So I know you I-Fans have been sleeping on BEAST ever since they released “Fiction” back in 2011. Granted, I haven’t been perfect about stanning them either and only really started to take note of them outside of Hyunseung/TroubleMaker when they released “Shadow” in 2013. But it wasn’t until “Good Luck” last year that turned me into a full fledged STAN. Last year I ranked BEAST as number 9 on my Top Boy Groups, however this is now a lie and they’ve easily moved up to number 3 – meaning I need to redo that list, especially as now I’ve listened to their entire (Korean) discography and have enjoyed a majority of it. In actuality, I may even like a higher percentile of BEAST’s discography than Super Junior’s at this point, but let’s not get too crazy here.
In case you’re a typical flop when it comes to BEAST, let me do a quick run down of the members for you.
Starting from the left, there’s Actual Best Member Son Dongwoon. His nickname is ‘Male God’ and for good reason. He has a voice from the heavens and flawfree looks. Dongwoon is also not afraid to call out Nation’s Sweetheart Kyuhyun on his drunken behavior. Somehow he is the least popular member – what kind of BS? Honestly he’s my ideal man, tbh.
Next to BaeWoon, we have Top Idol Composer and Rapper Yong Junhyung, followed by Sexpot Lee Gikwang. Nobody knows how to actually romanize his name, since it could be done at least 4 ways.
Then comes Original Fairydol, Ray of Sunshine Yang Yoseob. Every time he smiles a kitten is born; true fact. He’s the main vocal of the group. To his right there’s Jang “Swagseung” Hyunseung, who you likely know from TroubleMaker. His swag level cannot, and should not, be stopped.
And finally, there’s Nation’s Boyfriend-dol, Yoon Doojoon. He is the leader, and I will not tolerate any badmouthing of him by basic SJWs who come for him for literally no reason.
So now that you know a little bit about BEAST, lets get right down to it. This post is going to be a countdown of My Top 20 BEAST Songs as of March 2015. So obviously future releases can’t be counted here. While there’s a rumor of them having a comeback somewhere between April and July, I’m on a Beast kick right now, so I’m not waiting. Just so you know, the group name will be written as “Beast” for the rest of the post because I’m lazy.
Similarly as to how my love for Jinyoung played into the B1A4 list, obviously my Dongwoon bias is going to play into this list as well. #thisblogisNOTobjective
Rules: No Solos and no TroubleMaker, otherwise any “unit” songs are fair game. OSTs and Japanese songs are also fair game.
So let’s start!
20. “VIU (Very Important You)” – Mastermind, 2010
So I’ve heard mixed things about the Mastermind EP, and while honestly I prefer mostly anything from the Fiction album on, there’s something about this song which really struck me and I can’t get it out of my head. Funnily enough, when I first heard “VIU”, it actually reminded me of something B1A4 would have released during their Ignition era, which is probably why I love it so much.
Beast had a moment of going for the cute boy-next-door image, and honestly I don’t think it works for them as much as it does B1A4 and neither does the electronic sound of their early music – and I’m very thankful they abandoned that style. However, I still love “VIU”, and I think for what it’s worth, is an interesting point in Beast’s discography, and is my favorite of the Cute Boy Trilogy (“VIU” + “Beautiful” + “I Like You the Best”), especially with the almost Euro-polka-like vibes I get from the song – it brings something unique to the table.
19. “When the Door Closes” – My Story, 2010
The My Story EP gave the members a chance to break up into duos to record songs – as well as a full version of “Lights Go On Again”. Strangely enough, the two “weakest” members in the group, Dongwoon and Doojoon, managed to produce the strongest track. “When the Door Closes” was the highest charting song on the album (the only one to break into Top 20), and for good reason. Even though my Dongwoon bias is strongly showing here, this song deserves recognition on my list since it was the debut of both Dongwoon and Doojoon as competent vocalists – and now both of them are good enough to be leads.
