Competition Day 1, the song is a slinky, laid-motivate summer season jam. „Zimzalabim“ was as soon as a polarizing single, nevertheless „Sunny Aspect Up“ proves that, in relation to Crimson Velvet, the vocals are the significant enchantment.
9. The following day X Collectively: „Magic Island“
The ballad „Magic Island“ may per chance per chance also no longer straight stand out for listeners of The following day X Collectively’s first elephantine-size LP The Dream Chapter: Magic, a series of groovy synths („Unusual Tips“), R&B cuts („20cm“), and bubblegum pop („Poppin‘ Famous person“). But a more in-depth hear finds the charm of „Magic Island.“ It’s a subdued song — with still keys and ethereal vocals from contributors Soobin, Yeonjun, Beomgyu, Taehyun, and Heuning Kai — nevertheless it surely inevitably lulls you correct into a sense of deep serenity. Warm and wistful, you’ll yearn for “Magic Island” because the times fetch shorter and the nights fetch colder.
8. Stray Kids: „Chronosaurus“
Time — catching as a lot as you, leaving you in the motivate of — is personified on „Chronosaurus,“ a highlight of Stray Kids’ March EP Clé 1: MIROH. A play on „Chronos,“ the Greek note for „time“ (chief Bang Chan is a self-proclaimed mythology nerd), and „Kronosaurus,“ a prehistoric predator, the title is upright for this haunting song, a cosmopolitan mix from the community’s extremely effective rap line and their expressive vocalists. Stray Kids have been shifting at a breakneck chase since their debut in early 2018, and „Chronosaurus“ — produced by contributors Bang Chan, Changbin, and Han — is a candid see at how the truth is taxing the inventive route of may per chance be.
7. Dreamcatcher: „Restful Evening“
To borrow terminology from stan Twitter: Who else is doing it esteem Dreamcatcher? Good adequate-pop’s resident rocker ladies don’t appear to be petrified to combine it up, and while their signatures are heavy guitars and soaring vocals, „Restful Evening“ veers into electronic territory. The fall is subtle, as it switches up the tempo without note with still vocals and pounding synths. But the outro is the particular gem here: It’s pure and pounding psychedelic EDM. It’s an formidable pass from the alternate’s most intrepid ladies, and it will pay off.
6. GOT7: „Thursday“
It’s beautiful: GOT7’s „Web page“ is the B-aspect of the 365 days. Or, no lower than it was as soon as except „Thursday.“ GOT7 has experimented with varied sounds and solutions over time, nevertheless I love sportive GOT7. (Think: „Right Honest,“ „Teen.“) And this love-struck song, produced by chief JB and featured on the community’s most modern Call My Name EP, faucets into the community’s sportive aspect with still vocals, still melodies, and a chilly beat. The hushed harmonies are there to remind you that GOT7 doesn’t fetch almost ample credit ranking for their vocals.
5. BTS: „Dionysus“
Draw of the Soul: Persona is an album elephantine of crisp bops, which makes the mere existence of „Dionysus“ a damn miracle. There is one thing rather raw and unrefined about „Dionysus“ — a rousing prog-rock ingesting song produced by member J-Hope — and that’s the reason what makes it so profound. It harkens motivate to the community’s early days, when BTS’s sound felt extra aggressive. The witty rap verses and explosive choreography are classic BTS, so it’s an formidable statement to add it because the closing song to their most broadly circulated memoir but — a nod to the actual fact that, whatever you watched about the supergroup’s most modern musical route, that you just would be able to below no circumstances resolve the Bangtan out of the boys.
4. Day6: „Wanna Lunge Help“
Day6’s discography has zero skips, nevertheless no song this year begs replaying button bigger than „Wanna Lunge Help.“ The nippiness song is equally luminous and wistful — that’s Day6’s entire vibe, in the end — reflecting on the halcyon days of formative years, when things had been extra functional, worries had been non-existent, and desires felt cessation by. It’s still: The song has that „radio up, prime down“ feeling of a long summer season drive. No longer to relate, the song gave us one among basically the most efficient surprises of the year — Dowoon’s vocal 2nd on the bridge — due to the drummer’s sweet baritone.
3. NCT 127: „Toll road To Heaven“
Since making their bombastic debut in 2016, NCT 127 have carved out a obvious field all by the crowded Good adequate-pop market with heavy bass traces, intense roam, extremely effective choreography, and a sturdy emphasis on hip-hop. But the polished „Toll road To Heaven“ is no longer what you’d anticipate from the confident ensemble, and that’s the reason exactly what makes it so outstanding. The shimmering synth-pop banger sounds extra esteem a Carly Rae Jepsen single than one thing else in NCT’s discography. It’s structured practically totally around the community’s vocalists — the layered vocals on the hook construct it the truth is feel big — and even the rap verses from Taeyong and Imprint seem melodic. The euphoric song expands as you hear; by the time vocalist Haechan delivers his heart-stopping ticket on the bridge, you are already seeing stars.
2. Seventeen: „Lie All any other time“
Neglect the Darkteen vs. Freshteen debate; it’s all about Softteen. Of the total genres Seventeen showcased on their September release An Ode — the EDM banger „HIT,“ the darkish and simmering „Alarm,“ the R&B boring jam „247,“ the energetic „Snap Shoot“ — „Lie All any other time“ is as cessation as they reach to a ballad. Tinged with sweet murky, the song highlights the 13-member community’s vocal prowess, with powerhouses DK and Seungkwan reining it in to show cloak their still facets alongside the community’s versatile rap and performance objects. But here’s no longer your old boring dance. Co-collected and arranged by Simon Petren, who produced their seminal „Behavior,“ the song is immediately tender and hefty, its subtle fall and twinkling string outcomes giving it that burst of energy that’s reach to make clear Seventeen’s numerous catalog.
1. Twice: „Love Foolish“
Fleshy disclosure: Every B-aspect on Twice’s Surely feel Special EP is deserving of a field on this checklist. It’s their most mature, sonically engaging release to this level with spectacular production and particular person writing credit ranking from contributors Nayeon, Jihyo, Dahyun, and Momo. But it surely’s significant dancer (and, on this song, rapper) Momo’s electro-pop „Love Foolish“ — featuring darkish synths, heavy bass, and sensual spoken-note bits — that shall be Twice’s most efficient B-aspect ever. Inspiring beyond the saccharine sound that’s made them Asia’s most winning lady community, it’s proof that Twice are succesful of so worthy bigger than cheery hooks. They’re 9 younger ladies who have lots to relate. But the anticipate is: Are you ready to listen to?