Hi all, so this is obviously the moment you’ve been waiting for. After a long year, it’s time to count down the best songs of the year. While Billboard’s list wasn’t complete crap, I’ve made a much better, cohesive list that doesn’t name trash like GDYB “Good Boy” as one of the best songs of the year. Obviously I’m not getting paid off to write this, so the list will be entirely objective.
Why 45? Because I feel like it. Because 50 is overdone. Because there were more than 20 good songs this year. Because I’m including non-titles unlike a certain music chart.
So here you have, the Top 45 K-Pop Songs of 2014, numbers 45-26!
45. BAP – 1004 (Angel)
As you may know, last year I wanted to puke every time I heard MBLAQ’s “Smoky Girl” since I have a cat named Smokey. Well, apparently it’s now a thing to name K-Pop songs after my cats. But unlike “Smoky Girl,” BAP’s “1004 (Angel)” isn’t annoyingly repetitive lyrically, and is actually my favorite BAP song to date. I like that they stepped outside of their powerful hip-hop concept and turned to a more mellow-rock concept. It worked really well for them, and they deserved their first music show win with this track. Who knows what the future of the group will be at this point due to their lawsuit with TS Ent, but at least “Angel” left a very positive impression.
I’m anticipating “미샤 (Misya)” in 2015. Who will the lucky group be?
44. AOA – Miniskirt
Brave Brothers’ produced “Miniskirt” is the super-popular follow-up to Sistar’s “Alone” that we really didn’t need. That said, it’s still a bop. It put AOA on the map, but then unfortunately opened the door for the “Short Hair” mess and “Like a Cat,” hopefully completing the Brave Bro Retread Trilogy.
43. Spica – You Don’t Love Me
Yeah yeah, Spica have some of the best vocals of the industry. We all know. “YDLM” is one of Spica’s strongest songs to date, thanks to Queen Lee Hyori. The problem with Spica is they seem to never stick to a style. “YDLM” was one of the first retro-inspired tracks of the year, but it’s not compelling enough to warrant multiple listens like…everything else on the list.
42. Song Jieun – La Boum
Secret’s main vocal Song Jieun released her first true ‘mini album’ this year, and while the two singles were alright, the B-Side “La Boum” is so much more fun than the title. The guitar riff with a fade into the sweet pop ditty is a great start to the cheeky song. “La Boum” is infinitely catchier than “Pretty Age 25” while following the similar themes of blossoming into womanhood. The only negative aspect of the song is the unnecessary dubstep break.
41. IU + High4 – Not Spring, Love, or Cherry Blossoms
Korea’s Sweetheart IU teamed up with a nugu boy group that nobody cares about for one of the best spring themed songs to date. The mellow ditty about being lonely as winter turns to spring is likely going to be another “Cherry Blossom Ending,” but IU’s voice is what makes this track even sweeter. Everything about this song says ‘easy listening’ and is perfect for those of us who are a bit more cynical. If it were more innovative, I likely would have ranked it higher.
40. Sunmi – Who Am I (Feat. Yubin)
I feel like one of the only people who isn’t in love with Sunmi’s solo work. I never got the hype about “24 Hours” but I downloaded her solo album anyways in hopes to change my feelings. While I still don’t love her title tracks, I can’t help but adore “Who Am I” which features Yubin of the Wonder Girls. The eerie vibe of the song is perfect for fall, and sounds like something you don’t hear every day in K-Pop.
39. f(x) – All Night
Unlike their average title track “Red Light,” f(x) had some real gems on their Red Light album, namely “All Night,” one of the songs they promoted on music shows along with “Red Light.” The 80s synthesizers open the song, and it feels like you’re being transported back in time as you listen. The song has easily become one of my favorite f(x) songs as it has elements of f(x)’s slightly quirky style, but you can tell how they’ve matured.
38. Rainbow Blaxx – Cha Cha
The disco-like vibe of “Cha Cha” is what initially would draw a listener into the song, and it remains a consistent theme throughout. The music video also adds to the jam, as it’s not only an aesthetically beautiful video, but the suggestive dance is just sexy enough without reaching the trashy level. I also can’t help but love their feminine version of B1A4’s scarf dance. Anyways, while the song is definitely catchy, it is quite repetitive, so it’s easy to get sick of it.
37. Girls Generation – Europa
While I’m part of the minority who enjoyed “Mr. Mr.” I actually enjoyed their B-Side “Europa” even more. It sounds like the perfect song to enjoy on a cruise ship. I love how lovely Jessica sounds opening the song. That said, considering she had a decent amount of lines, and we may never hear her on another SNSD record, it’s important to cherish this song like the gift it truly is. It’s fun, and has great rhythm mixture of mellow verses and then a strong chorus.
36. Hyomin – Nice Body feat. Loco
The second and unfortunately last of T-Ara’s Unholy T-Rinity to have a solo this year, Hyomin’s effort was much more memorable than Jiyeon’s. While “Nice Body” had potential to be generic Brave Brothers trash, the opening rifts that then create part of the backbeat are reminiscent of the Napoleon Dynamite score; automatically clearing it of any ‘trash’ label. Hyomin’s iconic Anorexic Anthem really does deserve to be higher, simply because of all the bashing it got by fangirls for ‘body shaming’ or whatever. Yeah, go listen to “All About That Bass” if you want to feel good about yourself. Queen Hyomin forever a bully, but still releasing better songs than your faves.