18. “숨” – Mastermind, 2010
I’m going to say outright now that “숨” is the only pre-2012 title track to make this list; yes including “Ficiton.” Obviously Dongwoon’s iconic adlib in the beginning is a big part of why I love the song so much, but Yoseob’s “I don’t know”s at the end are a great testament to his vocal ability, espeically as he was able to execute them flawlessly each live performance. As a personal preference, I actually do prefer “VIU” to “숨”, but the latter is truly the stronger song.
17. “Bye Bye Love” – Man in Love OST, 2013
I almost vetoed myself from being able to use this song, but I feel like the list wouldn’t be complete without it. Even though it’s only a collaboration between Dongwoon + Yoseob and Ilhoon and Changsub of btob (Beast’s brother group in Cube), it’s one of the best OSTs I’ve ever heard. It would honestly be higher, but I kept it so low on purpose since only two members are involved.
It’s a highly theatrical song that shows off Yoseob’s vocal range as well as the theatricality in Dongwoon’s voice – I can see why both of them have done musicals. I could have seen Gikwang and Junhyung on the track instead of the btob members, but I’m sure Cube had a method to their madness. And to be fair, I downloaded the track during my Ilhoon kick in 2012 after I heard him on Hyuna’s “Unripe Apple” so, I can’t be too nitpicky here.
16. “미운사람 (Hateful Person)” – Big OST, 2012
Another OST entry from Beast. Even though I prefer “Bye Bye Love” to “Hateful Person,” I felt as though the latter should be higher on my list because it at least features 5 of the members. It has a very bright flavor to it, and sounds like something you could hear in a 1980s movie closing credit sequence. Even though the song doesn’t really have a lot of singing – it’s a fun track, and I think is something very different outside of Beast’s albums – yet they pulled this sound off very well. I’m also happy (sorry Jesters) that Junhyung didn’t rap here, since I don’t think it would have fit the song.
I’ve been saying this around OneHallyu and Tumblr for a little while now, but Beast are really the true ballad-dols. They have the best ballads of any idol group to me. Considering “You” is the first full group ballad to make the list (one of many), I felt it appropriate to mention it here. “You” is a very simple song and it’s very prettily written and sang. It’s very simply pretty and doesn’t try hard to be something it isn’t.
While “Sad Movie” was initially a Japanese release, I prefer the Korean version included on the Good Luck album more than the original Japanese song, likely because at this point I’m more accustomed to the Korean language. To be honest part of my inclusion of “Sad Movie” is because I needed to include more of the Good Luck album, since I feel guilty more songs didn’t make the cut. I really like the melancholic vibe of the song, which have seem to be ever-present in Beast songs since Junhyung took over as main songwriter, but the addition of the string instrumental here is what sets it apart for me.
14. “눈을 감아도” – Time, 2014
The first of a few entries from the Time EP, “눈을 감아도” caught my attention because of the production value. Even though the whole album is very strong, “눈을 감아도” was one of the initial stand out tracks. Even though a majority of the album has a relaxing, subdued feeling, this track seriously puts me in a trance of calmness, which is really a feat in itself.
13. “Lightless” – Lights Go On Again, 2010
“Lightless” is easily the stand out track of this EP to me. Even though it does use the pop-synth sound that I don’t think fits Beast overall, this song is really well done, and the lack of autotune makes it very enjoyable and a very nice pop song. The song also does a great job of playing on the vocal strength of each member.
I should note it’s interesting how the opening sounds quite similar to that “Cough Syrup” song that came out a year after “Lightless”…hmm…
12. “내가 아니야” – Midnight Sun, 2012
So this song is almost at the point of an ironic stanning, but I legitimately love it. Even though when I first heard it, the beat reminded me a lot of Wonder Girls’ “Irony”, it’s a well done song by Rado – one of the most underrated composers in K-Pop. The Spanish-like guitar at the end is a really nice way to close the song. Hyunseung sings about hanging out with Doojoon, and Gikwang denies going to a club in Hongdae through lyrics where the members deny cheating on their girlfriend.
The cheekiness of the lyrics, especially in Junhyung’s rap, make the listener wonder how much of the denial is actually true. It’s literally Shaggy’s iconic “It Wasn’t Me” updated for K-Pop, and everyone should have this song on their playlist. Doojoon’s lines actually stand out the most to me in “내가 아니야”, as his voice fits the tone of the song quite well.
11. “Mystery” – BEAST is the B2ST, 2009
A case of a song that’s “so bad it’s good,” “Mystery” from Beast’s debut EP is easily miles better than the title track, “Bad Girl.” It was used as their follow-up track, and the boys also made a High Quality self-produced video for the song on one of their variety shows, featuring Top Girl Groups SNSD and KARA. When will your faves? Also Yoseob looks scarily like T-Ara’s Boram when he crossdresses.
Both Doojoon and Dongwoon do some “rapping” here, and all I can say it’s a blessing that Cube realized neither of them should be doing that, and were both moved to vocal line to show off their unique vocal colors. I also am not a fan of the harsh singing Yoseob does here. However, it’s a fun song, and it’s hard not to love it.
10. “12:30” – Time, 2014
Even though I wasn’t enthused about the news of Beast’s second 2014 track being a ballad at the time, I’m glad I was able to see the error of my ways. “12:30” is a perfect ballad because it doesn’t stay the same tempo throughout the song and has the right amount of build up. But I don’t consider the song a true ballad either, because the dance of the song is just as powerful as something you’d see most groups preforming for their dance-based titles. Hyunseung and Yoseob are the two standout players here, as their voices fit the chorus perfectly, and Yoseob’s high notes are flawless both on the recording and in literally every live.
9. “Beautiful Night” – Midnight Sun, 2012
Maybe I have a bit of a soft spot for “Beautiful Night” too since it was the first Beast song I ever heard – I remember it popping up on YouTube one day after I watched “Sexy Free and Single” for the hundredth time. I remember thinking the boys were too….out there, considering the way they were styled in the video. Whoever styled them should be under a period of reflection, until at least 2050.
Anyways, the song was their first title track without Shinsadong Tiger (self promo: be on the look out for a post about Sinsadong productions in the near future), and honestly it was probably the best career decision Cube made for Beast. The line distribution isn’t tragic – though Beast’s line distribution has never been too much of a problem in my eyes – and the chorus sounds like it was made for Gikwang, Hyunseung and Yoseob.
8. “괜찮겠니” – Hard to Love, How to Love, 2013
This pre-release track from 2013 won on a music show without even being promoted. When will your basic faves?
All points about Beast’s strong digital performance aside, I love how this song was written. I usually cannot stand rap in ballads, but as Junhyung composes for the group, you can tell the care he takes in ensuring his parts aren’t out of place. The lyrical content is also very lovely and the idea of asking a lover if they’ll be alright without you, seemingly as a cover up as to state you won’t be alright without them is very smart.
7. “비가 오는 날엔” – Fiction and Fact, 2011
Another one of Beast’s iconic ballads. It’s well known that every rainy day in Korea this song always pops up on search engines – the boys even post on their social media about it.
While I do believe “괜찮겠니” as a whole is a smarter song, the vibe of “비가 오는 날엔” edges it out just a bit more on this countdown. It truly is a perfect song for a rainy day, and the strums of the guitar are a perfect allusion to raindrops falling.
I did talk about 4Mintue’s song “Cold Rain” before, and I can see why Cube tried to create a similar song to “비가 오는 날엔” as this is a song that has longevity, and is perfect for any somber moods, lonely moments or rainy days.
6. “Midnight (별 헤는 밤)” – Midnight Sun, 2012
As I stated already, Beast are the B2st when they follow the melancholic sound that suits them better than any other boy group. Even though “Midnight” has an upbeat sound, the way the boys sing on the song along with the lyrics provide a nice contrast.
I would honestly go as far to say it’s one of the best songs Shinsadong Tiger has ever produced, and is definitely the best song he’s ever given to Beast.
5. “그림자 (Shadow)” – Hard to Love, How to Love, 2013
“Shadow” was the song that really made me begin paying attention to Beast as a group. It was also the first single completely penned by Junhyung. The song probably would have done better as a fall song, instead of something released in the middle of July, due to the dark tone and nature of the song and concept.