35. APink – Mr. Chu (On Stage)
So I’ve recently realized APink isn’t entirely miserable. Part of this had to do with how much I actually enjoyed “Mr. Chu”. Even though I bashed, and will stand by my bash of the video being a direct Orange Caramel rip-off, the song itself is a fun ditty that only APink could pull off. It’s so catchy and fun, and if you actually have a heart
(unlike me) you can listen to it while thinking of your special someone and feel all giddy inside like how the girls sound when they sing.
34. Park Jiyoon – Beep
Obviously Queen Jiyoon is above idol status, but the “Adult Ceremony” singer’s songs cannot be ignored, especially when she essentially got away with singing ‘twat’ over and over in her song. The piano riff in “Beep” is so catchy, and she’s really never sounded better. The production of the song is really top notch, and dare I say, clever.
33. Topp Dogg – Annie
It’s hard for me to care about nugu girl groups, let alone nugu boy groups since they’re all basically the same to me. However when I see a group all over my damn Tumblr it’s hard to ignore them after a certain point. I decided to see what was so great about Topp Dogg, and luckily I listened to “Annie” first. Though it’s only a special single to celebrate their first anniversary as a group, it’s easily their best song. I love the funky late 80s/early 90s R&B/Hip-Hop vibes the song has. The bass line is, dare I say, sick, and it’s ridiculously catchy. I can’t see myself really enjoying the group beyond this release, but it’s hard to deny what a jam “Annie” is.
32. Minx – Why Did You Come to My Home?
Like Topp Dogg above, here we have a super nugu. In the case of Minx, someone actually specifically messaged me to recommend this song. I’m so glad they did, since it’s a really fun, refreshing song. Minx is actually Dal Shabet’s sister group, and it’s almost clear when you really listen to the song, as it has a lot of similar aspects as Dal Shabet’s iconic “Be Ambitious” – but it’s almost as if it was remixed with Blady’s “B Type Girl”. No complaints from me. However unlike Topp Dogg, I’m really excited to see more from Minx.
31. Secret – I’m in Love
After the sub-par “I Do I Do”, I honestly wasn’t that excited for Secret’s comeback overall, especially knowing it was going to be a Double Sidekick song and how the teaser sounded so similar to Jiyeon’s “Never Ever”. But I was definitely pleasantly surprised. “I’m in Love” captures the true essence of Secret and their distinct sound. Even the small rap break for Hana is nicely placed and does a great job of being different, yet still true to the sound of the song. The jazzy vibe of the song definitely shows it belongs in Secret’s catalogue. Truthfully, the part from 3:12 on is really the gem of the song, but the whole song is definitely worth listening to.
Speaking of Secret…
30. Girls Day – Darling
Girls Day released “Shy Boy Part 2” AKA “Darling”; something I didn’t know I needed until I heard it. Seriously, the song is essentially a reworked “Shy Boy” and there’s not even much more I need to say about it. It’s flirty, fun, and a perfect summer song. I do wish Sojin had more lines, since her deep, breathy voice really makes the song stand out to me, in a great way.
29. Mamamoo – Piano Man
While Mamamoo are technically nugu, they’re not really since they seem to have a pretty decently sized fanbase and public recognition after working with Drug Kingpin Bumkey. Already Mamamoo has a nice distinct jazzy sound to their music, and even if Prince Gongchan wasn’t in the music video, “Piano Man” is a much stronger song than “Mr. Ambiguous” and works much better to show off Solar’s (and Wheein and Hwasa’s) vocals. Moonbyul’s rap is even less awkward in this song. To be honest, I find “Piano Man” to be the song Spica’s “YDLM” tried but failed to be in terms of musicality.
28. AKMU – 200%
I like AKMU. They have a cute distinct style to their songs, thanks to Chanhyuk’s composing. However his voice just doesn’t do it for me because he sounds like Artie from Glee, which is why 200% can’t be any higher than 30. It’s really a perfect pop ditty that captures the essence of young love, and it’s hard not to listen with a smile.
27. B1A4 – Solo Day
I only put the song on the list because it’s catchy and it’s only so high because my mother actually asks me to play it in the car. She stans for Jinyoung’s whistling apparently. And that really counts for something because the entire time I was primarily a Super Junior fan she’d complain about getting ‘headaches’ while listening to them.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike the song (nor do I blindly love everything B1A4 does), but they have so many better songs than this one, particularly on the mini. Plus Jinyoung sings way too much for my liking. He’s my ultimate bias and all of that good stuff, but I wish Gongchan and CNU could have sung more in this song, since the sound would have complemented their voices really well. Everything considered, I do like the unique country-twang vibe of the song, and it’s hard not to sing along. I mean, I could make a list ranking only B1A4’s 2014 songs, but nobody would want that.
26. VIXX – Error
“Error” is easily the best song VIXX has ever released. Even though it stylistically reminds me of Infinite, that’s not a bad thing, but it did limit “Error” from making it into the top 25. I love Hongbin’s verse, and the tune is perfect. It really sounds like a Sweetune produced song, and I can’t even complain since Sweetune’s songs are perfect.
I almost considered putting Ravi’s ‘Diss Hater’ here instead, but I couldn’t bring myself to really do it. But please do yourself a favor and listen to that comedy gold. Bobby needs to remember he’s a ‘f****n’ idol’.
But “Error” is actually a great song, so I couldn’t consciously replace it.
So there’s songs 45-26. Please anticipate Part 2 with the Top 25 K-Pop Songs of 2014. Comment with your favorite song(s) of the year below. Can any of you guess what #1 will be?