Junhyung really does a great job playing off of the strengths of each member, and he deserves much praise for that because I can think of many other idol producers who, while they do a nice job, seem to forget other members exist. My only complaint in this song is regarding Hyunseung, since I think his voice fit the song quite well and could have taken over some of Doojoon’s parts, but it was nice to see Doojoon get the spotlight this era.
4. “キミはどう?” – キミはどう? Single, 2014
I very much need a Korean version of “キミはどう?” – it’s such a great, fun song! The funky, disco-like beat is definitely an outlier in Beast’s discography, but they pulled it off so well. The video is definitely watching because it’s so light, and like something you’d expect from a flower boy group instead of Beast – and dare I say, the group has never been cuter. Junhyung’s rap is a standout part of the song, and I also was pleasantly surprised by his ‘I think I love you, kimi wa dou?’ at the end of the song. Yoseob and Kikwang also do a great job with the chorus. In actuality, I think each member was able to play on his own strengths in “キミはどう?”. Though Doojoon could have had some more lines, I’m not going to be nitpicky since overall this song had great distribution.
3. “How to Love” – Hard to Love, How to Love, 2013
Easily my favorite ballad by Beast. The song is perfectly suited for the group, and the transitions between each member singing was done in a really interesting way where it seems like none of the vocalists have their own verse, which would make for a very interesting live performance. As with “괜찮겠니”, Junhyung composing the song with the group in mind allows the song to play off the strengths of the members; however I think “How to Love” is less cookie-cutter, so to speak, and less expected – hence why it’s at number 3.
2. “가까이 (Stay)” – Time, 2014
I’m so mad at myself for sleeping on this song. I’m so mad I didn’t include it in my list of Top Songs from 2014. I’m mad that I haven’t been able to listen to it 500 times by now.
“Stay” is an upbeat R&B inspired track, and it has just the perfect amount of melancholy for anyone to know upon first listen that it was meant to be a Beast song. I don’t even mind the synthesizers in the song, as they play a role in updating the song to modern times. As usual, Junhyung’s raps seem to have a very cheeky vibe, where he’s playing with the girl about how she’ll come back to him, almost in contrast to the rest of the song, which express a yearning for a past love and not wanting to lose her entirely.
If Beast had been doing this style of electronic right along I likely wouldn’t have slept on the group since my early opinions of them were formed on their mostly unfortunate title songs from 2009/10.
Which leads me to their best title song…
1. “Good Luck” – Good Luck, 2014
Similar as to how I listed “What’s Happening” as my favorite B1A4 song, the same logic can be applied as to why “Good Luck” is topping my list for Beast. Honestly, I’m almost regretting not putting every song from the EP on here, since Good Luck is probably my overall favorite album from Beast, despite only having two entries – it’s the most cohesive and shows a nice range.
“Good Luck” came out when I was overseas without Internet for a school trip (note to everyone: never do that) and I was irate I wasn’t able to watch the video. In a way, it’s good that this was the song that converted me into being a full fledged stan, because if I had been prior to that point and was unable to watch the video, all Hell would have broken loose.
I’ve yet to figure out exactly what the plot of the video is, almost a year later. I mean at one point the female lead is writhing around in bed with Dongwoon – someone please direct me to that job application – while one of the members seemingly spies in on the situation, and eventually Doojoon comes into the room to put the woman’s shoe back on. Not to mention Junhyung is in a ‘last supper’ type setting.
The song itself is everything a Beast dance track should be – it nods back to their early releases with Yoseob’s English intro, and the synthpop the group originated with. However, there is thankfully no autotune, and you can see clear growth. As I stated in my Top Songs of 2014 post, the production is complex, yet not messy, and the interpretation of the lyrics being left up to the listener – whether or not the singer truly is ready to let the ex-lover go – adds to why the song works so well. It’s ambiguous, and is really so Beast. “Good Luck” is their representative track, in my opinion, as it manages to combine their upbeat and their ballad strengths into one amazing three and a half minute song
So there you have my Top 20 (er, 21) Beast Songs! Obviously as they continue to release more music this list may need some updating, but I’m so happy I have given in to the group, as I truly enjoy most of their discography and can’t find a single flaw in any of their ballads. Definitely comment below with your faves!